In NSW any device with a motor must be registered for use on a road or road related area unless it is specifically exempt.
Power-assisted pedal cycles
Power-assisted pedal cycles that meet the criteria described below are exempt from registration. Riders do not have to hold a licence, but they must wear an approved bicycle helmet, and obey the same road rules as bicyclists.
A power-assisted pedal cycle is a bicycle that:
- Is designed to be propelled solely by human power.
- Has one or more auxiliary propulsion motors attached to assist the rider.
This means that it must be possible to propel the bicycle only by the rider pedalling it; the motor is only intended to help the rider, such as when going uphill or cycling into a headwind.
There are two types of power-assisted pedal cycles.
- Maximum power output 200 watts
For power-assisted pedal cycles other than pedalecs (see below), the auxiliary motor/s must not be capable of producing a combined maximum power output exceeding 200 watts, whether or not the motor/s is operating.
Note: It is virtually impossible for a bicycle fitted with an internal combustion motor to meet this requirement because an internal combustion motor limited to 200 watts is not capable of producing enough torque to propel the bicycle. For example, the cylinder of a petrol motor specifically designed to produce no more than 200 watts (equal to 0.268 horsepower) will have a capacity of about four or five cubic centimetres, the size of a standard medical syringe.
- Maximum power output 250 watts (‘pedalec’)
A ‘pedalec’ is a vehicle complying with the requirements of European Standard EN 15194: 2009 or EN 15194:2009+A1:2009: Cycles – Electrically power assisted cycles – EPAC Bicycles. To comply with EN 15194:
- The motor must be electric.
- The maximum continuous power output of the motor cannot exceed 250 watts measured at the wheel.
Note: A motor that delivers 250 watts of continuous power can produce greater power for very short periods of time, which can be beneficial when pulling away at traffic lights or starting a hill climb.
- The rider must pedal the cycle to activate the motor.
Note: Pedalecs may be equipped with an optional low-speed start-up mode that allows the motor to power the cycle up to 6 km/h. This mode is activated by the user either when riding without pedalling or when the user is pushing the cycle.
- The motor must cut-off once the vehicle reaches 25 km/h, or sooner if the rider stops pedalling.
- The vehicle must be certified by the manufacturer, and labelled as complying with EN 15194. The label must include the manufacturer’s name, the motor’s cut-off speed in km/h and its continuous rated power in watts.
For more information, see VSI 27 - Mopeds and motor-assisted pedal cycles, available from the Vehicle standard information sheets section.
Motorised wheelchairs and other types of disabled persons’ conveyances are exempt from registration. This is provided:
They are used solely for the conveyance of a person with a disability that substantially impairs the person’s mobility.
- They are not capable of travelling at more than 10km/h.
Operators of these vehicles do not have to hold a licence, but they must obey the same road rules as pedestrians.
Motorised foot scooters, miniature motorbikes (also known as mini bikes, pocket bikes or monkey bikes) and other motorised recreational devices do not meet minimum Australian design standards for safety and cannot be registered.
This means they must not be used on roads or in any public areas such as footpaths, car parks and parks.
There are heavy penalties for using unregistered and uninsured vehicles. Police can also seize unregistered vehicles.
There are some retailers who sell these vehicles and fail to warn customers that they cannot be used on roads or in public areas.
The Australian Government has banned the sale of mini/monkey bikes. For more information, go to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.
The following vehicles are banned from use on roads or in public areas.
- Motorised foot scooters (with or without a seat) – electric/petrol engine
- Mini bikes or monkey bikes
- Motorised human transporters such as the WheelMan, or SEGWAY
- Motorised skateboards – electric/petrol engine