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Call for Ebikes to be registered


Ebikes or pedal-assisted electric bicycles are growing out of control in many countries, creating danger for other road users, robbing motorcyclists of parking and giving all riders a bad name.

There are now calls in Australia and around the world for regulation or registration for these vehicles.

In China it is so bad, more than 10 major cities have restricted or banned them, despite the bikes providing cheap and easy transport.

Many see them as a green transport alternative that free up the city and provide cheap transportation with some health benefits.

However, some Chinese authorities claim ebikes are dominating bike lanes, endangering bicycle, motorcycle and scooter riders as well as other motorists. They are also riding on footpaths and paying little attention to road rules.

Ebikes epidemic

Chinese bikes destined for Europe (Image: Electrek)

Many other countries are now finding similar problems with the burgeoning growth of ebikes and the EU has complained about China dumping bikes in Europe.

There is a fear that they will grow even faster in the post-pandemic world where people eschew public transport because of the dangers of infection.

Motorcycle manufacturers such as Ducati and even Harley-Davidson are getting into the ebikes trend.

rude boy bicycles ebikes
Harley ebikes

Like many countries including Australia, you can ride an ebike without a licence.

In Australia, they are limited to 25km/h, but illegal and virtually untraceable modifications can make them such faster and more dangerous.

Ebikes menace

Long-time motorcycle advocate Rodney Brown says they are a menace.

“Ebikes are unregistered, the riders unlicensed, some not roadworthy, uninsured and electrical grid drainers,” he says. 

“They need to be registered, insured, roadworthy, speed restricted, age restricted and need to heavily enforced.”

Rodney Brown Rider's call for ute tarps rejected bike lanes
Rodney Brown

He says they are also taking up valuable footpath parking space in Melbourne.

This follows calls last year by the the Tasmanian Motorcycle Council for free identification numbers, not registration, for cyclists over 18 so their traffic offences can be reported and riders fined.

Their call was backed by Emeritus Professor of Transport Marcus Wigan who says electric bicycles and scooters blur the lines between bicycles and registered motorcycles and scooters.

He says bicycles are legal transport and as such should be bound by the same features of ID as other vehicles using the roads.

  1. Sorry Mark… but this is nothing but alarmist rubbish. If I were you I’d remove this one and get back to what you do best – bringing us great news and views on motorcycles.

    1. Echo what John said. Taking up valuable footpath parking space, really? Would Rodney Brown have an issue if it were pedal powered bicycles parked there? I’ve never had trouble parking my motorbike because there was an eBike in the way. Get a grip…

      Anything that gets more people out of cars is a good thing in my book.

  2. Seriously I do see a major safety problem with a percentage of push bike riders; it comes down to attitude & training from all sides on the road.
    In theory the numbering is not a bad idea, however if you report someone for breaking the road rules on a numbered push bike, you also need to supply documented proof of the offense.
    We could also number dog walkers to report them when they don’t pick up poo.
    Photo ID of people getting a numbered shopping trolley, so when it’s left kilometres from the store in front of your place they to can be fined.
    Pedestrians could also be numbered with CCTV recording offenses of crossing roads illegally & fines mailed out………………

    1. That ALL sounds like a FANTASTIC IDEA to me – FINE THE LOT OF THE LEFTIST MORONS …..

      JUST HAVE EVERYTHING Traceable to their DAMN PHONES and their FORKED Good and Propper ….

      ’cause these infantile creatures just CAN’T EXIST without their precious phobile moans ….

  3. Me thinks Rodneys just pissed about not being able to park where he wants to.

  4. I’d say Rodney Brown is just pushing his own barrow. E-bikes are are a great form of transport for city-dwellers. Rodney’s statement that they are “electrical grid drainers” is just nonsense.

  5. WOW….so all the legal stuff we hate happening to Motorbikers we want to happen to E-Bikes???? Get a grip. E-Bikes are a great transport idea. They tick all the boxs – reduce pollution, less road space, more exercise, less materials to manufacture, and hey FUN to ride.
    The silly arguments above remind me of the push to force rego on push bikes. Whilst the ability to ID someone being a dick on a pushy sounds great till you have to pay for your kids to ride around.
    The more people on 2 wheels, whether push, E or motor the BETTER.

  6. They are already regulated, the regulations are just not being enforced. Ebikes are only legally an ebike, not requiring registration, in Australia if they have a motor with a power output of 250W or less and the motor only works up to 25km/h. Any Ebike with greater than 250W of power is technically a motorcycle & should be registered as such. There are plenty of people flouting these regulations though, especially delivery riders, and have motors much greater than 250W installed and no limits placed on the speed

  7. Absolute nonsense. More regulation for the sake of regulation is not what’s needed. Some therapy for those suffering an illogical pathological hatred of bicycles is what is needed.

    Currently, eBikes are speed limited to 25km/h; ie at speeds over that, there is no electric assist. I have an eBike and love it. However, I do not ride on main roads because it is too dangerous, especially with so many deranged bicycle haters around, including it seems amongst motorcyclists.

    I have seen a good argument from the Bicycle Council that eBikes would be safer in traffic if the mandated sped limit on eBikes was raised to 40km/hr to reduce the speed differential with there traffic. In that case, perhaps, some sort of eBike registration may be justified.

    But Rodney Brown is talking utter nonsense.

    1. Way off the mark Mark, can’t believe you gave this bloke a voice.

      Electrical grid drainers? This bloke is a moron.

  8. C’om guys , you all know how many cyclists do not have licenses many blame motorists for not watching out for them when they will ride 2 even 3 abreast down back roads .
    The ecological argument is fair but it must be remembered the power to charge them comes from a power station and that facility will produce some noxious effluent.
    I think all road users should contribute to the maintenance of the roads and that includes the surface , lights , highway patrol to specify a few . Therefore E bikes and push bikes who use the same infrastructure as motor vehicles should be identifiable and contribute. I stand to correction here however I believe one must have a licence to ride a horse in town and the dray if used must be registered , if that is so , there ought be no exception for bicycles , electric or otherwise.

  9. Be careful what you wish for – restrictions on E bikes could well flow over to restrictions and banning of motorcycles regardless of the power source.
    Perhaps if we had the old fashioned police officer on the beat utilising a little discretion the behaviour of E bike riders might be improve?

  10. What a lot of rubbish. If we were to require eBikes to be registered, then standard push bicycles need to be registered also and electric and non electric scooters/kick-bikes… And we would need to licence all road users – eBike, Bicycles, scooters. That will not promote the use of alternate commuting vehicles.
    As previously suggested, if the Police regularly policed bicycles (electric and non), as firmly as they police motorcycles, to ensure riders adhere to speed limits, cycle lanes and have appropriate safety equipment fitted, there would be less problems.

  11. What a hogwash! Gee Australia, can’t we(Ron!!) accept other ways of transport and exist side-by-side ??? I am a pushbike, e-bike, scooter, motorcycle and car owner and user. Use them as most ‘fit-for-purpose’ and
    practise some tolerance to others. Ron, there are always people who use bad functioning cars. bikes or pushbikes, always. Despite any regulations they will circumnavigate them as they see fit. It’s their choice, so let’em. If they get caught, then they pay. Easy as that. let me – or any individual – decide what risks I take and don’t nanni-state me please.
    BTW, found the heading of this already ‘loaded’ and off-putting

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