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  • ebikes?

    What are the thoughts on ebikes in NY? I see that the "laws" still are very "gray". I personally am loving my Haibike Hard 7 6.0. In Vermont I have no problems where ever I go on it.

  • #2
    the Property I help manage, has a NYSDEC Conservation easement on it. I asked the e- bike question to a Captain of the NYSDEC Forest Rangers that is the principle law enforcement agency on the easement property.

    At first he acted as if he knew little about e-bike regs on the easement. Then he claimed that if they have less than 20 mph max speed they are classed as a bicycle, then he added, they are a class C moped and need to be registered and insured. I’m skeptical of his opinion.

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    • #3
      [QUOTE=.

      At first he acted as if he knew little about e-bike regs on the easement. Then he claimed that if they have less than 20 mph max speed they are classed as a bicycle, then he added, they are a class C moped and need to be registered and insured. I’m skeptical of his opinion.[/QUOTE]

      I got the ebike thinking that I would use it on the beach but when I found a Mt Bike trail a few miles from where I stay here in Florida (winter) I had to try it. What I had read I assumed it was good to go and I ran the trails one day having a blast. Next time I when back there were 2 conservation officers at the trail head. Went over to ask about use with my ebike an was told "your mid drive ebike is legal to ride any of the state trails, have fun"! He knew exactly what I had....I was impressed.

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      • #4
        I actually don't know what the state regs are, but many local systems have banned e-bikes. They've been pretty clear about posting this at all the trailheads though and I've seen people drive in with their shiny new e-bike and then leave once they realized none of our trail systems allow them.

        If a trail specifically states non-motorized use, that will usually include e-bikes. If not, then it's probably OK. I'd guess that snowmobile trails would be legal, but I'm not sure.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tug Hill View Post
          the Property I help manage, has a NYSDEC Conservation easement on it. I asked the e- bike question to a Captain of the NYSDEC Forest Rangers that is the principle law enforcement agency on the easement property.

          At first he acted as if he knew little about e-bike regs on the easement. Then he claimed that if they have less than 20 mph max speed they are classed as a bicycle, then he added, they are a class C moped and need to be registered and insured. I’m skeptical of his opinion.
          less than 20 mph is classed as class c limited use motorcycle,
          DMV does not distinquish on propulsion type

          https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/register-moped
          https://www.dmv.org/ny-new-york/other-types.php


          New York Moped and Scooter Classifications
          The New York DMV defines all mopeds and scooters as fitting into one of three separate classifications, based on the top speed of each vehicle.
          Each class comes with its own specific requirements and restrictions:
          Class A reaches top speeds between 30 and 40 MPH, requires a Class M or Class MJ license, and can operate in any traffic lane
          Class B reaches top speeds between 20 and 30 MPH, requires any class license, and can only operate in either the right-hand lane or along the shoulder
          Class C reaches top speeds of 20 MPH or less, requires any class license, and can only operate in either the right-hand lane or along the shoulder

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          • #6
            Currently, ebikes are technically not "street legal" in NY and can not be operated on any public land, road or right of way.

            "Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle doesn’t qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and doesn’t have the same equipment."

            see:
            https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/moto...tered-new-york

            "Never drive a bicycle with a motor attached on any public highway except as defined by (Sec. 2268). "
            and:
            https://www.dot.ny.gov/display/programs/bicycle/faq

            Originally posted by NY VAT
            § 2268. Motor-assisted vehicle. Notwithstanding any other provision of
            this chapter, a vehicle which is primarily designed to be propelled by
            human power shall not be entitled to registration as a limited use
            vehicle because of the addition of a motor. The commissioner shall
            determine whether any vehicle is primarily designed to be propelled by
            human power.
            There are proposed bills trying to change this Albany, but none have succeeded yet (that I know of)
            Feverishly avoiding "a steady stream of humanity, with a view that offers little more than butts, boots, elbows and backsides". (description quote from Joe Hackett)

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            • #7
              My buddy's father, who is in his mid-70s, has one and he took it to Colorado elk hunting last fall. He loves it. I tried it out and it was pretty cool.

              Along with insurance, I wondered about what Timberghost said regarding "street legal," and figured any Forest Preserve law regarding a motorized vehicle would apply and restrict its usage.
              Life's short, hunt hard!

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              • #8
                As an avid mountain biker I have mixed feelings. Personally, if I was grinding up one my usual challenging spots and somebody on an e-bike whistled on by I would be kind of ticked. Being out there (IMO) is about the physical challenge of the mountain and my level of fitness. To have someone achieve the same things without essentially having to do any work has no place.
                That being said, were I to reach an age or health condition in which I was no longer able to go, I may see an e-bike as a good way to reach some of my favorite remote locations in that situation.
                I don't see a real problem with them overall. For those that like them, or may have a need for them, there should be room for them to enjoy themselves the same as the rest of us. The gray areas of people modifying them into faster and more competitive machines is where the problem will come in. Additional trail damage, discourteous riding habits, etc,. are concerns that seem to be voiced when the subject gets talked about on other forums.
                Hunt when you can, Fish when you can't.

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                • #9
                  Since Pandora's box has been opened, the real reason I believe there is such resentment for e-bikes in the mountain bike community is the hard fought advocacy that mountain bikes worked for and distinguishing themselves from motorized recreation. Adding a motor to a bike, be it assist or whatever, seeks to undermine that. All the other minor concerns are merely feeble attempts by the community to make rationalizations to keep the e-bikes out, whereas most who actually know the situation will tell you it's as simple as having a motor.

                  Despite all this, because bike shops are selling them and people are buying them, I'm sure there will be areas open to them. I wouldn't count typical mountain bike areas to go anytime soon and I would expect groups who are looking for more access in non-motorized areas to distance themselves as far as they can from them.

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                  • #10
                    I sympathize with true bike riders (I ride bikes myself). I recently purchased property on a motorless Adirondack lake to build a camp because I do not like motorized vehicles on water or on remote wildlands. However I have seen older folk ride those motorized bikes around the lake property on private and town roads. I have no problem with that at all. Maybe someday the time will come when I will wish I had one.
                    "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman

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                    • #11
                      There's a difference between riding them on mountain bike (pedal only) approved trails and riding on roads where other motor vehicles operate. I believe it's only a matter of time (as stated above) before the state has an official ruling on them, but I see them as a fine idea for people who want to use them to commute. They are very costly (but then again, so are good bikes) but if they obey the laws of the road and stay on the shoulder like other bikes, I don't see an issue, but maybe NYS will... don't know... I can easily go 20 mph on my pedal bike on pavement. I cannot do that up hills or sustain it for very long on flats, but in reality, it's not much faster than you theoretically can go on a bike, so in terms of traffic flow, not much of a difference. On MTB trails, they can climb ridiculously fast, so that has caused some people to be up in arms, but I'll stick by the fact it's been the long, hard fight to get bikes out of the motorized group that causes many pedal bike supporters to resist them. And I completely understand why. Is a canoe still a motorless boat when you add an electric trolling motor to it?
                      Last edited by montcalm; 04-26-2018, 07:47 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by montcalm View Post
                        Is a canoe still a motorless boat when you add an electric trolling motor to it?
                        no its not
                        a canoe with a trolling motor requires registration

                        Register Your Motorized Boat
                        In New York, watercraft without a motor do not need to be registered. If you use a motor (electric or fuel-driven), no matter how small the craft or the motor, you must register your boat with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by skillzman1 View Post
                          As an avid mountain biker I have mixed feelings. Personally, if I was grinding up one my usual challenging spots and somebody on an e-bike whistled on by I would be kind of ticked. Being out there (IMO) is about the physical challenge of the mountain and my level of fitness. To have someone achieve the same things without essentially having to do any work has no place.
                          hikers can say the same thing about bikers whizzing by them

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Terasec View Post
                            hikers can say the same thing about bikers whizzing by them
                            Well some hikers like to complain either way, but there is an established etiquette that Hikers, Bikers, Horse riders are all supposed to understand and follow. I personally focus on mountain bike specific trails when I ride. That's not to say hiking isn't allowed, but when a hiker is on a trail that is 90% mountain bike use...the problems could be considered self inflicted.
                            I personally have never run into the issue, but I happen to be a pretty courteous kinda guy.
                            Hunt when you can, Fish when you can't.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Buckladd View Post
                              Along with insurance, I wondered about what Timberghost said regarding "street legal," and figured any Forest Preserve law regarding a motorized vehicle would apply and restrict its usage.
                              Forest Preserve, would fall under its own subset of state laws.
                              There's no "grey" area, currently, NY state does not permit ebike use on any public venue.

                              If for some strange reason ebikes get designated as non-motorized vehicles, there will be a lot of issues with FP, Master Plan, and land management.

                              However, there does not appear to be any inherent incentive for state to forgo the sales tax, registration fees, and other surcharges that motor vehicles carry.
                              Feverishly avoiding "a steady stream of humanity, with a view that offers little more than butts, boots, elbows and backsides". (description quote from Joe Hackett)

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