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    Are 750 Watt E-bikes Legal In California?

    • By Bettina Wahl
    • Apr 05

    In recent years, electric bicycles have become an increasingly popular form of transport due to their convenience and low carbon emissions. If you're considering purchasing an e-bike with a 750-watt motor in California, you may wonder if riding it on public roads and bike paths is legal.

    This article will concentrate on California's regulations regarding 750-watt electric bikes. We will explore the relevant rules and guidelines to help you follow and navigate the state laws.

    Contents []

    • 1.What is California's Definition Of An Electric Bike?
    • 2.Understanding E-bike Classifications in California
      • 2.1 Class 1 and 2 E-bikes
      • 2.2 Class 2 E-bikes
      • 2.3 Class 3 E-bikes
    • 3.California Electric Bike Laws
    • 4.What Are the California Road Regulations For Riding?
    • 5.Legal Considerations For Modifying E-bikes: Understanding the Law
    • 6.Conclusion
    • 7.Maybe it will be helpful for you

    What is California's Definition Of An Electric Bike?

    In 2015, California passed Assembly Bill 1096 to define electric bikes and accommodate their use on roads and paved surfaces.

    According to the new law, an electric bike in California has a motor with a maximum power output of 750 watts (1 horsepower). These bikes are designed to help the user pedal and ride safely. Additionally, the rider must use a combination of human and electric power to run the engine.

    The e-bike can go up to 28 miles per hour on flat ground. The California Vehicle Code (CVC) distinguishes between three classes of electric bicycles based on their speed capabilities and the level of assistance the motor provides.

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    Understanding E-bike Classifications in California

    In California, electric bicycles are classified into three categories, each with specific regulations regarding their use on public roads and bike paths. Besides speed and assistance levels, these bikes have specific age requirements for the rider.

    1.Class 1 and 2 E-bikes

    Class 1 electric bicycles have a motor that only helps the rider when pedaling and turns off when the bike reaches 20 mph.

    2.Class 2 E-bikes

    On the other hand, Class 2 e-bikes include a throttle to switch on the motor without any pedaling. Similarly, it has a speed limit of The motor assistance is limited to speeds of 20 miles per hour.

    3.Class 3 E-bikes

    Class 3 e-bike is a pedal-assisted bike that propels only when the rider stops pedaling. The motor ceases to operate when it reaches a speed of 28 mph.

    E-bike is an excellent choice for navigating the traffic in California, but it's essential to understand the regulations that govern their use. By knowing the classification of your e-bike and the rules that apply to it, you can ensure that you are riding safely and legally.

    California Electric Bike Laws

    California has specific laws and regulations that govern the use of electric bikes, or e-bikes, to ensure their safe operation on public roads and trails. Here are some of the critical laws and regulations related to e-bikes in California:

    • Age requirements: Class 2 and 3 e-bike riders must be 16. Class 1 e-bike users are not age restricted. Additionally, the age requirements apply only to riders and not passengers, who are subject to the same regulations as passengers on conventional bikes.
    • Helmet requirement:All riders under 17 must wear helmets while riding an e-bike in California. Those over the age of 18 years do not need helmets to ride Class 1 and 2 e-bikes. It's important to note that regardless of age, riders must wear a helmet while riding a Class 3 electric bicycle in California.
    • Permitted paths and trails:Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are generally allowed on bike paths and trails, but Class 3 e-bikes are not. As per the local ordinance, you can even ride them on sidewalks where regular bicycles are allowed. Mostly, e-bikes and standard bikes are banned on sidewalks in downtown commercial areas.
    • Registration and licensing: California E-bikes, unlike motorcycles or scooters, do not require registration or licensing.
    • Riding under the influence: DUI charges may occur from using an e-bike while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Like any other vehicle, you can't drive your e-bikes under the drug influence to prevent accidents.

    What Are the California Road Regulations For Riding?

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    In California, the rules for riding E-bikes on roads are generally the same as for traditional bicycles. You can drive Class 1, 2, and 3 E-bikes on public roads and bike lanes, although some local ordinances may have additional restrictions. While turning or changing lanes, riders must use the proper hand signals, obey all traffic laws, and ride in the same direction as the traffic flow. Additionally, bikes under 18 years must wear helmets while operating an eBike on public roads.

    These laws and rules encourage California's e-bike usage, which aims to ensure safety and responsibility. By following these rules, e-bike riders can enjoy the many benefits of electric bicycles while minimizing the risks associated with their use.

    Related Reading: Top 10 Recommended Electric Bike Tours in California

    Legal Considerations For Modifying E-bikes: Understanding the Law

    According to Californian state law, you cannot change the speed or tamper your e-bike to enhance its capabilities. E-bike owners can only modify their vehicles to increase speed and durability if they precisely change the speed categorization label.

    Technically, your electric bikes must not exceed 750 watts to meet the class M licensing and safety requirements.

    If you intend to upgrade your e-bike, check premium quality accessories at Macfox. They have premium-quality tires and pedals that can enhance your riding experience by increasing speed, providing better road grip, and improving performance on various trails.

    Its lightweight aluminum pedals are perfect for the elderly or those with limited mobility, as they don't require a lot of pressure to propel your bike. If you're a beginner, use the wide tread tires you can easily find on the Macfox website. They provide better grip and prevent sharp objects from penetrating the surface, reducing the risk of punctures and punctures.

    However, before modifying your E-bike, it's crucial to check with local state laws and ensure that you use the correct e-bike classification label after the modifications. It will help you avoid any legal complexities and penalties by accurately reflecting the speed limit of your e-bike.


    In conclusion, 750-watt eBikes are legal in California as long as they adhere to the state's classification system and regulations for eBikes. It is essential to understand the different eBike classes, their corresponding speed and power limits, and any restrictions or requirements for riding on specific trails or roads. Also, riders should be aware of local statutes with different rules. By following these guidelines and riding responsibly, eBike enthusiasts can enjoy the many benefits of E-biking in California.


    What is California's definition of an electric bike?

    In California, an electric bike is defined as a bicycle with a motor that has a maximum power output of 750 watts and requires a combination of human and electric power to operate.

    What are the classifications of e-bikes in California?

    E-bikes in California are classified into three categories: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3, based on their speed capabilities and level of motor assistance.

    Are there any specific regulations for riding e-bikes on public roads in California?

    Yes, riders of e-bikes in California must follow the same rules as traditional bicycles. They must obey traffic laws, ride in the same direction as traffic flow, and use proper hand signals when turning or changing lanes.

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