Centre for Road Safety

Dangerous bikes banned

Since 1 October 2014, all petrol-powered bicycles have been banned on NSW roads and road-related areas such as footpaths, shared paths, cycle ways and cycle paths. The ban includes bicycles that:

  • Have had a petrol-powered engine attached after purchase
  • Were bought with an attached petrol-powered engine
  • Are powered by any type of internal combustion engine.

Petrol-powered bikes are unsafe and put their riders and other road users at risk.
In 2013, at least three people died riding a petrol-powered bicycle, including a 14-year-old boy in Western Sydney.

Petrol-powered bicycles are faster than regular bicycles and can often travel continually at more than 40 km/h. This is much faster than elite cyclists and comparable with the speeds of mopeds and small motorcycles.



Braking danger

This video shows the distance it takes for a petrol-powered bicycle to stop. Petrol-powered bicycles can travel at high speeds, however, their brakes are only designed for a standard bicycle, not for the high speeds produced by an attached petrol engine. They take much longer to stop than standard bicycles, greatly increasing the risk of a crash that can kill or seriously injure not only the riders, but other road users as well.

Our Motorised bicycle tests (PDF, 758KB) has detailed results of performance capabilities, power output and stopping distances of petrol powered bicycles.



 

Clear guidelines

The ban frees police from making roadside technical judgements on the power output of petrol-powered bicycles and makes it simpler for them to force these dangerous bicycles off the road, protecting riders and other road users. The guidelines also provide consumers with clearer information about the bicycles that are legal to ride on the road.

What bicycles are legal?

Legal bicycles from 1 October 2014 include:

  • Regular bicycles with no engines attached
  • Complying 250 watt pedalecs
  • 200 watt power assisted pedal bicycles that have an electric motor

Mopeds and motorcycle laws remain unchanged

These vehicles are legal on the road as long as they:

  • Comply with the applicable vehicle standards
  • Are registered
  • Are ridden by licensed riders.