Williams barristers and solicitors  |  90 George street, Thebarton SA 5031  |   (08) 8451 9040  |  Email Us

What Are the Rules for a Motorised Bicycle?

Bicycle, motorised bicycle, power assisted bicycle, Pedelec, Motor Bike?

Rules in South Australia require drivers to have a licence for bikes with more than 200 watts of power.  When purchasing a motorised bicycle it is critical to understand the engine capacity.  It is easy to be breaking the rules unknowingly and you could be fined for riding an unregistered bike and riding without a licence resulting in fines of over $1500, additional demerit points or loss of licence.

People with a disqualified licence should be very careful in ensuring that any motorised bicycle they intend to ride complies with the law as set out below.  Should you purchase a motirised bicycle to be mobile during your disqualification it must comply with the standards or you will risk imprisonment.

The following information and more can be found on the Government Website by clicking here.

What is a Power Assisted Bicycle?

A power assisted bicycle must use pedals as the main means of propulsion but can be power assisted with an attached motor.

motirised bicycle
This is a power assisted bicycle. It has an adjustable seat and multiple gears to make it easier to pedal, as well as a battery pack and 200 Watt motor to assist the rider.  Govt Website


In South Australia two types can be used legally on the roads:

  • a bicycle with up to 200 Watts of power and controlled by a throttle or accelerator
  • A bicycle with up to 250 Watts of continuous power and controlled using pedals. This must meet the definition of a pedelec.


white motirised bicycleThis is not a power assisted bicycle because the seat is too low for pedalling and the pedals are so widely spaced that they are of little use. They are low enough to dig in when cornering. It is obvious that the pedals are not the main means of propulsion. Govt Website


What is a Pedelec?

For a pedelec to be legal for SA roads it must comply with the European Committee for Standardization EN 15194:2009 or EN 15194:2009+A1:2011 Cycles – Electrically power assisted cycles – EPAC Bicycle (‘EN 15194’);  This means it must:

  • be certified by the manufacturer and labelled as complying with EN 15194. The label must have the manufacturer’s name, the motor’s cut off speed in km/h and its electric motor motor maximum continuous rated power in Watts.
  • the motor must be electric and the continuous power output cannot exceed 250 Watts;
  • the rider must pedal to access the power (the motor may operate without pedalling up to a speed of 6 km/h);
  • the power must cut out when the pedelec reaches 25 km/h or sooner (if the operator stops pedalling).
This is not a power assisted bicycle because it is fitted with an internal combustion motor. Govt Website


SA Rules for motorized bicycles

Riders do not require a driver’s licence, motor vehicle registration or compulsory third party insurance. Riders are bound by the same rules as for other bicycles, including:

  • the rider to wear a helmet;
  • effective brakes;
  • a bell, or other audible warning device;
  • a rear-facing red reflector at night;
  • a white light to the front and a red light to the rear at night (both may flash) clearly visible from at least 200 metres.

Rules of thumb in determining the difference between a power assisted bicycle and a motorcycle

  • It is a motorized bicycle under the rules in SA if the bicycle can be operated without the use of the motor and is less than 200 Watts or 250 Watts if a pedelec
  • If the main source of power is the motor then it is a motor vehicle and operating it requires a driver’s licence, registration and compulsory third party insurance.

Be very wary of home made motorised bicycles as there will be no guarantees about their compliance with the SA road rules.

Williams Barristers and Solicitors are Adelaide expert traffic lawyers and can assist you. Call 84519040



Williams Lawyers Adelaide

Have you been taken into custody? Call for 24 hr assistance

Call 08 8451 9040