Electric Bike Laws in Michigan & Restrictions – A Quick User Guide 2022

Laws regarding electric bikes keep on changing to enhance safety on the roads. In Michigan, changes in bicycle laws included registration regarding electric bikes. So, what are the electric bike laws and restrictions in Michigan? Different states have different restrictions on electric bikes. You need to know these restrictions and laws to be on the safe side.

In this post, I’ll share with you major electric bike laws in Michigan and some restrictions. Join me as you educate yourself and stay on the safe side while on the road.

Is an E-Bike Considered a Motorized Vehicle in Michigan?

Under Michigan laws, an e-bike is considered and treated as a standard bicycle with a few exceptions. There is no law defining electric bikes as motor vehicles. In most cases, electric bike riders enjoy the same privileges as standard bicycle riders.

So what’s an electric bike in Michigan laws? The state of Michigan describes an electric bike as a fully pedal operable bicycle with electric motor assistance. However, there is a caveat. The bike must be equipped with a motor of less than 750W.

E-Bike in Michigan

Below are some requirements that an electric bike in the state of Michigan must meet.

  • The bike must have a fully operating pedal
  • Have an electric motor of not more than 1 horsepower, or 750 watts
  • Have a seat for the rider

There are three classes of electric bikes in Michigan as in most states. These classes are based on various attributes of the bike. You need to have a visible label that shows your electric bike class. Here are three categories of electric bikes in Michigan.

CLASS 1

Class 1 e-bikes are motor-assisted e-bikes that operate the motor when you’re pedaling. The motor automatically stops working when you hit 20mph.

They are the most basic class with minimal restrictions. Most class 1 e-bikes can ride on lanes for standard bicycles. The motor can not start and ride the bike without pedaling.

CLASS 2

Class 2 e-bikes on the other hand can give people the bike when you’re pedaling or not. You can start a bike on the electric motor without pedaling.

As in the case with class 1, the electric motor stops the assist when the bike hits 20mph.

CLASS 3

Lastly, we have the class 3 e-bikes which provide riders with assistance when pedaling. However, the motor disengages when the rider stops riding.

Class 3 e-bikes can ride to maximum speeds of 28mph. When they hit the maximum speed, the motor disengages.

For both classes of e-bikes, there are limitations on the maximum motor power. When the motor power exceeds 750W, then they are no longer considered electric bikes.

Extra regulations like insurance and registration come into place. In general, an electric bike is not considered a motorized vehicle in Michigan. So, what are the ruLes for riding an electric bike in Michigan?

Rules for Riding on the Road in Michigan State

The laws allow for different electric bike classes to ride on different lanes. It’s crucial to know your bike class and rules for riding on Michigan roads. For example, class 1 e-bikes can ride on linear trails. These are trails that run from one point to another. This can be on asphalt surfaces, rail trails, and crushed limestone.

Electric Bike Laws in Michigan

However, there are jurisdictions where the law provides for regulation on class 1 e-bikes. Be sure to check on the local ordinances to be on the safe side. Michigan laws allow all-electric bike classes to be ridden on the roadway where you can ride traditional bikes. This simply means you can ride an electric bike on any designated bicycle lane. All class 2 electric bikes can ride on rides just as class 1. The only exception is when the local municipalities have jurisdiction over the trails.

However, the law is not favorable for class 3 electric bikes on non-motorized trails. This usually happens when the trails have natural soils without any added materials. There are specific areas in Michigan where e-bikes are not allowed. For example, electric bikes are not allowed on Mackinac Island. However, riders can obtain permission from the Mackinac Island State Commission to ride there.

The laws on electric bikes tend to be strict for riders below the age of 18. For example, riders below 18 years riding a class 3 e-bike must wear a helmet.

Are E-Bikes Allowed on Michigan Bike Trails?

Electric bikes are allowed on Michigan trails. However, the law is very specific on the definition of trails. We have hiking trails and mountain bike trails. These are nature trails and are better known as non-motorized trails. The surfaces feature a natural surface tread. They are surfaces made by clearing and grading the natural native soil. Riders then ride without adding any foreign materials on the trails.

Are E-Bikes Allowed on Michigan Bike Trails

When riding an electric bike in Michigan, you need to be away from these regulations. The law does not apply to public trial systems that have been authorized by Congress. But you’ve probably seen people ride electric bikes on normal roads. What are the rules regarding them? A rider on the road can enjoy all rights applicable to drivers using the same road. However, it’s just that the laws don’t apply since riders have bicycle lanes.

For electric bicycles on the road, the rider can enjoy all rights but is also subject to traffic laws. You need to be aware of other vehicles on the road and obey traffic laws. However, an electric bike on the road is still considered a bicycle.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Michigan Law

Electric bikes are becoming quite popular in Michigan with a wide array of benefits. Are Michigan laws on electric bikes okay? Here are some advantages and disadvantages of Michigan laws on electric bikes.

Advantages
  • A breakdown of whereof you can ride makes it easier for riders to choose trails that match their bike classes
  • Enhanced safety on the roads
  • Preservation of the environment and Michigan natural resources
  • The laws protect the young from injuries with regulations on the use of helmets for persons under 18 years
Disadvantages
  • You’re regulated on the motor power
  • Restriction on the use of non-motorized trails by class 3 electric bikes.

Michigan State Electric Bike Laws FAQ

Do You Need a License, Insurance, or Registration in Michigan?

No Michigan laws require e-bike riders to have insurance for their bicycles. You can ride your bike without worrying about getting insurance. However, it’s always a good idea to have your e-bike registered under home insurance in case of damages or theft.

What Are the Restrictions on Motor Power or Throttle in Michigan?

The motor power throttle should have a maximum motor power of 750 watts. This is the equivalent of 1 horsepower.

Are There Any Age Restrictions to Riding an Electric Bike in Michigan?

Yes, there are a few restrictions on electric bikes in Michigan. First, you need to have an electric bike with fully operational pedals. The bike must have a motor not exceeding 750W and have a saddle.

What Are the Laws around Helmets in Michigan?

Laws around helmets state that persons under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when riding an electric bike.

Do You Need a License to Drive an Electric Bike in Michigan?

No, you don’t need a license to have an electric bike in Michigan. However, you need to follow all safety rules while on the road.

Can You Ride an Electric Bike on the Sidewalk in Michigan?

You can ride an electric bike on the sidewalk in Michigan without any restrictions However, you need to check for local jurisdictions in specific areas.

Disclaimer

The laws and regulations about electric bikes in Michigan are rendered valid as per the period of writing. They can change anytime so make sure you check local agencies, counties, and jurisdictions. We strongly encourage you to be updated on the most recent laws regarding electric bikes in Michigan.

You can see other USA state Laws:

Conclusion

Laws and regulations regarding electric bikes vary from one state to another. While most laws and regulations are similar in most states, it’s good to check by specific states. In Michigan, electric bikes are classified into three classes of 1, 2, and 3.

An electric bike in Michigan must not exceed 750 watts. It also needs a saddle and fully operational pedals.

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