E-bikes and petrol-powered bicycles

You can use bicycles that meet the requirements for permitted e-bikes on public roads and road-related areas.

Petrol-powered bicycles and other powered bicycles that don't meet the e-bike requirements outlined below are illegal.

You can only use these bikes on private property.

What are the e-bike requirements? 

There are two types of permitted e-bikes: 

  • Power-assisted pedal cycles 
  • Electrically power-assisted cycles. 

The rider must primarily propel these bikes – a motor can't be the only source propelling it. The motor should only help the rider, like when going uphill or facing strong winds. 

Power-assisted pedal cycles

A power-assisted pedal cycle: 

  • has one or more motors attached with a combined maximum power output of up to 200 watts 
  • can't be propelled only by the motor/s 
  • weighs less than 50kg (including batteries) 
  • has a height-adjustable seat. 

Electrically power-assisted cycles

An electrically power-assisted cycle has a maximum continued rated power of up to 500 watts. This power output must be: 

  • progressively reduced as the bicycle’s speed increases beyond 6km/h 
  • cut off when: 
    • your bicycle reaches a speed of 25km/h 
    • you stop pedalling and the speed exceeds 6km/h. 

Petrol-powered bicycles

All petrol-powered bicycles are illegal on NSW roads and road-related areas like footpaths, shared paths, cycle ways and cycle paths. This includes bicycles that: 

  • have a petrol-powered engine attached before or after purchase 
  • are powered by other types of internal combustion engines. 

Petrol-powered bicycles are faster than regular bicycles, reaching moped and small motorcycle speeds. Petrol-powered bicycles have regular bicycle brakes that aren't designed for higher speeds. These bicycles also take much longer to stop than regular bicycles. This increases the risk of a crash that can kill or seriously injure the rider and other road users.

Motorised bicycle tests has detailed results of performance capabilities, power output and stopping distances of petrol-powered bicycles. 

Moped laws 

A moped is a small motorcycle that: 

  • has an internal combustion engine with a capacity not exceeding 50ml, or an alternative power source e.g. electric motor 
  • has a maximum speed of 50km/h 
  • may be either two-wheeled or three-wheeled 
  • may be pedal assisted.

These vehicles are legal on NSW roads as long as they're: 

  • entered on the Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV), or for an older model, fitted with an identification plate (commonly referred to as a compliance plate),
  • compliant with the applicable vehicle standards 
  • registered 
  • ridden by a licensed rider. 

More information