2011 is the Year of the Motorized Bicycle in San Francisco – They Sound Just Like Motorcycles

I’m used to seeing the occasional late night motorized bicycle run in the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park proper, but now these things are popping up all over the place in broad daylight.


And this was like ten minutes later – it was another dude (macho*, perhaps?) entirely.

Why not add a kit to your bike, you know, to stick it to the man? No licensing, registration, or pesky emissions regulations to worry about, right?

And please remember, Loud Pipes Save Lives, or something.

*Is it his scarf or his ladybug helmet what makes him so macho? Is he loved, does he have a family? 

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3 Responses to “2011 is the Year of the Motorized Bicycle in San Francisco – They Sound Just Like Motorcycles”

  1. What’s the legality of something like this? Isn’t under 49cc legal without lights or blinkers or anything? I believe a 49cc gasoline 2 or 4 stroke engine is allowed wherever bicycles are allowed.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    I’m not up to speed on such matters, but this here indicates that CA doesn’t care about displacement…


  3. Yup! Found this link on the forum at the link you provided! Displacement doesn’t seem to matter, just top speed and output of the motor.

    From http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d01/vc406.htm

    “Motorized Bicycle

    406. (a) A “motorized bicycle” or “moped” is any two-wheeled or three-wheeled device having fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, or having no pedals if powered solely by electrical energy, and an automatic transmission and a motor which produces less than 2 gross brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.

    (b) A “motorized bicycle” is also a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that meets all of the following requirements:

    (1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.

    (2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on ground level.

    (3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour. “

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