Electric dirt bikes are legal to ride in the UK, but there are a few things you need to know before hitting the trails. In this post, we’ll go over what you need to do to stay safe and legal while riding your electric dirt bike and find out are electric dirt bikes legal in the UK.
Electric bicycles and dirt bikes have become popular modes of transport these days. Electric assistance powers ebikes, scooters, and motorbikes to lower transport emissions.
This can also reduce harmful environmental impacts and help us transition toward green energy. However, different countries have different laws regarding the legality of such vehicles. In this article, let’s discuss are electric dirt bikes legal in the UK.
Are Electric Dirt Bikes Legal?
Electric dirt bikes can go off-road and are driven over 15.5mph with the flicking of a switch. These bikes don’t completely comply with the EAPC regulations for on-road usage. This means that your electric dirt bike will have to be registered as a motor vehicle.
It will also be insured and taxed. You will require a driving license to drive the vehicle and will also have to wear a helmet while driving.
Electric Vehicles and Regulations
As far as electric vehicles go, several laws and regulations apply. These laws are applied according to electric vehicle features and speed limits. Laws also state eligibility and where these vehicles can be driven and where they cannot.
This often confuses people and leaves them wondering which regulation might apply to their two or three-wheeled plug-in vehicle.
Electric or Dirt Bike
You will require a full driver’s license if you have an electric motorbike or dirt bike with a power output of 11kW or less and a top speed faster than 28mph/45kmph. These vehicles are classed as L3e-A1. You must also pass a CBT test every two years. L-plates must also be visible on your bike.
You must update your motorbike license if you decide to move to a higher-output electric bike. You will need to get the appropriate license that applies to the size of your motorbike.
You can get a suitable motorbike license in two ways. This can be done by taking a direct access course or progressing through different licenses as you gain experience. There are different motorbike license categories you need to be aware of.
- You must be sixteen years old or older to gain an AM license. With this license, you can ride an electric bike with a maximum top speed of 28mph.
- You need to be seventeen years or older to gain an A1 license. This applies to electric bikes that can go up to 11kW and could be equivalent to a 125cc bike.
- You must be over nineteen years of age to get an A2 license. This applies to bikes that can go up to 35kW.
- When you are 24 or over, you can get a full license for any bike size.
If your electric moped is with, as well as a motor with a power output of 250W, and a top speed of 15.5mph, it’s treated similarly to an ebike. This implies that your moped can be driven anywhere you can ride an ebike.
For these vehicles, you don’t require a number plate or license. However, the rider must ride these vehicles over fourteen years of age.
Vehicles with a Top Speed of 28mph
If you have a bike with a top speed limit of 28mph, it will be treated similarly to a 50cc scooter. The rider must wear a helmet when riding these bikes.
The bikes have to be registered and have a number plate. It is also important to remember that you cannot ride these vehicles on cycle lanes or motorways.
The rider must also take the CBT test and put an L-plate on the bike. However, if you had passed your driving test before 2001, you don’t need to display the L-Plate of sit for the CBT. Also, you cannot carry passengers with you in this vehicle.
You also qualify for a government grant if you have an electric motorbike or moped. This grant is for plug-in vehicles, such as electric motorcycles, that cost over 10,000 pounds. For such vehicles, you will receive 35% of the list price. For electric mopeds, you will receive 35% off the list price.
If you are over 14, you can legally ride ebikes or Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles. Per the law, the bike has to have pedals that can propel it. The bike also needs a battery pack less than 250W in terms of power with an electric motor that won’t assist over 15.5 mph.
You don’t qualify for a government grant when purchasing an ebike in the UK. You also don’t need a license to ride an ebike; it does not have to be registered, insured, or taxed. eBikes can be ridden anywhere you can ride a traditional bicycle.
However, matters become slightly complicated if your ebike goes over the speed of 28mph. The government classifies such ebikes as mopeds, and you can’t ride them in bicycle lanes.
Your vehicle must also be registered to keep up with the law. You will also be required to wear a motorbike-style helmet when riding.
However, if you live in Northern Ireland, the rules are slightly different. Your ebike will be classified as a moped regardless of its top speed or power output.
You will have to follow the regulations set out for mopeds and motorbikes when riding your ebike, even if your ebike has a top speed of 28mph.
Steps That Make Your Electric Motorbike Legal
An electric motorbike is a cleaner mode of transport with lower costs. But you will need to take certain steps to make your electric motorbike road legal. There are also several challenges associated with these steps.
Before you go on your first ride, you will need to get insurance for your electric bike. You may face a few hurdles when trying to get insurance.
As people are still transitioning towards electric vehicles, the current number of consumers is less. This means smaller sales, thus lesser insurers covering electric motorbikes. Also, the amount covered also may be lesser than a standard motorbike.
Another reason why insurers may hesitate to cover electric motorbikes is due to their battery value. If the battery gets damaged in a crash, it will become quite costly to repair.
Electric motorbikes can be deemed high-risk vehicles. This is because they are silent and might not be heard by pedestrians when approaching, thus affecting insurance.
Electric motorbikes are also usually restricted to urban areas and small commutes. This will also affect insurance costs as you are more at risk of theft and crashing in busy urban areas.
Due to these challenges acquiring insurance can require patience. Electric motorbikes will become easier to insure when they sell in larger volumes.
This is because more people will seek insurance as a safety net for their bikes, and insurers are more likely to make money off providing insurance for electric motorbikes.
Wearing a Safety Helmet
- The helmet must meet British standard BS 6685:1985. It should also carry the essential BSI Kitemark.
- The helmet must meet the UNECE Regulation 22.05.
- The helmet must meet the requirements of any European Economic Area member standard. This should offer similar protection and safety as BS 6658:1985. It should also equal marks as the BSI Kitemark.
Registering Your Electric Motorbike
Registering and taxing your electric motorbike is necessary. However, the good news is that this process is much easier and cheaper than taxing a typical fossil fuel-powered bike. If your bike is completely electric, you will not have to spend money on paying taxes. Instead, you will have to display a tax disc.
If you have a hybrid motorbike, you will have to pay tax. But your tax amount will be cheaper than the standard road tax applied to vehicles running on petrol or diesel.
Best Electric Dirt Bikes in the UK
Dirt and trail bikes were among the first vehicles to transition to electric power. Their lightweight frames and quick acceleration made them the perfect fit for electronic power. These bikes are also sustainable.
Without fossil fuel consumption, they create zero emissions while offering the same adrenaline-infused ride.
This early adoption of electric bike technology means there are some great electric dirt bike options for bike enthusiasts.
Let’s have a look at some of them below.
The Electric Motion Escape
The 2020 electric Motion Escape model is upgraded significantly compared to its previous models. It is a robust off-roader designed for adventure. It has a top speed of 43mph and a torque of 450Nm. With a range of 37 miles, this bike weighs 78 kg in total.
This is the perfect bike for you if you want to explore new areas at high speed. It helps you push boundaries and reach new horizons.
This bike also has a progressive regenerative brake or PRB. This enables the bike to go much further with a single charge. This bike also has great control. This is because it employs a progressive electronic lever switch or PELS that stimulates the clutch, ensuring excellent control.
This model also has a new cockpit feature that helps you adjust map control and check battery levels.
The Kuberg Freerider Electric Dirt Bike
The Kuberg Freerider is a great bike for both adult and young riders. It has customizable wheels and can connect with the Kuberg Volt app. It can go on a top speed of 34mph with one-hour battery life.
This bike is suitable for both adults and teenagers. It is also capable of connecting to WIFI with a steam port.
The Kuberg Freerider has a lightweight frame designed for versatility. It can zoom through the flat ground or fight through rough terrain.
This electric dirt bike is also customizable. You can choose between 20-inch, 24-inch, or 26-inch wheels. You can also select different power levels, such as 8Kw, 12kW, or 14kW. This bike has a lot to offer in its relatively low price tag.
The Cake Kalk OR
This is an excellent off-ride bike that is also environmentally friendly. This electric off-roading bike offers three different riding modes. It has a top speed of 50mph and a battery life of 3 hours.
The three off-road modes include the standard riding mode, the trail riding mode for rougher trails, and the maximal torque mode for heightened performance.
This dirt bike is sleek and stylish and can be charged up to 80% in only an hour and a half.
The Kalk OR also has 24-inch wheels, an adjustable suspension, and an aluminum frame that gives it durability and versatility. Its torque and acceleration are also outstanding. It is priced at 10,987 pounds.
The Vector Vortex can be ridden on different paths and terrains. It is built for a versatile off-roading experience and can zoom through mountains and forests.
It comes in three different power modes, Eco, Boost, and Normal. These modes enable the bike to be ridden in different situations. It can be legally ridden as an ebike as its speed limit can be programmed to 15mph.
The Vector Vortex has a large frame that can carry two. However, the bike weighs only 59kg. It also has regenerative brakes that return up to 30 % energy to its battery.
This bike can be charged 600 times before its battery loses only 20% of its capacity. This bike has a long lifespan and can last a decent amount of time. It is currently charged at 4,571 pounds.
The MX650 Razor Dirt Rocket Electric Dirt Bike
This dirtbike is perfect for teenagers who seek an adrenaline rush. It is designed for the sixteen and over age group. The MX 650 is an upgrade of the MX350, offering better speed and battery life.
This bike can work for teenagers and adults due to its adjustable handlebars. The handlebars allow you to customize and fit the rider. This bike’s robust steel frame makes it thrive in the most challenging conditions.
It also has disc brakes and twists grip acceleration, giving the rider great control. It is priced reasonably at 556 pounds.
Electric dirt bikes are legal to ride in the UK as long as they adhere to the same safety regulations as other motor vehicles.
In general, electric dirt bikes are legal in the UK provided they meet certain requirements. These include being insured and registered with DVLA, having a motor power no greater than 250 watts, and being ridden on private land only. If you stick to these rules, you should be fine!
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.