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A throttle e-bike is an electric bike that allows its rider to control the motor power output without needing to pedal. Riders can use the throttle to vary speed in a convenient way, just like in a motorcycle. 

An e-bike throttle is also very convenient for climbing hills and moving around rapidly, especially for those with limited mobility. But is it legal in Australia? This blog will address this question and provide you with more information. So, read on!

Throttle Electric Bikes Explained

Before we explain throttle e-bikes, you first need to understand about electric bikes. An e-bike is a power-assisted cycle that gets power from a motor and battery attached to it. The battery is chargeable. Riders have to put in less effort while riding an e-bike because the motor does most of the work. 

E-bikes are great for traveling long distances, especially in hilly areas. They are a great option for those who get tired easily, either because of health issues or because of age. They are also environmentally friendly, as they don’t release emissions…, and they are really cost-effective.

You can ride an e-bike in two ways. You can get assistance from the motor in the pedal movement or via a throttle. The major difference between them is that e-bikes with pedal assist provide motor assistance when the rider is pedaling while throttle assist provides support on demand by the help of the throttle. 

Many riders find a throttle e-bike easier to ride than a pedal-assisted one.  

Advantages of Using an E-bike Throttle

The best advantage of an e-bike throttle is that you can just twist and push to control the power of the bike (without the need to pedal). E-bike throttles provide better assistance and convenient speed control. Overall, they reduce the physical effort required to maintain a steady speed or help riders climb uphill. 

More importantly, an e-bike throttle makes cycling possible for senior citizens or people with limited mobility. It also enables precise speed adjustments ensuring safer maneuverability. Lastly, the e-bike throttle reduces fatigue for everyone by minimizing sustained efforts. 

Legal Landscape of E-bikes in Australia

In Australia, different states have varying sets of laws for e-bikes. Although electric bikes come with a motor and a battery, they are not treated as motor vehicles because they are different from them.

Only in NSW, an e-bike up to the power of 500 watts is allowed whereas other territories only allow e-bikes up to 250 watts. You can keep an e-bike with a powerful motor in other states as well but then it won’t be classified as an e-bike – laws and road regulations of a motor vehicle will apply to it.

In Australia, e-bikes also face a speed limit. Whether riders use a throttle e-bike or a pedal e-bike, laws only allow the motor to assist the rider once a speed of 25km/hr is reached. Riders can only increase the speed past this limit by pedaling. The government does not allow the riders to use the motor’s assistance beyond this speed.

We would also like to mention here the different laws riders with e-bikes must follow. These are similar to those having bicycles. Some regulations include instructions to wear a helmet, following traffic signals and e-bikes to have a front and rear functioning light at night.

The government is still processing some more laws regarding the safety of e-bikes on public roads. 

Are Throttle E-bikes Legal in Australia?

Well, the answer is a definite yes. They are legal across Australia but the laws regarding the use of throttle e-bikes vary as compared to normal e-bikes. There is an ongoing debate across the country that throttle bikes should be classified as motor vehicles and not as bicycles because they do not require pedalling.

Most of the laws for both variations (e-bike throttle and pedal-assisted) of e-bikes are the same, but there is one significant difference. You can use a throttle e-bike as long as its power output is limited to 200 watts. Even states like NSW allow a pedal-assisted e-bike with a power output up to 500 watts, but they only allow a power output of 200 watts for an e-bike throttle.  

In many states, throttles are also allowed on 250W e-bikes, but only if the maximum speed by the throttle is capped at 6km/hr. That’s, the motor only provides power till 6km/hr… and cut power after that speed is reached.  

Many people argue that a throttle e-bike should be considered as a motor vehicle and not as an e-bike… as it does not require pedalling to move. Moreover, they argue that throttle e-bikes are not safe as riders can achieve faster speeds without pedalling, which increases their chances of accidents and mishaps. 

Riders who favour using e-bike throttles say that it is a better means of transportation for people with disabilities and provides better rides in terms of comfort and productivity.

How to Safely Use an E-bike Throttle?

We highly recommend taking as many precautions as possible while riding an e-bike throttle. Some of them are as follows:

1. Follow all traffic regulations

You need to follow all traffic laws laid down by the government. This will help you to stay secure as well as protect you from the law. 

E-bikes are supposed to follow traffic rules like all other bicycles. This includes following the traffic lights and stop signs. Most importantly, you need to adhere to the power and speed regulations as well.

2. Ride in a predictable way

To avoid accidents one should stay alert on the road. You are advised to ride in straight lines and ride predictably. You should also be aware of the traffic around you to avoid any mishaps. Using turn signals (even if by hand gestures) is quite useful to avoid accidents as it helps alert others.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is that electric bikes take longer to stop. E-bike riders should particularly keep this in mind while travelling downhill and even on blind corners. So, you need to apply brakes very carefully.  

3. Wear safety equipment

You can also protect yourself by wearing safety gear. Helmets are essential for all riders as they keep the brain and head guarded from fatal injuries. It is advised to replace your helmet once the rider faces a hard impact because strong impacts damage the ability of the helmet to absorb damage further. 

You might also want to get reflective clothing as well as sleeved tops and long pants. While reflective clothing helps riders to be seen by other cars and bikes, wearing longer clothes help reduce damage to the skin in case of minor incidents. 

Final Words

So, using an e-bike throttle is legal in Australia but only if your power doesn’t exceed 200 watts. Throttles are also allowed on 250W e-bikes, but only if the maximum speed by the throttle is capped at 6km/hr. 

You can make the best use of your e-bike throttle if you follow all traffic rules discussed above and remain within the legal limits!

We hope we are able to answer all your questions related to e-bike throttle… but still if you have any query, you can contact us. In case you want to purchase an electric bike for yourself, you can check out our lineup. Happy riding!

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