Illegal petrol engines


RIDERS of bicycles with petrol motors on the Mornington Peninsula face fines of more than $2000 and risk injury on the bikes which are not designed to carry a motor, police say.

The frames are not made to travel at high speeds, and the brakes are not adequate to stop a petrol-powered bicycle.

To be legal, the motors must have a maximum ungoverned power output of 200 watts or less. A 50cc engine puts out about 2238 watts which is over the limit.

Most bolt-on petrol motors or kits being advertised online as “governed” or “limited” to 200 watts are not legal as the law refers to the power output the engine can achieve without the governor or limiter. This is because it is simple to remove these limiting devices and increase the power, police say.

Motorised bicycles with a petrol powered motor exceeding 200 watts of ungoverned power become motorcycles. This brings with it a whole range of rules and regulations governing the bike and the rider, such as registration, compliance standards, licensing and the need to wear an approved helmet.

Fines apply for unlicensed driving: $826 and possible bike impoundment, unregistered motorcycle of 60cc or less: $165, more than 61cc but less than 501cc: $496, ride without a helmet: $330 plus three demerit points, as well as all alcohol and drug-driving laws applying, including the fitting of interlocks.

Riders involved in a collision may be charged and summonsed to appear at court.

Council fees for breaching the local laws: Frankston – 14 day impound/release fee $910 (first offence) or $1260 (second offence) plus $500 infringement notice; Mornington Peninsula – 14 day impound/release fee $450 plus $500 infringement notice.


First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 10 November 2002


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