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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 4 March 2021
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Can you just put an engine on your bike?

Bicycle engine kits are available but are they legal?

Image: Hugo90

ACROSS IRELAND, IT is very easy to purchase a kit that would add an engine to your bicycle.

The kits attach a petrol engine to a bicycle and allow the user to reach maximum speeds of around 50 kilometres per hour.

However, the addition of the engine makes the bike a motorised vehicle, which may need tax, insurance and a licence.

The Irish Motorcyclist’s Association, MAG Ireland, has warned road users about the kits, saying that many people may be unwittingly leaving themselves open to prosecution.

Under Irish law, the Garda Press Office says the addition of an engine makes the bike a “mechanically propelled vehicle”. Which means:

(a) A bicycle or tricycle with an attachment for propelling it by a mechanical power, whether or not the attachment is being used.

(b) A vehicle the means of propulsion of which is electrical or partly electrical and partly mechanical.

Gardaí say that these vehicles all have an obligation to be insured.

It is an offence to drive/operate a mechanically propelled vehicle on a public road without that vehicle being registered and the appropriate road tax paid and tax disc displayed.

MAG Ireland says that they recommend people check the legalities of the kits and not take sellers’ assurances at face value.

“If in doubt, refer to the legislation quoted above or check with An Garda Síochána or the Road Safety Authority.”

Read: Farmers throw spanner in the works of coast-to-coast cycle route plans

Read: 7 of the most annoying things a cycling commuter will face every day

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