E-bike tuning is not a trivial offence. Nevertheless, tuning kits are openly available on the Internet. They can be used to make the bikes significantly faster. Small electronic boxes override for this purpose the software's motor control. It hardly takes any manual skills to install them. But be careful: If the legal limits are exceeded (maximum rated motor power 250 watts, maximum speed 25 km/h), electric-assisted bikes are no longer considered bicycles. They are then motor vehicles subject to registration and insurance. Anyone caught riding a tuned electric-assisted bike on public roads risks drastic fines.
That’s what the experts say
Graduate engineer Dirk Zedler bicycle expert
“Tuning threatens the electric-assisted bike as such”
Electric-assisted bikes could lose their privileged status as bicycle
MYBIKE Why is it so easy to tune electric-assisted bikes?
ZEDLER In Germany, the sale of tuning kits is not prohibited. The only thing is that suppliers have to point out that such devices must not be operated in public spaces. A sales ban on tuning kits, as is the case for example in France, would render electric-assisted bike tuning much more difficult.
Why is it so dangerous to ride a tuned electric-assisted bike?
Electric-assisted bikes are designed for a rated motor power of 250 watts and a motor assistance of up to a maximum of 25 km/h. If these operating limits are exceeded, safety-relevant components such as frames, wheels, stems, seat posts, etc. can fail. This can result in serious accidents. And the higher the speed in a fall or collision, the more severe are the injuries usually.
How does tuning affect the future of the electric-assisted bike?
Electric-assisted bikes are exceptionally privileged vehicles. They are motorised, but not subject to compulsory registration or insurance. At the same time, they are classified by the legislator as bicycles with all the advantages resulting thereof. If the bikes are manipulated and their operating limits rendered inoperative illegally, e-bikes are at risk of losing this unique status.
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Author: Uli Frieß
Photo: Skyshot/Markus Greber