Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by aegidius » Sun, 06 Mar 2011, 02:41

SMH today:
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/we-want-lance ... 1bi1d.html

"This week the federal government's Vehicle Safety Standards department moved to end the uncertainty when it circulated a draft design rule on what constitutes an E-bike."

"It proposes increasing the maximum power for electric bikes from the present 200-watt limit to 250 watts of continuously rated output with a maximum speed of 25 km/h before the power cuts out."

Wonder where their final draft is, and has anything changed since the awful pedelec/25k restrictions?
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by bga » Sat, 14 May 2011, 16:31

.. wait for the bureaucrats' lawyers to get to it...

I'll be glad to see that idiotic 200 watt restriction go, but agree with the SMH that 25kph is too slow in Australia.

The comment from the respondent in the SMH story identified the desire to be able to commute on a bike without need of a shower at the other end. This has a lot to do with communting distances in Australian cities and supports the idea that 25kph is too slow here.

If we are proposing using ebikes as commuters, the bikeways need to be addressed and properly structured to make them usable by more than a handful of cyclists and to have them physically separated from all those angry motorists with a pathological hatred of bicycles.

(In WA, the dopey driver capital, it's worse than most places: A lot of drivers here have no idea that a solid white line is the edge of the carriageway and that half the car in the stopping lane or shared bikeway is not appropriate.)
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by aegidius » Sun, 15 May 2011, 03:07

Come to think of it, I doubt they would pass legislation that makes all existing ebikes illegal. There would have to be a transition period at least. Perhaps I'm making the error of assuming they are at all organised about it - the best thing to do is probably to not get caught up the legal drama and just build something and ride it.
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by rjws » Thu, 16 Jun 2011, 01:54

I agree with Gow864 ! I, too, live in a hilly area east of Perth AND I'm no longer in the 'first bloom of youth'. I think a speed limit would be much more appropriate; say, 50 kph in towns and built up areas and maybe 70 kph outside built up areas. That way the purists can pedal if they like and us Old F---s can twist the throttle and get breathless from the scenery.
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by SamD » Tue, 09 Aug 2011, 22:13

I recently took my much lauded pedal assist Aprilia Enjoy and removed the pedal assist. I also lifted the 200W limit and let the 1100W motor have it's natural draw of current from some new LiPos. It's a much better bike.
http://www.endless-sphere.com/forums/vi ... &start=165

My knees are now happy to ride to work on cold mornings, hills are 'made flat' and a quick burst on the throttle gets me well out of the way of any oncoming cars that might have the chance to not see me. I can feather the power back on longer trips to delay the full drain on the battery.

I persisted for 5 years with pedelec. It's not as good. Humans should be empowered to make their own decisions.

And as for doing away with the family car it has now sat for 8 of the last 10 days in the driveway at home. Bring on the warmer weather.

Looking forward to buying an offgrid 120W solar panel next and dumping it into an SLA to charge from at night. Then I ride for free.

If we are going to solve *both* congestion and the need for low energy transport going forward then it makes sense to loosen the rules on e-bikes, not tighten.
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by woody » Tue, 09 Aug 2011, 22:24

A question posed to me about high-powered e-bikes was
If you want an electric motorbike, why not get an electric motorbike?
I've been riding Dad's 2.5kW mountain bike - it turns steep uphills into flats, and flats into steep downhills :-) Mostly long rides (30+km) to work and back, which I normally do unassisted.

But I still can't answer the question posed sensibly...
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Post by electriker » Tue, 09 Aug 2011, 22:39

SamD wrote:
My knees are now happy to ride to work on cold mornings, hills are 'made flat' and a quick burst on the throttle gets me well out of the way of any oncoming cars that might have the chance to not see me. I can feather the power back on longer trips to delay the full drain on the battery.

I persisted for 5 years with pedelec. It's not as good. Humans should be empowered to make their own decisions.

And as for doing away with the family car it has now sat for 8 of the last 10 days in the driveway at home. Bring on the warmer weather.

Looking forward to buying an offgrid 120W solar panel next and dumping it into an SLA to charge from at night. Then I ride for free.

If we are going to solve *both* congestion and the need for low energy transport going forward then it makes sense to loosen the rules on e-bikes, not tighten.


Sounds like you're going to be spending money unnecessarily.

Why go for 120 watts of solar?

I upgraded my trike solar about 6 weeks ago, and bought some smaller "concertina" panels,

Image

They're smaller in area than my older Unisolar flexibles, and weigh a bit less. They're even pre-wired and very simple to hook up. Literally no soldering at all, just cut the wires and crimp on the connectors.

Even in winter they've been occasionally putting out 10-14 watts (24 volts) while I've been riding, and unless I'm particularly "lazy" going up a hill and use only the motor, they'll be fully recharged within 24 hours. I'll also be looking for summer.

Will keep you posted.

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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by SamD » Wed, 10 Aug 2011, 14:45

Actually the 120W answer is pretty easy - I can buy the 120W setup for only 200 bucks, and I'd planned to use the extra power for a different project - nighttime readinglights.

But to add to that, I wanted to keep my bike looking like something that would appeal to the everyday person. I am dutch, everyday cycling is important to me. I wanted to get everyday people involved and not appear eccentric. So I will leave the panel at home and use it many ways.
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Post by electriker » Wed, 10 Aug 2011, 16:41

SamD wrote: Actually the 120W answer is pretty easy - I can buy the 120W setup for only 200 bucks, and I'd planned to use the extra power for a different project - nighttime readinglights.

But to add to that, I wanted to keep my bike looking like something that would appeal to the everyday person. I am dutch, everyday cycling is important to me. I wanted to get everyday people involved and not appear eccentric. So I will leave the panel at home and use it many ways.


You should be careful, "photovolaism" can become addictive.

About 6 years ago I started out like this:

Image

And now I've got this:

Image

Image Image Image

With its batteries, it gives me enough power to run 2 freezers 24 hours a day, and a computer, screen, ADSL connection, radio, or TV, DVD player, nightlight, and one or two other sundry items.

I wouldn't worry about being eccentric. Whilst I don't cycle EVERY day, whenever I do go for a ride, I can guarantee I'll be interacting with people during the trip. I've never had a negative response. I usually get everything from mild interest to people wanting to sit on the trike and have their piccies taken. The very eccentricity is what attracts. Image


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Post by steve » Thu, 25 Aug 2011, 09:41

The claim that a human can only produce 200watts is complete BS who makes this stuff up - this value is an average only.
read this >>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-powered_transport

Elite cyclists can output close to two kilowatts - most fit persons could manage far more than 200Watts.

I was discussing the matter of increasing the limit as part of formulating new LDP policy recently. If the power limit on E-Bikes were increased to the 500 to 750 watts required it would present a viable alternative to petrol scooters and cars in many circumstances.
My suggestions would be
Assisted speed up to 32Kmph (~20Mph same as USA).
Power up to 750Watts ( Same as USA).
Maximum weight for an e-bicycle 40Kg ( Same as Uk - most countries have no upper limit though ) -
I suggest the weight limit for safety and handling reasons this is supposed to be an E-Bike not an E-Motorbike after all.

Below is a table to give people some idea of the power required to go up a hill on an E-Bike.
This example uses a combined weight of person + bike + luggage totaling 100Kg.
I choose a speed equal to a fast walk of around 7 Kmph in order to maintain stability of the rider.
I do not account for any losses this is a very best case scenario one could ever expect.

slight incline_ 1:.05 slope at 7.21Kmph power needed 98watts.
mild incline __ 1:.1 slope at 7.24Kmph power needed 196watts.
steep incline _ 1:.15 slope at 7.28Kmph power needed 294watts.
very steep ____ 1:.2 slope at 7.34Kmph power needed 392watts.
extreme incline 1:.25 slope at 7.42Kmph power needed 490watts.
staircase maybe 1:.3 slope at 7.52Kmph power needed 588watts.

As you can see above if one encounters only mild slopes 196 watts is barely sufficient. For many people their journey is likely to encounter steep slopes requiring 294 to 400 watts or more to maintain a stable speed.

Also Electric motors are incapable of producing full power at low speeds often less than 50% so a motor with a peak power of 500 to 750 watts would not be unreasonable to ask for in the case of anyone with very limited pedaling ability.

The 200watt limit is unique to Australia it has stifled our E-Bike market. If the limit were increased to 250watts that opens us up to many European products which would benefit the E-Bike market. A 250Watt limit still excludes their usage to many people who require more power to make them an alternative to reliance on other transport.

This is my first post in the forum here
I have my own website here.
http://bicycleaustralia.org

And I hope people here would take a look - i feel very deeply about freedom of choice because I been unfairly treated by the government in SA who refuse to grant those with legitimate medical problems any helmet exemptions - I hope to eventually bring the case to conciliation but the wheels of justice turn very slowly.
The other solution is simply to restore common sense and get the Mandatory Bike Helmet Law revoked which is why I joined the LDP last year. I am against nanny state laws and unfair and discriminatory regulations. I hope people will understand that the right to make ones own choice free of duress has been lost, instead we are treated like animals with no rights.
This Labor government Legislation was actually based on biased and misleading risk information the following article from Civil Liberties Australia explains more.

http://www.cla.asn.au/Article/081125Bik ... Policy.pdf

They don't trust their own citizens why should we trust them. ? This law is ineffective, costly and has failed to achieve it's claimed benefits.
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by electriker » Thu, 25 Aug 2011, 17:46

Sometimes what seems like a good solution at first glance can actually make things worse. When I was considering adding an electric motor to my bicycle, I used to ride alongside the freeway at peak hour on the cyclepath, and I found myself passing the same cars 3 or 4 times within a couple of kilometres. Looking at hundreds of cars within my field of view, I thought if one hundred of those cars were replaced by electric cars, there'd still be a hundred cars sitting there not moving. The only difference is there'd be less pollution locally, shifting it instead to the power generating station area. And they'd still consume as much parking space, either domestically or in car parks around the city. In other words, it really wouldn't make much practical difference, because the wrong problem was being addressed.

A similar problem seems imminent if the 250 watt limit for a PAPC is scrapped. Assuming that, as has been suggested, raising the power stakes encourages more people to jump onto an e-bike, what happens? Either more people will be on the roads mixing it with cars on machines which really aren't suited for the purpose, due to inadequate braking and acceleration and limited range, because riders will be forced to use their motors almost continuously (which would mean more battery capacity, more weight, a bigger motor, higher costs etc);

OR

The cyclepath network will become clogged with PAPCs to such an extent that the average speed will drop down to that of the slower riders, increasing commuting times, rather than reducing them. This would then render any increase in motor power nugatory, since it would be unuseable, in much the same way a super-duper V8 monster is compelled to travel at a speed of a third or less than it is capable of. A waste of money and resources.

A viable alternative would the "true" electric motorcycle, with proper running gear, but necessitating a rider to be licensed, and the vehicle registered and insured.

As I mentioned previously I talk to people during my rides on my e-trike, and whilst many of them ask "how fast can it go?", they also ask "how far can you go?" When I tell them that, with my on-board solar charger, I can ride as far as I like (in sunlight) because the battery is being continuously topped up, THAT is what brings the raised eyebrows and smiles. But that only works because it's a small motor used intermittently.

So I don't see any long term value in going beyond 250 watts. It just doesn't make any sense.

Joe

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Post by rhills » Thu, 25 Aug 2011, 21:11

When doing the numbers on things like this, you also have to look at Safety, because that is one thing the "Powers that Be" will be scrutinising closely. Vehicle-related injuries cost our society dearly and those of us who pay tax, pay this cost.

So, if electric bicycle power is increased, that would almost certainly increase the average speed of bicycle travel. Accidents on average will happen at higher speeds, increasing injury rates and severity.

The big problem here is head injuries which are hugely expensive to society. My observation here in WA is that our authorities have been singularly ineffective at getting cyclists to wear helmets. So, combine that with increased average speed and you see the cost of injuries skyrocketing.

I am in my 50's but I still usually commute to work by cycle. This is partly because work is only a couple of km away. When I commuted 55km to the City, I thought about cycling, but quickly discarded the idea. I *always* wear a helmet on a bike because I am vain enough to believe I still have a brain that is worth protecting. It seems the majority of cyclists I encounter these days don't feel the same way.

Maybe if more cyclists wore helmets, regulatory authorities would be more receptive to arguments about increasing e-cycle power???
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Post by rhills » Thu, 25 Aug 2011, 21:24

Hmmm, hadn't seen Steve's post above when I posted mine. I guess that's one person my arguments won't reach.

I should say that I have a medical background and I've seen the smashed up bodies in ED and the months and months of rehabilitation afterwards. While the victim suffers physically and emotionally, s/he doesn't wear the direct financial cost of all this, it is borne by payers of taxes and insurance premiums. All though I'm a great believer in reducing nanny-state-ism wherever possible, if the community pays for something, I believe it has a right to impose restrictions to reduce the cost.

That said, a cynical view WRT helmets for motor cycle riders goes like this: because of the much higher speeds involved, a helmetless rider who is involved in an accident is more likely to be killed outright and that would be cheaper for society than if they're seriously injured.

So, a cynical regulator might simultaneously increase the electric power limits on pushbikes and remove the requirement for helmets on the basis that the combined change might reduce the cost to society!
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Post by woody » Thu, 25 Aug 2011, 22:28

Seriously, what's the difference between a (big) e-bike and a (small) electric motorbike?

1. Rego
2. Greenslip / 3rd party insurance
3. Head, tail, brake lights + indicators
4. Horn
5. Type of Helmet
6. Leather vs Lycra
7. ?
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Post by electriker » Fri, 26 Aug 2011, 05:20

steve wrote:
Below is a table to give people some idea of the power required to go up a hill on an E-Bike.
This example uses a combined weight of person + bike + luggage totaling 100Kg.
I choose a speed equal to a fast walk of around 7 Kmph in order to maintain stability of the rider.
I do not account for any losses this is a very best case scenario one could ever expect.

slight incline_ 1:.05 slope at 7.21Kmph power needed 98watts.
mild incline __ 1:.1 slope at 7.24Kmph power needed 196watts.
steep incline _ 1:.15 slope at 7.28Kmph power needed 294watts.
very steep ____ 1:.2 slope at 7.34Kmph power needed 392watts.
extreme incline 1:.25 slope at 7.42Kmph power needed 490watts.
staircase maybe 1:.3 slope at 7.52Kmph power needed 588watts.


What are those slopes in terms of percentage? I can't seem to get anything useful from those figures.

Are those power figures SOLELY the motor, or a combination of motor and rider pedaling?

Joe
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Post by steve » Tue, 20 Sep 2011, 06:55

The slopes are given as an incline ratio. For example 1:.1 would be a slope which rises .1M for each 1M traveled horizontally.
In terms of % a 1:.05 is a 5% slope   a 1:.2 slope is 20% slope.

An approximate conversion to degrees is %slope ~= Degrees
i.e. 1:.05 is around 5 degrees.
i.e. 1:.25 is around 25 degrees.
Better still use atan( of the rise per meter ).

Power Figures are the total power - obviously if the rider pedals they will contribute to that. i.e. a 250watts from the motor + 240watts peddling is a total 490watts - thats enough to get you up an extreme incline at 7.43Kmph.

Don't forget that electric motors are incapable of producing their full power at low speeds i.e. a motor with a peak power of 200 watts may only be able to produce 50 watts at very low RPM.

Thus our 200watt hub motor;s may only provide 50Watts when traveling up a steep incline which is useless.
A 750watts motor provides greater torque thus greater speed so it may output say 250 watts under similar conditions.

On the flat even 200 watts could in theory allow you to reach quite high speeds , however e-bikes generally have a speed cutout at either 25Kmph or 32Kmph depending on the country so a more powerful 750 watts motor is equally as safe as a 200watts motor as they will both cut out at the same speed.
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Post by electriker » Tue, 20 Sep 2011, 16:30

steve wrote: The slopes are given as an incline ratio. For example 1:.1 would be a slope which rises .1M for each 1M traveled horizontally.
In terms of % a 1:.05 is a 5% slope   a 1:.2 slope is 20% slope.

An approximate conversion to degrees is %slope ~= Degrees
i.e. 1:.05 is around 5 degrees.
i.e. 1:.25 is around 25 degrees.
Better still use atan( of the rise per meter ).

Power Figures are the total power - obviously if the rider pedals they will contribute to that. i.e. a 250watts from the motor + 240watts peddling is a total 490watts - thats enough to get you up an extreme incline at 7.43Kmph.


Thanks for the conversions. I've got a hill here which is about 6% but does go steeper in parts and about 5 km in length, and using the Heinzmann 200/400W motor, I can ascend (with pedal assist) at about 13-14 km/h, and the motor has a rpm limit equivalent to about 16 km/h, although I normally ascend at about 9-10 km/h to save the battery.

Joe

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Post by jonescg » Wed, 21 Sep 2011, 01:24

woody wrote: Seriously, what's the difference between a (big) e-bike and a (small) electric motorbike?

1. Rego
2. Greenslip / 3rd party insurance
3. Head, tail, brake lights + indicators
4. Horn
5. Type of Helmet
6. Leather vs Lycra
7. ?


That's most of them, yep. Most* e-bikes struggle to exceed 50 km/h downhill with the wind behind, and a half-decent small e-moto should be able to crack 70 km/h regardless of the weather.

Personally I love the fact that e-bikes don't have to pay rego, wear full face helmets or have turn signals. It's a sad day for all when they are either regulated out of existence or banned outright Image

* The good ones will Image
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Post by steve » Thu, 22 Sep 2011, 05:49

E-Bikes are almost always assist speed limited by law to either 25Kmph or 32Kmph depending on the country that way that they do not need to meet other requirements that a full speed motor vehicle would need to meet.
Of course you also have the power limits - a pathetic 200Watts Max in australia, in the UK a 40Kg maximum weight limit applies.
E-Bikes are often required to have pedals also and in some cases would actually require you to pedal before they activate the assist motor.

Below is the power vs slope with %slop for anyone interested.

FYI a human can produce over 1500watts of power so a 250watt continuous limit is quite conservative.

Below is a table to give people some idea of the power required to go up a hill on an E-Bike. This example uses a combined weight of person + bike + luggage totaling 100Kg. I choose a speed equal to a fast walk of around 7 Kmph in order to maintain stability of the rider.
I do not account for any losses this is a very best case scenario one could ever expect.

slight incline_ 5% slope at 7.21Kmph power needed 98 watts.
mild incline __ 10% slope at 7.24Kmph power needed 196 watts.
steep incline _ 15% slope at 7.28Kmph power needed 294 watts.
very steep ____ 20% slope at 7.34Kmph power needed 392 watts.
extreme incline 25% slope at 7.42Kmph power needed 490 watts.

It would be great if people can take a look at supporting the following Getup! suggestion please.

http://suggest.getup.org.au/forums/6081 ... ?ref=title

"It's a sad day for all when they are either regulated out of existence or banned outright" - This is exactly what has happened in Australia for many bicycle users here is just one recent example - see this link >.

http://helmetfreedom.org/1095/melbourne ... e-at-last/
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Post by electriker » Thu, 22 Sep 2011, 05:56

I don't see why you need to repeat yourself. You said this in your first post.

One thing I didn't mention in posting about climbing my local hill is that I weigh 96 kg on my own and my trike is about 30 kg, so being able to ascend that hill at about 12 km/h would indicated that 200/400 watts is not pathetic at all. It's quite adequate. If you want more power/speed, just buy a motorcycle.

Joe
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Post by Faz » Thu, 22 Sep 2011, 22:31

electriker wrote: I don't see why you need to repeat yourself. You said this in your first post.

One thing I didn't mention in posting about climbing my local hill is that I weigh 96 kg on my own and my trike is about 30 kg, so being able to ascend that hill at about 12 km/h would indicated that 200/400 watts is not pathetic at all. It's quite adequate. If you want more power/speed, just buy a motorcycle.

Joe


Or just pedal.
Seriously 12km/h!!!! What is the point of wasting your time putting the motor on it?
I can pedal unassisted on flat ground at 40km/h. I have cracked 60km/h on flat ground with a strong tail wind. Only being allowed to put 200-250W's of motor on the bike means I wouldn't bother. Or like I suspect most people do, just ignore the regulations and put a reasonable size motor on it.
Compared to the power a person can put out 200W is p@#s weak.

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Post by woody » Thu, 22 Sep 2011, 23:04

400W continuous is a serious effort for a cyclist.

TDF riders maybe do 1200W for a kilometre.

Pedalling isn't that hard, I'm 120kg and ride 30-40km to work twice a week and it's much better than the train or bus : shower at work instead of home, ride with a group, stop for breakfast, fresh air, exercise. Give it a go - Ride2Work day 2011 is on October 12 see ride2work.com.au
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Post by SamD » Fri, 23 Sep 2011, 22:06

How long can you do an unpowered 40kph for Faz? How far then? 20km? Contador's average speed of 2009 tour de france was 40.32 kph. Should we all be like this? What is wrong with us mortals?

Folks - I don't want to shower at work! I want to wear a suit straight to the boardroom in a regional location that lacks public transport. I don't want to invest money in lycra that could go to charity or my mortgage. I don't want to turn up sweaty and heaving. I want to leave my car at home. I want to spend the same amount of time with my kids at breakfast before work.

If I ride unpowered I can't do that. And I don't want to replace my knees before I turn 50.

My $600 1100W bike fulfils my constraints - and I will wager many more other people would sign up if they could do the same. I openly promote my lawlessness and hope others will join me. I hope they will also get to the point of charging off grid.

If I get fined 10 times, I still have 20 grand in the bank from selling my car, and I don't feel morally bad about it. Not a single war will be fought over my power source, and no more carbon will make it into the atmosphere.

But I will make it to work/pub on time, in everyday work /leisure clothes that invite others to adopt same.
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by SamD » Fri, 23 Sep 2011, 22:10

Actually I ducked home at lunch (couldn't do that on a slow bike) and noticed something else about high powered e-bikes.

Magpies cannot touch you at 45kph. Image
Can't say the same for the real estate agent in Lycra way back behind me on his carbon fibre 'trophy base'.
Last edited by SamD on Fri, 23 Sep 2011, 12:12, edited 1 time in total.
Silence is golden. Duct tape is black.

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jonescg
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Real Name: Chris Jones
Location: Perth, WA.

Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by jonescg » Sat, 24 Sep 2011, 22:11

Yep - that's why Kat loves her e-bike. 500 W motor is just the ticket Image
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch vice-chair

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