In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, what is the penalty for riding an electric assist bike thatsurpasses 32 kilometres per hour on flat terrain? Also, what is the penalty for an e bike that surpasses the 500 Watt maximum? I'm looking for sources and public records if possible.

  • 1
    32km or 32km/h - there's a big difference.
    – mattnz
    Aug 11, 2016 at 22:12
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    In New Zealand, which I think would be similar, you are charged with operating an unregistered and unwarranted motor vehicle.
    – mattnz
    Aug 11, 2016 at 22:45
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    Can you register it as an electric motorbike and just ride it? Yes it will cost more, but you'll be legal, and get to fit a license plate.
    – Criggie
    Aug 12, 2016 at 1:40
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    @Criggie even if there's a moped class you'll lose access to bike infrastructure. You're likely to have to meet requirements for lights, helmet, brakes, licence, tax,... Some may be tricky.
    – Chris H
    Aug 12, 2016 at 6:00
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    @ChrisH yes there are a number of followon questions, but if OP wants to ride fast on an electrified bike, there are options, which have costs. I can average about that speed most days on a non-electric bike!
    – Criggie
    Aug 12, 2016 at 7:35

1 Answer 1


The law says

Q3: Can I modify my e-bike so it can go faster than 32 km/h?
No. Modifying your e-bike to increase its speed beyond 32 km/h will no longer qualify it as an e-bike.

Which means that it's no longer a bicycle, it is a moped, scooter, or motorbike. Note that the bike can go faster, you just can't have a motor that operates while the bike is going faster. It's an interesting thing to police.

The exact penalties that will be applied depend on the discretion of the law enforcement process you experience. A Police Officer might just ticket you for, say, "1. Drive motor vehicle, no permit" which is $85. Or they might be persuaded that you should attend court and explain your behaviour to a magistrate, in which case

  1. Dealing with vehicle not conforming to standard

Which is "no set fine" offence and you could face quite a lot of excitement, starting with "we will give your bike only to an approved mechanic who has agreed to modify it so that it is in conformance with the standard, and who will release it to you only once it does". If you are exceptionally lucky they will agree that turning it back into an e-bike is acceptable, but they could easily say "must be a conformant motorbike", and good luck with that. If the legal system wants to make your life unpleasant, they can. The trick is not to make any of them want to do that.

This "getting away with riding an illegal e-bike" is only partly humorous, there is good advice.

Obey traffic laws. Do not do tricks. Do not ride like a jackass. Avoid congested roads. Do not endanger others when you ride.

Viz, pick the law you want to break (fast e-bike), and obey the rest.

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