French Government Bans E-Bike Tuning


France is the first country to ban e-bike tuning, a process by which a motor’s speed limiter is raised or removed. Now, any individual, retailer or brand that changes or removes the 25 km/h for regular bicycles, or 45 km/h. French statutory provision L317-1 serves up a hefty 30,000 fine and/or up-to one year in jail, suspension of driver’s license, plus the bicycle will be immobilized until it is brought back to original spec.

Modifying the bike in this way changes it, according to the law, into a motorcycle and is no longer considered a bicycle. This affects insurance and warranty as well. These harsh penalties are the first from Europe, but it isn’t clear how they’ll enforce this. Also, it will be interesting to see if they try to trace the tuning violations, such as in cases where a bike was modified and then sold to someone who was unaware of the tuning.

In June 2019, Bosch announced that its 2020 drives include anti-tuning features as part of the software that prevents any changes of settings. According to Bosch, “This improvement of the system comes in response to a requirement included in the current European standard for electric motor-supported bicycles.”

GM Claus Fleischer added that “Bosch is persistently fighting the practice of tuning and continuing to develop its technology. It’s important for us that the 25 km/h e-bikes continue to be classified as bicycles in the future. We must protect and preserve this status so that bikers can continue to enjoy electric support.”

Similar legislation is also being considered in Germany, Spain and the UK.


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