Top of the line model from a trusted brand with a 250-watt motor. Features adjustable technology to help with uphill rides. Battery lasts for about 30 hours and takes 4 hours to charge. Offers 6 speeds and has a handlebar shifter.
Some riders may prefer a bike with more of a racing style.
Compact, simple design with a powerful 250-watt motor. Can travel 17 miles on one charge and up to 15.5 mph. Includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and handlebar acceleration. Has a kickstand, an adjustable seat, and LED lights.
May be lacking in durability.
Foldable electric bike lasts up to 15.5 miles on one charge and can go 15 mph. Works on hills up to 30 degrees. Can be used with pedals or rechargeable battery. Features a 250-watt motor and hand brakes. Handlebar includes a battery indicator.
Some reports of the battery failing to work.
Name-brand, 250-watt bike with a low frame for more convenient step-through. Offers 7 speeds and handheld disc brakes. Has an adjustable seat and simple control panel. A 3-hour charge lasts for 45 miles.
May not work well for those outside of the 5’3” to 5’11” height range.
This white and black bike has a 350-watt motor and rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Features handheld disc brakes and shifter with 7 speeds. Sits on large 27-inch wheels and holds the battery in the middle of the frame.
May be hard to remove the battery.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Believe it or not, motorized bicycles have been around for well over a century. Predating the first automobile by decades, motorized bicycles have evergreen appeal due to their low-profile, low-maintenance, and low-cost operation compared to cars. Their extended range offers riders invaluable freedom and convenience, opening the door to new job opportunities, personal connections, or just a relaxing jaunt around town. Motorized bikes certainly make conquering those steep inclines a bit easier, too.
Motorized bicycles come in several types, ranging from electric pedal bicycles to gas-powered, trail-conquering mini bikes. Thanks to advancements in electric motors and battery technology, though, electric models have rocketed to the forefront in recent years.
Survey the market and you’ll find there’s a motorized bicycle for nearly every need. While the abundance of choice is nice, it can make it difficult to choose the right model. We’re here to break down the differences between models, answer popular questions, offer helpful tips, and hopefully put you on the right path to choosing the perfect motorized bike. Don’t forget to check out our product picks for the best motorized bicycles as well.
When it comes to motorized bicycles, you have two main choices: gas or electric.
Gas models, like motorcycles and cars, use fuel and oil to run. They typically have excellent range and are quick to replenish because they don’t have to be hooked to a charger for hours. They tend to be quite powerful as well and are the go-to option for rugged use. They do require regular maintenance, such as oil and filter changes, and their internal combustion engines produce exhaust.
Electric models, by contrast, are much simpler to operate and maintain. They don’t require oil or fuel, reducing the number of service points to the brakes, tires, and drive chain. They are limited by the life of their batteries, of course, but electric bicycle batteries can last between three and five years if properly maintained and require little attention in the meantime. Electric models are often preferred for casual street use. However, they may be quite heavy due to the battery.
The size of a motorized bicycle is perhaps the most important consideration to make before buying. A bike that’s too small won’t be stable to ride, while one that’s too large may be heavy and impractical. Ideally, the perfect size is a motorized bike that you can ride on comfortably but still move and store without help. Keep in mind that larger bikes have a heftier curb weight, which comes into play if you aim to pedal unassisted.
The power of a motorized bicycle determines how fast it will accelerate, how well it can transport cargo, and what speed it tops out at. The average electric bike features a top speed of around 10 or 15 mph, but gas-powered models can reach much higher speeds.
Consider your primary use here. Do you want a trail-conquering, high-speed bike that can be used to haul groceries, tools, or other items? A gas bike could be best for you. If you’re in the market for a casual cruiser, however, electric might be up your alley.
Motorized bicycle range is determined by the size of the fuel tank or battery and the efficiency of the motor. However, electric model range can fluctuate noticeably with temperature changes or accessory use. If range is a concern for you, consider a model with pedals. These bikes can be pedaled just like regular bicycles, albeit with a bit of extra weight.
Electric bikes are extremely popular with city commuters due to their low-maintenance, indoor-friendly designs, but some models take it even further. Select bicycles are designed to be folded, allowing them to be stored neatly under a desk, stashed away in an office, or even carried on trains or buses. Foldability doesn’t always equate to low weight, though, so confirm your chosen model’s weight before purchasing.
Trip computers are fantastic additions to any motorized bicycle. Depending on the model, they can display speed, distance traveled, mileage, remaining battery power, ambient temperatures, and other helpful data. They’re extremely convenient, but they can also help you plan your trips by logging real-world mileage. Trip computers are available on gas and electric models but are more common on the latter.
Motorized bicycle storage can range from a classic wire rack to water bottle holders to enclosed, lockable, weather-resistant compartments. These may be located under the seat or at the rear of the bike.
Consider a motorized bike’s riding position before buying, particularly if you have back issues. A lower, more compact riding position may increase the risk of soreness and discomfort on long trips, while an upright “Dutch style” could be more comfortable. However, if you aim to use your bike for short, casual trips, riding position is less of a concern.
Inexpensive: Entry-level motorized bicycles start at around $400. Both electric and gas-powered models are available at this price point. Electric bikes will have relatively short ranges, with top speeds around 10 mph. Gas-powered equivalents will mostly be constrained to kid-friendly mini dirt bikes. However, conversion kits for traditional bicycles are available for a few hundred dollars.
Mid-range: Step up to approximately $800 and you’ll enjoy electric bicycles with longer ranges, more speed, and additional features, like removable batteries, distinct drive modes, and off-road capabilities. On the gas-powered side of things, this price range contains smaller but still adult-friendly dirt bikes and bicycles with conservative engine sizes.
Expensive: At $1,000 and above, you’ll enjoy top-tier motorized bicycles with healthy engine sizes, long ranges, and innovative features, including trip computers and clever storage. There are outliers that can cost thousands – such as full-size dirt bikes and high-performance boutique electrics – but the majority of premium motorized bicycles can be obtained for around $1,000.
A. Motorized bicycles are larger, heavier, and faster than traditional bicycles, which raises safety concerns. Safety equipment like helmets, pads, closed-toed shoes and gloves are even more important with higher speeds, especially if bikes are taken on the road.
Laws and regulations may differ from place to place, but the decision to allow your child to ride a motorized bicycle is a personal one. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 16 should not ride on motorized bikes.
A. As with a traditional bicycle, the answer depends on what model you have. Motorized bicycles geared toward off-road use typically have larger tires and suspension systems to deal with uneven terrain, along with reinforced exteriors to brush off shrubs and other obstructions.
There are plenty of gas-powered motorized bicycles that are more than comfortable off-road, with some falling into the mini bike and dirt bike categories. Electric motorized bicycles do exist for off-road use, but they’re far less common.
A. Regulations regarding motorized bicycles – both gas and electric – vary from location to location. In some places, motorized bicycles can be ridden on standard bicycle paths, but in others, they cannot. Some locations may even require a license or insurance for motorized bikes, so make sure to check your local laws and regulations.
For the purposes of licensing and registration, motorized bicycles could be legally defined as motor vehicles, motorbikes, mopeds, or even hybrid vehicles. If you’re unsure about yours, consult the manufacturer and then check your local laws.