E-bikes are defined as “electric motorized bicycles.” “Electric motorized bicycles” are defined as vehicles with a power output no greater than 1,491w, a maximum speed of 25mph and fully operable pedals.
E-bike are not subject to the laws that apply to “motor vehicles.”
E-bike are not required to be registered.
E-bikes are subject to the rules of the road that apply to “vehicles.”
State law does not specifically address whether e-bikes are allowed on bike paths. Consult your local authority or agency for information about whether e-bikes are permitted on bike paths.
On federal, state, county and local trails, e-mountain bike (eMTB) access varies significantly.
Generally, any natural surface trail that is designated as open to both motorized and non-motorized uses is also open to eMTBs.
eMTBs may not be allowed on trails managed for non-motorized activities.
Do not ride your eMTB in areas where the local rules are unclear. Ride legally and only on authorized trails to show that mountain bikers are responsible trail users.
When in doubt, ask your local land manager about access to specific trails. Local land rules change frequently.
RHODE ISLAND’S E-BIKE LAW FOR TRAILS
LOCAL: Consult your local land management agency.
STATE: The Rhode Island Division of Planning and Development does not currently have an eMTB policy. Contact the department for the most up to date information.
FEDERAL: There is little federal land managed for recreation in Rhode Island. However, for reference, as of August 29th 2019 all eBikes up to 750 watt can now access Federal Lands and natural parks anywhere a regular bicycle can access. The one exception is National Forests, the forests are managed by the Department of Agriculture and these changes are not implemented yet on the forests. Changes are happening to align all Federal land to the recent Order.