Can an Electric Bike Be Derestricted?

Yes, an electric bike can be de-restricted, allowing it to exceed its factory-set speed limit. However, doing so may be illegal, void the warranty, and pose safety risks.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the topic of de-restricting electric bikes, discuss the reasons why people choose to do it, outline the potential risks and consequences, and provide a brief overview of the legal considerations.

Remember that the information provided here is for educational purposes only, and you should always follow your local laws and regulations when it comes to e-bikes.

Below, we’ll delve into the topic of de-restricting electric bikes, exploring the reasons why individuals may choose to do it, outlining the potential risks and consequences involved, and providing an extensive overview of the legal considerations that should be taken into account.

It’s important to emphasize that the information provided here is solely for educational purposes, and it is crucial to adhere to local laws and regulations for electric bikes in your specific region.

Why De-restrict an Electric Bike?

Electric bikes are equipped with predetermined speed limits to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes typically have speed limits of around 20 mph (32 km/h), while Class 3 e-bikes have limits of 28 mph (45 km/h). These limits classify e-bikes as bicycles rather than motor vehicles.

Despite these speed restrictions, some individuals choose to derestrict their electric bikes for several reasons including higher top speeds and more assistance on difficult terrain, but usually just to go a bit faster.

Derestricting an e-bike allows riders to achieve higher speeds, providing a solution for those seeking faster commuting options. With increased speed, riders can shorten their travel time.

Additionally, for recreational riders, de-restricting an electric bike enhances the thrill and excitement of their rides, allowing them to reach higher speeds getting closer to the feeling of an electric motorcycle than a bike.

Derestriction can also provide riders with additional power and torque, making it easier to conquer challenging terrains, especially hills and inclines. By removing the speed limits, riders can access greater motor assistance, enabling them to climb steeper gradients with reduced effort. This improved performance on uphill sections enhances the overall riding experience, particularly for those who frequently encounter hilly terrain during their rides or commutes.

Methods of Derestriction

Derestricting an electric bike involves modifying its factory settings to surpass the predetermined speed limits.

There are various methods available for de-restriction, each catering to different types of electric bikes based on factors such as the motor, controller, and firmware. Some of the most common methods of de-restriction include:

  1. Tuning devices
    Many companies specialize in providing tuning devices that can be easily installed on an electric bike to modify its controller settings. These plug-and-play devices allow users to adjust parameters such as speed limits and power output, effectively derestricting the bike. Tuning devices are designed to be user-friendly, making them a popular choice among e-bike enthusiasts. They can be easily installed or removed, allowing riders to switch between restricted and de-restricted modes as desired.
  2. Controller reprogramming
    Some e-bike controllers can be reprogrammed using specialized software and a computer. This method requires technical knowledge and expertise, as users need to access the controller’s firmware and modify the speed settings manually. By adjusting the programming parameters, riders can achieve higher speeds and effectively derestrict their e-bikes. However, it is important to note that not all e-bike controllers can be reprogrammed, and this method may void the warranty on some models.
  3. Mechanical modifications
    Another approach to de-restriction involves making physical alterations to the electric bike. This method typically involves removing or modifying the speed sensor, which is responsible for detecting the bike’s speed and enforcing the speed limits. By tampering with the speed sensor or other physical components, riders can override the limitations and derestrict the e-bike. However, this method requires technical expertise and may involve potential warranty voidance. It is crucial to understand the mechanics of the e-bike and have the necessary skills to perform such modifications safely and effectively.

It is important to exercise caution and consider the potential risks and consequences associated with de-restriction. Modifying an electric bike can have legal implications, void the manufacturer’s warranty, and compromise the overall safety and reliability of the bike.

Risks and Consequences

Derestricting an electric bike comes with various risks and potential consequences that riders should be aware of. When an e-bike is de-restricted, it may no longer be considered a bicycle under local laws and regulations. This means it could be classified as a motor vehicle instead.

As a result, riders may be required to register their de-restricted e-bike, obtain insurance coverage, and follow motor vehicle regulations. Riding a de-restricted e-bike on public roads, bike lanes, or trails designated for bicycles only can lead to fines, penalties, or even having the bike confiscated.

Making modifications to an e-bike, including de-restriction, can void the manufacturer’s warranty. It’s important to understand that tampering with the bike’s components may result in the manufacturer refusing to provide warranty support or repairs.

Riders should consider the potential loss of warranty coverage before proceeding with de-restriction.

E-bikes are designed with specific speed limits in mind, taking into account factors such as the bike’s components, braking systems, and overall stability.

Exceeding these predetermined limits by de-restricting the e-bike can put additional stress on these components, potentially leading to accidents or component failure. It is crucial to prioritize rider safety and consider the manufacturer’s intended specifications to avoid compromising the bike’s stability and safety features.

Riding at higher speeds consumes more power, which can significantly reduce the e-bike’s battery range. Derestricted e-bikes may experience shorter rides between charges, requiring more frequent recharging or the use of a larger battery capacity.

Riders should be prepared for the reduced range and consider their riding needs and access to charging points when deciding to derestrict their e-bike.

Legal Considerations



Before considering de-restricting your electric bike in the UK, it is essential to understand the legal implications. In the UK, electric bikes are classified as Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) and are subject to specific regulations. Derestricting an e-bike may change its classification and require compliance with additional regulations.

In the UK, EAPCs are limited to a maximum power output of 250 watts and a speed limit of 15.5 mph (25 km/h). Derestricting an e-bike may result in the bike being considered a motorcycle or moped, which entails registration, licensing, insurance, and adherence to motor vehicle laws. Riding a de-restricted e-bike on paths or areas designated solely for bicycles could lead to legal consequences such as fines or penalties.

To ensure compliance, it is important to research and understand the specific regulations regarding e-bikes and de-restriction in the UK. Consult local authorities or organizations specializing in cycling regulations for accurate and up-to-date information.

In the USA, electric bikes are regulated at the state level, and the specific laws and regulations regarding de-restriction may vary. Generally, e-bikes in the USA are classified into three categories based on their maximum speed and power output: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.

Derestricting an e-bike in the USA may lead to changes in its classification, potentially requiring registration, licensing, insurance, and adherence to motor vehicle laws. Riding a de-restricted e-bike on paths or areas designated exclusively for bicycles may result in legal consequences, including fines or confiscation of the bike.

To ensure compliance with the law, it is crucial to research the regulations specific to your state and understand the restrictions and requirements related to e-bikes and de-restriction. Consult local transportation authorities or cycling advocacy organizations to obtain accurate information and guidance.

Regardless of the country, prioritizing safety is paramount. Any modifications or derestrictions should be approached with caution, considering the potential legal and safety consequences. Always respect the laws and regulations governing e-bikes in your region to ensure a responsible and enjoyable riding experience.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I tell if my electric bike is de-restricted?

A de-restricted electric bike will typically have a higher top speed than the factory-set limit. If your e-bike exceeds the legal speed limit for its class, it may have been de-restricted. You can also check for any physical modifications or tuning devices that have been added to the bike.

Will de-restricting my electric bike damage the motor or battery?

Derestricting an electric bike can put additional stress on the motor, battery, and other components. The increased power output may lead to overheating, reduced efficiency, and a higher likelihood of component failure. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and be aware of the potential risks when modifying an e-bike.


Derestricting an electric bike can increase its top speed and performance, but it’s essential to consider the legal, safety, and warranty implications before doing so. Always research your local laws and regulations and weigh the potential risks and benefits before deciding to derestrict your e-bike. Remember that e-bikes are designed with specific speed limits in mind, and exceeding these limits may compromise their safety, reliability, and longevity.