These petrol-powered scooters are illegal in Queensland unless they meet design standards and are registered as motorbikes.
These petrol-powered scooters are illegal in Queensland unless they meet design standards and are registered as motorbikes.

When is a bike not a bike? When it has a petrol motor

PEOPLE unfamiliar with Queensland's bicycle laws have been caught out riding illegal motorised scooters, risking steep fines.

Biloela Police have recently intercepted a number of people riding a motorised bicycle that features a petrol engine.

Those spotted to date have been the '49cc Tomahawk petrol motor scooter, but a variety of similar items are readily available on the internet.

Local riders have even been so creative as to tape torches to the frame so they can ride on the road at night.

Police said while the scooter might look like a bicycle, under Queensland law bicycles cannot have any type of internal combustion engine.

The item is classed as a motorbike, which needs to be registered, and must comply with Australian design regulations for motorbikes, which the scooters found did not. 

"Even if you managed to overcome these hurdles, in order to ride it you would then also need to be appropriately licensed," a police spokesperson said.

"The penalties for riding these things could be steep, attracting multiple fines in the order of $220 each, or even a court appearance for being an unlicensed driver.

"This item is not to be confused with bicycles or scooters with electric motors, which can be used in Queensland provided they meet design and safety requirements and are used appropriately."

A compliance checklist can be found on the Department of Transport and Main Road website under the heading 'Motorised foot scooters and motorised bicycles'.

Police advise people not to purchase or ride any petrol powered bicycles or scooters in Queensland, and if purchasing an electrically powered item, ensure they understood the rules and safety requirements.


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