Electric Ebike on Montana trails (regs?)

GearJunky

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Joined
Aug 7, 2014
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173
Guys,

I am looking into the idea of buying an ebike. I have a lot of reason to look at one for personal use, but I am wondering about how I could use this for hunting also. There are lots of options, some even more specific to the hunting community. What I don't know is can you ride ebike's in Montana's forest service or on other trails like they have in the Missouri Breaks during archery season.

I have done some reading and it seem like this is a state by state and in some cases a county by county debate. Anyone care to shed some light on the subject, specific to Montana. I would primarily be using this in the breaks during archery and then on various forest service roads/trails during rifle season. One article I read, said that if the "electronics" was below a certain threshold of power, it was considered to be just a plain bike, and was not motorized.

Bike example - http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2015/Bikes/electric/Mountain/OUTFITTER.aspx

Thanks,
Jake
 

LopeHunter

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May 31, 2007
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3,110
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MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ-->NV
EBikes can be heavy if you need to lift them over a log fallen on a path. The range and payload can be limited, especially on inclines.

Looking beyond the logistics, are they legal? Some places bar all wheeled devices, even wheelbarrows. Some bar motorized. Some allow motorized but not on all trails. State laws vary so you really need to look at Montana and be aware those rules can be trumped by applicable Federal law.

I have found calling the relevant LEO for the hunt zone to be helpful. Might be a state forest ranger, federal ranger, county sheriff, etc.
 

Mthuntr

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Oct 9, 2009
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In the Sagebrush of SW Montana
I wish I understood a lot of the rules better myself but they seem to be very specific for certain stretches of road. I have spent a lot of time in the Breaks. The CMR doesn't allow any wheeled traffic (except on specific routes) which includes game carts, wheelbarrows, and bikes while a lot of the side trails in that country are closed to motorized traffic. Here is where it gets confusing a few that are closed to motorized traffic may be open between 10 and 2 for game retrieval if they are part of the big block management units in the area.

You'll want to talk to the BLM in Lewistown for the Breaks South of the Missouri and the BLM for either Havre or Malta for the Breaks on the North side of the Missouri. FWP may also keep a record of the travel plan.
 

GearJunky

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Aug 7, 2014
Messages
173
If I remember correctly, the area of the Break I am concerned with do not allow "motorized vehicles on the trails, other than game retrieval"

According to the state of Montana, here are some definitions. Assuming FWP and Block Management have the same definitions I would think I would be in the clear to ride an ebike on the trails with no restrictions.

(43) (a) "Motor-driven cycle" means a motorcycle, including a motor scooter, with a motor that produces 5 horsepower or less.
(b) The term does not include a bicycle, as defined in 61-8-102, or a motorized nonstandard vehicle.

Here is some info from the state of Montana regarding the definition of a bicycle:
Link: http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/61/8/61-8-102.htm

ii) a vehicle equipped with two or three wheels, foot pedals to permit muscular propulsion, and an independent power source providing a maximum of 2 brake horsepower. If a combustion engine is used, the maximum piston or rotor displacement may not exceed 3.05 cubic inches, 50 centimeters, regardless of the number of chambers in the power source. The power source may not be capable of propelling the device, unassisted, at a speed exceeding 30 miles an hour, 48.28 kilometers an hour, on a level surface. The device must be equipped with a power drive system that functions directly or automatically only and does not require clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.
 

Gr8bawana

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Jul 14, 2013
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4,691
Location
Nevada
That's crazy $5400 for an E-bike!? Nothing wrong with good old fashioned walking.
 

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