TV personality Simon Cowell was taken to hospital in Los Angeles after breaking his back as the result of an electric motorbike crash. The Bicycle Association, the national trade body for the UK cycle industry, argues that the bike Cowell was believed to be riding was not an e-Bike as many have claimed, but is classed as an electric motorbike in the UK.
It is reported that the vehicle used by Cowell was a “Swind EB-01” which has a top speed of 60mph and a 15kW (20 horsepower) motor. In the UK, e-Bikes are limited in speed to 15.5 mph and have 250 W (1/3 horsepower) assist motors, which provide a similar power to that of the riders by pedalling. Only e-Bikes meeting these strict criteria, legally referred to as Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs) are exempted from full motorcycle regulations. Additionally, electric motorbikes require full type approval, registration, tax, licence, insurance and a motorbike helmet to be worn by the user.
The Bicycle Association said in a statement,”The BA, on behalf of the UK cycling industry, would stress that what are usually referred to as e-bikes for sale in UK cycle shops have almost nothing in common in technical or safety terms with the electric motorbike which was ridden by Simon Cowell at the time of his accident.”
All respected UK e-Bikes will meet the EAPC rules, however, it is advised that users read instructions and seek cycle training where needed. It is recommended that anyone interested in a UK- specification e-Bike is to visit a local cycle retailer for advice and support before purchasing.
The association extends its sympathy to Simon Cowell and wishes him a speedy recovery.
E-Bike popularity continues to rise in the UK as recent data shows a 47% increase in e-Bike searches in 2020.