Some routes in Hochtaunuskreis remain closed to two-wheelers due to noise regulations, brought on by the request from the Federal Association of Motorcyclists to the traffic authority of the district as reported by the German publication, Motorrad.
Electric bikes enjoy a few breaks when it comes to the law, mainly because these machines are whisper quiet in their operation and have no emissions. Unfortunately, the lack of noise and emissions can’t help with the fact that it is still a two-wheeled vehicle.
Initially, the driving bans were set in place and applied to bikes of the internal combustion engine variety, and not e-bikes. As the ruling goes, motorcycles that can achieve a top speed of over 45 kilometers per hour (about 27.9 miles per hour) and with a cubic capacity of over 50ccs, was thought to allow e-bikes on the select routes since these battery-powered vehicles technically have no displacement. This would have formally allowed the electric motorcycles on the select routes given that the ban had to include speed and displacement.
However, there are quite a handful of e-bikes that go over the speed requirement. Some go as fast as 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour), and the initial ruling would have technically made them legal to ride on the selected routes. So that meant that "fast" e-bikes would have made the cut such as the ones from Energica or from Zero.
With that in mind, the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO) reclarified the ruling, adding an “and/or” into the mix. The L3e classification now sees “and/or” in the ruling, and it includes two-wheeled vehicles with an engine displacement of over 50ccs, and/or a top speed over 45 kilometers per hour (27.9 miles per hour). So that means that e-bikes that can go over the speed requirement will be likewise banned from the selected routes.
An emphasis was put on the “and/or” and the Hochtaunus Traffic Authority clarified the formal inaccuracy of the initial ruling, and it’s not just internal-combustion-engined motorcycles that’ll be feeling the effects of the ban in the region but e-bikes as well.