According to the Australian Road Rules, a bicycle is defined as
. . . a vehicle with 1 or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor), and:
(a) includes a pedicab, penny-farthing, scooter, tricycle and unicycle, but
(b) does not include a wheelchair, wheeled recreational device, wheeled toy, or any vehicle with
an auxiliary motor capable of generating a power output over 200 watts
(whether or not the motor is operating).
The Australian Standard, AS/NZS 1927 Pedal Bicycles- Safety requirements, defines a bicycle as
. . . a two wheeled pedal vehicle that is either solely human-powered or is power assisted by an engine having a power output not exceeding 0.2kW
State and territory regulations may vary slightly, but are in agreement about the power level and the need for primary propulsion to be by human power.
In late 2007, Queensland banned fuel engine power-assisted bicycles completely. Electric power-assisted machines are unaffected by the ban.
Changes to the standard introduced in May 2012 mean the allowable power output has now increased from 200 to 250 watts giving a higher level of performance, although powered speed is restricted to 25 km/h. Riders are required to pedal to access the power or to reach greater speeds than 25 km/h.
The changes also means new construction standards for batteries, cables and connections as well as other requirements such as braking performance and the strength of frames.
Existing designs of machines will continue to be allowed.