Motorized bicycle builder fought the law and the law won

KELOWNA – A man has been found guilty in Kelowna traffic court of operating a motor vehicle without a licence or insurance, but he wasn’t in a car and he wasn’t on a motorcycle.

At around 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2013, Alejandro Eytcheson Calderone was riding a bicycle equipped with a small gas motor on Enterprise Way. According to a judgement released May 8, Const. Yakanowsky “heard the distinct sound of a small gas powered engine” and stopped Calderone.

He was ticketed for driving without a licence or insurance, but the bike, which was homemade, does not qualify for insurance.

Calderone did not dispute his lack of a proper licence but claimed the cycle was not a motor vehicle because he could not insure it.

Burgess found him guilty on both counts, saying the insurability of the vehicle was not the issue.

“The cycle Mr. Calderone was operating… is a motor vehicle as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act,” he says in the judgement. “A motor vehicle requires insurance for it to be operated on a highway. It is irrelevant that Mr. Calderone could not insure the vehicle.”

Section 1 of the Motor Vehicle Act defines a “limited speed motor cycle” as being equipped with a motor of not more than 50 cc, or that produces a maximum of 1.5kW, has a power drive system that does not require clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged, has a maximum attainable speed on level ground, with or without pedals, of 70 km/hr and has a maximum weight of 95 kilograms excluding fuel or batteries.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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