Bosch Takes Steps to Prevent Tuning
REUTLINGEN, Germany – For model year 2020, Bosch eBike Systems recently presented a series new features including motors, batteries and connectivity. Perhaps the most important improvement is the anti-tuning feature as part of the software that prevents any changes of the setting.
According to Bosch, “this improvement of the system comes in response to a requirement included in the current European standard (EN 15194: 2017) for electric motor-supported bicycles.” The system will be available for all Bosch ebike drive units for model year 2020.
A second important security feature is the antitheft system combined with the Kiox on-board computer. With this lock function in combination with removing the display, the e-bike power assistance can’t be activated.
Bosch eBike Systems CEO Claus Fleischer pointed out that, “tuning e-bikes is very risky. By changing the settings of the motor, people could face many technical problems but also safety-related issues. The new system developed by Bosch engineers is using a sensor to detect whether the e-bike’s drive has been tuned. In that case, the e-bike’s computer will turn in an emergency mode. An error code will show on the display indicating the manipulation and the electric support will be reduced.”
After a third attempt, the emergency mode can only be deactivated by a specialist dealer using the Bosch DiagnosticTool. With the DiagnosticTool, the retailer can also check the tuning history. They can also see whether the system has been tuned as of model year 2019.
E-bike status or not
Claus Fleischer added that, “Bosch eBike Systems is persistently fighting the practice of tuning and continuing to develop its technology. It’s important for us that the 25 km/h e-bikes continue to be classified as bicycles in future. We must protect and preserve this status so that bikers can continue to enjoy electric support.”
Indeed, people who are tuning their e-bikes are not really aware of the legal consequences. Once tuned it is no longer considered an e-bike but a speed-pedelec with a lot of constraints (like insurance, helmet, driving license…).