Simon Cowell was riding an electric motorbike in crash, not an e-bike says Bicycle Association

The TV personality suffered a broken back in a fall while riding the machine

(Image credit: WireImage)

Simon Cowell suffered injuries in a crash while riding an electric motorbike, not an e-bike the Bicycle Association has argued.

TV personality and music executive Cowell was taken to hospital in Los Angeles after he crashed his electric-powered machine and suffered a broken back in the fall.

The 60-year-old underwent a six-hour operation after the crash as media around the world reported Cowell had been riding an e-bike.

But the Bicycle Association, the national trade body for the UK cycle industry, has pointed out that the machine Cowell was riding was capable of speeds well above the legal limit for e-bicycles in the UK, making it an electric motorbike.

According to reports, Cowell was riding a Swind EB-01, which runs on 15 kilowatts of electricity and is capable of speeds up to 60mph.

While Swind market the bike as “the most powerful electric bicycle in the market,” the machine is not an e-bike under UK law as it travels faster than the 15.5mph, 250w limit.

Instead a rider would need full registration, tax, licence, insurance and to wear a motorbike helmet to legally ride the bike on UK roads, which the Bicycle Association says makes the Swind an electric motorbike, not an e-bicycle.

The 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 U 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.

“People in the UK will find e-bikes safe, fun, healthy and a wonderfully practical means of transport.”

Cowell is now recovering from his injuries, which include a broken back in multiple places, and has thanked paramedics who helped him.

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He said on Twitter: “If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.

“I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for the kind messages.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.