by Lisa Sitwell 2 min read
Motorcycles are cool, fuel-efficient, fast, and get through traffic very well. Most bikers love to modify their street-legal bikes to make them faster, cooler, and more comfortable. That means making changes that might cause your motorcycle to violate local laws. Some common improvements can cause you to run afoul of the law. Here is a look at some of the more common ones.
Your motorcycle needs wheels to keep it rolling all day. While most wheels and tires are legal, the way you mount them might not be. Some local units demand that wheels have fenders. That is to make sure they protect against flinging water and flying debris. If you live in an area that gets lots of rain, it might require your wheels to have fenders, so it’s a good idea to check the local laws first and make any necessary adjustments. It’s also important to check your tires regularly and make sure that they have the right amount of tread and are not too worn out.
Lots of bikers love ape-hanger handlebars. They give lots of steering leverage and look really cool. Lots of local units, though, ban them if they are too high. This is because they can also make it more difficult to steer delicately or to stay comfortable and be able to use the bike for emergencies after staying at a non-ergonomic position for too long. Some have height limitations, like 16 inches of rise. Others might ban handlebars with grips located above your shoulders. Each state offers their own rules for handlebar height, ranging from no rule at all to a set of strict rules. Make sure that you check the height requirements for motorcycle handlebars in your state.
While loud pipes save lives, they also cause tickets in many places. Depending on where you live, your loud exhaust noise might be too loud. In places like national parks, loud engine noises have been linked to preventing animals, like frogs, from hearing the breeding calls of potential mates. The same goes for the new array of motorcycle sound systems. Many enable Bluetooth technology to stream music into helmets or sound systems while riding. Sound systems can make a ride incredibly enjoyable, and improved sound delivery makes them very audible at highway speeds. However, if you do not turn down the volume while riding in town, you might get pulled over. Many local units have specific requirements for exhaust note and loud noise coming from your bike. It is always best to check before getting ticketed during a fun ride.
The allure of the open road is high when you experience it on the back of a motorcycle. Choosing a bike that meets the safety rules of the region where you plan to ride is a smart choice. It means spending more time riding and less time explaining your modifications to local law enforcement. Since many of these rules are safety-related, it can also keep you and those around you happier overall as well.
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