Pulled over: Question about cops and motorcycles

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    So it was a nice night. I am riding around, enjoying my bike less than an hr ago I get pulled over. I was not speeding but my license plate light disfunctioned and thus my plate was not illuminated.

    The cop, who was not very kind, really then lectured me on how my bike was not street legal for these reasons

    1) Plate not lit up - granted
    2) Plate was too far back - unsure as it is clearly visible
    3) My bike has no rear fender over rear wheel - never heard of this

    He then said he may have to have my bike towed (talk about nice!). However, I was nice the whole time and he merely let me off with a warning and gave me his card saying to call him in a week to have him relook at my bike. My issues/questions with this are:

    1) Won't have time to mod my bike for this within a week due to school so wil l probably just not ride it if anything.
    2) Does he really expect me to call him? What if I don't? Can he retroactively give me a ticket?
    3) Do motorcycles really need rear tire fenders to be street legal??
    4) Do warnings get cataloged by cops so if I get pulled over again, they can see I was warned of this issue or are warnings not recorded?
    5) Should I even worry about this? My bike passed the NY safety inspection with how it is currently set up and part of me thinks this cop may be incorrect in some of his "statements" about the street legalness of my bike. My bike also passed vin verification here in CO by the Fort Collins PD who inspected my bike (surely they would have mentioned this?)

    Here are some photos of my bike with some annotations


    Attached Files:

  2. jk111 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2007
    In my honest opinion,

    1. The plate should function where you had it. There is not much room for it anywhere else.

    2. Never heard of needing a fender over the wheel, I see bikes all the time without fenders and never heard of a law saying you need one. I think he was giving you a hard time.

    3. I know the town I live in keeps a record of warnings. Not sure if all towns do this.

    4. I say leave everything how it is, just fix the light and don't call the guy back.
  3. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    True. For waht it is worth though, it was a verbal warning and not a warning where he gave me paperwork where I had to sign, etc ( had a few of those in the past for my car)
  4. brunetmj macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Upstate, NY
    I guess a common misconception is that police operate by some kind of rules based on law. The fact is they can do almost anything they want within reason -and sometimes beyond reason. It is often community standards that dictate their actions.If it were me I would accomadate him or get a lawyer. It is likely he will see you again.
  5. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    1) You already stated the light wasn't working.
    2) From past experience with the police, I can defiantly see how this would make your bike illegal. If a police officer wanted to run your license plate, it is in an awkward position that would make it difficult to read/ see if your information is current.
    3) I remember when I did ride-a-longs with the police department where I live and I found out all sorts of 'crap' you wouldn't think was illegal because you see it everyday. For instance, in NC, you aren't allowed to have a lift on your vehicle bigger than 3 inches. Now, if you've been in the south, you've seen some of the lifts on trucks and jeeps down here. Very surprising.

    The officer I was with, who pointed it out, said that it was one of those laws they just didn't enforce. It's quiet possible you just got lucky and got the one officer who felt like being an arse that day.
  6. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    The best thing to do would be to take the verbal warning as a call to action and arm yourself with information. That way next time you'll know the laws, too. Then, while I wouldn't fight it when you are actually pulled over again, you will know when you have valid recourse to take it to court if you actually get a ticket.
  7. eelhead01 macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2010
    1) yeah no light

    2) the plate is located in a lower and farther back position so it is harder to see if they need to run it while your just going along. I'm sure in the V&T laws it states that the plate must been see easily from certain vantage points.

    3) the rear fender could be a local thing, you'll need to check this. This is why all new bikes have a rear fender with a plate attachment point on it with lights, blinkers and reflectors. You remove this from the bike and you could be violating local laws.

    Were is the factory fender that came on the bike? I have an 09 YZF R6s and still have my factory fender with the plate attachment just for this purpose. If I get a ticket for the same reasons you just did all I have to do is bolt on the original fender, which takes like 10 minutes.

    check this out, don't know if it will help. you can use the pull down tab to select State.
  8. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    Check with your local Suzuki dealer and ask them if your bike is set up correctly to comply with your local laws.

    The version sold in the UK does have a rear guard fitted.

  9. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    If you were in the uk your plate location would get you a ticket every day and you wouldn't pass an mot.
  10. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Question: is the plate on te bike in any of the pictures you posted? I sure as hec can't see it...
  11. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    Looks like this version is meant to have one too:
  12. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    #1 - They make fender eliminator kits purposely so you don't have to deal with this. Buy one.

    #2 - If you are in a mountain town, talk to this cop and explain you can't do it in a week. Cops in mountain towns will now "know" you especially with a bike like that and you will start getting pulled over constantly. If you are more in the city, I wouldn't sweat it as much.
  13. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Instead of taking the word of people on a message board, go check your local laws out. I am sure they are on the internet or your local library. You will be amazed what is illegal and what is legal. There are cars that the dealer will sell that are illegal. Tint on windows, no matter how light can be illegal in some states. Just double check the laws that pertain to your state, county and city.
  14. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    I can see what he means about the plate location. That bike has a plate mount on the rear fender, so of course if it's missing the plate isn't going to be in the place the bike's designers meant for it to be. All of these problems go away if you just get and fit the part. eBay is always good for cheap bike bits.
  15. Glideslope macrumors 603


    Dec 7, 2007
    A quiet place in NY.
    It's all in post #11. Need to make a couple small mods mentioned above. Motorcycle Cops are usually bike heads. Unlit Tags are the #1 way for a cop to pull you over and find other stuff. Get a bulb.:apple:
  16. phillipjfry macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2006
    Peace in Plainfield
    i dont know anything at all about motorcycles other than i want one :)
    BUUUT comparing your picture with the third picture of the OP, if he put the fender on just like the UK version, the license plate would be covered up, would it not?
  17. lbro macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2009
    No, I think you would put the plate on the rear fender just under the signal lights, that's how it is on my Kawasaki Ninja.
  18. renewed macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2009
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    The plate would go here I think:

    Attached Files:

  19. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    dont they have state inspection for motorcycles where you are? If so, these should have come up at that time.
  20. Ttownbeast, Aug 29, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  21. millertime021 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    I think the cop just wanted your number. ;)

    You should call him. :D
  22. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    Dude, part of riding a bike. If you're running a fender eliminator you're going to get messed with, if you're tucked then expect to get treated like you are a runner.
  23. millertime021 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2010
    Also, if you do get a ticket it (in the future) go fight it.

    I just had $755.75 in fines for 2 tickets dropped to $137.
  24. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Just out of curiosity, if one would start driving through the states and bought one legal car in Florida for example, meaning it complies to all relevant laws in that state, and would drive through the midwest to get to Seattle and some of the states one would drive through had laws that the car bought in Florida would violate (small laws like that tinted windows issue you mentioned), would that mean one could get a fine and had to change the car appropriately for every state?
  25. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I have always wondered that but I bet they would not let you legally register the car in the state until you fix it. You are required by law in most states to register you car there if you will be there longer than so many months out of the year.

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