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Old 11-30-2006, 01:43 AM   #1
Ulric
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On Leds, Accent lighting and misc...

I had been kicking around the idea of trying to do some... cosmetic related mods on my bike. I'll admit however, that I'm a bit...over(?) worried at times when it comes to staying within the 'law' so to speak.

This being one of my quirks... i set about trying to find information in regards to legality of various changes.. Ie: Smoked lights covers, flushmount turns signals, leds etc.
To be blunt there's NOT a lot of 'solid' information out there. And anyone that's tried to crawl through legal codes and etc know...it can be a pretty quick migraine.
Please understand, this is provided purely as information purposes and is based on my own personal observation, thoughts and should by no means what so ever be construed as legal advice.

The most relevant information comes from the Texas code of Transportation
http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/tn.toc.htm
The particular section is Title 7, Vehicle & Traffic. chapters 546, 547.
For our purposes 547 is what we need to pay close attention to.

The particulars of which I'm examining and researching...

' Texas Transportation Code. Section 547.305, restrictions on use of lights which states:
(a)a motor vehicle lamp or illuminating device, other than a headlamp, stop lamp, auxiliary lamp, turn signal lamp, or emergency vehicle or school bus warning lamp, that projects a beam with an intensity brighter than 300 candlepower shall be directed so that no part of the high-intensity portion of the beam strikes the roadway at a distance of more than 75 feet from the vehicle.
(b)except as expressly authorized by law, a person may not operate or move equipment or a vehicle, other than a police vehicle with a lamp or device that displays a red light visible from directly in front of the center of the equipment or vehicle.
(c)a person may not operate a motor vehicle equipped with a red, white, or blue beacon, flashing, or alternating lights unless the equipment is:
(1)used as specifically authorized by this chapter; or
(2)a running lamp, tail lamp, backup lamp, or turn signal lamp that is used as authorized by law.
(3)a vehicle may be equipped with alternately flashing lighting equipment described by Section 547.701 or 547.702 only if the vehicle is:
(1)a school bus.
(2)an authorized emergency vehicle;
(3)a church bus that has the words “church bus” printed on the front and rear of the bus so as to be clearly discernable to other vehicle operators;
(4)a tow truck while under the direction of a law enforcement officer at the scene of an accident or while hooking up to a disabled vehicle on a roadway; or
(5)a tow truck with a mounted light bar, which has turn signals and stop lamps in addition to those required by Sections 547.322, 547.323, and 547.324, Transportation Code.
(e)a person may not operate highway maintenance or service equipment, including show-removal equipment, that is not equipped with lamps or that does not display lighted lamps is required by the standards and specifications adapted by the Texas Department of Transportation.
(f)in this section, “tow truck” means a motor vehicle or mechanical device that is adapted or used to tow, winch, or move "

Now in addition to this, I have found scattered snippets, one of the following was via a website http://www.de-luxcycle.com/.
On this particular website can be found a section in regars to laws on lighting. There is a small section there in regards to TX with the following link to http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/msb/standout.htm

Based on the information in the previous post, I sent an email to a section of the DPS, the contents of which are provided below (names removed).

My email commentary/question:
' I'm trying to collect and get clarified in what is regarded as legal, or more importantly what is illegal in regards
to accent lighting on a motorcycle. In particular red, white & blue colors... Any information, clarification etc that could
be provided would be greatly appreciated.

What I gather, from the provided of the section below is that White or Blue
would be possible provided...

1> The lights emit a steady/solid effect and do not 'alternate', 'flash' or 'strobe'
2> The light source is not directly directly visible (Thus addressing the potential issue/definition of a beacon)
(This would imply that the tire valve base lighting systems.. Ie: Tireflys, Tirelights would be illegal..at
least potentially the blue/red/white variety).'

The reply I recieved:

'You've done your research and are correct in your assumptions. The whole concept of accent lighting is not specifically addressed in law. One of our Legal folks that deals with vehicle inspection says that if it does not come on the bike, do not add it unless on the package it states clearly that the lights meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
For more information about motorcycling in Texas, check our web page, www.txdps.state.tx.us/msb. If I can be of any further assistance, *** email me ****@txdps.state.tx.us.'


My thoughts at this point...
While my initial impression is that yes, one could possibly due this, the implication is that it is not recommended. However if we take the 'legal folx' commentary to heart this doesn't leave a whole lot aside from leaving it completely stock...and lets be honest. We know as is 'visibility' of motorcycles is a problem and leaving them 'stock' isnt exactly conducive to being seen, Particularly at night.

I am curently attempting to write a reply which asked for further clarification and to address the commentary in not adding anything unless it meets 'Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards'

p.s. I'm trying to 'refind' the part I found in regards to clear and 'smoked' signals. If I recall correctly, what I found APPEARED to refer to Tail/Stop lamps and headlights. The primary reasoning behind it not being allowed being the... implication that it would 'reduce' the effectiveness/intensity of the lights in question and do not have/allow for the approved/certified 'reflector'.



p.s. Started this with wanting to replace the turn signals with flushmounts,
addnig someting into the front cowl as additional turn signals (pod area next to the head-lights) and leds between the front cowl sections and near the exhaust shields on the inside (bike is an FZ 6). body color is blue/steel-silver(?) though I may consider going with purple to avoid the potential legal questionability of the blue.
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Last edited by Ulric; 11-30-2006 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:51 AM   #2
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My dad has solid red led lights all over his r1, and he hasnt gotten any hassle from any cop yet
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:05 AM   #3
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ehh...lights are an afterthought to cops nowadays, they dont give a . The only thing they know is you cant see the actual bulb. , Im sure half of them wont say much if the light is flashing slowly.

but no one really wants flashing bullshit. If you add LED "pipes" or other type of LEDs that will wash bright light over the road under the bike, or on the tire, just make sure the actuall bulb is not seen. As far as colors, and how much light is on the road, its all go for launch, very few cops will hassle for like that
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:09 AM   #4
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:15 AM   #5
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Well I did say most cops, but cops always seem to look at the license plate and give tickets for whatever is wrong on them
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:21 AM   #6
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There's a lot of 'possibility'... I do fnd the suggestion not to use anything 'approved' interesting in regards to the states attempt towards 'motorcycle awareness'. Though I can understand it from the
reasoning/standpoint it was given in.
I'm trying to come up with a reply to the email to get further clarification attempt to get some 'direction' in regards to this and potential 'mods'.
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:30 AM   #7
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I would love to string some red LEDs inside the bike and such, to make it more noticable so bobbys mom would stop trying to run me over, and give the bike a little bit of cool flare at night, but its just so hard to make it look cool, and good, without being gaudy, and make you look like a BIKKERRRBOYYZZZZ

All in all, Im a sucker for that looks like it came from the 80s...heres some examples of what I found and would liek to use some way

http://www.del-lighting.com/led_neon.html

Tell me that is not more than adiquite for a bike
http://www.del-lighting.com/led_neon_instructions.html
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Last edited by scrapp; 11-30-2006 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:44 PM   #8
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hey fellas....
Dig this... I have red LEDs all over my bike and you cant really see any bulbs dead on...but you can see it glow quite well. So i asked an "officer of the law"

ME: "is it illegal to have my lights on while I ride?"
COP: "Technically speaking, yes it is, it considered unauthorized use of lighting..... However, it is really at the discretion of the officer. Most [cops] will NOT mess with you over that (better things to do) however there is the possibility you could catch the wrong guy on the wrong night and he would tell you to turn them off."
ME: "kick !...alright then.."

I would suggest NOT touching any license plate lighting...big no no. For some reason cops have a field day with that
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