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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I need your help since I can't find the answer online.



With Illinois being broke, and seeing more and more cops making traffic stops these days, I was just wondering what the Illinois regulations are on plastic fuel tanks for motorcycles.



I want to mod my bike during the winter to my liking since I plan to make this my only bike, and one of the mods I want to do is to add a Clarke tank for the extra gallon of fuel. I just don't know how Illinois is on that since they tend to frown on a lot of stuff like that. I just don't want to spend $200 on a tank I can't use.



Thanks for your help, all,

Dan
 

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Libraries and book stores have copies of state vehicle codes and most of them are online.
 

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The complete text of the IL Vehicle code is available on the State of IL website: http://www.ilga.gov/...is+Vehicle+Code.



Although section 12-405 (Vehicle Equipment; tires) specifically talks about tires needing to be marked as approved for street use (not labeled off-road use only), I find no mention specifically about fuel tanks.

There is a general clause in the introduction to Section 12 which requires that all equipment needs to be 'safe'. As a retired IL cop, I can't really see a situation where an officer would try to make a case under this section unless an accident would occur and major fuel leakage would be present: thus opening up the can of worms as to whether the 'Off-road only' labeled Clarke tank was 'unsafe'.



625 ILCS 5/12‑101) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 12‑101)

Sec. 12‑101. Scope and effect of equipment requirements. (a) It is unlawful for any person to drive or move or for the owner to cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person or property, or which does not contain those parts or is not at all times equipped with such lamps and other equipment in proper condition and adjustment as required in this Chapter 12, or which is equipped in any manner in violation of this Code, or for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required under this Chapter 12.



Section 12 is the same section which says you can't modify your exhaust system to be louder than stock--- how many cops are out there stopping bikes for that? Damn few. I guess I personally wouldn't sweat getting a traffic ticket for your Clarke tank, because the odds of any cop taking the time to do the research necessary to even think about ticketing you are astronomical -- it is just not worth his time. I would be more concerned (if you are the type to worry about such unlikely things) that you might open yourself up to civil liability if you had an accident in which the fuel tank ruptured and injured someone else. Now all bets are off if you are using your bike to haul illegal drugs or other contraband: you never want something weird that might give cause to conduct a search of the vehicle.



Sometimes things are buried in the vehicle code (such as the section on signs has a little clause that a handicap parking sign must conform to US DOT standards), so there is always a slight possibility that something could be buried somewhere regarding fuel tanks or other equipment conforming to US DOT standards. If you want to spend days wanting to wade through every bit of text, more power to you, but I can pretty much guarantee you that the average cop has not, and will not, read it.



In my career, I only met one cop (an IL state trooper) who made a game out of trying to find all the weird violations (he even carried a ruler to see if you had 'jacked-up' the rear of your hot rod car too many inches out of level). You have to realize that if you are polite and courteous to the cop who pulls you over, he realistically is not going to go out of his way to spend hours trying to find a way to mess with you--there are easier tickets to write, there are bigger fish in the sea, he wants to meet his buddies for lunch, he wants to get his normal paperwork done, etc.... And he knows that even if he goes to all the hassle of writing some weird ticket, chances are a judge would dismiss it if you brought in proof that you had removed the Clarke tank and put the stock one back on the bike.



If the 'off-road' only label of the Clarke tank is very noticeable, and you are really worried about it, maybe you could could put a sticker over the label to hide it. I personally wouldn't let it make me lose any sleep.



Corey

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, especially your explanation, Mudpuppy. I'm not so worried about getting pulled over as I don't make a practice of it, but where I live, towards the end of the month, it seems, people get pulled over left and right for no appearant reason (I watch at a bus stop when going to work), and I just don't want to be one of those unlucky ones. I plan on getting the tank molded in white plastic anyhow, so I guess you'd really have to go up to the bike and tap the tank to know anyhow. I just didn't want to spend money on something I can't use after spending unnecessary money (if you know what I mean).



If I have money left over after all my other upgrades/accessories, the Clarke tank WILL be in my bike's future.



Thanks again guys, I always greatly appreciate your input.



Dan
 
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