No requirement for turn signals? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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No requirement for turn signals?

I just started riding a motorcycle again after a very long layoff and Iím somewhat embarrassed to admit I didnít really pay much attention to the two-wheeled vehicles before getting back on one myself. Now, when driving around in what you guys call a ďcageĒ, I see em everywhere! Today, one pulled up in front of me in the left turn lane and it had no turn signals! Well now wait a minute. There were none on the little motorcycle I rode back in the 50s & early 60s. Matter of fact there were none on my truck back then either and it had only one taillight, located on the left rear. All perfectly legal here in Florida, back then. You used hand signals, but there were probably only about 5% of the motor vehicles on the road as there are now.

My question is, how do you signal your intentions on a motorcycle without turn signals?

I honestly donít remember since its been so long ago, but I donít believe anyone watches for hand signals anymore and it sure would be awkward on a motorcycle! I found it is legal in Florida not to have em on motorcycles, but with todayís traffic it seems a little insane not to.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 04:08 PM
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The hand signals are the same as for a bicycle. Left arm straight out is left turn. Ledft arm out with upper armturned up like an "L" is a right turn. The inverted "L" is stop. Personally I would install turn signals.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Youíre right Dean, and Iím gonna really watch the sportbikes and see if anyone actually signals. Sure wouldnít want to be caught out after dark though, but the law probably doesnít allow that anyway, or shouldnít.

In certain daytime situations (like 5:00 traffic or areas crawlin with 80+ yr old drivers) the pucker factor is bad enough even with lighted motorcycle turn signals. I canít imagine what Iíd be like without em.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfish View Post
Youíre right Dean, and Iím gonna really watch the sportbikes and see if anyone actually signals. Sure wouldnít want to be caught out after dark though, but the law probably doesnít allow that anyway, or shouldnít.

In certain daytime situations (like 5:00 traffic or areas crawlin with 80+ yr old drivers) the pucker factor is bad enough even with lighted motorcycle turn signals. I canít imagine what Iíd be like without em.
It is perfectly legal after dark also. It was and still is the 'standard' at any time, way to signal if your signals are not working or are not on a vehicle. You may want to review a states drivers manual for the usage of hand signals.

I expect you will not see many use them though. For some reason people just don't think they need to use them anymore.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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It is perfectly legal after dark also. It was and still is the 'standard' at any time, way to signal if your signals are not working or are not on a vehicle. You may want to review a states drivers manual for the usage of hand signals.

I expect you will not see many use them though. For some reason people just don't think they need to use them anymore.
KV, I see you're in the state of Washington, so laws there may be different. On my first post I stated I found where electric turn signals are not required on motorcycles in Florida. Now, just where I found that information is beyond me??? After further online research on 2012 Florida DMV law, there definitely is some confusion. If your motorcycle was manufactured prior to 1972, it appears you are legal w/o electric front & rear signals.

The Motorcycle Handbook states:

316.222 Stop lamps and turn signals.
(1) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole trailer shall be equipped with two or more stop lamps meeting the requirements of s.316.234(1). Motor vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers and pole trailers manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1972, shall be equipped with at least one stop lamp. On a combination of vehicles, only the stop lamps on the rear-most vehicle need actually be seen from the distance
specified in s.316.234(1).
(2) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole trailer shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps meeting the requirements of s.
316.234(2).

(3) Passenger cars and trucks less than 80 inches in width manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1972, need not be equipped with
electric turn signal lamps.
(4) A violation of this section is a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable as a non-moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
316.304


I'm just guessing, but vehicles prior to 1972 might be considered "antique" and have different requirements.

But, if I'm reading things right, after 1972 mfg date, in Florida, motorcycles have to have electric turn signals which would probably cover about 99% of whats on the road. To add to the confusion, another website popped up placed by a Florida attorney:

http://www.meldonlaw.com/faqs/does-f...otorcycles.cfm
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfish View Post

I'm just guessing, but vehicles prior to 1972 might be considered "antique" and have different requirements.

But, if I'm reading things right, after 1972 mfg date, in Florida, motorcycles have to have electric turn signals which would probably cover about 99% of whats on the road. To add to the confusion, another website popped up placed by a Florida attorney:
The manufacturers were not required to put turn signals on new motorcycles prior to 1972.

When new requirements for newly manufactured vehicles are put in place it it typical to "Grandfather" the older vehicles and allow them to still be operated without having to add the new requirements.

Just as seat belt use is mandatory in cars originally equipped with seat bets.
It is still perfectly legal to drive a Model T Ford without adding seat belts. The safety equipment requirements for vehicles are basically "frozen in time" as those in effect at the date of manufacture.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Kacinpa, I found where there are conflicting rules on this. The AMA supposedly has all the rules governing motorcycles for each state. Surprisingly, according to what I'm reading about Pennsylvania, turn signals on motorcycles are not required, but their information concerning Florida states they are required. Apparently each state has their own set of rules. There's a couple other sites that claim they are not required, regardless of date of manufacture, to the query "Are turn signals on motorcycles mandatory?"

That's confusing, but really kinda moot anyway since it would be unwise to ride a motorcycle, day or especially nite, without them. But apparently there are some out there. I saw another one on my way to Gainesville this morning.

See:
http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/...t.asp?state=PA
http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/...t.asp?state=fl
and
http://www.bikernation.net/motorcyclelaws.htm

They both agree on Pa law, but disagree on Fl law. ?????
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 06:22 PM
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Here in Mi last I checked they are not required. You need a tail, stop and headlight and One rearview mirror. I think it is the left one but that may not matter either. I don't understnad it either while I like a stripped down bike I want others in traffic to know what I am trying to do.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 02:02 PM
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Some states have different rules for custom / amateur built / home built motorcycles. Some guys re-title their choppers (or build them from scratch) as amateur built and can get away with that. That may be the case in your state which is why you see choppers with no signals (or pre-1972 bikes).

Same goes for hot-rods and replica cars. If you built it, you don't have to meet as many requirements. These guys building replicas of 1930's hot rods have technically brand new cars, but they are exempt from the rules because they are 'home built'.

I know in Missouri, you need to have turn signals, one headlight (but not more than two... always wondered if that meant driving lights were illegal), and at least one red stop light, AND a red reflector on the left and right side of the motorcycle. Though I doubt the latter is enforced, how many red reflectors have you seen on the sides of motorcycles? Mine has them on the saddlebags, but I don't recall if the non-saddlebag versions of the Vulcan has them anywhere.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 03:27 PM
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here in Texas, blinkers are not required. Personally, I'd think you would want them though. I have them..

And yes, I DO see bikers signal with hands all the time (and not talking about the salute, talking about turning).

But mostly I only see it during heavy traffic. Maybe they are just trying to do everything possible to make sure everybody around them is aware they are about to switch lanes, merge off, etc.
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