Ranger hassle's - someone's post about metal fuel tanks...

As promised in some thread I've no idea where now, the WR and I were at the DMV today and happened across a CHP officer (he was already parked there on other business, but thanks!!) and hit him up for some dual sport questions. The post I refered to contained someone's comments about being hassled by the park rangers at one of the local state parks here in Socal, Hungry Valley/Gorman area I believe. Anyway, from the 2002 California vehicle code book... the tank question and a few other freebie's I snuck in.

Metal fuel tanks - upon further review, the officer I spoke to said he couldn't even find a listing regarding fuel tanks on bikes, metal or otherwise. There were many listing however on other aspects of our bikes, but not a single one of them related to the fuel tank. He asked why the Ranger had a attitude with it and I replyed that he was probably "really fond of trees", and added a "you know, huh huh huh" to let him know I was kidding a bit, and he smiled back in a way that I assume meant he would get in trouble for calling a fellow state employee a retard. He said should the ranger continue to be "difficult", ask him to provide the vehicle code number and the book he's using. Otherwise, if he can't provide that, ask if he is enforcing some obscure federal regulation on fuel containers and the code numbers and such for that regulation as well. Basically, the ranger in question was being a d1ck.

Exhaust/Noise/Straight-pipes - when I asked him about any other concerns that us dual-sporters might want to consider in life, he was quite quick to reply, "Well noise might be something YOU'D be interested in knowing about." Holy crap I was like trying to dissappear thru the crack in the sidewalk as I thought about what stupidity I may have just committed. Well, this officer was way cool and followed up by saying that even if someone wanted to go thru "all that trouble", it is an actual moving violation, but its only a fix-it ticket and can be remedied with replacement of the stock (as manufactured) exhaust systems. So if you have a noisy aftermarket exhaust, basically any of them from my ears, just hang on to your stock unit and that little nipple plug that comes on the stocker. I asked how all those Harley's in the world get away with running straight pipes, the officer kinda did a "Ralph Ferley" (see Don Knotts in 3's company re-runs...) and said, "Well, most of us officers just love Harley's anyway." Gotta love it when the law is so clean cut, eh???

I would have asked him about tires, but I didn't want the ticket. I'm sure the 739 A/T's would have flunked instantaniously.

Hope this helps whoever I'm talking about!!


Cool. Thanks for the info!

I have kept my stock header, muffler and plug and take them with me on weekend trips. Just in case we do get hassled on noise (or I bash the hell out of the FMF on a crash). Doesn't take up much space.

Hi big G, that was me in Gorman, thanks for the info. I was across the street from a CHP office yesterday and tried to get some info on the metal tank, nothing but some photo copies of some offroad rules. Thanks to Ron in So Cal for the DMV site. I have been reviewing the vehicle code and haven't found anything on metal tanks, just allot of confusing verbiage. I will plan on going to law school in Sept so I can become a lawyer for TT and its members. If I fail the BAR exam I will go to welding school and make metal tanks for a living.

Also I am making a list of bikes that get registered from the dealer that come with non metal tanks. So far I only know of the following.

If you can add to it please send me a PM.

Aprilia Mille and Mille R

KTM LC4 640 Supermoto

KTM LC$ 640 Duke

Thanks, Matt

OK, everything you wanted to know about making a bike street legal is actually on a CHP form. The CHP 888. Your local office should have one, if not let me know I can get you one. Do most guys know about it? No.

Most guys (and gals) have no problems calling other state employees names. I sure don't.

Is it posssible to know all those damn codes? No.

Tires must say / be DOT legal. Noise issues for bikes is highly scrutinized, however, only two states I know of FORCE stock pipes. See AMA mag a couple of months ago.

Tanks for street legal bikes used to be required to be metal with some exceptions. See CHP 888.

Later Tom

The way I read it, you only need a metal gas cap.

"Fuel Tank Cap (27155). The fuel tank filling spout must be closed by a cap or cover of noncombustible material."

Too many rules and regulations.

I don't know if this helps and not sure if true, but someone mentioned to me a while back that the metal tank/metal fuel cap rule no longer is in place. Their example was that there are now car fuel tanks/gas caps made of plastic and/or plastic like materials.

I'm not sure that is the latest revision but I will check and get back to you if you like.

Maybe its different in Southern California but up here very few Officers know the regulations of off-road / on-road conversions. I only know some because I enjoy the sport.

I was just got back from Santa Ana the other day having participated in the PAFG 2002. It was a blast and I made it out to Saddleback...another blast.


The metal tank was and still is, an issue for a MANUFACTURER, not a licensee. Different rules. A licensee needs to follow the same standards as when building as they would if building a custom or kit car. To us, the law that matters is about non-manufacturer registrations. It says what a vehicle needs to be registered, for bikes exactly what it is on Form 888. Oddly, the law requires an odometer, NOT a speedometer. It also doesn't specify the type or whether it can be resettable. A bicycle unit meets the specs as well as a Panoram.

Thanks for the Links & update. This is great news, I will now install my dual sport kit w/o worrying about fear of tickets / hassles.

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