Saturday, May 16, 2009

What's allowed, what's not.

I took the time to make a multiple guess Q&A survey, complete with a self-addressed stamped envelope to the caseworker from NY-DOT. I expected my envelope back in a few days. What I got instead was a phone call. So, I did the Q&A by phone and wrote down the answers. Since this was all done verbally, I really can't guarantee that these are the only modifications I need. However, I'm optimistic that my configuration is pretty close to what I need to pass.

According to him, I can take the vehicle to be weighed at an official weighing station after getting a VIN rather than before I apply (So I can leave the weight blank on the form for now). The weight certificate is not needed when I apply for inspection, only when I register.

The wheels and tires that come with the BugE are probably OK as long as the weight on each axle does not exceed the tire specifications. Also, there can be no markings that prohibit highway use (eg. some lawn tractors have markings on the tires that prohibit highway use). Tread pattern doesn't matter on motorcycles so the MC2 "slick" tires that come with the BugE kit should be OK.

  • I DO need to install a primary sealed headlight with DOT motorcycle markings, Hi/Lo built in and it needs to be in the center (or two approved lights within 8 inches of each other). Currently, it cannot be LED and the reflector needs to be a certain minimum size. Both positions I proposed as per my understanding of NHTSA rules appear to be fine.
  • Targa blinkers will be changed to blinkers that have DOT documentation.
  • 4-way flashers and auto-turnoff circuit are NOT required (just nice to have).
  • Tail light needs to have DOT/SAE markings
  • Although powered reverse is a feature, I do not need reverse lights or audible notification.
  • Mirror lights that are not DOT approved are OK as long as they work and DOT approved blinkers are also installed as per NHTSA recommended locations
  • One red reflector (which can be integrated into the tail light) needs to be mounted on the rear of the vehicle. Other reflectors are nice but not required.
  • Turns out that a thumb throttle can be used instead of a twist throttle (probably because I'm controlling electricity rather than fuel)
  • Proposed interlock behavior and instrument display behavior I proposed based on NHTSA regulations were acceptable.
  • Dual navigator lights on the side can be operated on a separate switch if I decide to keep them. No interlock is required.
Technical Services was OK with both proposed brake configurations (either Blue Sky recommended layout or having a dual-brake on one handle for front, then second handle for rear wheel brake) I seemed to recall that there was a requirement for a parking brake for trikes. Specifically, that it needed to be an integrated brake and it would need to prevent movement on a 30 degree slope for 5 minutes. However, he insisted that a parking brake was not required. (I'm keeping mine installed anyway)

Not covered by his department. However, I'm pretty sure using OEM replacement parts that would be for another approved vehicle would by their nature be OK to use.