Bar end side mirrors are a popular modification for many motorcycle riders who want to enhance the aesthetics of their motorcycles. This accessory is common among big bikes, scooters, and underbones. However, are these mirrors legal in the Philippines? In this article, we will explore the rules and regulations concerning bar end side mirrors. Before you decide to install bar end side mirrors on your motorcycle, make sure you know the legal implications and the safety precautions that you need to follow.
What are Bar End Side Mirrors?
Bar end side mirrors are mirrors that are attached to the ends of the handlebars of a motorcycle. They are a popular modification for many motorcycle riders who want to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of their bikes. Some reasons why people use bar end mirrors are:
- They offer a wider point of view, allowing you to see more of the road behind you and avoid dangers.
- They are more aerodynamic than traditional mirrors, which can reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency.
- Look better than the stock mirrors that come with the bike.
Bar End Side Mirrors: Are They Legal or Not?
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) Memorandum Circular No. 2020-2240, or Motor Vehicle Inspection Standards (MVIS), requires all motor vehicles to have side mirrors on both sides. The mirrors should allow the driver to see the traffic conditions clearly on the left and right sides of the vehicle. However, the LTO MVIS memo does not specify the size and type of the side mirrors. This raises the question of why some motorcycle riders with bar end side mirrors are flagged by the LTO or Highway Patrol Group (HPG) personnel.
The reason may be that the LTO or HPG can refer to Department Order No. 2010-321, or Harmonization of Motor Vehicle (MV) Classifications of LTO and LTFRB. This order states that any modification of the handle bar is not allowed in Section 5.2.7. Therefore, even though there is no explicit ban on bar end mirrors, they may be considered as unauthorized modifications by the LTO. The fine for the unauthorized modification of vehicles is PHP 5,000.
If you’re using a stock bar end mirror, such as the one on the Yamaha XSR900, there should be no issues. As long as it remains the original stock mirror, neither HPG nor LTO personnel can issue a violation, given that no modifications have been made.
The legality of bar end side mirrors is debatable. Some LTO and HPG enforcers are ok with it, and some will issue you a ticket. As long as the law about side mirrors on motorcycles is vague, they will continue to be debatable and subject to one’s own interpretation. We hope that the LTO will clear things up so there will be no confusion for motorcycle riders and prevent unnecessary fines.
In the meantime, we suggest that, as long as the law is vague, let’s avoid using the bar end side mirrors for now. The aesthetic advantage is not really worth it compared to the hassles of dealing with LTO and HPG and the huge fines in case they issue you a violation ticket. However, if your bar end side mirrors are the stock ones, there is no need to be concerned. Ride safe!
- Manila Bulletin. “DOTr-LTO Issues Statement on Modified Vehicles,” October 17, 2018. https://mb.com.ph/2018/10/17/dotr-lto-issues-statement-on-modified-vehicles/. ↩︎