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“Sons of Anarchy” is one of those shows that started off small, but due to word of mouth, the show has become a quiet hit on FX. The show centers around the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle gang and their dealings with the fictional town, Charming. They are gun-runners and frequently come into disputes with rival gangs and the police as well as the Feds. However, there is a code to them too. They protect the citizens in Charming and act as a vigilante police from outside forces that put their way of life in jeopardy. Like other great shows that feature complex protagonists, you’ll find yourself rooting for Jax Teller and Clay Morrow, even if they’re very flawed.  Now in its fifth season, the show is more popular than ever.

Because of its fandom, the show may have inspired some to buy a bike and ride the open road.  However, before you strap on the boots and throw on the shades, you must be mindful of the state laws for riding a motorcycle. Each state is not the same and will have different rules and regulations, just like they would for cars, boats and other forms of transportation. For example, did you know that each state treats motorcycle lights differently?

Depending on the state, there are laws on daylight running lights, the color of the lights, the distance that they can be seen and more. In regard to daylight running lights, most states will require modern bikes to have their lights on at all times. However, for bikes made before a certain year, some states will give more leeway. There, of course, is no leeway after dark. Additionally, certain states will put restrictions on the color of the light. Many will require turn signals to be either red or yellow, and all states prohibit having blinking lights that resemble law enforcement. Finally, states will differ on the distance the motorcycle lights must be seen. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to learn what the rules are in your state.

Finally, while most motorcyclists would certainly advocate it, states differ over whether or not you must wear a helmet. The American Motorcyclist Association provides a map with a link to each state that will give you information about helmets, eyewear and other protective gear that your state requires. You don’t have to and shouldn’t be a Sons of Anarchy member to enjoy a ride on a bike. Following the rules will ensure that you’ll get maximum satisfaction from the open road.

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Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.