it's definitely an afterthought b/c they needed the extra frame part to hang past the rear tire for installation of the license plate bracket, as you mentioned. having the bracket located above the tire would just cause problems (as I've attested once when I created my first relocation bracket). Either that or design a totally new rear seat/section to take advantage of the extra frame. the extra frame is actually good since the frame helps dampen vibrations so the bike doesn't seem as buggy.It was, and looks like, an afterthought. Not sure the exact rule, but it would seem to have to do with dot issues with lic. plate location etc. It's just not designed - so off it goes!