You know.. maybe it's cause I'm new to this riding thing but I've never thought about how having a fender eliminator would affect the results after an accident if it were to occur... definitely gave me something to think about now.
Well.. The results were the results. Someone got hurt and someone got away with it due to legal loopholes. If the defendant in the case can prove unsafe tampering with signaling equipment that's out of DOT regs, then they can be not found responsible for hitting someone. It's stupid, but in the US that defense works.
Same with towing. My pickup is rated to tow 9500 lbs. It'll actually tow a LOT more than that, but if I am involved in an accident towing more than the rated amount, I am guilty and responsible for any accident.
The same can be also said about the EPA. Yes, you can get an exhaust for a Model Year 2017 bike without a cat converter. However, if you're caught without one it's fines well exceeding the cost of your bike.
Just be careful modifying any safety equipment on your bike. If you find the tail ugly, buy a different bike! Don't want anyone getting screwed legally here.
Also, if you're brand new to riding a bike, take the MSF beginners class or whatever is available in your country. There is a TON of good info in the course and will help you not worry about trying to learn to ride a bike AND deal with traffic/bad drivers.