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Thread: Radar Detector

  1. #16
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Atwater, CA
    I've been saved a couple of times in the car & once, it was a ticket detector. When it saved me, the guys were running down the road with it on, I had a good amount of notice. With laser, it is worthless.

  2. #17
    Registered User JohnM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Da Joisey Shore
    I have an Escort 8500X, although the way I ride, I honestly don't need it.

    On several occasions, its saved my bacon. But on at least two other occasions, I got "pinged" without ever seeing the LEO. I was above the posted limit, but I guess not to the degree that I was worth being pursued & pulled over.

    Unfortunately, if I do get pulled over, the LEO may (after seeing the Escort) say that I already had my warning, and will write me up.

    Mebbe I should swap the Escort for something more functional ... like a coffee pot or blender.
    "One day you're a kid sitting on a bike, dreaming the road; next thing you know, your social life consists of drinking microbrews with middle-aged roosters who ride BMWs and wear Aerostitch suits."

    - Joe Glydon

  3. #18
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Sheboygan, WI


    Quote Originally Posted by redclfco View Post
    What Greenwald is saying is that they don't work; by the time your detector/alarm shocks your brake hand to grab a handful of brake, the cops already got you.

    the question is...does he want you at all?

    Those of you that got a way without a ticket? You are just Lucky or they were waiting for somebody, a VIC (very important criminal) to come along and you failed to register on the BOLO report.
    Dead on.

    When I first started using radar (1973), it was primitive, and radar detectors were actually usefull to those intent on breaking the speed laws (rationalize to your heart's content, but by design, that is their only purpose!); units were made by Federal.

    And for a while, motorcycles were all but immune to enforcement, because the width of the band was too narrow, and bikes just didn't 'paint a good target.'

    Then came better units from Kustom Signals, which allowed us to warm them up, but held back the detectable signal until we visually decided on a target - then by the time you could physiologically react to a detector alert, we already had you locked in.

    Then came laser.

    And of course, there was VasCar (a timing system based on fixed objects), monitoring from aircraft (no detector for that!), pacing and (in WI), I can visually estimate excessive speed (as long as I am stationary) and cite based on that alone.

    Redclfco makes a good point: it's solely how motivated (or lazy, or preoccupied) the officer is, that determines whether or not today is your day. Until you can physically react faster than the speed of light, no detector has ever 'saved' anyone from a citation if the officer follows his/her certified training matrix. And on my department, the 'unofficial' policy was that if you got stopped for speeding, and had a radar detector, was your day!

    Often, while doing reports, I would just leave the radar signal on (we called it 'grazing'), so that all those with detectors would be alerted, and correspondingly slow down, which accomplished the goal of a slower and safer traffic flow in congested areas. Sometimes I would look up at passing drivers and notice smug smiles as they passed my squad, believing they had somehow outsmarted the cop, and that their Whistler, or Escort or Passport or whatever brand was worth every dollar they had paid.

    Truth be told, I suspect radar detectors were invented by enterprising cops, who have been laughing their heads off all the way to the bank since day one.

    From a technological point of view, they work, but only if the officer allows them time to work - if he/she wants you, there is no where to hide from properly executed LEO technology or tactics.

    Spend the money if you wish - certain CEO's are counting on it.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 12-10-2009 at 01:32 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle & High Performance Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  4. #19
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    So explain this:

    On the Dragon, the TN HP will sit in a particular turnout blasting radar, and another THP will pull guys over and write them up. I get about a TWO FULL HAIRPIN notice when these guys are sitting there.

    I agree detectors aren't what they used to be, but don't even tell me they don't give you enough alert in specific situations.

    Also, if you ride in VA and some other states, carry an old no good detector with you. I was pulled over and instead of a ticket, the cop said he'd confiscate the detector, my choice. I had an old Passport that I gave him. One of my favorite stories....
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  5. #20
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    From a technological point of view, they work, but only if the officer allows them time to work - if he/she wants you, there is no where to hide from properly executed LEO technology or tactics.
    Tactics... like noticing that the rider doesn't have the situation awareness that s/he should have?

    The last time I got a moving violation the officer certainly didn't need radar. Hell, he could have been behind me when I crossed the double yellow to pass (safely ) a car while I was doing about 70 in a 55. I was concentrating too much on the road in front of me.

    I suspect that he too thought my pass was safe (if not legal) as he only wrote me up for the 70 in a 55 infraction. Did you know that you can now take traffic school on line.

  6. #21
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    A radar detector is just one tool.

    Your brain is the other.

    I use a Valentine 1 on longer trips and use my brain around here.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #22
    Also, if you ride in VA and some other states, carry an old no good detector with you. I was pulled over and instead of a ticket, the cop said he'd confiscate the detector, my choice. I had an old Passport that I gave him. One of my favorite stories....(quote)


  8. #23
    Registered User MLS2GO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Village of Loch Lloyd, MO

    Escort Refurb

    Escort is selling 8500 Refurbs for a good price from their trade in deal. Great detector for a good price. Check their website.
    Bob Rippy
    IBA #451
    Tour of Honor Missouri State Sponsor
    14 R1200RT (currently parked) 07 R1200RT

  9. 12-09-2009, 05:13 AM

  10. #24
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Honestly and with all due respect to the manufacturers and law enforcement officials, if you are breaking the law you get what you get.
    And I'm OK with that.
    And my forum "title" indicates same.
    It's from "Cool Hand Luke" if you haven't already figured it out.

  11. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula


    Thanks for all the replies. I got along without one all these years - (46 years of riding) Guess I don't need one . If you speed, carry your billfold. But sometimes it's just plain fun to feel excessive wind on one's body. ''Ride Safely........

  12. #26
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Spring Lake NJ, USA
    I'll add on to what Dave S said.. the best radar (laser) detector IMHO is your brain.

    I won't run a radar detector. I found they slow me down (true story - driving from NJ to Bob'sBMW in MD with a friend in my M-Coupe. Used his VI on the way down, told him to ditch it on the way back, it was annoying me.. took about 25 minutes LESS on the way back, and I really never went more than 10+.)

    So - using the mind/brain:

    1. Never be the fastest vehicle out there. Let some dolt with out-of-state plates driving a red Corvette 100mph in the fast lane take the hit. Cop is busy with him, you get a pass. Of course this won't work if you're the dolt - so don't do 100 out of state when driving a red Corvette.

    2. Watch brake lights ahead. You're doing this anyway right? Pops in the Crown Vic with all the hats on the rear shelf is gonna hit his brakes when he sees the LEO in the woods, he can't NOT hit them. It's habit. Even if he's doing -10. If you see brake lights - SLOW DOWN (duh!).. there is a reason (if not a cop, it may be Bambi in the woods - in any case SLOW DOWN.)

    3. Use common sense. If it looks like a good spot for a speed trap, slow down. If you've heard of a speed trap, slow down. That downhill long section with the woods at the bottom - what'cha wanna bet an LEO is hiding in the woods?

    4. Don't be obvious and oblivious. If you're running on a Huyabuzayammi sports bike, wearing neon-green gear - you sorta stand out. Doing wheelies down the highway at 100 will be noticed. Sorta goes along with #1 - you don't want to attract attention. If you are wearing neon-green gear, you're a safe rider, and probably aren't doing 100mph except on a closed course.

    5. Slow down in town. If you're running on some of the wonderful back roads in WV and VA - when you come to a town with 25MPH marked - slow down (I usually slow to about 30mph.) Small towns like to catch speeders. They don't like people running over their kids. So show some respect. You can have fun between the towns, and sometimes there are things to see as you go through at a reasonable speed.

    6. Show respect. If - despite all the above, you come roaring down a road and suddenly spot an LEO that you didn't know was there - HIT THE BRAKES HARD, so the bike noticeably dives a bit and slows down. He's already got'ya on the speeding, playing nonchalant ain't gonna work. This one surprised me - it was told to our local club by a prosecutor for about most of the local towns in our area, and the LEO's told him. That shows the LEO (a) you're awake (b) you respect him (c) you know you did something wrong. Funny one - but according to LEO's I've asked - they agree. Show respect.

    7. +10 is pretty safe. +7.5 is real safe. This is called being reasonable in breaking the law (which I don't get all upset about since it isn't MORALLY wrong to speed, despite what prosecutors and LEOs sometimes express. There is no commandment "Thou shalt not speed..") Anyway - how fast do you gotta go? Almost any police department has an unwritten policy of not writing tickets for less than 10 over - just because it's a hassle.. too many people decide to fight them. The ideal ticket is one for +11 over, and it's paid by check, and the cop/prosecutor never have to come into the courtroom.

    OK - the rest of the story: Using the above techniques I managed to go from 1971 to 2009 without a ticket. That's 38 years. Got one about a week ago - radar on a pole in Washington DC, 3 lane interstate (I695) - the pretty picture claimed I was doing 56 in a 40. Mailed to me. Nothing above would have helped (except local knowledge - WDC has collected $30,000,000 so far this year off their speed traps.. it's right on their website.) No points since it's automated. Thing is - a radar detector likely wouldn't have helped a lot since they made a point of the radar using a VERY narrow beam (less than 15 degrees), and WDC is a no-detector zone, and despite what Valentine sez - people have been caught using their Valentine in VA..

    And - as Greenwald said - if you're pulled over with a detector in sight - it's your unhappy day. No talking is gonna get you out of the ticket.

    Rubber side down eh?
    Don Eilenberger
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  13. #27
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Braintree, MA
    GPS enabled detectors like the newest Escorts have radar/redlight databases that are updated monthly. You can also geotag your own locations into them. Practically every cop car in the country has/or soon will have moving radar. It's too easy to get tagged, far easier than it was even five years ago. I need counter measures.

    Keeping my eyes on the road is gonna save my butt. Keeping my eyes on the speedo is only gonna (potentially) save me some money.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  14. #28
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    1. Never be the fastest vehicle out there.

    Well, that pretty much ends your case for me!
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  15. #29
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Lafayette LA
    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    Using the above techniques I managed to go from 1971 to 2009 without a ticket. That's 38 years. ......
    +1 Great post.

    Since I started riding again about 5 years ago) I've only gotten one speeding ticket - although I've had more than one LEO shake his finger at me as I passed and one flashed his lights.
    John H | TexanRT | Lafayette | IBA
    BMW R1200RT '09 | Honda Goldwing '12

  16. #30
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Calgary, Alberta
    I usually wait for a scout to go by at a rate of speed I like, and then follow an appropriate distance behind. If the scout gets radared, I hit the brakes. This technique has worked well for me over the years, and I've saved dozens of tickets. I use the Escort 8500, but may get a Valentine as well.

    But with so much laser out there now, if you're into ECM, you have to consider whether to install a jammer, and the problem is that you can't easily move them from vehicle to vehicle. Here's a link to a recent discussion of them on the Rennlist:

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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