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Thread: Pulsing headlights?

  1. #1
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Pulsing headlights?

    Just wondered what you guys thought about them.

    I'm all for making myself conspoicus. Wear a white helmet, bike has white fairings, and last summer got some orange LED things that mount near the axle to further attract attention.

    Pulsing headlights, to me, are the visual equivalent of loud pipes. No question they are attention getters, but I find them annoying coming at me and even worse in my mirrors if they are following.

    A non-riding friend likes them - he knows for sure it is a motorcycle coming at him.

    Your opinions?
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  2. #2
    angysdad
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    I find them irritating. You do notice the bike though. Imagine if every vehicule had them!!!

    I agree with your comparison to loud pipes. Not a way to make friends.
    Last edited by angysdad; 10-10-2010 at 09:53 AM. Reason: poor grammar

  3. #3
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    I agree. Visual pollution for sure.

    Legal in all 50 states by Federal rule. Don't disagree that riders have the right to use them. But they sure pi$$ people off when the bike is behind you for mile after mile.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  4. #4
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    FWIW, I have a Kisan modulator on my R1200R., Likewise, I have a Kisan Trailblazer flasher bulb in the tail light socket, as well as two 16-led Hyperlite modules that are wired to continuous flash mode when the brakes are applied.

    Before adding all this, I always had cars encroaching intersections, or pulling out as I approached them. Afterward, the cars tend to say stopped and the people are looking to see what I am. This is good!

    Cars to the rear now stop way back when I apply brakes, and do not creep up on my rear like they previously did. This is good too !!

    I also wear a bright yellow helmet, and hi-vis lime green Motoport suit. Being visable is GOOD !

    I also will switch off the headlight modulator when riding in groups unless I am the lead rider, and will do the same when on the interstates. Otherwise, I don't care if I piss of cagers as long as they see me, and stay away.

    The products:
    Kisan headlight modulator. This is a 4 year old model, and the newer ones, I believe, use a set of ballast resistors in place of the ballast lamp on this one:



    Hyper-Lite modules:


    Kisan taillight bulb module:
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 10-10-2010 at 08:36 PM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  5. #5
    dhgeyer
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    Maybe it's because I ride, but I always see the motorcycle and identify it as such before I notice the flashing headlight if there is one. Same with those little lights down by the axle or on the engine guards. I see them, but only after I've already seen the bike.

    What Does make me see a bike sooner is a very bright headlight or headlights. The brighter the better. I use an extra bright light in my headlamp when available, and always carefully aim my headlight right at eye level for oncoming traffic. I don't ride at night, so any detrimental effect this has one seeing the road doesn't matter to me. I always ride with my high beam on, and right in people's eyes. This does annoy people, but they see me. I haven't had a cager fail to see me since I started doing this, about three years and 40,000 miles ago.

    I have noticed that the three across headlamp cluster cruisers use makes me see the bike sooner, but only if the lights are very bright, which they tend to be.

    I don't see this as the equivalent of loud pipes at all. Loud pipes annoy everyone for blocks around. Bright headlights are specifically targeted at people who are in a position to, and often do, seriously harm us. They also aren't nearly as annoying.

  6. #6
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    I'm going to move this over to the Gear section as it's equipment for most any bike.
    Headlight modulators and visibility accessories are a great topic. Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  7. #7
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    My old department put them on all the work bikes and the riders, including me, feel they are worth the money to install on the bikes. I have a modulator on my bike and use it in town. On the highway I run with the standard low beam. As a professional rider I like them, a lot.

    Having said that, there is a proviso. One should not depend on the light to keep you safe. It is just one more tool in the effort to be seen and avoid collisions.
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  8. #8
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    Do a search and you'll find a couple of long and contentious threads on this issue. The two camps are:
    1. It pisses people off which the motorcycle community doesn't need and can't afford, disrupts traffic because people are surprised and think it might be the police, dangerously creates target fixation, is a passive safety action so is inherently not effective, makes for more light pollution on roads that are already filled with too many distractions, and no objective study has found them effective.
    2. I don't care about any of the above because I believe I'm safer.

    Put me camp one. You are safest when you rely on active safety measures (i.e.., the way you ride, pay attention, and act accordingly). Passive measures, where you rely on others seeing you for your safety, can be fine, although their effectiveness has never been proven. Nobody argues that it's bad to wear Hi-Viz, white helmets, reflective stickers, etc... But you cross a line when you annoy people. And the response that "all it takes is one person to notice" is another way of saying that I have an excuse for being a poor rider and bad neighbor. I don't care if you're wearing Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, you are safest when you ride smart.

    Rant over!
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  9. #9
    Yarddog
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    Mrcindy seems to have it all in a nutshell, couldn't be better said! I will add one thing though...loud pipes do NOTHING to save lives! In a buttoned up cage, you can't hear them unless they are next to you, and by then, it's all too late!

    If one decides to use a headlight modulator, I think that the on-off switch is an important component...there are times where it would obviously be better off left off, and then turned back on, in say, heavy traffic situations...also, it becomes a thinking thing and the rider doesn't automatically depend on the gadget for his own safety.

    I'm always VERY cognizant of cross traffic, and traffic turning left across my path, and in those situations, I cover the dimmer switch so I can manually modulate my headlight if I have any doubt that the cager might not see me...Yes, there are those situations where I might miss the signs, but that's what riding is...accepting a certain amount of risk for a certain amount of pleasure...

  10. #10
    BUDDINGGEEZER
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
    Maybe it's because I ride, but I always see the motorcycle and identify it as such before I notice the flashing headlight if there is one. Same with those little lights down by the axle or on the engine guards. I see them, but only after I've already seen the bike.

    What Does make me see a bike sooner is a very bright headlight or headlights. The brighter the better. I use an extra bright light in my headlamp when available, and always carefully aim my headlight right at eye level for oncoming traffic. I don't ride at night, so any detrimental effect this has one seeing the road doesn't matter to me. I always ride with my high beam on, and right in people's eyes. This does annoy people, but they see me. I haven't had a cager fail to see me since I started doing this, about three years and 40,000 miles ago.

    I have noticed that the three across headlamp cluster cruisers use makes me see the bike sooner, but only if the lights are very bright, which they tend to be.

    I don't see this as the equivalent of loud pipes at all. Loud pipes annoy everyone for blocks around. Bright headlights are specifically targeted at people who are in a position to, and often do, seriously harm us. They also aren't nearly as annoying.
    +1

    Ralph Sims

  11. #11
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Now about the proper engine oil .........



    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  12. #12
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
    Maybe it's because I ride, but I always see the motorcycle and identify it as such before I notice the flashing headlight if there is one. Same with those little lights down by the axle or on the engine guards. I see them, but only after I've already seen the bike.

    What Does make me see a bike sooner is a very bright headlight or headlights. The brighter the better. I use an extra bright light in my headlamp when available, and always carefully aim my headlight right at eye level for oncoming traffic. I don't ride at night, so any detrimental effect this has one seeing the road doesn't matter to me. I always ride with my high beam on, and right in people's eyes. This does annoy people, but they see me. I haven't had a cager fail to see me since I started doing this, about three years and 40,000 miles ago.

    I have noticed that the three across headlamp cluster cruisers use makes me see the bike sooner, but only if the lights are very bright, which they tend to be.

    I don't see this as the equivalent of loud pipes at all. Loud pipes annoy everyone for blocks around. Bright headlights are specifically targeted at people who are in a position to, and often do, seriously harm us. They also aren't nearly as annoying.
    Are you concerned that your bright light, aimed directly at their eye level, may prevent them from seeing other hazards? Or even make it difficult to judge just how far away your are or how quickly you are approaching?
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  13. #13
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post
    Now about the proper engine oil .........





    No need for a discussion as we, who have gotten religion about motor oil, (the TRUTH) already know the answer. The unconverted heathens will never change their opinion just because we show them the facts.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  14. #14
    dhgeyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIBUD View Post
    Are you concerned that your bright light, aimed directly at their eye level, may prevent them from seeing other hazards? Or even make it difficult to judge just how far away you are or how quickly you are approaching?
    No. I don't rely on the cager to judge my speed. As long as he/she sees me, my chances of survival get better. If it's a question of timing my arrival at a point where someone looks like they're turning left in front of me, I'll slow down or speed up to avoid any potential conflict. Yes, I actually do this as normal practice. People turning out of side roads and parking lots are about as much of a hazard as left turners in my view. That's what caused the one accident I've had, and it's why I do what I do. They don't have to judge my speed with any degree of precision, but I want them to know I'm there.

    Bright as my headlight is, even in someone's eyes, it won't blind them to other road hazards. I've gone out in front of my bike and looked at it myself from car seat height. Actually, doing that a few times is how I aim it. It's bright enough to be annoying, definitely gets attention, but I have never seen any indication that it causes a hazard.

    Since I'm making another post in this thread anyway, I'd like to agree that no visibility strategy is a substitute for defensive riding, as has been pointed out by others above. I also wear a HI VIZ motorcycle jacket and white helmet along with my bright headlight. But I still ride like I'm invisible.

  15. #15
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    I don't like headlight modulators because I find myself focusing so singlemindedly on them that I fail to notice things like the bike's turn signals, decreasing speed, cross traffic, etc. When I encounter one I have to force myself to look elsewhere.
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Barley

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