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Thread: tail lights, strobe lights, flashing lights, and more

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Whitefish Bay, WI, 3mi N Milwaukee

    tail lights, strobe lights, flashing lights, and more

    Other than LED tail lights, and Conspicuity tape, what set ups are you using?

    I would like to have a white strobe off my rear carrier. What strobe do I use?, how do I mount it? Wiring?
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Current bike: 2015 Yamaha TW 200, modified for road/street use with tire, sprocket upgrades. "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  2. #2
    First of all make sure you don't do something that will get the cops on your tail (sorry ... couldn't resist the pun). Strobes on the front/rear of the vehicle tend to get their attention and might be an issue if you cross state lines even if they are legal in your home state. Just a thought, but a flashing white strobe at close proximity at night can be blinding (flash bulb effect) and actually put you at greater risk as the trailing motorist loses his/her depth perception with the bliding effect.

    Do you want the strobe on all the time, only at night, only when you brake ???

    Inexpensive, externally mountable strobes are relatively easy to find. A lot will depend on exactly what you're trying to accomplish.

  3. #3
    Retired and proud of it MOTORMAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Full time RV'er, wherever I park.
    White light to the rear = ticket

    Flashing strobe may also = ticket particularly if it has any influence on opticon devices. Look at your local statutes very very carefully. Like has already been mentioned that also may get you in trouble outside of your home state.

    There are specific regulations governing the use of colors of lights and placement in vehicles. Red light to the front is reserved for emergency vehicles. Blue reserved for law enf. vehicles.

  4. #4
    Grammarian no, Rider yes ISAMEMON's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Kings Valley Oregon
    white strobe lights can also be a danger with some people, forget the illness, but it puts them into a siezure
    not kidding, had a friend ( years and years back) that could not go anyplace that had a strobe light

  5. #5
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    State of Confusion
    Hyper Lites which are flashing LED have worked very well for me.

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  6. #6
    BRAKE! LED modules replace the standard brake light bulb. They take about 15 min to self install with ZERO wiring - it's plug and play. They pulse (the rate and length are programmable prior to installation) and then go steady. They go for about $125.

    I have the Hyper lights too. They are a bit more expensive and require external wiring.

    Point is ... continuous flashing lights on your tail end will likely generate flashing lights in your rearview mirror !!!
    Last edited by StevieWonder; 08-01-2006 at 01:41 AM.

  7. #7
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    N47.06' 204" W122.33' 188" (PacNorthWet)

    What I'm using...

    Hi Howard,

    R1150GS = Hyper-Lites set to flash while brake lever is held (Some states mandate five-seconds max) I have a five second right hand/foot. Also for inclement weather I use the Kissan Signal Minder to turn my running lights on, full bright or 30%. State laws dictate if you can run amber lights out back. (Oregon is RED only) But, at 30% it's hard to tell what color the lights are, only that they provide better recongnition of the bike.

    F650GS = Has the BRAKE LED light that pulses and goes solid after three-seconds. Good enough and people notice both pretty well.

    "If you took the time to really get to know'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am"

    (Life comes at you pretty fast "Pay it Forward" - Have no regrets when the end happens)

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Port Angeles WA
    My thoughts about conspicuity are to give the other guy a reasonable chance to see me.

    However, I also realize that there are various psychological mechanisms that shunt what is seen/heard away from the conscious part of the brain. For instance, a driver's eyes and ears may see and hear you, but all incoming messages get evaluated by an unconscious part of the brain, and everything judged to be of no interest gets flushed down the mental toilet before it gets to the consciousness. ("Inattentional Blindness")

    So, I have LED tail/stop lights on my machines, mostly to provide reliable lighting at minimum current draw. (Consider the implications of a single filament tail light bulb burning out at night.)

    I have installed extra reflectors (amber front, red rear) mounted vertical so they reflect properly, on my machines, to provide better conspicuity at night. One advantage of reflectors is that they do not draw current from YOUR machine.

    I have added retro-reflective black sheeting to the back of my HT panniers on my GS. Doesn't show much in daylight, but reflects bright white from headlights following.

    My Aerostich gear has retroreflective Scotchlight material on the back, pants cuffs, and jacket pocket.

    Then, in spite of all the above, I get the @#$% out of the way of the other guy--even if he appears to be aware of me and I have the right-of-way.


  9. #9
    Don't forget your towel
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Bainbridge Island WA
    The good folks who deliver our Emergency Vehicle operator training have been teaching us to turn off most of the flashing lights and just use the four ways once we arrive at a scene. Apparently there is a point at which "getting noticed" morphs into "becoming a target" and all those pretty flashing lights tend to draw drunks in like moths to a flame.

    Something I've noticed on other people's bikes with amber running lights to the rear is that frequently the yellow overshadows the red of the brake light making it hard to tell what's going on.


  10. #10

    Thumbs up LEDs = corn flakes

    Use'em by the bowlful. Sequential brake & turn signals F+R on 2 bikes. Circulating brake lights on the 3rd.
    Don't get their attention, Demand it. <<<)))

  11. #11
    Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft FredRydr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    central Pennsylvania, USA
    - bright headlamp - high quality Philips headlamp bulb at standard wattage
    - amber running lights - original style Lite Buddies using dual filament 1157 bulbs in the turn signal pods.

    - red running lights - Lite Buddies, pair of red LED units that fit inside the turn signal pods
    - bright brake/tail lamp - BRAKE! LED unit behind the OEM lens, set for very brief initial flash before steady

    That's it for my Roadster - nothing bizarre or annoying. (The diagnostic computer at the BMW dealer doesn't get along well with these accessories or my Signalminder.)

    There are cool LED inserts on the market now for front and rear turn signal pods; they do it all and eliminate the bulbs. They were on display at Vermont. They'd probably play even more havoc with the dealer's diagnostic computer, though.

    '02 R1150R

  12. #12
    I just read this thread a couple of days ago and was contemplating some additional tail lighting on my bike. I added it to the list of "Things I would like/need to get for my bike".

    Today, my father followed me as I was taking my bike in to drop off for service. On the way home he mentioned that my bike's tail light had a very small visual surface (what you see while following in another vehicle), versus the actual size of it. Plus he was in a pick-up truck which is higher up than the average car.

    I didn't need any more convincing, this moved right to the top of the list. Hyper-lites are on order!

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