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Thread: "Bi-Focal" Visor

  1. #1
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    "Bi-Focal" Visor

    Starting a new thread rather than taking another thread off-topic:

    In a thread over in the Wethead section, AlanColes mentioned a problem that I am all too familiar with:
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    ...Unfortunately, my vision, while fine for driving/riding is not sufficient to read the smaller detail on the GPS without wearing bifocals (which I don't do on the bike) so the auto feature is a godsend for me...
    I've been experimenting with what I'll call a partial solution to this problem.

    My hard contacts are perfect for distance vision, but I use various cheap readers to clearly see anything within three feet. Usually a +1.25 pair for the computer, +2.0 for books and cell phone, +2.25 or +2.5 for some shop work. On the bike, I'm using a zumo 590 GPS, RAM mounted to my clutch reservoir cover. At that distance, details on the 590 are mostly large enough for navigation, but small fonts used for the current road name and the media player were unreadable - info that's not necessary, but nice to know.

    I found Hydrotac stick-on bifocals at Amazon. These soft plastic lenses are intended for use with ordinary safety or sun glasses, and adhere with plain water. Before ordering, I experimented a bit, wearing my helmet with the visor up and holding my various readers at the normal position of the visor to determine what strength I needed to see the GPS clearly. +1.25 worked best for me. I've ended up with one lens inside the visor on the left, so I can glance down and left to see the screen, without moving my head. The water adhesion made adjusting the lens position easy, and it's still holding securely after four months. It is as low as possible without interfering with closing the visor. I never found a position for the right lens that would give me a clear image with both eyes, due to the angles and distances involved. For a centrally mounted GPS, or a tankbag map holder, both lenses might be usable.

    Using just the left eye works OK, though a simultaneous blink of the right eye helps in bright light. The viewable area is limited as putting the lens on the visor moves it further from my eye, and area in focus becomes smaller. I can see the entire screen but the very corners are cut off unless I move my head from side to side a little bit.

    The lens does not obstruct my usual field of view at all. Last week I ran an errand without the GPS, afterward I went back out to the garage to make sure the lens had not fallen off since I could not remember seeing it.

    I find that I get 90% of the info I need from the GPS screen (map and speed) by looking at it directly, but the stick-on lens really helps with the smaller details. Having the lens on the visor means that I don't need to fuss with glasses when putting on my helmet. (Still have to carry a pair for off the bike, though.)

    I've recently learned that there are similar stick-on magnifiers for scuba dive masks. Though some I see on Amazon are flat ground glass glued in place, these seem to be larger versions of the Hydrotac lenses: Aqua Dive Optx Flexible Dive Mask Magnifiers. With a 1.6" width, these will provide a wider field of view than the 1.2" Hydrotac lenses and will probably be my choice when I inevitably need more magnification.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  2. #2
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Thanks for this info, Larry.

    I have wondered if there was something like this on the market but have been distracted enough with other things (any shiny object that crosses my path actually) that I never got around to looking. You've saved me a lot of work, both in idenifying a suitable product and your testing method. Thanks again.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  3. #3
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Sorry to take the thread off course for a moment. Don't mean to hijack.

    This might be helpful to some folks in figuring out what you need.
    Magnifying Safety Glasses

    The best way to buy simple magnifiers ("drugstore" glasses) is to try different diopters (powers) to see what suits you and your intended use of them. Of course, if you have astigmatism, or one eye is very different from the other, you'll need more help than these can provide.

    For someone with perfect vision and eyes in a resting state, a +1.00 diopter lens will show an object clearly at one metre, or about 40", +2.00 diopters around 20" (half a metre), and +3.00 diopters at just over a foot (a third of a metre). These numbers may be different for you, according to whether you are near-sighted or farsighted. Either way, with reasonably good vision you will probably find that with advancing age you will need something like +1.50 to +2.00 diopters for lathe work, and perhaps as much as +2.50 diopters for detailed carving. The answer is to try several pairs and match one of them to the job at hand.
    Name:  Diopter Lens diagram.gif
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    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  4. #4
    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
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    I have found the Bi-Focal motorcycle sunglasses to work very good. I bought the ones that fit tight to your face, and you can change the lenses.
    John Simonds
    2017 R 1200 GS Adventure
    1975 Norton Commando 850 Roadster Mk 3
    If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is.

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    Old and Tired Gillie Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkjohn View Post
    I have found the Bi-Focal motorcycle sunglasses to work very good. I bought the ones that fit tight to your face, and you can change the lenses.
    I have gone this way also but use the "inexpensive" bi-focal safety glasses from the industrial supply in clear and dark. Six to 10 dollars each. It makes seeing the GPS and display on the bike easy. I use 1.5s but they have stronger if needed. Have had no issue with wind behind the wind screens. The clarity of current offerings is quite good.

    GD
    (New to me) 2010 R1200RT after HD Electra Glides for 35 years

  6. #6
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    I wear tri-focals on the bike, and have for years. I don't have a problem with that, at all...other than getting a decent grind on new eyeglasses. I'm still wearing old eyeglasses because the new ones just aren't as good.
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  7. #7
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    Progressive lenses may be another solution.
    Walter

    Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
    H. L. Mencken

  8. #8
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    Sorry to take the thread off course for a moment. Don't mean to hijack.

    This might be helpful to some folks in figuring out what you need.

    Name:  Diopter Lens diagram.gif
Views: 148
Size:  7.8 KB
    That's a good guide for picking reading glasses and matches my experience, but may not work well for the stick-on lenses on a visor. On a visor, the lens is several times further from your eye than it would be in an eyeglass frame, which changes the focal point. Reading the small fonts on my GPS, +2.00 or +2.25 glasses work OK on my face, but if I slide them out to the distance of the visor they do not help at all.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterK75 View Post
    Progressive lenses may be another solution.
    I second that. I wear progressives and they work great for me driving or riding. I wear a tinted visor most of the time and carry a clear visor in case I need to ride at night or in the rain.

    I do buy the most expensive progressive lenses that claim to have the clearest image with the widest field of view.

    Cheers, Ken
    2015 R1200GS

  10. #10
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkraus View Post
    That's a good guide for picking reading glasses and matches my experience, but may not work well for the stick-on lenses on a visor. On a visor, the lens is several times further from your eye than it would be in an eyeglass frame, which changes the focal point. Reading the small fonts on my GPS, +2.00 or +2.25 glasses work OK on my face, but if I slide them out to the distance of the visor they do not help at all.
    Agreed. I should have been clearer in my posting. Meant it to give an approximation for how the ideal strength changes with distance.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

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