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Thread: Visible Riding Gear

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by brownie0486 View Post
    But there's still a difference? I'd think increasing visibility even a little would be prudent, when possible. I'll take every little difference I can at being see. Hence the added lights, brake lights, and reflective striping on helmets and bags.
    Again, I am not advocating one side or the other.

    As stated, you must realize the specifics of the situation.
    I know I am opening a can of pit vipers here, but personal experience has put the awareness of my presence with cagers when I throttled the Harley and my "loud pipes" were taken notice of.

    I am not advocating the loud pipe thing either.
    I look at this more pragmatically.

    The high viz. stuff creates a condition of standing out, just as much as alot of noise causes people to garnish their attention to the situation.
    Experienced drivers fall into two separate conditions and no one driver stays in only one.

    The first is that the visual becomes so ordinary that they start to ignore it.

    Secondly: Same with the sound of loud pipes. I have personally witnessed this as well, when the loud sound meant nothing because the drivers were so use to it. it meant nothing but background noise.

    These experienced drivers also over time learn to watch out for the bikes in large part but some miss and accidents happen. So it becomes sort of a net zero sum gain.

    On the other side of this are the inexperienced drivers who become startled and/or are not use to seeing high viz so they pay attention to that. This sometimes startels them and causes accedents, other times they pay attention and deal with it.

    Honestly, there is no one formula and you will never know what if anything has saved your life.

    Most of this IMO falls to the training and practice that should IMO be mandatory for all drivers.

    But that's another discussion.

  2. #17
    Registered User mlytle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soocom1 View Post
    Again, I am not advocating one side or the other.



    The first is that the visual becomes so ordinary that they start to ignore it.

    .
    i just don't see (pun intended) this as a realistic scenario.

    there are so few MC's on the road that they are not "ordinary" to any drivers.

    and so few of the MC riders actually wear hi-vis that there is no way any driver is going to get use to it and ignore....
    Marshall
    92 K75s, 94 K75s, 96 K1100RS (caretaker), 09 K1300s

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by mlytle View Post
    i just don't see (pun intended) this as a realistic scenario.

    there are so few MC's on the road that they are not "ordinary" to any drivers.

    and so few of the MC riders actually wear hi-vis that there is no way any driver is going to get use to it and ignore....
    You dont live in the SW US then.

  4. #19
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    Black from head to toe works pretty well.
    I know many think black riding gear is a crime as well as black motorcycles. Sure, the Hurt report said white helmets work...but they are not the golden egg and hi-viz came along years later since the report.

    I ride with someone who has both and over 200K on beemers and very few stories. Her worst get off was a non ABS v-twin in gravel and a fellow rider following too close that ran her over...it wasn't a visibility issue.

    What is common on her bikes is triangle pattern lighting up front and additional brake lighting also in a triangle. My belief is the light placement and use is more effective to being seen. Sure, bright colors add to visibilty, but under some circumstances, like darkness, are moot. From the side or back, I can see hi-viz. From the front, the bike/s reen/tankbag hides most of her...now some of our larger friends have a lot more fabric and thus may be more visible

    When she is actually following, I cannot see what color helmet or jacket she is wearing, but I know when the lights are not on.
    My personal study was conducted when I commuted into Austin almost daily by motorcycle...the days I rode bikes with no triangle, I had encounters, the days I rode lit up bikes I did not...it was repeatable and noticeable.Now all bikes have added lighting.

    She has hi-viz gear as well and if close enough, I can see it...but not over a quarter mile. But that's my Friday night anecdotal opinion. I have a lemon jacket I wear at times, but it has more bug splatter and road grime and maybe not so yellow anymore.

    Bottom line for me is wear what works for your comfort level...you know from a previous thread the kids do not appreciate being preached to or guilted and will make their own choices anyways
    Last edited by henzilla; 01-12-2019 at 02:19 AM.
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  5. #20
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I wear all black gear most of the time, including my air vest, and I have a triple black GSA. The exception is a white helmet. I run amber LED lights on all of our bikes and HyperLites on the rear. Since I began using the LED auxiliary lites the occurrence of people pulling out or turning in front of me seems to be greatly diminished.
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    I wear all black gear most of the time, including my air vest, and I have a triple black GSA. The exception is a white helmet. I run amber LED lights on all of our bikes and HyperLites on the rear. Since I began using the LED auxiliary lites the occurrence of people pulling out or turning in front of me seems to be greatly diminished.

    This is proving to be an interesting winter thread!

    An entertaining mix of some thought-provoking anecdotal tales, and some kooky theories.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    This is proving to be an interesting winter thread!

    An entertaining mix of some thought-provoking anecdotal tales, and some kooky theories.
    My anecdote: About 15-18 years ago I was riding in SoCal, having visited and documented the southwestern corner of the USA. Heading north on the interstate from San Ysidro, I was leading the pack of cages and trucks. Heavy, fast traffic, almost bumper to bumper and all moving at about 20 over the limit. I was watching my mirrors closely for LEOs when I spied a couple sets of yellow lights. They were the only things I picked out of the nearly solid sea of white headlights behind me. The yellow lights were weaving in and out of traffic in perfect synchronization and moving fast. When they caught up with me I saw they were two CHiPS on RTs. No sirens, no flashing authority lights, just the yellow conspicuity lights.

    My point and I repeat for effect: those yellow lights were the only things I noticed and picked out of the sea of car and truck headlights behind me. I told myself right then that when I got back home I would put yellow LED conspicuity lights on my bike. I did and have ridden with them on every single bike I've owned since then. In lots of miles, I have had few vehicles turn in front of me. I credit the yellow lights with that.

    Good luck.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
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  8. #23
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    This is proving to be an interesting winter thread!

    An entertaining mix of some thought-provoking anecdotal tales, and some kooky theories.
    Am I thought provoking or kooky? Or do I just provoke kooky thoughts?
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    Am I thought provoking or kooky? Or do I just provoke kooky thoughts?
    You, sir, are consistently thought-provoking.

    Way different from a few whom are just 'provoking.'

    Royce's account of the amber lighting is quite interesting.

    There are many things to do to be 'conspicuous' in traffic, such as weaving as you approach intersections, high-intensity riding lights forward and flashing LED brake lights rearward. Modulating headlamps a huge advantage. Hi-Viz gear (especially the helmet - white) a proven factor. Following distances, lane selection and controlling your speed - all important.

    But riding intelligently trumps riding brightly. Learning good road-survival tactics and then employing them every time you ride has more to do with a safe return at the end of the day.

    No "Holy Grail" for safety in traffic - it's a combination of all these elements.

  10. #25
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Being visible, more specifically catching motorists' attention behind you is also a good thing to try to ward off rear-ender wrecks, which are the most common accident on Interstates. I also have auxiliary lights on my GS, but they point forwards and not backwards. Plenty of YouTube videos of motorcyclists being rear-ended, many in town. My experience wearing hiz-viz jackets and vests has been that many motorists take note of that, give me more room, and stop farther behind me. They give me credit for trying to address safety.
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  11. #26
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    foggy.jpg
    Back when Motolights first showed up, most in our group added them after this picture and another I had of five behind her you could barely see.
    p1030135.jpg

    On a Canada trip and I too had hi-vis, so not a hater

    resize.JPG

    The cow noticed!

    7ce96465-8a58-4f26-9748-9e3154265070-large16x9_6pm_frame_28134.png

    Local interagency escort training before heading out for live rolling drills...not picking on them as they are not the only folks where tradition may trump modern thoughts. The cool thing to see is the female Moto a few riders ahead of the hi-viz left rear. APD has two I know of and a friend of mine actually had a chat with the one in pic...still got the ticket he justly deserved that day.
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  12. #27
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    Tail/brake ight

    About 6 weeks ago a rider went through town with something similar to this https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Helm.../dp/B0042ASTT8 on his helmet. It did stand out when he came up to the stoplight at dusk.

  13. #28
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    As many of you are discovering, it's really all about creative and very noticeable lighting.

    Hi-Vis gear can help, and I wear plenty of it, but the reality of some recent research is that the problem with Hi-Viz/reflective attire is that, since we are on a moving object, our backgrounds (colors, shapes, shadows, rain, fog, etc.) are constantly in flux. This often reduces that 'cloak of visibility' to near zero.

    The military used to require al service members wear a reflective belt when doing PT, jogging or riding a motorcycle, to increase awareness. They found it did nothing for safety on bases, and have since discontinued the practice.

    Yes - dress to be noticed. But lots of flashy lighting makes you far more noticeable than neon yellow from head to toe,

  14. #29
    I wear black and I don't trust anyone, or anything.
    Cars, bicycles, kids. dogs, deer, ambulances, scooters, pedestrians (especially walking with their nose in direct line of their cellphone), cops, birds, crackheads, bears, boulders, balls, ice, sand, asphalt sealer, raccoons, corners banked the wrong way, drunks, skateboards, stones thrown off of flatbeds, moving day insecurely tied down crap on the road, firewood, turning right in front of you...

    My opinion is HiVis personal attire doesn't matter, loud pipes as well, and it could never console you in a crash. Ride defensively, you are the vulnerable one.

  15. #30
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam_on_van_isle View Post
    My opinion is HiVis personal attire doesn't matter

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but it conflicts with the findings of safety studies.

    That said, I confess I do not wear Hi-Viz all the time.
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

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