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Thread: Stupid recall? What am I missing?

  1. #1
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    Stupid recall? What am I missing?

    MOA Magazine ON references a recall- Some BMW's sold in USA have a safety feature in which the brake light flashes in an emergency stop. This is a good thing- yes? NOOOOO- Federal Motor Vehicle Standard 108 states that brake lights must be "steady burning". Other than the fact that the regulation is a fact- why is this emergency flash a bad thing? I have a brake light on my Triumph (and my RT that flashes three times before it burns steady and I feel safer for it. Most safety inspectors ignore it- except for one annoying guy- he actually lends me a screwdriver and a stock bulb and I change it- he puts the sticker on and I change it back. Needless to say I've changed my inspection guy. (This is on my Triumph) the BMW flash was actually dealer installed. I can be a self-righteous pric* but I'm willing to listen to reasons that this feature is a dangerous thing...school me.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by rick601 View Post
    MOA Magazine ON references a recall- Some BMW's sold in USA have a safety feature in which the brake light flashes in an emergency stop. This is a good thing- yes? NOOOOO- Federal Motor Vehicle Standard 108 states that brake lights must be "steady burning". Other than the fact that the regulation is a fact- why is this emergency flash a bad thing? I have a brake light on my Triumph (and my RT that flashes three times before it burns steady and I feel safer for it. Most safety inspectors ignore it- except for one annoying guy- he actually lends me a screwdriver and a stock bulb and I change it- he puts the sticker on and I change it back. Needless to say I've changed my inspection guy. (This is on my Triumph) the BMW flash was actually dealer installed. I can be a self-righteous pric* but I'm willing to listen to reasons that this feature is a dangerous thing...school me.
    You will get three opinions on this forum. Some people find flashing brake lights annoying and will tell you so. Others like them and believe they add to safety. But neither of those opinions count because the real answer to your question is that very old and maybe out of date regulations have been invoked to require BMW to recall bikes and remove a feature that is acceptable most other places in the world, including the European Union because if it is American it has to be best and right, or so they say.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 04-28-2020 at 03:21 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  3. #3
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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  4. #4
    The flashing brake light is expressly legal in my state of residence. That’s a recall I would ignore.

  5. #5
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Civilians are not allowed to simulate authority vehicles. You can't have red lights on the front of your vehicle either.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Civilians are not allowed to simulate authority vehicles. You can't have red lights on the front of your vehicle either.
    In every state I am aware of authority vehicles flash blue lights. In fact it aggravates me when other entities; DOT, garbage trucks, private contractors, etc are allowed to flash yellow, red, AND blue lights.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  7. #7
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    In every state I am aware of authority vehicles flash blue lights. In fact it aggravates me when other entities; DOT, garbage trucks, private contractors, etc are allowed to flash yellow, red, AND blue lights.
    Iowa has red and blue.

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    Lee
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  8. #8
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Here's the language on the NHTSA website regarding the BMW motorcycles:

    "Potential Number of Units Affected: 4,026
    Problem Description:
    BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2020 F900R, F900XR, S1000RR, F750GS, F850GS, F850GS Adventure, R1250GS, R1250GS Adventure, R1250RS, R1250R, RnineT, RnineT Pure and RnineT Scrambler and 2019-2020 S1000R motorcycles. The brake light may flash instead of remain steady during emergency braking. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment."

    Consequence:
    A flashing brake light can cause confusion to other drivers on the road, increasing the risk of a crash."


    Seems that perhaps US drivers are easily confused, but the rest of the world's drivers aren't?
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Iowa has red and blue.

    maxresdefault.jpg
    I did not intend in my comment about blue to exclude red. Many states, maybe most states, added blue to the then already used red. My point was intended to say that flashing red is not reserved for authority vehicles only, and in some states neither is flashing blue.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  10. #10
    Left Coast Rider
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    As Mr. Glaves has referenced, I am one of those who finds flashing brake lights irritating. However, if you want to have one, that's your prerogative.

    Also, in Quebec a flashing blue light behind you means you're impeding the progress of..... a snowplow.
    Last edited by BC1100S; 04-28-2020 at 04:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    Seems that perhaps US drivers are easily confused, but the rest of the world's drivers aren't?
    No argument on that! Stand near any roundabout or traffic circle in the US to see that demonstrated.

    But what you have here is the US DOT trying to enforce consistency at the expense of improving systems. A flashing brake light during emergency braking—not at every use—would seem to assist prevention of freeway rear-enders and multi-car pileups. And, it would help reduce the objections some have to flashing brake lights in general, as the flashing could be triggered by ABS engagement or via decelerometers and indicate true emergency attentiveness and action needed from following drivers. But that would require moving to such a system on all vehicles in a phased manner, such as was done with headlight-on and other requirements—and I doubt you’ll see any such movement on the part of DOT.

    IMHO a far more effective safety improvement, geared toward those who suffer from red/green color blindness, would be to change stop signs from red w/white lettering to safety yellow with black lettering. Nothing is more hazardous to a color-blind person than a red sign disappearing into a background of green shrubbery and going unseen. And even fire departments and motorcycle gear manufacturers have recognized the superior visibility and attention-getting of yellow vs red. But don’t expect any such change to be forthcoming—too much change for the average motorist to adapt to.

    Best,
    DeVern
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider View Post
    No argument on that! Stand near any roundabout or traffic circle in the US to see that demonstrated.
    >snip<
    Best,
    DeVern
    So then, for my favorite traffic circle / roundabout story. Voni and I were with an Ayres Adventure tour in South Africa in 2004. We flew into Johannesburg and were picked up at the aiarport. We went out to a northern suburb to spend the night. We milled around, loaded bikes, and sorted stuff out that day. Then the next day we left the hotel grounds to start the tour; riding on the left (wrong) side of the road. So within 6 blocks we headed into a roundabout, veering to the left instead of the right of course. But just like in the US I stayed in the right lane of the two lanes going in a circle. Oops! The several exits (4 or 5 of them) were to the left, not the right. I made three laps before I could get over and take the correct exit. Meanwhile, several other bikes followed me doing laps. We did discuss roundabouts that evening during dinner.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  13. #13
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    My bulb in the Triumph (and maybe the BMW?) flashes three QUICK ones, then turns steady. I kinda like the concept! Gets attention, then acts normal- Kinda like me...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by rick601 View Post
    My bulb in the Triumph (and maybe the BMW?) flashes three QUICK ones, then turns steady. I kinda like the concept! Gets attention, then acts normal- Kinda like me...
    Be looking for a Triumph recall, if NHTSA is paying any attention. But since they are complaint driven maybe not. Unless Triumph riders are complaining after club rides.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    In every state I am aware of authority vehicles flash blue lights. In fact it aggravates me when other entities; DOT, garbage trucks, private contractors, etc are allowed to flash yellow, red, AND blue lights.
    PA... blue is firewally (volunteer fireman)
    Red/blue is the police and red is fire and ambulance.



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