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Author Topic: Modulating Headlights/Taillights  (Read 8218 times)

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Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« on: March 27, 2014, 12:15:38 PM »
Thought I'd drop that in just to help get things started.

I put one on the 'busa a few years back and I was happy with the increased visibility. Where before, it seemed like folks are pulling out in front of me, I would see a second look and stop.

My reasoning behind getting one was visibility. Standing out from traffic since it's harder to discern a motorcycle's speed due to the narrower profile.

Back in the 70's when I first started, having headlights on all the time on a motorcycle was made mandatory to improve visibility. With that, accidents dropped. And someone with their lights on would likely get a flash from oncoming traffic to let them know it was on since it would drain the battery. But with the auto-off of headlights now, car headlights are on more often than not. And many folks are turning them on anyway even if they don't have running lights since the car will likely ding at them if left on and the key is off. My 2002 Ranger does that. So we've been gradually losing our visibility. Gear does help with that in some cases but not everyone wears hi-viz gear :)

So I thought it was a step up in regaining visibility. I did seem to get more attention (more than being a hooligan anyway :) ).

A couple of years back, the unit fried on me and I sent it back to the manufacturer who sent me a new one for free. I connected it back up and it worked again but less than a year later I was having headlight problems. Finally I determined I had a short in the headlight harness, especially with the corrosion on the connector. I snagged a replacement from ebay and it's all good again.

Except that I didn't reconnect the modulator. It's still in the front end but I haven't reattached the wiring.

In part it was because I'd moved so I was less than 5 miles from work but also because trips were less and less frequent (most of you are probably aware why :) ).

I'm getting ready to take a couple of longer, multi-day trips this year plus more riding around now that I'm free to do so and in looking over the bike (cleaning, checking fluids, replacing the cracked water reservoir), I'm considering connecting it back up.

I do have the taillight modulator and haven't had a lick of trouble with it. Heck, other than the headlight one frying, I haven't had any trouble with the front one. I think it was mainly due to my riding in all sorts of weather that caused the problem with the headlight itself. With Rita gone, I have less of a reason to ride in the rain for 10 minutes and park it vs just hopping into the truck.

So, knowing this can be a hot subject, I thought I'd check on the collective wisdom of the group. I do feel visibility is important but I've also had almost no close calls in the past 3 years, likely due to being so close to work but also because I'm a pretty cautious rider in general. I did almost get run down by an idiot in a minivan when I was on my bicycle but that's a different thread :D

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Offline mxvet57

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 12:23:43 PM »
I hate them. There annoying as hell.
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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 12:26:15 PM »
They are annoying as hell.


It's your job to ride as if nobody can see you.  That will do more to increase your safety than anything else.

Offline mxvet57

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 12:31:52 PM »
They are annoying as hell.


It's your job to ride as if nobody can see you.  That will do more to increase your safety than anything else.

I hate to say this but i totally agree with Chris And that's how i ride to.

I'm always looking for an escape route anticipating some one moving over on me or pulling out or making a left turn.
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Online squeezer

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 01:10:26 PM »
I'm in complete agreement with Chris and Ed (happy birthday, by the way).

And for those of you who have them, please turn that $^%& off when you're riding with others. They're distracting and annoying and you make those you're with less safe because of that.
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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 01:43:15 PM »
Add me to the agree column. Anecdotal evidence: had one friend who had one and the guy turned left into him said, " I saw you flash your lights at me to go ahead."

I think you do much better with additional lighting (the light triangle), and adding additional lighting for the rear. (Like Hyper-lites.)
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Offline Black Hills

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 01:46:42 PM »
hate to agree with Ed, but.... I agree with Ed.
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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 01:47:12 PM »
They are annoying as hell.


It's your job to ride as if nobody can see you.  That will do more to increase your safety than anything else.

 :withstupid:

If anything, I think your lights blinking away has the potential to make you the target of target fixation.

But with the auto-off of headlights now, car headlights are on more often than not.

 :headscratch:  Definitely the opposite to what I've observed. 

Here, in the past many years, all new vehicles sold must be equipped with "daytime running lights" - but it is more often front "park" lights.  Which is stupid if you ask me, headlights and taillights on (which is how all of our vehicles operate) are MUCH more effective.  Lights in the front, lights in the back, and of different colours so that you can figure out *which* end of someone you're observing.

We cross the border into the US, and any lights on on a vehicle in the daytime drops dramatically.  It is very annoying, as cars are MUCH less visible from a distance with no lights.
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Offline mxvet57

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 03:47:09 PM »
hate to agree with Ed, but.... I agree with Ed.


Next time your in Mad town i'll buy you a PBR.
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 06:12:05 PM »
I hate 'em. Annoying as hell. Google "moth effect".
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Offline Cookie

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 06:37:21 PM »
Shit. I agree with Ed as well.
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Offline tomek

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 08:00:37 PM »
 I find that shocking and disturbing but I agree with everyone responding to OP.  The end must be near.

Offline marc11

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2014, 06:14:07 AM »
Hate them, find them amazingly annoying and distracting. However flashing brake lights that flash bright a few times and then stay a steady red are great imho.

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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2014, 06:18:44 AM »
Hate them, find them amazingly annoying and distracting. However flashing brake lights that flash bright a few times and then stay a steady red are great imho.

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Hyperlites with the "California" flash. Dim when running, turn off and on 4 times then go full bright steady when brakes are applied. +1
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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2014, 07:06:50 AM »
I don't mind the bright brake light.  However, the flashing is just as annoying to me.  Luckily I no longer have issues getting around that problem.   :naughty:



Offline chornbe

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2014, 07:31:06 AM »
Add me to the agree column. Anecdotal evidence: had one friend who had one and the guy turned left into him said, " I saw you flash your lights at me to go ahead."


That's been my experience as well.

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Offline RedCBRRider

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2014, 03:28:07 PM »
Don't quote me on this, because I will deny it, but I agree with Ed.  That's never happened before and probably never will again. :bigsmile:

Offline mxvet57

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2014, 06:24:16 PM »
Don't quote me on this, because I will deny it, but I agree with Ed.  That's never happened before and probably never will again. :bigsmile:


Your such a nice guy Ben. And quoted for posterity.
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Offline PatM

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2014, 07:25:22 PM »
Ride faster, you'll be ahead of the accident in waiting.  :bigsmile:

I don't like them either. I prefer three point lighting.
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2014, 08:01:47 PM »
Ride faster, you'll be ahead of the accident in waiting.  :bigsmile:

This is my mantra. Just be sure to watch as far forward as you can see.  :thumbsup:
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Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2014, 09:02:41 AM »
Alright, so everyone hates them. They must be pretty good at increasing visibility. Thanks! :)



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Offline rgbeard

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2014, 03:27:03 PM »
I bought a couple of these.  Haven't installed yet.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/emergency-strobe/brake-light-strobe-module/195/845/

$4.95..  Seriously....
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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2014, 03:37:38 PM »
They'd be illegal over here. Thankfully, an EU law to make cars run headlights in daylight has been dropped because that would make bikes even more invisible. But I take the OP's point about more and more cars running headlights in daylight.
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2014, 07:00:08 PM »
Alright, so everyone hates them.

So you won't be instigating a state movement against them?
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Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2014, 09:07:32 PM »
Alright, so everyone hates them.

So you won't be instigating a state movement against them?

Nope, perfectly happy to let folks do what makes sense to them within the limits of the law of course. I've been riding without mine for several years now and don't see a need to put it back into place. It's just that I'm cleaning up the bike, getting ready for a trip in a couple of weeks and figured since I had things apart, I could easily hook it back up but thought I'd check with the 10 or so folks who have an opinion on it :)  It seems to be a 10-0 thumbs down so I'll put it off until another day. Again, I don't do much commuting any more (as far as distance) so my only worry would be on trips. And I'm pretty defensive/offensive with regards to my riding style anyway so it's not all that big a concern.

Thanks for the opinions folks.

Carl
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Offline Doug Just Doug

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2014, 02:33:23 PM »
Piling on, but "no" on the headlights.  OTOH, I've used modulating taillights for years; the type with a decaying pattern.  Even though countless LEOs have seen them and not said a word, they're technically unlawful in Delaware.

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2014, 11:26:13 AM »
I bought a couple of these.  Haven't installed yet.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/emergency-strobe/brake-light-strobe-module/195/845/

$4.95..  Seriously....
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Offline youngw

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2014, 12:59:56 PM »
The modulating head light and tail light was one of the first things I put on the bike as well as super bright headlight bulbs and a super loud horn. I really don’t care if it is annoying to approaching cars; I really feel that is the point of being seen. I leave them on the fast flash unless I am traveling in a group of bikes and then it is high beam only. People have commented how easily my bike is seen from the front.

Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Modulating Headlights/Taillights
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2014, 01:14:08 PM »
The modulating head light and tail light was one of the first things I put on the bike as well as super bright headlight bulbs and a super loud horn. I really don’t care if it is annoying to approaching cars; I really feel that is the point of being seen. I leave them on the fast flash unless I am traveling in a group of bikes and then it is high beam only. People have commented how easily my bike is seen from the front.

Welcome! I will look for your modulating headlamp while I commute through Troy.
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