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Thread: LED Tail Recommendations

  1. #31
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    Ever follow a motorcycle on a dark, rainy night and see how small a visual profile your rear light really appears out through the 3 year old windshield wipers

    The same logic that applies to additional lighting out front for visiblity by other drivers seeing my bike applies to the tail end of my bike.

    I use both the gizmomill tail light and hyperlights mounted on the license plate frame on my 1150GS.

  2. #32
    masonke
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    Quote Originally Posted by shire2000 View Post
    My 2 cents.

    I like the idea of LED technology, but my experience has been that the LEDs are not as reliable as some people may want me to think. I have done some research and yes, they can be very bright and use less power when working than the original incandescent bulb. But when the incandescent bulb burns out, I can get one just about anywhere. What do you do when the LED dies or the circuit board develops a crack and doesn't work anymore? Wait on the side of the road for Purolator or Loomis to deliver your replacment? I think not.

    Myself, I have a system called Pulse Stop on my bike. It was on my bike from previous owner and I think he got it in England. I hit my brakes and the brake light and rear turn signals flash for a few seconds then the Brake comes on full while the turn signals continue to flash. If I have a turn signal turned on to make a turn, then they do do not flash, only the Brake light does. The flashing turn signals really get the attention of the cagers behind me. Quite often then will pull up beside me and tell me my 4 way flashers are on. I smile and say thank you for being so observant.

    And if a bulb burns out, which does happen on occasion, I can get one at pretty much any gas station or auto store.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Dave
    Dave,
    Have you noticed the emergency and running lights on fire trucks and ambulances? Almost 100% LED now and those vehicles are run a heck of a lot harder then any street bike. One of the reasons to go to LEDS is the reliability of the devices, boards included.

    Plus the power savings is always a good thing!
    Kevin

  3. #33
    shire2000
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    It's not that I don't like technology. I have invoked technology on my airhead, in the flashing turnsignals when applying the brakes. That works fine for me. I work in the IT sector. I get fed up with people throwing technology at everything when all they need is a simple solution.

    Myself, I am not all that worried about a rear end collision. I am constantly scanning my surroundings watching for errant cagers who may or may not be aware that I am there. I fully expect to not see me, no matter what I am wearing nor what kind of lights I may have all over the bike.

    I firmly believe in NOT driving defensively. I drive offensively. That means that if a situation should occur where it appears that someone may rear end me, I move the hell out of the way, very quickly. I always leave enough room in front of me to allow me an "out". If I am stopped at a light, I constantly keep an eye on my mirrors watching for the fool that appears to be coming up too fast. If I see one, I immediately get my bike and my butt out of his/her/it's way. Kind of like in being a running back in football - find the whole and get through it.

    Of course, I do not have all the distractions that a lot of riders have. I do NOT use earphones for any purpose while on my bike. Music as well as any conversations can distract me. I do not use a GPS or any other contraption on my bike while on the road. I may consult one while parked, but once moving, I feel that my responsiblity is to constantly be aware of what is going on around me and to give 100% of my concentration to riding the bike.

    As to extra bright lights on the back of my bike. I feel that the stock ones are plenty bright enough. The biggest issue really is attracting the cagers attention, not the brightness of the bulbs.

    In over 35 years of riding on the street, I have never had any rear end collissions. Came close a couple of times, but was able to get my butt out of the way just fine. Worst one was a couple of years ago. Ford Econoline behind me came up real fast. I scooted to the inside by the curb and into a driveway. Watched the Econoline push the tailgate on the pickup truck in front of me up to the cab. Then got on the phone and called police, paramedics, fire and ambulance. If I had not moved, I would not be here today.

    Allways stay aware of what is happening around you and leave yourself a way out.

  4. #34
    Registered User rebake's Avatar
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    I bought a great led taillight at West Bend last year-if i remember it has 32 led lights on the board and is a direct plug in on my 05 gs.Have had several comments on my tail/brake light.Thinking it was about $85 and took about 5 minutes to install.Check with Bob's BMW. Ed

  5. #35
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shire2000 View Post
    ...Myself, I am not all that worried about a rear end collision... if a situation should occur where it appears that someone may rear end me, I move the hell out of the way, very quickly...
    Pull up to a stop sign on a city street in light/medium, flowing traffic. Be aware, be very aware, and look all around, including rear view mirrors. Cars approaching from your left have the right of way, so, you have but one choice and that is to sit and wait for an opening. Car approaching from behind. OK, it's city traffic, cars are going to do that. Continue to scan, waiting for your opening. In the space of fractions of a second since you last checked your mirrors, your panniers are shooting past your legs and you are being forcibly transported into the oncoming traffic lane.

    What would you do?

    Hint: there is no "moving the hell out of the way". You're kidding yourself. Where are you going, straight UP? Oh, and stopping some distance before the stop sign to leave room directly ahead is simply not an option, as you now have no line of sight to your left where traffic is coming from.

    My incident occurred in August 2005 with 32 years of enthusiastic motorcycle and bicycle experience under my belt. (You want to talk about vulnerable - ride a bicycle in traffic some day).
    Steve O. - MOA #122171
    '05 R12GS, '76 CB200 (wife's)
    '91 K100RS, '87 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane, '84 Yamaha FJ1100, '85 Honda VF500F, '76 Yamaha RD400, '82 Honda XL500... and more

  6. #36
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soffiler View Post
    What would you do?
    Topic drift....

    A similar situation happened to a friend, stuck in traffic two up on the Golden Gate Bridge. He saw that he was going to be hit but there was no place to go. If you've ever been on the bridge in traffic you'll understand.

    He did something I'd not have thought of. He pulled forward until his front tire was touching the rear bumper of the car in front of him. Yes, he was hit. The energy was enough to shorten the wheel base of his bike. But most of the energy went through the bike into the car in front of him. He and his wife were not hurt.

    Would bright, flashing tail lights have been enough to stop the car behind him from running into him?

    // marc

  7. #37
    shire2000
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    Would bright lights stop the car from hitting you? No, that is up to the driver of the car. All the lights will do is make you more visible. But then, so will flashing amber turn signals. Anything flashing tends to raise peoples attention level.

    As to anyone getting rear ended and driven into another vehicle stopped in front of them. Well, think of it this way. Stop far enough back that you can easily move to either the right or left side of the vehicle in front of you. Preferably to the right. Split lanes if you have to. That way the cage in front will take the brunt of the hit, not you.

    If you are at a stop sign or light and there is nobody in front of you, and you are worried about someone rear ending you. Be prepared. When you come to the stop, turn your bars slightly to the right just before stopping, giving you a slight angle to the right. If someone decides that they cannot see you or wants to run the light from behind you, then you have an out. You can move to the right side of the road, hop the curb if need be. Go around the corner if you have to. Take a glancing blow from a vehicle crossing the road if need be. A glancing blow is much better than a direct hit from the rear. But always expect that some dumb cager won't be paying attention and won't see you, no matter how many bright lights you have back there. Maybe they are just "going towards the light" and want to take someone with them.

    Brighter tail lights will not stop someone from hitting you. They may just be enough to allow the person see what they are hitting.

    I see an awful lot of semi trailers with LED lights all over the back of their rigs, and a lot of them get rear ended every day and night. Bright LEDs didn't stop them from getting hit and they are way bigger that we are. If they can't see a semi truck with about 80 LEDs all over the back ot it, then our poor little bikes just don't stand a chance.

    I think that basically what I am trying to get across is this. Don't expect bright LEDs to be the solution. they may help, and they certainly won't hurt. The best thing that you can do is be as aware as possible of what is happening all around you, keep your own distractions down to a minimum and always try to give yourself a way out of a bad situation.


  8. #38
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shire2000 View Post
    ...I think that basically what I am trying to get across is this. Don't expect bright LEDs to be the solution. they may help, and they certainly won't hurt. The best thing that you can do is be as aware as possible of what is happening all around you, keep your own distractions down to a minimum and always try to give yourself a way out of a bad situation.
    That's what I've been saying.

    The rest of your comments are basically preaching to the choir.
    Steve O. - MOA #122171
    '05 R12GS, '76 CB200 (wife's)
    '91 K100RS, '87 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane, '84 Yamaha FJ1100, '85 Honda VF500F, '76 Yamaha RD400, '82 Honda XL500... and more

  9. #39
    gened12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shire2000 View Post
    My 2 cents.

    I like the idea of LED technology, but my experience has been that the LEDs are not as reliable as some people may want me to think. I have done some research and yes, they can be very bright and use less power when working than the original incandescent bulb. But when the incandescent bulb burns out, I can get one just about anywhere. What do you do when the LED dies or the circuit board develops a crack and doesn't work anymore? Wait on the side of the road for Purolator or Loomis to deliver your replacment? I think not.

    How about carrying a standard brake light bulb and replacing the LED assembly!!!

  10. #40
    Registered User GSWayne's Avatar
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    I had the Hyperlites and then went to P3 lights. A problem with Hyperlites is that they are technically illegal in CA. I got stopped but not ticketed when using the Hyperlites. It seems pretty amazing to pull over someone because they added some safety equipment to their motorcycle, but maybe the cop had some other reason and just used the brake lights as an excuse. The P3 lights can be programmed to be legal. Because they are in addition to the normal bulb, there is no issue of reliability, because if they fail then the regular light is there, and if my bulb burns out I still have effective brake lights until I can replace the bulb.

    CA vehicle code excerpt:
    25251.5. (c) Any stoplamp or supplemental stoplamp required or permitted by Section 24603 may be equipped so as to flash not more than four times within the first four seconds after actuation by application of the brakes.

  11. #41
    Registered User markgoodrich's Avatar
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    The BRAKE! lights for the R1200RT will be available from rocketeer within about three weeks. They have a few pre-production models on the shelf, but I think I'll wait for the production run. Very nice people, by the way. Except I suggested they need a tester in the hot country of Texas, and my master plan din't work.

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