Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30

Thread: Are they legal in all 50 states?

  1. #1
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    2,044

    Are they legal in all 50 states?

    I had a car make a left turn in front of me and the bike this past October (survived with no hit) and a couple of days ago while driving the car, at an intersection where I had the green light, a car apparently did not see me and made a right turn immediately in front of me.

    This second incident got me to thinking that if a cage didn't see me when I was in my car, maybe I should consider a headlight modulator for the bike. So my question is, do you know if they are legal in all states or for that matter, all provinces? I haven't made a firm decision but at present I am considering this option.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    319
    AFAIK this is legal in all 50 states; can't say the same about the provinces. I suggest you visit the Kisan (sp) website for better information.
    regards,
    Mark

  3. #3
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Posts
    2,103
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    I had a car make a left turn in front of me and the bike this past October (survived with no hit) and a couple of days ago while driving the car, at an intersection where I had the green light, a car apparently did not see me and made a right turn immediately in front of me.

    This second incident got me to thinking that if a cage didn't see me when I was in my car, maybe I should consider a headlight modulator for the bike. So my question is, do you know if they are legal in all states or for that matter, all provinces? I haven't made a firm decision but at present I am considering this option.
    Legal or not, if you think they are effective, seems like an easy decision.............a possible ticket or a possible life in a wheel chair or worse...............

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    258

    Modulators.

    Modulators are not legal in all 50 states.
    Have you ever had a bike or two behind you when you were driving or riding that were using modulators? My opinion is they are extremely annoyinng and I'm not saying they don't get you noticed. To me there are other options such as high visibility gear, more or better/brighter front lights or try driving with your high beams on, that definately gets you noticed by the cars in front and a lot of the time they will pull over even.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

  5. #5
    Chromehead
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Va Bch VA
    Posts
    161

    Kisan Ads Say Yes

    I have seen plenty of references to the legality of the headlight modulators that Kisan makes. They are federally approved for daytime use. It was a federal law that made full time headlights on motorcycles required in the first place. Remember?
    I think they are annoying too, but that is the point! If I end up getting one myself, I would switch it off in certain situations and would always carry a copy of the pertinent law with my paperwork for uninformed LEOs (just like I do for my carry permit).
    After a close call last year, where I was apparently invisible, I took to riding with all 5 lights on in front. I know that is illegal some places but didn't care. I wanted to be seen.
    I'm all for whatever it takes to be seen and a high viz jacket is on my wish list. For now the high viz vest will do.

  6. #6
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    between SanAntone & the Weird Place, TX
    Posts
    6,006
    I always thought the modulaters were more distracting than helpful...my opinion since others love them.

    Heard of an incident in rain/dark where the truck ahead thought the motorcycle was flashing"clear to pull in" and caused an accident,injuring the operator who's name I will not mention, but they are a member here.

    I added the "triangle" look to all my bikes and to date has been effective for visiblity by cagers...On same commute w/out them I routinely had people not seeing me, afterwards was never an issue as it had been. I used yellow bulbed MotoLites pictured here on a 1150R with the Kissan relay that turns the signals to running lights.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  7. #7
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    between SanAntone & the Weird Place, TX
    Posts
    6,006
    Quote Originally Posted by kahuhna View Post
    I have seen plenty of references to the legality of the headlight modulators that Kisan makes. They are federally approved for daytime use. It was a federal law that made full time headlights on motorcycles required in the first place. Remember?
    I think they are annoying too, but that is the point! If I end up getting one myself, I would switch it off in certain situations and would always carry a copy of the pertinent law with my paperwork for uninformed LEOs (just like I do for my carry permit).
    After a close call last year, where I was apparently invisible, I took to riding with all 5 lights on in front. I know that is illegal some places but didn't care. I wanted to be seen.
    I'm all for whatever it takes to be seen and a high viz jacket is on my wish list. For now the high viz vest will do.
    My GSA with ALL on!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  8. #8
    Registered User joelaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Posts
    50
    I tend to dissagree that a high beam will help much in a situation where the vehicle pull out in front of, or turns in front of you. A single high beam head light will be more visible, but the down side is the brightness makes it difficult for the on coming driver to judge distance. It is a point source of light, with no other reference to aid in estimating the distance.

    The best is modulation, or three points of light, i.e. the headlight and two driving lights located below; or both. If you have noticed in recent years, railroad locomotives all have three headlights, instead of just a single light. Too, as others have mentioned bright clothing is a big plus in the daytime, as is reflective material for night riding.

  9. #9
    Chairman of the hoard wmubrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Posts
    755
    A comprehensive list of motorcycle requirements and restrictions is available by state here:

    http://www.amadirectlink.com/legisltn/laws.asp
    John A. Brown - Kalamazoo MI
    '09 K1300S 'Zoot' (Wicked, bad, naughty, evil, Zoot!)
    '94 K1100LT 'Desert' (the horse with no name)

  10. #10
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,621
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    Maybe I should consider a headlight modulator for the bike.
    Why not install a very bright set of driving lights...this way they'll also light up the road for you.

  11. #11
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    2,044
    Quote Originally Posted by joelaw View Post
    The best is modulation, or three points of light, i.e. the headlight and two driving lights located below; or both. If you have noticed in recent years, railroad locomotives all have three headlights, instead of just a single light. Too, as others have mentioned bright clothing is a big plus in the daytime, as is reflective material for night riding.
    I have always ridden with the triangular light configuration. As well, I wear a white helmet and a hi viz vest.

    Like many of you, I have always dismissed the modulator because of the annoyance factor. Even after nearly taking a hit by left turning van in October, the modulating headlamp was not on my radar. It was only this week when a van pulled out in front of my car as I approached a green light, that I have begun to really question the awareness of drivers to others on the road.

    I have yet to make up my mind about the modulator for my bike, but I was curious about their legality on the North American roads. For now, I am thinking about this option over the winter.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  12. #12
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    3,470

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by moshaffer View Post
    Modulators are not legal in all 50 states.
    Have you ever had a bike or two behind you when you were driving or riding that were using modulators? My opinion is they are extremely annoyinng and I'm not saying they don't get you noticed. To me there are other options such as high visibility gear, more or better/brighter front lights or try driving with your high beams on, that definately gets you noticed by the cars in front and a lot of the time they will pull over even.
    Sorry to 'rain on your parade,' but FEDERAL LAW has held modulators to be LEGAL in all 50 states.

    Federal DOT Ruling CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4 , if you wish to read up on it.

    No state laws or local ordinances can supersede federal statutes.....ever.

    My particular version is a Kisan, though www.bikerbuddy.net offers a nice integrated system (endorsed by the CHP).

    I only employ it in heavy traffic (seems a waste of bulb life on a deserted interstate), but wouldn't ride without one. Has saved my butt more than once. Kisan provides more extensive verbage of the Federal Law, in their owner's manual. I carry a laminated copy of that page in the bike, should I need to prove their legality.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 12-21-2008 at 02:44 PM.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern Front Range, CO
    Posts
    6,437
    As stated by K Greewald, modulators ARE legal in all 50 states, so even when Barney pulls you over in Texas and tries to issue you a ticket, it is not a valid infraction. many riders will carry a copy of the fed statutes that clearly state that Fed law supersedes state law, and that the modulators ARE legal.
    fwiw- i run a modulator on my KLR, tied to the hi beam (which is not very bright). Cars will often pull over when i'm behind them, thinking i'm some kind of cop or something. thank you!
    of course, i also run HIDs and PIAA 1100Xs on my R1100S, and cars often pull over in the daytime when i'm running my hi beams behind them. That is apparently due to the drip from their melting rearview mirror is messing up the upholstery on their car.
    in either case, i AM getting noticed. but with the HIDs, I can REAAAALLLLLYYY see at night! the modulator does nothing for that issue whatsoever.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  14. 12-20-2008, 02:55 PM

  15. #14
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Posts
    2,103
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    ..... It was only this week when a van pulled out in front of my car as I approached a green light, that I have begun to really question the awareness of drivers to others on the road.............

    ..........................
    WOW, how long you been riding?? Either drivers where you reside are better trained/more conscientious, or you are one lucky guy.

    I have ridden like I was invisible for over 30 years, I am not paranoid, but I trust my fate to my own actions/reactions.

    P.S. I just looked and saw you live in Ontario............they are NUTS up there, especially on the QEW and 401. It is less traveled in the rural areas, but I don't get the sense that drivers skills are any better then here in Western NY.

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    258

    Modulators again.

    It may be an approved federal law and you all know how that transpiers in different states, even if you carry the statue with you. NY and the bikes that are ticketed in the HOV lanes which are protected by federal law, the legal? marijuana situation in CA. illegal by the feds, alright by the state. Be prepared for a ticket if you get stopped, then fight it in court.
    I do know one of the towns in either KS or OK did put modulators on all their police bikes a while back and as thye stated so they were more visible, so go figure.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •