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Thread: Are they legal in all 50 states?

  1. #16
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    Bulbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    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.
    Steve, where did you purchase the yellow bulbs at?? They look like they would solve a lot of problems.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

  2. #17
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    Like many of you, I have always dismissed the modulator because of the annoyance factor.
    Same here.

    In the few I've come across...it wouldn't be so bad if the annoyance factor made me aware, but for some reason, it seems to draw me into the on-coming lane...and I'm not kidding. Hypnotism...maybe.

  3. #18
    CRUISIN
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    "Heard of an incident in rain/dark where the truck ahead thought . . . "

    That would mean the modulator's day/night sensor was either not working or disabled. If were disabled then it becomes and illegal device and you can be ticketed for having it active at night.

    On the concept of bright lights in a triangular configuration, I was dating an optometrist several years ago and got a very good explanation of why this may be the best tool for conspicuity. The human eye/brain interface has the subconscious ability to judge distance and speed of an oncoming vehicle or object so long as it has two dimensions. In the case of a single headlight, the brain perceives that as one dimensional and makes it nearly impossible to judge distance or speed. However, with the triangular configuration you have two dimensions that the eye can see and the subconscious can detect the smallest of variations in an approaching vehicle even when we are not aware that it is happening. This occurs due to to optical illusion of the lights getting farther apart as they approach. That's why the three headlights all clumped together like you see on a lot of big cruisers are not nearly as effective for safety as are those that have as much separation as physically possible considering the size of the bike involved.

    I also noted that some have multiple headlights, while it may not be enforced, I seem to remember a law (can't recall if it was state or fed) that limits bikes to no more than three headlights. I also think the are some restrictions on height above the ground (eg. those lower down may not count as part of the three higher up. ) I'll do some digging to see if I can find those laws. Of course, if you already have some low mounted driving lights, you probably have noted they don't do much for your ability to see at night. The big plus though is the afore-mentioned conspicuity it provides both day and night.

  4. #19
    Registered User thompsonr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moshaffer View Post
    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.
    The Topeka Kansas Police Department has installed modulating headlights in all of their machines. Photo and story in the November issue of the American Motorcyclist.

    The article doesnÔÇÖt say but one of the Officers had a rather nasty accident when a van made a left turn across his path resulting collision totaled bike and injured rider who is now back and riding again
    R and R

  5. #20
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    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.
    I have only ridden for four summers or 90,000 km; so yes I am a newbie. Besides being very visible when I ride (white helmet, triangular light setup, hi viz vest), brakes covered and I ride anticipating what is going to happen before it does and make the necessary changes to not be part of a problem. I guess this is similar to your riding as if invisible. I also re-read David Hough's books each February / March.

    My astonishment is how a car or van can become invisible to other drivers; hence the question of my visibility and safety on the bike really becomes an issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    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.
    Overall I have found the American drivers to less aggressive and more courteous than Canadian drivers. Having said that, riding or driving on either the 410 or QEW is no big deal if you are observing traffic far in advance as well as frequently glancing in your rear view mirrors.
    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

  6. #21
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moshaffer View Post
    Steve, where did you purchase the yellow bulbs at?? They look like they would solve a lot of problems.
    Motolights will sell you amber bulbs... at about $17.50 each

    Or you can go to bulbamerica.com and get them for about $2.50. NB: I never actually used the amber bulbs from bulbamerica.com as I got rid of my motolights before I needed new bulbs. The specs match what I got from Motolights, though... 12V, 50W, 12?? beam spread, etc.

    Which leads to the 2nd note... the amber lights are great for daylight conspicuity, but the 12?? beam spread means they have to be aimed pretty low for night use (or turned off).

    // marc

  7. #22
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    On the modulator issue, My feeling is if it bothers the other driver, then he DOES see you! But on the other hand I only use it in traffic, on the open road I turn it off.

    And yes it does work, I have had cars at intersections actualy back up a little when they see me.

    I also run a set of Motolites as daytime running lights plus a set of LED aux tail lights and flashing LED brake lights. I have also added a K-Tail 2 tail light enhancement kit to the back and Runnin Lights to the front turn signals.

    I have been rear ended and I feel that you can't be too conspicuous.

    I had a coworker see me go by on the way to work one morning, still dark, he said I looked like a locomotive going by. That's the idea.

    Rod

  8. #23
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    Motolights will sell you amber bulbs... at about $17.50 each

    Or you can go to bulbamerica.com and get them for about $2.50. NB: I never actually used the amber bulbs from bulbamerica.com as I got rid of my motolights before I needed new bulbs. The specs match what I got from Motolights, though... 12V, 50W, 12?? beam spread, etc.

    Which leads to the 2nd note... the amber lights are great for daylight conspicuity, but the 12?? beam spread means they have to be aimed pretty low for night use (or turned off).

    // marc
    I originally got some from Tina,but at$30 apiece I found alternatives.

    http://www.lightbulbsdirect.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?
    I believe $8 each for 12 degree 50watt made by USHIO FNC/FG Popstar Yellow 12v HalogenHave run a few sets for many hours without bulb life issues since they also have the lenscover built in and seal well....seem to last a long time! As far as night runing,yeah,you need to adjust a tad,but they do not overwhelm oncoming traffic once you do...They are great conspicuity lights. I use my Hi-beam and/or the Piaas for long distance lighting...I nowadays try to limit that where I live and play.

    Also went to local lighting dealer... he could get me some closer to marc's price.
    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

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    ....the Kissan relay that turns the signals to running lights.
    Henzilla, I'm curious about the Kissan relay. Any idea if it could turn the signal lights on my F800ST (with CANBUS) into running lights?

  10. #25
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    IMHO after 36 years of driving cages, anyone who flashed his lights at me was either telling me " I see you" which meant go ahead and do what you intend to do, or telling me my hi beams were on. Perhaps warning me of a speed trap/hazard ahead. Any other intention, especially by a motorcyclist would be a dangerous assumption on either part. I think the modulator is too confusing and therefore dangerous to rely on.

  11. #26
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    [QUOTE=cruisin;401639
    I also noted that some have multiple headlights, while it may not be enforced, I seem to remember a law (can't recall if it was state or fed) that limits bikes to no more than three headlights. I also think the are some restrictions on height above the ground (eg. those lower down may not count as part of the three higher up. ) I'll do some digging to see if I can find those laws. [/QUOTE]

    laws regarding number and height of lights is a state regulated thing. CO says "4 lights max on a motorcycle", others have their own statutes. modulators, with auto shut-off in dark conditions, are covered under federal regs, which trump state regs every time.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  12. #27
    masonke
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    Hyper-Whites

    These look pretty interesting and draw a lot less power. http://www.hyperlites.com/hyperwhite.html

  13. #28
    Planned Spontaneity EastTNBeemer's Avatar
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    Kissan Modulator

    I have one on my high beam. It will only work during daylight hours because of an attached photocell cut-off. The only time I have found it to be annoying to others is at a red light when I'm behind a cage. Then I turn it off to be courteous.

    I have seen a huge improvement in others seeing me. They will do a double take and stare, not knowing what I am (police or emergency vehicle).

    No, it will not keep you absolutely safe and visible in all situations. When in heavy traffic, I still slow down and cover the brakes just in case.

    It has helped when behind a slower vehicle. Most times, they will pull over and let you go by.

  14. #29
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mervingry View Post
    Henzilla, I'm curious about the Kissan relay. Any idea if it could turn the signal lights on my F800ST (with CANBUS) into running lights?
    I do not think they have figured out the CANBUS issues...been waiting ever since I got the 05RT and now the GS...would be nice!...their website might have some info. They work on all the non -canbus bikes I have

    http://www.kisantech.com/
    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

  15. #30
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastTNBeemer View Post
    I have one on my high beam. It will only work during daylight hours because of an attached photocell cut-off. The only time I have found it to be annoying to others is at a red light when I'm behind a cage. Then I turn it off to be courteous.

    I have seen a huge improvement in others seeing me. They will do a double take and stare, not knowing what I am (police or emergency vehicle).

    No, it will not keep you absolutely safe and visible in all situations. When in heavy traffic, I still slow down and cover the brakes just in case.

    It has helped when behind a slower vehicle. Most times, they will pull over and let you go by.
    "Ride like you are invisible..............not invincible."
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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