Results 1 to 15 of 42

Thread: Pulsing headlights?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    720

    Pulsing headlights?

    Just wondered what you guys thought about them.

    I'm all for making myself conspoicus. Wear a white helmet, bike has white fairings, and last summer got some orange LED things that mount near the axle to further attract attention.

    Pulsing headlights, to me, are the visual equivalent of loud pipes. No question they are attention getters, but I find them annoying coming at me and even worse in my mirrors if they are following.

    A non-riding friend likes them - he knows for sure it is a motorcycle coming at him.

    Your opinions?
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  2. #2
    2 kids = 1 sidecar angysdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    In the woods, N of Montr?®al, Qc
    Posts
    816
    I find them irritating. You do notice the bike though. Imagine if every vehicule had them!!!

    I agree with your comparison to loud pipes. Not a way to make friends.
    Last edited by angysdad; 10-10-2010 at 09:53 AM. Reason: poor grammar
    Big D
    '85 K100/EML

  3. #3
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Posts
    777
    FWIW, I have a Kisan modulator on my R1200R., Likewise, I have a Kisan Trailblazer flasher bulb in the tail light socket, as well as two 16-led Hyperlite modules that are wired to continuous flash mode when the brakes are applied.

    Before adding all this, I always had cars encroaching intersections, or pulling out as I approached them. Afterward, the cars tend to say stopped and the people are looking to see what I am. This is good!

    Cars to the rear now stop way back when I apply brakes, and do not creep up on my rear like they previously did. This is good too !!

    I also wear a bright yellow helmet, and hi-vis lime green Motoport suit. Being visable is GOOD !

    I also will switch off the headlight modulator when riding in groups unless I am the lead rider, and will do the same when on the interstates. Otherwise, I don't care if I piss of cagers as long as they see me, and stay away.

    The products:
    Kisan headlight modulator. This is a 4 year old model, and the newer ones, I believe, use a set of ballast resistors in place of the ballast lamp on this one:



    Hyper-Lite modules:


    Kisan taillight bulb module:
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 10-10-2010 at 08:36 PM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  4. #4
    Dances with Curves
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Southern New Hampshire
    Posts
    235
    Maybe it's because I ride, but I always see the motorcycle and identify it as such before I notice the flashing headlight if there is one. Same with those little lights down by the axle or on the engine guards. I see them, but only after I've already seen the bike.

    What Does make me see a bike sooner is a very bright headlight or headlights. The brighter the better. I use an extra bright light in my headlamp when available, and always carefully aim my headlight right at eye level for oncoming traffic. I don't ride at night, so any detrimental effect this has one seeing the road doesn't matter to me. I always ride with my high beam on, and right in people's eyes. This does annoy people, but they see me. I haven't had a cager fail to see me since I started doing this, about three years and 40,000 miles ago.

    I have noticed that the three across headlamp cluster cruisers use makes me see the bike sooner, but only if the lights are very bright, which they tend to be.

    I don't see this as the equivalent of loud pipes at all. Loud pipes annoy everyone for blocks around. Bright headlights are specifically targeted at people who are in a position to, and often do, seriously harm us. They also aren't nearly as annoying.
    Dave Geyer - Merrimack NH USA
    2010 Cross Country Trip Blog
    '09 R12R, '02 GZ250. BMWMOA #112827
    If it ain't bust, don't fix it.

  5. #5
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mansfield,MA
    Posts
    5,886
    I'm going to move this over to the Gear section as it's equipment for most any bike.
    Headlight modulators and visibility accessories are a great topic. Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  6. #6
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Full timr RV'er, where we park is home. No fixed address or location.
    Posts
    2,223
    My old department put them on all the work bikes and the riders, including me, feel they are worth the money to install on the bikes. I have a modulator on my bike and use it in town. On the highway I run with the standard low beam. As a professional rider I like them, a lot.

    Having said that, there is a proviso. One should not depend on the light to keep you safe. It is just one more tool in the effort to be seen and avoid collisions.
    DEFINITION OF A VETERAN A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life."
    Author Unknown

  7. #7
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    N. Dallas 'burb
    Posts
    778
    Do a search and you'll find a couple of long and contentious threads on this issue. The two camps are:
    1. It pisses people off which the motorcycle community doesn't need and can't afford, disrupts traffic because people are surprised and think it might be the police, dangerously creates target fixation, is a passive safety action so is inherently not effective, makes for more light pollution on roads that are already filled with too many distractions, and no objective study has found them effective.
    2. I don't care about any of the above because I believe I'm safer.

    Put me camp one. You are safest when you rely on active safety measures (i.e.., the way you ride, pay attention, and act accordingly). Passive measures, where you rely on others seeing you for your safety, can be fine, although their effectiveness has never been proven. Nobody argues that it's bad to wear Hi-Viz, white helmets, reflective stickers, etc... But you cross a line when you annoy people. And the response that "all it takes is one person to notice" is another way of saying that I have an excuse for being a poor rider and bad neighbor. I don't care if you're wearing Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, you are safest when you ride smart.

    Rant over!
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fillmore, California
    Posts
    1,016
    Mrcindy seems to have it all in a nutshell, couldn't be better said! I will add one thing though...loud pipes do NOTHING to save lives! In a buttoned up cage, you can't hear them unless they are next to you, and by then, it's all too late!

    If one decides to use a headlight modulator, I think that the on-off switch is an important component...there are times where it would obviously be better off left off, and then turned back on, in say, heavy traffic situations...also, it becomes a thinking thing and the rider doesn't automatically depend on the gadget for his own safety.

    I'm always VERY cognizant of cross traffic, and traffic turning left across my path, and in those situations, I cover the dimmer switch so I can manually modulate my headlight if I have any doubt that the cager might not see me...Yes, there are those situations where I might miss the signs, but that's what riding is...accepting a certain amount of risk for a certain amount of pleasure...

  9. #9
    Comfortably road numb Boingo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    Posts
    288
    In a multi vehicle accident involving a motorcycle verses a car, what statement is most likely said by the driver of the car?

    ÔÇ£I didnÔÇÖt see them?ÔÇØ

    This problem is not limited just to the US. I stole this from a UK web siteÔÇØ

    The acronym SMIDSY, short for "sorry mate, I didn't see you", is used by British and Australian motorcyclists and cyclists to describe collisions in which a car driver fails to perceive a two-wheel user (see motorcycle safety). It is estimated by the UK Department of Transport that SMIDSY incidents account for around 25% of all motorcycle accidents.

    http://www.motorcycleinfo.co.uk/inde...&pageId=252282

    I was kinda surprised to hear it was only 25%, but even at that, something to consider.

    There are other factors at play here. We have all been in the situation where we have made eye contact with a driver, only to have them pull out in front of you. They were looking in your direction, but failed to see you. Here is an interesting article on Motion Camouflage

    http://www.motorcycleinfo.co.uk/inde...&pageId=146841

    So even responsible drivers are dangerous, what about the distracted ones? You know, the guy/gal on the phone, yelling at the kids in the back seat, eating, reading the newspaper, doing their nails (no kidding, I have witnessed the last two first hand). That stuff gives me nightmares.

    What can be done to reduce the risk in a risky sport when faced with the above situations? SEE (search, evaluate, and execute) is recommended by the MSF. Defensive riding, circle of safety, exit routes, riding like you are invisible are also necessary. Most if all experienced riders would place visibility high on this list. Bright protective reflective riding gear, white, or bright colored helmet, safety vest, high beams are also helpful. And headlight modulators.

    I have been using the Kisan headlight modulator for 5 years now, covering about 75,000 miles (yeah, weak, but the wife pushed out two rug rats during that time). Crossed the country with it, used it all over North America (sans Mexico). Three times I have heard the ÔÇ£You know you headlight is flashingÔÇØ, ÔÇ£Yeah, it makes me more visible. Hope it didnÔÇÖt bother youÔÇØ, ÔÇ£Nah, but we did notice you from far awayÔÇØ.

    Quote Originally Posted by mistercindy View Post
    It pisses people off which the motorcycle community doesn't need and can't afford, disrupts traffic because people are surprised and think it might be the police, dangerously creates target fixation, is a passive safety action so is inherently not effective, makes for more light pollution on roads that are already filled with too many distractions, and no objective study has found them effective.
    Rant over!
    I humbly disagree. If we were to poll Joe/Jane Driver, I would be stunned to find headlight modulators on their list of motorcycle complaints. I have yet to meet anyone that my modulators have turned into a raving bundle of rage, or leave a swath of chaos and destruction in my wake. The University of Michigan did a study that determined:

    The results of the study indicate that daytime conspicuity can be significantly improved by:
    1. Causing the headlamp to modulate at a rate of about 3 hz.
    2. Riding with the headlamp on.
    3. Wearing high visibility (fluorescent) garments.


    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstr...1.0001.001.pdf

    I use one to lower me a step on the ladder of risk. Personally, I think it makes me look like a dork, but know that my family and friends would be bummed out if I became roadkill.
    Scott Wynter
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    1971 R75/5 SWB, 2000 R1100R
    BMWMOA, Central Cal, IBA, MFS Ridercoach, ECV.

  10. #10
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Just north of Seattle, WA
    Posts
    2,806
    Quote Originally Posted by mistercindy View Post
    Do a search and you'll find a couple of long and contentious threads on this issue. The two camps are:
    1. It pisses people off which the motorcycle community doesn't need and can't afford, disrupts traffic because people are surprised and think it might be the police, dangerously creates target fixation, is a passive safety action so is inherently not effective, makes for more light pollution on roads that are already filled with too many distractions, and no objective study has found them effective.
    2. I don't care about any of the above because I believe I'm safer.

    Put me camp one. You are safest when you rely on active safety measures (i.e.., the way you ride, pay attention, and act accordingly). Passive measures, where you rely on others seeing you for your safety, can be fine, although their effectiveness has never been proven. Nobody argues that it's bad to wear Hi-Viz, white helmets, reflective stickers, etc... But you cross a line when you annoy people. And the response that "all it takes is one person to notice" is another way of saying that I have an excuse for being a poor rider and bad neighbor. I don't care if you're wearing Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, you are safest when you ride smart.

    Rant over!
    Put me in camp #2. If you see me, you won't hit me. I used to not have one. People didn't see me. After I got one, people saw me. That's the only factor that matters in my opinion. It's not the visual equivalent of "loud pipes save lives", because loud pipes don't save lives - but headlight modulators do. If loud pipes pointed forwards instead of backwards, and the Doppler Effect didn't exist, then loud pipes might save lives - but those limitations don't also apply to a headlight modulator.

    Sure - I've had drivers pull over for me, thinking I was a cop (I am on a white RTP, after all). Heck, I've even accidentally pulled over transit buses who thought I was a cop. So what? That means they saw me. Mistakes and assumptions made after they saw me are their own problems. Maybe they'll make an effort to learn or realize that unless the flashing lights are some combination of blue and white or red and white, there is no reason to pull over.

    In the mean-time, I've been spotted and avoided by other motorists thanks to my modulating headlight.

    My only complaint about the modulating headlights is their use around dawn and dusk. They will come on only intermittently as the ambient light sensor tries to figure out if it's bright enough to activate the flash function, so they are essentially useless for about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Benton, AR
    Posts
    1,195
    Quote Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
    Maybe it's because I ride, but I always see the motorcycle and identify it as such before I notice the flashing headlight if there is one. Same with those little lights down by the axle or on the engine guards. I see them, but only after I've already seen the bike.

    What Does make me see a bike sooner is a very bright headlight or headlights. The brighter the better. I use an extra bright light in my headlamp when available, and always carefully aim my headlight right at eye level for oncoming traffic. I don't ride at night, so any detrimental effect this has one seeing the road doesn't matter to me. I always ride with my high beam on, and right in people's eyes. This does annoy people, but they see me. I haven't had a cager fail to see me since I started doing this, about three years and 40,000 miles ago.

    I have noticed that the three across headlamp cluster cruisers use makes me see the bike sooner, but only if the lights are very bright, which they tend to be.

    I don't see this as the equivalent of loud pipes at all. Loud pipes annoy everyone for blocks around. Bright headlights are specifically targeted at people who are in a position to, and often do, seriously harm us. They also aren't nearly as annoying.
    +1

    Ralph Sims

  12. #12
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Prairieville, Louisiana
    Posts
    777
    Now about the proper engine oil .........



    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  13. #13
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Flyover Country = Southern Illinois
    Posts
    6,493
    Quote Originally Posted by dhgeyer View Post
    Maybe it's because I ride, but I always see the motorcycle and identify it as such before I notice the flashing headlight if there is one. Same with those little lights down by the axle or on the engine guards. I see them, but only after I've already seen the bike.

    What Does make me see a bike sooner is a very bright headlight or headlights. The brighter the better. I use an extra bright light in my headlamp when available, and always carefully aim my headlight right at eye level for oncoming traffic. I don't ride at night, so any detrimental effect this has one seeing the road doesn't matter to me. I always ride with my high beam on, and right in people's eyes. This does annoy people, but they see me. I haven't had a cager fail to see me since I started doing this, about three years and 40,000 miles ago.

    I have noticed that the three across headlamp cluster cruisers use makes me see the bike sooner, but only if the lights are very bright, which they tend to be.

    I don't see this as the equivalent of loud pipes at all. Loud pipes annoy everyone for blocks around. Bright headlights are specifically targeted at people who are in a position to, and often do, seriously harm us. They also aren't nearly as annoying.
    Are you concerned that your bright light, aimed directly at their eye level, may prevent them from seeing other hazards? Or even make it difficult to judge just how far away your are or how quickly you are approaching?
    Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to

    Charter Member "High Town" crew.

  14. #14
    Dances with Curves
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Southern New Hampshire
    Posts
    235
    Quote Originally Posted by SIBUD View Post
    Are you concerned that your bright light, aimed directly at their eye level, may prevent them from seeing other hazards? Or even make it difficult to judge just how far away you are or how quickly you are approaching?
    No. I don't rely on the cager to judge my speed. As long as he/she sees me, my chances of survival get better. If it's a question of timing my arrival at a point where someone looks like they're turning left in front of me, I'll slow down or speed up to avoid any potential conflict. Yes, I actually do this as normal practice. People turning out of side roads and parking lots are about as much of a hazard as left turners in my view. That's what caused the one accident I've had, and it's why I do what I do. They don't have to judge my speed with any degree of precision, but I want them to know I'm there.

    Bright as my headlight is, even in someone's eyes, it won't blind them to other road hazards. I've gone out in front of my bike and looked at it myself from car seat height. Actually, doing that a few times is how I aim it. It's bright enough to be annoying, definitely gets attention, but I have never seen any indication that it causes a hazard.

    Since I'm making another post in this thread anyway, I'd like to agree that no visibility strategy is a substitute for defensive riding, as has been pointed out by others above. I also wear a HI VIZ motorcycle jacket and white helmet along with my bright headlight. But I still ride like I'm invisible.
    Dave Geyer - Merrimack NH USA
    2010 Cross Country Trip Blog
    '09 R12R, '02 GZ250. BMWMOA #112827
    If it ain't bust, don't fix it.

  15. #15
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Flyover Country = Southern Illinois
    Posts
    6,493
    I agree. Visual pollution for sure.

    Legal in all 50 states by Federal rule. Don't disagree that riders have the right to use them. But they sure pi$$ people off when the bike is behind you for mile after mile.
    Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to

    Charter Member "High Town" crew.

Posting Permissions

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