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Thread: driving light aim?

  1. #1
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Question driving light aim?

    So I got the Hellas driving lights fork-mounted, just above the calipers on my 1100RT, and probably they'll do just what they're intended to do.

    But here's my Q:

    What's a good formula for aiming them?

    Should they both be angled slightly to the right so as not to annoy oncoming cars, yet make me more visible? Should they be aimed maybe taillight high so they don't blast other drivers' rearview mirrors? Should I try and cover a wide arc?... or maybe down and slightly to the right with one, and up and more center with the other? I'm just making this up as I go and my last thought seems like it has potential.

    PS they're white light. not amber.

    and...won't this produce some entertaining replies?
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  2. #2
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    let 'em burn

    i try to aim mine just high enough to ALMOST annoy other drivers. if the idea is to be seen then i certainly am. i do occasionally have somebody flick their high beams at me but not often.

  3. #3
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    Aim

    I set my caliper-mounted Motolights just even, or ever-so-slightly above the low beam. Then had my wife drive down the highway to check the "annoyance factor" as I both followed her, and then met her. That setting seemed just about right.
    Piperjim

    '95 R1100RS
    '61 John Deere 3010 LP

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    It depends on the beam spread angle in degrees of the light beam.

    For a headlight low beam proper aim is for the sharp cutoff top of the beam to strike a vertical flat surface (wall) 17 feet ahead of the lens at a height 2 inches lower than the center of the lens with the rider astride the bike.

    For fork mounted driving lights operated full time with both high and low beam this same standard would theoretically apply, except since they are mounted low they might best be aimed one inch below the mounting height. But a 40 degree light would still be in the drivers eye while an 8 degree spot beam wouldn't.

    Motolights says set to a 3 degree downward slant which works well for spot beams but not flood beams.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  5. #5
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Motolights says set to a 3 degree downward slant which works well for spot beams but not flood beams.
    Which is why I got rid of my motolights several years back. The amber bulbs I was using were only available with the 12?? beam spread (don't know if that is still true). If adjusted for good daylight conspicuity I could not use them at night without seriously annoying others on the road. Given the round beam pattern the only way to adjust them to not annoy people at night made them useless for both day and night riding.

    A pair of fog lights with a sharp cut-off work better for me. The motolights were probably better for daylight conspicuity, though.

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    Which is why I got rid of my motolights several years back. The amber bulbs I was using were only available with the 12?? beam spread (don't know if that is still true). If adjusted for good daylight conspicuity I could not use them at night without seriously annoying others on the road. Given the round beam pattern the only way to adjust them to not annoy people at night made them useless for both day and night riding.

    A pair of fog lights with a sharp cut-off work better for me. The motolights were probably better for daylight conspicuity, though.
    The MR16 bulbs that fit Motolights are available in 12, 25 and 40 degree beams at some good hardware stores and at Home Depot, among other places. They are a very common track lighting and display lighting bulb.

    Motolights work well for conspicuity and as a night-time low beam augmentation. If you want light down the road the a different approach is needed.

    See: http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/relaybox.htm
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  7. #7
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    +1

    with the right side light aimed a bit towards the white line along side the road; as that is what i was taught to follow in bad weather.


    Quote Originally Posted by piperjim View Post
    I set my caliper-mounted Motolights just even, or ever-so-slightly above the low beam. Then had my wife drive down the highway to check the "annoyance factor" as I both followed her, and then met her. That setting seemed just about right.
    Somers, NY

    Just enjoying the ride.......

  8. #8
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    The MR16 bulbs that fit Motolights are available in 12, 25 and 40 degree beams at some good hardware stores and at Home Depot, among other places. They are a very common track lighting and display lighting bulb.
    And 8??. The bulbs that come with the unit are 8?? lights. The 3?? downward set of the motolights assume you are using the 8?? lights. Using a 3?? down angle will upset the riders in front of you if used with 12?? lights. At least that is my experience with lights mounted about lower mud-guard level on an R12GS.

  9. #9
    leesrt
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    I adjust my mottos so that the top of the motto beams hit just above my low beam cut off. This does well for lighting up the road at night and I can run with just my mottos if my low beam cuts off. During the day you can seen them well.

    I'm using GE 50w reveal halogen MR16 spotlight bulbs (12 degeree).

  10. #10
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    hellas

    Thanx, all. Maybe I should have also specified that I chose the Hella f50's(?) that paul recommended in another post. But generally this all makes sense, tho i don't honestly know whether they're "spot" type or otherwise.

    PS I almost always ride with my high beam during the day. many years ago one of the MSF instructors suggested to our class that in case your high beam burned out( and it would probably go first since most riding is done in daylight hours) you could still ride day or night with the low beam
    Last edited by 26667; 05-29-2011 at 04:09 PM. Reason: sbelling
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  11. #11
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Go here to see the FF50 light patterns.

    http://www.hella.com/produktion/Hell..._FF50_Blue.jsp
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  12. #12
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanx!

    as always, Paul, thanx so much for the helpful info.
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

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