Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Windham, Maine, USA
So I just finished reading on another forum. Second time in four months where they (we) are up to 15 pages of posts on this subject. But those 15 pages consist of mostly the same dozen folks rehashing what we already said. That's okay; we're all friends and brothers in this hobby and we are all learning through the free exchange of experiences and beliefs.
It is not my intention to irritate anyone or distract or confuse other motor vehicle operators. I certainly don't operate in a "me, me, me" selfish manner. But I also ride and drive in a very defensive manner. As well as anyone IMHO. I also believe, we as motorcycle operators, we are all better than average cage drivers. We are not the area of concern. In fact most cage operators are perfectly good and courteous drivers and are of little concern. None of them really mean to cut us off, encroach on our space, or put our lives in jeopardy. But we all know that collisions occur and the most frequent explanation is "I never saw the motorcycle."
First question is whether a properly modulated headlight would increase conspicuity for that fraction of a percent of zombie drivers who otherwise would not recognize us. There is no conclusive, current research to that effect, only qualitative anecdotal reports. Those that have used modulators consistently report that they think a driver did not do something stupid because they were awakened by the modulator and otherwise would not have been by a simple high beam. Simple observational opinions with no ability to verify.
Then we can weigh that against the amount of irritation, annoyance, confusion created on the 99.99% of the drivers that do in fact respect our using the road.
I can see perhaps confusion on the part of those ignorant folks who perceive it as an emergency vehicle. I am still trying to learn how other motorcyclists find them irritating. They are no brighter than constant on high beams. We know what they are and why they are used. I may choose not to have one but why would I dislike your having one? We encourage defensive skills, neon jackets, yellow bikes, white helmets, ATGATT, ABS, Airbags. Isn't this another tool in our belts?
The number of bikes I see with them is very low (one in 1000? 5000? more?) so it certainly is a rare and unique circumstance for many to meet one. Would a greater population reduce or increase confusion/irritation or effectiveness? What if they were more commonplace like constant on DRL?
So I ask again. Why would the use of a modulator by someone else be annoying to you?
2015 Goldwing - basic black
Previously: GL1200 Standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500, Valkyrie, Valkyrie Interstate many other Hondas
Ham Extra Class AC1R
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