Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
21 - 38 of 38 Posts

·
Postpubescent member
Joined
·
36,382 Posts
I really don't care if my modulator annoys people. It means they know I'm there. For a person capable of thinking the modulator doesn't look much like an emergency vehicle. No red or blue lights either. Its modulation rate is quite rapid, four flashes per second or so to be legal, and it doesn't flash, just varies in light output. To be legal the modulation level can't exceed 80%, light cannot drop more than 80% from full on.
I find it hard to understand how a modulating headlight behind a bike can annoy another rider all that much. Those that are irritated at that must be very thin skinned. I've had modulators on the last three 'Wings I've owned and on my previous Silverwing as well as my current one. I haven't put wig wag flashers on my rear lights on my '06 but soon will. I'd put flare launchers on the bike if I thought it would help protect me from inattentive drivers. I realize there's no panacea that will get the attention of texters, phoners, day dreamers, and whatever other idiots are on the road but the modulator is another good tool to help prevent accidents.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
I like both the modulator and the brake flasher, although I haven't noticed much reaction to the brake flasher. The modulator though is definitely noticed. There aren't many around here and a lot of people around here evidently don't know what it is. People pull over to let me pass, urge me to go on at 4 way stops, and all kinds of stuff. But, it sure is noticed! And, that is why I have it.
 

·
Premium Member
1993 gl1500, 1976 gl1000
Joined
·
3,950 Posts
I have both, headlight mod. and tail light flasher. I like and use them. However there are some situations where they can be dangerous. While riding home from Washington DC this week I was following and getting ready to pass a semi. I noticed a car coming up behind really fast so I waited for it to pass. There was a really old man driving, probably doing 90 mph. immediately after he passed me he noticed my head lights flashing and he hit the brakes hard, pulled in front of the semi, within about 10 ft and still braking, causing the truck to have to brake hard also. Almost causing an accident that could have killed all of us. Now he had just passed me so he knew I wasn't a cop. ??? You never know how some drivers will react to the modulators.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
As for safety I think some good bright fog lights that light up more of the road are a must with the deer here in Tennessee. As for cars I try and stay out of their way.
I try to avoid riding at night where I live near the Milky Way Farms. Sometimes the deer here are so thick that even a whistle don't help, and more lights on your bike just makes you a bigger target... ;)
 

·
Just Winging It
Joined
·
3,327 Posts
I try to avoid riding at night where I live near the Milky Way Farms.
I'm just a few miles from there myself over by Odd Fellows Hall Church just off Buford station rd. I've been all over the USA and love this part of the county best. I used to go over to Aubrey Tycers farm on the back side of Milky way every weekend to horse back ride till they moved.

I also avoid night riding as much as possible. I also ride as often as I can.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
137 Posts
"Blinking lights do tend to attract drunks- they focus on them and it is not good."

Yep.
On my first day of work as an auto tech with the CHP there was a shotgun with a charred stock on the Sergeant's desk. While officers were arresting a drunk, another drunk homed in on the flashing lights & hit their patrol car, which went up in flames. Fortunately, the officers & original drunk weren't injured.
I suspect the second drunk fell down a lot. :cool:}
 

·
Oh - THAT guy...
Joined
·
3,286 Posts
Just to be clear- I never said these were bad (As my initial reply may have sounded). I personally just do not like them. I like those brake light things that flash a few times then stay on though.
As for the drunks, it is areal fear for patrol guys and one reason they park the way they do when doing a traffic stop. An inebriated person tends to focus on what is obvious, and many patrol vehicles have been rear-ended at traffic stops for this reason.
Does it make a rider more visible? Sure- I bet it does.

And, call me weird (it happens frequently) but the more involved a circuit, the more parts involved, the greater the chance of a problem. Brake lights are one system I want as simple as possible with as few add-ins as possible so they have the greatest chance of always working and the smallest chance of being affected by an electrical gremlin.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,799 Posts
I really don't care if my modulator annoys people. It means they know I'm there. For a person capable of thinking the modulator doesn't look much like an emergency vehicle. No red or blue lights either. Its modulation rate is quite rapid, four flashes per second or so to be legal, and it doesn't flash, just varies in light output. To be legal the modulation level can't exceed 80%, light cannot drop more than 80% from full on.
I find it hard to understand how a modulating headlight behind a bike can annoy another rider all that much. Those that are irritated at that must be very thin skinned. I've had modulators on the last three 'Wings I've owned and on my previous Silverwing as well as my current one. I haven't put wig wag flashers on my rear lights on my '06 but soon will. I'd put flare launchers on the bike if I thought it would help protect me from inattentive drivers. I realize there's no panacea that will get the attention of texters, phoners, day dreamers, and whatever other idiots are on the road but the modulator is another good tool to help prevent accidents.
I'm with Paul on this one and couldn't agree more... I have a headlight modulator and wig-wag on my bike and I too would put signal flares on it if I thought it would make it safer...

I cannot tell you how many people were ready to pull out in front of me from parking lots, side streets, etc and then they noticed the modulator - saved my bacon too many time to count...

When group riding, I will ask if it bothers the rider in front of me and the answer is usually no, but if it did bother them, I would turn it off, but when riding solo, it's always on and will be in the future... IMO, an invaluable safety device... Do some people pull over thinking I am police or emergency equipment - - - yes, some do but that doesn't bother me - it proves that they see me!!!

Les
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
672 Posts
I followed my friend on a trip a few years ago and found it to be terribly annoying. You try to avoid looking at it cause it's REEAALLYY annoying then, they turn the turn signal on and you don't even notice cause everything back there is blinking anyway. I really hate anything blinking. If you can't see a fr+%&*$+g light that's on stay of the road!

JMO
 

·
Postpubescent member
Joined
·
36,382 Posts
I followed my friend on a trip a few years ago and found it to be terribly annoying. You try to avoid looking at it cause it's REEAALLYY annoying then, they turn the turn signal on and you don't even notice cause everything back there is blinking anyway. I really hate anything blinking. If you can't see a fr+%&*$+g light that's on stay of the road!

JMO
Wow! It's good you weren't ahead of him if he had a modulator. I have to say I ride often behind friends who have a real fancy display of flashing tail lights when they hit the brakes. It's very unlikely I'd ever rear end them with all that fireworks going on. But irritating, no, and I can't imagine it being all that bothersome. But then I'm not all that sensitive, I can take it.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
28,085 Posts
Approaching some accident scenes at night I am often blinded by the emergency lights and am unsure of what is exactly in front of me and I do not consider myself old yet which is when it gets worse for the elderly drivers.

Light Pollution is what it comes down to and is across the board.
Ditto that, I approached an accident last winter going to work in the dark and couldn't see anything for all the lights. I approached slowly and stopped when I was beside an officer flagging traffic and told him he was invisible standing there in the road with all those emergency lights going. His flashlight was just another light among many.

I don't use modulators, with the HIDs I don't need them. I get the same response as those who do with drivers pulling over in front of me and I sometimes weave when I see someone waiting to pull out so they see the motion. I don't have a brake light flasher either but if I did it would be the added on hyper lights, not a flasher added to the original lights.
 

·
Postpubescent member
Joined
·
36,382 Posts
Nothing about night riding is connected to headlight modulators because they are required by federal law to shut off modulation at a specific outdoor light level. That level is about the very beginning of dusk or a bit before. So headlight modulators are highly unlikely to bother anyone in poor lighting conditions. The normal installation puts the modulators on the high beam circuit so one can shut them off at any time by switching to low beam. For those who argue that they'd never run high beams in the daytime, both Oregon and Washington state's motorcycle manual recommend brights on during the day.
The dazzle of an accident scene at night can make it difficult to figure out what's going on as your approach but one should be slowing down well before reaching the area anyway. I concur that a first responder standing in the road with a flashlight isn't a very good thing to do. That's another reason to slow down to a very low speed as one nears such a situation. Flashing brake lights do make sense in this kind of thing since a following vehicle would be more likely to notice you as you begin slowing before your brakelights are lost in the glare.--
 

·
(Rick Sheeley GWRRA)
Joined
·
659 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
What a great discussion!

Thanks everyone for participating. I hope this thread will be helpful to others in the future who may be trying to decide whether to make these mods or not. The worldly experience in this forum will be invaluable!!!

What a great bunch! :claps:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
I’m sure that there is not one, But it would be nice to see if there was a statistic on cagers making left turns in front of motorcycles by if the cycle had a modulator or not.
As far as drunks go, it will not matter what your driving / riding or how your lit up, they are going to hit you.
 

·
Postpubescent member
Joined
·
36,382 Posts
Perhaps, perhaps not but drunks are a very small percent of the problem.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
The only way to gaurantee you won't be hurt riding a motorcycle is never to sit on one.

There's no doubt in my mind the 'Wings are among the most visible on the road and common sense says the brake and/or headlight modulators increase that visibility...although by how much, who knows? Another way to increase visibility is riding with one or more other motorcycles, wearing florescent colored gear, keeping the bike positioned on the road to avoid other drivers' blind spots, etc.

We simply have to do everything we can as individuals to help others see us and hope for the best. I think treating others with courtesy helps too as each of us is representing all motorcyclists in the eyes of other drivers. It just irritates the hell out of me to see some yokle (usually on a sport bike) acting like a jackass in traffic because I know many of the onlooking drivers will lump me into that same group when I'm aboard my two-wheeler, and harbor a certain level of animosity...which can translate into less tolerance and less vehicle clearance between them and me.

I can't say for sure, but it SEEMS like other drivers give me more room than they have in the past when I rode smaller (in appearance) motorcycles. Also, police don't seem to look twice at a 'Wing. It's rare to see a 'Wing rider doing anything stupid, and that's probably why, I suppose. Maybe the general public, on some level, has the same view?...one can hope.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
28,832 Posts
I will say a couple of things here 1. the Spoiler on the back of my 1500 seems to get peoples attention more than just the brake lights did. 2. I have a couple of hundred Purple High Intensity LEDs on my bike and people really seem to notice me. 3. People are just plain stupid out there saw a woman the other day with a IPad held up on her steering wheel and she was typing she was also not staying in her lane. Finally she seemed to realize that she was about to miss her exit. Have you ever seen what it looks like when a car is hit by a semi when you drive in front of him. She survived her car and IPAD didn't. As I said people are just plain rude and want to do what they want even if it's against the law. You just put lights on your bike flashing or not to attract the attention of the normal not paying attention driver. The others you have to watch for and do your best to avoid.
 
21 - 38 of 38 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top