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Discussion Starter #1
So, I’m finally going to ask.

Am I the only motorcyclist who gets annoyed by motorcycles with modulated headlights?

My personal opinion is that they should be restricted to ambulances, police and emergency vehicles.

I’m curious to find out if I’m the only one who feels this way.
 
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Doesn't bother me much, I try not to stare at them, at least they are noticeable.
 

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Been riding Gold Wing's (different ones) since 1979, more miles than I care to remember, never needed one to keep me safe.

I do ride in a lot of traffic at times (check my location)....!

I find them a bit annoying (even though I don't stare at them).
 

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Not so much annoyed as frustrated. There is a defined variance between flashing and modulated, legally and visibly. A lot of flashing LED projector lights are available for cheap and there are motorcyclists issuing them, then claiming their joy over cars getting out of there way. I can tell the difference visibly, but you still don't know if you should give a vehicle the lane or hold your ground.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

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So, I’m finally going to ask.

Am I the only motorcyclist who gets annoyed by motorcycles with modulated headlights?

My personal opinion is that they should be restricted to ambulances, police and emergency vehicles.

I’m curious to find out if I’m the only one who feels this way.

As one that will never have a bike without Modulated Headlights, I don't give a Rats Rear End who I might annoy or pi$$ off. My safety is worth way more then your feelings.>:)
 

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So, I’m finally going to ask.

Am I the only motorcyclist who gets annoyed by motorcycles with modulated headlights?

My personal opinion is that they should be restricted to ambulances, police and emergency vehicles.

I’m curious to find out if I’m the only one who feels this way.

No, you aren't the only one. 0:)

I hate them … and if it's right near behind me, whether I'm riding or driving, I find them extremely distracting.


I have been on rides where I was leading the group and if someone was close behind with them, I just pulled over into a parking lot, etc and give up the lead (if I needed to give directions to aid them, there was a CB) so I didn't have to put up with it (if I knew the rider, if not, I just slowed some as I figured it was "safer for me" to slow in my distracted state) and let them "be the canary". :wink2:

When I was on the job, I'd even look for whether they were indeed flashing or modulating, and I tended to react accordingly. If modulating, I just grinned and bore it. :|
If flashing, we exchanged signatures at the least. :laugh:


I've never had trouble seeing and noticing bikes with a regular "on all the time" headlight. :smile2:
 

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We don't really see them much around here. They don't really bother me though.

Bright lights are the big problem in this neck of the woods.
 

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Two thumbs up in favor of modulators.
 

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As one that will never have a bike without Modulated Headlights, I don't give a Rats Rear End who I might annoy or pi$$ off. My safety is worth way more then your feelings.>:)
And if an irritated 4-wheeler decides to take you on (such things can happen), who wins the battle.....??>:)
 

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[

I have been on rides where I was leading the group and if someone was close behind with them, I just pulled over into a parking lot, etc and give up the lead :
They really should no be used during a group ride.
 

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on my '94SE, I installed the Kisan Modulator, it made a big difference in oncoming traffic paying attention me.

the '98SE had decent lights to start with, plus great Driving Lights, left it alone.

my '02SE after DaveO430 installed the HID low beams, I never gave the modulators a thought, not needed. the super bright Driving Lights and High Beams are always ON, except at night, then the High Beam is turned off.
 

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And if an irritated 4-wheeler decides to take you on (such things can happen), who wins the battle.....??>:)

That question is as stupid as if a 4 wheeler is not looking & pull out in front of you (as they do), You hit your horn, he gets irritated & pull out a .44, who wins that battle.
 

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They really should no be used during a group ride.

75% of the time, I'm leading the group ride, The rest of the time I'm pulling up the rear. Those times I'll ask the rider in front of me & not once have I been asked to shut it off. When I'm at the rear, when the ride leader can see me, He knows that the group is all together.
 

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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?
 

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There are instances when I turn mine off. As Dave says, group rides, if I am stuck in traffic and have to follow a car closely for a time I turn it off. Having this conversation just proves to me that they work. I have noticed that modulators confuse some folks. They aren't sure if you an emergency vehicle or whatever and slow down or even pull over.
Next someone will complain that brake light flashers are irritating. Don't leave home without it....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sounds like I’m not the only one.

Consider this. Modulated headlights are difficult to distinguish from emergency and police vehicles. Everyone seeing modulated headlights, both other cars and other motorcyclists, will do a double take to determine what type of vehicle is flashing their lights. This double take is a distraction from other things going on around the driver being distracted. There is a strong argument that modulated headlights slightly reduce the safety of other drivers in their vicinity.
 

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Sounds like I’m not the only one.

Consider this. Modulated headlights are difficult to distinguish from emergency and police vehicles. Everyone seeing modulated headlights, both other cars and other motorcyclists, will do a double take to determine what type of vehicle is flashing their lights. This double take is a distraction from other things going on around the driver being distracted. There is a strong argument that modulated headlights slightly reduce the safety of other drivers in their vicinity.

Prove it. Not with just opinions, but with scientific research.
 

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There is a strong argument that modulated headlights slightly reduce the safety of other drivers in their vicinity.
Prove it. Not with just opinions, but with scientific research.
:surprise:


I agree with the statement. I don't have to prove it to you in order to agree with the statement, I'm not trying to sway you. It is enough for me that I agree because of personal experience.
You don't have to believe me or agree with me. You don't have to change anything you do.

:smile2:
 

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Emergency vehicles as I recall have alternating side to side flashing headlamps .Left side on, right side off ,right side on left side off and so on.
How is that confusing with a modulating headlamp going from bright to dim to bright?

My 1500 has a modulator and I have seen drivers do the double take and stop, when it appeared they were going to pull out in front of me. I wish my 1800 had one. two weeks ago a car did pull out in front of me. I was able to slow and swerve to near parallel with the car. Nearly being hit, I could have kicked the front fender as I was going by.
 

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Emergency vehicles as I recall have alternating side to side flashing headlamps .Left side on, right side off ,right side on left side off and so on.
How is that confusing with a modulating headlamp going from bright to dim to bright?

My 1500 has a modulator and I have seen drivers do the double take and stop, when it appeared they were going to pull out in front of me. I wish my 1800 had one. two weeks ago a car did pull out in front of me. I was able to slow and swerve to near parallel with the car. Nearly being hit, I could have kicked the front fender as I was going by.[/QUOTE]

When I was in Mesa, AZ and had the '94SE and rode it daily to work and back, that is exactly what happened to me on one occasion.

and I did exactly that: I put a #12 Brogan into the side of his door.
I was blowing the horn, but that damn thing is so anemic, he never heard it.

but he damn sure heard that door panel get kicked.
he had me pushed up next to the center median curb just before we were to turn left onto an "on ramp" to Loop 202 to Phoenix. that is a double left turn lane, and he was in the right lane and cut right across the left lane w/o even looking for traffic by him.

the bike's tires rubbed the median, the pegs were scraping..... did not go down, and was able to ride on to work..


I ordered a Stebel Air Horn and put it on immediately... better, but no guarantee they will hear you.
 
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