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In the history of emergency vehicles using flashing headlights, How many accidents involving emergency vehicles have been directly caused by those headlights?:?
MCs are generally … NOT EMVs.

The lights of EMVs are used to demand attention. In my experience of some years use, they alerted people to a fast approaching vehicle, as did the siren and the lights on top or in grille … but not always with good results. . Sure, they were usually successful in drawing attention away from normal traffic. There is only so much attention out there to grab, the more demanded by one takes from another, just like squeaky wheels.
In those cases where the demand for attention exceeded the available supply, when something maybe did happen that was not so good, I found that it was the refusal of the dummy to pay adequate attention to driving as a whole that was to blame. Attention is not in limitless supply.


I don't mind flashing headlights on EMVs when operating in emergency response, but I remain of the opinion that modulating headlights have no place on regular traffic.
 

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MCs are generally … NOT EMVs.
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I don't mind flashing headlights on EMVs when operating in emergency response, but I remain of the opinion that modulating headlights have no place on regular traffic.

I'm not unfamiliar to EMV as I was a Volunteer Fireman a few decades ago. IIRC, in the early to mid 60's, DOT mandated that motorcycles must have their headlights on while in operation to make themselves seen in traffic. With most all car now having daytime running lights, that advantage is lost. Just last Friday, a local motorcyclist was killed when a oncoming car turned left in front of him. I bet you dollars to donuts he didn't have a modulating headlight. DOT says I can use them, If you don't like it, you need to lead a national movement to ban them.
 

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"Emergency vehicles being operated on highways have lights and sirene to enable their operator to redirect attention momentarily, to "distract" others from other mundane tasks. If every class of vehicle is to be allowed to steadily distract at driver's will in whatever fashion desired for their own purpose, reasonable or not, soon there would be no reason to equip emergency vehicles thusly.

A huge concession was made when headlight modulators were first approved, but the approval process included concessions the cyclist agree to, like using approved modulators (no alternating or flashing, certain frequency of modulations, etc). While a legal modulator is legal, I find it is still distracting in my mirror.

Like lane splitting … though legal in many places … it has it's own set of dangers."


Am I to understand it is OK for an EMV to distract my attention causing me to look away from the task at hand, possibly putting me and others at risk .
Though legal, I should not use a modulator to get other drivers attention , to make them aware of my presence?

What about the tow truck running amber lights for miles at a time . What danger is it making me aware of?
In my area school busses run super brightwhite stobe lights . Buss empty or full. Why ?
Workers of all types wear orange or green vest . The object is to be seen .A modulator serves the same purpose.
 

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DOT says I can use them, If you don't like it, you need to lead a national movement to ban them.
So is that my only choice … I need to lead a national movement to ban something I just personally don't like?

I adjusted to them long ago. I don't have to like them too do I?

I have read these and other accounts of these MC head-on wrecks, I figure some of them had at least a headlight on, and some even had maybe a modulator …. but with so many in use (I see them often) … I think it just possible that other drivers / riders have become so accustomed to them as to no longer take note.

I don't like lima beans either, but I will still sit down and eat supper with my family and they can have all they want, Ill even pick up the tab.


:wink2:
 

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"Am I to understand it is OK for an EMV to distract my attention causing me to look away from the task at hand, possibly putting me and others at risk . Well, that is the purpose of the equipment, to draw your attention. We all know that operating a motor vehicle on a highway is a risk in itself.
Though legal, I should not use a modulator to get other drivers attention , to make them aware of my presence? I never said you should or shouldn't use all legal means to get their attention. If you want to use them, then do so.

What about the tow truck running amber lights for miles at a time . What danger is it making me aware of? He or she is required by law to have warning lights in operation when towing. That vehicle being towed, may not have working lights and it could become a free roller any bump? But you knew that.
In my area school busses run super brightwhite stobe lights . Buss empty or full. Why ? We agree on this one, ie "Why?" when unloaded … but my guess is "just a rule" to ensure they aren't "not on" during a run?
Workers of all types wear orange or green vest . The object is to be seen .A modulator serves the same purpose. " I see MCs with just a headlight easy enough, and I see workers wearing vests, even while driving / sitting in the drive through window line. I saw them before the orange & green vests became the "fashion rage" too.
The opening post to which I replied way back on page 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.
I'll only add that if the DOT & various legislative bodies abolish the legality of headlight modulators on MCs, I'll not cry over it.
If they instead all make it legal to equip any motor vehicles with modulators, I guess I'm gonna be buying modulators.
 

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CrystalPistal, A good friend of mine was killed by another motorcyclists in a head on collision. Both on motorcycles. My friend had a modulator (in use) on his bike.

The modulator did not save my friends life.........!!

Would this be proof they don't always prevent accidents.....??

Reference post # 3..........!!
 

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CrystalPistal, A good friend of mine was killed by another motorcyclists in a head on collision. Both on motorcycles. My friend had a modulator (in use) on his bike.

The modulator did not save my friends life.........!!

Would this be proof they don't always prevent accidents.....??

Reference post # 3..........!!
I am very sorry to hear about your friend.
I have worked a few Head-Ons with MC to MC, and cages to MC, & seen deceased and lost limbs result.
I wish there was a foolproof method to prevent accidents, but short of "not living life", I know of none. I can post examples drawn from my experience, but it always comes back to an inattentive operator.
 

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CrystalPistal, A good friend of mine was killed by another motorcyclists in a head on collision. Both on motorcycles. My friend had a modulator (in use) on his bike.

The modulator did not save my friends life.........!!

Would this be proof they don't always prevent accidents.....??

Reference post # 3..........!!

I am truly sorry to hear about your friend. I have lost a couple of friends while riding bikes.
There is no guarantee that anything will ALWAY prevent accidents. There is no guarantee the seat belts will always save your life. If you or anybody else don't want to use a Modulator, then don't. That's good news for me as the fewer Modulators that are out there, the more my bike stands out. Just don't whine & cry or tell me I can't use it.
 

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42: Douglas Adams' Amazingly Accurate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

Seriously gentlemen (and safety is serious business - life & death). There is qualitative data, there is quantitative research and there are exceptions to every rule. We have all seen zombie cage drivers that don't see a neon yellow fire engine with Wig-Wag headlight flashers, revolving flashing and strobing red, orange and blue lights, air horns, loud straight pipes and switching siren/wail/yelp/phazer audio devices. There's always that one.

As I have said before, I personally have no intention of irritating, aggravating or distracting anyone else for any reason, even my own self defense. But I am a supporter of all motorcyclists having available what ever tools technology provides to defend themselves. Some choose to use some or all of them. Personal choice that I support. I choose gloves with fingers, pants with crotches, jackets with sleeves and headgear of carbon fiber not cotton fiber. But I don't force these decisions on others. If I see another motorcyclist using a modulator, I know why he has it and I applaud his decision for the six seconds it takes for him to go the other way.
 

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42: Douglas Adams' Amazingly Accurate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

Seriously gentlemen (and safety is serious business - life & death). There is qualitative data, there is quantitative research and there are exceptions to every rule. We have all seen zombie cage drivers that don't see a neon yellow fire engine with Wig-Wag headlight flashers, revolving flashing and strobing red, orange and blue lights, air horns, loud straight pipes and switching siren/wail/yelp/phazer audio devices. There's always that one.

As I have said before, I personally have no intention of irritating, aggravating or distracting anyone else for any reason, even my own self defense. But I am a supporter of all motorcyclists having available what ever tools technology provides to defend themselves. Some choose to use some or all of them. Personal choice that I support. I choose gloves with fingers, pants with crotches, jackets with sleeves and headgear of carbon fiber not cotton fiber. But I don't force these decisions on others. If I see another motorcyclist using a modulator, I know why he has it and I applaud his decision for the six seconds it takes for him to go the other way.
"and headgear of carbon fiber not cotton fiber."
- I think you are right. Good humor, I had almost lost my morning coffee.
 

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I need to add an additional thorn to this issue. After getting my first modulator I found that there was a product to "Wig*Wag" the brake lights. I don't know if it is modulation or flashing but I like it because it provides the driver behind me with an unusual attention getter and that keeps them from tapping my rear fender. This is sort of like a light show, for free. I notice that folks will stop 1-2 car length behind me, sometimes more. Maybe it's only a feel good thing but I like the feeling I get when they stop far back from hitting me. And that happens EVERY time when in city traffic.
 

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I need to add an additional thorn to this issue. After getting my first modulator I found that there was a product to "Wig*Wag" the brake lights. I don't know if it is modulation or flashing but I like it because it provides the driver behind me with an unusual attention getter and that keeps them from tapping my rear fender. This is sort of like a light show, for free. I notice that folks will stop 1-2 car length behind me, sometimes more. Maybe it's only a feel good thing but I like the feeling I get when they stop far back from hitting me. And that happens EVERY time when in city traffic.

You're talking about a "Back Off" device that flashes some lamp or lamps upon application of brakes either automatically or manually. Not all brake lamps can be hooked up so, not legally. People are acclimated to seeing brake lamps come on and stay on when brakes are applied. With a GoldWing, you keep the lower steady burning brake lamps, it's the trunk brake lamps that are flashed and since they flash, they no longer meet the definition of brake lamps, they become signal lamps signaling stop. I use a "Back Off" on my trike, it does not follow people in their mirrors. My lower fender brake lamps are steady burning in nature as long as my brakes are applied, the trunk signaling lamps flash a series, then stay solid lit as well.


Different than headlight modulators.
 

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"Wig wag" lights are illegal unless you are a police or emergency vehicle. The "Back Off" products available for the brake lights flash the brake lights, but are not "wig wag" lights. By definition a "wig wag" system will flash a set of lights in a "left-right-left-right" fashion. Back Off modules simply flash the light or lights they are connected to in a simultaneous "on-off-on-off" fashion.
 

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"Wig wag" lights are illegal unless you are a police or emergency vehicle. The "Back Off" products available for the brake lights flash the brake lights, but are not "wig wag" lights. By definition a "wig wag" system will flash a set of lights in a "left-right-left-right" fashion. Back Off modules simply flash the light or lights they are connected to in a simultaneous "on-off-on-off" fashion.
Hmmmm,
I know of one rider who has his set to Wig Wag / left / right
 

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Brake lights are a different kettle of fish than headlight modulators (probably should be a separate thread).

First, there is no standard for state statutes and they do vary widely. Flashing, modulating, strobe, all may have different meanings in those statutes. Many states talk about accessory lights vs. stock lights and most states will specifically address alternating between the stock brake lights and the white backup lights. Research your state and anywhere you may be riding to know the facts before making a decision.

Conversely, the MSF recommends that you pump your brakes for the sole purpose of flashing your stock lights. They also recommend that even after you stop, keep pumping until the cage behind you comes to a complete stop.

There are numerous options available. Generally they are actual flashers and not modulators (off/on as opposed to bright/dim). Some give the option to flash continuously or flash a number of times then go steady.

There are single wire units that you splice into the factory brake light wire. Existing brake light(s) flashes or flashes then steady.

For bikes with two or four brake lights, while more work, you can buy a unit that will toggle left to right and back. Sometimes called Wig-Wag style. If you have four brake lights you could also split and toggle one pair while leaving the other pair stock.

If you have added brake lights such as one in the spoiler, you can also insert the flasher unit into only those lights and leave the stock lights stock.

There are also motorcycle specific added lights that flash. SoCalMotoGear makes a replacement assembly for the Honda spoiler that has a built in flasher for the brake light. Hyperlites makes universal kits and a GL1800 specific kit that are available solid only, flash then go solid or even a flashing version that is California statute compliant.

Lastly, many folks have added emergency vehicle strobe lights from Whelan, Sound Off Signal, etc. The Whelan TIR3 is a common one as it directly fits in the location of the GL1800 rear reflector. These lights have multiple flash patterns and some offer the rapid flashes then steady feature. As a general statement, these are the brightest and most attention getting.

I have used many of the options. I have not performed scientific research so all I have is my own qualitative experience on which to offer my opinion.

After a Honda Civic tried to mount my GL1500 I purchased a Sound Off Signal six LED strobe and mounted it high on the backrest. This worked amazingly well. Eye level, very bright, rapid flash all would readily get the attention of tailgaters or routine traffic. I liked it so well I mounted one in a similar manner on my Valkyrie Interstate and my Mini Mate camper trailer. I may yet mount one on my GL1800 and/or new cargo trailer. I would recommend for anyone or any bike.

I have used the Hyperlites on two cruiser style bikes and my current cargo trailer. The small modules mount cleanly under the cross bar on the rear sissy bar luggage rack. They did not have a taillight function so when they came on it was like a car third high brake light and worked very well on these bikes, even with the small rear profile. Several positive comments from cage operators. No negatives specifically to the lights just one Prius once that continued to tailgate, even after I waved him around. He probably didn’t have enough horsepower to pass or was afraid the Valkyrie would suck him down the air filter like a bug. On the trailer they are lower but out of the direct sun. The trailer gets so much attention that I can’t clearly attribute all goodness to the Hyperlites alone. Also used their directional lights and they work great as well.

On the GL1800 the SCMG replacement spoiler brake light had not come out yet. I probably would have just gone with that. Instead I have the spoiler with the EC upgrade, the Sentinel lights from Add-On on the speaker boxes and the F6B harness to turn the lower center tail light into a tail and brake light. I installed the Signal Dynamics XP flasher on those lights and left the stock brake lights alone. I certainly notice people “Back Off” when I activate them. So far so good (knock on wood).

When it comes to lighting, I try to maintain the triangular pattern. GL1500 had the rear fender reflector replaced with the brake/tail light. Addition of the light on the backrest gave a triangle (four 1157 across the fender/bags, two in the trunk and the strobe on top. The Valkyrie Interstate was similar except two 1157 in trunk plus strobe on top. The Mini Mate, again, two steady Superbrite LED brake lights plus the higher strobe. The cruisers had an inverted triangle with stock brake and the two higher Hyperlites. The GL 1800 is also inverted with Sentinel and spoiler on top, narrower stock lights in trunk and single brake light between the directionals.
 
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