How bright is too bright?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by guitarin, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. guitarin

    guitarin Been here awhile

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    My neighbor is one of those guys who loves to put lights and reflective tape all over his bike. I swear, some of this stuff he's pulling off crashed alien spaceships. His latest addition is a LED brake/running light module with programmable lighting/animation sequences. THIS THING WILL BURN THE RETINAS OUT OF YOUR EYES! I don't want to ride with him 'cause I'm afraid someone's gonna get out of their car at a traffic light and beat the hell out of us for blinding them.:D I'm all for being seen, but dang there's got to be a reasonable limit.
    #1
  2. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    The reasonable limit is up to the point where people flash their lights at you for dazzling them more than once every 100 miles.
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  3. Racer111v

    Racer111v Been here awhile

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    I rode with a guy who had a spinning tail light thingy. After about an hour I had to tell him to replace it. From a distance it looked like he had left a blinker on. It was beyond distracting. It might have been safer for him , but not for me.
    I do think the pulsing headlight is very effective, but I don't see them on the road very often anymore.
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  4. pdxmotorhead

    pdxmotorhead Been here awhile

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    In Oregon the law says brake lights shall not cause glare. FOr whatever that supposed to mean..

    Seems like a "Gert pulled over for free card" for the cops.

    Dave
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  5. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

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    I have one of these a friend gave me, I haven't installed it "yet" for this same reason "riding with other bikes".
    When I do get around to doing the install, I will have a courtesy cut off switch for riding buddies.

    #5
  6. guitarin

    guitarin Been here awhile

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    Did I mention that he is a cop?:wink:
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  7. D R

    D R ----

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    Well, if the on-duty cop doesn't recognize him or his ride, he just might still get "pulled over for free." :evil
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  8. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

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    Always the biggest offenders :D

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  9. pretbek

    pretbek Long timer

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    After target-fixation has a car dive into the back of the bike at 50 mph, it is time to start toning it down a bit.
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  10. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

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    So, you ride with a person who uses equipment which may or may not be legal
    and which might blind motorists ?

    Do you even begin to grasp how stupid this sounds ?


    .
    #10
  11. guitarin

    guitarin Been here awhile

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    I agree
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  12. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    Yeah, because cops are somehow more perfect then other people.
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  13. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    If you consider the brightness of some of the current LED car and truck rear lights, they're about the same as anything I've seen available for motorcycles. Considering this, the rear light on a motorcycle needs to stand out more so it doesn't get lost in all of the other rear lights at night.

    If you don't want to be conspicuous, that's just fine. Actions always have consequences attached. We all know the universal excuse for killing a motorcyclist: "I didn't SEE him".
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  14. Griffin44

    Griffin44 Been here awhile

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    Just because many cars and trucks are being stupidly bright doesn't mean that the solution is for motorcycles to go solar in their brightness.

    I don't want to change "I didn't see him" to "he/she blinded me, I couldn't determine his/her distance and position properly and I killed him/her due to target fixation" personally.

    I don't think relying on other motorists seeing or hearing you is the way to ensure your safety on the road.
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  15. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    You don't believe conspicuity helps??? You don't CARE if drivers don't see you on the road? Wow.

    It's not so much ultimate brightness, it's what the lights do. They appear to move and flash. They attract attention. By your reasoning, police, fire, and ambulances shouldn't have those intense flashing lights on them, either.

    Lighting is only a part of being seen on a motorcycle. There are many more factors to consider, but anything that helps cut down on the hazards is welcome as far as I'm concerned.
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  16. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    +1 TTPete. It's not so much absolute brightness as it is brightness in a pattern, which can give s sense of depth without glaring

    For most of it's life my /5 has had auxillary tail/brake lights. They started out in the '70s as incandescent lights and evolved to LEDs.

    [​IMG]

    --Bill
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  17. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    I also use a headlight modulator on the high beam. It's white, and the low beam uses an ion yellow bulb. People really notice the combination, probably because it's unique. I'm working up a set of LED auxiliary fronts that use a module that induces a random flicker effect similar to a bad connection.
    #17
  18. jacksgp

    jacksgp Been here awhile

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    #18
  19. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    In front I went with a pair of 60-series Amber turn signal LED modules for conspicuity lighting (daytime running lamps, in addition to the headlight). Bright in full sun and the color is attention-getting

    [​IMG]

    --Bill
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  20. CSI

    CSI Been here awhile

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    When I had my HD Ultra, I had a tail light on it sold by a compan called BriteAssLights. It was exactly that, if you had the brightness cranked all the way up.

    In running light mode, I had it set on level 2 of three......as a running light, it was about as bright as a stock M/C brake light. For braking, I had the brightness turned all the way up, but had the mode set to flash in two sets of three flashes, then stay solid on.

    An aquaintance also had one....he had set his brake let to constant strobe....it didnt take but about 10 minutes of following him, before asking him to change it. Yes, it was noticeable......and VERY irritating.
    #20