Misinterpreted Headlight Modulator

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by paulcbrowne, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. paulcbrowne

    paulcbrowne Adventurer

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    Being a bit paranoid since an accident two years ago, I added a headlight modulator to hopefully increase my visibility. Today, at a busy intersection waiting to turn right, a car pulled right in front of me from the oncoming lane. As it turns out, it was someone I know. We were also headed to the same place and, when we had parked, I thanked him (!) for cutting in front of me. He responded that he thought I was flashing my lights to tell him to go ahead of me.

    He's actually a pretty nice guy, and so I thought about what he had said. The particular intersection is difficult to make a left hand turn, and one can sometimes have to wait for another light cycle if no one lets them turn. I can see how he understood my lights flashing at him.

    I'm now rethinking the use of the headlight modulator. To some it's aggravating, but if it's at all likely to be misunderstood, maybe it's not such a great safety addition.
    #1
  2. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    That pretty much sums it up.
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  3. GDI

    GDI Adventurer

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    :lurk
    #3
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    :nod

    Annoying too!:deal

    Jim :brow
    #4
  5. Downer

    Downer Downer

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    I never understood why riders didn't think they would be confused for flashing the headlight.
    #5
  6. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Bingo! Half the population thinks you are giving up your right of way.

    NOT Good! :1drink
    #6
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    There are definitely complications using those, such as being mistaken for law enforcement, and having people pulling into the gravel to get out of your way (possibly throwing gravel into the road ahead of you), or mistaken as a signal of some kind.

    The general premise of increasing visibility is a good idea, and can be achieved in other ways.

    I read somewhere (it may have been in the book Proficient Motorcycling) that the 3 main things that help are:

    1. more than one color (all one color can blend into traffic)
    2. an overall triangle shape of lights (the brain can interpret side by side as a more distant car)
    3. moving lights (sometimes they just plain don't notice you)

    If you don't want the modulator, 2 amber lights mounted to either the forks, or the mirrors (I just saw this one recently) will achieve the other 2 improvements. I think 2 different type of lights would also work, such as a combination of standard and LED.

    The modulating taillight is a completely different animal, and very effective I think.
    #7
  8. Isorg

    Isorg Been here awhile

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    who the hell flashes their headlight to other traffic? This is a stupid thing.
    #8
  9. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    its a big thing in other countries
    #9
  10. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    ...and with Gold Wing riders. I would say 4 out of 5 have it on their bikes.
    #10
  11. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    Flashing twice tells truck drivers it's clear to pull over. Many others use the same signal. Trucks have enough trouble in hilly areas so if it's clear I will flash my lights twice. Being extra considerate to truck drivers seems to be returned with interest. I don't put myself too close behind, but will let a truck in if their momentum (or lack of momentum) shows they will soon need to change lanes.

    This isn't flashing brights; it's off, on, off, on.

    It's easier with pre-'76 motorcycles.

    (I don't have a headlight modulator.)
    #11
  12. Chuckracer

    Chuckracer Jerkus Maximus

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    Great. But riding into an intersection with a headlight flashing is borderline suicide.
    #12
  13. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    I don't like anything about them.
    #13
  14. Norhasken

    Norhasken Tryin' to find my way

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    Yup.
    #14
  15. Norhasken

    Norhasken Tryin' to find my way

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    Do you actually have any on the road driving experience?
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  16. Florida Lime

    Florida Lime Long timer

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    As stated, and as often as possible -R'ville, N.C.
    I read this thread, and almost made a similar comment, but decided not to.

    Changed my mind, and then saw I wasn't the only one ! :lol3

    I've never cared for the modulators either, especially when I see Gold Wings with them installed on the high beam. :huh
    #16
  17. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    Please stay out of rural Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, and probably others I have not visited enough to know.

    Rod
    #17
  18. DirtyOldMan

    DirtyOldMan Long timer

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    They annoy me, with my luck they'd annoy psycho Joe, on a day when he's already close to the edge...............
    #18
  19. orangebear

    orangebear Long timer

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    That's why I ride with my lights off in the morning to work.

    If the head light if fixed to the forks then going over bumps cars my think you have flashed them.
    #19
  20. tmgs

    tmgs ...Trailers are for Boats

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    good post! they bother me, but mostly in the mountains, particularly with the goldwings, come around a tight blind curve even during the day and get nailed by those lights once and you will see why! why wont they at least run them on the low beams!
    #20