Night Riding

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by motoracer85, May 15, 2018.

  1. motoracer85

    motoracer85 Adventurer

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    #1
  2. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    There's some good info there...although the loud pipes idea doesn't hold any more water at night than it does in the daytime.

    Aux lights are a good idea. Mount them high, like under the mirrors. And look for tight spot beams, not flood lights. You can use a spot beam at night in traffic if aimed out and down. You can't do the same with a flood light and not blind oncoming drivers. I've seen some riders say they don't care, as long as they can see. I'm waiting for them to say that after the oncoming driver they blinded was a LEO. ;)

    Lighting is really important if you ride in the rain at night. I don't mind riding at night. I don't mind riding in the rain. But I hate riding at night in the rain. The gray road surface turns black when the rain hits it and absorbs all the light that hits it. Your visor gets rain drops on the inside and does a good approximation of a bathroom window. A car could straddle a two-by-four, or even hit it and get only a rude awakening. Not so with you.

    Reflective tape on the bike is a great idea. You can buy pin-striping width and in a color that looks good on the bike. If you follow the lines of the bike, it'll look like factory pin-striping, and it isn't hard to do. Larger sizes can go on panniers.

    I've done the hi-vis stuff on myself too. My gear is bright yellow, as much as possible. I added the reflective tape to my Shoei helmet.

    It all must work. I commute in all weather and I don't have close calls.
    #2
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  3. Johann

    Johann commuterus tankslapperus

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    My single biggest problem riding at night is car drivers with aftermarket headlights, I´m guessing aftermarket HIDs or offroad only halogens so bright they are designed to melt the retinas of oncoming drivers. The first clue is normally a slight blue tint from the lights. I´ve got in the habit now of closing one eye when going around a corner when there are oncoming car headlights visible so I still have good night vision after the car has passed.
    #3
  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    The stock lighting on my Harley Road King really shines at night. No pun intended.

    The stock auxiliary lights alongside the headlight make me very visible and distinctive to oncoming traffic. The huge palm sized turn signals and licence plate sized tail/brake light are also very visible to others. It's a very noticeable difference to me as the rider, compared to virtually every other bike I've ever owned.

    I'll give the stock Harley headlight a thumbs up for useful illumination too. It's second to only one other motorcycle headlight I've ever had. Nothing fancy, just an H4 headlight bulb.

    Personally, I enjoy night riding. Almost an ethereal experience, especially out on the country roads.
    #4
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  5. WolvesLower

    WolvesLower Been here awhile

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    I just don't do it unless I have to.
    My fear always is the F' ing Deer and big critters
    #5
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  6. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    I occasionally ride Monday through Thursday on nice nights, but avoid weekend evenings because of drunks, etc.

    I agree with most of the article except the "Loud Pipes" baloney. Doesn't do anything, especially in the open country, and especially with todays soundproof vehicles. If someone is relying on loud pipes as a safety measure... they won't be around long.

    Loud pipes are strictly a loud, annoying announcement to the world from self absorbed twunts stating: "Look at me!!! Look at ME", and nothing else.
    #6
  7. Bindlestiff

    Bindlestiff Been here awhile

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    Echoing what Wolves said above, I used to hit probably 2 deer per year on average (thankfully in the car mostly.) I eventually figured out the only way to not to hit them is to avoid driving/riding in rural areas at night. Especially on 2-lane highways-- Interstates tend to be better fenced and because there's more traffic the deer are slightly more attuned to the fact that there's big scary cars there.

    All the various "gringo's guide to driving in Mexico" you read say to never ever drive at night outside the cities, which I think is pretty sound advice for the northern US as well.
    #7
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  8. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Caution: NO humans before coffee.

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    I love riding at night but rarely do. It gives a magical sense of traveling through a void. Of course, all the potholes, oil slicks, gravel, etc are still there waiting. The void is an illusion.
    #8
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  9. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    The riding at night in itself I love doing. It's peaceful, just you and the headlight vision. Be great if you knew there were no hazards out to get you though.

    It can be dangerous, as mentioned. Rain, visibility, blind corners, objects on the road, animals, etc. So I keep it minimal for those reasons.


    #9
  10. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Good article. I don't ride much at night. My vision's not as good as it was when I was younger. I try to stay visible to all the old farts like me who do drive cars at night, though, with reflective tape.
    DSCN2468 (Medium).JPG P1030580.JPG
    #10
  11. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    So you're saying they work?
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  12. leftfield6

    leftfield6 That is Mattie in the pic, was the best dog ever

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    I avoid riding at night, but I do love a late night DRIVE with the top down in my convertible. I woke up at 3 am one night last week and could not get back to sleep, so I got up, put the top down and went for a drive. Had the roads mostly to myself. Something magical about late night drives.

    One of the best commercials ever about just going for a drive.

    #12
  13. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

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    I've hit a lot of deer (7).... from both bikes and cars. Here's a couple examples of the deer strike risk at night, and it's similar across most states. Also factor in that human traffic flow tends to max around peak commuting hours and is far heavier during day, than at night.

    Stay off the backroads if you intend to ride at night in deer country.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #13
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  14. GreyThumper

    GreyThumper Long timer

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    I'm just amazed that a motorcycle writer in 2018 still cites "loud pipes save lives", especially since all his other advice is pretty sensible.
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  15. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    They may be anoying, or even rude, but if a bike is making noise as it passes through a blind spot it won't go unnoticed.

    Not long ago, noise was the only thing that kept me from pulling over on a bike I didn't see previously.

    If you are deaf, loud pipes will not make a difference.
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  16. Sugra

    Sugra Been here awhile

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    I seem to do it pretty often, through deer/elk country. Sort of stressful but I guess I find it worth it.

    Now, riding in the city really late at night when there’s no traffic is a lot of fun.
    #16
  17. TheProphet

    TheProphet Retired; Living the Dream

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    These are great charts with some very useful - and interesting - information. Thanks for posting it.
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  18. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    LOVE doing this. One of my guilty riding pleasures.
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  19. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I like riding out in the flatlands at night. No deer, no traffic. On a bike with a good headlight, on a summer night, it feels liberating.
    #19
  20. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Tell the readers what they want to hear; and they'll love you.

    The argument has been destroyed a dozen ways - logically, observationally and statistically; but it doesn't matter. Too many immature, self-centered riders LIKE that racket; and so they're going to keep on justifying it.

    Frankly, it's going to lead to more bans and more hassles from LE...and not just at the pirates. Two-wheels will make us targets.

    I already see it with the stupid Bro-Dozer trucks, with their Coal-Rolling. EVERY motorcycle gets them to click on the smoke switch. Moron-versus-moron; Open-Pipes Pirate versus Dood-Bro.

    I guess, the term I'm looking for, is "Dumbing Down." Seems were all getting stupid, as a culture; and on both sides and all sides.
    #20
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