Remembering the horn?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by riverflow, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. riverflow

    riverflow Adventurous Commuter

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Danville/Louisville, KY
    Courtesy of a loud pipes thread: (please don't start another one here, the answer is always a resounding no on this site)

    I started thinking about installing a Strebel horn because it would be nice to be able to be heard once in a while. The only problem with that is I don't ever use the horn I have now :lol3

    Sure, I don't really bother with it because it's especially feeble and jocular, but I honestly forget it's there when I have a time to use it.

    When do you use your horn?
    #1
  2. GerJ

    GerJ Blijde rijder

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    When I need to.
    #2
  3. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    That's neither here nor there
    I use my horn when I feel a need to make a vain attempt to get a motorist's attention to keep from getting run over...

    In my experience, if you have time to use the horn, you have time to take evasive action. Conversely, if I am getting on the brakes, I don't need to be fumbling for the horn button.
    #3
  4. wecsoger

    wecsoger Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    64
    When the kids are waving at me from the side of the road.

    Touch a life now; the trajectory may change; twenty years from now they'll be the ones thumbing the horn button.
    #4
  5. dwestly

    dwestly Refuses to Grow Up!

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    466
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Stock horns are basically useless. Unless the other vehicle's operator has the window down and their head sticking out like a beagle in the wind, they'll never hear it. I've given up using the horn under most circumstances. I've contemplated mounting up a Strebel or similar.

    On the other hand, when the oncoming traffic looks like its going to do something stupid, I just flip on my high beams. My Clearwater Glenda lights, normally running at about 30%, come on at full power with the high beams and that REALLY gets their attention!
    #5
  6. r60man

    r60man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    506
    Location:
    Robesonia PA
    Very rarely do I use my horn in an accident avoidance scenario. In my experience if someone pull out in front of me and I use my horn (I have a nice loud set of Hellas) their instinct is to stop. Which means I have the broadside of a car to avoid, rather than just the tail end. Now if I am on the highway and someone is merging on me, I will use the horn, but three times I have found that knocking on the drivers side window was more useful.

    All in all I use my horn more for greeting or saying good bye than for accident avoidance.
    #6
  7. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,604
    Location:
    Germany
    Once every 12,000km. Well... the mechanic does use it once every 12,000km, when he checks the whole bike.
    #7
  8. canoeguy

    canoeguy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    This.

    When I am pissed I am usually just screaming into my helmet in a rage hoping they can read the virulent nature of my eyes in regards to their indiscretion of trying to kill me.
    #8
  9. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    That's neither here nor there
    :rofl

    Have you had to resort to using the door chime?
    #9
  10. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,668
    Location:
    backwoods Alabama
    I do the same thing-- on the /5 the horn button is on the same control as the high-beam switch (the button is pushed, the switch is flipped), so the high beams are flipped on as I'm going for the horn button. I use the horn quite proactively to alert other drivers to my presence, especially if my Spidey-Sense tells me they aren't paying enough attention. I don't go around honking all the time, but I don't hesitate to give a blast from the Phasers and Photon Torpedoes. And I do that as I setting up for evasive action if need be.

    It's a jungle out there... :)

    --Bill
    #10
  11. riverflow

    riverflow Adventurous Commuter

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,009
    Location:
    Danville/Louisville, KY
    My initial reaction is always to focus on avoiding whoever is trying to kill me at the moment. Brakes, swerving, whatever.

    And I will flash my lights when I'm coming up on a car turning left or the like, but my headlight's only a few steps above my horn (both stock).

    So basically it's impossible to be heard, and you roll the dice whether or not you're seen, and then they roll again to see if the cager is going to care that you're there or not. Good to know :lol3
    #11
  12. SamRus

    SamRus Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Southern IL
    I use my horn almost every time I ride.
    If a car is getting ready to pull out of an alley, or make a left turn from oncoming direction, I just bump it for a half-second couple times, to say: "Hey, I'm here". I also do a quick left-right weave if I'm up the road and not too close to them.
    Nobody seems to get upset unless you're laying on the horn for an extended period of time. If it is just a quick blip (the sound is kinda like when you lock the car with your key-fob), it's no prob.
    #12
  13. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    925
    When you're at the end of the driveway on the road I'm traveling along. When you've got your left turn signal on and you're approaching me. When I'm behind you and you're starting to change into my lane. When you're walking and look like you're considering walking out into the road.

    Basically, I use the heck out of my horn. I might give a light tootle for the pedestrian, or lay it on for the guy in the driveway considering pulling out.

    It's a tool, I like to use tools.
    #13
  14. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    741
    Location:
    Phuket, Thailand
    …. and that should not include getting hard on the brakes.

    Lightly scrub off a bit of speed while changing direction to evade the problem, for sure. And if I feel the horn will help alert the driver / rider of the other vehicle I'll hit the button and stay on it throughout the manoeuvre; no fumbling required.

    For instance, the other evening I was going around a roundabout controlling a five road intersection. As I came to the second road a dude on a motorcycle and sidecar didn't even look as he pulled out right in front of me. I gave him a blast as I braked and changed direction to go bend him. As I left at the fourth road i looked behind and saw that he was offended, so I flipped the bird.

    The dude saw red and did a U-turn in the middle of the roundabout, thus causing havoc with several more vehicles, but I didn't bother. With the heavy traffic, catching me seems unlikely.

    I had not accounted for the brash craziness of someone who had just lost face. Before long I heard a high revving racket, and there he was coming up beside me, shouting and about to have a go at running me off the road.

    No braking involved in evasion this time. Just a gap, a tootle, and the throttle was all it took to get out of there.
    #14
  15. filmfan

    filmfan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    860
    Location:
    live free or die
    Mostly, I forget that it's there.
    I used it last year when I was behind some sport-ut at a traffic light when they ignored that fact that it had turned green.
    The anemic bleep was utterly useless, and I ended up sitting there for another cycle of the light.
    Other than that, it gets used in June during the annual inspection, and occasionally in my driveway to let my wife know I'm home safe.
    #15
  16. little foot

    little foot Scratch and Sniff

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,131
    Location:
    The Springs, Oklahoma
    I use mine in the driveway to let someone in the house know I'm home and to open the garage.
    #16
  17. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    NC
    State Inspection annual visit.

    When on my motorcycle, I subscribe to the idea, every other driver on the highway has the right-of-way. If somebody cuts me off, I let them quietly go, but, not without multiple flashes of high beam. Quietly letting them know of my presence.

    For some reason, flashing the high beam usually gets me a wave and a mouthed "I'm sorry". The horn usually gets the finger. Go figure!
    #17
  18. sarhog

    sarhog Ride far...

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    How did you see that he was offended? Did you flip him off because he cut you off, or because he looked offended?:huh
    #18
  19. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,813
    Location:
    N.H.
    Not sure about other BMWs but the OEM horn on my 92 K100RS is LOUD and I use it.

    It has snapped many comatose drivers back to reality when their brains are elsewhere.
    #19
  20. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    723
    Location:
    NW Washington State
    Your first duty is to your own safety to take whatever evasive action needed to protect yourself. Don't try for the horn if you really need to clutch, shift, brake, swerve RIGHT NOW.

    I'd rather have a pair of FIAMM Freeway Blaster horns (also labeled NAPA) than the Stebel Nautilus air horn. The air horn isn't any louder, and some are unreliable. I have a Stebel Nautilus on my bike's left side and a Freeway Blaster low tone horn on the right. When the Nautilus craps out, I'll replace it with a Freeway Blaster high tone horn.

    Never, ever flash your high beam headlights as a warning. 97.3% of the doofuses out there think that is a signal to proceed. Steady high beams might be better. I don't like to see high beams on many modern bikes with great lights, 'cuz I look away too soon and don't make the usual mental calculation of distance and closing rate.
    #20