The Beauty & Intensity of Night Riding

Discussion in 'Trials' started by motobene, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    My wife is French speaking Swiss. She grew up with these books, some of which we have here in Oklahoma. Humor is something both universal and language/culture-specific. I found German culture to be quite different in humor. Fart jokes, for example don't go over very well in Germany, because farts are to be summarily ignored instead of chuckled over.

    Unless that has changed....
    #41
  2. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    First shipment went off several days ago to RYP. I think the minority of this order remains to sell. Most are filling their needs first (they have an annual night trial coming up).

    It's your opportunity to score one for yourself, then there will be some lag time to build more as I have another order to fill first.

    The kit is now universal, one light for all applications, and as such, more went into the kit that previous. The universal wiring loom kit is now part of the one kit. I've now got 7 pages of instructions and info in color. That's not from the light being difficult to install, but rather to educate for a quicker and more reliable install (and so I get fewer how to? calls).

    Included are some bits to make swapping out between your daylight number plate and light super fast.

    Here's the first box being filled up with light kits:

    TBL-SQ27 Kit Ten in a Box.JPG
    #42
  3. geewizard

    geewizard Adventurer

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    I've looked on RYP web pages and don't find your light kit anywhere. ??
    #43
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  4. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Not on the RYP web site yet because they are just getting the lights in to take photos of and set retail.

    You can still call Monday and claim one. The few not called for I think will get sucked up fast, then it'll be back order for about a week until I get another order fulfilled, which will be after the second run.

    Continuing working on tools and assembly aids to reduce time to machine and build. Not exactly profitable yet, but I'm trying to be careful not to be too expensive or even the not-so-cheap bastards will buy :-)
    #44
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  5. geewizard

    geewizard Adventurer

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    Should I wait for Version 2 with the disco ball effect?
    #45
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  6. jonnyc21

    jonnyc21 Trials Ninja

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    :photog
    #46
  7. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Better if the disco ball is hanging in the section when your competition is riding the section.
    #47
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  8. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    FYI some technical issues were encountered (that did not show up in testing on my two bikes) with the RYP order, so I've pulled back to pre-production mode.

    LED reliability related to variances wave forms produced by individual carbureted bikes is the issue. So RYP personnel will be doing their night trial this weekend with the kits powered by battery, not the bike's light/fan power. I will be doing the same at our Oklahoma night trial this same weekend.

    The design was specifically made with the ability for drop-in power modification option for powering by the bikes. Now I have to speed up development of that.

    The kit is very effective, simple, and awesome run on battery, so it's not like the whole thing is not a bust. A re-write of the instructions could cover the situation, lights can be available, and the smoothing option in future would just expand power choices.

    I can run the bike light and a helmet light a whole trials event off one 5Ah 18V battery. A helmet light alone just doesn't provide the quality of light I want, so the on-bike solution fits a market need, even if powered by battery for now.
    #48
  9. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Ryan hit the stop button on availability of the Motobene light kits through RYP. Some were failing under individual-bike power, even on the same brand and model as my test bikes, which do not fry the LED (go figure). I provided information to run their lights off battery power for their night event. Ryan said he wants a product that does not require customization for the power source. No zip tying or taping batteries, for example. Fair enough, and I'm working hard on power smoothing to run off carbureted-bike power AND on a really slick battery solution.

    Those of you with fuel-injected bikes may be in luck, but I have yet to run the light on a fuel injected bike. Yes, they produce smoother power, but they lack a battery, so it's not pure DC. Will the LED lights be 100% reliable on your fuel-injected light? I can't answer that yet. I suspect so, but only real-world time can answer that one.

    In the meantime, you can buy the kit directly from me and employ your own battery solution, of which I will provide ample instructions. It's really pretty straight forward to implement, and the light works really awesome on pure DC! I can run my light a 7+ hours off my the battery solution I used in the night competition I just attended.

    It was an Oklahoma night trial. I rode Expert and won, no doubt helped by the ability to see well. Two other guys bought and used my lights off battery power and were quite pleased with the quality and amount of light.

    What follows is a brief write-up I just published to NEOTT club members regarding the experience:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Really enjoyed the 21 July 2018 NEOTT night trial under the dam at the amazing grounds below the Grand Lake, OK dam. I can't wait for the next night trial! Night trials riding has long been a fascination for me, ever since doing it successfully despite poor lighting in Texas and New Mexico in 1987.

    As one of the believers of night riding, over the last year I designed and tested a simple fast-swap-in-and-out lighting solution. My aim was to use the bike's lighting power, which is simplest and cheapest. The vast majority of bikes produce AC power for the lights, and the wave forms of that AC vary even between two bikes of the same brand and model. While on one bike the LED light will last, on another it won't last long, and that just happened to happen NOT on my test bikes (deep technical reasons).

    [​IMG]

    I designed my on-bike light to accept a drop-in power-smoothing option just in case there were reliability problems (the engineering is harder than you think), and now I know I have to develop that solution AND a slick battery solution. I may never make my development money back (we shall see), but I'm in deep into this and as Motobene (my ADVrider handle) going for broke - maybe literally - to offer the best night riding solution(s) available.

    Mike did an awesome job on the sections! He had to set them up in the miserable conditions of the hottest week of many years. The event was great and I liked us all going around as one group most of the time with Jon Stoodley snapping photos. It was a nice social bubble with riders coming from Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

    The sections were not over the top in difficulty, which was critical, as night difficulty is greater than daylight difficultly. Night riding is a little harder to do, especially when bumping up against the upper part of one's personal skills. The brain is getting less overall information on body position and tracking, so it can challenge a person in ways unexpected. Mike's section design emphasized smart line choices and a restrained throttle hand and clutch finger, with only the occasional moderately scary up or down. I found myself challenged to very carefully study lines, as it was generally a tight trial, then to stay on the line of study. Great lighting helped me do that.

    Only three of us, Mike, Kevin, and me, stuck around Sunday for a fun ride out there in Wonderland. We were out there about four hours doing hills and follow the leader. You all missed a rare day for this time of year: overcast with a max temp of 83 in the afternoon!
    #49
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  10. rokhopr

    rokhopr 2015 Beta 250 Factory

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    motobene on the night shift - I'll post more pics after I sort through them all
    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    I know there are better photos of everybody, not in the flattest flat part of a sections :-)

    That looks like the turn in Section 5 right after the 5-foot up you can just see the edge of over the front edge of the front fender. A side shot of the wall would have made a great photo! That up is where on loop one the battery mounted on the handlebar clamps smashed my pecker flat.

    I used my old, stinky, and very uncomfortable NZI helmet for mounting the second light. I found it useful to have a hands-free light while walking the sections, and in a couple of places I used the helmet light to turn my head to look ahead at the next obstacle. I didn't need the helmet light for riding sections, but the massive over capacity in batteries made conservation of battery a non issue.
    #51
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  12. fprintf

    fprintf Been here awhile

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    Do you find that having the helmet light is helpful because the main light on the bike follows the steering head? I was just imagining the scenario you describe where your handlebars are turned for balance or to go over the next obstacle but what is immediately following requires looking ahead.
    #52
  13. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    The helmet light is helpful but not necessary to ride.

    When the quality and quantity of light is right regarding the on-bike light you can see about 70 degrees either side of where the light is pointed.

    There were poor fellows that night trying to ride with spot-beam lights on the bike. Gosh, that would have triggered a seizure.
    #53
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  14. rokhopr

    rokhopr 2015 Beta 250 Factory

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    All pics by Jon S.

    Riders meeting team photo - 17 riders including 2 from Texas and 1 guy riding his first trial ever.
    [​IMG]

    Here are more pics showing the variety of lighting setups used. The camera flash is obviously lighting everything in the foreground of the picture up but if you look in the background you will see it was pretty dark. The sky was clear and the moon at about 75% illumination so a little bit of natural light was there but not much. The sections were set such that the majority of the riders in the class would likely get a zero or one 9 out of 10 times in the daylight. The goal was to have a fun trial and enjoy the added challenge of riding in the darkness. There were 7 sections and 3 loops - start time was 9 PM (right when the sunset) and awards were handed out just before 1 AM.


    This one is motobene's headlight and battery mounted on the handlebars
    [​IMG]

    This was a stock headlight with some other lights this guy used when riding mountain bikes at night.
    [​IMG]

    These two guys from Texas do a lot of night time mountain biking and worked together as a team where the guy 'minding' lit up the line with a handheld torch for the other. It must have worked as they finished 1st and 2nd in the Amateur class:
    [​IMG]

    A baja like setup using parts from Amazon and a battery hook-up:
    [​IMG]

    Another Motobene setup with battery in the fanny pack - the light worked great in the sections and on the loop.
    [​IMG]

    There are aliens after dark in Okiehomie:
    [​IMG]

    Fun time had by all - Mission accomplished :clap
    #54
  15. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Great pix of light setups. The headlamp under the helmet bill for second light is a simple as it gets, though the lumens are on the low side for seeing context while walking sections.

    Again, can't wait for the next one!

    On the light front, I have done hours of self educating on batteries and picked up a lot of good info from the RC world which is extremely battery technology intensive. I've ordered parts and will be testing a battery that I will fabricate. I can buy a battery, but I wanted to do it all soup to nuts for education, and to use the best battery cells. This will be mounted on the back of my light, no tethering to a battery elsewhere. Just snap the light on (5 seconds), and go ride with smooth, steady light for hopefully 4 hours of on time. If I can achieve that yippee! I have a straightforward, stupid friendly light product!

    On the bike-powered front, I'm still working on the power smoothing option, but that's going to take a while to work through because it's have to be tested on many bikes.

    Looking for a volunteer test subject to use my light, bike powered, on a fuel-injected bike. You get my stuff for free in trade for information. You just have to commit to really test the light. PM me.

    It could be the DC power of the FI bikes, even with no battery, is smooth enough to cause no issues with the LED circuitry. If that is true, the simplest cheapest embodiment of the Motobene light will be on every fuel-injected bike. Running a helmet light with the main light covers a fellow in case of loss of main light in kill-motor instances. Having battery power means you'll need to pop the light off after the evnt for a recharge, but then the light stays on anytime the switch is on, even if you kill the motor.
    #55
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  16. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    By the way, in the photos above, Eldon (in red) has my light on his second bike, a 2000 250 Sherco. He does heat and air for a living and as such has a bunch of Dewalt battery-powered tools, batteries, and some dead tools he could cut apart for a battery interface.

    Eldon took a dead drill and cut the handle off. We gutted the electrics but kept the slide-on battery interface and made a short tether cord with connector. He taped and zip tied the cut off handle to the bars with the handle nub rasting on the steering head nut to support the battery weight. The bike is old enough to have a cross bar, so he used that to laterally affix the drill parts. His 20V batteries just slide in. Not that there was a need to change a battery, as a 5 Ah 20V battery runs my light a ridiculous number of hours, but still, it's pretty slick.

    What battery you can use with your setup or my light depends in part on what you have around. I've got many 18V Makita batteries and salvaged bits from dead tools. I must something a battery setup, however, that requires no custom mounting, so I am working this to the next level on non power tool batteries.
    #56
  17. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    I've got a Montesa FI bike tester who stepped up, thank you. Now to find a Vertigo and maybe even Ossa tester....
    #57
  18. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Breakthroughs this weekend on circuit design for the drop-in power smoothing option for carbureted-bike light powering, and also on the drop-in battery option. This is continuing to be fun!

    Honorable mention to jonnyc21 for sending me voltage data on four bikes and testing for the light on his two 4RTs.
    #58
  19. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Four year old nuclear grandson sucking up much of my time!

    Wanted to get the Sachs revalve and mod done yesterday to get back to the lights, then my wife brought Tornado Man back home :-0 IMG_20180728_134255.jpg

    This one will get an electric trials bike next year. He just turned 4.
    #59
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  20. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    AC-to-DC power smoothing prototype work has produced as expected, and weird, results.

    As expected was a working prototype outputting 11 to 15 Volt DC. Good light quality!

    Unexpected/weird was getting over 33 Volts DC out of a bridge rectifier, toasting a light. How the heck is that possible when the AC voltage going into the bridge rectifier peaks out at 17 Volts AC max? Unless it isn't, and only intermittently. Hmm. I'm beginning to wonder about the regulators on these carbureted bikes....

    Will test the working AC smoothing setup tonight. Now it's back in the shop to finish up the on-the-light super zoot battery pack. So far, batteries have been a very reliable option for powering the lights.

    The sometimes truly bizarre behaviors of AC are hard for this mechanical engineer to understand.
    #60