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Twins Talk Discussion of Hinckley Triumph Twin related matters and topics. Sponsored By: Throttle Mojo

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Old 10-15-2008, 09:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Modulating Headlights?

A little blurb in the latest "American Motorcyclist" indicates that the police in Topeka, Kansas have installed modulating headlights on their cycles to increase awareness. What is more interesting is that the article indicates that modulating headlights "are legal in all states under federal law."
True?
I was under the impression that even modulating brake lights were illegal. Before I installed my modulating brake light, I surveyed a number of Twin City police, who all said, while it was not legal, technically, no officer would cite a biker who was endeavoring to increase safe riding by having such a brake light.
Same with headlights?
And if so, any suggestions for an appropriate headlight?
All the best.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know about federal law, but one of the motorcycle officers that taught a motorcycle survival class quoted chapter and verse of the Oklahoma statutes that make modulating headlights and brake lights LEGAL in Oklahoma. His suggestion was to use them, use auxiliary lighting--anything that makes you more visible to the auto drivers.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok I am sorry but modulating brake lights? I would think those are illigal for a reason. Those have to be one of the worst motorcycle ideas I have ever heard. Youa re trying to increase your awareness right? So why make it look like you are braking then not braking braking then not braking. That doesnt increase your awareness that makes your actual braking invisible to the guy following you....

Sorry but I would never put modulating brake lights on. I understand that when you actually apply the brakes the light stays bright but I dont think in my opinion these are a good idea.

Modulating headlights drive me nuts as well..... I spent along time as a rotating electrical (starters and alternators) rep and everytime I see modulating headilghts I think that motorcycle has a regulator problem. Oh well, they did the job and got my attention.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The "modulating brake lights" flash in a manner that leaves no doubt that the rider is braking.

Some people claim that the modulating headlights cause problems because opposing driver thinks the rider is "flashing" them to go ahead (and turn left, whatever).
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltobonneville View Post
The "modulating brake lights" flash in a manner that leaves no doubt that the rider is braking.

Some people claim that the modulating headlights cause problems because opposing driver thinks the rider is "flashing" them to go ahead (and turn left, whatever).

+1 on both accounts.
Modulating headlights likely get drivers attention. I sure notice them.
Personally I've chosed to put BRIGHT PIAA running lights on my Kingpin and wear a Hi-Viz vest at all times.

When stopping with a car behind me, I often manually "flash" the brakes by use of the hand brake or foot brake to alert cell-phone yakking cagers that I'm stopping. It seems to work.

I'd like to see the statute that prohibits automatic brake flashers.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My description of my brake light was not very illuminating .
The light flashes quickly, and brightly, for a second or two, and then stays on "solidly" until the brake is released.
The statue forbidding them is on the books. It is designed to designate and protect only certain vehicles which need a disticnt look- highway equipment, police, ambulances, etc. As I said though, I have been told that no rider would receive a citation for having a flashing brake light.
My motivation for getting it was after I was rear ended at a stop sign by the proverbial soccer mom in her SUV, yapping on her cell phone.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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One way I use my brake light flasher is if I'm stopped at a traffic light or stop sign and see someone approaching from behind. I release the brake and re-apply it to start the brake light flashing rapidly again.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This from a WebBikeWorld review of brake light modulators...

"Although there are U.S. and Canadian regulations governing the use of headlight modulators, which are legal in all 50 states and Canada, there are no similar regulations governing the use of brake light flashers. But this hasn't prevented motorcyclists from modifying or increasing the output of their brake lights, or from installing additional lighting in the hopes of improving their rearward visibility."

I'd like to see a cager - or cop! - make a stink about a bike with a brake light modulator.

"I swear officer, I thought the motorcycle was an emergency vehicle so I slammed into the rear of it!"

Ride safe guys.
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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reguardless, legal or not has never stopped us

We all use exhaust, turn signal, etc. that aren't "legal". I'm definitely going to put a modulating headlight in, it's a mater of visibility and safety, period.
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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In lieu of modulating brake lights, take a look at Hyperlites. I have them on my Strom along with a headlight modulator & big PIAA lights. The Hyperlites are VERY bright and you keep your brake light as is.

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