GL1200 GOLDWINGS

Full Version: Opinion: Increasing Visibility so the cager sees you
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So I hate polls but generally just need some information. I know we all have our own opinions and this isn't meant to be a flame thread.

I am accustomed to riding where there are basically very few cagers and moving back to civilization both momma and I are very aware that cagers don't always see us two wheelers out there.

Having done some web searching it is pretty much a crapshoot as you know.

So my question is really pretty simple.

Which type of lighting option do you prefer and feel the cagers see you best especially during daylight.

1) Stock Headlight
2) Stock Headlight with Modulator
3) Stock Headlight with Modulator and Auxiliary lights below
4) HID Upgrade to Headlight
5) HID Upgrade with Auxiliary lights below
I feel that having the lights separated(1high,2low) gives you the best chance of having attention drawn to you by oncoming traffic. No scientific proof, just my humble opinion.

I'm thinking of the Harley's with the batwing fairing, they usually have the headlight and two smaller lights on either side of it. From a distance they run together as one light. While it is a wider light, it blurs into one
beam.

I have 2 bright lights mounted on the case guards, which gives a significant separation to the beams as well as additional ground coverage at night. I think this is standard on most Goldwings.
I took the bike out for a 120 mile commute today.
Saw a lot of Motorcycles going the opposite way.
Took the time to notice which ones stood out in the mass of lit cage traffic coming at me and which tended to blend in.

Single Halogen was visible but seemed to get lost in the other headlights
Bikes running very white or even HID did ten to stand out better
Those batwing type 3 lights at same elevation were brighter but otherwise didnt really standout,

The bikes that had a tripod arrangment - Headlight up high and then two lights around halfway to the ground. Now they really stood out.
I seemed to notice them even further away than any other arrangement above. Even with just halogens they were noticeable.
being visible to on coming traffic is easy..... assume they don't see you and take the necessary action, flash headlight, slow down, a blast of the horn
being visible to traffic coming up behind you is easy..... assume they don't see you gently ride from one side of your lane to the other when on a highway; pulsate your brake light in a non repetitious manner. leaving your bike in gear in case they don't stop in time when on surface streets
being visible to the car next to you at night is easy....... assume they don't see you and install some kind of side marker light in place of the reflector on the fairing. That reflector will only work if the car is pointed in your direction, not if it is next to you changing lanes!!! I installed a pair of factory side lights from the Limited or SEI (I forget which bike came with it)

I can tell you for a fact, the modulating headlight has made many a driver notice me and NOT pull into my path, the lite side markers has saved me at least 4X and the pulsating brake light (I do that with the brake lever) has actually made some drivers change lanes, but ALL have noticed me and stooped well behind me.

Assume they don't see you and take the necessary action is the best advice I can give when asked, how do you make yourself visible.
Having ridden for 30 some years although for about 20 in the middle I was occasional or only a couple times a yr, I have found that on a motorcycle I tend to be invisible.

As you state when alone working the lane in a gentle weave as you are traveling tends to help. Having side lighting helps over reflectors, Flashing brake lights or modulators as well as Hi Viz gear.

I have also found there tends to be a little more safety in numbers.

When I am out riding as the lone ranger I will tend to join loosely to another rider even though I don't know them, unless we are riding completely different. I mean if they are "commuting" and I am "commuting" and generally we are progressing along safely and about the same speed it adds to our visibility jointly. However, if they are carving through traffic I would prefer to become invisible for a bit as a rider like that is also usually not courteous to the others vehicles and drivers and I would rather not be associated as the same type of rider.

To me on a freeway or multi-lane highway, lane choice is important. If we are just making time and passing through an area I would rather be in a lane that doesn't have traffic progressing in the same direction on both sides. Inside most lane is preferred on divided highways for me.

Thanks for the responses.
as some of you know I upgraded to an HID headlight some time back.
I think it is the best thing I could have done.
(05-07-2013, 03:52 PM)elcamino121 Wrote: [ -> ]I feel that having the lights separated(1high,2low) gives you the best chance of having attention drawn to you by oncoming traffic. No scientific proof, just my humble opinion.

I'm thinking of the Harley's with the batwing fairing, they usually have the headlight and two smaller lights on either side of it. From a distance they run together as one light. While it is a wider light, it blurs into one
beam.

I have 2 bright lights mounted on the case guards, which gives a significant separation to the beams as well as additional ground coverage at night. I think this is standard on most Goldwings.

I agree totally, recently rode with 4 other bilkes on a day ride. 3 other wings and a Harley. Two of the wings an 84 and an 86 had 2 small High intensity lights on a light bar just below and on each side of the headlight, very visible in heavy traffic a long way off,big improvement over the other 85 LTD without the HID lights.These are my next retrofit for sure. The configuration of the Headlight and 2 HID lights says "MOTORCYCLE" in traffic.Harley Davidson had it right with this configuration.
a little Harley-Davidson history....
the small light on the left side was a fog light and the right side was a clear light, either lens could be either smooth or fluted
each light had their own switch so either or both could be operated
the clear light was not mounted on the left so as to not blind or attract oncoming traffic
at the same time, while mounted on the right, it was pointed a little to the right so as to light up the right side of the road.
early asphalt roads did not have the white stripe indicating the edge of the asphalt and many a motorcyclist (and cars I suppose) ran off those unlit roads while traveling through a curve.

..... and today, the location of these lights are still saving lives.

and btw, when I refer to a Harley-Davidson, I don't stop short and call it just by Harley because the Davidson's did have a large hand in the creation of the motorcycle.

and now, back to your regularly scheduled goldwinging........
I don't worry so much about being seen from the front as long as I keep my eyes open. Now from the rear especially when stopped @ a light or something I stay in first, I watch the rearview mirror for any cage coming up behind me I've had more friends get hit from behind than anything else. When I see a cage coming up behind me I start flashing my brake lights & get ready to move even if I have to pull out into the intersection to get out of the way. I would like to put more lights on the back of my 1200 then I have now because all I have is the lights on the saddlebags I want to be able to be seen back there from a long way off I don't want to talk bad about San Antonio, TX but from what I hear we lead the nation in drunk drivers. My wife rides to she has her own bike a 98 sportster and she always puts it in neutral @ a light & it drives me crazy & no I did not teach her to ride a friend did & no matter what I say she won't change.

Well I'll get off my soapbox now
Thanks for listening Ironhead
ypu might consider these two items,mount the led bar high on the rear trunk along with the strobe add-on and every time you hit the brakelights it will work thru its cycles
http://www.ebay.com/itm/370889997594?ssP...1423.l2649

http://www.ebay.com/itm/140852533353?ssP...1423.l2649

worked well for me when i use my cooler rack which covers my bikes brakelights
Thanks that might work I do not have a rear trunk on my bike it had one but it was so dry rotted that I had to take it off. I like the way the bike looks with out it. I have to find lights that I can put on the saddle bags or below, or on the rear rack somewhere in the middle of the rear.

Thanks bro
Bob. M
the place that sells the 40 led bars also has shorter ones that u might look at which will fit better for your application
Thanks Bro will check it out put my bike in the shop today to get new tires front & rear and just have someone check it out to make sure it's safe to ride and get the state inspection done.

Thanks
Bob M.
One of my riding buddies is a cop, he encouraged me every time we rode together to get a white light headlight bulb and two HID lights on a light bar below it.I listened to his advice. These draw very low amps but man do they make a difference at night and all the comments now when riding are positive. How many times I've heard "Now we can see where you are in traffic" I added the aftermarket light kit for the trunk as well and being a Trike added good stop/tail/turnsig lights to the fenders with LED bulbs to keep the amp draw down.
To add to this I installed a red LED light bar strip across the whole back end from the left side to the right side of the saddle bags and two Amber LED light bar strips one on the outer edge on the side of each fender following the curvature of the fender wells.If some one misses seeing me now they likely have a white cane. Cool
If you can't see me in traffic, ya gotta be blind!
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