Modulating headlight debate
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Thread: Modulating headlight debate

  1. #1
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    Modulating headlight debate

    I will never have them.
    I can't stand them.
    In my opinion,modulating headlights give a false sense of security to the rider that has them installed.
    Nothing more.
    Just like deer whistles.
    There are no statistics that prove modulators make someone safer while motorcycle riding that I am aware of.
    There are countless opinions written in support,but no real FACT based reports as I said that I am aware of.
    If there is,someone post it.
    Here are a two FACTS that I gathered from talking to people about them and my own experience.

    1) People sometimes think it is police,so they slow down pull over and this disrupts traffic flow.

    2) The light flashing is so flippin bright it drowns out the ability to see the turn signals when the motorcycle is coming at you.

    I have heard the argument countless times that goes something like this.
    "The fact that they are distracting makes someone notice and that is the point."
    That also makes them dangerous in some instances because they actually confuse drivers to the point they don't know how to react.
    There goes the safety aspect right over the windscreen.

    If you want them,install them.
    It's your right and I will defend that right with you.
    Just don't expect to ever ride behind me.
    I will either wave you by or leave the ride.
    They are distracting and extremely annoying in the mirrors.


    Doug

  2. #2
    Senior Member willtill's Avatar
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    Ah yes, the great Headlight Modulator debate.

    We all use what works for us. And as always.. opinions vary.

    Your two stated "facts" are not facts. They are just personal held opinions. It is a rare event that a cager will pull over for me; thinking I am an emergency vehicle. But that is good in a way; gives me a clear road ahead.

    They do not "obscure" a motorcycle front turn signals. If they were that dangerous; the Federal government would not allow them on the roads.

    Think about it.

    Here is an "opinion" that is can be construed actually as a fact.... I sustain almost near zero "failure to yield" events by cagers when running a headlight modulator; as opposed to not running one. As evidenced yesterday (twice) when cagers violated my line of travel while astride my F6B; which currently does not have a headlight modulator.

    If I am in "a ride" I do flip my beams to low; which disables the high beam modulation. I am a caring person and realize that in a pack of motorcycles; the modulation can be irritating to other bikers within it

    I also will turn off modulation if stopped behind a cager (such as at a stoplight); if it appears that I am reflecting too much into their mirrors. However while underway; that modulation is turned back on....

    And I do agree with you on "deer whistles" though. They don't work. Deer will do what they want. They are stupid and they cook up good.
    21 years Army (retired)
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    Actually the two examples are 100% factual to the person/persons who experience them.
    And as for "They do not "obscure" a motorcycle front turn signals"
    This is not all together accurate.
    I personally have had this happen when waiting to turn and an older wing had them installed was approaching me.
    I did not see his turn signals.
    All I saw was this bright flashing light coming at me.

    By the way I am not posting this to start arguments.

    I just want to see different opinions on both sides of "the great modulaor debate."

    Doug

  4. #4
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    Modulators - thumbs up.

    Have to weigh in on the use of them. I've been riding for 48 years, and the two accidents I was in early on were drivers pulling out in front of me at an intersection. I wish modulators were available back then. I remember when people bitched when the Feds made it mandatory to use headlights all the time. "It's terribly, that light shining in my mirror is really a distraction". I've used a headlight modulator on my bikes for at least 20 years and my "perception" reality is that they increase my visibility and therefore my safety.

    The riding conditions are becoming increasing dangereous as drivers who no longer give a s#%t about the rules run left turn red lights, ride the shoulder to make a turn right under the sign that prohibits it, make prohibited left turns across traffic to enter a business and ride the restricted median space so they don't have to wait in line to get up to their left turn lane. And I'm supposed to care that they might be bothered by my headlight modulator? Screw that, I'm tired of caring what others think, I am only concerned that I am seen as I approach the intersection or the azhole crossing the double yellow coming the other way to get where they are going a little quicker.

    I don't set out to piss people off, and if there is really slow traffic and I am in a stream of cars I will turn it off. But once the flow opens up, and there is opportunity for that texting soccer mom to pull into traffic right ahead of me, it's going back on.

    On my other bike that has a HID low beam, I had to use the high beam for the modulator, and yes, that is more of an "irritation" issue. On the F6B, I wired it into the low beams, and the effect is better due to the dual beams and quality of the lighting, with much less impact to the driver ahead of me. I don't run the high beams with the modulator; as I said, I am not out to piss anybody off. But I am not going to give ANYBODY the "I didn't see him" excuse if I can legally do anything about it.

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    "It is a topic about which I know NOTHING...so I will speak at great length"

    Just an observation, the rider who kind of brought this up originally lives and rides in the Baltimore/DC corridor. Having driven that a number of times in a cage, and seen the insanity of that ride- I would consider ANY advantage a 2wheeler can obtain, short of a handlebar mounted 50cal. machine gun, to be fair and wise. So while I might have a vague negative thought in general theory, the specifics of THAT situation, I believe, give weight to his preference. Context can change an argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickJ View Post
    "It is a topic about which I know NOTHING...so I will speak at great length"

    Just an observation, the rider who kind of brought this up originally lives and rides in the Baltimore/DC corridor. Having driven that a number of times in a cage, and seen the insanity of that ride- I would consider ANY advantage a 2wheeler can obtain, short of a handlebar mounted 50cal. machine gun, to be fair and wise. So while I might have a vague negative thought in general theory, the specifics of THAT situation, I believe, give weight to his preference. Context can change an argument.
    Agreed, depending on where you ride may justify how much if any additional safety features should be added to you bike. I do a lot of riding in town with the texting 16 year olds and texting soccer moms,also drivers over 80. So I want my bike lit up like a chistmas tree. If you are riding most of your rides in the country or in small towns, maybe the safety features that came with your bike is adequate. This is just my opinion and you can take it with a grain of salt.

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    Moderator - DarkSider#1617 Steve 0080's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flat6bagger View Post
    I will never have them.
    I can't stand them.
    In my opinion,modulating headlights give a false sense of security to the rider that has them installed.
    Nothing more.
    Just like deer whistles.
    There are no statistics that prove modulators make someone safer while motorcycle riding that I am aware of.
    There are countless opinions written in support,but no real FACT based reports as I said that I am aware of.
    If there is,someone post it.
    Here are a two FACTS that I gathered from talking to people about them and my own experience.

    1) People sometimes think it is police,so they slow down pull over and this disrupts traffic flow.

    2) The light flashing is so flippin bright it drowns out the ability to see the turn signals when the motorcycle is coming at you.

    I have heard the argument countless times that goes something like this.
    "The fact that they are distracting makes someone notice and that is the point."
    That also makes them dangerous in some instances because they actually confuse drivers to the point they don't know how to react.
    There goes the safety aspect right over the windscreen.

    If you want them,install them.
    It's your right and I will defend that right with you.
    Just don't expect to ever ride behind me.
    I will either wave you by or leave the ride.
    They are distracting and extremely annoying in the mirrors.


    Doug

    I, along with the rest of the board respect your opinion...BUT...not sure how you can have so much to say about a product that you have never been on the other side of? I HAVE used the product and know for a fact that they do help people SEE you which is what we should be after. Are they distracting, yes.....so
    " Truth is often deemed rude, blunt and to the point which is why so few make their friend " Freddy Hayler ..352-267-1553 Sanford, FLA

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    "not sure how you can have so much to say about a product that you have never been on the other side of"

    It's simple.
    I am a person who researches topics constantly.
    I just don't take peoples word for things.
    I have talked to people who do have them (a few said that they just put them on because they hoped it helps.)
    I have talked to motorists about their opinion of what they see when approached by a motorcycle that has them.
    Heck, I have talked to Police Officers,some have no opinions,some see a purpose,but some also do not like them.
    I also know what I see and what I don't see.
    How can anyone say that having them makes it safer?
    You are speculating that the drivers are seeing the flashing,but you aren't in their vehicle so you don't know what they are seeing or not seeing or doing for that matter.
    To believe that the texting kid or soccer mom is going to pay any more attention to you because you have flashing lights on your bike than any other motorcycle is more of a "hope" thing.
    If they help so much because it is a flashing light that draws more attention,then answer this question.
    Why is it that so many police cars,firetrucks and ambulances still get ran into.
    They have lights on and sirens blowing.

    And as I originally said.
    Show me one piece of documentation that says that they help.

    Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by flat6bagger View Post
    "not sure how you can have so much to say about a product that you have never been on the other side of"

    If they help so much because it is a flashing light that draws more attention,then answer this question.
    Why is it that so many police cars,firetrucks and ambulances get ran into almost daily?
    They have lights on and sirens blowing.

    Doug
    almost daily? link? vs MC run in to daily? link?

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    Sorry Rick,
    you are correct.
    I will remove that.
    Got caught up in my own argument.
    Figure of speech to emphisize a point about flashing lights.
    Just stating that they have lights flashing and sirons blowing and still get hit.

    Doug

  11. #11
    Senior Member Travelor's Avatar
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    "How can anyone say that having them makes it safer?
    You are speculating that the drivers are seeing the flashing,but you aren't in their vehicle so you don't know what they are seeing or not seeing or doing for that matter.
    To believe that the texting kid or soccer mom is going to pay any more attention to you because you have flashing lights on your bike than any other motorcycle is more of a "hope" thing.
    If they help so much because it is a flashing light that draws more attention,then answer this question.
    Why is it that so many police cars,firetrucks and ambulances get ran into almost daily?
    They have lights on and sirens blowing."


    Everything you say here is your opinion (which you are certainly entitled to), but is contradicted by those who do use the produce and have first hand experience with its effectiveness. Since you have never used the product, you are really talking out of ignorance, regardless of your so-called research. I really don't put much weight to your argument.

    Don't like 'em, don't use 'em! And thanks, I'll be happy to have you "wave me by".

  12. #12
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    Here are some statistics for the USA.
    You may be surprised by the amount of wrecks there are.


    http://www.arnolditkin.com/Personal-...ts-in-the.aspx

    Doug

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    Personally those who use them are just giving an opinion on what they believe to be true.
    Also I could care less if anyone agrees or doesn't agree with me.
    I also could care less if someone chooses to ride with me or not because of my opinion.
    I am far from ignorant.
    Use them if you like.
    I am just saying I won't.
    I am done with this subject as now it is becoming personal.
    I guess I should have seen that coming.


    Doug

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    I would think that if emergency vehicles get hit more than others, it has something to do with them "going like hell through traffic"... To mitigate this requirement, they try to attract attention with things like "flashing lights". Somebody thinks it works! And intuition has me agree. I could only imagine how many would get hit if they didn't have them... But I agree with Doug's comment on people thinking you are an official vehicle of some sort. I do tend to hate those wankers who drive around in old highway patrol cars, as they do disrupt traffic.

  15. #15
    Senior Member willtill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flat6bagger View Post
    Personally those who use them are just giving an opinion on what they believe to be true.
    Also I could care less if anyone agrees or doesn't agree with me.
    I also could care less if someone chooses to ride with me or not because of my opinion.
    I am far from ignorant.
    Use them if you like.
    I am just saying I won't.
    I am done with this subject as now it is becoming personal.
    I guess I should have seen that coming.


    Doug
    Doug,

    If you rode a bike equipped with headlight modulators; you would see the difference. In the city or suburbs; you would be aware of it within the hour of first riding with them.

    You would see and observe cagers observing you; in a new manner that you have not experienced before. Because you are a visual exception to what cagers are normally expecting. You are more noticeable. That is precisely what you and the rest of us want. For your motorcycle to be noticed.

    Whether your motorcycle is liked or not because of it; is a completely mute issue. There are people out there whom just hate motorcyclists period. But I'd rather occasionally annoy someone with a Modulator and be noticed; than be carried to my grave by six others; because I was not seen. If I only had a Modulator....

    And let us be clear on one thing. Headlight Modulators do not flash. They modulate the intensity of the light from 100% to 17% and back; within a prescribed amount of time.
    21 years Army (retired)
    ...been everywhere, seen everything, done almost everything.

    Sometimes it's best to burn a bridge and use the glowing embers to light the path ahead.

    Hope = Wishful thinking without action

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    Will
    You may be 100% correct if I had them I would agree.
    I was just talking to my wife on the subject a few minutes ago.
    I sure thought during my questioning people on this I asked her what she thought of them.
    She says I did not.
    She told me exactly what I did not expect.
    She said they are annoying,but she does notice them right away.
    I was also asked by her "how much do they cost?"
    "We need those."
    SOB now this whole damn thread is worthless because she wants them on there now.
    I don't stand a chance.


    Doug

  17. #17
    Senior Member willtill's Avatar
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    If Momma's not happy... no one is happy.

    If you love her... you would buy them (for her...)



    Give 'em a chance Doug. You can turn them off during the daytime if you want. You are in control of the modulation if needed.
    21 years Army (retired)
    ...been everywhere, seen everything, done almost everything.

    Sometimes it's best to burn a bridge and use the glowing embers to light the path ahead.

    Hope = Wishful thinking without action

  18. #18
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    I guess I have to eat crow and also have to ask.
    Who is the best vendor to buy them from?
    How hard are they to install?



    Doug

  19. #19
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    Kissan

    Kissan makes one that is designed for the dual headlights of the F6B. The connections can be a task to install, especially if you are putting them on the high beam so that you can turn them on and off if needed. But the high beams of the F6b can be really annoying (!!), so I put the modulator connections on the low beams (much easier to get to) with a cut-out switch just in case I didn't want them on all the time. I used a small SPST, you just put it inline with one of the sensor wires and it interupts the signal as if it were dark. Switch not really needed, the sensor will turn off the modulation at dusk.

    Here is picture of my sensor position. Position is critical due to components under this panel, and best to use a step drill. I put the sensor in a rubber grommet rather than the plastic mount that comes with it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    Moderator - DarkSider#1617 Steve 0080's Avatar
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    Doug, you know I love ya...but I just fell out of my chair and spotted myself reading your posts......Way to funny.... Make sure you show us your "new" lights if you come to Franklin !!!!
    " Truth is often deemed rude, blunt and to the point which is why so few make their friend " Freddy Hayler ..352-267-1553 Sanford, FLA

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