Avoiding cagers turning left - Page 3 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #21 of 44 Old 09-17-2018, 11:36 PM
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Location: Bellingham, WA
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Gotta disagree with the practice of riding with the high beam on. It just doesn't make sense to blind the person you're trying to get to see you. A good number of riders around here seem to do it. When I see them on the road coming toward me, I find with many that I have to avert my eyes and cannot tell AT ALL what their distance or speed is. I err on the side of caution in that situation, but many don't, and some might even see it as an excuse to do whatever they want. I like using multiple lights on the front and back. Since I went to a triangle light pattern on the front, I seem to have far fewer incidents. My 2¢.
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post #22 of 44 Old 09-18-2018, 12:03 AM
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Regarding the high beam, I tend to agree with Bentwee above. However, since all lighting systems are different, I say get off the bike and look at your lights from the perspective of a driver. Check what low beam and high beam looks like at various distances and under different lighting conditions, and also auxiliary lighting if you have it. I've had my son ride up and down the road while I observe from various distances. When I'm out riding in the country in the middle of a sunny day I have used high beam, but I never would use high when riding in traffic anytime, or anywhere at night when there's oncoming traffic.

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post #23 of 44 Old 09-18-2018, 12:04 AM
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Don't flash but put the high beams and horn on full bore.

Having ongoing argument ( low level bantering but she knows I'm serious ) about u turns from parking spaces here in Cairns,

It's a fav trick here despite there being roundabouts just a few hundred meters up the road. ( every road )

I am hyper suspicious of any parked but still in the car driver especially someone looking at directions etc.

They are distracted and a casual glance will not pick up a motorcycle in the rear view mirror and they'll do a full curb to curb U turn.


I also concur with not riding with high beams ever in traffic night or day. It's illegal for starts and annoys drivers ( including me )
The switch up to high beams is what makes you noticed but don't flash except to pass,

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Last edited by Macdoc; 09-18-2018 at 12:07 AM.
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post #24 of 44 Old 09-18-2018, 10:38 AM
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Quebec passed a law, I think it was last year or the year before, allowing motorcyclists to ride with their high beams on during daylight hours. Does make you more visible in an annoying sort of way. I prefer the triangle light pattern and strategic lane positioning to make myself more visible. Keeping an eye on those front wheels and ready to brake goes a long way too.
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post #25 of 44 Old 09-18-2018, 10:50 PM
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Agree on not flashing the high beams, but does anyone run a headlight modulator? It's a noticeable "flicker" type effect that grabs attention without looking like just flashing the high beam.

Skene also makes running lights with a similar effect that you can pick up in your peripheral vision.

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post #26 of 44 Old 09-19-2018, 12:34 AM
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There's a lot of varying opinions on modulators. It is possible if someone glances at you they might think you're just flashing your headlight, as in "go ahead". I had one on my first bike, a Vulcan 500, as I wanted to do everything I could to be visible. One of the big downsides for me was that it seemed cars always slowed way down when I got behind them, I assume thinking I could be LEO. I haven't had one since, but have done many of the things listed above.

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post #27 of 44 Old 09-19-2018, 07:45 PM
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I had a modulator on my single headlight cruiser and nobody ever pulled out in front of me, in fact cagers often waited when I was a full block away for me to pass thinking I was an emergency vehicle. I did not bother with that on my Vee, since it had more than one light, my V2 needed two aux lights added though.

Single headlight bikes are dangerous IMO, I recall one day when I was taking the car to work, it was early morning, and still dark, and I looked right down the road and only saw street lights, so started to go, but then I looked again and one of them was moving, it was a motorcycle. The color of the bulb exactly matched the street lights.

Everyone needs to have the triangle light pattern for visibility I think, and maybe consider something other than 6k color too.

If a cager is only going to look your direction once, you want him/her to see you. Get the brightest most annoying helmet color you can find too, and any glowing clothing is also a bonus.
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post #28 of 44 Old 11-13-2018, 10:25 PM
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What is this "triangle light" you speak of?
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post #29 of 44 Old 11-14-2018, 07:56 AM
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Not necessarily "Triangle Lights", but more like triangulation of lights. See how in the attached pic the lower lights on my crash bars create a triangle of sorts with my headlight(s)
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post #30 of 44 Old 11-14-2018, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by RLBranson View Post
What is this "triangle light" you speak of?
We referred to it as "the triangle effect". Several studies have been done that proved that a certain configuration of lights on the front of a motorcycle increased it's visibility/speed/distance to motorists:

from this article:

"Many years ago the railroad industry determined that the most conspicuous lighting arrangement, and safest, was to have a triangle of forward facing lights, the largest, brightest light at the top and two slightly smaller/dimmer lights mounted horizontally below it. This configuration had benefits that might not be immediately obvious. Most notably, when a train is moving toward you the two bottom lights appear to get farther apart. Thus, you not only recognize the lights as coming from a train, but you can tell if it is moving toward you, and you can even estimate at what speed.

A motorcycle can have exactly the same lighting advantage. If you mount running lights below your headlight you have created that magic triangle. When seen from the front you no longer look like a far distant car. Since nobody expects to see a train coming toward them on a public road, you are recognized for being 'something else' - indeed, almost certainly a motorcycle."

A single headlight, or two closely stacked headlights can't have the same effect as the triangle. I use the triangle and SMIDSY all the time and very seldom use my horn. If you are blowing a horn to warn a driver, you got too close to the threat to start with.

PS: in this day and age maybe we need to come up with more "attention getters" on the rear of the bike...maybe a RED Triangle back there.....the times, they are a changin.
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Last edited by Motor7; 11-14-2018 at 09:13 AM.
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