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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'd be surprised if this hasn't been posted/linked to previously on the forum. But I did a quick search and didn't find it, so I thought I'd post it up.

While researching adding auxiliary LED lights to my Wee, I ran across a motorcycle-specific 2011 study conducted by the NHTSA.

Motorcycle Conspicuity and The Effect of Auxiliary Forward Lighting


They tested the assessments of left-turning drivers as to whether it was safe to turn as vehicles (including motorcycles) approached. The motorcycles were equipped with various forms of auxiliary forward lighting: low-mounted lights, high-mounted lights, fork-mounted LED arrays, and modulated headlights.

The report is super detailed, and contains WAYYY more information than my short attention span is capable of dealing with. But a quick glance shows some interesting results.

If I'm reading it correctly, auxiliary forward lighting wasn't shown to increase the safety margin (in terms of distance). However, and most importantly, the data suggested that added forward lighting did decrease the probability of drivers turning in front of a motorcycle with an "unsafe safety margin".

The relevant quote from the Conclusion section (highlighting mine):

"Although the results of this study did not provide any evidence that the experimental lighting
treatments on the motorcycle influenced the mean safety margin (judgment of the last safe
moment to turn in front of an approaching motorcycle), there was evidence that the experimental
lighting treatments significantly reduced the occurrence of short safety margins. This suggests
that enhancing the forward lighting on motorcycles during the daytime may be effective at
reducing the probability that drivers will turn in front of the motorcycle
with an unsafe short
safety margin. "

It might make for interesting reading for someone with a more developed frontal lobe and a longer attention spa.....SQUIRREL!!
 

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My observation is that motorcycles with yellow auxiliary lights mounted lower than the headlight (to give the triangle of light effect) are the most noticeable. The aux lights need to be yellow to distinguish them from headlights.

Also the forward facing lights should not be bright to the point of causing a blinding ball-o-light type of effect. That just makes the bike harder to locate spatially.

All my opinion of course but I did mount yellow lights on my bike and have them set up not to blind on-coming traffic (thread here).



Yea I know that you need to ride like your invisible and people pull out in front of fire trucks with their sirens on. Still I believe that you can try to help drivers see you. It does make me feel better, yes!
 

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It's good to bring attention to it every once in a while. The importance of alight triangle has come up in several papers on avoiding cars turning in front of motorcycles. The triangle not only gets peoples attention it helps them estimate closing speed better than just a headlight.



Having different colored lights helps a lot also. Our stock headlights are a yellowish color while most auxiliary LEDs are a hot white.
 

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Long ago, when I was a fireman, there were a number of studies related to visibility of emergency vehicle lights. The studies addressed color, duration of flash, placement of lights etc. Irrespective of all the lights, steady, flashing, red or white, we continued to have vehicles pull out in front of our engines and ambulances, or simply refuse to yield. But, what I do recall is that modulating white lights at windshield level seemed to get the best notice. Stobes (that was high tech then) were less effective than flashing incandescent lights, due to their short duration of flash...stobes later started to use groups of multiple flashes, and multiple elements to provide the appearance of longer duration flashes, if that makes sense.

Identification red flashing lights, placed too close to headlights became difficult to impossible to see through the glare of the headlights, at night.

The bottom line, to me, was that the identification emergency lights (red flashing lights on fire and ambulances) needed to be away from the head lights, low enough to be visible from the oncoming drivers level, with a longer flash time than single flash strobes of the day provided. But the white flashing lights, of adequate duration, got attention quicker than the red lights. So we understood to use white lights to get attention, and red lights for identification as an emergency vehicle. And of course, the more lights, the better.

We still had vehicles pull out in front of our emergency vehicles, and refuse to acknowledge our presence. But it seemed this was less often.

I have axillary white lights on my bike, facing forward. They are far brighter and far whiter than the low beam headlight, but I ride very defensively because other drivers cannot be relied on...not at all....


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have axillary white lights on my bike, facing forward. They are far brighter and far whiter than the low beam headlight, but I ride very defensively because other drivers cannot be relied on...not at all....
I wholeheartedly agree. As far as lights are concerned, I’m in the “can’t hurt, might help” camp. What I rely on the most are my defensive riding skills. I do everything I can to anticipate potential hazards and to have a plan to avoid those hazards should they materialize.
 

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I've noticed that mine and others bikes need to do one more thing:
As we get brighter headlights and the bright aux lights, we "drowned" out our front directional indicators.
Go figure, huh.
I installed the brightest LED directional bulbs I could find and now I can see them again.
 

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Plus the driving lights need to be away and not next to the indicator lights or else you may as well not use the indicators (for oncoming traffic that is).
Maybe one of the smart kids will spell out the best way to flash our aux lights with our directional lights.
(I bet the Blinker Geni" thing could do that)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On my Harley, I replaced the front turn indicators with Dynamic Ringz from Custom Dynamics. They are bright white LED’s that turn flashing amber when the directional signal is activated, and then go back to white.

I wish something like that was available for the Strom.
 

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I have this but I need to tone them down a bit. Seem to do what intended though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n14ByGvbbjk
Man, that's pretty intense & may hypnotize the drivers. Another issue will be when they look in the rear-view mirror they will think you are the PoPo and pull over....or worse slam on their brakes. I now some riders like some kinda flashing light up front, but not for me. A flashing brake light is ok in my book and I do have one of those.
 

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Maybe one of the smart kids will spell out the best way to flash our aux lights with our directional lights.
(I bet the Blinker Geni" thing could do that)
That is actually a great idea....should not be hard to do. I think you would just need to find each side turn signal positive leg(down in the harness near the goose neck), then add a section of wire directly to the aux light tying them into a relay. Might need a diode to keep the turn signal off when Aux is on?

Kisan makes a module that turns the turn signals into running lights all the time, then flashes them when the turn indicator switch is on. Seems like that would cover it ......aux and turn signals always on, both blink when turning?
 

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Originally Posted by NVDucati View Post
Maybe one of the smart kids will spell out the best way to flash our aux lights with our directional lights.
(I bet the Blinker Genie" thing could do that)
That is actually a great idea....should not be hard to do. I think you would just need to find each side turn signal positive leg(down in the harness near the goose neck), then add a section of wire directly to the aux light tying them into a relay. Might need a diode to keep the turn signal off when Aux is on?

Kisan makes a module that turns the turn signals into running lights all the time, then flashes them when the turn indicator switch is on. Seems like that would cover it ......aux and turn signals always on, both blink when turning?
I'm happy to corrected if I have the math wrong. The OEM incandescent directional bulb is 28.4w. With my 18w aux light plus a LED directional bulb at 3.8w is 21.8 (6.6 w less). And I'm guessing that the in-rush of the LED is less than that of the incandescent bulb.

I was just looking at the BlinkerGenie site which reads "High-Power capability of 12A/ 180 Watts (2A/ 25 Watts recommended)." https://www.customled.com/products/blinker-genie. ($25 front / $25 rear)
Don't think a relay would be required and the diode would not be needed either if you don't mind the front indicator light also serving as a running light. That is what I do on my rear directionals. They serve as running lights and the Genie shuts them off to cause the blinking. Works the same for hazard function.
I just sent them an email asking for a sanity check.
 

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Just got that clarification from Skene:

… Since the light functions as both running light AND turn signal it must be an amber light to conform to US regulations for color of front turn indicator lights. …

I was enquiring if their device could dim my running lights to make the indicator more visible, while it is activated. It can't, it would blink in sync with the indicator.
 

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Don't think that would be legal in most of the US.
As I said in the original thread; I followed LEO's and met LEO's in 5 states (including yours) and 2 provinces and they never batted an eye. They are not illegal in my province as near as anyone can tell and nobody has been able to find a statute for a state to my knowledge. That being said, I am going to tone them down a little bit.

As a bit of an aside....straight pipes are illegal in most jurisdictions but how many times have you seen anyone pulled over and ticketed for them?
 

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NVDucati -- Your math looks correct to me. I just never trust the actual specs from, well...just about anyone. There's a reason they recommend 2A / 25W, and I don't know that I would even trust those numbers. But I'm a major skeptic; would probably work just fine.

I have the same setup as you in the front: BlinkerGenie for indicator lamps as both turn signals and running lights. Around these parts, amber rear running lights are illegal (but, oddly to my mind, amber rear brake lights on a motorcycle are ok).

blaustrom -- Since most aux lights don't have tight beams or a proper cutoff, they require dimming, anyway, so as to not blast oncoming drivers' retinas into oblivion. PWM dimmers are cheap and ubiquitous. I like the ones Diode Dynamics with built-in bypass (though I got mine before they doubled the price).

For my setup, I have aux / conspicuity lights dimmed with lowbeams, and full power with highbeams. I dim them enough to not blast oncoming traffic's retinas and to ensure my turn signals are visible. (Note I don't use the dimmers noted above for this, the dimmers are left over from a prior, failed project.)

drrod -- Just because one can, doesn't mean one should.
 

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Update:

NVDucati -- Your math looks correct to me. I just never trust the actual specs from, well...just about anyone. There's a reason they recommend 2A / 25W, and I don't know that I would even trust those numbers. But I'm a major skeptic; would probably work just fine.
I try to never step between a biker and their skepticism because I feel the same way.

I just got a reply from the maker of BlinkerGenie.
"Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. As long as you are below the recommended 25W power draw, you can use the Blinker Genie to control whatever lamps you like! Go ahead and hook it all up. You should be fine when drawing less than 25Watts through it.
Jon
www.CustomLED.com"


My skepticism that they have a margin built in above 25w. So I feel comfortable doing this with no relay.
 
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