Author Topic: Headlight Modulator  (Read 3241 times)

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Offline Big Ed

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Headlight Modulator
« on: April 30, 2016, 10:20:52 am »
Wanting to putxa headlight modulator on my bike what are some good ones, and how do you like them

Offline talcon

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2016, 12:15:14 pm »
What a coincidence!  I have one for sale :)   It's plug and play on the C10.  If I remember correctly, it's a comagination brand.  $40 sound fair?

Also should have added:  I love them.  Although I do not rely on them, I have not had a single instance of an oncoming car turning left in front of me since it was installed.  It was a fairly common occurrence before that.  You can anticipate with the people that have their blinkers on - it's the ones who don't that scare me. 

« Last Edit: April 30, 2016, 12:20:20 pm by talcon »
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Offline Nosmo

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2016, 03:10:00 pm »
I had the comagination units on both bikes along with their brake light flashers.  The headlight modulators lasted about eight years or so before they stopped modulating, and I did not replace them.  Modulators definitely make you more visible, the problem is that most (99.78345%) of drivers don't understand them and get confused.  I had several angry encounters with car drivers who thought I was pretending to be a cop and "flashing" my headlight to make them pull over.  At intersection a lot of drivers will think you are "flashing" your headlight to yield right of way to them, and I had a couple of people pull out in front of me for that reason.  I even pulled over a cop one day.  I accelerated quickly to enter the freeway, and the car I came up behind was a local sheriff with internal lights (not a roof rack light bar).  I didn't realize he was a cop until I saw the county license plate.  He thought I was flashing my headlight to get his attention, so he changed lanes, came up behind me and lit me up.  We had a nice conversation at the side of the road, and I had to educate him (ALWAYS carry the state and federal paperwork showing modulator statutes) and he said he'd been a LEO for 18 years and had never heard of modulators.

I'm not saying modulators are bad, just that they have their good and bad sides due to lack of understanding by other people.  Use them judiciously.
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Offline Thud300

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2016, 03:58:42 pm »
Not long ago, for the first time, I saw a bike with a headlamp modulator, one of those dual-headlamp Harley dressers with a batwing fairing. It was flashing both headlamps at the same time at about 50% duty cycle, once a second, constantly.

My thoughts were: 1. It looked ridiculous, 2. It's probably annoying everyone he follows, and/or 3. making them think he wants to pass, and/or 4. makes them think it's an emergency vehicle. and 5. It's probably a bulb killer. But it definitely gets him noticed.

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Offline JimBob

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2016, 04:51:58 pm »
Not long ago, for the first time, I saw a bike with a headlamp modulator, one of those dual-headlamp Harley dressers with a batwing fairing. It was flashing both headlamps at the same time at about 50% duty cycle, once a second, constantly.

My thoughts were: 1. It looked ridiculous, 2. It's probably annoying everyone he follows, and/or 3. making them think he wants to pass, and/or 4. makes them think it's an emergency vehicle. and 5. It's probably a bulb killer. But it definitely gets him noticed.

Properly designed modulator won't be a bulb killer because it doesn't cycle on/off, but varies input, so average current level is lower than full on. If anything it should increase bulb life.

Also, properly designed modulator goes from full intensity to reduced intensity, causing a flicker effect, not a flash effect.

These things have been around at least 30 years that *I* know of, so the cop who pulled you over was an idiot - he has NO EXCUSE for not understanding the difference, or was just using it as an excuse to pull you over.

When I get a chance, I'll upload a vid of what it *should* look like - it's VERY (obviously) different from what police and emergency vehicles use.

Offline Herbie

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2016, 05:11:59 pm »
I had a headlight modulator on my 03 c10 which I don't have anymore, sold the bike and don't know why. Anyway I really liked the modulator, I agree it sometimes confuses drivers so I only used mine when I was in a high traffic area on an interstate where big semis and lots of cars where. I wanted to be seen and I believe it helped tremendously. As soon as I was out out of the congestion I would turn it off. Mine came on my bike so I don't know what brand it was, but worked great for the 3 plus years I owned the bike.

Offline Thud300

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2016, 11:36:47 pm »
I always thought one way to get noticed would be a strobe in the headlight that flickers maybe once every couple seconds. This would be while the regular headlight stayed on at normal intensity.
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Offline talcon

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 01:07:29 am »
I always thought one way to get noticed would be a strobe in the headlight that flickers maybe once every couple seconds. This would be while the regular headlight stayed on at normal intensity.

You can't really do that.  The Federal Law allowing headlight modulators is pretty specific on how they must operate (probably took a room full of bureaucrats to write it you know) - and the Canadian law basically follows the US federal law.

Here's more info:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_headlamp_modulator

Also - this is just one tool in your arsenal of being conspicuous on the road.. I also practice the SMIDSY maneuver when I ride - I've found the combination to be very effective at being seen.

https://youtu.be/eqQBubilSXU


« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 01:26:47 am by talcon »
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Offline alan

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 07:13:55 pm »
Headlight modulators do work to attract attention. There will always be people who are a bit confused by things. If they see me I don't care... I currently have a HID (bright) headlight and two bright LED lights mounted on brackets on either side of my fairing in the locomotive triangle. Railroads find this bright triangle pattern to be most visible and attention getting. The LED's run at 20% brightness on low beams and 100% on high. This combination at night is BRIGHT and really has some distance; day times the high beams are bright enough to annoy other drivers. I like it. Maybe the sheriff's interest was also piqued by the speed with which you came up behind him.
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Offline talcon

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2016, 12:48:19 pm »
What a coincidence!  I have one for sale :)   It's plug and play on the C10.  If I remember correctly, it's a comagination brand.  $40 sound fair?

This is sold
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Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2016, 01:01:38 pm »

My thoughts were: 1. It looked ridiculous, 2. It's probably annoying everyone he follows, and/or 3. making them think he wants to pass, and/or 4. makes them think it's an emergency vehicle. and 5. It's probably a bulb killer. But it definitely gets him noticed.
I agree with the above. I have a modulator on my bike and I do not use it- ever!. I find them to be rude and obnoxious and to add to that:
Modulating and pulsating and flashing is all the same to most  drivers.
I find it interesting that we all know it can make other drivers just  a little confused. To me a 'little confused' can get you in a ton of trouble.
IMHO you are far better off adding extra lights so you can  be seen and  you can also see better   and not making other riders a little bit confused and a little bit  pissed off and you   a little bit dead.

Makes sure you read the current thread on 'Flashing your headlights......' It proves my point.

Re: Flashing your headlights means you are clear to go, I'm yielding to you, right?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 01:00:03 am »

    Quote

Quote from: Sgt Mac on August 16, 2015, 01:22:37 am

    Quote from: ChipDoc on August 14, 2015, 09:57:16 pm

        Flashing your lights can mean a lot of things:

        a) I'm yielding to you,
        b) Get/stay out of my way,
        c) There's a speed trap ahead,
        d) Dim your brights,
        e) There's some bad craziness in the road,
        f) I recognize you, or think I do

        and on and on it goes...
« Last Edit: May 02, 2016, 01:10:58 pm by Daytona_Mike »
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Offline Thud300

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2016, 10:37:27 pm »
I also practice the SMIDSY maneuver when I ride

Ever since seeing that video, so do I.  :great:
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Offline talcon

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2016, 12:09:54 am »

My thoughts were: 1. It looked ridiculous, 2. It's probably annoying everyone he follows, and/or 3. making them think he wants to pass, and/or 4. makes them think it's an emergency vehicle. and 5. It's probably a bulb killer. But it definitely gets him noticed.
I agree with the above. I have a modulator on my bike and I do not use it- ever!. I find them to be rude and obnoxious and to add to that:
Modulating and pulsating and flashing is all the same to most  drivers.
I find it interesting that we all know it can make other drivers just  a little confused. To me a 'little confused' can get you in a ton of trouble.
IMHO you are far better off adding extra lights so you can  be seen and  you can also see better   and not making other riders a little bit confused and a little bit  pissed off and you   a little bit dead.

Makes sure you read the current thread on 'Flashing your headlights......' It proves my point.

Re: Flashing your headlights means you are clear to go, I'm yielding to you, right?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 01:00:03 am »

    Quote

Quote from: Sgt Mac on August 16, 2015, 01:22:37 am

    Quote from: ChipDoc on August 14, 2015, 09:57:16 pm

        Flashing your lights can mean a lot of things:

        a) I'm yielding to you,
        b) Get/stay out of my way,
        c) There's a speed trap ahead,
        d) Dim your brights,
        e) There's some bad craziness in the road,
        f) I recognize you, or think I do

        and on and on it goes...

We're going to have to agree to disagree. 

I've had a completely different experience -  if you've seen a modulator approaching, you probably saw it a mile away (you saw them).  I know I've seen them in the distance - that's what led me to get one.   I'm not "flashing" my brights - they are modulating at a fast rate (it's not turning them off/on either and actually prolongs bulb life).  I haven't had one instance of a driver turning left in my path, or pulling out in my path when using the modulator together with the SMIDSY maneuver.  They see me.  It happened all the time before I got the modulator and I had some very close calls.  I do not put all my faith in it either - I'm still on high alert around potential cars pulling into my path. 

Mine never annoys people I follow - I will turn it off so as not to.  I'm usually not behind anybody for long anyway - they end up behind me :)

I never run it when riding in a group, unless I'm the leader or those in front of me have indicated it doesn't bother them (it doesn't bother me when I lead).  Some very bright lights do bother me in my rearview, and I will either ask the person behind me in the group to dim their lights or get in front of me.  Loud pipes are the exception - I'd rather have the light (and noise) in my rearview.

I've only had a few confused driver encounters.  At one stop sign, a guy got out of his car to inform me my light was flashing like a cop's.  I took the opportunity to educate him on the US and Canadian laws allowing headlight modulators for motorcycles.  He had an "aha" moment and went on his way.  A had a confused driver pull off the shoulder once and let me by.. bonus!  I was heading into a bunch of twisties and I didn't want to be behind them anyway.  I've had the occasional driver flash their brights at me - but had that happen running my brights solid in the daytime anyway.  I just wave.

I will concede to #3 above though - I very likely do want them to think I want to pass.  Sometimes, they even move over to the right lane and let me by. Again - if I'm behind anybody for very long, I'll turn it off once I'm sure they know I'm there.




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Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2016, 01:21:34 pm »
talcon
I want to thank you for being courteous with the use of your modulator. ;) You are  one of the few who knows to turn it off when it is not needed. The problem is many are not as conscientious as you are in the use of the modulator and they just  leave it on constantly. >:(
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Offline The ice man

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2017, 01:54:08 pm »
I would like to hear comments from those who have headlight modulators on there bikes? Have you had anyone fail to yield right of way resulting in a collision since the headlight modulator was installed?

Offline RWulf

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2017, 11:57:30 pm »
I have been using a Kriss headlight modulator since 2006.
I don't give a Da__ about other drivers, they are on there
cell phones or yelling at there kids in the back seat. If I
upset someone they can just get over it. It's my right to!
Yes the triangle is called the "safety triangle" Railroads
on the east coast found it to be a good way to get people
to judge how faraway a locomotive before starting to cross
a crossing.
If you take the time to read the federal regulation you will
see you are not flashing the head light. The low beam is to
stay on per the law. The hi beam is flashed at a specified rate.
Live long by getting noticed anyway you can.

Offline Rob9876

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2017, 12:46:50 am »
Do they have modulators for the Concours 14 that alternate the left and right modulation ("wig wag")?

Offline The ice man

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2017, 03:12:51 am »
Do they have modulators for the Concours 14 that alternate the left and right modulation ("wig wag")?
   
      It is my understanding that (wig wag) is not legal except for emergency vehicle's .... The headlight modulator is legal on any motorcycle in all 50 states and Canada. But it is not legal to use it at night.  I have however heard that under certain traffic conditions it may be courteous to turn it off.

Offline Rob9876

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2017, 02:04:30 pm »
      It is my understanding that (wig wag) is not legal except for emergency vehicle's .... The headlight modulator is legal on any motorcycle in all 50 states and Canada. But it is not legal to use it at night.  I have however heard that under certain traffic conditions it may be courteous to turn it off.
Interesting.  This would basically just be modulating the 2 sides at different times.  Seems like it would lessen the likelihood of confusing it with "flash to go ahead" or "flash to pass" etc., but I could definitely see it causing more confusion with law enforcement.

Offline The ice man

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2017, 04:38:06 pm »
   I have a 99 Kawasaki concours, I think I need a wiring kit to install it? I don't know which one?  I think I want to give it a try... l need recommendations on which brand and which wiring kit I need.     
   
      It is my understanding that (wig wag) is not legal except for emergency vehicle's .... The headlight modulator is legal on any motorcycle in all 50 states and Canada. But it is not legal to use it at night.  I have however heard that under certain traffic conditions it may be courteous to turn it off.
Interesting.  This would basically just be modulating the 2 sides at different times.  Seems like it would lessen the likelihood of confusing it with "flash to go ahead" or "flash to pass" etc., but I could definitely see it causing more confusion with law enforcement.
   
      Well that is what I read when I researched it on line.... but I doubt you would get a ticket for it. I know the (lightning strike) anti collision system (not to be confused with a headlight modulator) dose use  wig wag lights. I have two led lights on the front of my motorcycle, I turn them on if I think a motorist may not see me, they do flash in a wig wag pattern.  I have not got a ticket for using them,so for.

Offline Rob9876

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2017, 04:51:19 pm »
      Well that is what I read when I researched it on line.... but I doubt you would get a ticket for it. I know the (lightning strike) anti collision system (not to be confused with a headlight modulator) dose use  wig wag lights. I have two led lights on the front of my motorcycle, I turn them on if I think a motorist may not see me, they do flash in a wig wag pattern.  I have not got a ticket for using them,so for.
Ooh, I looked at their videos and like that Lightning Strike system where its white driving lights and you can hit the button to wig wag.
https://youtu.be/6EqWlKDJZ6k
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 05:05:23 pm by Rob9876 »

Offline The ice man

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2017, 05:47:45 pm »
   
 
      Well that is what I read when I researched it on line.... but I doubt you would get a ticket for it. I know the (lightning strike) anti collision system (not to be confused with a headlight modulator) dose use  wig wag lights. I have two led lights on the front of my motorcycle, I turn them on if I think a motorist may not see me, they do flash in a wig wag pattern.  I have not got a ticket for using them,so for.
Ooh, I looked at their videos and like that Lightning Strike system where its white driving lights and you can hit the button to wig wag.
https://youtu.be/6EqWlKDJZ6k

 
     
 I just bought led lights from an auto parts store for about $20.00 mounted them and they work like the lightning strike system. The lightning strike system looks good to me,but my system is available at any auto parts store and it is much less expensive.

Offline Rob9876

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2017, 05:52:56 pm »
    I just bought led lights from an auto parts store for about $20.00 mounted them and they work like the lightning strike system. The lightning strike system looks good to me,but my system is available at any auto parts store and it is much less expensive.
I'd love to see pics and/or a video showing what kind you got, how you mounted them, and what the flashing looks like.   :great:

Offline The ice man

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2017, 05:53:37 pm »
Not exactly that video,another lightning strike video...

Offline The ice man

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Re: Headlight Modulator
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2017, 06:17:17 pm »
I just want to  u tube (lightning strike safety system) except I used a $4.00 switch from Wal-Mart  mounted to the clutch lever with zip ties. My leds are smaller and white not amber. I spent $24.00 .... it works but you get what you pay for, the wires are very thin and one of the connectors has a loose connection but it works. Would be better if I soldered  the connections.