Author Topic: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??  (Read 4046 times)

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Offline flying wasp

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DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« on: September 17, 2011, 09:40:44 am »
I just have to ask. Those of you with headlight modulators? What reactions are you getting from those other people on the road? I had a guy in front of me this week start braking and waving his hand by his rear view. I zipped around him and he caught up to me at a light rolled down window and proceeded to tell me something was wrong with my bike. Yesterday I was on the expressway in the right lane and the pickup in front of me started tapping his brakes and moved to the left. I got up next to him and he had the pass side window down blowing the horn trying to get my attention. At 80mph I don't take my eye off the road for anything. Don't know what his deal was? I got off the ex way and at the first light an oncoming vehicle was was yelling something out the window at me,all I heard was "light". I installed this 2 month's ago and for some reason this week everybody had something to say? Well it must mean that I'm getting noticed  :-*
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Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2011, 10:18:26 am »
Yes you will get people now and then that do stuff like that. Most drivers of cages are oblivious to motorcycles. So when they see the headlight modulating they think thinks like:  There's something wrong with your headlight. Your an emergency vehicle. Your flashing your headlight because your riding too aggressively. So it does provoke some of the responses you get. The ones that flash their lights at me, I just wave a thank you to. The people who roll down the window to tell me, If I have the time, I tell them it's legal and suppose to do that. Then I ask, you did see me didn't you! The ones that pull over thinking I'm an emergency vehicle, I just ride around and do nothing. I don't want them to think I was doing that to pass them. There's noting you can do with someone brake checking you though. I just back off a bit and wait for a safe place to pass. And when I pass, I go very wide away from them.
 The fact of the matter is it works. You get noticed. I would rather annoy some people and know they see me then chance that they do not. I have noticed a drastic difference in people pulling in front of me when I do not have a modulator installed. It's rare when I do have the modulator operating. So I'll use it and deal with ignorant people who make it necessary for me to use it. I would rather deal with them, than be hit by them. It's happened!

Offline dbvolfan1

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2011, 03:53:21 pm »
I saw people parting ways when I would be nooking it down the interstate but biy I had more than a few offer their 'opinions' when I exited the interstate and tell me what they thought of them....most times they thought I was a cop approaching and it was liking the Red Sea part.
I ended up reoving mine after a year or so since I rarely used them and 95% of my riding is slab  I can see where they have their positives however.
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Offline Ron

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2011, 05:17:30 pm »
I have had several people (driving towards me) flash their highbeams, I've only had one person (a snowbird from out of state) pull over thinking I was a cop.

I have never had anyone respond in anger--which is surprising since everyone drives angry here in Floriduh...

Offline 4Bikes

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 10:18:44 am »
I worried about that reaction using the modulator.  I still want to be more visible, so I replaced the stock bulbs with the Philips Vision+100 X-treme H4 Bulbs (from Murph’s kits) which project 100% more light.  I flash the high beams when I approach a Cager looking to pull out, or turn left and ruin my day. 
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Offline Ranger Jim

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 02:46:24 pm »
Frankly, I would discourage anyone "flashing" their high beam at someone looking to pull out. Too many people interpret that to mean, "Go ahead and pull out." I usually ride with my light on high beam during the daylight hours (switching to low beam if I'm following someone) to make me more visible.
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Offline 2linby

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2011, 05:03:27 pm »
When the Kisan modulator that I had was working I had a variety if reactions to the headlamp pulsing. Most of the time they reCOGnized there was a motorcycle. Other times they thought I was a motorcop. Some became angry, several pulled off to the side of the road allowing me to pass. Those that did inquire about the light I just educated them as to how and why.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 08:44:43 pm by 2linby »
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Offline DannyL

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2011, 06:23:27 pm »
I usually ride with my light on high beam during the daylight hours (switching to low beam if I'm following someone) to make me more visible.

Same here, I just leave it on till dusk.

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Offline 4Bikes

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 10:55:05 pm »
Ranger, Your point is well taken.  I flash the high beams judiciously understanding that the high beam flash signal is often used for turning negotiations at slow speeds or 4 way stops.  The flash I was referring to is intended to get the driver to notice the bike right before they may decide to pull out, or turn in front of me.  I will however think more about when a driver might possibly interpret that as a signal to proceed. 
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Offline Bergmen

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2011, 03:49:51 pm »
Well, I'm going to take a completely different view from the norm here.

When I see a rider approaching me with their high beams on in the daytime, I give them the high beams right back whether I'm on the bike or in my truck. Maybe they will get the clue as to how annoying and distracting it is to oncoming vehicles.

Same thing with modulators, I give the hi/lo as fast as I can (in both the truck and bike).

To me, these actions (hi beam in daytime, modulators) completely distract drivers from a broad spectrum awareness position to a single situation awareness position, and for no good reason. This is dangerous (in my opinion) for the driver exposed to high beams or modulators, they are distracted from giving appropriate attention to the rest of the field of view.

And these are just my opinions.

Dan
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Offline DannyL

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 04:31:43 pm »
Well, I'm going to take a completely different view from the norm here.

When I see a rider approaching me with their high beams on in the daytime, I give them the high beams right back whether I'm on the bike or in my truck. Maybe they will get the clue as to how annoying and distracting it is to oncoming vehicles.

Same thing with modulators, I give the hi/lo as fast as I can (in both the truck and bike).

To me, these actions (hi beam in daytime, modulators) completely distract drivers from a broad spectrum awareness position to a single situation awareness position, and for no good reason. This is dangerous (in my opinion) for the driver exposed to high beams or modulators, they are distracted from giving appropriate attention to the rest of the field of view.

And these are just my opinions.

Dan
I want them to see ME, if that's accomplished I'm safer. Period.
In the last 2 weeks I've been cut off twice by people who haven't "seen" me it would seem. I don't really give a flying poop if I happen to "distract" a cage driver with my bright light, as long as he knows I'm on the road.
Maybe my logic doesn't sit well with you, but my if my life depends on it I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

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Offline Bergmen

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 05:14:47 pm »
Well, I'm going to take a completely different view from the norm here.

When I see a rider approaching me with their high beams on in the daytime, I give them the high beams right back whether I'm on the bike or in my truck. Maybe they will get the clue as to how annoying and distracting it is to oncoming vehicles.

Same thing with modulators, I give the hi/lo as fast as I can (in both the truck and bike).

To me, these actions (hi beam in daytime, modulators) completely distract drivers from a broad spectrum awareness position to a single situation awareness position, and for no good reason. This is dangerous (in my opinion) for the driver exposed to high beams or modulators, they are distracted from giving appropriate attention to the rest of the field of view.

And these are just my opinions.

Dan
I want them to see ME, if that's accomplished I'm safer. Period.
In the last 2 weeks I've been cut off twice by people who haven't "seen" me it would seem. I don't really give a flying poop if I happen to "distract" a cage driver with my bright light, as long as he knows I'm on the road.
Maybe my logic doesn't sit well with you, but my if my life depends on it I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

Well, I'm not going to try to change your opinion or position. What works well for you is what is important.

But, I will make the statement that YOU are not the only thing the other drivers need to be aware of. There are a number of circumstances that deserve any driver's attention at a given moment in time. A distracted driver, even though he is made to see that you exist, poses a real risk to other situations at that moment that could deserve equal attention. IMO, it puts other drivers, pedestrians and situations at an unnecessary risk.

Again, just my opinion.

Dan
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Offline Victor Salisbury

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 05:40:04 pm »

 The fact of the matter is it works. You get noticed. I would rather annoy some people and know they see me then chance that they do not. I have noticed a drastic difference in people pulling in front of me when I do not have a modulator installed. It's rare when I do have the modulator operating. So I'll use it and deal with ignorant people who make it necessary for me to use it. I would rather deal with them, than be hit by them. It's happened!

+1

3 or so previous jobs ago, I had a particular route, two lane road, I had to ride to get to the shop. There was a T intersection I would have to pass through, the side road on my left, me traveling along the top of the "T". In my inconclusive observations running on this road, literally for years, operators from the side road would hesitate and rarely pull out in front of me with my modulator on. (I have a Signal Dynamics version which can be turned off or on) I'd get some start and stops, and the "oh crud, there was a vehicle there look on the face" as I waved and passed on by.  Now, when I would approach this intersection with the modulator off, wow, dramatic increase in pull outs. Now, I turn off my modulator when group riding or if in stop-n-go traffic, but outside of that, I don't care how many I "may annoy", at least you saw me! No fits of road rage directed my way, once in a while a stop light "hey, your headlight is messed up" which I respond, thanks for noticing me.
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Offline smithr1

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2011, 06:55:58 pm »
I am not sure I support Dan's position but to point out what he is trying to say...

How distracted are you when driving around the new LED light bars on cop cars?  They are so bright and distracting I can see someone focusing on them more then the hazard the lights are on for.
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Offline Bergmen

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2011, 07:58:53 pm »
I am not sure I support Dan's position but to point out what he is trying to say...

How distracted are you when driving around the new LED light bars on cop cars?  They are so bright and distracting I can see someone focusing on them more then the hazard the lights are on for.

Generally, those are stationary caution situations.

I use a home-grown method of awareness when I drive (or ride). I tend to look at the central location of where I am going and allow my peripheral vision to alert me to anything I need to pay attention to (and possibly react to). This is a learned awareness methodology, not one that can be made use of without practice (in my view). I use this while in busy situations (traffic, pedestrians, etc.).
When I encounter a situation that demands direct attention (car about to pull out, someone intending to make a left turn in front of me, pedestrians, etc.) I divert my specific attention to that real (or perceived) threat. It is at that time that I adjust my defensive posture, including letting people know I am there (horn, headlight flash, etc.) if need be.

A headlight modulator or riding with the high beams in the daytime diverts my attention to a situation that does not require it. I don’t like it and I can just about bet that anyone who uses these techniques has heard from others that don’t like it either.

But, again, I am not trying to convince anyone to change their tactics if they are demonstrating TO YOU that they are keeping you safe. Your traffic situation may be entirely different from mine that makes your actions necessary.

Dan
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Offline flying wasp

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2011, 08:49:07 pm »
Interesting reponses. Here in Michigan I have seen quite a few bikes on the road with modulators with high beam in the daylight. I don't see how this or oncoming brights in daylight can be distracting unless the individual is completely focused on it? I feel that the modulator has been a great safety asset.
 Interesting that I crossed into Canada on Saturday and the modulator must not have made it's debut yet? (yes it is legal in Canada also). In my 5 hr zip in Ontario 4 cars in front of me pulled over, 1 oncoming pulled over and a guy in downtown Sarnia was yelling something towards me. I'm wondering if my hi-vis safety vest plus usually coming on strong has these folks freaking out when they look in the rear view? Well I know that I am not going back to slow,black and dull.  :motonoises:

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Offline DannyL

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2011, 12:59:01 am »
I am not sure I support Dan's position but to point out what he is trying to say...

How distracted are you when driving around the new LED light bars on cop cars?  They are so bright and distracting I can see someone focusing on them more then the hazard the lights are on for.

Generally, those are stationary caution situations.

I use a home-grown method of awareness when I drive (or ride). I tend to look at the central location of where I am going and allow my peripheral vision to alert me to anything I need to pay attention to (and possibly react to). This is a learned awareness methodology, not one that can be made use of without practice (in my view). I use this while in busy situations (traffic, pedestrians, etc.).
When I encounter a situation that demands direct attention (car about to pull out, someone intending to make a left turn in front of me, pedestrians, etc.) I divert my specific attention to that real (or perceived) threat. It is at that time that I adjust my defensive posture, including letting people know I am there (horn, headlight flash, etc.) if need be.

A headlight modulator or riding with the high beams in the daytime diverts my attention to a situation that does not require it. I don’t like it and I can just about bet that anyone who uses these techniques has heard from others that don’t like it either.

But, again, I am not trying to convince anyone to change their tactics if they are demonstrating TO YOU that they are keeping you safe. Your traffic situation may be entirely different from mine that makes your actions necessary.

Dan
While I appreciate and respect your point of view, I fail to see why someone would be so distracted in daylight hours by the hi-beam of a motorcycle. I find people don't even pay attention to emergency vehicles and their lite up like the forth of July!

I guess it's like getting people to respect my "space". They don't see a problem being 2 feet off my rear tire at 60 MPH or wandering over the line when I'm passing them. Of course all the people on the forum could tell you stories of how a cage driver did this or did that. We all know bikes are dangerous, we all know the cages are out to get us. What ever small "tricks" we use to save our hides  is good for me. In the "old days " I didn't have a problem with getting off my bike and "educating" some folks, the older wiser me is way more passive. I just want to live long enough to see my kids grow a up and have kids of their own, in order to do that I need to protect myself. I'll do it my way, you do it your's. Neither is wrong or right, just different.

Peace
Danny


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Offline diablo6v

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2011, 01:51:44 pm »
IMHO... I have been running headlight modulators on both my bikes for about 10years. I live in Florida - Tampa (this is gods waiting room) to be exact. The avg age in this area is about 65. I make a 50mile roundtrip commute everyday. The modulator has saved my life almost once a month if not more. I am so sorry If my modulating light has some how inconvenienced you the attentive defensive driver. At the same time it has kept Grandma or gramps in his Cadillac or battleship from either running me over, or off the road. Whats amazing to me, is the drivers who see the modulator and are too busy texting, talking or checking their emails and pull out in front of you or into your lane anyway! IF you are on the bubble about a modulator analyze your riding. Do you find yourself in rush hour commute on the most dangerous day to ride a motorcycle (Friday betwee 3-6pm)? Then maybe you need one. If you live in a place where everyone is under 50, people pay attention, there is decent driver education and little traffic, then maybe not?

Offline RWJC

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2011, 01:36:30 am »
personally, I prefer running & driving lights to the modulator. It works for law enforcement, but in my cage..it detracts me from looking forward..so I may not see something in front of me and stop in time...bad luck for a fellow biker if he is not watching 12 sec ahead..
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Offline PatM

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2011, 12:56:06 am »
Modulators are accepted by Transport Canada but the ministry of transport in Quebec does not. I'm not sure about all the other provinces.
What's being thought is to ride with the high beams on. What I find is that makes us less visible as the driver has a harder time focusing on the bike and evaluating our speed or distance.
I find that having auxiliary lights on the front forks works better for me. I've had less instance of oops, I didn't see you coming, incidents since I've installed some.
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Offline Snarf

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2011, 03:56:32 pm »
For many years i thought Harley s came stock with modulators. It was later that I discovered that they just vibrate a lot :-[.
My father runs a modulator on his wing. I like it I can see him or any other bike a long way off in the distance.
I am not at all crazy with the light show on the back of his bike when he applies the brakes.  He has so many lights flashing it gets very hard to figure out what is going on.  I will not follow directly behind him because that reason.  I think he is going to get rear-ended, its sadly just a matter of time.  God I wish he would take that stuff of the back of his bike.
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Offline wild man

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2011, 06:21:26 pm »
Quote
Well, I'm going to take a completely different view from the norm here.

When I see a rider approaching me with their high beams on in the daytime, I give them the high beams right back whether I'm on the bike or in my truck. Maybe they will get the clue as to how annoying and distracting it is to oncoming vehicles.

Same thing with modulators, I give the hi/lo as fast as I can (in both the truck and bike).

To me, these actions (hi beam in daytime, modulators) completely distract drivers from a broad spectrum awareness position to a single situation awareness position, and for no good reason. This is dangerous (in my opinion) for the driver exposed to high beams or modulators, they are distracted from giving appropriate attention to the rest of the field of view.

And these are just my opinions.

Dan

+10

When I see a cyclist approach me with there high beams on its saying to me they feel the're safety is more important than mine :41:

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Offline RWulf

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2011, 07:11:47 pm »
Flying wasp I have been using a modulator since 05. It was on the bike when I got it from a Chicago police officer.
Here in TC with all the out of town people and now the leaf peepers I won't turn it off, ever. I travel to Ontario often.
I have noticed the same thing, they are very nice about it, telling you something is wrong with your head light.
A few years ago had a couple of Canadians up here for a spring ride in and camping, Dave and Bob I believe. One
of them sent me a link to the Ontario motor vehicle code. If I read it correctly ( Canadian is my second language, ah)
it says only emergence vehicle may have a flashing light of any colour. Not wanting to meet one of there LEO's I turn
mine off and proceed with caution.
RWulf

Offline Slybones

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2011, 07:36:08 pm »
personally, I prefer running & driving lights to the modulator. It works for law enforcement, but in my cage..it detracts me from looking forward..so I may not see something in front of me and stop in time...bad luck for a fellow biker if he is not watching 12 sec ahead..

Me too. I had a modulator once and removed it. Now use LED lights as DRL's. Mounted down low on the tipover bars. Provides a nice triangle effect with the headlight. I also have FF50 for driving lights. I have a relay wire in there so when the FF50's are switched on, the DRL's go off.  I used to have the DRL's just on all the time, and the FF50's would be in addition. Then I got pulled over for having too many aux lights on. No ticket was involved but it was a pain. Now its one or the other.

Not against modulators. I just like the DRL method.  Use one or the other.
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Offline DW

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Re: DRIVER REACTION TO MODULATOR??
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2011, 08:47:20 pm »
Well gosh, I have had a modulator on my Shadow for about 8 years and love it, has hi/low/neutral switch. Will put one on my C-10 some time.  When in a cage I won't flash my lights off and on or use my brights to get even. However there are a few sport bikes around here that have extremely bright lights that I think are potentially dangerous.  Had a trucker on I-80 try to get my attention when I passed him with the Shadow but most around here are pretty mellow, I think and don't seem to be bothered by the modulator.  I have drls on the C-10 but don't have confidence that the bulbs will last. ^-^