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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I see bikes time from time that have that headlight that flashes during the day. Now I think that's dangerous. Here is why.

If I am driving and I want to be the nice guy I flash my light to let other drivers go ahead of me regardless of which vehicle I am in.

Apply that concept while your on the bike. The message they send out to that teenager that finally looked up after texting and sees a bike flashing their light at them at and intersection.

Thoughts?
 

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I think flashing your headlight has different meanings depending upon where in the world you live. I believe that Europeans flash their headlights when they intend to pass a vehicle, and here in the U.S., it's taken as a sign that the flasher is allowing right of way to the flashee.

I was surprised to see the flash-to-pass switch on my FZ, I thought it atypical of a bike sold in the U.S. Perhaps because it was sold in Europe first, they left it on so as to have better parts interchangability.

Regardless, I'd prefer not to have my headlight flash automatically, for fear that the oncoming traffic would take it as morse code for "Please turn left in front of me."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My point. At first I thought it was cool and made the rider more visible but now that I think of it I think it was the opposite meaning.
 

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I think it depends on rate and duration. If you've got your headlight flashing low to high at a consistent rate all the time you wouldn't be mistaken for someone who is yielding to other traffic. Of course, there will be outliers in cages who think differently, but they'll think you're yielding to them regardless of what your headlight is doing. The idea behind this is to make yourself more noticeable on the bike during daylight hours by drawing attention via the flashing headlight. I'd never utilize something like this at night as it could potentially enrage other drivers. That's why there is typically a switch in the circuit to turn the feature off.
 

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All those headlight modulators I've seen flash at a very fast and varying rate, i doubt anyone would confuse it with a regular high beam flash.
 

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I have one that I am sure has saved my bacon on numerous occasions. The constant rate does not confuse anyone as to its purpose. It has a light sensor that automatically defeats the flash at night. It is only legal in California during daylight hours. I can turn it off by holding the high beam switch on for 2 seconds should circumstances call for it. Of course you nay sayers are entitled to your .... blah blah blah. Your'e wrong anyway. :emmersed:
 
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On the freeway (at least on the west coast) flashing your highbeams shows the driver in front of you that you want to pass them while driving down the left lane (telling them to move to the right lane).
 

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Most states have traffic laws that state that 1. a rider must have a headlight ON at all times....day or night. And 2. a rider must NOT display high beams during daylight.

So whether the headlight goes off and on...or the headlight cycles low beam and high beam....both would be illegal.

Defensive driving teaches not to rely on other people seeing you. Instead you should anticipate what other drivers might do...and drive-ride accordingly.
 

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I find them annoying and distracting... pretty much hate them. I don't have issues identifying vehicles large or small, but to each their own...
 

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Most states have traffic laws that state that 1. a rider must have a headlight ON at all times....day or night. And 2. a rider must NOT display high beams during daylight.

So whether the headlight goes off and on...or the headlight cycles low beam and high beam....both would be illegal.

Defensive driving teaches not to rely on other people seeing you. Instead you should anticipate what other drivers might do...and drive-ride accordingly.
Headlight modulators are completely legal in all 50 states. This according to information on Kisan Pathfinder Headlight Modulator Review - Installing a Motorcycle Headlight Modulator - webBikeWorld

You cannot always anticipate what other drivers may do, especially when you have no time to react. That said, I am a very defensive driver, even to the point of stopping before an intersection even if I have the right of way when I don't trust the situation. No one will convince me that I am not 90% more visible to other motorists with the modulator. Annoying to some? Maybe. Safer? Absolutely. :book1:



Print this page to keep with you on your motorcycle in case you get stopped by the police.

This Federal law supersedes all state laws and makes motorcycle headlight modulators legal in all 50 states.

FMVSS 108
(Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) (49 CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4) allows motorcycle headlight modulation systems all 50 states provided they comply with the standards set forth in this section.

Title 49 USC 30103 (b1) (US Codes) prohibits any state from forbidding a system that conforms to FMVSS 108. Click here to see the regulation.

Code of Federal Regulation - Title 49, Volume 5, Parts 400 to 999 - Revised as of October 1, 2000
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 49CFR571.108] [Page 236-307]
TITLE 49: TRANSPORTATION - CHAPTER V, NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
PART 571, FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS - Subpart B--Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards - Sec. 571.108 Standard No. 108;

Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment - S7.9.4 Motorcycle headlamp modulation system.
S7.9.4.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a
lesser intensity, provided that:

The rate of modulation shall be 240 ±40 cycles per minute.
The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70 percent of each cycle.
The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17 percent of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.
The modulator switch shall be wired in the power lead of the beam filament being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.
Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper beam remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its sensing element perpendicular to a horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation shall cease whenever the level of light emitted by a tungsten filament light operating at 3000 deg. Kelvin is either less than 270 lux (25 foot-candles) of direct light for upward pointing sensors or less than 60 lux (5.6 foot-candles) of reflected light for downward pointing sensors. The light is measured by a silicon cell type light meter that is located at the sensor and pointing in the same direction as the sensor. A Kodak Gray Card (Kodak R-27) is placed at ground level to simulate the road surface in testing downward pointing sensors.
When tested in accordance with the test profile shown in Figure 9, the voltage drop across the modulator when the lamp is on at all test conditions for 12 volt systems and 6 volt systems shall not be greater than 0.45 volt. The modulator shall meet all the provisions of the standard after completion of the test profile shown in Figure 9.
Means shall be provided so that both the lower and upper beam function at design voltage when the headlamp control switch is in either the lower or upper beam position when the modulator is off.
S7.9.4.2

Each motorcycle headlamp modulator not intended as original equipment, or its container, shall be labeled with the maximum
wattage, and the minimum wattage appropriate for its use. Additionally, each such modulator shall comply with S7.9.4.1 (a) through (g) when connected to a headlamp of the maximum rated power and a headlamp of the minimum rated power, and shall provide means so that the modulated beam functions at design voltage when the modulator is off.
Instructions, with a diagram, shall be provided for mounting the light sensor including location on the motorcycle, distance above the road surface, and orientation with respect to the light.
 
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Having ridden both with, and without headlamp modulators, and external LED modulated lights, I have to say either one is safer than NOT having them at all.

Same goes with the brake lights. If they flash, you are much less likely to get hit. And when you are sitting by yourself at the light, releasing the brake, and re-apply will re-set the flash, and you can watch the texting/coffee swilling/makeup applying/cager notice you, and slam on the brakes. (Nose of the vehicle dips as they hit the brakes, a nice thing to see when you are waiting there to be smashed into by inattentive drivers.)

The front modulating lights I like the best, and rear ones for that matter are from Hyperlite's out of MI. Very bright, work great, but are sort of expensive. (But way cheaper than being hit.)

Most LEO's, especially those that ride will not give you grief for running lights that can save your life. Run blue/green lights? Sure, they will pull you over. Run a modulator at night? Might get pulled over. But brake lights? Nope. Running lights? No way. Even if they are bright, they realize you get zero second chances to be seen, and they scrape up riders all the time, so they would rather see you, and not pull you over, than scrape you up later.
 

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Don't get how you could have one on your bike and it looks just plain stupid.
 

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Most states have traffic laws that state that 1. a rider must have a headlight ON at all times....day or night. And 2. a rider must NOT display high beams during daylight.

So whether the headlight goes off and on...or the headlight cycles low beam and high beam....both would be illegal.

Defensive driving teaches not to rely on other people seeing you. Instead you should anticipate what other drivers might do...and drive-ride accordingly.
Headlight modulators do NOT turn the headlight off and on......nor do they switch it from high beam to low beam.........they simply modulate the intensity of the low beam from full brightness to some lesser amount of full brightness.....they never turn the beam off and on....that is why they are legal in all 50 states.
 

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Headlight modulators do NOT turn the headlight off and on......nor do they switch it from high beam to low beam.........they simply modulate the intensity of the low beam from full brightness to some lesser amount of full brightness.....they never turn the beam off and on....that is why they are legal in all 50 states.
Indeed. You can tell it's like a dim pulsating


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I find them annoying and distracting... pretty much hate them. I don't have issues identifying vehicles large or small, but to each their own...
Yes, to each their own. But, I'm like you...I find them most annoying.
 

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Don't get how you could have one on your bike and it looks just plain stupid.
It's true... I guess I look stupid. However, there is a particular feeling of freedom that goes with it. It has something to do with fully accepting who you are, the way you are right now.
 

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I was surprised to see the flash-to-pass switch on my FZ, I thought it atypical of a bike sold in the U.S. Perhaps because it was sold in Europe first, they left it on so as to have better parts interchangability.
It has absolutely nothing to do with the bike coming to the European market first. I can't speak for cruisers, as I have never owned one, but every sport bike I've owned since I got my first in the mid-90s has had the passing flasher switch.


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It has absolutely nothing to do with the bike coming to the European market first. I can't speak for cruisers, as I have never owned one, but every sport bike I've owned since I got my first in the mid-90s has had the passing flasher switch.


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Really........I've always owned Honda sportbikes and I've never had a flash to pass on any of them that I've owned.....and there have been 8 different ones at this house. The FZ09 is the first bike I've owned with a FTP switch........must be the difference in manufacturers.
 
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I believe they're a major distraction. It's like waving a flag making everybody look at you. Meeting one is bad enough. Having one behind you is really irritating. Yes, I want people to see me, but I have no desire to visually harass them. Goes back to the old saying, ride like you're invisible. And, does using one reduce your defensive attitude by thinking everyone sees you? Maybe, for some. For those of you who support their use, how would you feel about everyone, including cagers, using them all the time? An exaggeration, yes, but it illustrates the effect they have running on any vehicle.
 
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