GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been a big fan of modulating headlights and have used them, with success, first on my Shadow Sabre, then on my VTX 1800F and for the past 7 years on my GL1800P for a total of about 200,000 miles.

I say “success” because I have seen many instances where those pulsing bulbs have alerted cagers to my presence and have thus helped me in keeping the rubber side down more times than I can count. I have heard all of the arguments against these little buggers, but in the end, my safety and that of my passenger remains of foremost importance to me. I know from lot's of experience that the modulation does catch people's eyes and that has saved my butt many times. However, I do get that some people are confused and even annoyed by the flashing lights.

So, why would I try something different? Well, around here, there are many motorcyclists, but very few of them are using modulators (of course, many do not wear helmets here either as they are not required.) Thus, as I travel down the road, I am having an increasing number of cagers indicate to me that they do not know what that pulsing light coming from my bike is. I have had many of those happenings over the years, but it seem that it is now on the increase. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, I have had at least 10 cagers indicate their concern about my headlights in various ways. Here's a recap of what I have seen over the years.

Concerned on-coming vehicles usually just blink their headlights at me as they approach and just pass me by. A few make a flashing sign at me with their hands. One has even provided me with the 1 finger salute. How kind and understanding, I thought! LOL

Those headed in my direction seem to respond in a more vocal way as we drive side by side or as meet at a stop light for example. Many think I am a cop (kinda funny since the only cops on motorcycles around here are part of funerals and/or other types of motorcades, not for pulling people over) while most of the rest think that my flashing light is the result of a mechanical problem. A few do seem to take my beams of light more seriously, sometimes even pulling off the road, ready to get their “ticket!” Most folks are pretty nice about it once I explain to them about this safety feature. In that regard, I sometimes feel like a missionary helping to spread the word “Modulating Headlights Save Lives” similar to the old “Loud Pipes Save Lives” proclamation.

Men and woman seem to respond about equally to my lights. In fact, one pretty lady in a Mercedes the other day turned out to be a rider too (HD Sportster 1200 she added) and she vowed to go purchase one for her bike before her upcoming trip to TN. However, on the other end of the spectrum, guys in pick-up trucks seem to take the most offense at my bouncing lights and are by far the most aggressive toward me for some reason. Hey guys, nothing personal! But in the end, this is getting old.

So, yesterday, I decided to try some other way to increase my visibility without the pulsing light to see the reaction. I turned off the modulator and turned on my high beams. As you know, a GL1800 with both high and low beams on, along with the running lights on the front of the mirrors, looks like a 747 on it's final approach to O'Hare. I mean this thing was lit. So, did it work? Well, yes and no.

Yes, not one cager flashed their lights at me or otherwise indicated a problem with my light bomb. The No part came when a tow truck in the left lane decided to abruptly turn into my lane while I was already in it. Thankfully, a quick maneuver by me and a thumb on the horn averted a really bad day for all concerned. I'll never know for sure, but past experience would indicate that the trucker would have noticed a modulating light before he decided to nearly run me down. The lady cager behind us who saw it all looked like she had just seen a ghost when we met at the next stop light. I am sure you all can relate to that.

So, what to do now? I am still a fan of modulating headlights for our safety, but I would prefer not to disturb or offend otherwise cautious drivers. I am sure that would become less of a problem if more bikers here used them, thus making their purpose more known to cagers. Perhaps the State Police could run Public Service Announcements including Modulators as part of their Start Seeing Motorcycles campaign. But in the meantime, I guess I will just join the clergy and continue helping others to see the light!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
Is that a mod you did to make the highs and lows come on at the same time? I don't think that's SOP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,673 Posts
my mechanic told me if I was using the 0W-90 modulator oil, then I need to increase the tire pressure by 5 psi, or risk a major accident...I did, and amazing, it works
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top