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I'm a big fan of modulating headlights. I KNOW that they make me much more visible to car and truck drivers, even if the flashing lights probably annoy some drivers. Sometimes drivers seem to think that I am an emergency vehicle, and they pull over to let me pass, which is fine with me. Sometimes oncoming vehicles flash their high beams at me repeatedly, which I don't know if they are trying to signal me that something is wrong with my lights or that they are annoyed, but its not a big deal to me. I've had this feature installed on every bike that I have owned since about 2005 and I virtually never have a vehicle turning left in front of me where I feel that I was in danger. This feature is, in my opinion, such a positive safety addition that I am amazed how rarely I see other bikers with modulating head lights. Why would riders NOT want this inexpensive modification that might save their life?
 

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I've had them on a few bikes. Not putting them on my 2018. If you think modulating headlights are good for you, fine.

BTW, emergency vehicles responding with lights and sirens are sometimes hit by inattentive drivers, so...
 

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No reason to just restrict them to your motorcycle. They should work just as good for you on your cars and trucks too. Vehicles turn in front of all vehicles and not just motorcycles.

However, they aren’t for me.
 

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I am a fan of modulating brake lights, I believe those are very effective. I've only had a modulating headlight on one bike and I managed to get pulled over by deputy dawg in a notorious speed trap town in South Carolina where the cop's sole job is issuing traffic tickets. I had headlight modulators on my VTX and the wife's Vstar. We got pulled over specifically because of those modulators, which led to a rather lengthy discussion about the legality of "impersonating an emergency vehicle". The cop was not impressed with my sharing that headlight modulators are allowed by federal law (he promptly reminded me we were in South Carolina where he insisted they are illegal) and I had no documentation with me to prove what I was saying. I don't know how this would have turned out had he written the citations (would the judge let me off?) but fortunately he eventually let us go. I may be the only person ever to have been pulled in that town and let go without a ticket.

I have since decided that headlight modulators are annoying and give a false sense of security. Survivability comes down to riding skills, riding experience, good riding habits and luck. YMMV
 

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I'm a big fan of modulating headlights. I KNOW that they make me much more visible to car and truck drivers, even if the flashing lights probably annoy some drivers. Sometimes drivers seem to think that I am an emergency vehicle, and they pull over to let me pass, which is fine with me. Sometimes oncoming vehicles flash their high beams at me repeatedly, which I don't know if they are trying to signal me that something is wrong with my lights or that they are annoyed, but its not a big deal to me. I've had this feature installed on every bike that I have owned since about 2005 and I virtually never have a vehicle turning left in front of me where I feel that I was in danger. This feature is, in my opinion, such a positive safety addition that I am amazed how rarely I see other bikers with modulating head lights. Why would riders NOT want this inexpensive modification that might save their life?

I have about 350,000 miles on Gold Wing's (without a modulator) and never had contact with a vehicle turning left in front of me....!!

I did ride in some pretty heavy traffic areas through the year (Baltimore/Washington)...!!

Did I need a modulator.....probably not..........!!

Its never good if (when) riders develop a "false sense of security" and relax "attentive awareness skills" regarding their surroundings....!
 

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I have and use one on my Wing, and like you, feel they help. That said, they're like oil or car tires, you'll find lovers and haters wherever you go.
 

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Had one on my 1984 Aspencade that had been installed by the PO. Didn't put one on either wing since. I'm not for them or against them. I prefer to ride with low beams on and then manual flash high beams a couple or three times as needed. Kind of a visual horn.
 

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JMHO, You cannot rely on any type of "safety device" on your bike period. You have to be aware that anything may happen when riding. Leave yourself an "out" if possible. I just ride like everyone out there is trying to kill me. YMMV
 

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Riding in NJ here, and have headlight modulators on my 2018. I think they're a very useful tool to create awareness for other drivers. I turn them off when I am on highways though because the primary purpose is to alert oncoming and turning drivers. Having them on divided highways just seems like I am an irritated cyclist hammering the passing light. Being from NJ, we are assumed to be that way normally
 

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I'm a big fan of modulating headlights. I KNOW that they make me much more visible to car and truck drivers, even if the flashing lights probably annoy some drivers. Sometimes drivers seem to think that I am an emergency vehicle, and they pull over to let me pass, which is fine with me. Sometimes oncoming vehicles flash their high beams at me repeatedly, which I don't know if they are trying to signal me that something is wrong with my lights or that they are annoyed, but its not a big deal to me. I've had this feature installed on every bike that I have owned since about 2005 and I virtually never have a vehicle turning left in front of me where I feel that I was in danger. This feature is, in my opinion, such a positive safety addition that I am amazed how rarely I see other bikers with modulating head lights. Why would riders NOT want this inexpensive modification that might save their life?
Jeez, is it time for the modulators thread again? How time does fly.🍿🍿🍿🍿
 

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I'm a big fan of modulating headlights. I KNOW that they make me much more visible to car and truck drivers, even if the flashing lights probably annoy some drivers. Sometimes drivers seem to think that I am an emergency vehicle, and they pull over to let me pass, which is fine with me. Sometimes oncoming vehicles flash their high beams at me repeatedly, which I don't know if they are trying to signal me that something is wrong with my lights or that they are annoyed, but its not a big deal to me. I've had this feature installed on every bike that I have owned since about 2005 and I virtually never have a vehicle turning left in front of me where I feel that I was in danger. This feature is, in my opinion, such a positive safety addition that I am amazed how rarely I see other bikers with modulating head lights. Why would riders NOT want this inexpensive modification that might save their life?
You answered your own question. They are annoying to other motorists.

Small LED auxiliary lighting adds the degree of conspiciousness to other motorists that we all want and doesn't seem to annoy motorists and draw the attention of law enforcement plus it helps at night to see (and be seen) better.
 

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I have a modulator on one of my bikes ( M109R) because I didn't want to add auxiliary driving lights. At times the modulating headlight seems confuse some drivers, in fact I've had a couple pull over to let me pass them because they thought I was an emergency vehicle. Gold Wings have a massive frontal area, so I don't think that vehicles are as tempted to ignore them as smaller bikes.

I ride an 1800 VTX, which doesn't have a large frontal area and have installed both an LED and and HID headlight. No problems with vehicles cutting me off, even here in Florida.

 

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I'm paranoid at the best of times. I don't like it when I think someone is Pee'd Off with me, therefore....
 

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I have modulators on both my bikes. I use them when appropriate. (not on divided highways).

But when there at-grade intersections, they are ON and they WORK.

I am tired of people pulling out on me. Cell phones and distracted driving are the issue. If my modulators upset anyone, it's just too bad.
 

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I have used a modulator on my wing for years and I know it increases my visibility. I like it and I use it when I think it is appropriate and not too annoying to other drivers. I'm glad most riders don't, makes me that much more noticeable.;)
 

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I'm a big fan of modulating headlights. I KNOW that they make me much more visible to car and truck drivers, even if the flashing lights probably annoy some drivers. Sometimes drivers seem to think that I am an emergency vehicle, and they pull over to let me pass, which is fine with me. Sometimes oncoming vehicles flash their high beams at me repeatedly, which I don't know if they are trying to signal me that something is wrong with my lights or that they are annoyed, but its not a big deal to me. I've had this feature installed on every bike that I have owned since about 2005 and I virtually never have a vehicle turning left in front of me where I feel that I was in danger. This feature is, in my opinion, such a positive safety addition that I am amazed how rarely I see other bikers with modulating head lights. Why would riders NOT want this inexpensive modification that might save their life?
I believe they are not widely used is in some states they are illegal and you said it yourself they are annoying to other riders and vehicles on the road. Glad you like them but don't ever ride in a group and not be the leading bike, especially at night. Good luck, will stick to my bright led's and fog lights
 

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I ride with my high beams on all the time (DAY TIME ONLY HERE) and have those fog lights on 100% of the time , plus wear very HIGH VIZ jacket 100% of the time also....So with so many lights up front (four on top and two on the bottom) I don't get cars pulling out in front of me all too often....BUT I do watch for the one "azzwipe" :poop: that thinks M/C can stop on a dime..... Protect yourself always when riding............ 😵

Ronnie
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I believe they are not widely used is in some states they are illegal and you said it yourself they are annoying to other riders and vehicles on the road. Glad you like them but don't ever ride in a group and not be the leading bike, especially at night. Good luck, will stick to my bright led's and fog lights
Modulating headlights are legal in all 50 states. I carry a copy of the Federal regulation which states that, just in case I ever get stopped by some LEO that doesn't know the law on this matter. So far I have not been stopped and have had these modulators for the last 15 years.

I understand that some don't care for having modulators, but as far as I can tell they do not do anything negative except for the possible annoyance of car drivers (which is no big deal to me). I don't rely on them for safety, to do so would be foolish and naive. But if they actually add safety to my ride then all is good. If they are neither a help nor a hindrance to safety, then all is still good. Mine turn on and off by quickly switching from hi to low beam and back again so that I easily disable the modulating when I am on the Interstate and easily turn the feature back on when I am on the exit ramp of the highway.
 
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