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Old 10-23-2012, 01:36 PM   #1
lucydad
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Lightbulb light em up?

MH,

Riding with my wife in her van to dinner last evening I saw a HD in Sugar Land. The bike had a very bright rear light, and extra sets rear and front. He was very visible, especially from the side as he turned away from us.

My Guzzi, by comparison has a small and low rear brake light, a big round front one, the typical turn signals, and side reflectors. It could be lit up and made more Christmas Tree- like. So, I am pondering that as a safety step as the days get shorter.

And I got to thinking. Why don't manufacturers add more lights to bikes? LED technology could add visibility to all sides. The safety aspects are significant. The aftermarket has noticed and sold lots of products.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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i rely very little on what others may see

bikes come w/ reflectors, most people take them off. i have.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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If you do a lot of night riding, then I would. Just be aware that if you're feeling a little spirited on some particular night, it would be easier for law enforcers to pick you out. Personally, I avoid night riding in general.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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I'd rather ride with bright lights than loud pipes. I even upgraded my license plate light to superbright LEDs for that extra visibility. HID conversion will help with visibility from the front. The same reason that some people loathe about HID conversion - the fact that some of the light gets scattered away from lighting up the road ahead - actually helps make your bike more visible to on-coming traffic. The trick is to make sure the scattering is not so much so as to be blinding. I did this with my Connie 14's dual H4 headlights with good effect. I am about to convert my SV's dual H4 too.

You are limited somewhat with what you can do with the Guzzi, since styling is so much related to the V7 racer's charm. But a little license plate brake light out back, and a set of LED aux light pods up front wouldn't hurt too much.

I haven't take any of the reflectors off my bikes and I wouldn't be opposed to it, OEM ones are barely worth anything and are usually the mininum to meet federal requirement. I 'd rather add my own reflectors to my saddlebags and top cases. Big ones!
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
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http://www.hyperlites.com/

I used these as signals when I made my own fender elminator on my old SV. As bright, if not brighter than factory LED's. Not the cheap chinese stuff you find in most aftermarket lights.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:27 PM   #6
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Jesse,

Bookmarked...thanks!
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:59 AM   #7
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While I do share you enthusiasm for additional lighting and it's benefits greatly out weigh the costs, keep in mind, dumbass still run into giant white 52' foot long tractor trailers in the middle of the day, on a daily basis around here.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:40 AM   #8
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Also, the LED lighting beam can be scattered in fog/haze which is why a lot of firefighters still prefer to use traditional bulb flashlights when running into a burning structure.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:08 AM   #9
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My first thing to enhance visibility would be running lights. Maybe wire your turn signals to always be on solid (1/2 voltage or not). That's the one thing I think that all bike manufacturers should do.

I know it's doable with a simple relay setup.... whether you want to cut into your factory wiring is another thing.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Also, the LED lighting beam can be scattered in fog/haze which is why a lot of firefighters still prefer to use traditional bulb flashlights when running into a burning structure.
That has more to do with the color temp than the fact that they are LEDs. Some countries mandate foglights must be yellow color for this reason. Heck, in France even the headlights have to be yellow. I dunno of any commercially available yellow LED aux lighting, but 3400K HID lights achieves the same yellowish effect.

I don't think the same applies to turn signals, typically amber, and red tail lights.

BTW, "white" LEDs are actually not white. They are blue/UV diodes with yellow phosphor that glows, which is why they look yellow when not lit. You can make a warm white LED and a cool white LED, but both of them are still much "whiter" than the yellowish incadescent light bulbs.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:18 AM   #11
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Any recommendations on LED license plate kits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volfy View Post
I'd rather ride with bright lights than loud pipes. I even upgraded my license plate light to superbright LEDs for that extra visibility. HID conversion will help with visibility from the front. The same reason that some people loathe about HID conversion - the fact that some of the light gets scattered away from lighting up the road ahead - actually helps make your bike more visible to on-coming traffic. The trick is to make sure the scattering is not so much so as to be blinding. I did this with my Connie 14's dual H4 headlights with good effect. I am about to convert my SV's dual H4 too.

You are limited somewhat with what you can do with the Guzzi, since styling is so much related to the V7 racer's charm. But a little license plate brake light out back, and a set of LED aux light pods up front wouldn't hurt too much.

I haven't take any of the reflectors off my bikes and I wouldn't be opposed to it, OEM ones are barely worth anything and are usually the mininum to meet federal requirement. I 'd rather add my own reflectors to my saddlebags and top cases. Big ones!
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paupar View Post
Any recommendations on LED license plate kits?
On the FZ1 I just sold, I used these:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2Pcs-White-L...item1e71f16cfb Two of these light up the plate well, but nothing spectacular. Not bad if you just want to be legal. Cyclegear sells these for $20 (http://www.cyclegear.com/eng/product...olt/web1006859). I bought mine for $3 shipped from China.

On my Connie 14, I replaced the stock bulb with this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/130670265491...84.m1439.l2649 I trimmed the inner metal shield a bit, since the LED does not put out anywhere near the amount of heat as the stock 5W incadescent bulb. Plus I lined the back of the stock housing with aluminum foil to reflect more light toward the plate. It is very very bright and, I'm sure, draws attention from drivers behind me. I will take some pics tonight when I get home.

On my SV1000S, there is already a fender eliminator kit, so no stock license plate light housing to work with (best IMHO), so I'm thinking either one of these two options:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/350057940537...84.m1439.l2649

http://www.ebay.com/itm/350057941637...84.m1439.l2649

In the past, I've also put these panel LEDs (http://www.ebay.com/itm/140780473135...84.m1439.l2649) inside of stock tail light housing. Some bikes, particularly cruisers, have the license plate light integrated into the tail ight housing. These LED panel can plug into the stock socket and fixed so they fire directly on the plate. I did my Suzuki S83 this way, and it was blindingly white. My license plate GLOWS at night.

Last edited by Volfy; 10-24-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:13 PM   #13
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i purchased one of these for my dual sport bike. didnt work so good as the bulb fits in sideways on the bike. gave it to next door neighbor. he put it in his hd. man is that thing bright. plus it has built in brake modulator

http://www.superbrightleds.com/morei...sher/923/2274/
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:36 PM   #14
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I put a similar light in my 650r housing. It was brighter at the one spot, just didn't fill/reflect off the inner reflector/housing barely at all. Straight behind would be fine, but off center was .

Ended up getting an integrated tail, which is MUCH better... despite being a cheap ebay piece. I have yet to even hook up the turn signals, the LED tail alone was worth it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:30 PM   #15
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This is the tail light I fitted to my FZ6. I use this IN ADDITION to the stock turn signals.

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Old 10-24-2012, 01:51 PM   #16
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I think it ruins the already fading elegance of modern bikes.

I'm sure my high school shop teacher would love it.
I'm pretty sure he wanks to safety videos.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:18 PM   #17
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I talked to a motorcycle cop about this very same thing, a few years back. I told him that the combo blue+red circular lights on most cops rear ends made a very distinct attention averter and asked him if its legit for non police bikes to do the same.

he said that we can ride with extra red, not yellow, lights, no blue, or something like one or the other (about blue or red) but im sure that may have been suggested light heartedly as theres already red on the back of the bike by default (and taill/brake lights are reuqired to be red disquliafying you from being able to use blue)

although when i mentioned blue i specifically spoke about the valve-stem caps that double as light (but would put both lights on if i could) also i have since found out that those things suck so in all actuality a pair of well placed 5" red lights (like they use for towing vehicles) solid red would do very well to increase visibility and not be much of an eye sore (in the rear) at all really, up front might put some big running lights or convert your turn signals to combo turns/running lights. I would do this as well, if the wiring permitted.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
This is the tail light I fitted to my FZ6. I use this IN ADDITION to the stock turn signals.
Cool. Without the stock turn signals they'd look cool but would be pretty bad as turn signals. Just not far enough apart for your average driver to decipher the difference between left or right.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:22 PM   #19
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I like this.

1986 honda goldwing aspencade for sale 21403099
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:48 AM   #20
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This is what the Connie 14 tail looks like.

BTW, rode past a yellow/black Gixxer on BW8 North this morning. Nice and bright LED license plate lighting. Really does draw attention from quite ways back. The tail lamp also looks brighter than stock, so he could've done LED on that also. Looks great. This was just after sunrise at around 7:05am. Wish I had a helmet cam.

Don't much care if people thinks more/better lighting makes a bike ugly. Better ugly than dead.
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