Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields


Anything goes - doesn't fit any other category!
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
waituntilthebeep
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Rainy Pacific Northwest
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800
Black and Silver
Previously:
1989 GL1500
Wineberry Red
'01 Shadow 750
DOUBLE DARK SIDE #1467 on Michelin Primacy and BT45

Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby waituntilthebeep » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:40 pm



Looking for some feedback here... Recently bought a used Goldwing. Through digging around under the Tupperware I found out it had a headlight modulator installed. Never had a bike with one on it before. I decided that I'd kick 'er on (high beams during the day) and I am seriously amazed... and maybe even a bit annoyed... by how well it works. Every friggen reflective thing in the world flashes back at me, even in broad daylight with the sun shining. I have found out that the PO installed some seriously bright headlights in this beasty and the street signs reflect the modulated high beams during the day for half a mile:-) I have to wonder what the cagers think when they see everything flashing just like I do when travelling in the same direction? Jury is still out on how I feel about it since it's my hide the flashing light is announcing. I think if I was in a car, I might get a little annoyed. Also... when it gets dusky, the light sensor does it's job and the light stops flashing... every time you go through a shady spot. Then it's full on high beam in the rear view mirror of the car in front of me. I flick it off when it's dusky cause I really don't want someone brake checking me for blinding them.
Opinions?

ALSO... I ran into a rather startling discovery today and it involves my windshield. A PO took the stock height windshield off and put a taller one on. I initially though t that was just ducky until this morning. I live in the Pacific Northwest and when we are not getting rain we get everything else. Usually all in the same day. So, I head off to work at 5:30 am and the sun is just barely starting to come up. It's clear and nice until I get about half way to the boat I have to take across the sound. I hit fog so thick I could not see the car in front of me at 25 yards. The windshield started to collect micro small mist and that made the visibility a bit dicey (like it wasn't bad before). I finally cleared the fog but was stuck with this misty windshield. Then the sun peaked out and the mist magnified the sunlight. I got to the boat and across the water and it was really foggy during the passage and the windshield was starting to mist up again. All the other bikes were like this as well so I figured it was the price we pay for not having windshield wipers. Headed up the hill and WHAMMO! Sunshine right in the face for 5 miles. This thing is so tall I could not see over it around it or through it. I almost pulled over and took my shirt to the thing so I could safely ride again. I have applied Rain-X to it a couple times and it is clean so any significant moisture should bead up but this was not enough to break the water tension on the windshield. I am seriously thinking about getting a shorter wind shield now so at least if all hell breaks loose weather wise, I can look over the thing and open my visor to my bare eyeballs. Down side... may have to deal with the rain like I did on my scooter. Advice?



User avatar
cbx4evr
Posts: 1397
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:35 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB Canada
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE
2004 Kawasaki KLR 650
Solex 5000
1980 Honda CBX - sold :-(
1981 Honda CBX - sold :-(
Contact:

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby cbx4evr » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:18 am

I would start with getting a lower windshield. I've experienced the issuer you describe but at least can see over the windshield.

On the headlight modulator. What type of "seriously bright" headlights were installed?? Have you checked the aiming of the headlights?? You can adjust them with the knob on the dash. Yours may be too high. I have a modulator and don;t have the issues you describe so much. You have to choose where you use it. When I am directly behind a vehicle I will shut it off so I don't annoy the driver.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

User avatar
wjnfirearms
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:51 pm
Location: Portersville, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1980 KZ750 LTD
2007 H-D XL1200C
Contact:

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby wjnfirearms » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:00 am

The recommended height of a windshield is that so you can easily look over it. If it's a problem for you with the one installed, I'd replace it.

As to the modulator, if you find it a distraction and adjusting the headlight doesn't correct it, disconnect it. Simple as that. I never heard of one that shuts off when going through shade. I wonder if there is a sensitivity adjustment on it. Never had one so I cannot say for sure.
Member, Patriot Guard Riders, Blue Knights LEMC, PA VII

User avatar
waituntilthebeep
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Rainy Pacific Northwest
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800
Black and Silver
Previously:
1989 GL1500
Wineberry Red
'01 Shadow 750
DOUBLE DARK SIDE #1467 on Michelin Primacy and BT45

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby waituntilthebeep » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:44 am

I am sold that the windshield must go. It did it again this morning.

I did some research on the modulator and they are required to have a photo eye that shuts the modulation down when lighting conditions are low. This is because the modulator controls the high beam and if it didn't shut itself off automatically, you'd being doing the disco in the dark on high beams. This why the modulator stops at dusk when you hit shade (low light areas). Thinking I am just going to be selective where I activate it. Serves no good if its going to piss people off around me. The headlamps are adjusted ok, it's just a really bright and broad beam high beam. Will pull the assy and see what they installed light wise next week.

User avatar
cbx4evr
Posts: 1397
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:35 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB Canada
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500SE
2004 Kawasaki KLR 650
Solex 5000
1980 Honda CBX - sold :-(
1981 Honda CBX - sold :-(
Contact:

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby cbx4evr » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:08 am

I use my modulator mainly on the two lane. I shut it off when I come up behind someone unless they are driving painfully slow or have just passed me and pee'ed me off. I don;t use it much in traffic situations in city driving.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

User avatar
bjatwood
Posts: 363
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:19 am
Location: Blair, Nebraska
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500 SE
1973 CB750 K3
1970 CT70-HKO

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby bjatwood » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:25 pm

FYI you don't want to use RainX on your plastic windshield, it causes yellowing. I have a tall slipstreamer windshield that I like. It helps one stay warm when the temps drop in the fall and spring immensely

User avatar
waituntilthebeep
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Rainy Pacific Northwest
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800
Black and Silver
Previously:
1989 GL1500
Wineberry Red
'01 Shadow 750
DOUBLE DARK SIDE #1467 on Michelin Primacy and BT45

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby waituntilthebeep » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:25 pm

bjatwood wrote:FYI you don't want to use RainX on your plastic windshield, it causes yellowing. I have a tall slipstreamer windshield that I like. It helps one stay warm when the temps drop in the fall and spring immensely


How do you deal with visibility issues and if not rainX'd, how do you keep the windshield from turning into bathroom glass when its raining? I really like the tall shield especially for the fact that it pushes the air clear over my head but if the windshield is obstructed with moisture/sun and I cant see around it, I am kinda a blind missle:-) I am a year round rider ( even with snow in the air last year) and I encounter the crap weather ALOT in Washington.

User avatar
mtn_boy1
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 2:57 pm
Location: Oxford, NC
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500 SE

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby mtn_boy1 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:50 pm

How do you deal with visibility issues and if not rainX'd

Read more: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18144#ixzz2aNpW4E6S

Lemon Pledge works the same way.
'Soldier HARD'
Patriot Guard Riders, North Carolina/Virginia
"From the day I was born they have had my back..til the day I die I will have theirs."

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:08 pm

waituntilthebeep wrote:How do you deal with visibility issues and if not rainX'd, how do you keep the windshield from turning into bathroom glass when its raining? I really like the tall shield especially for the fact that it pushes the air clear over my head but if the windshield is obstructed with moisture/sun and I cant see around it, I am kinda a blind missle:-) I am a year round rider ( even with snow in the air last year) and I encounter the crap weather ALOT in Washington.


This stuff works really well for me: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=6924

User avatar
Sidcar
Posts: 503
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:07 pm
Location: Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500/6 with Watsonian Oxford sidecar

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby Sidcar » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:45 pm

I have a standard windshield on my 1500gl and I could see nothing when it rained.
In the end I lopped 3 inches off the height so I can now see over the top, much better.
Waste not want not I cut the 3 inch strip in half and mounted it either side of the windshield and that really helped reduce the buffeting I've been getting.
Headlight modulators are illegal over here.

Sid

User avatar
waituntilthebeep
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:38 pm
Location: Rainy Pacific Northwest
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800
Black and Silver
Previously:
1989 GL1500
Wineberry Red
'01 Shadow 750
DOUBLE DARK SIDE #1467 on Michelin Primacy and BT45

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby waituntilthebeep » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:47 am

I'd had enough! The windshield had to go. It was a Marlkand tall windshield and I replaced it with a stock height one that is SOOOOO much better. Doesn't quite stop the wind over my head like the other one did but weirdly enough, it actually clears the rain better. The tall shield must have changed the aerodynamics enough that the center of the shield would hold the water and the wind would not effect it. Not so with the new one:-) I have been looking at windshield pics on other wings and found that the tall shield I had was dang near vertical while most are swept back considerably. Probasbly why mine would not clear at speed. I am so happy!!! Doesn't take much to appease me though. I am going to try and take some video of the modulator effects on the signs and reflectors on the cars around me in broad daylight. You'll find that odd. Rode with a guy the other day with modulated headlamps and his does not do what mine does.

User avatar
Andy Cote
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Windham, ME
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Phantom Gray

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby Andy Cote » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:49 am

I saw your other post on ground effect lighting. I would keep the modulator over adding new effect lighting. I had upgraded my headlight bulbs to the Sylvania Ultra Superstars (stock wattage). These are excellent and do reflect off signs in the daytime. But they don't last long. I would have to replace one or both once per season.

I switched to the HID kits for longevity. Brightness and visibility are great; they also reflect off signs during the day. Very happy except that they really are not a good mix with the modulator. There is a whole thread as a sticky at the top of the board list but basically GL1500 uses a dual filament bulb and the HID, instead of using two separate filaments for Hi and Low, uses a motor to relocate the filament within the reflector. Not interested in cycling this motor continuously.

If I were to stay with halogen bulbs (or if I ever buy a GL1800), a modulator would be top of my must buy list. even if it annoys the cagers, that means they can see you!

Windshields. Like you, my bike came with the big Markland Touring shield and I would have fogging or mist issues. I still use it in the cold season and stand on the boards to see over when it gets wet. Original Spirits brand or Lemon Pledge helps. Do inside also.

I have a stock height windshield that I can see over. I also have the Tulsa Tall and run it in the low position. The Tulsa does shred real rain pretty well but I do have to "stretch" up a bit to see over when it fogs.
DARKSIDE #1500
88 GL1500, Phantom Gray Metallic, double darkside
97 Valkyrie, red/white
Previously, GL1200 (2), many other Hondas and one Kawasaki
Ham Extra Class, AC1R

User avatar
Missourimike
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:03 pm
Location: Springfield, Missouri
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000
1979 GL1000
1981 GL 1100
1962 150 Dream
1973 750 Norton
1983 CX650C #1
1983 CX650C #2

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby Missourimike » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:14 pm

I have a modulating unit on my '79 Wing, but it's an old one that has it's own separate switch on the module, to shut it off when I so chose, like for riding at night. My headlight does do some reflecting off street signs also, but not extremely so. As for when I use the modulator....ALL THE TIME in daylight, two, four, or more lanes. It gets the attention of that person at the stop sign when he sees you coming. That's the whole idea of the modulator, to get the attention and wake up other drivers to your presence. I've not had the trouble of people pulling out in front of me, that I've had with my non-modulating rides. But that does not mean I am not on guard all the time, always looking for an "escape route" when on the road. Don't let it get you complacent in your riding.

User avatar
PoolDude
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:05 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby PoolDude » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:10 pm

I got talked into putting a tall windshield on the beast and regretted it. I've found that one a bit lower than the stock height works even better. You're right in that you still get some wind on the top of the helmet but not so much as to be bothersome. I would check the wattage of the bulb, normal bulbs are 35/55watt but you can get up to 55/100watt bulbs. A friend of mine runs one on his KLR and when he hits high beam half the state lights up. Great for the backroads he loves but blinding for any oncoming traffic.

User avatar
dtrider
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:44 am
Location: Meridian, Id
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby dtrider » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:36 am

When I got my Wing a couple months ago, it came with a modulator that the PO had installed. My previous bike (Yamaha Royal Star) also had a modulator, but it only had a single headlight. I was really impressed with the Wing's lights when I saw the signs up ahead flickering back at me.

However, a couple weeks ago there was a story in the news about people complaining about motorcycle modulators. Seems some people were mistaking them for emergency vehicles and were pulling over.
http://www.jrn.com/kivitv/news/Flashing ... 33901.html

In my opinion, if they are mistaking my modulator for an emergency vehicle, then they probably weren't paying attention in the first place and shouldn't be driving. My modulator is doing it's job. I pretty much use it everywhere during the day, but I will turn it off when I pull up behind a car at a stop.

WIndshields: A buddy mentioned the 'Flare' windshield to me yesterday:
http://wingstuff.com/products/36174-fla ... m_search=1
Apparently it is short enough to see over, but the curve at the top helps throw the wind over your head. He also mentioned that there is an add-on for stock windshields that will do the same thing, but I haven't been able to find that yet.
Every day is a good day for a bike ride. Some days are just better than others.
Image

User avatar
seelyark1
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 1:57 pm
Location: Dunnellon, Florida
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1998 GL1500 SE Totaled
1984 VT500C
1967 CB550-4

Re: Headlamp modulators and big friggen windshields

Postby seelyark1 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:05 pm

After I got hit by a woman pulling out of a side street, she said she didn't see me. My bike was totaled. When I got a new to me 2000 1500, I put a modulator on it. I see lots of times where people see me now. Saw one actually pull off to the side thinking I was police behind him, and I was a quarter mile behind him then. If you really look at the police lights, they alternate from side to side, nothing like a modulator. I have seen people start to pull out and then stop. At night the modulator stops and just runs the high beam like a normal headlight. You will also see people flash their lights at you, I just wave and keep going as I know they see me. As for those that think that people will think I am signaling to pass, just try to flash your lights that quick. I love mine.


Ride safe, and smart. Asphalt is like #1 grit sandpaper. Dave


Return to “Goldwing Chat”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alan_Hepburn, Bing [Bot], Easy rider, Zum [Bot] and 4 guests