Wig Wag brake lights


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
Happytrails
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Wig Wag brake lights

Postby Happytrails » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:35 pm



I recently installed a Tailblazer brake light modulator (I think they stopped selling these buy I found some NOS units off ebay) and had already installed a Signal Dynamics backoff wig wag unit (purchased thru Cyclemax). I really like them and most of the time I think they have helped being noticed. But there has always been that lingering question. Are wig wag brake lights legal on a Goldwing or does it depend on the LEO?


1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
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: Wig Wag brake lights

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:18 pm

Technically, they are completely illegal.

Whether or not you get ticketed depends on the demeanor of the LEO who pulls you over.

User avatar
Bluewaterhooker0
Posts: 556
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Location: Tampa, Fl
Motorcycle: 1997 Goldwing GL 1500 SE

Re: Wig Wag brake lights

Postby Bluewaterhooker0 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:31 pm

I run the Back-Off XP on my '97. It controls all lights on the rear of the bike, which are many, including the trunk LED air foil. I have added an additional lower running/brake light assembly on the "mud flap" that is part of the OEM fender. I also turned my lower center reflector into a run/brake light with LEDs. I also have a license plate device (Simpro) that is no longer made, that functions as 2 additional brake lights, as well as separate yellow left and right blinkers. I like lots of brake lighting. I have been told by a retired LEO, that he would pull my butt over in New Jersey running such a rig. It was his opinion, that I had to have some of those brake lights run normally, without flashing, to be legal. Since virtually every state in the country recommends flashing your brake lights when coming to a stop, I asked how he could tell the difference between manually flashing lights, and automated flashing lights. He assured me he could tell, and would write me up. I informed him, that I appreciated the heads up, and would now avoid New Jersey even more than I already do. Just one more reason to bypass the "Garden State". Like I needed more reasons. I have ridden all over Florida, sometimes with a police escort on memorial rides, in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, with no issue. However, I assume you are talking about a Wig-Wag unit, as you said. If you wanted to play it safe, you could attach it only to your upper OR lower brake lights, providing the "NJ required" constant ON lights, of the alternate fixtures. I don't really care for the alternating pattern of those designs. But to each his own. As a side note, Signal Dynamics, maker of the Back-Off and a Wig-Wag device, recommends ONLY 2 lights be connected to their devices, due to 10A load limitations. If you follow that restriction, you'll automatically be NJ LEO Safe.

This picture is before the addition of the Simpro license plate assembly.
Attachments

User avatar
Happytrails
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: Wig Wag brake lights

Postby Happytrails » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:16 am

Thanks for the info. :D Right now I just have the 2 trunk lights connected to the backoff wig wag. By itself I thought it worked good. After adding the spoiler modulator its really flashing lights a lot. I'm probably overthinking this. I've been considering just having the trunk lights flash rather than wig wag. If I connect one of the wires to both trunk lights I'm thinking that would work.
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

CrystalPistol
Posts: 261
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A
1997 GL1500SE Lehman Trike

Re: Wig Wag brake lights

Postby CrystalPistol » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:09 pm

I have a Back Off Wig Wag on both the 1500 Trike and the GL1200 bike.

The lower brake lights on rear fenders of the trike & saddle bags of the 1200 operate normally, they come on bright and stay on as long as I'm on a brake.

The trunk brake lights operate off the Back Off module are set to Mode 2: (Emits 5 alerting quick flashes of the left and right brake lights followed by 4 short flashes of both brake lights in unison. Your brake lights will remain steady on after this sequence while you're stopped.) (I forget how the trunk mounted spoiler LED does on the trike just now ... it has some sort of spoiler light modulator as best as I can recall ... they were both on the trike since back about y2k but in 2004 I removed every blue scoth-lock connector added with the trike kit and solder spliced the connections )

I was a trooper for over 31 years, I never heard of a ticket being written for them ..... unless a rider had used a simple flasher and had all his brake lights flashing continuously while the brakes were applied (I found myself behind one GL going up Rt 39 one day all brake lights on a flasher that flashed all continuous while he had brakes applied .... extremely distracting and so .... we chatted at a wide spot). That was a hazard as it would be subject to misinterpretation. It was only maybe 7 0r 8 years ago Va. law allowed "varying" brake light intensity at all in writing. http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/titl ... 46.2-1012/
Last line where it says:
"Motorcycles or autocycles may be equipped with a means of varying the brightness of the vehicle's brake light upon application of the vehicle's brakes" .....
I would take that to mean upon application, not meaning throughout the duration. If it flashes or modulates at first then settles down to a solid brake light ..... that's what will best tell a following driver what you are up to as that's what they are conditioned to.

Bluewaterhooker0 wrote: ... etc ... etc ... It was his (retired NJ LEO) opinion, that I had to have some of those brake lights run normally, without flashing, to be legal. ... etc ... etc ...


Sure he could tell .... that flasher is steady, you'll tire and get the rhythm off soon enough .... and there on the roadside, you couldn't have then activate them as then required anyway. Va. also required that "brake lights" come on and stay on as long as the brakes were applied. Some state's legislators adopt new things sooner than other state's legislators. Just because something is suddenly available, seems safer, is cheap enough .... doesn't make it necessarily legal. There's testing, approvals, and state's legislators. That's why when I added the Back Off to my 1200 (and why I made sure the one on the 1500 were) wired to only affect the upper trunk lights ..... both still had "then code" satisfying steady burning brake lights down low.

When I was asked a question like "what would you write / cite / etc" .... I gave my opinion followed by what the book said. If they asked me "What is the law on...", I told them (even often pulling the book out so they could read it if time permitted). People often wanted to argue the book part .... like I was gonna rewrite it if they convinced me ..... LOL
I sometimes just told them .... "That's nice but next week when you are on the roadside with a cop in tow, you're on your own."
Image

User avatar
Happytrails
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:13 pm
Location: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1991 Goldwing 1500 SE

Re: Wig Wag brake lights

Postby Happytrails » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:01 pm

Here's a short video showing the wigwag and brake modulator on my bike. Sorry for all the mess in my garage! :D



1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
Sun Flare Gold Metallic
Vallant Brown Inset

User avatar
Fiberthree
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:06 pm
Location: Behind the windshield
Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: Wig Wag brake lights

Postby Fiberthree » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:23 pm

That's not that bad. You do have the steady brake lights along the saddle bags so there shouldn't be a problem. The flashing is all about eye level to most drivers not in a pick-up truck or large SUV. It's all about your safety anyways. Looking good!
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

jester41
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:16 pm
Location: us/n.c. /raleigh
Motorcycle: 1887 gl1200a

Re: Wig Wag brake lights

Postby jester41 » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:20 pm

unless it has changed , federal dot says it can flash one time then steady.




Return to “GL1500 Information & Questions”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests