Modulator Question


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Bentrider
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Modulator Question

Post by Bentrider »



I have been running a headlight modulator for about ten years now and I consider it indispensable. I think it contributes more to my personal safety than any other piece of equipment I own. That, however, is my opinion wjthout a single fact to back it up. Does any such data exist? I live in Michigan and I don't think I see more than 2 or 3 bikes with modulators all year. What's it like where you live? Is Michigan the exception?



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Rambozo
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by Rambozo »

I see very few in my area. In the past I have used them and I think they made a lot more difference than today. With all the cars having daytime running lights, bright HID and LED lights and the like, I think it all becomes background noise to most drivers. The thing to do is be different to get attention and while light modulators used to do that, I think maybe something more unique is now called for. I have been seeing a lot of strobes behind marker lights on various work vehicles and cops, so maybe that is the answer until that gets overused, too. One thing I do notice all the time is I see a lot of ex-cop Honda ST1300s and every car seems to take notice of them. At one bike night event I saw a nice GL1800 painted up black and white, to look like a cop bike.

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Andy Cote
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by Andy Cote »

https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/ped ... e/toc.html
https://msf-usa.org/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4771245/

I am surprised when I see another motorcycle with one. Very infrequent.

There really has not been a study on the effects (positive and negative) of headlight modulators. MSF had not taken a stand either way even though they recommend use of high beams during the day and pumping brake lights when stopping/stopped.

Those that have used them will report "they know" that a car did or didn't do something strictly because of the modulator but also report that sometimes a driver seemed confused. The naysayers point to that as a negative in we should not be doing things to further confuse or annoy the zombie drivers. Other naysayers say they don't like riding with a modulated headlight in their mirrors yet they use brake light flashers because that's okay.

I DO NOT consider one as my most important safety feature. it is another tool in my box.

I do not use it for the purpose of annoying or agitating other drivers but there is always someone who doesn't like something that I am doing (following speed limits, stopping for red lights, etc.). If all cage drivers were also motorcyclists I would trust them more. I don't worry about "us" violating each other's personal space. But given the large number of cagers I encounter who are just self absorbed zombies with either ignorance or arrogance of any one else. I want to be equipped with as many tools as I can afford. No matter how good we are at defensive and aware operation, armor, helmets, bright colors, extra lights, loud pipes, louder horns there will always be that one cage operator that just intends to occupy the same point in space at the same time as I.
2018 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas

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AZgl1800
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by AZgl1800 »

I have had a Modulator on two of my 1500s.

In each case, I did notice that side road traffic, and on coming "left turners" seem to be more aware of me on the bike.

I always put the Modulator on the High Beams, and they run ON all the time in Daylight hours if the bike is running.

On my current 1800, I have HID lights on the Low Beams, controlled by the Oil Pressure. e.g., if the engine is running, they are ON. This allows me to run the High Beams ON at the same time, which I do all the time. This seems to work at least as well as the Modulator.

Again, all conjecture on my experience over the last 3 years and many 1,000s of mile of Interstates and lousy county roads.

IF the HIDs ever burn out, they will get the current BEST possible "look ahead" light available at the time.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

JohnUSA
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by JohnUSA »

I installed a modulator about a month ago. Marked increase in side traffic watching me.

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Rambozo
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by Rambozo »

I try to never rely on anyone seeing me. I figure half the people don't see me at all, and the other half are actively trying to hit me.
Now maybe if I was towing one of these, things would be different.



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1goldwingnut
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by 1goldwingnut »

I see very few in central Wisconsin. I had one on my other wing since they were first allowed. The other day I overheard a twin rider say he thought they were real atttention getters but he thought they were illegal now. I set him straight and he said he would have to look at getting
one now.

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Bentrider
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by Bentrider »

Rambozo wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:02 pm
I try to never rely on anyone seeing me. I figure half the people don't see me at all, and the other half are actively trying to hit me.
Now maybe if I was towing one of these, things would be different.


Wow!! That would make a great alarm clock for my wife. But after she woke up, she'd complain about the exhaust smell.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by WingAdmin »

I don't see a lot of them around here. I've had them on my Goldwings for many, many years. After I saw a change in driver behavior (it becomes apparent that they are noticing you), I decided I would always have one on my bike.

Once in a while, I will think; "wow, the drivers are really especially boneheaded today" when they repeatedly don't see me or cut me off or whatever. More than a few times, after thinking this, I realized that my modulator was turned off because I had been riding at night (and I switch to high beams to turn them on in the daytime) and had the high beams turned off. It's happened enough times now that it's made me realize that having the modulator does in fact have a positive effect on zombie drivers.

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Bentrider
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by Bentrider »

The one thing these posts have in common is that motorcycles with modulators seem to be somewhat rare. I guess that's a good thing. It makes a modulated bike stand out in traffic. It makes drivers stop and wait when they see you coming. It gives them that "What the hell is that?" moment. Works for me.

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AZgl1800
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by AZgl1800 »

Bentrider wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:57 am
The one thing these posts have in common is that motorcycles with modulators seem to be somewhat rare. I guess that's a good thing. It makes a modulated bike stand out in traffic. It makes drivers stop and wait when they see you coming. It gives them that "What the hell is that?" moment. Works for me.
When I see an approaching car coming up in the "left turn lane", I start flipping my High Beams on/off simply because I don't have a Modulator on the high beams now.

the HID lights on the low beam get a lot of attention, but, with all the new cars now having those super bright headlights, it is not as good for me as it used to be.
~John

'02 GL1800
2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

JohnUSA
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by JohnUSA »

My sense of it is that cagers mistake the modulator for an emergency vehicle, and they try to figure out what is coming towards them.

PhotoDoctor
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by PhotoDoctor »

One of bikes came from the PO with a Headlight modulator - I stopped using it after a driver pulled out in front of me.............he claimed I blinked my lights to give him the "go-ahead".

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rob.bogaards
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by rob.bogaards »

Funny question, don't you think it would be factory installed if there was any verified data on the effect ? I live in Netherlands, Europe and as far as I know we are one of the few countries where you get a 10 % discount on the insurance premium after attending an advance rider safety training. Our police academy has an annalist on motorcycle accidents. His conclusion is that with nearly all accidents one party will say 'I really did not see you' and the other party will claim there was 'eye' contact. There is no difference between motorcycle or car accidents. Our motorcycle association together with the police academy developed an advance rider safety training and most insurance company's give a 10% discount for certificate holders. The essence of the training is that the rider learns to detect the dangers and reacts while riding by changing his position or speed. Actively riding with an instructor you learn to look further ahead and make a better judgements on potential dangers in traffic.

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Andy Cote
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by Andy Cote »

rob.bogaards wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:04 am
Funny question, don't you think it would be factory installed if there was any verified data on the effect ? I live in Netherlands, Europe and as far as I know we are one of the few countries where you get a 10 % discount on the insurance premium after attending an advance rider safety training. Our police academy has an annalist on motorcycle accidents. His conclusion is that with nearly all accidents one party will say 'I really did not see you' and the other party will claim there was 'eye' contact. There is no difference between motorcycle or car accidents. Our motorcycle association together with the police academy developed an advance rider safety training and most insurance company's give a 10% discount for certificate holders. The essence of the training is that the rider learns to detect the dangers and reacts while riding by changing his position or speed. Actively riding with an instructor you learn to look further ahead and make a better judgements on potential dangers in traffic.
Welcome to the forum.

Some U.S. insurance polices do offer discounts for defensive driving or other safety courses. Varies somewhat depending on other discounts, driving records and state laws.

As stated above, there is no research that is directly on point and more general research is mostly old. Given some of the grants and studies I have read about, not sure why no one has applied for this research. It will come eventually.

I am also disappointed in manufacturers, including Honda. This could be offered on the new GL1800 for no cost. A simple programming change with a user selectable feature. I know it's not required but I think it would be a good sales feature. Some one will do this eventually as well. Once Honda or BMW or ? does it, all the others will jump on board. Same as lane departure technology. Just takes a leader to set the new standard.
2018 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas

DRH
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by DRH »

How do you collect statistics on crashes that do NOT happen? I had a modulator on my GL 1800 and my Harley Road King Police bilke. Swear by both of them. Repeatedly see cars stop suddenly in the middle of a collision making turn in front of me. Cars would ignore red & blue light but when I hit the modulator, the reaction was dramatic. I kept mine off unless I saw an upcoming potentially dangerous situation. That way I kept from upsetting cars, specially in front of me. If you use them, they will work.

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Andy Cote
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Re: Modulator Question

Post by Andy Cote »

Another new member. Welcome to the forum.

There are methods to measure non-events. It is truly a research project and requires some work. Whether funded by a grant or a scholar thesis, important work that needs to be done.


2018 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas

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