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To most bikes that I have owned over the last 20 years or so I added a headlight modulator. When I bought my current ride, a 2016 Goldwing, the dealer said he will not even order them for me, and does not believe they work, and said the dealership had not installed one in several years. And this is a huge multi brand dealership. I always felt that it made a noticeable difference in the times that a car or truck turned left in front of me, which is why I am adding this mod now. Just wondering if this is even a controversial idea to the members of this forum. The only downside that I see to having this is that it might be annoying to cars in front of me, but I can live with that.
 

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MOD / Rider / Mechanic
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Most I have seen are just junk. Work good for a little while then die leaving you an empty feeling when you look at the extra wiring. My two cents.
 

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On The Road Again!
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There was one on my '99 Goldwing when I got it.
I took it off.
 

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I find them extremely annoying when i see one .. but then again maybe that means they work to get ones attention.
BUT
They do have one possible SERIOUS drawback, a person might mistakenly think you flashed them to go ahead and turn in front of you or pull out!

I wouldn't want on my bike.
 

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1985 Yamaha Virago 1000
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As Mike said it could mislead the driver it's directed at. Usually when I'm in my car and someone flashes me it's to let me know I can get infront of them, not to let me know they're passing. I've never used them, IMO it's better to just honk as your passing or just blip the throttle, much less confusing for the person on the other end.
 

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I've seen plenty enough car drivers misunderstand the light and pull over thinking it is an emergency vehicle. Understandably this is ignorance on the car driver's part. But it can cause confusion and a potentially dangerous situation. So I've never really liked them.

What I did with my HD Ultra is I put amber colored film on the spot lights. They are now very bright amber lights. When combined with the white LED headlight it makes for an eye catching setup. I've noticed cars seeing me much better, but without the potentially annoying use of a modulator. I have a new bike on order for this spring, and one of the first things I'll do with it is the addition of amber spot lights.

Ignore the bugs, this pic was taken to show how many bugs I hit on that trip. :D

Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive lighting Fender Motorcycle
 

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The bugs looks like the front of my bike right now. Gone are the ugly big grasshopper splats and now we are covered with these almost no-see-ums out there. Thousands of them.
 

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I'm a big believer in modulating headlights, and like the OP, the multi brand dealer that I purchased my 2016 Honda Goldwing from back in the summer of 2016 said that they would not install one for me. So shortly after buying the bike I had my now regular mechanic do it for me. For the last 4+ years it has worked flawlessly. Merely quickly flicking the high beam to low beam switch on and off turns off the feature when I need to do so. It also only works during the daytime. The sensor disables the modulating when it starts to get dark out.

I have no doubt in my mind that it adds significantly to the safety of my riding. One of if not the most dangerous situations for a rider is that of a car or truck turning left in the path of the motorcycle, with the driver almost always claiming that they did not see the motorcycle coming towards them. Even with as large a motorcycle as the Goldwing, with its double headlight, I have seen this happen over and over. Adding the modulating headlight has reduced the times that I have seen a vehicle attempt to turn left in front of me to virtually zero. I still ride as if it would happen, recognizing that the modulating light is not a guarantee of safety, but experience shows that it really works. This is not my first bike that I have made this modification and I will do it again with any and all motorcycles that I buy in the future.

The only real downside is that yes, it does tend to annoy some drivers in front of me. When I am riding in a group of bikes I turn the feature off. But the rest of the time I leave it on. Some ignorant drivers mistake a modulating white headlight beam for the red/blue flashing of an emergency vehicle and they pull to the side of the road to let me pass. This is just fine with me and I have yet to see this situation bring about anything even approaching "road rage".

I say go for it, and enjoy the extra safety that this feature offers.
 

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Some of these comments and or excuses are pretty stupid , first of all the flashing headlight,s compared to a dull steady glow is 100 times more visible , who cares if it irritates the people in vehicles , and the notion that some think you are signalling them to go ahead and pull out is absurd . If any idiot on the road assumes that they need to be taken off the road . When an emergency vehicle is approaching with flashing lights do you think it is signaling you to go ahead and pull out ? The largest percentage of car, motorcycle accidents are from vehicles drivers claiming they never saw the motor cycle and pull out into the path of the bike . The modulator keeps you safer and its a win , win .
 

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Even if an idiot driver see,s the flashing light thinking it may be an emergency vehicle and is confused , the last thing they are going to do is pull out in front of it .The modulator keeps you safer on the road , period .
 

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Buells, Hardley, Suzuki, Beemer, and a big Katoom
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I don't use my headlight when riding, only at night time when I need it.
Most of my bikes are old enough, that they actually have a switch to turn them on or off.
I've only had one accident in my lifetime, and I don't think the deer I hit would have cared if my headlight was on or off, he was crossing that road, regardless...

And as to that pulsating headlight, it annoys me, so I wouldn't ride in front of you, that's for sure.
You can lead the pack (y)
 

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I'm a big believer in modulating headlights, and like the OP, the multi brand dealer that I purchased my 2016 Honda Goldwing from back in the summer of 2016 said that they would not install one for me. So shortly after buying the bike I had my now regular mechanic do it for me. For the last 4+ years it has worked flawlessly. Merely quickly flicking the high beam to low beam switch on and off turns off the feature when I need to do so. It also only works during the daytime. The sensor disables the modulating when it starts to get dark out.

I have no doubt in my mind that it adds significantly to the safety of my riding. One of if not the most dangerous situations for a rider is that of a car or truck turning left in the path of the motorcycle, with the driver almost always claiming that they did not see the motorcycle coming towards them. Even with as large a motorcycle as the Goldwing, with its double headlight, I have seen this happen over and over. Adding the modulating headlight has reduced the times that I have seen a vehicle attempt to turn left in front of me to virtually zero. I still ride as if it would happen, recognizing that the modulating light is not a guarantee of safety, but experience shows that it really works. This is not my first bike that I have made this modification and I will do it again with any and all motorcycles that I buy in the future.

The only real downside is that yes, it does tend to annoy some drivers in front of me. When I am riding in a group of bikes I turn the feature off. But the rest of the time I leave it on. Some ignorant drivers mistake a modulating white headlight beam for the red/blue flashing of an emergency vehicle and they pull to the side of the road to let me pass. This is just fine with me and I have yet to see this situation bring about anything even approaching "road rage".

I say go for it, and enjoy the extra safety that this feature offers.

What brand / type of headlight modulator do you have?

Link?


I recently installed Skene Photon Blasters / turn signals on my Bandit 1250S - haven't had a chance to really test them out (it's been triple digits, and as I am ATGATT, I don't ride much this time of year).


They are really VERY conspicuous, and very bright and visible - the flickering makes them stand out - so pretty confident they will make it less likely someone doesn't see me on the road. Only concern is that they are so conspicuous that people might think I'm an emergency vehicle, etc, and pull over (even though they are not emergency flasher colors).
 

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headlight modulators are not safe for the bike.

Every light has natural flicker, its just so fast that its not always so easy to notice. modulators alter the voltage drawn by the light, and increases the amount of heat built up in the wire. thats why they are not usually wanted o recomended.

its the equivelant if adding an HID w/ balast to existing OEM wiring. they will heat it up and potentially melt the wires from the excessive power draw. and we all know how they love to group all the wires into one harness... then you have potential to melt other system wires.
 

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I bought a Honda VTX last June. In looking it over, I found what I thought was an indicator light hanging from a wire, behind the windshield. After research, I discovered it was a sensor for a headlight modulator. I've never had one before, so was curious. Once mounted to the windshield I discovered an immediate difference in driver reaction to my bike. Before, I had a number of "close calls", with people pulling out in front of me or turning left oncoming. I've had the thing working for about 8 weeks and haven't had either happen even once. I'm convinced it's a safety feature and will keep it . As to disabling it, it's a simple case of flipping the dimmer switch from bright to dim and back to shut it off. I don't understand the thing about a driver thinking you are telling him to move. This thing flashes a dozen or more times per second.
 
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Being seen is of paramount importance. Not annoying other drivers comes in second (or even further down the list, depending on my mood). But there's a line between "annoying other drivers" and "impairing other drivers' ability to drive". Insanely bright lights aimed at eye level are in the second category. Headlight modulators are in the first.

I don't go around intentionally annoying other people. But when I'm riding my bike, it's my life and health on the line. An annoying headlight modulator just might be the difference between "Glad I Saw You, Mate" and "Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See You".

Having said all that, I don't have a headlight modulator on my bike. (I doubt a modulator would work well on an LED headlight bulb.) What I do have is insanely bright amber lights down low on the fork and aimed such that they don't blind oncoming drivers. On some group rides I've been on, some other riders have remarked about how visible I am. Nobody has mentioned being annoyed by them. Some people might be annoyed by my lights, but read the paragraph above.
 

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I bought a Honda VTX last June. In looking it over, I found what I thought was an indicator light hanging from a wire, behind the windshield. After research, I discovered it was a sensor for a headlight modulator. I've never had one before, so was curious. Once mounted to the windshield I discovered an immediate difference in driver reaction to my bike. Before, I had a number of "close calls", with people pulling out in front of me or turning left oncoming. I've had the thing working for about 8 weeks and haven't had either happen even once. I'm convinced it's a safety feature and will keep it . As to disabling it, it's a simple case of flipping the dimmer switch from bright to dim and back to shut it off. I don't understand the thing about a driver thinking you are telling him to move. This thing flashes a dozen or more times per second.
Sounds like your bike came with a Pathblazer from the description - daylight sensor and ability to turn it off by flipping off the high beams.


I put one on my BMW F800GT a few weeks ago, installation was quick and easy, and it seems to work well - when on a ride with another guy he commented on how visible it made me. With all of the distracted cage drivers fumbling with their cell phones, "annoying" them is pretty far down my list of concerns.
 

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Even supposed dumb animals notice flashing light , because that light is 'moving' / modulating and might be a possible threat to survival .
Why would anyone think that a flashing light is less noticeable than a steady on light ?
We see lights all day long and pay little or no attention , until some of those lights are flashing . Then we wonder what's going on and start paying close(er) attention .

So , headlight modulation is a definite positive .

I doubt a little extra in the bank ever hurt anyone . ;)
 
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