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Being a bit paranoid since an accident two years ago, I added a headlight modulator to hopefully increase my visibility. Today, at a busy intersection waiting to turn right, a car pulled right in front of me from the oncoming lane. As it turns out, it was someone I know. We were also headed to the same place and, when we had parked, I thanked him (!) for cutting in front of me. He responded that he thought I was flashing my lights to tell him to go ahead of me.

He's actually a pretty nice guy, and so I thought about what he had said. The particular intersection is difficult to make a left hand turn, and one can sometimes have to wait for another light cycle if no one lets them turn. I can see how he understood my lights flashing at him.

I'm now rethinking the use of the headlight modulator. To some it's aggravating, but if it's at all likely to be misunderstood, maybe it's not such a great safety addition.
 

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Regarding Headlight modulators

Being a bit paranoid since an accident two years ago, I added a headlight modulator to hopefully increase my visibility. Today, at a busy intersection waiting to turn right, a car pulled right in front of me from the oncoming lane. As it turns out, it was someone I know. We were also headed to the same place and, when we had parked, I thanked him (!) for cutting in front of me. He responded that he thought I was flashing my lights to tell him to go ahead of me.

He's actually a pretty nice guy, and so I thought about what he had said. The particular intersection is difficult to make a left hand turn, and one can sometimes have to wait for another light cycle if no one lets them turn. I can see how he understood my lights flashing at him.

I'm now rethinking the use of the headlight modulator. To some it's aggravating, but if it's at all likely to be misunderstood, maybe it's not such a great safety addition.
The same thing happened to me....once. However it saved my bacon at least three times. I was going down a main boulevard with stop signs on intersecting side streets. While watching the lug bolts on the front tires start to rotate all of a sudden the front of the cars lurched down to make a fast stop after they saw my modulating headlights.
 

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Let me make sure I understand the situation. You had a GREEN and were waiting to turn right. Your friend was coming toward you and waiting to turn left in the same direction you were waiting to turn, correct?

Why were you waiting, stopped, at a green light if there wasn't a car running the red light (from the left) or someone like your friend already making a left turn in front of you???? I don't get it. Neither of you were driving/riding properly IMO....assuming what I believe you said is correct. But maybe I'm wrong.
 

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I leave my lights on low beam and if I need to alert someone to wake up its high beams steady on and horn steady on.

Have had a few wake up tho I'm considering a Stebbel for even more effect.
The high beams on the Burgman are very bright even in the daytime but only useful if you leave them off.
 

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I have a Kisan headlight modulator on my 400. It flashes on high OR low. I leave it on all the time on low beam. That way, only retards will think you are signaling them to go. The low beam flashing attracts enough attention without the aggravation of the high beam burning their eyeballs.
 

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I am more on Paul's side. I see them flashing at me and it can cause some confusion. If they were to flash slower it would be different, but in one sense it appears like that of a police vehicle.
 

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I wonder what person flash's in daytime repeatedly to say "go"? I might flash once or twice to go but not constantly.

I believe modulators have saved evasive action by me at least once per month. Yes they piss some people off and others are confused( guy at work said he slowed down because he thought he had been caught speeding) police and other emergency lights flash differently , but I guess people don't know that, that's why they allowed.

Just my opinion, and I know others will disagree, but as i said they have worked for me.
 

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I too am not a fan of headlight modulators. To easy to be confusing to drivers that have no idea what they are. Be it they think I'm so sort of emergency vehicle and do dangerous things to get out the way, or to some person thinking I'm flashing them to allow them to go.

If ALL motorcycles had them, would be a no brainer, but one motorcycle out of hundreds drivers see daily, they react hastily to it, and not always in a good way.

I speak from experience because before I was riding, I always thought it was some cop, then saw it wasn't and cussed and screamed that he should get a ticket for it. loll and behold turns out they are a "safety" device.
 

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Have had a few wake up tho I'm considering a Stebbel for even more effect.

I put 4 wolo horns on my nissan versa, it's great in parking lots for walkers with earphones on, they get real good air at any age. as far as bikes , my accidents kind of convinced me horns were a "look for a body" signal modulators I have seen from a looong way off and been able to recognise as a bike when without a modulatgor I probably wouldn't have registered a light coming my way,

never heard a horn that didn't have a chorus of "oh poop" being sung along with it and that means too close and too late
 

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I too am not a fan of headlight modulators. To easy to be confusing to drivers that have no idea what they are. Be it they think I'm so sort of emergency vehicle and do dangerous things to get out the way, or to some person thinking I'm flashing them to allow them to go.

If ALL motorcycles had them, would be a no brainer, but one motorcycle out of hundreds drivers see daily, they react hastily to it, and not always in a good way.

I speak from experience because before I was riding, I always thought it was some cop, then saw it wasn't and cussed and screamed that he should get a ticket for it. loll and behold turns out they are a "safety" device.
Yes.

The first time I saw one, I thought, at a distance, it was an emergency vehicle. When it came closer, I though it was some guy who got hold of some police-vehicle equipment...and that he'd shortly be hauled off.

It was here I learned what headlight modulators are for. But...not everyone knows! I've seen people pull OVER for them; turn in FRONT of them, flip them off.

In traffic, in sunlight, I try to be more visible by just putting on high beams. So far, I haven't had any close calls....
 

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I have debated with myself about posting to this thread but finally gave in. People are saying here that other motorists are being confused and thinking that the modulator on the motorcycle (or scooter in our case) is someone flashing their lights to tell them to go ahead. Sounds reasonable.

Except the modulator flashes over and over. And it is not a flash, it is a dimming of the light with full power being applied over and over. It has to be at a certain frequency (one of two) to avoid being the the frequency that Police and EMS uses. It cannot allow the light to be fully off, it has to work by dimming the light to no more than 70% of full power. The modulator has to have a sensor that detects if it day or night and turn it off at night. All of this is spelled out in Federal Law. Here is a link to a site that has the law:
http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-technical-articles/Modulator-regs.htm

I don't see any way possible that anyone could think that a light cycling in this manner could in any way think that the modulator is flashing at them to give them permission to take right of way. If this was true we would have more cases of people saying that Police and EMS vehicles are doing the same.

You don't have to like headlight modulators but come on. Don't try to argue that they confuse people in traffic except that they may be mistaken for a Emergency Vehicle. And even then if the operator of the car is attentive they will note that the light frequency is different.

Namaste'
Doug in Kentucky
 

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Doug,
You wrote that you don't see anyway that some person could misinterpret a headlight modulator as a "go" sign. That person could if he/she were a retard, moron or plain idiot. A look at the nation's elected officials shows you just how many of these people are out there, and actively breeding. Scary.
 

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Well, I do not beleive even morons could mistake a headlight modulator as a go-ahead signal, but lets assume there is one out there. I know for a fact I have had too many occasions to count where my headlight modulator has stopped cars from intruding on my right of way. So the balance still tips toward having a modulator.

And besides, a headlight modulator is not some sort of magical force field. You still have to keep an eye out for the traffic, and for that driver who is texting on the cell phone and quite oblivious to the rest of the world. So that one hypothetical moron mentioned above should not be a problem.
 

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I'm 49 years old, and if I never came on this site I wnould've never known. Looks like a head light malfunction, or an emergency vehicle to me, but either way I guess if you notice, it did it's job.
 

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Vision Problelms

I have a modulator to increase visibility. All wrecks are caused by vision problems. It's hard for people to see when they have their head up their A$$.
 

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To fit a modulator here in the UK would be suicide, drivers see the flash and think you are giving them the right of way, they don't stop to count the flashes and it does not matter that the highway code says "treat flashed head lights only as a warning" that's not the way drivers see it, they are going to go for it and the one most likely to get hurt is you.
I have seen many threads from other paces singing the praises of them and always thought drivers in them must interpret a flashing head light differently. To be honest if there things still flash at slow speed I could see drivers in traffic taking a baseball bat to your scooter if the thing was continually flashing in there rear view mirror, a mate fitted a wrong bulb in his rear light that had the effect of flashing the head light every time he touched the brakes, that got him into all sorts of interesting situations till I fixed it.
 

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I agree the modulator will get attention. However, we still have to deal with the distracted driver, a.k.a. the LALA Land driver and the hazardous cell phone addict! Never a dull moment, but it's worth it to be able to get out and ride!
Y'all ride safe!:)
 

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Hi beams - daytime

the Burgman has a great set of hi beams.
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Daytime only, I run my HI beams all the time. :D
On the Burg in 6+ yrs and 31K miles, no one has cut me off or crossed in front of me.
This is in downtown Atlanta traffic and interstate driving.
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On way home from work at night I Hi/Low beam as necessary for the traffic at hand.
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The other thing, I still am running the original headlight bulbs. :blob5:
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just my 2cents worth.
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There is no way that I could manually flash my headlights as rapidly as the headlight modulator modulates.

The modulators are supposed to flash (around) 240 times per minute (or 4 times per second).

How can anyone mistake that rapidly flashing light as a "go ahead" signal?
 
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