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Got my new 400 on Tuesday. Had the dealer deliver it so I could spent some quality time in a parking lot before venturing out into the streets.

My first obstacle - the traffic light nearest my business (this is the intersection I'll be going through every day), doesn't 'recognize' me - ie. my scooter doesn't trip the sensor to change the light.

Any advice?

Thanks!

- Tom
 

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Tomx said:
Got my new 400 on Tuesday. Had the dealer deliver it so I could spent some quality time in a parking lot before venturing out into the streets.

My first obstacle - the traffic light nearest my business (this is the intersection I'll be going through every day), doesn't 'recognize' me - ie. my scooter doesn't trip the sensor to change the light.

Any advice?

Thanks!

- Tom
First suggestion: if you can see the sensor loop in the pavement, try pushing your centerstand down so it "bridges" it (touching the loop with both feet of the centerstand).

Second suggestion: call the city traffic department and let them know they have a malfunctioning traffic detector (and explain the circumstances).

Good Luck!

Rusty J
Blue AN650K5 (isn't blue invisible to radar? :) )
 

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Do they allow MC's in your state to proceed thru a red lite if after a reasonable wait, and only when the way is clear, you determine that the light isn't going to trip? We can do that here in MN. Feels really awkward, though.
 

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You're lucky. In Wisconsin that's about $160 + court costs. There are several aftermarket products that are available to attach to the underside of the bike which are supposed to give off a stronger magnitic signature to trip those traffic lights but my dealer said they have sold 3 different ones at different times and get nothing but complaints that they don't work. I haven't heard anyone say they found one that consistantly works.
 

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The trip devices are all just magnets. Cut one out of a blown speaker. Put it on your bike and position it over the sensor the next time you stop.

Some just don't trip, though. Our MS instructor said that we can treat it as a malfunctioning light (as a stop sign) if we wait a cycle and it doesn't turn. WA recently passed a law saying that explicitly. Check your local statutes. If it's not legal, look for cops. :p

If it's a reasonably busy intersection, leave room for a car to pull up behind you and trip it.
 

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I have the same problem with ALL our light detectors. It's a pain. I did come across this article that may work.

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Inductive Loop

Movement and weight are not required for detection! The vehicle detector has two parts, the inductive loop itself installed into the roadway surface and the amplifier mounted in the signal control cabinet. The inductive loop is attached to the amplifier in the cabinet through a series of wires and cables. The amplifier monitors the frequency constantly and if it sees the frequency "change" then it knows that a vehicle has entered the detection area and sends a signal to the traffic control device. The traffic control device can then respond as programmed, usually changing the assignment of right of way (giving a green light) to the direction with the vehicle in the detection area.

How come the detector won't pick up my motorcycle?

With very small vehicles such as a mo-ped or some motorcycles, the detector may not be sensitive enough to pick it up. Most cyclists do not notice a problem during the day as there are enough regular cars to actuate the loops. The problem becomes very apparent at lightly used intersections or in the early am or evening. Make sure you are stopping in the correct location, that is behind the white line or crosswalk. The most sensitive areas of detection are to either side of the lane, not in the middle. Machines made mostly of alloys or aluminum that are high off the pavement will be more difficult to detect. While signal staff has not verified it by experiment we have been told by police officers that installing a small loop of wire with several turns (go around in a circle two or three times) about nine inches to a foot in diameter under the frame of the motorcycle parallel to the roadway surface will make the detector work every time.

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I wonder if any one tried this yet?
 

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Traffic lights not triggering

I have had some luck by stopping the back end of my 650 just over the point where the wires cross at the top of the box. My biggest problem now is finding the transmitter that must be embedded in my scoot that tells the light that I am approaching and it's time to change red in my face.
 

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Another thread recommended cutting your engine and restarting it, something about the surge at ignition time causes it to be detected by the inductance loops in the road (presuming that's the type of detection employed by the stoplights in your area).
 

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I had this same problem this morning. I tried restarting the engine and didn't help. It was pretty early in the morning, but fortunately another car came up behind me and tripped it.
 

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No problems with the 650...

I haven't encountered that problem with the 650 yet but my little 50cc would not trip ANY light. I used to go to work very early and had to run lights every day. I would sit through one cycle and then if a car did not come up behind to trip it I would proceed with caution through the intersection. Made for a very long ride to work since our lights are generally timed at 4 minute intervals. :?

I've driven the same way to work several times and haven't had a problem with the 650. I'll try going in early one of these days and report back.
 

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On a bicycle we pull right on top of the longitudinal line if you can see it. Works most of the time. Most cities I'm aware of actually set the things with a hub cap. In New Mexico we just complained a few times and they fixed it, even for a bicycle. Don't run straight through a red light, make a right turn and go out of your way for safety.
Rick
 

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Tomx said:
...my scooter doesn't trip the sensor to change the light.

Any advice?
Esentially, the buried loop sensors put out an electrical field, and objects entering the field effect it. The bigger the object, the greater the effect.

The sensors are "tuned" to ignore small objects to prevent false trips, but if they're set too low then motorcycles won't consistently trip them.

While the different devices you can buy may not work 100% of the time, several people where I work have bought the Greenlight Trigger, and it seems to work reliably on a troublesome light at the intersection to our office.

And they aren't all that expensive. See: http://www.greenlightstuff.com/trigger.html
 

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Traffic Laws

Does anyone know what the laws say in Florida about proceeding through a traffic signal that does not respond? I can't find a thing about it.
 

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Does FL have an online motorcycle pamphlet, like you'd use to study for the endorsement? That's where I learned about the law in Minnesota that allows us to pass a stuck red signal.
 

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Even if there is no law on the books specifically stating that you can do so, if you sit at a red light for a reasonable amount of time and it doesn't change I wouldn't worry about running it -- after carefully checking for oncoming and cross traffic.

We all hear stories of small towns where the only cop is the brother-in-law of the only judge, where they line their pockets by writing spurious tickets, etc., etc. -- but how many of those towns even have sensor-controlled traffic lights?

As a former cop I can say that most of the men and women I have known and still know who were and are "on the job" are reasonable people, and wouldn't cite you for doing so.

In the rare event that you got cited by some "by the book" rube, going to court would almost certainly get the citation dropped under the premise that you acted "as a reasonable person could be expected to do in similar circumstances" -- one of the key principles of common law.
 

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Hopefully they'd be reasonable. Most LE folks I know are.
If not, I'd ask what are the reasonable alternatives when the light cycles a half dozen times and doesn't trip green? Wait for a car? Get off and press the walk sign button, cut over and turn right and repeat until you get where you need?
It'd be intesting to hear the answer.
 

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Stu Oltman who used to be the Technical Writer for Wing World (GWRRA) magazine, did a test/review of the Green Light Trigger a few years ago and reported them to be as usefull as any or all of the gas saving gadgets are.

Best advice is to call the city/county/state responsible for the light in question and report your difficulty so it can be adjusted.
 

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I was at Princess Auto Supply the other day and they had welding magnets on sale. I picked up the small one and have it stuck to the center stand with a couple of cable ties. It seems to improve the wait time at a couple lights.
Cost was $2.49.
One problem I had was finding a spot to attach the magnet, it has two holes so I could use the plastic cable ties well enough but the only place on the bottom was the arm of the center stand. I will have to paint it black to match but for a couple of bucks it seems to work well so far.
 

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Yupper said:
Stu Oltman who used to be the Technical Writer for Wing World (GWRRA) magazine, did a test/review of the Green Light Trigger a few years ago and reported them to be as usefull as any or all of the gas saving gadgets are.
If a Goldwing won't trip a light, yeah -- there's a problem!

But we mere mortals on smaller bikes and scooters may find Green Light Triggers to be of some value, and for less than $25.00 for the new, more powerful, HP model, why not give them a try.

From the Green Light Trigger Web site (Yes, I know, they're not unbiased):
In the Touring News, the Gold Wing Touring Assoc. national magazine, Mark Hornstein says, "it does work, and is certainly worth the money."
"this is a product every street rider needs and can afford . . ." Lee Parks, Motorcycle Product News, May 2003
Recommended by Motorcyclist magazine in their 2001 holiday gift guide.
I can't speak for any of the other brands, but as I mentioned in a prior post, several people where I work have Green Light Trigger brand triggers, and they seem to work at a troublesome intersection near our office.
 
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