Riding At Night - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 08-18-2011, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Riding At Night

Night Riding. Not something I've intentionally set out to do in the past; just happened to do it when necessary. I'm finding I really like it.

Since it's cooled down here, I've been using my KLR for my 65-mile commute. (Polyester uniform/ATGATT/Heat Indices around 115: bad combo for riding to work) and find myself really enjoying the ride home at 11:00 p.m.

Most of my route consists of a remote, twisty, curvy 2-lane asphalt road with a 2-mile stretch of Interstate in the middle. I pass through only one small town on the way home and rarely see another vehicle.

Animals in the road and owls/bats in the air are my greatest threats, but since there are no other vehicles on the road, I can poke along sedately at 40-45, giving myself a good view down the road and shoulders with plenty of time to react.

Last night I saw 6 deer, 2 possums, a pack of about 5 raccoons, two dogs and a small "pack" of housecat kittens in the road or crossing it. The kittens were actually out gnawing on a dead possum in the road. I see owls almost every night and a bat now and then and foxes aren't uncommon but I have yet to spot a coyote or Sasquatch.

One night I saw a large fireball or meteorite flash overhead and in front of me just as I came into the one town I pass through. It was so bright its reflection actually lit up some of the vegetation around me.

It seems like everything is condensed at night. Since it's about all you can see, you just zone out on the road, the drone of the engine and the rhythmic whining of the front tire. It seems like everything smells better at night: passing hayfields, creeks, farmland, timber: they all have their own unique smell that's intensified by the humid night air.

Of course, the same thing goes for dead animals in and along the road and that ain't so pleasant.

I think I will go ahead and try to get some auxiliary or backup lights on the KLR now that I'm riding this road regularly at night. So far, I've found that the stock Lo and Hi beams are more than adequate, especially at the speeds I'm riding, but it seems like headlight fuse-blowing is a not-uncommon occurrence with the KLR and I'd like to have another source independent of the headlight circuit.

If you don't make a habit of riding at night, I would recommend you get out and give it a try if you have some suitable roads: I think it kind of refines riding down to its essence.



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post #2 of 30 Old 08-18-2011, 11:38 AM
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I would also like to put some after market lights on… let me know what you find?
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post #3 of 30 Old 08-18-2011, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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I would also like to put some after market lights on… let me know what you find?
I'll probably just go with the $20 auto driving lights mounted lower on my crash bars The stock lights give decent illumination: just want a backup, not improved performance. There are some nice little lights out there that provide a lot of light with a lot less draw, but due to my wife's recent spate of eye surgeries, I'll have to go the cheap route. I don't think I'll have any charging system issues: guess I'll find out.

I've also read that having three points of light on the front makes it easier for other drivers to judge your speed/movement.

I've asked about this on here before and have read other posts about it, and I plan to get power to the lights directly from the battery and activate them with a relay that's spliced into the wire that's hot when the key is on; (blue/brown) I believe so I can't inadvertently leave them on or have somebody walk by and flip the switch and turn them on, etc.

If I finally get around to buying a set, I'll probably be back to pester people with questions about wiring them in. Electrical systems aren't my strong point.



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post #4 of 30 Old 08-18-2011, 02:18 PM
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Serious about riding at night on a Gen I?

Get TPI headlight bulb at least, with relay harness at most.

Night and day; higher wattage, broader coverage on low beam.

End of story.
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post #5 of 30 Old 08-18-2011, 11:52 PM
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P- I love riding bikes or anything in the dark of the night, or early morning for us early risers. I would be concerned about being seen from the rear by motorists. Unfortunately there are a higher % of DUIs on the roads late nights. Good call on increasing visibility. Are you anywhere near Anderson Missouri? I spent time there as a kid with G parents.

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post #6 of 30 Old 08-19-2011, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LoneRider View Post
Serious about riding at night on a Gen I?

Get TPI headlight bulb at least, with relay harness at most.

Night and day; higher wattage, broader coverage on low beam.

End of story.
I ride a 2009. I find the lights on both Hi and Lo quite adequate. I just want something I can limp home on if the headlight circuit goes out. There are no shoulders on the road I travel and it's a piss-poor place to try to fumble around in the dark and try to get a new fuse in.



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post #7 of 30 Old 08-19-2011, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sandiegowheels View Post
P- I love riding bikes or anything in the dark of the night, or early morning for us early risers. I would be concerned about being seen from the rear by motorists. Unfortunately there are a higher % of DUIs on the roads late nights. Good call on increasing visibility. Are you anywhere near Anderson Missouri? I spent time there as a kid with G parents.
Good point about being seen from the rear. I wear one of those lime-green hi-viz safety vests (a 4x over my jacket) so figure it probably provides as much visibility from the rear as some kind of add-on LED lights: at least I hope it does, anyway.

I don't know where Anderson is. It ain't around here. I'll have to look it up.



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post #8 of 30 Old 08-19-2011, 10:03 AM
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I wear one of those lime-green hi-viz safety vests (a 4x over my jacket) so figure it probably provides as much visibility from the rear as some kind of add-on LED lights: at least I hope it does, anyway.
I hope so too, but doubt it. You perhaps have never followed a bike with a variable-interval flashing LED stop light. Commands more attention than Day-Glow duds, IMHO.
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post #9 of 30 Old 08-19-2011, 10:15 AM
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Iseem to remember it being in the south western part of the state, in the "Ozarks"

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post #10 of 30 Old 08-19-2011, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Iseem to remember it being in the south western part of the state, in the "Ozarks"
Indeed it is: about as Southwest as you can get. I'm about as Northwest as you can get. I would imagine it's quite scenic down there.



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