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Discussion Starter #1
I know I have a ton of questions... I should soon have it figured out so I don't have to ask so much.

So, I was wondering... does everyone drive during the day with the brights off? It looks odd with only one headlight on, so I was just curious?
 

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Its my {opinion} you should always ride with your bright on for safety! Vehicle code allows for it. One other thing i do is flick my bright on and off to get oncomming traffics attention. This is all covered in your riders safety course, Right?

Im not bein a smartass, just tryin to be helpful n let you know what works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Makes sense...
I am taking the safety course thing on Sunday. So, I am guessing they will cover it....

One more question...
RPMs... is 5000rpm about as high as it should go for highway riding?
 

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Its my {opinion} you should always ride with your bright on for safety! Vehicle code allows for it. One other thing i do is flick my bright on and off to get oncomming traffics attention. This is all covered in your riders safety course, Right?

Im not bein a smartass, just tryin to be helpful n let you know what works for me.
Good point about the safety course. Many things are taught to keep us safe that mere mortals don't think of. "Figurin' in out on the fly" is how people end up on Darwin's List.
I may end up on that list, but 'ol Darwin is gonna have to work at getting my name at the top.
 

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Its my {opinion} you should always ride with your bright on for safety! Vehicle code allows for it. One other thing i do is flick my bright on and off to get oncomming traffics attention. This is all covered in your riders safety course, Right?

Im not bein a smartass, just tryin to be helpful n let you know what works for me.

I disagree with both your points...

The vehicle code allows motorcycles to drive with high beams on during the day because back when that law went into effect motorcycle lights were not bright. Not so today, riding with your high beam on makes it harder for others to spatially locate you. Notice the next bike you see with high beams on it's harder to see where they are in traffic they become a bright blur.

It's not a good practice to flash you lights as other drivers can misinterpret and assume that you are signaling them to go ahead. If you're trying to get their attention it's better to weave in your lane, horizontal movement is more likely to be noticeable.
 

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I'm with Spec on all points..

The only time I have my high beams on is when I'm riding towards some jackass who's not smart enough to have his headlights on if it's foggy or raining.. I figure, if he doesn't have the courtesy to make sure I can see him, I'll damned well make sure he can see ME!!

I tried the flash at intersections, and more than once, had someone pull out in front of me because they thought I was turning, even though I didn't have a turn signal on..

As far as looking "Odd", who cares? I'm not out there riding to impress or worry about how others think I look.. I'm sure that you'll ride past thousands of Pirates in your travels who will think that unless you're on a Harley, and dressed like a Pirate, you're stupid and your bike is ugly.. Again, who cares??

Go out there and ride for YOU!! Keep yourself safe, ride aggressively defensive and enjoy yourself.. Oh, and have some bacon!! MMMM
 

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On all of my bikes the only time I use the bright lights is when I have the sun low at my back, and that's only so that people can pick me out of the glare.
 

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Yep, I agree with Spec, too. But don't worry about asking Q's. That's what we do. ;)
 

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Ya I don't ride with brights on. It does look strange with the klr tho. I'm always worried that a cop will think I have a headlight out and pull me over.
 

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Cops know. And they would probably be more interested if you had your brights on. But I agree, the KLR looks weird...period. :)
 

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I ride on the low beam, day and night. Nothing to do with safety. My cheesy KLR charging system won't keep up with my heated jacket and gloves AND a high beam headlight. My Concours ain't much better. A wiring upgrade and a H4 bulb, and I can see at night on low beam just fine. When not using heated gear, I try to preserve my charging system, in true KLR fashion.

From a safety standpoint, it is interesting to check around at what has been written regarding the use of high beam lights during daytime operation.

http://www.motorcyclesafety.state.mn.us/latest/MMSCHomeSecondary.asp?cid=5&mid=305

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/00-NHT-212-motorcycle/motorcycle49-50.html

Check the bottom of page 6, top of page 7

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application/pdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251631443545&ssbinary=true

See page 20

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl655/dl665mcycle.pdf

http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/citizen/drivers/mcmanual/mcmanual6.asp#mc2

It appears that we are still allowed freedom of choice on this issue. Right or wrong, at least we are talking about safety. I ride like I'm two steps ahead of a jealous husband most of the time. I understand the chances I take. The facts remain that over 3/4 of our wrecks involve cages violating our right of way, usually because they don't see us. Any discussion about lowering that figure is good.

All the Military reservations require Hi Viz and reflective stripping for all riders entering bases, and there are a bunch around me. Those riders do stand out, more so than any lighting they could display. A KLR 650, Aerostich and a Hi Viz vest should not only keep me safe from cars, it would be the safest hedge against STD's known to man.
 

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A KLR 650, Aerostich and a Hi Viz vest should not only keep me safe from cars, it would be the safest hedge against STD's known to man.
I think I better get a Hi Viz vest, and STAT!!:)

Luckily, I'm already wearing stuff like this at work:



So hopefully, other than looking like a slightly smaller, but brighter version of the sun, I'll be safe from the clap, too!!!:D
 

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On the open road I ride with both.....Not when I'm behind somebody though. Just a little food for thought, The low beam aims mostly straight ahead and right. The high beam has a lot more light going to the left so I always figured traffic pulling out on your left could see you better. I've been riding around 35 years but I do want to take a safety course and maybe I'll shed some bad habits. Bigv I mean this in a humorous way, I'm a cop and you have to give us a little more credit for our intelligence. Just my two cents.
 

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LOL. I have so much reflective tape on my bike. Kind of ridiculous, but when it looks black and reflects white how can you argue? I wear a vest sometimes when I ride my Honda, cause I sure as shit ain't putting reflective tape on it.
 

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Anything that increases visibility is a good thing but some drivers wouldn't see you even if you were to dance on their car hood singing the Zulu Warrior.

 

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From a safety standpoint, it is interesting to check around at what has been written regarding the use of high beam lights during daytime operation.
Unfortunately the study the links are referencing is the Hurt Report from 29 years ago.

Here's a wiki with more current info from a Euro study

... The facts remain that over 3/4 of our wrecks involve cages violating our right of way, usually because they don't see us. Any discussion about lowering that figure is good.
That's a misleading statement you imply that the motorcycle is generally not a fault. Here's the most recent data I could find.

2008 National Statistics

* In 2008, 5,290 bikers were killed – an increase of 2% from 2007.
* 59% of the bikers killed in 2008 were not wearing helmets.
* Of the motorcycle operators killed in 2008, 30% had a BAC of .08 or higher.
* There were 96,000 bikers injured during 2008.
* In 2008, motorcycle riders accounted for 14% of total traffic fatalities, 17% of all occupant fatalities, and 4% of all occupants injured.
* 35% of all bikers involved in fatal crashes in 2008 were speeding.
* In 2008, 2,554 (47%) of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of moving vehicle.
* Per vehicle mile traveled, bikers are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and 9 times more likely to be injured.
* In 2008, 25% of the motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with fixed objects, compared to 19% for cars, 14% for light trucks, and 4% for heavy trucks.
* One out of four motorcycle riders in fatal crashes in 2008 were riding their vehicles with an invalid license.
* Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41% for motorcycle passengers.
* During 2008, 346 young motorcycle riders (age 15-20) were killed and an additional 8,000 were injured.
* 35% of the bikers between 15 and 20 who were fatally injured in crashes in 2008 were not wearing helmets.
* Of the young motorcycle operators (ages 15-20) involved in fatal crashes in 2008, more than one-third (43%) were either unlicensed or driving with an invalid license.
* In 2008, 26% of the young male motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with 13% of the young female operators involved in fatal crashes.
* Motorcyclist fatalities reached 5,290 in 2008, accounting for 14% of total crash fatalities.
* This is the 11th consecutive year that there has been an increase in motorcycle crash deaths.
* The number of individuals injured in motorcycle crashes has decreased for the first time since 1998, declining 6.8%.


If you factor out all the motorcyclist's "contributions" to the accident the actual car at fault rates are much lower.

Being licensed, trained, sober, and not speeding significantly lowers the chances for an accident. Wearing a full face helmet drastically reduces fatality and injury rates.

All the Military reservations require Hi Viz and reflective stripping for all riders entering bases, and there are a bunch around me. Those riders do stand out, more so than any lighting they could display. A KLR 650, Aerostich and a Hi Viz vest should not only keep me safe from cars, it would be the safest hedge against STD's known to man.
The military also requires rider training and advanced training for sport bike riders. Some basses also have a mentoring program. They are taking a proactive approach because there has been rising fatality and injury rates among young servicemen.
 

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The two pearls that I managed to hang on to from a "higher education" were:

A hot beaker looks just like a cold beaker.

Statistics don't lie. Statisticians do.

An example:

FREQUENT CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE WRECKS

The most common cause of wrecks involving motorcycles is inattention of the other driver. This accounts for about 70 percent of all wrecks. Here are the most common scenarios:

Cars pull out in front of a motorcycle
Cars turn left into motorcycles
Cars don't use turn signals before changing lanes
Motorcyclists are forced off the road by cars or trucks merging onto the road

Other main causes of accidents involving motorcyclists are: poor road conditions, drunk driving and excessive speed.
Its all numbers, and its all in the presentation. And in the grand scheme things, its all mental spaghetti. I'll take a plan over being "right" any day.
 

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Its all numbers, and its all in the presentation. And in the grand scheme things, its all mental spaghetti. I'll take a plan over being "right" any day.

I'm not arguing with you, this is an interesting subject.

Throwing the "3/4 of all accidents are right of way violations" doesn't do justice to the statistic, IMHO.

Can you blame the car driver if the motorcycle is going significantly faster than the flow of traffic? If the rider is impaired? If the rider is oblivious? etc. Sure it's ultimately the car's fault but the rider should have avoided most of the situations in the first place.

Rider training tries to make riders aware of circumstances leading to the type of accidents you mention. The military talks about a chain of events leading to the accident. If you recognise that the chain is forming you can break it and prevent the accident. For example cars merging into you what could you do to prevent that? How about proper lane positioning, escape routes, anticipating homicidal moves, etc.?

As a rider you shouldn't be surprised when cars do something stupid you should expect it!

Statistically if you have a motorcycle license, don't speed, are sober, have had rider training, wear a helmet, etc. your odds of having an accident go way down. Sure you still have a greater chance of injury than being in a car but that's part of riding assuming that risk and mitigating to your level of comfort.
 
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