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Discussion Starter #1
As I've been jacket shopping, visibility has become a topic of discussion.
I'd like to make the bike itself more visible, especially since mine is black.

I rather like the look of this kit, and I'm wondering if anyone has installed it?
http://www.twistedthrottle.com/turn-signal-to-running-turn-brake-light-conversion-kit-kawasaki-klr650e-08

Video:

It converts your turn signals to running lights, so that at night, you have three rearward facing lights illuminated, not just one. Granted, the turn signals are smaller, but I could see this making a huge difference in night visibility.

Has anyone installed this kit, and are the results as good as they look in the video? For $50, that seems like a cheap upgrade to get 3x the lights lit up on the back of the bike in all conditions.

If not, maybe I'll buy it and document the installation. I see they included T-Taps with the kit, I'd probably solder and heat-shrink them and make some comments on why.
I'd love to hear anyone's experience with the kit, or if anything similar is out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
On a related note - has anyone added any other auxiliary lighting to make their bikes more visible?

I still have quite a few friends in the custom car and bike world - one of them with a machinist background moved to Florida, and makes these custom wheels:


I'm not going to put lighted custom wheels on my KLR, but in the show bike world, there's lots of auxiliary products that I'd think could be re-purposed to help with visibility - for example, they make under-bike LED strips, to mimic the "floating on a cloud of light" look of under-car neon that was popular in the 1990's. I don't know where you'd mount it on a bike like this without it being potentially crushed, but there's always more than one way to skin a cat. Even a down-firing foglight mounted to the frame riser I'd think would create a glow on the road and make for good visibility at night.
My thought is, if the whole bike were glowing, you'd be visible at night.

Has anyone seen any custom application of other types of lighting for visibility?
 

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3M makes a reflective tape a lot of guy use that, it was also brought up after a death about a year ago in the klr community. you should also put some under the bike on the skid plate or something in case you go down on the road and can't get out of the way, such was the case of our fellow rider who is no longer with us.
 

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I also ride an all-black KLR and took note when the subject of reflective tape came up on this forum as noted by Scrapper. I think Lockjaw posted it.

I just really don't see the turn signal conversion making you that much more visible from the rear.

Now, the reflective tape? That stuff works. I have the black 3M tape all over mine and you don't even really notice it in the daytime, but at night my KLR lights up like a Christmas tree when hit by any kind of lights.

I follow the mantra of "ride like you're invisible," but figure some added reflectivity can't hurt anything. I think the reflective tape would be more effective than any kind of auxiliary lighting.

I used the 3" wide stuff. You can buy partial rolls on eBay for a reasonable price instead of dropping coin on an entire roll that you'll never use and costs a fortune. I think I got enough for $15 to plaster it all over the KLR and have some left over.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Marine/Home/Products/Catalog/?PC_7_RJH9U5230GE3E02LECIE20S4K7000000_nid=GSW72ZWPZHbe2875VTTP9Sgl
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I also ride an all-black KLR and took note when the subject of reflective tape came up on this forum as noted by Scrapper. I think Lockjaw posted it.

I just really don't see the turn signal conversion making you that much more visible from the rear.

Now, the reflective tape? That stuff works. I have the black 3M tape all over mine and you don't even really notice it in the daytime, but at night my KLR lights up like a Christmas tree when hit by any kind of lights.
I like the idea of the black reflective tape. Does it conform to compound curved surfaces? I saw a few websites with products the other day, including wild helmet graphic kits, but I'm not really into that... but I was thinking it would be a good idea to put a simple 3" wide stripe of black tape up the back of my black helmet, but it would need to be able to stretch in two directions for that kind of compound curve.
I used to do some vinyl upholstery work back in my fabrication days, you could use a heat gun to stretch it to conform to crazy objects that you'd need to cut and stitch real leather to conform to. I wonder if you could likewise use heat on this product?

I was a bit dubious that black reflective tape would light up as well as the pictures.
 

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I did a similar conversion on a Honda that I had. Converted the signals to running lights by akin them apart and installing a two wire pigtail and dual element bulb. It was relatively easy to do and only cost a couple of bucks.

Then I had some bone head clip the back end of my bike trying to tell me my signals were on continuously.
 

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Here's a pic that gives you some idea of the reflectivity of the tape. This is the tape illuminated only by a small camera flash. It's even brighter when hit with car headlights. I went with a hodgepodge, random arrangement, sticking the stuff wherever there's a place handy. In the daytime, if you're standing five feet away from the bike, you can't even tell it's there unless you already know where it is. I think I've put even more on since I took this photo.

I concentrated on getting it up high, like on my top case, handguards, etc. I put a few on the rear but didn't put any on the front. I also chose to use a lot of small pieces instead of just a few large ones. I really don't know what technique would be more effective.

I would imagine you could get it on a helmet. It's very thin, but it would probably be eaiser to go with smaller pieces that, together, comprise the same surface area as one large piece.

I had to remove some of it the other day to put on some new stickers. This stuff has excellent adhesion. I tried getting it off using the heat gun method but that didn't work. I finally had to just slide a razor blade under it and it came off that way.

With the addition of the tape on the bike and my new hi-viz reflective jacket, I figure I've done about all I can do to make others aware of my presence at night. The rest is up to me.



Here's a shot in the day time. The only place you can really see the tape is on my top box and that's just because it's not as deep a black as the plastics on the motorcycle and it has kind of a pebbled finish. Other than that, you're hard-pressed to see the tape anywhere else.

One of these nights I'm going to try to take a picture of the bike at a distance, say 100 yards or so, illuminated by my vehicle headlights to see what it looks like at that distance.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's very cool - in the daylight it doesn't even look reflective. Very cool. I'll have to pick some up.

The back of the helmet looks pretty flat actually, I'd think no problem. Cheap enough to try, right?

Do you know of any fabric that's similar? I'd think of adding a little creative striping to a jacket.
 

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Do you know of any fabric that's similar? I'd think of adding a little creative striping to a jacket.
3M also makes Scotchlight sew-on fabric. Here's a one-yard strip available on eBay for an example. I think there might be some heat-transfer reflective stuff that would adhere to fabric if you didn't want to mess with the sewing.
 

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Do you know of any fabric that's similar? I'd think of adding a little creative striping to a jacket.
I don't have any personal experience with it, but there's this stuff. A 1"x16' piece for around $12-15 seems pretty reasonable to me:

http://www.identi-tape.com/iron-on.html

You can also buy the 3M Scotchlite reflective fabric in strips. It would be the best and most durable but you would have to get it sewn on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's a great idea - I was thinking it might be tricky to sew them on.
I do see a little disclaimer on there on how it might not stick to waterproof fabric though... I'll have to do a little research. I suppose I could try, worst case would need to sew them on if they started to peel.
 
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