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Motorcycle Headlights

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by hornet, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. While riding along the highway on Saturday night, in the rain, on roads I didn't know very well, up near Orbost, I thought again of a discussion in which I was involved at the BBQ, that of motorcycle headlights.

    Surely it is not beyond the ability of modern designers to computer model the required light spread of a motorcycle light when the bike is cranked over, and fit moveable lights to cover the dark patches we presently experience? These could be controlled by a central chip which measures the angle of lean (giving an indication of the sharpness of the corner) and moves the lights (one on each side of the headlight?) to cover that area.

    If car drivers had to put up with the level of lighting most bikes provide in the critical area of cornering, they'd revolt, surely?

  2. Motorcyles by Citroen? Yech. I'm flat out removing everything I can from my bike, and you're dreaming up new thing as to add? Neutral lights, indicator tell-tales, tachos, batteries, reserve fuel taps, exhaust baffles and the worst of all - clutch/gear/ignition interlock switches. These are simply money-spinners for the spare parts industry and they should be removed - with an oxy torch, if that's what's requuired.

    There is a good reason why those dark patches are there - the road they hide is almost certainly gravel, mud, deisel, or potholed. If we were meant to ride there, the light would shine on them. For the same reason, I don't have mirrors on my bike. The few scary things I can see, the happier I am. Hand me my peril-sensitive sunglasses.
  3. Mark, you just missed the door to the Troglodyte Club, it's a couple of doors back :LOL:
  4. bloody whinging sportsbike riders... just close your eyes like the rest of us, damn it! :p
  5. I'm still thinking about how good one of those modulators would be!!.
  6. Would that be the Illudium 232 Space Modulator, or did I miss something, somewhere? :D
  7. it also seems that biek headlight are rather poor compared to cars..... there are some good ones but a lot of the nikes i see at night are not that bright...( tha bike that is, not the rider......necessarily)
  8. The headlight modulator that flashes your headlight/s rapidly during the daylight thereby assisting dip shIt cage drivers to notice you. I think it's a great idea.
  9. So do I but it's not going to do much to illuminate the sides of the road while the bike is cranked over in a corner at night time, is it?
  10. I can empathise totally with Paul.

    As I am a rural dweller, riding around here at night can be interesting, to say the least.

    My last two bikes, a ZZR1100 and currently a CBR1000, had/have woeful lights. Not good for bikes supposedly capable of 250 km/h plus. At night, with the standard globes, they're good for probably 80 klicks, if that.

    I put a 130/90 watter into the ZZR (single globe unit). It helped, but not that great. Poor reflector/lens design.

    I put these Narva Plus 4s into the CBR. Its standard globes were 45 watters (all cars are 60w at least). They helped, but it still ain't flash. I chose to follow a mate home from PI after the GP last year, rather than lead. I was happy to go slow, as I couldn't see far at all. His Blackbird's headlight seems to be markedly better than its predecessors.

    Back in the 80s, when bike headlights were really bad, I fitted a pair of 100w spotlights to my GSX-1100. They helped heaps. But it put a fair bit of strain on the alternator. Luckily, I didn't do much extended night riding, mostly commuting to and from work on nightshift/afternoon shifts.
  11. Partially solved this problem on the CB250 with a pair of jerry-rigged drivinglights built from 12 high output Luxeon III LED emitters (6 a side) and encased in some home brewed heatsinks. They should have been good for about 960 lumen and ~30,000 lux with a ~20 degree beam from each light if you believe the spec sheets but never bothered to stick a meter in front of them, they certainly beat the stand headlight by a long way though.

    Positioned right I found it gave you more then enough light to fill the dark patches when hooked over and away from the bright lights and only pulled about 50-55w.

    Unfortunately neither survived when I binned the thing :( Think I'll have to make another set when I get the new bike or buy the ones Elektro Lumens are making prebuilt.
  12. OK, I've got a stoopid question about headlights...

    On my Spada, and on most naked bikes & cruisers, the headlight turns with the bars, whereas on a faired sportsbike (like my SRX - long stretch calling it 'sports' though...) the headlight is always pointing straight ahead...

    How does this affect what you see and how well you see it? Is one better than the other?
  13. Never riden a faired at night but you'd think it would have to be better as you'd be pointing the lights slightly skyward when they move with the forks.

    It's probably much of a muchness though in reality.
  14. Faired or unfaired, at speed, the headlight shouldn't really move from the axis, unless you turn the bars as you negotiate bends. It'd make a bit of a difference, perhaps during slow maneuvres into side streets, maybe.
  15. It's interesting because the technology was developed (for cars) where headlights would tilt into the corner, where the light was needed, as opposed to spraying off the road.

    Motorcycles would benefit from the technology IMO, given we are supposed to 'look where we want to go', why not throw some light on the subject?

    Look out for the early adoption of the technology on the Goldwing :LOL:
  16. just strap a head tourch to your helmet :D
  17. All your problems could be easily solved with one of these :LOL:
  18. Oh great, thanks for that, just what I always wanted! :LOL:

    Isn't that the sort of thing those poor guys who got killed in the Army chopper crash, were wearing?
  19. Q. What's the last thing that goes through a sea-king pilots mind when he crashes?

    A. His night vision goggles...
  20. Probably, I daresay they're not that good for depth perception. Pilot "We must be high up those people down there look like ants. Oh wait those ARE ants"