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post #1 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Help me to be seen better!

Hi all, still new here. Purchased my 919 last week, but it's been raining so much here that I haven't had a chance to ride it much. Nevertheless, a few days ago, I was taking my 9 yr. old daughter on a leisurely ride around town and had someone almost do the dreaded left-hand turn in front of me. I was traveling about 45MPH at the time and luckily they saw me at the last second and jerked it back into their lane. Long story short, I have decided that it is a necessity to do whatever is reasonable to increase my visibility to those around me. I've never done this before and I'm looking for some advice. This is what I'm thinking.

1) Headlight modulator
2) Brighter headlight bulb
3) Brakelight modulator
4) Loud horn
5) ???

I would love to hear some recommendations from those of you who have been riding for a lot longer than I have. Also, please provide specific product/brand recommendations when appropriate. It would help me greatly...thanks!

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post #2 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekker View Post
Hi all, still new here. Purchased my 919 last week, but it's been raining so much here that I haven't had a chance to ride it much. Nevertheless, a few days ago, I was taking my 9 yr. old daughter on a leisurely ride around town and had someone almost do the dreaded left-hand turn in front of me. I was traveling about 45MPH at the time and luckily they saw me at the last second and jerked it back into their lane. Long story short, I have decided that it is a necessity to do whatever is reasonable to increase my visibility to those around me. I've never done this before and I'm looking for some advice. This is what I'm thinking.

1) Headlight modulator
2) Brighter headlight bulb
3) Brakelight modulator
4) Loud horn
5) ???

I would love to hear some recommendations from those of you who have been riding for a lot longer than I have. Also, please provide specific product/brand recommendations when appropriate. It would help me greatly...thanks!
Glad you and daughter are ok! My similar experiences motivated those "upgrades". Also drive defensively assume they will hit you. BTW my near misses have nearly been eliminated!

1-kisantech.com
2-Silverstar or PIAA
3-kisantech.com
4-Stebel AH, loudest mounted next to the HL.
*5 clear alternatives LED BL panel
*6 neon reflective vest
*7 clear TS lenses with brigter bulbs
*8 Rear TS running light LED rings
*9 Givi box LED BL

Good luck and Search for more info.

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post #3 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream View Post
Glad you and daughter are ok! My similar experiences motivated those "upgrades". Also drive defensively assume they will hit you. BTW my near misses have nearly been eliminated!

1-kisantech.com
2-Silverstar or PIAA
3-kisantech.com
4-Stebel AH, loudest mounted next to the HL.
*5 clear alternatives LED BL panel
*6 neon reflective vest
*7 clear TS lenses with brigter bulbs
*8 Rear TS running light LED rings
*9 Givi box LED BL

Good luck and Search for more info.
Thanks! I'll start checking out all these suggestions.

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post #4 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 10:56 AM
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I'm adding a kisantech headlight modulator to my gf's Nighthawk in the next couple of days--don't want her to suffer the kind of left-turn collision that got me a couple of years ago. Ouch,

Olympia and Aerostich both make screamin' yellow jackets, and a brightly-colored helmet isn't a bad idea, either.

I'll also sometimes do a little bike wiggle--as if I were taking a couple of turns through gentle slalom cones--when I'm coming up to an intersection and I see someone about to turn left. I've seen the motion cause drivers to snap to attention and stop their ill-timed turn when I'm about to pass through an intersection.

And, of course, and experienced rider course or something similar to practice those emergency swerves might be a good idea, too.

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post #5 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 11:17 AM
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Hello Trekker,
Here's what I've got for my daily 30 mile round trip commute:

ICON reflector vest,
Flag attached to my tail bag,
Defensive riding, and
Red continuous flashing light similar to those found on and @ bicycle stores. Added a small strap-on lite to the grab rail, but it's not "noticable" enough especially from distance. I"ll be replacing the reflector at the bottom of the rear mug guard/tag holder w/ a much larger lite (again a flashing type) by this weekend. Photos forthcoming.

Be safe.

Happiness is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do.

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post #6 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 12:51 PM
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In typical WT fashion, there is a shopping list of accessories for a precieved problem. Throw money at it!

People pulling out in front of you is going to happen all the time. It's called traffic. Some people arent putting 100% of their concentration into their driving. Some people are agressive. That's life. It doesn't matter what you drive. I drove a big ol UPS truck for 24 years. People still pulled out on front of that thing.

I hate modulating headlights. They are a distraction. They also say " I'm scared".

You're bike already comes with a high beam. Use it if you see that someone might pull out in front of you.

Use your horn. If it looks like you pissed some knucklehead off by saving your hide by blowing at him, just wave. The wave totally difusses the situation.

Ride with 2 fingers on the front brake lever.

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post #7 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 12:57 PM
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i'm with sniper on this one.... nothing is truly gonna help when your dealing with a distracted driver... best thing to do is wear all your gear and when approaching a intersection just be prepared to make evasive maneuvers......... every intersection i go through i see the front of the buick that hit me 21 years ago.....

all that day-glo headlight wagging b.s. does is make you assume they see you now and you relax a bit....

pretend your invisible and you have a much better chance of not getting squished...



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post #8 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 01:38 PM
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I recently read this info on the Motrcycle Safety Foundation's website in the FAQ section - I thought it was interesting and it falls right in line with a few opinions posted:

3c. Headlight Modulators
The MSF has not taken an official position on headlight modulators. We do support methods of increasing conspicuity that are acceptable within state's statutory regulations. Modulators have been shown to be as effective as high-beam headlight use. The MSF cautions that measures to improve conspicuity should not replace a good riding strategy ("SEE" -- Search, Evaluate, Execute) to ensure an adequate time and space safety margin.

I do have a "Wolo Bad Boy" airhorn that has been very effective at waking up a few unattentive lane drifters...

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post #9 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 03:04 PM
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I have tried a few things in the past:

1) Stebel nautilus on my previous bike (took it of and need to remount on my 9'ner) The Stebel works fantastic! However I mostly used it as an addition to me taking defensive measures. I tried not to rely on it to save my ass. The time / distraction it causes your brain, you could have used better to take evasive action that will actually save your butt.

2) Hi Viz vest. Made no difference at all! Only people that seemed to notice was the cops... So apart from looking like a knob, I felt it achieved nothing and no longer use one.

3) I ride with my highbeams on. I have found this to be extremely effective and have noticed a different behaviour (worse) from vehicles when its on dip / low beam.
Just note that I do note use high beam at night or low light conditions - low beam is sufficient (in suburbia, etc) - other than that you'll temporarly blind motorists / piss them off.

4) As others have said - expect the worse case scenario from each vehicle you come across. Look for signs in behaviour - them looking in their side mirrors, turning their head, hand towards the steering column, etc (means they want to change lanes),

Approaching a car waiting at an intersection, waiting for you to pass - don't be fooled by people "seeing" or "looking" at you - I have had idiots watch me coming down the road a freak'n mile, only to pull out in front of me as I'm a stones throw away from them!! Look at tell tale signs like their wheels staring to move. Just a few tips, you'll pick up the signs as you rack up the miles.

The best defence is always expect the worse case scenario, never assume they see you - sometimes they do, but still nudge you out of your lane / pull out in front of you, etc.!

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post #10 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 03:13 PM
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I wear all black (ATGATT) on a Smoke color bike............My advise is like the others.......RIDE AS IF YOU ARE INVISIBLE TO EVERYONE ELSE...and use your head and riding skills.

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post #11 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 03:17 PM
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A bright green shirt with big, swingin', naked boobies graphics on the front (or back it you want to be seen by prisoners) Now that will get you noticed!!!

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If you have a Ten Dollar Head, get a $10.00 Helmet.
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post #12 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 04:23 PM
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I also think headlight modulators aren't such a good idea. Just get a good, bright headlight bulb. I had a loud horn on my previous bike and never used it. Instead of hitting my horn and waiting for the car driver to react, I always found myself taking precautionary maneuvers, such as slowing down or changing lanes. I think it's a better strategy anyway, so I decided to do without the loud horn on the 919.

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post #13 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 04:31 PM
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ya ever notice that when yer speeding yer always behind someone, stupid observations of a lunatic





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post #14 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 04:37 PM
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Going to have to disagree here with those that say 'assume you're invisible.' My approach is to assume they want to kill you and acting as if you're not there is an elaborate ruse. Oftentimes, once they (supposedly) see you post trying to kill you, they'll make another 'mistake' which may also be life threatening. It's you against them, and they have inertia on their side. GOOD LUCK!

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post #15 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 04:53 PM
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I barely missed several certain death close calls before "safety upgrades" and cage drivers have since gotten worse. Now after several opinions I realize all my upgrades are completely ineffective. Since recently I haven't had any close calls... I have proudly joined the greatest riders club! Look for my upcoming sales in F/S.

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post #16 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 05:36 PM
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Also make sure your lane position allows you to be seen...i.e. you aren't hidden by the vehicle in front of you until the last minute...maybe even increase your distance behind the vehicle if your approaching and intersection.

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post #17 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 05:58 PM
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No one came right out and said it.....WEAR ALL YOUR GEAR, ALL THE TIME.
Boots
Riding pants(I still don't have any, but I will get some)
Mesh or Leather Jacket
Gloves
Full face helmet.


Then just assume you are invisible.

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post #18 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cencrunner View Post
Then just assume you are invisible.
Unless you are wearing the boobie shirt.

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If you have a Ten Dollar Head, get a $10.00 Helmet.
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post #19 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! There seems to be a lot of opinion on here about safety devices. Can't say that I understand the whole, "since it won't work 100% of the time, don't do anything" philosophy. I understand that there will always be inattentive drivers who will put your life at risk no matter what you do; however, why would you dismiss a device that might just save your life? And if it only helps you to be seen better by only 1 person, it could very well be worth it.

I think I understand that those who are against such devices may be concerned about the "false sense of security" that using such items might create. I agree that there's no substitution for defensive driving and being fully alert at all times, but I don't understand why it has to be either/or. Why can't it be both/and?

I have a family at home and need to be responsible. This means using available resources to help insure that I make it home to be with my family. Of course, the safest thing is to drive a big auto (or stay at home), but since I enjoy riding, I thought I would at least try to be safety conscious.

Therefore, I will use my wits, try to stay alert, realize that people really do have a harder time seeing motorcycles, take some defensive driving lessons and try to make my ride a little more noticeable.

Anyway thanks for the advice so far, on some points we may have to agree to disagree, but that's okay too...all opinions are appreciated.

BTW, a couple of things. First, I stopped by a friends house today who happens to be a State Trooper with the THP and he agreed that the Modulators were a very good idea as well as the led lights that some of you have recommended. Everyone may not agree with his assessment, but I dare say that he has worked more motorcycle crashes than most of us.

In addition, (unrelated) he told me the story of a young lady who was killed on the Dragon's Tail recently. She crashed her bike, but seemed well. The LEO, who worked the crash convinced her to go to the hospital to be checked out anyway. On the way there, her liver/speen? ruptured and she died in the ambulance. Morale of the story? You never know, what may happen internally during a crash...it's best to be checked out anyway. Unfortunately, the poor girl was more serious than anyone realized.

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post #20 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cencrunner View Post
No one came right out and said it.....WEAR ALL YOUR GEAR, ALL THE TIME.
Boots
Riding pants(I still don't have any, but I will get some)
Mesh or Leather Jacket
Gloves
Full face helmet.


Then just assume you are invisible.
Thanks, I have been thinking about this as well. This is what I have so far, Scorpion EXO400 Full-Face Helmet, Cortech GX Sport jacket and Joe Rocket Pro Street gloves. Thoughts?

Also, I've been riding with my full leather hiking boots and jeans. I know I need to do some work here...any suggestions? Are the hiking boots okay (they cover the ankles)? Or, do I need to invest in dedicated boots?

Also, what about the pants? Suggestions?

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post #21 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Also, what about the pants? Suggestions?
Overpants with knee armor. Textile or mesh over your jeans is fine.

There's several folks on this board with recent knee injuries (due largely to no knee protection) or recently avoided knee injuries (due to knee protection) that will tell you that riding in jeans is a big mistake. You think jeans are pretty tough material, but regular old denim disintegrates like paper in contact with asphalt.

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post #22 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 07:33 PM
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^^ Any suggestions on good overpants? That's what I've been considering.

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post #23 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Overpants with knee armor. Textile or mesh over your jeans is fine.

There's several folks on this board with recent knee injuries (due largely to no knee protection) or recently avoided knee injuries (due to knee protection) that will tell you that riding in jeans is a big mistake. You think jeans are pretty tough material, but regular old denim disintegrates like paper in contact with asphalt.
So true. If you ride with jeans you may as well where shorts.

Having a fairly loud bike helps to be seen. At least they hear you coming and will give a second look. I am running no baffles in mine. They hear me coming long before I get there!

Spoiler:

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post #24 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickard919 View Post
So true. If you ride with jeans you may as well where shorts.
what if your wearing jean shorts??



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post #25 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superdog View Post
^^ Any suggestions on good overpants? That's what I've been considering.
I'm not an expert - I got what was fairly cheap that I still felt could do the job, and not boil me away to nothing in 95-degree Seattle summer days. I got a pair of these: FirstGear HT Air 2.0 Mesh Motorcycle Overpants :: New Enough, LTD

I might have to get another pair since these have done their duty by me once and show it. But the armor's still intact.

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post #26 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barton664 View Post
what if your wearing jean shorts??
That is only cool if they are Daisy Duke cut-offs. Please don't do it Barton. EWWWWW!

Spoiler:

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post #27 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
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That is only cool if they are Daisy Duke cut-offs. Please don't do it Barton. EWWWWW!
i promise...



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post #28 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
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On the way there, her liver/speen? ruptured and she died in the ambulance. .
Usually the spleen...the capsule gets ruptured, too, so, the blood can flow into the free space around the intestines. Liver lacerations seem to be painful enough that they aren't dismissed as being "OK".

I agree with the idea that it doesn't make sense to dismiss attempts at increased visibility just because it doesn't always work. It only has to work once, the one time that would have killed you, for it to be worth the effort.

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post #29 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 09:33 PM
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I wear a hi-viz jacket and although i don't expect it to work miracles, I do think it helps. Especially in the one situation that you encountered, the driver turning in front of you because he does not see you approaching. Even if it only works 10% of the time, if it alerted one distracted person to your existence then it is worth avoiding the accident. Don't get me wrong, I still have situations where people almost hit me, but that happens in my car too. Its part of the risks that come with driving. I don't assume because I am hi-viz bright that I can let my guard down either. So whether you get a bright headlamp or hi-viz gear, still drive as if you didn't have it.

The jacket I have is made by Olympia.

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post #30 of 59 Old 09-22-2009, 09:46 PM
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post #31 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 02:33 AM
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I have thought about wearing my off road knee armour under my street pants. Just not smart enough to do it yet.

I have another suggestion.... don't ride in town. I very seldome do.

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post #32 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 05:26 AM
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If you want to be seen, ride all nude!

Another benifit is that if someone is tailgating you, just drop a duce on their car.

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post #33 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 07:22 AM
 
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Well you can always mount a body hammer to your bike and when people try to merge into you all you have to do is break out their window then theyll notice lol
jk i usually wear all black during the day but at night i break all my refelective gear out and hope their lights hit it. glad to hear you and your daughter are safe ride safe and don't let a near miss discourage you to much

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post #34 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekker View Post
Thanks, I have been thinking about this as well. This is what I have so far, Scorpion EXO400 Full-Face Helmet, Cortech GX Sport jacket and Joe Rocket Pro Street gloves. Thoughts?

Also, I've been riding with my full leather hiking boots and jeans. I know I need to do some work here...any suggestions? Are the hiking boots okay (they cover the ankles)? Or, do I need to invest in dedicated boots?

Also, what about the pants? Suggestions?
Trekker, you are doing the right thing, educate yourself and take action.
Consider a spine pad and upgrade your lowers! I wear CE padded leathers over my jeans and MC boots.

Also what's good for you is even better for your passenger. My hard rule is my passenger must be at least ATGATT (inc. pants!) or no ride. It generated friction (they wanted a ride from our vacation) with a Relative this summer, but I surely enjoyed it solo! Being ATGATT is a bargain compared to skin grafts.

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post #35 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 08:38 AM
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i was blessed at birth with the gift of a powerful aura... i can make my aura blindingly bright or smooth and subdued for those romantic nights around the house... i once had someone try to merge into my lane and i used my aura to crush their skull like a empty soda can....

i can teach you...

just mail me 119.95 plus shipping and handling of 80.05 and i will send you my fail proof "aura improvement" kit...

just read the testimonial that i wrote above.... amazing isnt it?

i mean do think i would make something like that up? just for money...

NO.... money means nothing to me... just shows your commitment to the self improvement power of my aura strengthening program...


operators are standing by...



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post #36 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 01:38 PM
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I think it is an excellent point that no passive element of protection, for example a headlight modulator or bright jacket, can be a magic bullet. In combination with sharp awareness and riding skill, however, I do think those items help.

I'm putting the modulator on the Nighthawk because my gf is a new rider (and a vigilant one, fortunately), and when I was at her stage of riding skill I got nailed by a left-turner...I simply couldn't stop or swerve in time. I'd like to help spare her that experience.

And--I often wear offroad knee guards under my jeans or other pants when riding; they've helped friends a great deal in minor wrecks. As for overpants, I really like my Olympia mesh Airglides.

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post #37 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
I think it is an excellent point that no passive element of protection, for example a headlight modulator or bright jacket, can be a magic bullet. In combination with sharp awareness and riding skill, however, I do think those items help.

I'm putting the modulator on the Nighthawk because my gf is a new rider (and a vigilant one, fortunately), and when I was at her stage of riding skill I got nailed by a left-turner...I simply couldn't stop or swerve in time. I'd like to help spare her that experience.

And--I often wear offroad knee guards under my jeans or other pants when riding; they've helped friends a great deal in minor wrecks. As for overpants, I really like my Olympia mesh Airglides.
nemo?? you sure you don't wanna get her my aura kit???

it totally works.... read my testimonial....



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post #38 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 04:24 PM
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I can attest that Nadia's jacket is extremely visible!! On the group ride I could easily tell which rider was Nadia whether she was ahead of me or in my my mirrors (in fact I took the pic of her below). It, or another Jacket similar would be one of the best aids to visibility.

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Originally Posted by myztical View Post
I wear a hi-viz jacket and although i don't expect it to work miracles, I do think it helps. Especially in the one situation that you encountered, the driver turning in front of you because he does not see you approaching. Even if it only works 10% of the time, if it alerted one distracted person to your existence then it is worth avoiding the accident. Don't get me wrong, I still have situations where people almost hit me, but that happens in my car too. Its part of the risks that come with driving. I don't assume because I am hi-viz bright that I can let my guard down either. So whether you get a bright headlamp or hi-viz gear, still drive as if you didn't have it.

The jacket I have is made by Olympia.

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post #39 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 04:42 PM
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One thing I always remembered from taking the WA state motorcycle safety class was to imagine each driver pointing a .45 pistol at you. You never know which one will pull the trigger... This of course wasn't part of the literature of the class, just something the instructor mentioned. Always stuck and works well.

As for a headlight modulator... it'd seem like a good reason to get pulled over. I can see it now... impersonating a police vehicle... I would suggest maybe mounting two fog lights next to the radiator/frame for better appearance. ( 919.org auxillary lights page (silly as it may be) ) Or invest in an HID kit.

Also, check out "Proficient Motorcycling" if you haven't already. Ride safe, ride often!

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post #40 of 59 Old 09-23-2009, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewebay1 View Post
As for a headlight modulator...
Thanks for the excellent riding safety tips!

I've had kisantech.com HLM two years and theirs does meet the national legal requirements (sure some MFG may not so it is a good idea to carry a copy of the Federal certificate and product info). I have NEVER been pulled over and I wave to LEO.

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