4 wheels vs. 2 - Andrew-T
A recent thread threatened to become a 4 v 2 argument following an overtaking incident approaching a traffic light. From my viewpoint a common irritation from bikes (not bikers) is that (like Volvos) their headlights - sometimes in pairs - are on at all hours, and they are mounted at a height which points straight into a car's outside mirror. This problem is made worse if the beam is on full or misaligned, and if the rider chooses to ride towards the middle of the road, as many apparently suggest doing for safety reasons. Do bikers consider this?
4 wheels vs. 2 - doug_523i
It will get worse, they are planning to remove light switches from bikes, from next year I think, so they will always be on. The brightness problem is often caused by a pillion, bikes don't have a switch to alter the headlights when carrying a load like some cars do.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Rob the Bus
As a non-biker, I have to say that if I was travelling on something with little or no protection, then I would want to advertise my prescence to all the dozy beggars out there who can't see beyond the end of their own bonnets!

BTW, several bus companies ordered headlights (not just sidelights) to be on at all times (not just in bad visibility) during December and January. Apparently, accident rates involving their vehicles were cut by around 30%.

I agree with doug_r1 about some kind of switch to alter the position of the headlamps though.
4 wheels vs. 2 - blowpipe
Happy to have the bike's lights permanently on by design, as I've always had them on by choice. I work on the basis that I'd rather be seen than not, indeed the fact that drivers may have to take the time to tilt the rearview mirror at least gives them a bit more awareness of what's going on around them. In the summer on sunny days, filtering through the standard two or three miles solid traffic at the end of the A3, I invariably use full beam. It won't blind/dazzle or otherwise inconvenience, but it may bring me to the attention of someone about to make a pointless and sudden change of lane.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Hairy Hat Man
Some new bikes are already appearing without the facility to turn the headlight off.

Personally, I always ride with my headlight on and if I'm filtering through heavy traffic or overtaking a line of traffic in daylight I will often put full beam on. The intent is to make car drivers see me before they pull into my path without looking (although this still happens even with full beam on). I don't consider this behavior to be too antisocial or dangerous since I'm not likely to be behind any one car for more than a few seconds seconds. If I find I'm unable to continue my progress past one individual car, and I'm sure he's seen me, then I will dip my lights until I can continus past him.

Let's face it, bikes are hard to see. When I'm in the car, I'm extremely thankful when I see a bike approach me in traffic with their lights blazing. After all, would any of us really want to be responsible for knocking anyone off a bike?

4 wheels vs. 2 - jud
Bikers should always travel with headlights on, it will reduce accidents, how many times has a bike "appeared" from no where due to the numerous blind spots on cars.
Volvo had it right years ago, it's not a snob thing just plain common sense, first sign of reduced visibility and my side lights are on, any further light reduction headlights.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Shortwing Rob
I took the IAM Advanced motorcycle course, then went on to pass their test.

Surprisingly their advice was against fulltime use of headlights on bikes.

The rationale was that you should be continuously monitoring the need for your added visibilty from your lights and switching them on and off as appropriate, not just on at the start of a journey and off at the end.

Didn't make a lot of sense to me, but who was I to argue?

Rob

4 wheels vs. 2 - Toad, of_Toad_Hall.
Surprisingly their advice was against fulltime use of headlights on bikes.


Hmm. I was out with Roaspa yesterday and did IAM for a while. Most, if not all ride with lights on. Maybe 50 per cent on full beam.

I always ride on full beam but there are arguments against. One poster here once suggested that older eye diffuse light and become opaque.
I'm The Amphibian Formerly Known as Toad!!
4 wheels vs. 2 - Andrew-T
Interesting set of replies. I agree that bikers should be visible, but the 6 replies so far come across with a flavour of "I'm going to be seen doing what I want to do, in case the other duffos do something daft". From a car-driver's seat, it's fine knowing there's a bike back there, but not so good if it's the ONLY thing one can see !!! And I can't see that it's good if drivers have to fiddle with their r-v mirrors to avoid being dazzled, either.
4 wheels vs. 2 - GRowlette
Well, if we've dazzled him means he's seen us. We'd prefer it that way than when he's playing with his CD, or making bola-bola into his cellphone and not paying attention.
4 wheels vs. 2 - blowpipe
GRowlette, you reinforce my earlier point. I don't think that the word dazzle even comes into it, as normal use of main beam during the day isn't going to 'dazzle' anyone. Even full beam during filtering only shows up in a door mirror, hardly a major annoyance (by the way, I never cease to be surprised by the volume of cars driving around with one or more door mirrors folded in).
4 wheels vs. 2 - Andrew-T
blowpipe - I realise that bikers naturally feel more vulnerable by not being surrounded by a tin box, and have to 'claim their space' on the road, but please don't be simple and assume that your lights are no problem to car drivers. They can be as inconvenient (to use no stronger word) than having a low sun straight behind - perhaps worse as the sun does not usually bounce around. And yes, a strong beam does diffuse and cause flare in older eyes. Sometimes it feels a bit like a Gestapo interrogation if the bike is waiting to pass about 6 feet behind the rear bumper.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Clanger
I wear spectacles and, while I would encourage all bike riders to use dip beam at all times to aid visibility, I find the use of full beam irritating and dangerous. Irritating because the full beam causes unwelcome reflections in my glasses, reducing visibility, and dangerous because the dazzle and light scatter from full beam can hide other less well-lit road users like pedestrians and cyclists for non-spectacle wearers.

Also I remind the full-beam brigade of Highway Code rule 94 which makes it illegal to use lights in a way that dazzles others.

Darcy.

4 wheels vs. 2 - Toad, of_Toad_Hall.
I would rather dazzle than be missed.

I tried riding on dipped beam and had more traffic risking pulling out on me.

Om full beam tey can't judge distance and have to leave a good safety margin.

Rude, but surely safer.

75 per cent of bike deats are caused by a car pulling out of a junction into the path of a bike. By defintion under 25 per cent must be caused by dazzle. (Mor elikely almost none)

As double proof of my point Iwas out with various bikes yesterday. In my mirror one on full beam stood head andshoulders over the rest. The difference in visiblilty was astounding.
You're a shower! You're an absolute shower!
4 wheels vs. 2 - blowpipe
Darcy,
I use full beam (I'm talking other than normally) a) only when it's very bright and sunny, and b) only when filtering in near stationary traffic. It comes off immediately traffic begins to move. The reaction of most drivers is to see me and those with consideration pull over to the left away from the centreline.
This is on a dual carriageway, so oncoming cars aren't affected. Even if used sparingly on single carriage roads in such conditions (both weather and traffic), are you seriously saying that drivers are dazzled? This only happens at dusk/night/reduced visabilty.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Reggie
I can't say that I agree with the use of full beam. It is only likely to irritate and annoy car drivers, although I nearly always use headlight. When passing a queue of stationary traffic, always travel at a sensible slow speed that will enable you to stop if a car does decide to do a u turn / pull out. (Honda Pan 1100 & 1300 have headlight adjusters. Electricly on the 1300).
Reggie
4 wheels vs. 2 - Clanger
Blowpipe
I'm saying that the spread of light by headlights on full beam may affect my judgement of distance and speed. It may also hide other road users who don't have a powerful light illuminated. Yes, I agree the problem reduces in bright sunlight. And I think others use main beam all the time in and conditions without the thought you give to headlight use.
I'll see if my mind is changed when I actually get a bike and mix it with other folk on the highway. If I live that long ...

Darcy.

4 wheels vs. 2 - NWS
A couple of years ago every other bike seemed to have a purple filter over their headlight which really caught your eye. What happened to them? I'm not a biker but I'm perfectly happy for bikers to whizz round on full beam. The number of accidents it prevents must far outweigh any accidents caused by a car driver being dazzled for a millisecond, if indeed there are any.
4 wheels vs. 2 - chris2003
I wear glasses and drive in a lot of heavy traffic with bikers coming past and I don't have a problem with bikes on full beam.

At the end of the day I'd rather be dazzled for a few seconds than pull out, not the biker and have someone fly across my bonnet.

If I'm in traffic I always pull over as far to the side of the road to let them all past anyway.

But to the biker to decided to buck the trend the other day and decided to undertake in heavy traffic and come past on the inside on a single carraigeway. Don't be a prat!

Chris
4 wheels vs. 2 - blowpipe
Wish all drivers were as observant and considerant as yourself, Chris.
Why don't cars keep to the nearside? A line of traffic hogging the centreline is bizzare. That leads your reckless biker to see a taylormade lane on the nearside. No excuses, but you can see why it is tempting, especially when the other option is to take your chances with oncoming traffic and very little clearance.
4 wheels vs. 2 - chris2003
Yes, I can see the biker's point when you put it like that.

I'm not a biker, but I don't understand car drivers when they're crawling along at 5 mph and sticking rigidly to the centre line with a bike trying to get past.

It seems like deliberate blocking, but I guess some people just don't know what's going on around them.

Chris
4 wheels vs. 2 - doug_523i
As someone who never rides with lights on, unless it's gloomy weather, I can't see the thinking behind riding on full beam, it really irritates me to be blinded even for a few seconds. If you don't feel safe, then take a car, and leave biking to those that ride with consideration for others. Seeing a bright light isn't the same as knowing how far away it is, or how quick it's moving.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Toad, of_Toad_Hall.
As someone who never rides with lights on, unless it's gloomy
weather, I can't see the thinking behind riding on full beam,


It's to do with being more visible...
it really irritates me to be blinded even for a few
seconds.


You get blinded in broad daylight by full beam? Even at night I can just about cope when someone forgets to dip! Your eyes *must* have a problem.
Seeing a bright light isn't the same as knowing how
far away it is, or how quick it's moving.


But that's an advantage.

Advantages are:

1) You may be seen a lot further away.
2) If they can't judge your speed/distance they won't pull out and scare the life out of you.
3) Sometimes old people flash you. This is good becasue you can't be sure what they're warning you of and always start to think 4 times harder about potential dangers.

Advantages are safety related. Disadvantages are politeness related.

I spend 90 per cent of my time in a car. If someone want's to be rude to be in order to prolong their life then so be it.

If someone else prefers to ride on dip beam that's cool too.


--
toad_oftoadhall@yahoo.co.uk
4 wheels vs. 2 - CM
Toad,

I find your attitude irresponsible and anti-social. I know we have discussed this before and my point is that you should not rely on your full beams to let everyone know you are there in case they pull out, but you should ride in a manner that lessens the chances that some one is going to run into you.

How often do you nearly get knocked off and more importantly where about on the road are you? If you are following behind a car in the middle of your lane, I am sure that there will not be a problem with being seen. However if you are darting up the middle of 2 lanes of moving traffic then the chances that you will get in someone's blind spot are very much higher.

I presume that you are breaking the law when going between two moving lanes. Why not just be more patient and wait till the car in front pulls over?
4 wheels vs. 2 - Toad, of_Toad_Hall.
I find your attitude irresponsible and anti-social. I know we have
discussed this before and my point is that you should not
rely on your full beams to let everyone know you are
there in case they pull out, but you should ride in
a manner that lessens the chances that some one is going
to run into you.


Hi, MC. We have discussed this before. I vaugely agree about irresponsible and anti social bit.

I also agree with your comment about riding defensively, and trust me, I do.

How often do you nearly get knocked off


Never been nearly knocked off. Had a few pull out on me. It happens more on dipped. It happens less on full beam.

>>and more importantly
where about on the road are you?


I tend to ride where my own view is best. Obviously I comprimise this position for road condition and junctions.
If you are following
behind a car in the middle of your lane, I am
sure that there will not be a problem with being seen.


Yes, but I can't just follow cars everwhere can I!!!
However if you are darting up the middle of 2 lanes
of moving traffic then the chances that you will get in
someone's blind spot are very much higher.

I presume that you are breaking the law when going between
two moving lanes. Why not just be more patient and wait
till the car in front pulls over?


You mean dual carriageway? Filtering is perfectly legal and Rospa/IAM will expect you to filter. As it happens I ride purely for pleasure and tend to stick as far as possible to SC NSL's. In the south east that means there are a lot of junctions, much less in Wales for instance.

To be honest CM I don't think we're really that far apart on this. I understand and respect your view. I have had this debate with myself before, and I started riding on dip beam so at one time I obviously agreed with your point of view.

Also (as another string to your argument) the Highway Code suggests bikers ride on dip with a white helmet nad day glo stripes. So it specifically says dip.
--
toad_oftoadhall@yahoo.co.uk
4 wheels vs. 2 - doug_523i
There's no point in going for advanced training if you don't learn anything. Defensive driving is the key to safety, not bludgeoning your way through traffic with full beam on. The only time I've been knocked of a bike was when the driver was turned around talking to his passenger, as he was turning right at a set of lights, no amount of lights would have made him see me. Having 'right of way' didn't protect me either, a lesson learned the hard way.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Toad, of_Toad_Hall.
There's no point in going for advanced training if you don't
learn anything.


There is!!! It's a great laugh. You meet great people go on awesome rideouts, learn local twisties that you never knew existed!
no amount of lights
would have made him see me


But if it saves your life 1 in a 1000 times it has to be worth it. Nobody is suggesting ful beam is a safety panacea. Jus tthat it makes you more visible.

Others, including many bikers, say too visible for comfort.

I think the reason this debate runs for ever is because the benifits and disadvantages are so marginal.
--
toad_oftoadhall@yahoo.co.uk
4 wheels vs. 2 - Andrew-T
Yes, Toad, we know you want to be more visible. What some of us are trying to convince you of is that by adopting your defensive measures (full beam), while YOU may be more visible to car drivers, your actions may well make other road users LESS visible. Which in the give-and-take situation which busy roads have to be, means that you are being unfairly demanding.

And as has been already mentioned, it can be much more difficult (especially in darkness) to judge the distance of one brilliant lamp than it is to judge the distance of a pair of car headlamps - even if the bike has twin lamps.
4 wheels vs. 2 - BrianW
Apart from the main/dipped issue (and as a 80 mile daily rider I use dipped) many bikers turn out in dark leathers so that they are all but invisible from the rear or side.

If they are really concerned about safety rather than fashion, a luminous yellow over-jacket with reflective stripes would do a lot for their survival chances.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Toad, of_Toad_Hall.
There's no point in going for advanced training if you don't
learn anything.


There is!!! It's a great laugh. You meet great people, go on awesome rideouts, learn new local twisties that you never knew existed! Awesome fun.
no amount of lights
would have made him see me


But if it saves your life 1 in a 1000 times it has to be worth it. Nobody is suggesting ful beam is a safety panacea. Jus tthat it makes you more visible.

Others, including many bikers, say too visible for comfort.

I think the reason this debate runs for ever is because the benifits and disadvantages are so marginal.
--
toad_oftoadhall@yahoo.co.uk
4 wheels vs. 2 - chris2003
CM

Are you saying that you honestly expect bikers to sit in heavy rush hour motorway traffic with all the cars when they can safely (with their lights on) go between lanes.

Chris
4 wheels vs. 2 - doug_523i
No, I safely ride between cars with no lights on, every day, for miles, at a speed that allows me to react to problems.
4 wheels vs. 2 - THe Growler
www.msgroup.org/TIP022.html

tinyurl.com/79tu

Growler, I\'ve fixed the link. Remember - for long links use the website tinyurl.com DD.
4 wheels vs. 2 - CM
CM
Are you saying that you honestly expect bikers to sit in
heavy rush hour motorway traffic with all the cars when they
can safely (with their lights on) go between lanes.
Chris


Of course not. What I was trying to say (and I think Toad got it) was that if you go between cars then this increases the dangers of being knocked off. It is a voluntary exposure which bikers have to weigh up and not automatically put the blame on car drivers.

Personally I would love to have the freedom of a bike but I am too scared.
4 wheels vs. 2 - doug_523i
It's the nanny state meddling I don't like. You MUST have lights on all day, if you have two headlights you MUST have only one switched on in case other road user think you are a car miles away. Stop these stupid people using roads and we wouldn't need lights. What sort of road uers can't differentiate between a bike and a car?

Lights break up the outline of the vehicle, and break up the relationship between the vehicle and it's immediate environment, that's a danger in itself. As I said before, seeing a light isn't enough, you still have to judge the speed of the vehicle.
4 wheels vs. 2 - GRowlette
What Big G says is the problem is not deciding if it's a bike or a car but so that the dozy cager can SEE it in the first place.
4 wheels vs. 2 - BrianW
"What sort of road uers can't differentiate between a bike and a car? "

I can't when I am on an unlit road and a car is coming towards me with only one headlight working!
4 wheels vs. 2 - Daedalus
Darcy,

I normally ride with the headlamp on dip beam, but I am with blowpipe when it comes to filtering on the motorway. FULL BEAM and wish for MORE. You wouldn't belive the number of cars that try to get 1/2 a cars length further on by changing from lane 2 to 3 or Vicky Verkey. I would go between 1 and 2 but the trucks are so wide you cant fit through the gap.

Bill
4 wheels vs. 2 - ratty
seems that all the biker reasoning could be applied to cars as well, why don't we advise to drive cars with full beam and rear fog lights on all the time as well especially on multi-lane roads
4 wheels vs. 2 - Hairy Hat Man
Apart from the fog lights, if a car could legally filter through traffic in the way that a bike can, then they probably would be advised to use full beam.... oh hold on... that would be emergency vehicles, and they do.
4 wheels vs. 2 - blowpipe
I've left this awhile.
I still can't see the relevance of vehicle 'profiles', lit or unlit, when it comes to filtering. All I want to achieve is the attention of someone in a car who is doing nothing else but listening to the radio or whatever when I am making safe but steady progress towards his car down a line of stationary traffic. Full beam in good and sunny conditions gives me a greater chance of getting this attention. I drive a car more than I ride a bike, and even being biased towards bikes fail to detect any significant degree of blinding/annoyance etc, particularly as the 'problem' is in front of you almost as soon as you notice it behind you.
4 wheels vs. 2 - THe Growler
Amen, better be rude in action than in bed in traction. Sorry cagers, it's my life.
4 wheels vs. 2 - doug_523i
The problem is that, like the rear fogs that get left on for a month after the last hint of fog, is that you have to remember to dip your lights after you leave the motorway/dual carriageway. Having full beam in your face as a bike approaches you for whatever distance isn't pleasant, at the very least it's driving without consideration for other road users.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Obsolete
"I would rather dazzle than be missed."

If you dazzle me I might well not miss you despite my not aiming for you. Does full beam versus dipped really increase safety? I suspect it reduces it for dazzled drivers.

It's not just bikers though. For me I find certain cars seem to have very bright lights that dazzle me on the motorway. Seems to be posh cars like the Audi TT with those odd blue tinted lights and it seems to occur when they are behind and to the right.
4 wheels vs. 2 - Rob the Bus
Leif - I agree entirely. These new bi-xenon soopah doopah light- everything- up headlamps are great for improving safety. But only for the person behind the wheel of the car fitted with them. For everybody else they're a nightmare. Round my neck of the woods there are loads of unlit, but major(ish) roads. At night, cars equipped with these new headlamps appear to be on full beam and it is **most** distracting, especially if you've one behind you. I really don't think that they can be safe and that there should be some kind of legal restriction on the amount of light headlamps can produce.
 

Value my car