Motorbikes & Headlights - Duchess
I could never understand the point of this. Why do bikes have their headlights on all day? When one approaches my car, why am I subjected to a bright light at pretty much eye level? It's slightly dazzling and distorts my perception of the rest of the traffic and surroundings.

So yesterday evening, I was pulled up at a t-juction not far from home to turn right. On a quiet country road, turning onto a slightly less quiet country road. I'm in brilliant sunshine, the road to my right is in brilliant sunshine, the road to the left is in brilliant sunshine for about 200 yards, then goes into a wood and shade. Look left, look right, look left again, look right again, nothing visible, and pull out. And suddenly 10 feet from my nearside is a motorbike approaching far too rapidly.

Fortunately, he had good brakes and I had good acceleration so there was no contact. He did make a series of hand gestures which he was pretty much entitled to make. In my defence, it was a black bike, he was wearing camouflage clothing, travelling well over the 60 speed limit and didn't have any lights on.

So firstly, if that was you, I'm really really sorry (I was scared so God knows how you felt!) and secondly, I am never ever ever ever going to wonder why (most) bikes have headlights on all day!

Motorbikes & Headlights - AngryJonny
It's actually a legal requirement for new bikes to have no headlight switch. The headlights are permanently on - the only control the rider has is to switch between dipped and high-beam.

This is because some riders thought they were visible enough without being lit. I'd never ride without dipped headlights, even on a bright day.
Motorbikes & Headlights - mss1tw
In 2800 miles one end of the country to the other I had no one pull out on me (Got back yesterday!).

Whether it's due to the twin lights being permanently on, or the fact the bike is the size of a small cottage I don't know...
Motorbikes & Headlights - bathtub tom
Thirty-odd years ago I fitted a white full fairing to a bike. Suddenly cars not only stopped pulling out in front of me, but I was treated with much more deference. A couple of (4-wheeled) mates complained I looked too much like a cop!
Motorbikes & Headlights - bell boy
wear the latest euro compliant reflective jacket and even i would take you for a cop..
dont put "ears" on your helmet though it would spoil the image ;-
Motorbikes & Headlights - Pugugly {P}
I'm avoiding the pig's ears comment that this screams out for.

Didn;t know it was a legal requiriement though the BM has them on with the ignition, there is a software fix for them not to apparantly.
Motorbikes & Headlights - Robin Reliant
I stopped using a daytime headlight six years back after reading some interesting reserch on the subject. Never had any instances of cars emerging in that time, and felt safer because it made me concious of using my road positioning and attitude on the bike to alert people to my prescence rather than sitting there like a lemon hoping a passive safety aid would look after me.

I hate daytime headlights, they make closing speed and distance harder to judge and are distracting in the mirror and when cresting a rise. I would bet that more instances have occurred of drivers starting an emerge because they thought they were being flashed by a headlamp user than those where someone was so dangerously blind they could not see an approaching bike in clear daylight.
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Robin Reliant, formerly known as Tom Shaw
Motorbikes & Headlights - Robin Reliant
BTW, it is not a legal requirement to have headlights wired on.
--
Robin Reliant, formerly known as Tom Shaw
Motorbikes & Headlights - Pugugly {P}
I certainly didn't think it was ! BMW actually use it as a marketing thing. It would be like saying this bike has brakes !!
Motorbikes & Headlights - AngryJonny
BTW, it is not a legal requirement to have headlights wired on.


It was a motorcycle instructor who told me it was. Happy to concede defeat on this one to someone who knows better, though.
Motorbikes & Headlights - DP
I wouldn't ever ride without dipped beam on. I don't even know if my headlight switch turns off - never tried it.

Cheers
DP
Motorbikes & Headlights - trancer
"When one approaches my car, why am I subjected to a bright light at pretty much eye level?"

To help you see the motorcycle, and by your own account....it works!!.

Those motorcycles with their lights on that dazzle you, are motorcycles that you will never pull out on and later claim that you didn't see.
Motorbikes & Headlights - Pete Mansell
I don't think motor cyclists riding on dipped beams is a problem. What is a problem though is the large number of them riding on main beam all day. That really is annoying and distracting.
Motorbikes & Headlights - Pugugly {P}
You're right.
Motorbikes & Headlights - Mike-H
Yes me too, It can dazzle, and leave you with a temporary spot in front of the eyes. If they had a riding companion, you may miss them.The modern lights are like lasers compared with my 7" prince of darkness Lucas unit!
Motorbikes & Headlights - Martin Devon
I don't think motor cyclists riding on dipped beams is a
problem. What is a problem though is the large number of
them riding on main beam all day. That really is annoying
and distracting.

Actually glad someone got there before me. I ride off road and haven't ridden seriously on road for years although I...........well.....never mind eh!........But on a serious note I have absolutely NO OBJECTION to dipped beam, but I DO have a serious problem with main beam, (is this law now?) It is a complete sss off and ignorant at that, that somebody can just blind another driver as they approach at missile speeds. I am afraid that their main beam ALWAYS gets reflected. This problem is also caused, on ocassions, by mopeds, or whatever they are called now!

Anyone fancy a trip to Brussels...................They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring!!!!

vbr..........MD
Motorbikes & Headlights - ndbw
Agree with angry jonny,my Honda has headlight on as soon as engine is started,(not when ignition is switched on),only control is High/Low beam,it does take me back to a 1990 Kawasaki trail bike with 6volt electrics and a flywheel based dynamo,the choice was lights or indicators but not both,fortunately I only usually rode it in daylight but it meant you could not use the lights for making yourself seen.

ndbw
Motorbikes & Headlights - wotspur
Everyone's missed the point.
The biker was doing well in excess of the speed limit, and almost caused an accident and then had the temerity to gesture as though they'd done nothing wrong. Typical
That said I honestly prefer for bikers to have lights on, but much prefer them to also take more responsibility for their own safety, especially whilst driving through villages, where I've rarley seen them keep to speed limits that apply to other road users.
Motorbikes & Headlights - martint123
Everyone's missed the point. The biker was doing well in excess of the speed limit,

Was he?
Motorbikes & Headlights - Pugugly {P}
indeed
Motorbikes & Headlights - Simon
>>Everyone's missed the point. The biker was doing well in excess of the speed limit,

>>Was he?


>>indeed


I love the way that we have automatically assumed that the motorcyclist was speeding. The first time that Duchess saw the motorcycle was "10 feet from my nearside". If he didn't see the motorcyclist before then, how is it possible to judge how fast he was approaching, you have no time/reference point before this.

Obviously we don't know all of the facts, he could have come round a bend for example but equally so it could have been perfectly straight. Duchess does state that "the road to the left is in brilliant sunshine for about 200 yards, then goes into a wood and shade". Maybe the motorcylist was 'hidden' in the shade, maybe Duchess just didn't see him. But why do we have to be so quick to judge that it was the motorcyclist at fault?
Motorbikes & Headlights - AngryJonny
Everyone's missed the point.
The biker was doing well in excess of the speed limit, and almost caused an accident and
then had the temerity to gesture as though they'd done nothing wrong. Typical


I don't think it's been established that this was the case.

Happens a lot. I was riding through Shoreditch at the weekend, a shade under 30, following a car (with dipped headlight on as per the bike's compusory setting) when I spotted another car trying to pull out from the right. "She's not seen me" I thought to myself as the car in front of me passed her, and sure enough the lady tried to pull out in front of me. Fortunately, I'd already gone for the brakes when I predicted her stupidity and was safely coming to a halt as she proved me right. A few gesticulations later she realised what she'd done wrong. Presumably afterwards she would go on to tell people that I "came out of no-where doing well over the speed limit" but hey - at least I walked away from it. Despite her protests, she learned something.
Motorbikes & Headlights - Daedalus
As you quite rightly point out, without the lights on you didn't see him! With them on you would. And how can you tell if something you have not seen is going over the speed limit. Very subjective this one: to be controversial, "only people who speed habitually have any judge of excess speed upto a limit", lets say 20 mph over the limit. Discuss!!

Most responsible motorcylists I know always use dipped headlights in the day. I have done so for over 30 years. The only car that's pulled out on me has been when I was overtaking a stationary queue of traffic and the car I was overtaking waved a car out of the side road, I ended up going over the bonnet. That was 1974 and I have used lights ever since.

Didn't stop a cyclist coming through stopped traffic into me from the side in 1999, again when I was filtering, but this time it was dark and he still didn't see me with full lights on. What do you do????

I didn't know it was now compulsory to for new bikes to have lights on though.

Bill
Motorbikes & Headlights - Pugugly {P}
"nothing visible, and pull out. And suddenly 10 feet from my nearside is a motorbike "

so if he was travelling in excessof the speed limit 10 feet away, he would never have stopped. If that statement went to Court..............
Motorbikes & Headlights - THe Growler
If you are a regular biker you wil be accustomed daily to the half asleep car driver fiddling with something, talking on his phone and doing anything but concentrating on driving and frequently having to take evasive action despoite your ride planning. Vast numbers of accidents occur this way and it's known as the "sorry I didn't see you mate" syndrome. Anything that helps him/her see you is essential, hence the reason virtually all bikes these days have their lights hard-wired into the ignition. Sorry if mine dazzle you, but at least you've noticed I'm there.

I have trained my back rider to hold up a warning hand at any all junctions where a driver looks likely to pull out and generally to help me take command of my road space by signalling to others my intentions before it's usurped by some idiot. Good defensive riding requires positive inputs from the rider. We get some funny looks I can tell you but I'd rat us the better, safer road users.. A big bike helps (gets respect) and unsilenced pipes to me are a must. Yup I know you can't have them over there.

( I also have an illegal police siren, but don't tell anyone ;+) ). You should should see the traffic opening up like the Red Sea for Moses with a few "woop-woops" from that........

Finally us bikers want to ride as safely as we can and we want to share the road safely with you. We guess you also wouldn't want the death of injury of one of us on your conscience. So allow us the daytime lights, please, we have to put up with a lot more risky behaviour from you. We have no time either for the biker who doesn't share our discipline and philosophy.


Motorbikes & Headlights - L'escargot
I don't mind bikers using dipped headlights in daytime, but I do dislike the use of main beam which I see as being deliberately aggressive. I did on one occasion, in a moment of petulance, retaliate by putting my lights on main beam, but immediately afterwards I realised that I had merely lowered myself to the same level as the biker and I resolved never to do it again.
--
L\'escargot.
Motorbikes & Headlights - Honestjohn
So, everyone, imagine what it is going to be like when the EC imposes a Directive that all motor vehicles must drive with their headlights on at all times. In heavy traffic motorcycles will once again become invisible.

HJ




Motorbikes & Headlights - Pugugly {P}
Ahhh - but the canny bikers will evolve some trickery to be seen. They are the quickest evolving road users, change or die !
Motorbikes & Headlights - hm
Hi all, I have read all the comments.....some I agree, some not..

fyi: I ride a CBR600RR....

I always ride with my lights on dip....It certain make people more aware that we are around..the same can be said for running nosiey exhausts...running without baffle is far safer as car ofter hear you coming.......but I do agree, it really gets on t!ts when I see other bikers riding around with their lights on Main Beam..............it is bit like the people in cars who always think it is foggy..........

I do agree that sometimes it looks like the bike is flashing out.....not as bad as all the new exective head light like on Merc and BMW's, always thing I'm being flashed.

I have had a couple of cars pull out on me and yes I will be honest I was probably riding pretty quick, but they must have seen me.....I saw them a long way off, already shaking my head becasue I know dam well they were not paying attention and would pull out........

Never come a cropper yet touch wood, but have nicely removed a young ladies drivers side mirror by accident of course ;-) who cut me right up on day .

Just my two pence...good threat.......at least this thread has alerted some people to the issues both drivers and rider face.

Motorbikes & Headlights - Westpig
has anyone else noticed the other thing that can easily catch a bike out........ the lane change that seemingly nowadays has to be done as quickly as possible without the merest glimmer of intent..i can only suppose this is to prevent other drivers 'denying you' the space

Whatever happended to 'mirror,signal manooeuvre' or am i showing my age.
Motorbikes & Headlights - NARU
So, everyone, imagine what it is going to be like when
the EC imposes a Directive that all motor vehicles must drive
with their headlights on at all times. In heavy traffic motorcycles
will once again become invisible.


Agree entirely. Yet again, the most vulnerable traffic on the road suffers.

Just like when they plaster the road with paint (slippery when wet).
Just like when they plaster the road with loose chippings.
Just like when they put manhole covers on bends.
Just like when they put speedbumps in the road.

And they wonder why motorcyle casualty rates won't fall.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car