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  1. #1
    Active Member LALoner's Avatar
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    Default Has anyone installed modulator head lights?

    I cannot find a reference. SO , has anyone installed a system to allow the headlights to alternate and flash while the motor is running .

    I have seen other MCs with that option but no Spyders .
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 05-05-2023 at 12:06 AM. Reason: Expanded title to briefly ask the question... ;-)

  2. #2
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    Default Headlight modulator

    Quote Originally Posted by LALoner View Post
    I cannot find a reference. SO , has anyone installed a system to allow the headlights to alternate and flash while the motor is running .

    I have seen other MCs with that option but no Spyders .
    THERE IS A DEVICE CALLED A HEADLIGHT MODULATOR. WHAT IT DOES IS PULSES THE HEADLIGHT WHEN IT IS ON HIGH BEAM ABOUT 4 TIMES A SECOND. ON COMING TRAFFIC ESPECIALLY LEFT TURNERS WILL NOTICE SOME THING IS THERE AND TAKE A SECOND LOOK. IT IS NOT MENT TO MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A EMERGENCY VEHICAL JUST TO MAKE YOU MORE VISABLE. I HAVE HAD THEM ON MANY OF MY BIKES SINCE 1978. THER IS ONE COMPANY THAT MANUFACTURES TME FOR CAN-AM SPYDERS. https://kisantech.com/p115w-t4-canam.html ALLSO THEY ARE LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member BLUEKNIGHT911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exbrc1 View Post
    THERE IS A DEVICE CALLED A HEADLIGHT MODULATOR. WHAT IT DOES IS PULSES THE HEADLIGHT WHEN IT IS ON HIGH BEAM ABOUT 4 TIMES A SECOND. ON COMING TRAFFIC ESPECIALLY LEFT TURNERS WILL NOTICE SOME THING IS THERE AND TAKE A SECOND LOOK. IT IS NOT MENT TO MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A EMERGENCY VEHICAL JUST TO MAKE YOU MORE VISABLE. I HAVE HAD THEM ON MANY OF MY BIKES SINCE 1978. THER IS ONE COMPANY THAT MANUFACTURES TME FOR CAN-AM SPYDERS. https://kisantech.com/p115w-t4-canam.html ALLSO THEY ARE LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES.
    Just a word of caution, I highly advise of check your STate Laws on this...... Doing this to any motorcycle operated on a highway may be a violation of ....if the vehicle wasn't manufactured with it ie OEM, then it may not be legal .... good luck .... Mike ....PS, personally I think they are a great idea .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLUEKNIGHT911 View Post
    Just a word of caution, I highly advise of check your STate Laws on this...... Doing this to any motorcycle operated on a highway may be a violation of ....if the vehicle wasn't manufactured with it ie OEM, then it may not be legal .... good luck .... Mike ....PS, personally I think they are a great idea .....
    Modulating motorcycle headlights is a federal
    Law in the U.S. and Canada. Some states have their own code which follows the federal one but with a few differences.

    As for alternating headlights, only emergency vehicles are allowed to have that.
    2021 F3 Ltd , Magna Red

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    Very Active Member pidjones's Avatar
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    Had them on my GL1800. I really liked them, but beware that other motorists are not educated and may be iritated, flash their headlights at you, pull over, slow down etc. But, they may also stop poking in the left lane and let you pass. Remember that being seen better also makes you a better target. BTW, legal in USA since 1985. A response to DTRLs.
    "Love 'em all.... Let GOD sort 'em out!"
    2021 RTL Dark Chalk Metallic with comfort seat
    1978 GL1000 w/'75 engine show bike
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  6. #6
    Active Member NorwegianRT's Avatar
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    I put these on my 2012 RT, way better for daytime driving as the law here says all motorised wehicles shall use headlights allways.



    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3296...d=0u6S7IYKVm5V
    Last edited by NorwegianRT; 05-05-2023 at 07:41 AM. Reason: added link
    Brgds Martin

    First Spyder: RS 2008 Yellow&Black - Current: 2012 Spyder RTS Magnesium, bought new from dealer in 2015.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Navydad's Avatar
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    Most motorcycles have a dual element bulb so flashing from high to low and back is made possible pretty easily. Our Spyders, at least most of them, have a single element bulb with a mechanical shutter system for low/high beam. Just curious how a flasher system would operate with our system?
    2015 RT , Black

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    Navydad, The modulator I have on my GL1500 (and have had on other bikes) works on the high beam only. Yes, it's the same bulb on the Spyder, but would be activated by lifting the shutter for the high beam.

    For the skeptics, there is also a photocell in the system that only allows the modulation when there is sufficient ambient light. They will not modulate at night.

    I have used modulators (front and rear) on my bikes for over 20 years. They are a wonderful tool, but you should also use them responsibly. You should not just turn it on and leave it on. Think about the guy ahead of you at the stop light who sees this "flashing" light in his mirror for the entire duration of the red light. It can be rather irritating, which does nothing to mitigate any animosity he might have toward cycles.

    I also turn mine off (simply flipping the beam selector to LOW) when approaching a 4-way stop sign. I have had other drivers think I was an emergency vehicle and expect me to just blow through the intersection. I also had one occasion where an oncoming vehicle on a two-lane road pulled over (again, thinking I was an emergency vehicle) and the vehicle behind them pulled out to pass. Quickly changed their mind when they saw me, but it could have been rather disatrous if it had been closer.

    Great tool, but use it carefully and respectfully.

    .
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    2017 RT-S SE6 Pearl White

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  9. #9
    Active Member LALoner's Avatar
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    I thank everyone for the responses.
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 05-14-2023 at 10:15 PM. Reason: ...ses . - ...ses. ;-)

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    Very Active Member pidjones's Avatar
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    Need to read up on the law. Flashing is NOT legal - only modulating between specific brightness levels within specific frequencies.
    "Love 'em all.... Let GOD sort 'em out!"
    2021 RTL Dark Chalk Metallic with comfort seat
    1978 GL1000 w/'75 engine show bike
    1976 RD400c

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    Very Active Member K80Shooter's Avatar
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    Personally, I do not like them, I think they are distracting but that's just my opinion.
    2020 RT Limited Chrome , Petrol Blue

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    Very Active Member Woodaddict's Avatar
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    had a friend that had a 2 wheeler, bought bike used with the headlight modulator installed. He took it off, when riding more people than not would slow down, start to pull over, etc, thinking he was a police officer. that type of addition just seems to cause more problems than good
    2015 Spyder RT Ltd- bUrp - only add the "U", 2010 Honda NT700V-red,2010 Honda NT700V-silver retired @201,111 miles, 1997 Honda PC800, 1996 Honda PC800, Honda CT500, Honda Shadow 500, 1978 Suzuki GS550, 1973 Suzuki TC125, other assorted smaller bikes, Suzuki TM400



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    I used modulating headlights on several bikes that I owned from about 2009 to 2021. There was no doubt in my mind that the problem of cars/trucks turning left in front of a motorcycle was greatly reduced through the use of the modulator. It is just difficult NOT to see the flickering light. When I traded in my Goldwing in 2021 for my current RT, I did not seek to find a modulator and have concluded that it is not needed. The greater front size of the Spyder seems to be seen by oncoming vehicles just as if it were a car or truck. In 2 years and 9,000 miles I have not even once had a vehicle turn left in front of me.

    As some others have said, there are downsides as well to having a modulator. Many drivers are quite ignorant about emergency lights and would mistakenly think that I was an emergency vehicle and would pull over to let me pass easily. That wasn't all bad but there was one occasion where the driver who pulled over then started chasing me when he saw that I was not in fact an emergency vehicle and it seemed to get him pretty upset. The incident ended without a problem, but it could have been a serious case of road rage and of armed self-defense if it had come to that. The other issue with modulators is that some people think that there is something wrong with my headlight and would be flashing their headlights at me as we approached each other. That can be distracting for both vehicles, but it also could be confused by the motorcyclist into thinking that the oncoming driver was trying to warn you of a waiting police car ahead of you.

    So while overall I thought that the modulator was effective at adding safety on a 2-wheeler, I do not think it is particularly useful on a 3-wheeler.
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 05-05-2023 at 06:46 PM. Reason: trn lfet - turn left ;-)
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  14. #14
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    Yes I will check Tennessee’s vehicle laws. Thanks

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    This subject has been beaten to death on other MC forums (fora? 60+ years since my last Latin class��).
    _----------------------
    Federal law supersedes all state laws and makes motorcycle headlight modulators legal in all 50 states. FMVSS 108 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) (49 CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4) allows motorcycle headlight modulation systems all 50 states provided they comply with the standards-based or. Title 49 USC 30103 (b1) (US Codes) prohibits any state from forbidding a system that conforms to FMVSS 108.
    ----------------
    S7.9.4.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity, provided that:
    (a) The rate of modulation shall be 240 <plus-minus> 40 cycles per minute.
    (b) The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70 percent of each cycle.
    (c) The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17 percent of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.
    (d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power lead of the beam filament being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.
    (e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper beam remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
    --------------------
    There's also an elaborate section on how the sensor works to insure that the modulation turns off at night.

    This refers to changing the brightness of the headlights. Flashing them ( on/off) is a no-no. If your bike has dual headlights both headlights MUST brighten and dim in sync. Alternating them side to die is a BIG no-no. Almost every state has laws defining "wig-wag" lights as a signal for emergency vehicles, and cops don't like people pretending to be cops, no matter how obliquely. The federal rule isn't going to keep you out of handcuffs.

  16. #16
    Very Active Member IGETAROUND's Avatar
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    I have used modulators in the past, have two coming for wife's and my spyders. Was just waiting for them to work the problems out of modulating LED headlights.

    Al in Kazoo
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    Quote Originally Posted by exbrc1 View Post
    THERE IS A DEVICE CALLED A HEADLIGHT MODULATOR. WHAT IT DOES IS PULSES THE HEADLIGHT WHEN IT IS ON HIGH BEAM ABOUT 4 TIMES A SECOND. ON COMING TRAFFIC ESPECIALLY LEFT TURNERS WILL NOTICE SOME THING IS THERE AND TAKE A SECOND LOOK. IT IS NOT MENT TO MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A EMERGENCY VEHICAL JUST TO MAKE YOU MORE VISABLE. I HAVE HAD THEM ON MANY OF MY BIKES SINCE 1978. THER IS ONE COMPANY THAT MANUFACTURES TME FOR CAN-AM SPYDERS. https://kisantech.com/p115w-t4-canam.html ALLSO THEY ARE LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES.
    The above is ONLY for 15s and 16s. I think I will go with https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3296...d=0u6S7IYKVm5V because they have more options and functions and cost less. I hope they last for a reasonable length of time.
    Last edited by 2dogs; 05-20-2023 at 02:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dogs View Post
    The above is ONLY for 15s and 16s. I think I will go with https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3296...d=0u6S7IYKVm5V because they have more options and functions and cost less. I hope they last for a reasonable length of time.
    Page not found.

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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2cod View Post
    Page not found.
    https://www.aliexpress.us/item/22518...2usa4itemAdapt

    Here's the long link. However I tried ordering them and I couldn't get through to make the purchase. These are a little different but are close to the other ones.

  20. #20
    Active Member WDAVEY's Avatar
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    I had modulators on 2 previous Harleys with two distinct affects on motorists. Many would yell that there was something wrong with my headlight (good - you saw me). Some would pull out in front of me thinking that I had flashed my high beams signaling them to pull out (not good - you nearly killed me). So when I got the Spyder I did not add a modulator. IMO, I run 4 head lights (high beams on in daytime), "signature lights" just below the frunk lid, I added the BRP LED auxiliary light at the bottom of the frunk, I added signal lights that are constant on to the mirrors to supplement those already on the front fenders. Total of 11 lights facing forward as I travel down the road should be enough.
    2021 Spyder RTL chalk/black/chrome bought in March 21. Previous rides: 2019 Spyder RTL, Orange/chrome. 2015 Harley Heritage, 2002 Harley Heritage, 77 Harley Electra Glide, 75 Harley Electra Glide, 72 Harley Sportster (first bike bought new)
    My Spyder Mods
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  21. #21
    Active Member seaweed's Avatar
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    With some drivers that is not enough lights, they are looking at their phones !!

    Dean Secord AKA seaweed
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  22. #22
    Very Active Member K80Shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seaweed View Post
    With some drivers that is not enough lights, they are looking at their phones !!
    Nothing is going to make those idiots see you. Maybe a ball bat might help.
    2020 RT Limited Chrome , Petrol Blue

  23. #23
    Very Active Member Snoking1127's Avatar
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    I put 360 LED headlights in my 2018 RT-L and run them on high beam all the time. I have only been "flashed" once in three years. The OEM incandescent highlights are weak at best! Ride with a group of spyders and you will see the difference in keeping track of the other riders if you are the leader.
    2018 RT Ltd - Asphalt Metallic - East Valley of Phoenix
    2018 RT Ltd Chrome - Champagne Metallic - Lake Stevens, Wa

    (Champagne/Hooker) Magic Mirrors, 360 LED head lights, BajaRon sway bar, H&R springs and shock adjusters, dash cam, foam grips, third brake light 4 LED strobe for 7 seconds and then on steady, rear LED turn signals/8 ohm 50W resistors, sequential turn signals on front fenders, Vredestein and PPA Orb wheels on front and General out back, and driver backrest.

    Things that move between machines: Ikea sheep skins, Zumo XT GPS, and extra tools. Hooker is going to be my summer trike up North; and Hookie my winter trike down South.

    (Asphalt/Hookie) Elka shocks on front - BajaRon sway bar, OEM driver's backrest, LED headlights, dual USB with voltmeter, dash cam, foam grips - Magic Mirrors - front tires Vredestein Quatrac SL on PPA ORB Chrome wheels.


  24. #24
    SpyderLovers Sponsor Motorcycledave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LALoner View Post
    I cannot find a reference. SO , has anyone installed a system to allow the headlights to alternate and flash while the motor is running .

    I have seen other MCs with that option but no Spyders .
    WOW check your state laws on that one... In most all states police cars have headlights that alternate side to side and are only allowed on emergency vehicles like red and blue lights facing forward...
    I think you may be referring to a headlight modulator that makes the headlights go from low beam to high beam kinda fast to get
    oncoming cars see you better... but I don't think they will work on a Spyder because of the way the headlight are . someone else
    here may have information on if a modulator would work....
    Last edited by Motorcycledave; 05-25-2023 at 04:32 PM.

  25. #25
    Active Member LALoner's Avatar
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    I believe that those who are saying "modulator" are correct and my use of "flashing" was wrong. I do know we had "flashing" lights on our Aircraft but, although low, we rarely had cars pull over because of it.

    SO, modulator is the subject.
    Last edited by Peter Aawen; 05-25-2023 at 07:38 PM. Reason: removed spaces after words/before punctuation - text to talk s/ware really doesn't like those extra spaces! :-/

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