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daryl631

Led headlights

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Andy m

There is the naughty solution. Mount a pair of spots as high on the bike as you can, angle them to look for the Luftwaffe, turning the lens on the mount if you have to and connected to the "passing" button. When you start to turn in, pull the trigger and they'll give you a good view up the road. Forget about the truck coming the other way though  and the last thing you might ever see could be the bones in your hand as 11 billion candle power of Hella 12-inchers get used in revenge. It's pretty common practice in Scandinavia where they are careful and the Stans where they are not. 

 

Andy

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Tex

That reminds me - the current design necessity for bikes to have twin headlights comes from the endurance races of the early seventies. A single headlight on a race bike only shows the front tyre under heavy braking so two were used. One aimed ‘normally’ to light the road ahead and the second aimed at the tree tops. Under braking the ‘normal’ one becomes useless but the ‘high’ one now lights the road. Simples! :) 

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SteveThackery
8 hours ago, Andy m said:

 

I'm surprised no one has gone for the fundamental solution though. The problem is that the frame/headstock is pointing where you are going now, not in 4 seconds time and the viewer is off the angle of the beam by enough to see only part of the reflection. If you mount a searchlight on an emergency vehicle or ship, its at the height of the operators chest. Our lights should be helmet mounted or at least raised like the Enfield Himalaya or a few other off road machines try. 

 

 

 

I don't think the height of the lamp has much to do with the fundamental solution.  In fact, I wonder if your suggestion would make it worse, although I might be wrong.

 

The problem seems to be two-fold.  Firstly, on bikes like ours the light points forwards rather than into the bend, it being connected to the frame and not the bit that turns as you go into a corner.  However, for most corners you only turn the bars a very slight amount, so you gain very little by having a headlight that turns from side to side.  My Bullet has a headlight that turns, and the advantage over the NC is so slight it's not noticeable.

 

The biggest problem is due to the downward slope of the beam.  It is flat on top, and must slope downwards from the headlamp so the top of the beam touches the road (a requirement to avoid dazzle).  It must also fan out sideways so that the curb and white line are illuminated.  So we have a wide, flat-topped fan-shaped beam that slopes downwards.

 

The problem arises when we lean the bike over.   Imagine we are turning to the left, so we lean the bike to the left.  The wide, flat beam tilts over (anticlockwise as viewed by the rider), so the point at which the left side of the beam touches the road becomes much closer, and the equivalent point on the right side goes off into the distance.  If you watch the video you can see the effect very easily.

 

This geometrical effect seems to be the biggest factor in causing that blind area where the curb is.  An auxiliary light can fill in that dark area, as demonstrated in the video.  However, when the bike comes upright again it must be switched off because otherwise it would be shining up into the sky (and dazzling oncoming drivers in the case of the right hand auxiliary light).

I don't think Andy's analogy is quite relevant, because search lights don't have a flat topped beam.  As far as I know, they are at chest height because that's the most convenient place for you to hold them.  You don't want to bend over or reach up to adjust your searchlight.  Also, they are moveable in two planes, unlike our headlights.

 

I agree with Andy's implication that a beam mounted on our helmet might be the ideal, as it would always point where we are looking (assuming we turn our head).  Not really practical, though!  :)

 

 

Edited by SteveThackery

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Andy m

No, it's fact, Enduro bikes put the light higher and you can ride at silly speeds. I've followed a mad Finn at 70 mph on a dirt track in the dark. I was following his back light, he had a pair of HID's at chest height.

 

Andy

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Rev Ken

I wonder if those of us who have 'shaped' lights that can't easily be changed for an 'off the peg' adaptive light unit could imagine small auxiliary lights in place of say day running lights that could have simple electronics to switch on when cornering to give the same effect? Should be cheaper, and something I would value. With my HID lights I have a fighting chance to see where I am going, but although I've only be flashed a couple of times I'm aware when going around a left hand bend my lights must cause some discomfort to drivers coming the other way, especially those with low seating positions.

Edited by Rev Ken

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embee

"Old" style 7" round headlight which had gyro stabilised rotation so it remains "horizontal" when the bike banks would do the job, effectively what a car headlamp does. I'm sure modern tech could do it quite easily, I've seen gyro stabilised cameras used on race bikes with superb results. There again it's probably easier to switch on/off extra LEDs as in the example in the video post. Promising technology, if the authorities can get their legislative heads around it.

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ChrisS

A good number of cars have small lights that come on and go off when the steering wheel is turning, these lights are mounted low down as near to the corner of the vehicle. 

 

Surely, bike manufacturers could use the same technology?

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MikeBike

Doesn't the NC have a bank sensor? I think the idea of additional lights switched by detection of the bike's lean sounds promising.

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SteveThackery
3 hours ago, MikeBike said:

Doesn't the NC have a bank sensor? I think the idea of additional lights switched by detection of the bike's lean sounds promising.

 

I don't know about the very latest models, but up to 2016 they didn't have a bank angle sensor.  Confusingly there is a sensor shown in the wiring diagram called "bank angle sensor", but in fact it's just the normal tip-over sensor all modern bikes have to cut out the fuel pump when the bike is on its side.  There is more about this on the Honda R&D site, where they discuss the algorithm they use to determine when the bike is going round a corner without using a "real" bank angle sensor.  They did this in order to avoid the DCT changing gear mid-corner.

 

Personally I don't understand why they didn't use the real thing, but perhaps they are more expensive than I thought.

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Rev Ken
15 hours ago, ChrisS said:

A good number of cars have small lights that come on and go off when the steering wheel is turning, these lights are mounted low down as near to the corner of the vehicle. 

 

Surely, bike manufacturers could use the same technology?

The problem with bikes is that the amount of steering movement is very small, and of course we counter-steer just to make things more awkward! Using a bank sensor is a possibility so I'm a bit surprised I haven't seen any reference to this solution. 

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DaveM59

The corner lights on cars use the front fog/driving lights if fitted and operate only below 30mph when either indicator is flicked. They turn off about a second or so after the indicator cancels. There is no relationship to steering turn angle. Quite useful when drivers only flick the stalk for a 1 or 3 flash when really they should put the indicator on properly as the slightly longer duration gives a better indication of where they intend to turn.

Cars with DRL's rather than standard side lights also either dim or turn off the DRL on the side that is indicating so as not to detract from seeing the indicator light. When we retro fit DRLs onto bikes this isn't taken into account so while increasing visibility in most cases it can also introduce less easily seen indicators.

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Rev Ken
4 hours ago, DaveM59 said:

The corner lights on cars use the front fog/driving lights if fitted and operate only below 30mph when either indicator is flicked. They turn off about a second or so after the indicator cancels. There is no relationship to steering turn angle. Quite useful when drivers only flick the stalk for a 1 or 3 flash when really they should put the indicator on properly as the slightly longer duration gives a better indication of where they intend to turn.

Cars with DRL's rather than standard side lights also either dim or turn off the DRL on the side that is indicating so as not to detract from seeing the indicator light. When we retro fit DRLs onto bikes this isn't taken into account so while increasing visibility in most cases it can also introduce less easily seen indicators.

My VW 'corner lights' don't rely on my indicators, but is related to steering wheel position. This at times isn't ideal as when turning into a dark side turning it isn't illuminated until the turn starts! They switch off as soon as the steering wheel is in the central position, but they are useful.

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Trev
4 hours ago, DaveM59 said:

The corner lights on cars use the front fog/driving lights if fitted and operate only below 30mph when either indicator is flicked. They turn off about a second or so after the indicator cancels. There is no relationship to steering turn angle. Quite useful when drivers only flick the stalk for a 1 or 3 flash when really they should put the indicator on properly as the slightly longer duration gives a better indication of where they intend to turn.

Cars with DRL's rather than standard side lights also either dim or turn off the DRL on the side that is indicating so as not to detract from seeing the indicator light. When we retro fit DRLs onto bikes this isn't taken into account so while increasing visibility in most cases it can also introduce less easily seen indicators.

 

Does depends on the specification of the system, my Volvo V60 used to have fully shuttered adaptive lighting so in effect had permanent main beam and the car used info from camera and radar systems to shut down part of the beam to ensure other drivers weren't dazzled. Not only did it mean you didn't need to change dip pattern when driving in Europe (which I did quite a bit) but it also set up a weird 'targeting system' thing when following someone at a distance down a coutnry lane, it left the car upfront 'blanked out' with everything else arould illuminated.

It was an expensive extra (I  think about £800) but by far the best lights I have ever had, or seen, on any car, gawd knows how much it would cost to put right though.

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SteveThackery
12 hours ago, Rev Ken said:

My VW 'corner lights' don't rely on my indicators, but is related to steering wheel position. This at times isn't ideal as when turning into a dark side turning it isn't illuminated until the turn starts! They switch off as soon as the steering wheel is in the central position, but they are useful.

 

My Lexus lights are a bit like that, except that they are swivelled by electric motors.  They seem to be dependent only on two factors: steering wheel angle and road speed.  For some reason they don't swivel at all at very low speeds - perhaps less than 10mph.

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Andy m

Probably using the steering angle ESC and wheel sensors on the brake system. ABS sensors are usually inductive so only give a usable signal above 3 mph at best. 

 

Andy

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skorpion
21 hours ago, Rev Ken said:

My VW 'corner lights' don't rely on my indicators, but is related to steering wheel position. This at times isn't ideal as when turning into a dark side turning it isn't illuminated until the turn starts! They switch off as soon as the steering wheel is in the central position, but they are useful.

 

My Citroen C3 Picasso's work the same as your VW fog lights, they come on when the steering wheel is turned below about 25 MPH.

In my opinion no use at all only a distraction for other motorists coming towards you.

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slowboy

My Volvo v70 has the steering HID light set up with anti dazzle sensors (dips automatically) not a sophisticated as those on Trev's V60, but very impressive lighting nevertheless.

My CRF 250 Rally has twin LED headlights (dip - one on, Main - both on) and are pretty good, especially on main beam.

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Trev
4 hours ago, slowboy said:

My Volvo v70 has the steering HID light set up with anti dazzle sensors (dips automatically) not a sophisticated as those on Trev's V60, but very impressive lighting nevertheless.

My CRF 250 Rally has twin LED headlights (dip - one on, Main - both on) and are pretty good, especially on main beam.

 

Had that setup on my previous Volvo XC70, superb

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DaveM59

All stuff to go wrong eventually. I foresee a time where new drivers and those on limited budget  won't be able to buy a car without numerous faults and gadgets that don't work any more.

This could mean a real depreciation on used cars that are no longer perfect bought from any other than a main dealer.

Cars are like TV's, I wish I could do without but there are  a few times I'd be stuck  or at least out of touch without one. That's why I have a zero road tax car so when it isn't being used it isn't appearing to cost me too much. Bit boring though!

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Rev Ken
2 hours ago, DaveM59 said:

All stuff to go wrong eventually. I foresee a time where new drivers and those on limited budget  won't be able to buy a car without numerous faults and gadgets that don't work any more.

This could mean a real depreciation on used cars that are no longer perfect bought from any other than a main dealer.

Cars are like TV's, I wish I could do without but there are  a few times I'd be stuck  or at least out of touch without one. That's why I have a zero road tax car so when it isn't being used it isn't appearing to cost me too much. Bit boring though!

Unfortunately almost all 'gadgets' have to work on the MOT such as automatic dipping - although I haven't checked the newest version of the revised MOT manual.

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Grumpy Meltdown
On 17/11/2018 at 08:00, Tex said:

Adaptive lighting will filter down to the ‘bread and butter’ models eventually. At the moment it’s only on ‘high end’ models like the K1600 6 cyl BMW. But it’ll get cheaper and more widely available. I have always hated riding at night and the way that the road goes dark as you crank into a bend because the light just ‘disappears’.

 

I knew you’d beat me to it Simon. 

Found the BMW promotion vid for you to enjoy.

 

 

BTW, my car has adaptive headlights and they make a huge difference in the dark. They even work when high beam is on. Simply clever.

 

 

 

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ste7ios

It’s a very smart implementation to create it in the smallest possible package! But it still needs a lot of space. It’s impossible to see it in bikes like the NC. It needs a bigger front...

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