An interesting idea on a Harley Davidson


#1

Last night a Harley Davidson pulled up outside the grocery store where I work, it had parking lights in multiple locations so that you could see it easier even being in a pretty well lit area under cover. Little amber lights running the length of the bike. I Don’t think i’ve noticed anything like this on other motorcycles before.


#2

The idea of lots of extra lights was mostly by Honda Gold Wing riders. They might not have been first but they took it to a new level. If you are ever near a Gold Wing gathering you just have to see it.


#3

LED’s have raised motor vehicle lighting to a new level…


#4

Outstanding. Anything to make cycles more visible is saving lives. Always remember my neighbor’s son who was riding his BMW through town with a car between us. The car in front of me seem oblivious to his stopping at a light and just rammed right into him. I was still in a guard unit working as a medic and bailed out of the car to help as fast as I could as a doctor was also on the scene from a nearby car and, it was across from a fire station…so he had all the help he could possibly get. Yet still. He lost his leg and passed away much earlier in life from complications from the injury. The driver of the car was in shock just repeating he didn’t see the young man. Not paying attention was more the issue and more and brighter lights are no gurantee but I can’t help but feel they help.


#5

These LED lights are a popular aftermarket accessory for bikes. They are offered in vehicle specific applications and universal.


#6

Are you talking about those under-glow lights that bathe the pavement underneath the bike with blue light? I dunno, they just seem too ghetto for my tastes.


#7

I think the flashing brake light on bikes is the best innovation recently.


#8

According to one guy whose motorcycle safety class I took, in the state of Florida, you can pretty much put as much solid and flashing lighting on your motorcycle as you want, as long as it’s apparent you aren’t trying to impersonate a police officer.

I prefer to wear retroreflective riding gear to messing with my motorcycle’s electrical system. Electrical problems are hard enough to diagnose without adding aftermarket electric accessories, so I prefer to keep it simple. Some of those Goldwing owners have to upgrade the alternator to power all of their lights and electrical accessories. IMHO, a $30,000 Goldwing isn’t a motorcycle; it’s a very expensive couch on wheels.

This is a popular thing to do with privately owned commercial trucks too. The only downside to adding marker lights to your car or truck is that when one of those many lights burns out, you can get a ticket for it, just as if it was one of the mandated lights (headlights, tail lights, brake lights, etc.)


#9

I don’t know how the lights were wired/powered but it looked like a mildly customized Harley with amber L.E.D.'s at various points that picked up the chrome and other details on the bike and made it easier to spot (at least while it was parked, didn’t notice if the owner kept them on when she left.


#10

@Whitey

. IMHO, a $30,000 Goldwing isn’t a motorcycle; it’s a very expensive couch on wheels.

I agree. While I have never owned anything as extreme as a Gold Wing, I have gone back to small motorcycles because I feel that motorcycles that weigh over 500 pounds and only get about 40 mpg sort of completely miss the whole point of a motorcycle, an economical alternative to a car.
And then there is that 180/55R 17 rear tire that only lasts about 5000 miles.


#11

Ugh! Don’t get me started on the cost and short life of motorcycle tires. If I could find one that fit, I’d consider putting a car tire on the back of my bike.


#12

I feel that motorcycles that weigh over 500 pounds and only get about 40 mpg sort of completely miss the whole point of a motorcycle, an economical alternative to a car.

That’s the whole point of a motorcycle??! I guess it really depends greatly on your perspective. Even when I was 16 yrs old and could hardly afford to put $0.40/gal gas in my motorcycle, fuel economy was not the most important reason for owning a bike. It was the wide open riding, blistering acceleration and the “freedom” it represented that caught my interest.

Now I ride a very heavy 1400cc cruiser that gets around 25 mpg. Lightweight and fuel sipping are still not any reasons why I have a bike even though gas is $3.35/gal now…

Yeah, tire wear sucks but when you’re taking a tight corner on sandy roads, that sticky tire is invaluable. They wear faster than car tires but that’s a tradeoff I can live with for performance and safety.


#13

@Whitey Using an auto tire on a motorcycle is dangerous. Cycle World did an article on that a few years ago what they found was scary.


#14

@TwinTurbo

That’s the whole point of a motorcycle??! I guess it really depends greatly on your perspective. Even when I was 16 yrs old and could hardly afford to put $0.40/gal gas in my motorcycle, fuel economy was not the most important reason for owning a bike. It was the wide open riding, blistering acceleration and the “freedom” it represented that caught my interest.

Interestingly, when it comes to flat out fun to ride, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 I’m riding now wins big there too. While not being close to matching the blistering acceleration and top speed of the ZRX1200R I also have, when the road has a few twists and turns in it, the little bike’s agility and handling put a big smile on my face. At 377 pounds, going from the ZRX to the li’l Ninja is sort of like going from a Ford Galaxy to a MG Midget, it’s fun in the same way a small sports car is.
Oh yea, it also gets 70+ MPG on my commute to work and its rear tire still has plenty of thread left at 8k miles.
It reminds me of the motorcycles that made me fall in love with motorcycling back in the '60s.


#15

I notice that on cruisers, especially if you have a raked front end, the rear tire wears faster, and the front tire seems to last forever. On a sport bike like the Ninja, or on a standard bike, the weight is more evenly distributed, so tire wear is more evenly distributed too.

If I were to put a car tire on a bike (which I’ll probably never do), it would be on a raked cruiser only, because I don’t put it into tight leans, and I take corners slowly. My Nighthawk 750 is the bike I prefer to ride in tight turns and on twisty roads.

I agree with both of you guys. If riding a motorcycle isn’t fun for you, you shouldn’t be doing it. Nobody should be doing it to save money, because, even if you do your own work, a motorcycle typically costs more per mile to operate than an economical car. There are some people who can make a motorcycle more economical than a car, but I think that is rare. At the same time, there are plenty of additional great reasons to ride, like being able to find the best places to park, being able to go where cars can’t, and reducing your dependence on Big Oil (although this might not work if you factor in the petroleum that is used to make your tires). The point is, when riding stops being fun, nobody should continue to ride for other reasons.

I don’t begrudge those who can afford to ride expensive high displacement motorcycles, but personally, if I’m going to ride, I don’t see the point of riding a motorcycle that has a larger engine than the one in my car. I want to make riding as economical as possible so I can choose whether to ride or drive based on factors other than cost.


#16

@B.L.E. - If I ever got back into biking (which I won’t, Dallas is not much fun for bikers), I’d get something like that Kawasaki 300, or the new Honda 500 twin. 300 - 500 cc would be enough for me, I had lots of fun growing up with a 250 Suzuki twin two stroke/smoke bomb.


#17

@B.L.E. - Nice to have the choice! I used to have a few bikes of various sizes and purposes; street, moto-X, enduro. I gave most of them away. I miss an old Jawa I had that was as comfortable on the road as it was on the trail. Perhaps I’ll get back into smaller bikes in the next few years. I have a 3 year old that is showing considerable interest in anything with an engine for propulsion. He just graduated to a bigger electric ATV and mini-bike but I can tell he’s eyeing up my stuff already :wink:

@Whitey- Most people have activities where they tend to splurge or spend whatever disposable income they have on those activities without regard to the cost implications (within reason).

For me, riding a motorcycle falls into that category. It’s more of an enjoyment activity than an exercise in fiscal restraint. Some people go to the movies occasionally and spend quite a bit there. They could save a lot renting the movie and watching it at home. But going out once in awhile has therapeutic qualities. The bike, for me, fulfills a similar desire/need.

I like the twisties but I also like flat out acceleration. Always did like drag racing over autocross or circle tracks. Having an engine larger than some small cars provides this thrill factor. How big is too big? Everyone has their own ideas there. I worked with this guy who saw a car I built up lay down a pair of rubber streaks the length of the road behind work. Some time later he asked about it and I told him it was in pieces and I was completely rebuilding the motor, trans, suspension etc. He asked what happened, what broke? Nothing, I’m just improving it. He was astounded why anyone in their right mind would put a more powerful engine in it when it was so overpowered to begin with. He just didn’t understand the motivation…

@texases- Last summer I had a chance to ride a bike like one I owned when I was much younger. Ah, the nostalgia of it all. Not unlike the fond memories we have of vintage cars we rode in many moons ago, the harsh reality of the actual ride had faded along with the years. Practically rattled the teeth out of my mouth and my back ached after a short ride. It was a torture chamber! Don’t know your situation but I really do prefer comfortable riding now and that short jaunt highlighted that memories of years past are often glossed over and advancing in age doesn’t help either :slight_smile:


#18

I always wanted a motorcycle, but it seemed work and family issues always made it impractical.

And, in my 70’s, having been told that virtually everyone lays one over the first year, I am passing it by. Here in Mexico, motor scooters are very common, not horribly expensive, but same reasoning applies. I guess I will survive the disappointment somehow…


#19

Harley has used accessory lights for many decades. Forty or so years ago there was even a string of lights available for the wheels; much like those small Xmas lights.

Car tires do not work well on bikes due to the sidewall curvature. The long time friend of mine from whom I got my old Harley Panhead had tried a 6.00 X 16 truck tire once to replace the 5.00 X 16 stock tire. In a straight line it was barely tolerable; rounding a corner or any leaning at all would elevate the heart into the throat.

The old rigid frame Harleys don’t ride bad at all if the front forks are working correctly and if fitted with the pogo seat.
I’ve ridden a custom rigid frame HD with of those skimpy Orange County Choppers type seats and a spring fork on a road trip. A 100 miles will have the spine and kidneys crying for help… :slight_smile:


#20

Irlandes you only live once! What’s a little road rash? At 70+ you won’t get the storytelling longevity compared to your 20s but still… :wink:

You mentioned laying down a scooter and reminded me of a work sponsored trip to Jamaica. A bunch of us rented scooters. The rental place warned of potholes but failed to mention a greater hazard. Having riding experience paid off as I was aware and could avoid some of the local kids pitching rocks at tourists on rented scooters. One of my coworkers was not so lucky. Apparently not good at falling either he used his nose to cushion the blow. Pretty good rash from that but survived to talk about it for years after…