Monday, April 26, 2010

Let it Shine

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have begun the process of increasing the chances that I will be seen on the road, or "conpiscuity" as some call it. I will admit, I should probably consider wearing something other than my black leather jacket or black helmet, since that tends to blend in - for that matter I probably shouldn't even have a black bike. But that being what it is, my goal is to make me and my bike as noticeable as possible, and I have decided to do that with some extra lighting.

On the rear, I have replaced the stock brake light with Kisan's Tailblazer. Here is the link to their site - This turns your brake light into a modulating light; when you apply the brake, your brake light blinks for about 4 seconds until it becomes a steady on. I've looked in my mirror to see if this works, and it does seem to me that drivers respond to the modulating light. I've heard tragic stories of riders being rear ended, so anything I can do to help myself in this area is worth the $70 cost of the Tailblazer. The best thing about the model I got is that it is "plug and play" - I simply replaced my existing bulb with the Tailblazer.

In front, I have been vacillating as to the best solution. One possibility that I considered was to add the Triumph light bar, which adds two 35watt spotlights, but I wasn't sure if I liked the look, plus it's a $300 item (not including shipping and installation). Aftermarket lightbars were available, but some had fitment issues, and again, looks were of a concern to me.

I ended up with this solution:

These are Silver Bullet Lights from Kuryakyn. Further information on these lights can be found here - I have the small Silver Bullets, which are 20watts a piece. I got these off eBay from Custom Dynamics for about $80 with shipping. Kuryakyn also sells a wiring kit which I bought as well and which I thought would make the install easy. But an electrician I am not, so after cutting a few wires, blowing the headlamp bulb, and still not getting the lights to work, I took everything down to my dealer, paid $150 and had them installed very professionally in two hours. To me, this gives me added light, and looks like it came with the bike.

I really like both of these modifications to my Triumph, and I think they will help me to be more noticeable out on the road. So, if you see my, wave!


cpa3485 said...

I like the looks. You have added some nice touches to that bike. We need to discuss guitars sometime.

bobskoot said...


very nice additions. I like those bullet lights.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

ps: are you interested in Redmond, Oregon in July ? here is link

Troubadour said...

Nice lights, looks good. I too have the flashing taillight, I also ponied up for the modulating headlight and use that for visibility in the daytime more so than the driving lights (which I do use at night). I mounted my driving lights between the forks under my headlight but I think I like your set up better. Looking forward to seeing you and your bike in person soon. cough* rally *cough.

Canajun said...

Lance: Nice mods. I've been considering the modulated brake light as well since I've recently had a couple of close calls (and not so close calls) with people not paying any attention coming up behind at a stop.

Mike said...

Nice setup Lance. I've thought about the Kisan brake light too. Your post reminds me that I need to reconsider it. I like your Silver Bullet lights, they really look nice!

irondad said...

I'd like to add some lighting to Elvira. Thanks for sharing.

Visibility includes more than lighting and conspicuity. A lot of folks add lights and wear bright colors but neglect riding strategies. Nothing is a magic bullet by itself.

Lane position, for example, in certain situations makes us more visible. Conversely, we could be hiding in traffic.

Most important than making ourselves visible is making sure we see stuff before it sees us.

So don't feel bad about a black bike!

Baron's Life said...

Lance..good mods but they won't help you in real life. Stop adding all these useless gadgets unless you planning to look like a riding clown...sorry but that's the have destroyed the bike's looks.
RIDING IS ALL ABOUT one is going to notice you more because you have a yellow light strip on the front fork

bobskoot said...


last year while at La Conner I mentioned the BMW MOA rally in Redmond, Oregon

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Lance said...

Baron, I agree, and I disagree. Yes, riding is all about skill, which needs to be honed on every ride. However, I disagree that extra lighting are mere gadgets - I have definitely noticed people behind me take notice of me when I flash the Tailblazer.

Lance said...

Thanks Bob - it looks like the rally will be out for me, as we have my daugther going to Pullman this year and we will be working on her registration for classes that week.

Gary France said...

One of the things that I really like about the Road King I have are the headlight and 2 accompanying riding lights on the front. They stand out a great deal and can be seen a long way off. Your bullet lights should do the same thing. I have seen these types of modulating lights before and have considered getting one, but never taken the plunge. I would be interested in hearing how you get on with it after a few more miles....

Baron's Life said...

Lance...I see your point and I should be one to talk...when I was riding in Singapore, I had equipped my Honda with so many side, tail and front lights..They were actually very useful during night riding but still we had to be very careful