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then how come BMW bikes are some of the least "lit" bikes on the market?

I cam up behind a RT the other night, and honestly that tail light is the pits. Tail lights usually are the weak point in motorcycles, unless your on a GW, but you would think BMW would do something to make the rear stand out more.

Then I passed it, what a lonely little headlight the bikes have. Other mfgs have the decency to lite the signals. I have only seen the LT with them lit, does BMW just have some adversion to lighting up their bikes? At least the front turn signals should be lit by default.
 

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You're absolutely correct. On my K1200RS I added extra lights in the rear inside the turn signals and in the front also in the turn signals. These help.

I don't know what to do with my K1200S due to the CAN BUS system. Can I add extra lights? If so, I will. They're needed.

Ken
 

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Even worse, the lighting seems to get worse with newer models. The headlight on my '95 K75RT is much better than the one on my '98 K12RS. I spent hundreds of $$$ on the K12RS to improve the lighting and still don't have a decent headlight.

They'll put factory HIDs on the cars. Why can't they do the same for bikes?
 

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I'm just about to go down the HID route, not because I want more light on the road, but because I always drive on dip and want better daylight prominence which 6K would do.

There are many claims about light output with hids, but the stock reflector design still has to meet the rules on edge illumination, so I'm not expecting much change in the light pattern which you might get if adding PIAA's as auxiliaries.



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headlamp design

The H7 bulb orignally equipped seems to be ok. I installed a 65w H7 and was only a slightly better. Installed HID, the light was more intense, but problem still lies in the design of the headlamp itself. Light pattern has not changed ( I didn't expect that to change). My complaint, the light is not evenly distributed when it shines the ground. I'll be thinking of adding some aux. lighting next.
 

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Safety?

ChrisH said:
then how come BMW bikes are some of the least "lit" bikes on the market?

I cam up behind a RT the other night, and honestly that tail light is the pits. Tail lights usually are the weak point in motorcycles, unless your on a GW, but you would think BMW would do something to make the rear stand out more.

Then I passed it, what a lonely little headlight the bikes have. Other mfgs have the decency to lite the signals. I have only seen the LT with them lit, does BMW just have some adversion to lighting up their bikes? At least the front turn signals should be lit by default.
Howdy Chris,

The group I ride with (HDDC Posse, over on the K-LT website) has many of the group installing many lighting devices, front, rear and on the sides. Many of them feel as you seem to, that the stock lighting is inadequate.

I have given this a lot of thought over the last couple of years and have the following thoughts on the subject:

1-Lights on the front of the bike have a primary purpose and that is to illuminate what is front of me so that I can avoid obstacles. So that others see me is a secondary consideration.

2-The stock headlight is inadequate for the purpose, both primary and secondary, and should be replaced with an HID lighting system, mandatory low beam and optionally high beam. BMW has heard this complaint and will be offering an option for HID in the next LT model.

3-The tail lights on the motorcycle are adequate to inform those behind of intentions and intense enough to be seen by a reasonably attentive driver following. The GW is lit up in the extreme.

I believe that adding lights for "conspicuosity" will yield mixed results.
- Yes, the motorcycle with the extra lighting will be noticed, perhaps in advance of standard motorcycle lighting pattern.
- The downside is that an unusually lit motorcycle is just that, unusual.
What I have noticed is that when I see a standardly lit motorcycle I simply identify it as a motorcycle and treat it as such. BUT, when I see an unusually lit object on the road, I will spend a lot of attention time determining what it is and then additional time to determine the specifics of the motorcycle. Every so often I would characterize my exessive attention as "fixation" at the expense of other potential obstacles.
- In the case of the GW tail lights, I would characterize the result as analogous to putting a "bullseye" on the back of the bike. It "demands" so much attention as to draw inattentive drivers to it, "like moths to a flame".

While I don't have any hard data on the subject, I would predict that excessively lighted motorcycles have an increase incidence of "fixation" related collisions and, or, lends to confusion to other operators and a resultant delay in reaction time.

I have found on my LT that the single HID gets plenty of attention from cross traffic. Those cages that appear to ignore my approach get a short flash from the HID high beam and all of them, so far, are instantly frozen in place. My "guess" is that because the single headlight is "instantly" recognizable as a motorcycle it gives the operator seeing it a lot of information:
1-it's a motorcycle
2-it's probably going faster than a car would be going
3-if I make a mistake I could kill the rider


just my .02,


.
 
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