Are headlight or taillight modulators legal?

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by freakshow10mm, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    I am cruising around looking for gadgets and gizmos to accessorize my new cycle. I was looking into getting a headlight and/or taillight modulator. The taillight one flashes 5 times quick then stays lit for 3 seconds then repeats as long as the brake lever is held in.

    The website that sells the particular headlight one I am looking at says it is legal in all of the USA on the federal level and no state can make them illegal. I am guessing it is DOT approved in some way, but the product description doesn't say in those terms. I don't know if they are telling the truth. Anyone know if they are in fact legal? Thanks.
     
  2. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Here is what the maufacturer says, listing the federal thingie. LINK

    From the site:
    ____________________________________________________________
    Modulators are legal in all fifty states. Below you will find the federal Mandate which makes modulators legal. No state can override the federal law, and therefore any motorcycle can modulate their headlights, provided they follow the federal guidelines. Kisan modulators meets or exceed the federal standards.



    Federal Motor Vehicle Standards


    Department of Transportation
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
    49 CFR Parts 571
    [Docket No. 97-57; Notice 1]

    Executive Order 12866

    Motorcycle Headlamp Modulation System

    s7.9.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to either the upper or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity provided that:
    (a) The rate of modulation shall be 240 +/- 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% of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.
    (d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power feed 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 the upper beam remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
    (f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its sensing element perpendicular to the horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation shall cease whenever the level of light . . . . less then 270 lux.

    Partial reprint of:
    Federal Registar: Feb. 21 1996 (Volume 61 No. 35)
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Guess they are legal. Any objections?
     

  3. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    I put a BMW factory secondary tailight on that does exactly that. If it's illegal, I'm sure that BMW wouldn't sell it much less having its dealership installing it.

    This thing is an entirely separate, additional tail light that's mounted on the license plate plastic thingie. It's LED so it's acting like a very bright drive light and when you hit the brakes, it gets even brighter after flashing a few times.
     
  4. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Sounds good to me. Thanks.
     
  5. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    I use a Kisan headlight modulator and yes, they are 50-state legal.
     
  6. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I don't understand what these things do. I don't think I've ever seen one.
     
  7. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Here is a little info. An example of its use in on the right hand side on the bike. Basically it gives the headlight a low impulse flash instead of constantly on, making you more visible in theory.

    LINK HERE
     
  8. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    That's nuts. Maybe I've seen those in my rearview and thought the bike was just going over bumps and stuff. I'm surprised they're legal. Are wig-wags legal on non-LEO four wheelers?
     
  9. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    By non-LEO 4 wheelers I am assuming a regular car/truck/van vehicle. Probably not. That would depend on your state. I know they have modulators for your brake light that flashes a couple times fast then solid for a bit and then repeats the sequence. I think those are legal on cycles, but as on a regular vehicle, I don't know for sure.

    They have a brake light modulator for cycles with two brake lights that wig-wag.

    I think some states have color restrictions, like white, amber, green, purple, etc. Like if you are in construction or towing and have an amber light bar, no big deal. Red and blue are frowned upon legally, unless you are a volunteer FF and then I think only red is allowed.

    LINK for wig-wag view on cycle
     
  10. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Don't confuse wig-wags with headlight modulators on motorcycles. Two different things. Bikes with twin high beams (Gold Wing for instance) will have both modulate at the same time and not back and forth the way a LEO unit would do.