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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Meese will have seen my comments on LDRider, but I have seen very little discussion elsewhere about the daytime visibility of the K1600. One of my riding buddies bought the GT a few months ago, and we have logged many miles together. I have noticed that, when he is behind me, he is nearly invisible. It's as though there is no front lighting in daylight. The halo lights around the high beams are much dimmer than the ones on BMW's cars and SUVs, and that adaptive headlight does not put out much light in the daytime. Maybe it's too white; a lower color temp might show up better.

This is not just an isolated problem with one bike. The dealer has checked it over and said everything is normal. I have also seen many K1600s on the road, and all of them look like the lights are off.

My friend added some Denali lights down on the forks, and now is much more visible. To me, this is a safety issue, and I hope BMW will address it. For those of you with auxiliary lighting, use it. Otherwise, use the high beams. You will annoy a lot of oncoming traffic, but there will be less chance of some cager pulling out or turning in front of you.
 

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Ray, I agree. The LED running lights (most GTL's have them as standard, I don't think the GT's do) are almost mandatory. I ALWAYS run high beams plus the running lights in the daytime.

Strangly enough, the low beam oncoming traffic nightime visibility seems acceptable, but just barely. For the rider, though they seem fine. Still, for serious LD riding, this machine needs better lighting.
 

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Ruben said:
Ray, I agree. The LED running lights (most GTL's have them as standard, I don't think the GT's do) are almost mandatory. I ALWAYS run high beams plus the running lights in the daytime.

Strangly enough, the low beam oncoming traffic nightime visibility seems acceptable, but just barely. For the rider, though they seem fine. Still, for serious LD riding, this machine needs better lighting.
I believe the LED's are an option on the GT for 2013

I have Clearwater Glenda LED's low fork mounted on my RT for conspicuity and HID's in the Low Beams.

If you can't see me coming, you should not be driving nor mobile in any mode! (And a Signal Yellow BMW Airshell jacket too!) But I still ride as though I'm invisible!
 

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Atomicman said:
I believe the LED's are an option on the GT for 2013

I have Clearwater Glenda LED's low fork mounted on my RT for conspicuity and HID's in the Low Beams.

If you can't see me coming, you should not be driving nor mobile in any mode! (And a Signal Yellow BMW Airshell jacket too!) But I still ride as though I'm invisible!
My .02

There is nothing wrong with more visibility, but in it's self, you will not be much safer. It is up to you to avoid unsafe situations by being proactive. Regardless of what we do to make ourselves more noticeable, motorist have too many distractions and even when they look right at us, they still pull out in our path.

Best to face reality as it is, not as you want it to be and as you said, just pretend that you are invisible. Better lighting will help YOU see out, but it really won't make you much safer.
 

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Atomicman said:
I believe the LED's are an option on the GT for 2013

I have Clearwater Glenda LED's low fork mounted on my RT for conspicuity and HID's in the Low Beams.

If you can't see me coming, you should not be driving nor mobile in any mode! (And a Signal Yellow BMW Airshell jacket too!) But I still ride as though I'm invisible!
Since this was in my original post, I guess you must post on the internet as though you are invisible too.

I guess this pretty much proves your point:wtf:
 

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I was replying in general on extra lighting and re emphasized what you said, "as you said." Not giving you a hard time or ignoring what you said.
 

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I have a different view on this subject. After investigating a ton of m/c crashes in my career, I really don't think lights or hi-vis colors makes a great deal of difference in having people see us. Loud pipes are even more worthless in this regard! These items may give the m/c rider the impression there is some amount of added protection by using them, but in reality not much if at all. Motorcycles don't present any type of real threat to the average cage driver. We are simply a smaller vehicle using THEIR space. As such we have to drive as defensively as possible and be proactive in our riding style. You don't see many crashes where a car makes a left turn in front of an 80,000# semi do you? Not so with a motorcycle. We get pulled in front of a lot. It all boils down to vehicle size and what will hurt ME, if I pull out in front of someone else. Motorcycle=very little threat. Semi=big threat! Also remember cage drivers for the most part are not "tuned into" looking out for motorcycles unless they know someone that rides one. It is not that motorcycles are invisible, by sheer size we present no threat to other vehicles. Look at an oncoming motorcycle rider wearing the brightest colored jacket or vest available. When do you REALLY see the bright colors they have on?....it is AFTER they have passed you! Ride safe and ride smart!
Rick
 

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I ride with the thought that not only can they not see me, but also, those who do see me are out to get me. It has worked out pretty good so far.
 

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I guess it has a lot to do with semantics.. I think the eyes do see it, but it just doesn't register in the brain, in time to react... or as you say, not perceived as a threat.

But, then, how do you explain people driving into the path of a train?
 

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DanDiver said:
I was replying in general on extra lighting and re emphasized what you said, "as you said." Not giving you a hard time or ignoring what you said.
T:yeah: hanks for clarifying!!!:D
 

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Ric said:
Motorcycles don't present any type of real threat to the average cage driver.
This.

I knew a guy who got tired of putting thousands of commuter miles on his light blue RT, so he bought a black & white RT-P specifically for commuting, and left his "nice" RT for weekend fun.

He said he immediately noticed a difference in how drivers perceived him, and he suddenly stopped getting cut off. Not sure if it was real or in his head, he rode the blue RT to work one day and was immediately invisible again.

Because a motorcycle is just a motorcycle, but a black & white cop bike can pull you over and cause you hassle, so they are perceived as important enough to register and avoid.

He said the biggest problem was when drivers in the fast lane would suddenly brake down to 5 under when they saw him coming up from behind . . . :histerica

And no, they aren't actually out to get you. That would assume that they paid you any attention at all.

They simply don't care about you at all, so you don't even exist to them . . .
 

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White Helmets, Safety and Rider Visibility
  • The Motorcycle Rider Conspicuity and Crash Related Injury study conducted over 3 years in New Zealand (1993-1996) found that:
  • Motorcycle crash-related injuries occurred mostly in urban areas with a 50 km/h speed limit (66%).
  • Most crashes occurred during the day (63%) and in good weather (72%).
  • Riders wearing reflective or fluorescent clothing had a 37% lower risk than other riders.
  • Compared with wearing a black helmet, use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk.
  • Self reported light colored helmet versus dark colored helmet was associated with a 19% lower risk.
  • 75% of motorcycle riders had their headlight turned on during the day, and this was associated with a 27% lower risk.
  • No association occurred between risk and the frontal color of riders' clothing or motorcycle color.
  • The risks are 33% for wearing no reflective or fluorescent clothing, 18% for a non-white helmet, 11% for a dark colored helmet, and 7% for no daytime headlight operation.
Conclusions: Low conspicuity may increase the risk of motorcycle crash related injury. Increasing the use of reflective or fluorescent clothing, white or light colored helmets, and daytime headlights are simple, cheap interventions that could considerably reduce motorcycle crash related injury and death

What is already known on this topic

Low conspicuity, or the inability of the motorcycle and rider to be seen by other road users, is thought to be associated with motorcycle crash related injury and death

Previous studies suggest a benefit from daytime use of motorcycle headlights, although the evidence is limited

What this study adds

Wearing reflective or fluorescent clothing and white or light coloured helmets and using headlights in daytime could reduce serious injuries or death from motorcycle crashes by up to one third

There are numerous other sources that agree with this conclusion.
 

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You can bolster an argument with stats until you are blue in the face to prove a point. Plain fact is put a non-motorcycle person, with no advanced warning of what you are going to ask them, in a car and have them drive towards an on-coming motorcycle at speed with the rider wearing any color you want. After the motorcycle passes them ask them what color jacket or helmet the motorcycle rider was wearing and see if they can correctly answer. I would hazard a guess at 1 in 20 would actually notice what the motorcycle rider was wearing. I really think the correct response would be much, much less. If these brainiacs that make these claims about hi-vis this and that are right in their assumptions, why are highway workers still being hit by passing traffic even though the workers are mandated to wear bright colored safety vests. Why are stopped law enforcement vehicles run into each and every day of the week even though they have their emergency lights in operation? Why do people pull in front of on-coming emergency vehicles that have their emergency lights and sirens in operation? Who is more visible, a squad car with emergency lights and siren in operation or a motorcycle with the headlamp on and the driver wearing a hi-vis vest or jacket? You can choose to believe the therory on hi-vis jackets and helmets but from what I have seen from working real crash investigations that stuff is "feel good" baloney. The only truly beneficial safety item is your headlamp and ones that modulate are the best for getting someones attention. The rest is mostly hooey. Regarding the question of trains that pull in front cars, I investigated 2 such crashes in 25 years. One driver lived and one died. The one that lived stated he saw the train and was trying to beat it to the crossing so he wouldn't have to wait for it to pass him by. The other driver wasn't talking anymore.

You will never convince me that a hi-vis jacket or hi-vis helmet does much of anything to help keep you safe on a motorcycle. Keeping you head screwed on straight and watching out for every other motor vehicle you come upon will.
Rick
 

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At the risk of being blatantly obvious, it's not a choice between one or the other.

No one thing will automatically keep you protected and safe.

What all of us should be doing is to try and manage the risks in the best ways that we can.

Increasing the visibility of yourself and the bike is good. Modulating lights, bright colors, reflective vests, anything that you can do to help drivers see you provides some benefit.

But it is not the only answer.

Maintaining situational awareness and developing your sixth sense allows you to see problems developing and take appropriate action before they get serious.

Regular professional rider training helps you maintain the skills needed to maneuver the bike out of harm's way.

And keeping your bike in top condition with good tire tread and effective brakes helps you to execute these maneuvers successfully.

And if all that fails, then wearing proper safety gear head-to-toe helps to minimize injuries.

No one here is saying that any one of these things is the magic answer that will avoid all crashes every time.

All that we're doing is trying to stack the odds in our favor, to give ourselves the best possible chance of being seen, of predicting dangerous situations, and avoiding them. And, if all that fails, of surviving the incident with as little trauma as possible.

It all makes a difference, so it's all important.
 

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meese said:
At the risk of being blatantly obvious, it's not a choice between one or the other.

No one thing will automatically keep you protected and safe.

What all of us should be doing is to try and manage the risks in the best ways that we can.

Increasing the visibility of yourself and the bike is good. Modulating lights, bright colors, reflective vests, anything that you can do to help drivers see you provides some benefit.

But it is not the only answer.

Maintaining situational awareness and developing your sixth sense allows you to see problems developing and take appropriate action before they get serious.

Regular professional rider training helps you maintain the skills needed to maneuver the bike out of harm's way.

And keeping your bike in top condition with good tire tread and effective brakes helps you to execute these maneuvers successfully.

And if all that fails, then wearing proper safety gear head-to-toe helps to minimize injuries.

No one here is saying that any one of these things is the magic answer that will avoid all crashes every time.

All that we're doing is trying to stack the odds in our favor, to give ourselves the best possible chance of being seen, of predicting dangerous situations, and avoiding them. And, if all that fails, of surviving the incident with as little trauma as possible.

It all makes a difference, so it's all important.
:thumb:
 

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Ric said:
You can bolster an argument with stats until you are blue in the face to prove a point. Plain fact is put a non-motorcycle person, with no advanced warning of what you are going to ask them, in a car and have them drive towards an on-coming motorcycle at speed with the rider wearing any color you want. After the motorcycle passes them ask them what color jacket or helmet the motorcycle rider was wearing and see if they can correctly answer. I would hazard a guess at 1 in 20 would actually notice what the motorcycle rider was wearing. I really think the correct response would be much, much less. If these brainiacs that make these claims about hi-vis this and that are right in their assumptions, why are highway workers still being hit by passing traffic even though the workers are mandated to wear bright colored safety vests. Why are stopped law enforcement vehicles run into each and every day of the week even though they have their emergency lights in operation? Why do people pull in front of on-coming emergency vehicles that have their emergency lights and sirens in operation? Who is more visible, a squad car with emergency lights and siren in operation or a motorcycle with the headlamp on and the driver wearing a hi-vis vest or jacket? You can choose to believe the therory on hi-vis jackets and helmets but from what I have seen from working real crash investigations that stuff is "feel good" baloney. The only truly beneficial safety item is your headlamp and ones that modulate are the best for getting someones attention. The rest is mostly hooey. Regarding the question of trains that pull in front cars, I investigated 2 such crashes in 25 years. One driver lived and one died. The one that lived stated he saw the train and was trying to beat it to the crossing so he wouldn't have to wait for it to pass him by. The other driver wasn't talking anymore.

You will never convince me that a hi-vis jacket or hi-vis helmet does much of anything to help keep you safe on a motorcycle. Keeping you head screwed on straight and watching out for every other motor vehicle you come upon will.
Rick
All you have shown is you can't fix stupid.

I 'll take my chances with all the x-tra safety oriented visual aids I possess along with my smarts.

As Meese states riding smart and enhancing visibilty are not mutually exclusive. If the x-tra visibilty gizmos save 1 rider from disaster then it's worth it!

By the way the last time you saw a babe with a great rack, you probably didn't remeber the color of her purse either, but you she got your attention!:histerica

Talk about bogus theories. I am not wearing a hi-vis jacket so that drivers know what color it is just the hope that it may catch their eye more then black or grey and the white helmet stat has been highly studied and reported. (I wear Light Silver, just could not do the 5-0 white!

My favorite gizmos that I believe could be helpful in conspicutiy are H-Led's mounted low on the forks, HID's headlights (both emit very unusal light and are extrememly noticable) and flashing brake light. Am I going to ride with reckless abandon because of these "Feel-Good" options..................................NOPE!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sheesh! I had hoped to alert current and potential K1600 owners to a safety concern, and I started an oil thread! Or a preacher thread...LOL!
 

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skyking96w said:
I have noticed that, when he is behind me, he is nearly invisible. It's as though there is no front lighting in daylight. The halo lights around the high beams are much dimmer than the ones on BMW's cars and SUVs, and that adaptive headlight does not put out much light in the daytime. Maybe it's too white; a lower color temp might show up better.
I've now been on two tours with 3 other 1600GTs each time and can confirm what you observed. On the first trip, one GT had the BMW auxilliary LED lights installed and another was running the Clearwater Glendas. The difference was very dramatic for both setups (with a slight advantage to the Glendas) and I came away from the trip intent on improving the daytime visibility of my own GT.

My theory is that, although the HID low beam is quite bright, in the daytime it appears as a single, very intense point of light which our brains simply want to filter out as a glint of sunlight. A conventional headlight with a silvered reflector appears not necessarily brighter but it certainly much larger in area, covering a large portion of the front of the bike, and stands out better to other vehicles on the road.

I have now added the Glendas to my fork legs and converted the large LED turn signal bars to be amber running lights. Feedback from my riding partners confirms that visibility is dramatically improved.

Just some thoughts.
 

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My own, probably incorrect, theory about the low level of daytime front light visibility is that it is from the light source being reflected to the mirror from a projecter style lens. This is very effective at placing light on the road but less effective at the making it visible while looking at it, say from a car.

I always use my fogs as I have yet to meet someone during the day that has commented anything but, "those lights on the bottom are bright".
 
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