DRLs on motorcycle

-Virgil-

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Mar 26, 2004
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7,802
Alaric is right -- "reflective" (actually retroreflective) tape works like any other retroreflector: it sends light back along its original path. Python021's idea "since light doesn't show on the ground when raining, at least it'll reflect off the ground to my tape" is not realistic or correct.
 

Hamilton Felix

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Jan 2, 2010
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Marblemount, WA, USA
That fact it is retroreflective means the tape may be of some benefit in daytime, provided other drivers have headlights or bright DRL's in use.

But in general, it's just a big help at night. I'm a believer. I bought some of the red and white reflective tape you seen on semi trailers. I put it on one of my trailers and on the gate to my driveway. It really does show up at night.
 

python021

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Jul 8, 2014
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Before negating someone, maybe you should try it yourself. When light hits the wet asphalt, hardly any light stays on the ground as most of it is reflected. In a perfect physics world, you may have some value when saying I am incorrect, however since this isn't, [Rule 4 & 8 violations deleted] I will try to explain how it works to you non riders.
the light hits the wet ground the same way it hits a diamond or disco ball and reflects in all different angles as asphalt is not smooth.
thus making your reflective tape on the lower plastics more visible to traffic all around you.
If you want to try to prove that wrong, feel free to take a video camera and walk all around the bike and show me where the reflection no longer hits your eyes. (other than the obvious front and rear apex where the tape could not be seen at all)

[Rule 4 & 8 violations deleted]This is a very educational forum and i am an experienced motorcycle rider and mechanic. [Rule 4 & 8 violations deleted]
 
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-Virgil-

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Mar 26, 2004
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7,802
Before negating someone

Persons cannot be negated. It looks like you probably meant a different word.

When light hits the wet asphalt, hardly any light stays on the ground as most of it is reflected

Light never "stays on the ground". The difference between a wet road and a dry road, as far as light is concerned, is the manner in which light reflects off the road surface. A dry road is more of a diffuse reflector, and a wet road is more of a specular reflector -- with the usual implications.

In a perfect physics world, you may have some value when saying I am incorrect, however since this isn't

This world is definitely not perfect, but the laws of physics do stubbornly hold. Not understanding them doesn't make them go away.

I will try to explain how it works to you non riders.

Physics works the same for riders and for non-riders alike.

the light hits the wet ground the same way it hits a diamond or disco ball and reflects in all different angles as asphalt is not smooth.

No, you've got it perfectly backwards. A wet road approximates a specular reflector, where the angle of reflection is equal and opposite to the angle of incidence. That's why a wet road appears dark even though you have your headlamp(s) on. A dry road is a diffuse reflector, where the light reflects randomly in all different directions.

thus making your reflective tape on the lower plastics more visible to traffic all around you

No, sorry, this is simply wrong. It's just plain not how retroreflectors work.

This is a very educational forum

It certainly can be.

i am an experienced motorcycle rider and mechanic.

Very good. If you are interested in learning how light (and sound, for that matter) actually work, there are excellent basic physics tutorials available for free online.
 

PhillyRube

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Aug 3, 2004
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349
I just got some cheap 4LED offroad lights off amazon. Like 33bux for a pair. I ride with the highbeam on at all times. If you just want to be seen, LED lights whether good or bad will stand out to oncoming traffic. If you want to see with them, then you're talking beam pattern flood vs spot. They dont use much power but they do use more than a simple LED strip. I just tlake the wire for the low beam and wire the lights into them, that system is meant to handle more watts than you'll demand.

This brings up a question regarding motorcycle LED aux lighting. I have seen these priced from over $500 (Clearwater) and down. LED. I just wonder what the difference is. Housing? Mount?

I used to run a Honda ST1300. Daniel Stern designed a system for the double H4 headlamps, with a brighter bulb in the right housing, and a smaller bulb with a yellow envelope on the left side. Plus, I added two MR16 lamps to the front forks, giving the bike that "railroad locomotive" look. Those were switched with the highbeams, so they cut off when the brights came on. Didn't get much road illumination with them, sort of like foglights, only good at low speeds to see the edge of the road, but I was going for visibility. Motolights makes a very nice set, but not for $300
 

python021

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Jul 8, 2014
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We have used both high price and low price offroad lights for our LED lightshows.
Both handle strobing and dimming the same, and gave the same visual effects.
Cheaper ones were not built as tough. Paint wasn't as strong ( paint chips and scratches from being in the DJ bags together). Higher temps but that was expected as these lights were not moving so little air flow through the fins.

much more satisfying price. Never burned one out but even if we did, we didn't spend much on the cheap sets.

Rule 4 & 8 violation deleted that is my experience.
 
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