Safety

Light Review
By Gary Klinker 

June is here and we are entering the peak riding season. BRC classes are filling at a very good pace so far. We are adding new riders to the fold and new ABATE members to the family. So far I have had a chance to ride a lot of the roads in southwest Wisconsin. That is probably one of the best riding areas in the whole country. I'm also looking forward to two weeks of riding in North Carolina and Tennessee this month. That is another of my favorite riding areas.

I would like to take time to thank everyone from Region 7D and all the other parts of the state who helped us with another successful Bike Show and Swap Meet in Tomah. This was the 30th annual event and it has always seemed like a big family reunion to me. I would see many people once a year at the show, and know that I would see them at the next one. The region has decided that this will be the last time we do the event. Thanks to everyone for the support over the years.

A couple months ago I said I would have a product review, but it got delayed. The new bike I got last Labor Day weekend needed some personal touches and since all I did in the fall was ride it, I got to work over the winter. I wanted to mount my auxiliary driving lights from the previous bike and also add more rear lighting. I found a product called a Hex EZ Can, made for late model BMWs with liquid cooled engines.

It integrates into the electrical system allowing full control with no extra switches or much added wiring. It is also programmable with a laptop to change its settings and operation. Since the bike dash has a photocell for day and night brightness, the aux lights can also be adjusted for day and nighttime settings. They also have high and low beam. When the turn signal is operated the LED driving light on that side will go off to avoid washing out the turn signal. You may have seen this on some newer cars. The driving lights flash when the horn is operated.

The added rear light is a small LED bar that mounts right to the license plate bolts. It is from Clearwater Lighting. It operates as an extra tail light and brake light. The brightness of the tail and brake function is also programmable. The brake function has four different settings to choose from. I use the one that flashes when the brakes are applied before staying on solid until the brake is released. Since the Hex unit controls the brake light also, it will flash under hard deceleration such as a quick downshift, even with no brake application. It is pretty cool!

The point is, conspicuity is important for safe riding. You want to do all you can do to be seen in traffic. The extra front lights, along with more rear lights and flashing brake lights will make you stand out in the traffic mix. The additional lighting to the front makes your visibility for night riding a lot safer also. Seeing and being seen are fundamental components of any rider education program. Many of you are saying "So what, I don't have that type of bike." Extra lighting and reflective material can be added to any bike to make it safer. It is also very easy to do.

I'm not here to advertise for anyone, but when I find good products and service I will always be happy recommend them. Most of you know I have always touted Aerostich products (http://aerostich.com ). Now I can say that Clearwater Lights (http://clearwaterlights.com ) are very well built and impressive. The Hex EZ Can unit came from Twisted Throttle (http://twistedthrottle.com ). The delay in this report was because the first unit I got did not work properly. I worked with the tech people at Twisted Throttle to diagnose the situation and fix it. In the end I sent it back and they gave me a replacement that works as advertised. They were very good at tech help and customer service. Check these companies for your riding needs.

Be visible out there and practice your braking and riding skills every time you throw a leg over the seat. Since we live in the North Country we have to get our riding while we can. It is prime time! See you on the road.

Ride Safe!


Klinker, Gary. "Light Review." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Jun. 2017.

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