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  1. #1
    StormWarning is offline Junior Member StormWarning is on a distinguished road
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    Question Illinois Police Officers - Motorcycle Lighting?

    Hello!

    I've been reading a few posts on your forum and have decided to ask my question. I am happy to say that a) I am not in trouble and b) not trying to bend the law.

    I'm a motorcyclist and somewhat new to riding a motorcycle. I also own a black bike, and am a fairly small female (5'6"). Needless to say, I have some difficulty being seen, given the nature of motorcycles to begin with and was wondering about increasing my visibility, but didn't know which options were legal or not.

    I have heard that they make custom brake lights for motorcycles that do such things as flash, make swirly designs and whatnot. They are red, led lights. I have taken the motorcyclist drive safety course in Illinois and a teacher recommended purchasing one of these to help increase visibility, but I was a) somewhat concerned that people would be so busy staring at my exciting light that they would run me over anyway and b) that this might be considered distracting or illegal.

    Additionally, is the usage of reflective tape or decals legal on a motorcycle? Again, with the distraction worry. The black bike tends to blend in quite well, and I'm worried about being seen. I'm really not trying to rice out my bike (its just a 250 anyway :P I might get laughed at for making it too ridiculous).

    Last question I *think* I know the answer to, but have seen some bikes locally with it, so I was curious. Under fender type lighting, that kind of lights up the engine compartment is illegal in any color, yes? It kind of functions like under lighting does for cars, but doesn't cast the light onto the ground, just on the bike. I've seen a Yamaha with blue lighting around town, but was reluctant to spend any money on something I'd have to rip off the bike later.

    Thanks so much for your time!

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormWarning View Post
    Hello!
    I have heard that they make custom brake lights for motorcycles that do such things as flash, make swirly designs and whatnot. They are red, led lights. I have taken the motorcyclist drive safety course in Illinois and a teacher recommended purchasing one of these to help increase visibility, but I was a) somewhat concerned that people would be so busy staring at my exciting light that they would run me over anyway and b) that this might be considered distracting or illegal.

    Intermittent flashing lamps are legal in most states provided they meet the criteria for flash sequence. They must work in conjunction with the braking system and can only operate when the brakes are applied. The whirlygig lighting is not legal - at least in my state.

    Additionally, is the usage of reflective tape or decals legal on a motorcycle?

    Reflectorized tape to the rear of the rider must be RED in color. Forward of the rider must be yellow/amber. No rainbows colors are legal.

    Again, with the distraction worry. The black bike tends to blend in quite well, and I'm worried about being seen.

    This certainly conflicts with what you are asking to do - make yourself more visible. You cannot have it both ways!!

    Last question I *think* I know the answer to, but have seen some bikes locally with it, so I was curious. Under fender type lighting, that kind of lights up the engine compartment is illegal in any color, yes? It kind of functions like under lighting does for cars, but doesn't cast the light onto the ground, just on the bike. I've seen a Yamaha with blue lighting around town, but was reluctant to spend any money on something I'd have to rip off the bike later.

    Illegal in all states. Accent lighting is fine when the vehicle is parked or on static display; it is not authorized for use when the vehicle is in motion on the highway/roadway.

    Thanks so much for your time!
    You are more than welcome!! Keep the dirty side down!!
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  4. #4
    StormWarning is offline Junior Member StormWarning is on a distinguished road
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    Thank you! I'll get a flashing tail light and look into the Halo band!

    In regards to: This certainly conflicts with what you are asking to do - make yourself more visible. You cannot have it both ways!! I was just worried about how much was too much. I'd rather be slightly obnoxious looking than a road pancake.

    The reflective tape was a surprise to me! Good to know!

  5. #5
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    It looks rediculous but more then a few motorcycle riders around her have gone to wearing yellow vests with refelctive tape similar to crossing guard vests while riding. They dont look pretty but increases visibility tremedously.

    Granted I ride and I would never wear one ust because I prefere to look cool :cool: but its a great idea to consider.
    ďTake you hands off the car, and Iíll make your birth certificate a worthless document." UNKNOWN

  6. #6
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    retdetsgt is offline Back in my day!!!! retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute retdetsgt has a reputation beyond repute
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    I'm not up on any traffic laws to speak of, but I've noticed a number of M/C's here in Oregon with headlights that flash dim to somewhat bright (not as high as the normal bright setting) as they go down the highway. I thought it was a good idea. It's not enough to cause problems and of course, it's a white light, but it sure gets your attention.

    I haven't ridden a bike in years, but when I did, it always amazed me how invisible I was to car drivers even though I had always had my headlight on.
    I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was, and now what I'm with isn't it. And what's "it" seems weird and scary to me. -Grampa Simpson

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  7. #7
    ispcapt is offline Senior Member ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute
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    IL law does not permit flashing brake lights or tail lights. However, you see alot of them on bikes. LEOs generally will ignore them on bikes as long as they aren't outrageously flashing. Most units will flash for 5 seconds and then go to solid red.
    Modulating headlights are legal in IL for operation only during daylight hours or not when headlights are required for other vehicles such as during rain.
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  8. #8
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    Welcome to the pack, please realize it's great that you want to increase your visiblity, but if you are riding a motorcycle, and you make the assumption you are anything other than invisible you are doing it wrong and inviting disaster.
    even if someone makes eye contact with you, or you think they do, do not assume they have seen you. I'm 6'3" 250 lbs, and ride a 1,000 lbs VTX 1800 with custom paint and lots of chrome and my pipes are VERY loud, more often than not in situations where it could be important for someone to realize that i am there, they do not see me. at this point i will repeat myself because it is one of the most important things you can think about when you are driving a motorcycle.

    RIDE AS IF YOU ARE INVISIBLE!

    Because for all intents and purposes you are. (will a few of the other riders on this board back me up here?)

    also, please invest the time and money into an MSF (Motorcycle saftey foundation) course, i know people who have ridden motorcycles for 20 years that say they came out better riders. they are also very reasonably priced.

    again welcome to the pack, be careful.

    -Deke
    unfortunately off the street, but working on a 2-Year CJ Degree (40% Finished).

    Yea though I walk through the valley of no radio reception, with backup in excess of 40 miles away I shall fear no evil, for I am a warrior, for whom the ranchers have an affinity, and they can take the head off a gopher at 200 yards.

  9. #9
    ispcapt is offline Senior Member ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute ispcapt has a reputation beyond repute
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    Big Sandy is 100% correct. I've been riding on the street for 40 yrs. Had more than enough close calls. I'm currently riding a GoldWing which altho quieter than Big Sandy's VTX, the GW is big and wide. People will look right at you and then pull out in front of you. Approach every intersection as if the car sitting at it doesn't see you and will pull out in front of you. It will happen. You just have to be ready for it.
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