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First Winter Riding - Dark and Wet tips

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Prawny
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PostPosted: 23:11 - 08 Nov 2019    Post subject: First Winter Riding - Dark and Wet tips Reply with quote

Evening all, 5 months in Iím getting used to this scootering lark, happy at full speed, twisty roads arenít as daunting as they were and Iím happy in the cold and wet.

But Jesus this last couple of days have been awful. Half of my commute is unlit roads across Cannock Chase and my headlight it terrible, in the wet when cars are coming towards me I canít see a the road at all, to the extent I nearly rode straight off the road yesterday.

What can I do to make it more tolerable, bulb upgrade? (35/35w currently) does rain x work on visors?

Any tips would be welcome

Ta!
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 23:19 - 08 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

LEDs would be a cheap upgrade. Just be careful to make sure the aim doesn't dazzle oncoming vehicles!

Before you do though: see if your main lights are AC or DC. You can get LEDs that handle AC but you have to be careful to check when you buy.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 01:05 - 09 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being unable to see where the fuck you're going in the dark, cold and wet is totally normal on a motorcycle. Even with illegally powerful lights.

Observe distant leading and oncoming car headlights to determine where the road is going.
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yen_powell
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PostPosted: 11:19 - 09 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
Being unable to see where the fuck you're going in the dark, cold and wet is totally normal on a motorcycle. Even with illegally powerful lights.

Observe distant leading and oncoming car headlights to determine where the road is going.
This am the troof!

When a car with blazing headlights comes the other way on a pitch black wet road with badly defined edges and you have no idea which way it bends next just take your best guess.
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barrkel
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PostPosted: 20:02 - 09 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure your headlight is aimed appropriately. My MOT place wants my headlight a bit further up the road than I like it when riding in the dark, I generally prefer it lighting up the road I'm on and not going as fast. You could try adjusting the headlight angle a bit downwards (but not too much or you won't see bends etc. up ahead), might give more clue on the verge.

It won't help much on a scooter, but motorcycles generally have a trigger to flash the high beams on. It's most useful in corners when the bike banks over and you want a bit more height on the beam temporarily. Scooters I've ridden can flash the lights, but it's more of a stretch for the thumb than a pull of the forefinger.

Consider slowing down and inferring the location of the verge from clues; often, the oncoming vehicle's headlights create shadows that can help. If you're totally blinded, it's safer to be going slower anyhow.
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Nobby the Bastard
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PostPosted: 20:10 - 09 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hake sure the lenses of your headlight is clean.
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Kawasaki Jimbo
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PostPosted: 20:50 - 09 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
First Winter Riding - Dark and Wet tips.

I get those too.
Wink
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 01:35 - 10 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kawasaki Jimbo wrote:
Quote:
First Winter Riding - Dark and Wet tips.

I get those too.
Wink


Yeah, I've read the title again and it sounds like "popular this week on PornHub"

...I would imagine, not ever having visited that site Shifty
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WreckTangle
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PostPosted: 08:10 - 10 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

As well as getting another bulb, another suggestion would be in the winter months, don't forget to carry a spare bulb!!

If you loose a bulb on a car, you have the other light to use, if your bulb goes on a bike..........it gets very dark very suddenly

I learn the hard way when I was going down a country road at 60 at night and the bulb at the front died, and it got very dark very suddenly.......When I was travelling at 60 mph Shocked
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doggone
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PostPosted: 08:34 - 10 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's unusual for dip and main to fail though.
Also not much fun changing a bulb in the dark.
Good tip above about briefly holding main beam flash on, in addition to dip beam. I wouldn't do it for more than a few seconds it might blow a fuse.

At one time about 2/3 of my mileage was at night, headlights vary, my Bandit 1200 was pretty good.
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Polarbear
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PostPosted: 09:13 - 10 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a slightly different vein, make sure you have decent gear on.

Getting cold and wet when riding gets you down so quickly. Concentration goes, reactions slow down and you feel like shit.

Many years ago on a Z650 going from London to Stockport I was soaked through and freezing by the time I got to Watford Gap services. I pulled in and a copper pulled in behind me to tell me my riding was terrible. Too close to other cars, wandering about in the lane. Told me to go get warmed up and take it one services at a time.

Ever since then I've used all the aids for keeping warm.

As far as bad lighting goes, an early Fazer 600 takes the biscuit for utter sh1t lighting. Don't get one of those. Laughing
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defblade
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PostPosted: 10:23 - 10 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're totally blinded by an oncoming car, steer somewhat towards them (not directly at them!!!) - they are on the road, you are on the road, all that's between you and them is... empty road.

And get a completely illegal HID bulb upgrade if your bike will take it at all, swap back for MOT.
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 11:56 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wet roads reflect little back from lights; I rode my motorbike (with a "proper" 55w headlight, and a good bulb too) in rural darkness recently and was alarmed at how poor the visibility was. On high beam it was better, but still not brilliant.

I'd be tempted to look at aux lighting to throw light onto the road in front of you, switchable. But a scooter might not have the electrics for these?

I'm guessing you have little choice but to ride those roads, at those times and on two wheels?
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 12:07 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you get really cold, a newspaper up your jacket really does help.
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I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Prawny
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PostPosted: 12:08 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies so far.

To address a few - Iím lumbered with these roads, there is one alternative but itís still unlit, slightly busier and higher speed with farm access off so potential for mud on the road, donít really like that way in the light and itís horrible in the dark, Iíll only use that on frosty mornings, night time no way.

Weíve only got one car, averting a second would be too much cash, Iíve cycled today so Iíll see what that is like in the dark, Iíve got no issue covering my bike in lights so it might be the best option for bad weather.

Aux lights is a consideration, but Iím not sure the scooter will take them, plus Iím not sure Iím willing to spend the money on it, Iím going to do my direct access in the new year and get something more sensible so I donít want to spend much on this. Also Iím not sure the electrics would take the additional load.

Does rain-x work? And how often should it be reapplied? I used to use it on my car but itís a ball ache on a massive screen, visor shouldnít be too much work.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 12:21 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prawny wrote:


Does rain-x work? And how often should it be reapplied? I used to use it on my car but itís a ball ache on a massive screen, visor shouldnít be too much work.


For about half an hour in my experience, then normal service is resumed.

Mr Sheen furniture spray seems to work in the same way.
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ďRule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.Ē
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 12:28 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

I faced the same sort of issue on the old Keeway but fitting a "Daymaker" LED headlamp made the world of difference. You really don't appreciate how dark it is out in the sticks when you're used to mainly town and city travel Shocked

I had no problems getting the Keeyway through an MoT but is there ever a major issue with how bright the light is if it's aimed correctly?
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 12:52 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prawny wrote:
Iíve cycled today so Iíll see what that is like in the dark, Iíve got no issue covering my bike in lights so it might be the best option for bad weather.


The other thing is visibility on a bicycle is far better; no visor etc. to see through. I cycle year-round (although little of my commute is truly dark and unlit these days) and have no issues. Modern bicycle lights are very good; I'd suggest an attention-grabbing "be seen" light, such as the Exposure Trace/Tracer type (I actually have the Sirius Mk6 which is similar but beefier), set to a respectable level so it gets attention from drivers without being too distracting. I then have a powerful, but beam-focussed, light for seeing by, aimed at the road with a cut-off so it doesn't dazzle drivers. These days there are excellent dynamo lights fitting the latter category; they are "only" 2.4W but the beam is high quality and well shaped, so they're actually far better to see by than you might think. Combine with a dynohub and it'll provide reliable and battery-free light with no noticeable increase in effort. Spa Cycles do (or at least used to) handbuilt dynohub wheels with lights for around £250 or something; worthwhile investment, I've got one on my touring bicycle and at night I can see extremely clearly and in the day I keep my mobile charged up off it!
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jnw010
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PostPosted: 12:56 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
... fitting a "Daymaker" LED headlamp made the world of difference...


I did this too, the difference from Halogen Night Breakers to a proper (Chinese knock off) LED headlamp is staggering. Just swapping the main bulb over to an LED bulb on a reflector headlight is going to be hit and miss in terms of beam pattern (it'll either work well, or it'll be terrible), but it'll almost certainly put out more than the 35w candle currently in place.
I found replacing 55w Halogen Nightbreakers with an LED bulb in a projector headlight resulted in marginally more light and the whiteness did seem to help a bit more. Alignment inside the projector was crucial and an absolute ball ache on a extremely hard to reach headlight.
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ThatDippyTwat
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PostPosted: 13:04 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another vote for a Daymaker clone if you can find a way to fit one. They're not expensive (£20ish). Made a night and day difference (pun fully intended) on my old work hack. Happily went through the MOT for a couple of years before I got rid of it.

If not, Aux LED lights are about the same price, and make a decent difference.
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Prawny
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PostPosted: 14:26 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where would I get one of these daymakers? And would I have to mod the wiring in any way? Or is that just for HIDs?
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ThatDippyTwat
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PostPosted: 14:46 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prawny wrote:
Where would I get one of these daymakers? And would I have to mod the wiring in any way? Or is that just for HIDs?


Ebay.

Mine was a H4, so I just plugged it in. I made up a pilot light (1 resistor, 4 LED's, clear silicone), as although not a fail, my tester was a bit leery about not having one but a switch position for one, and I like his casual attitude to loud cans.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 16:22 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tap "Daymaker" into eBay and you'll turn something up Smile

What you'll find - just to confuse you! - is headlamps and spotlamps; careful which one you get! (The former, obviously.) And then there's 5 3/4" or 7" so get the appropriate size...

What they are is a complete glass, lamp and reflector replacement. You keep the headlamp shell. I found I had to make some adjustments of the clamp, YMMV.

Also note they have massive heatsink on the back so if you have a stack of existing electrical connectors and relays stashed in the back of your headlamp you may have to either dramatically rearrange things or even, as I did, relocate the mess elsewhere (I hid it all under the fuel tank.)

<addendum> scooter Thinking maybe a daymaker isn't appropriate. Any photos of your vehicle?
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Copycat73
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PostPosted: 18:58 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

i`m guessing its fitted with a prefocus 35w/35w bulb .. if so try this as an upgrade .. https://www.amazon.co.uk/HALOGEN-HEADLIGHT-HEADLAMP-BULB-P3604H/dp/B015ZOXYP8

should be a straight swap ... but put the original back for mot time..
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WD Forte
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PostPosted: 19:59 - 11 Nov 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

A raiplan will save your life in wet weather by giving you clear vison
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