I’m Invisible !! Or am I ? 
by Buck

     I was taking a quiet Sunday afternoon ride with my nine year old daughter on the back. 
It was a beautiful, clear day with practically no traffic in sight. At 60 MPH  I noticed a car slowly approaching me on my left, in the center lane. As the car came abreast of me, I looked left – directly  into the eyes of a middle aged  woman – who then looked forward and fairly rapidly – pulled into my lane and ran me off the road !!! I recovered from the shock and fell in behind her, thinking of kicking in her door !! Not nice !!

     Later that evening, it occurred to me that she “Just did not see me!!”  We had solid eye contact,
but  “She did not see me!!”  This happened many years ago, but since that day, I have driven as though I was invisible. I have also used  all the methods I could to make drivers aware of me, such as moving around in my lane as much as possible!! Side to side and foreword and backward. Move around a bit.   This really works..  I also use the “Back Off” brake light flasher, which seems to work very well. 

     Two years ago, while driving along a local city street, a motorcycle approached me going the opposite direction. My eyes were magically drawn to that bike because his headlight was “Flashing” 
at me ! Not exactly “Flashing”, but going from dim to bright about three or four times a second. Some research showed it to be a “Headlight Modulator”, an electronic module that varies the brightness of your headlight very rapidly, causing attention to be drawn to the bike. And does it draw attention !!!  I had to have one. 

     After more research, I purchased a “Starburst Modulator” from Kriss Industries in Tucson, Az. 
(www.kriss.com) . I purchased the HM10SP-1 unit  that is designed for use with a single H4 lamp, such as we use in the Road Star. My cost was about $80, plus shipping. It seems that the units were on sale, and the last check on their web site showed them to still be on sale (Feb,2002). 

     Here is how the unit works :  The modulator ONLY works when the High Beam switch is turned 
on – it does not work with the low beam. Further, there is a “Light Sensor” , about the size of a pencil eraser, that  must be brought out of the headlight assembly and attached to the motorcycle in a spot where it can detect sunlight, which, if present, allows the High Beam to modulate. If the sensor detects dim conditions (such as late evening) it does NOT ALLOW THE HEADLIGHT TO MODULATE.  It is against the law to have a modulated headlight at night !  In other words, to turn the modulator on, simply switch on the High beam. 

     The electronic unit is 2 3/8” x 2 ½” x 1”, and easily fits inside the headlight shell. The included 
socket is plugged  into the H2 bulb, and three wires – with spade lugs – plug into the original  H4 socket, as shown on the included diagram. Another wire must be connected to “An ignition” switch (I soldered it to a blue wire inside the headlight assembly– which is the running lights . A gray wire is simply taped back – unused.  The light sensor is routed outside of the headlight shell and Zip tied to a convenient place . 

That’s it ! Put the headlight assembly back together and you are done. All wiring is done within the headlight shell. 

Kriss has designed the electronic module so that in the event of a failure, the headlight works normally.

The module can easily handle a 130 watt  load , our standard light being only 60 watts. Plenty of safety margin designed in !  

FMVSS – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards – 49 CFR part 571.108 S7.9.4  says that this device must be allowed in all 50 states. No state may prohibit it’s use !  If you go to the Kriss web site, you will  be directed to the Federal web site containing the law allowing modulated headlights. 

How does it work ? In a word – Great !! Just watch the eyes of the oncoming cagers ! 

They look at you trying to determine what you are. They are actually paying attention to you! You can see drivers in front of you looking at their mirror, trying to figure you out. People are simply more aware of you, and awareness is what we all need for safer riding.

I strongly recommend you consider the use of a headlight modulator. I believe they attract attention and make you much more obvious, and they are well worth the cost. 
No – they are NOT chrome plated , but I’m sure you can accept that !

Buck