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Fine, upstanding member
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Two issues for discussion here.

In relation to lights, I have mine on all the time. I ride almost exclusively in town, usually during the day, and it just strikes me as sensible to maximise my visibility. I tend to think that a head-light during the day is more likely to catch the careless motorist's eye than a day-glo jacket.

But I see lots of riders wearing good protection and light clothing without their headlights on.

Does this seem strange to anyone else but me?

In relation to clutch use, my clutches take a Hell of a battering given where the bikes are ridden, so if possible I'd like minimise its use. Is it justified to claim that there is less wear on a bike's clutch and transmission to change up at the instant you roll off the throttle, without pulling the clutch?

:thumbup:
 

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Headlight on here, in daylight i use main beam.

I think most wear to the clutch is caused when starting from standstill.
I have seen a few clutches fried trying re start after getting stuck on steep climb's off road.
 

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The Lights on newer bikes are hardwired to stay on, some riders forget where the switch is.
The clutch is going to take a battering anyway.
Constant use will speed up the wear of the cable and springs.
I sometimes change gear without the clutch to save my hand more than anything else but replacing the clutch is a PITA but cheaper than the gearbox / engine.
 

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My AT lights are on all the time unless I am about to start it on a freezing day when it hasn't run for a week or so and I want to give the battery a fighting chance with no choke.

My DR never has the lights on unless I have made a mistake and am riding at night on the thing.
 

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I leave the TA lights on all the time unless I've taken her off-road under tree cover- I find the headlight can be distracting in that situation.

As for upchanging without the clutch, the amount of wear you save on the clutch by doing that is, IMO, negligible, and if you get it wrong you can damage the gearbox; bit of a no brainer IMHO.
 

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The Highway Code states: "Dipped headlights, even in good daylight, may also make you more conspicuous."

Now, if you don't do this and a driver doesn't see you, it is termed contributory negligence on your part because you have been advised to do this in the Highway Code. If you have an accident and it is decided the driver could have seen you better if you had your light on, any claim against the driver that doesn't see you will be reduced depending on the proportion of blame that is attached to you not using your dipped headlight.

A work of caution about using full beam too. On a bumpy bit of road a flickering full beam could be mistaken for a flash of the light and a motorist could (incorrectly of course) take this as a signal to pull out. Use of full beam is contrary to the Highway Code and, if a factor in an accident, would again be termed contributory negligence.

Dipped Lights on all the time here.

As for gearbox and clutch wear, clutches are cheap. Gearboxes aren't. If you're very good and smooth then by all means do clutchless changes and your clutch will last years. If you're not that good then use the clutch rather than crashing the gears.
 

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luddite
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headlight is obligatory at all times on the road here, so it's only switched off when I start the bike. I have never yet forgotten to switch it on by the simple expedient of having a start up "system" that never varies. I don't switch the light off when I stop so the switch is in the "on" position when I arrive at the bike. My system is:

key "IN"
Choke "ON" (unless unnecessary obviously)
lights "OFF"
key "ON"
start
Lights "ON"

as this never varies it becomes automatic & I never even think about it.

as for the clutch, I do sometime change up or even down without it but I reckon it's there for a reason. My bike now has 99750km on the clock & is 18 years old. It's only on it's 2nd clutch...
 

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I only time my lights are turned off is when I first start it up in the mornings, as for the clutch I use my 950 adventure a lot off road so I don’t really worry about how much it gets used, but I do slow down before I get to red traffic lights so they turn green as I get close so I don’t have to stop but if I do have to stop I always put it in neural. My mate on his 1150BMW burn his clutch out down one very muddy rutted lane so after he had a new clutch put in it he purchased a 950 and has never worried about his clutch again.:D
 

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Generalissimo Tea Boy
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I changed the front sprocket on my DR350 so at walking pace (paddling pace) I could let the lever all the way out and save slipping the clutch. Also makes it easier to get the front wheel over fallen trees etc.
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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I had a days assessment with an IAM instructor under a local authority sponsored scheme. Good fun and very interesting 5-6 hrs ride out for 30 quid!!

One of the things we were discussing was this matter of lights/hi viz jackets etc. I use both as a personal choice, but sometimes leave the jacket off in certain places/conditions. We both agreed that the hi viz waistcoats are nigh on pointless as far as helping others to see you, a full jacket is a must.

His personal preference was not to wear hi-viz unless "at work" on the bike. His Bandit had the headlight "always on" disconnected as he did not like having it on. Again, I can understand wishing to have control, but to keep the headlight off on a dirty afternoon did not strike me as wise, but it was his call...

We agreed to disagree, but I did agree with his contention that using full beam is not a good thing as it is harder for another road user to judge your distance/speed. BUT, I will use main beam when filtering on motorways and the like for miles on end, as I believe full beam catches the car wing mirrors better and alerts drivers of my presence. YMMV :)
 

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The problem with riding with full beam is IT IS ILLEGAL, it DAZZELS car drivers so they DO NOT SEE YOU.
 

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Surely (just a thought and probably not a good one) full beam in full daylight is striking rather than dazzling SF? I am open to being completely wrong here :silent: but...... :)


WRT steveR's IAM instructor - no doubt an extremely competent rider blah blah blah - but a nob for not lighting up in dimpsy visibilty...
 

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Surely (just a thought and probably not a good one) full beam in full daylight is striking rather than dazzling SF? I am open to being completely wrong here :silent: but...... :)


WRT steveR's IAM instructor - no doubt an extremely competent rider blah blah blah - but a nob for not lighting up in dimpsy visibilty...
This was told to us by the police when we did our Bikesafe course.
 

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The problem with riding with full beam is IT IS ILLEGAL, it DAZZELS car drivers so they DO NOT SEE YOU.

I was there when the copper said this, and the reason he said it was because I told him the follwoing, and asked his angle on it...

I always have my headlights on, but when filtering through stationary traffic (on motrways, dual cariageways) I ALWAYS go onto main beam!

I believe this does give the stationary traffic a better chance of seeing me, and I also occasionally give a little weave through the traffic, so the beam of the headlight attracts their attention even more!

There's some places that car drivers that are regular on that spot of road expect bikes to be filtering up the middle (Blackwall Tunnel approach for instance) but it only takes a newbie in the queue, and they're the ones that chop & change lanes, taking out bikers!!


Anyway, our Bikesafe copper was a great bloke, but as Stumpy' says, he wasn't keen on the idea of using full beam when filtering through stationary traffic!!



Bob :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In Norway cars' headlights are wired to be on all the time, and when I lived in Denmark 20 years ago it was illegal to drive or ride without headlights between October and March. That seems like sense to me.

The problem in Britain is that the amount of light is so changeable. Yesterday in Worcester it was sunny all day but in London it rained hard from midday to 1630. I rode in drizzle at 1800 and combined with cloud cover and shortening days, visibility was remarkably bad. In country like this one, isn't it just wiser to have the headlight on all the time?

As to the instructor who fiddled with his wiring because he didn't like having the headlight on: can that be sensible?! It reminds me of Hog riders in California who like to ride with no helmets: I applaud their free spirits, but I question whether they are making a point worth the risks they take.
 

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As said I always ride with headlights on, but I actually feel any advantage we have of being seen is being taken away or diluted by all these new cars that have "always on" headlamps or "day-running" lamps

BAN THE CAR I say!!!! :rolleyes:
 

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As said I always ride with headlights on, but I actually feel any advantage we have of being seen is being taken away or diluted by all these new cars that have "always on" headlamps or "day-running" lamps

BAN THE CAR I say!!!! :rolleyes:

I agree- the effectiveness of motorbike DRL's is diminished by car DRL's IMO.
 

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Bear in mind that the headlamp can be seen only from in front. Hi-viz jackets and waistcoats can been seen from all angles (though not so well from the front if you have a tall tinted screen).

Regarding clutch vs. clutchless changes, I use clutch-light changes, i.e. I pull the clutch lever in only part-way and do this very quickly. It reduces the strain on the gearbox if I don't coordinate the throttle/gear changer quite right, but it's not a full clutch in... change gear... clutch out... like you'd do in a car.
 

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I always have my headlights on, but when filtering through stationary traffic (on motrways, dual cariageways) I ALWAYS go onto main beam!

I believe this does give the stationary traffic a better chance of seeing me, and I also occasionally give a little weave through the traffic, so the beam of the headlight attracts their attention even more!


Anyway, our Bikesafe copper was a great bloke, but as Stumpy' says, he wasn't keen on the idea of using full beam when filtering through stationary traffic!!



Bob :thumbup:
Agree wholeheartedly about little weaves etc to alert drivers by making sure the bikes headlight flashes in their mirrors. I am still not wholly convinced that FB is bad in ths sort of instance, as the argument that the driver cannot judge the distance of the bike from the car is largely irrelevant. My two pennyworth anyway :)
 

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Surely (just a thought and probably not a good one) full beam in full daylight is striking rather than dazzling SF? I am open to being completely wrong here :silent: but...... :)


WRT steveR's IAM instructor - no doubt an extremely competent rider blah blah blah - but a nob for not lighting up in dim visibilty...
His choice, but at odds with his valid argument that too many motorcyclists have a victim mentality when it comes to road behaviour. And you all know the type of rider he means... :)

"Like yeah, like I was coming down this road like, and this car pulled out in front of me, and like I hit it didn't I, cos like he didn't see me! Yeah, so what if I was doin' 50 in a 30, the geezer should have seen me, like...."

Do I exaggerate? :)

But yes, i agree, it was not the best call to increase his chances of being seen by another driver I know some riders argue that this approach prevents complacency. Not sure meself! If Mr Pensioner has just a slightly greater chance of seeing me, I reckon it is worth it.
 
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