Design philosophy question about scooter headlights

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eggsalad
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Design philosophy question about scooter headlights

Post by eggsalad »

(applies to motorcycles as well)

It seems obvious and intuitive to me that the headlight of a 2-wheel motor vehicle should point in the direction in which that vehicle is moving. And a great number of scooters and motorcycles (including the Buddy) have headlights that do just that.

But there are also plenty of bikes that mount the headlight to the main frame of the vehicle, such that they always point straight ahead - including several models in the Genuine Scooter line.

I can't see any good reason for that. Why would a rider want their headlight pointing in some other direction than that which the vehicle is moving?

Nope, I can't come up with any reason at all, yet plenty of scooter and motorcycle designers do just that. Is it simply a matter of aesthetics over function?
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tenders
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Post by tenders »

I prefer the concept of the turning headlight too, but the rationale for fixing a light on the frame is that the spread of the light is sufficient to illuminate the sides as a turn is taking place. The front part of the frame does, after all, follow the handlebar turn pretty quickly.

Car headlights, as another example, don’t generally turn with the steering wheel (though there are some interesting exceptions).
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Post by scootERIK »

Don't forget you have to factor in countersteer and lean.

Just speculating but I would think that in at least certain situations fixed headlights are better, for instance faster turns with a good amount of lean angle. So I would think that each has it's own strengths and weaknesses.

I would like to see more manufacturers use both.
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wheelbender6
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Post by wheelbender6 »

I want the headlight to move with the handlebars, because cagers are more likely to see something that is moving more. I have occasionally rocked my handlebars back and forth to help a cager that is entering the road to see me.
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charlie55
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Post by charlie55 »

wheelbender6 wrote:I want the headlight to move with the handlebars, because cagers are more likely to see something that is moving more. I have occasionally rocked my handlebars back and forth to help a cager that is entering the road to see me.
I don't know if Buddy's work the same way, but on the Helix, if you press the starter button while the engine's running, it cuts off the headlight. So, I can flicker the headlight with my right thumb while hitting the horn with my left. Just discovered this "feature" last year.
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tenders
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Post by tenders »

The Buddy 50 doesn’t work that way. I just checked. Good idea, though. I flash my high beam for this purpose.
Last edited by tenders on Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JettaKnight
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Post by JettaKnight »

tenders wrote:The Buddy 50 doesn’t work that way. I just checked. Good idea, though. If flash my high beam for this purpose.
My Royal Enfield has a "flash high beam" button.


But no hazard light switch. :x
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Post by JettaKnight »

scootERIK wrote:Don't forget you have to factor in countersteer and lean.

Just speculating but I would think that in at least certain situations fixed headlights are better, for instance faster turns with a good amount of lean angle. So I would think that each has it's own strengths and weaknesses.

I would like to see more manufacturers use both.
Unless the speed is low, the handlebars aren't turned much, and in a high speed turn, nope.

And the Buddy doesn't take much to countersteer.


There's a reason small bikes don't have auto-cancelling turn signals.
(why do big bikes? And how does that work?)
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Post by buzzvert »

It's interesting- as automobiles don't generally do this. That said, my Acura RL does have that feature- motorized headlight assemblies which "point" in the direction you're turning as well as ahead. Neat future. I mean... it fails regularly and I have go in and fiddlefutz with the motors and wiring, but neat nonetheless.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

The 1948 Tucker automobile had 3 headlights. The center headlight would pivot with the steering.
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Post by Alzero »

My 2008 Infiniti has headlights that turn with the steering. Citroen car offered it back in the 1960’s on the DS.
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Post by wheelbender6 »

The Tucker headlight pivoted via cable. I suspect the system in your Infinity and Acura is a bit more sophistamacated.
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Post by olhogrider »

JettaKnight wrote:
scootERIK wrote: There's a reason small bikes don't have auto-cancelling turn signals.
(why do big bikes? And how does that work?)
Many years ago Harley figured out a self cancelling system. It works on the odometer. While stopped the blinker stays on. When moving it shuts off after a predetermined distance. Others have tried all kinds of tricks but none worked as well as this simple system. I still don't know why every two wheeler doesn't have this.

In the meantime the best we can hope for is a beeper like the Stella had. This Royal Alloy has an invisible dash indicator. But the "deadlights" are pre-wired. I just plugged them in. I think I'll even keep the USDOT signals.
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Post by Syd »

Since you turn by countersteering, youe Buddy headlight doesn't point where you are going, anyway. We need a headlamp that turns when we lean.
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Point37
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Post by Point37 »

Syd wrote:Since you turn by countersteering, youe Buddy headlight doesn't point where you are going, anyway. We need a headlamp that turns when we lean.
what would be nice is a set of lights aimed at an angle on the edges of the front cover that turn on when a tip sensor is triggered
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Post by JettaKnight »

Maybe just mount this on your helmet:

https://www.amazon.com/QUNSUN-Spotlight ... B07PDK818R
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