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Riding at night

 
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lotte
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Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 38

Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:48 pm    Post subject: Riding at night Reply with quote

Hi all!

I want to ask you what you are doing to make yourselves more visible at night. I'm thinking about getting some reflective tapes for my helmet and backpack (my riding jacket already has reflective strips on it,) and one of those fluorescent mesh vests with reflective strips worn by road construction workers (apparently available in hardware stores.)

Last night when I was riding home from work on one of the main streets, a car just shot across the street right in front of me. I saw him from a little ways off, and I thought he was just going to wait until I rode past since he didn't make any move, but as I approached him, the driver suddenly drove straight into my path without even looking both ways. He did notice me just as I came to a screeching stop not two feet away from impact, since he stopped too for a while (still looking only straight ahead), and drove away.

I always ride with the high beam, but that time, the light was on low beam. I'm thinking that I must have accidentally flipped the switch when I got on. Had the headlight been on high beam, maybe he would have noticed me, but then again, he didn't look both ways before crossing anyway, so it's hard to say.

I'm a small person on a small bike, so visibility was always a concern for me, but after that incident, I really want to make sure that people notice me.

Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated!
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SteMer
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great question - I'm curious too. In Ohio, you can't ride at night until you get your full motorcycle endorsement. So when I do, I was wondering the same thing. The reflective vest was the only thing I had come up with also. Even in daylight hours I was wondering how to make myself as visible as possible - wearing bright clothing or at least a brightly colored helmet. Does anyone know if those things really make a difference or not?
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peabody99
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am wondering in Lotte case if tape would have helped. During the day you logically think bright clothing has to help (although I would love the statistical data to definitevely prove it- I am a science geek), but I think at night, unless the light hits your tape or gear, it won't help. So if no headlights were shining on lotte she was not going to be seen real well anyway. that is why our headlight is so important. Now if someone is following you or coming toward you and they have their lights on, I think bright or reflective gear would make a HUGE difference . lotte let me know where you find your reflective stuff. I would like to find nice looking sew- on reflective patches to afix to a coat I want to get for riding. I am not a pink person, but I did chose a bright pink helmet for visability over my fashion preference of black.
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scarabmonkey
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are great tapes and they work in the rain (many don't)...

If you can find the clear version, it is near invisible during the day. course, the situation you had it wouldn't do alot since his headlights were not pointing at you.

http://ridesafer.com/store/category/5wly/3M_Diamond_Grade_Reflective_Tape.html
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AxeYrCat
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered a headlight modulator? Question
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mlee10018
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

headlight modulators only work during the day because of the light sensor, but I am still considering installing one.
I did point my headlight up higher by loosening the bolt under the headlight and adjusting the height. The low beam is now pretty high the high beam often makes it into SUVs and directly into taxis' rear view mirrors. I am thinking that helps...

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Icelander
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted this over in Urban Scootin' - Electroluminescent lighting. The jacket I'm getting is all black, but I'm going to sew some of this into the seams. It's basically a 1/4" flexible tube that glows when a current passes through it, and can be run off a 9V battery. So the cagers will see a glowing yellow stick figure gliding by, which will be pretty hard to miss.
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rickyd410
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AxeYrCat wrote:
Have you considered a headlight modulator? Question

I can't find one online for a Buddy. Do you have one? Are they easy to install? Would it void the warranty?

Thanks
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AxeYrCat
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Icelander wrote:
I posted this over in Urban Scootin' - Electroluminescent lighting. The jacket I'm getting is all black, but I'm going to sew some of this into the seams. It's basically a 1/4" flexible tube that glows when a current passes through it, and can be run off a 9V battery. So the cagers will see a glowing yellow stick figure gliding by, which will be pretty hard to miss.


And then you can be the hit of every rave you go to as well. Laughing Wink

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sparty
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The EL stuff is pretty neat. How do you dim individual sections of the cable...do you wrap tapes around it or something?
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rickyd410
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The websites for that EL wire are horrible. I really like the idea or rigging my jacket with that stuff. It's reallly bright. I remember seeing alot of it at Bonnaroo this year.

RoOOO!!
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Bert
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Don't have one

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:27 pm    Post subject: Safety gear Reply with quote

Thanks for the threads Scarabmonkey and icelander!!!!!!!

Bert Very Happy

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Last edited by Bert on Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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rickyd410
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, check out the flat wire EL lights. Reeeally bright.

http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/subcategory.asp?SubCategoryID=103
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rickyd410
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thatscoolwire.com/

They have everything you'd seem to need. I'm going to give them a call tomorrow.
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rickyd410
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You really could put this EL wiring anywhere. I'm seeing all kinds of possibilities for it.

You could put some on the underbelly of the buddy, like a glo underneath.


Hm....
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sparty
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think some states have laws that prohibit external light sources (non standard lights). I am not sure how the EL stuff fits into this.
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rickyd410
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think in this case, I'd do it until someone told me not to. Smile

Any ideas on how to use the EL wire on the bike? or is that a bad idea?

Thoughts?
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sparty
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone ever got the EL stuff working?
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NarMeowZippy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wait... the Buddy has high beams? How did I miss that?
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AxeYrCat
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NarMeowZippy wrote:
Wait... the Buddy has high beams? How did I miss that?


The 50 might not...

If it does, it's a switch on the left side of the handlebars. Wink

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sparty
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NarMeowZippy wrote:
Wait... the Buddy has high beams? How did I miss that?


Was that sarcasm? Buddy's high beam is not very bright... when it's on, a blue indciaitor shows up on your dash.
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NarMeowZippy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparty wrote:
NarMeowZippy wrote:
Wait... the Buddy has high beams? How did I miss that?


Was that sarcasm? Buddy's high beam is not very bright... when it's on, a blue indciaitor shows up on your dash.


Nope, not sarcasm... surprise. I don't think the 50cc has it, because I'd be feeling really stupid right now if I missed that after driving for three months. Of course, I've been wrong before. Embarassed

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ericalm
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think one of the best things to do (aside from the good advice already posted) is to replace the stock headlight with a halogen, install brighter bulbs for the turn signals, and convert the dead legshield lights into running lights/turn signals. I was pretty disappointed with the lights when riding at night!

Aside from that, reflective gear and graphics/tape in the scoot!

Regarding the EL lighting, I know that CA has very specific laws regarding the color and placement of lights on scoots/motorcycles.
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rajron
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ebspace said:
http://www.modernbuddy.com/forum/topic492.html
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Elm Creek Smith
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparty wrote:
NarMeowZippy wrote:
Wait... the Buddy has high beams? How did I miss that?


Was that sarcasm? Buddy's high beam is not very bright... when it's on, a blue indciaitor shows up on your dash.


Yeah. My high beam indicator stopped lighting up at about a hundred fifteen miles. I'll mention it when I take it in for the first service.

ECS
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Keys
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just don my black leather jacket, black helmet (and since it's cold out) my black ski mask, and my black gloves...climb on my black Urban Assault Vehicle and sneak up on the cagers...they never know WHAT passed them!

--Keys Cool

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NarMeowZippy
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keys wrote:
I just don my black leather jacket, black helmet (and since it's cold out) my black ski mask, and my black gloves...climb on my black Urban Assault Vehicle and sneak up on the cagers...they never know WHAT passed them!

--Keys Cool


LOL... cagers. I love that. It's my new favorite saying. Laughing

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AxeYrCat
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, does the 50 have a high beam or not? Question
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to dredge up an older topic but this was the closest one I found via search.

I just adjusted my headlight- I Googled some instructions and tried to be scientific about how high to raise it:

I put the Buddy so the light was 17 feet from a wall and had my wife sit on it and while I measured the height of the headlight (40 inches). I then put a mark on the wall at 38 inches and raised the light (on low beam) until the top of the beam hit the mark. Before raising it, at the 17 foot distance, the headlight was topping out at... get this: 5 inches. It was essentially aimed at the ground.

I took a quick ride and didn't notice it getting into any SUV cabs from behind on high beam. The headlight, while 100% better, is still not amazing. But it's much safer and I felt more comfortable at 40 mph or so.

I am now wondering about whether I should just always ride with the high beam on or keep it on low if there are oncoming cars. I'm inclined to just leave the high on unless a car flashes me. Is there a "proper" thing to do?
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shark
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats funny.. i rode ours the other night and it too shines straight down at the ground. They must not adjust these things when they put them on.

If you dont get flashed..ride with the highs on.. JMHO
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Dibber
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My brother gave me one of those 1,000,000 power battery rechargable lights that we use to navigate our duck boats at night and I duck tape it to my handle bars, so when I see someone who might cross my path I blind him with it. The beam is so strong it almost penitrates right through them. Just kidding, I use my high beam and flash it a couple of times when I am about to cross a busy intersection.
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ericalm
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

During the day, I keep my high beams on all the time. Common practice for 2-wheelers.

At night, I rarely use them. I do sometimes flash them at intersections. But most of my night riding is done in heavy commuter traffic or, occasionally, on very curvy roads where I'd blind anyone coming around.

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peabody99
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

please be careful of night driving: there are more drunks, lower visability, and in winter esp, the inability to see sand and salt patches, potholes and ice (said she who rode tonight in The Cleve)
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Eddy Merckx
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Lotte, go down to your local bicycle shop and ask for red blinking lights, they are cheap and very bright and can be attached to your back pack etc., etc., I use them all the time, cars will see you a hundred yards before they get to you, if they hit you they aimed....Smile
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ericalm
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddy Merckx wrote:
Hey, Lotte, go down to your local bicycle shop and ask for red blinking lights, they are cheap and very bright and can be attached to your back pack etc., etc., I use them all the time, cars will see you a hundred yards before they get to you, if they hit you they aimed....Smile

Don't know what state you're in, lotte, but in CA you're asking for a ticket using these while riding. They may be legal elsewhere, though.

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SERIES ITALIA RIDER
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know if a "headlight modulator" would work on a buddy??? if so, is it an easy install???? i see a lot of blinking headlights on motorcycles during the day hours here in denver...

Last edited by SERIES ITALIA RIDER on Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Drumwoulf
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you got an '07 (or up) Buddy 125, replace your 35W headlight with a SilverStar 55/65W bulb. It makes an ernormous difference, and does absolutely no harm to the electrics....
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SERIES ITALIA RIDER
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

right on, do you know the bulb number or where it can be picked up????

Last edited by SERIES ITALIA RIDER on Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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redcass
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drumwoulf wrote:
If you got an '07 (or up) Buddy 125, replace your 35W headlight with a SilverStar 55/65W bulb. It makes an ernormous difference, and does absolutely no harm to the electrics....


I switched out my bulb for this SilverStar, and I agree, it was a huge improvement!

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robtaylor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

get some reflective spray paint, it is sweet because it goes on fairly clear so you don't lost the color of what you've sprayed. it works like a charm, especially if you only use 1 or 2 coats.
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lobsterman
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am planning on getting some of these as well:
http://www.bikerhiway.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=160&products_id=292&zenid=240ae8d54e171e9dfd1f82e09b9a6030

By all means, do your headlight mods, but I suspect we're all harder to see at night from the back than the front.

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ericalm
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have reflective checkers on the cowls of my Vespa and will be replacing the reflectors on the Buddy forks with bands of reflective tape.

Check out Harris Decals—they do custom and can do anything in reflective. You can get 3M reflective tape on eBay, boat stores, all over. A few strips on your helmet and on the scoot will actually help a lot. There's also sew or iron-on reflective tape you can get to add to your jackets. I was amazed by the reflective piping on my Corazzo MAX jacket, Even that little strip is visible from a good distance. On a recent group ride, I noticed I could see the reflection off the wide stripes on the 5.0 jackets in daylight.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SERIES ITALIA RIDER wrote:
right on, do you know the bulb number or where it can be picked up????


It's a SilverStar 55/65 H4ST. (The ST means it's for motorcycles.) Very bright and very very much better, and with no ill effects on electrics! -I picked mine up at Pep Boys for $19.95 and it fits right in the socket of my '07 Buddy's headllight without any hassles!
They can also be found by doing a Google onna web...

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Eddy Merckx
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ericalm wrote:
Eddy Merckx wrote:
Hey, Lotte, go down to your local bicycle shop and ask for red blinking lights, they are cheap and very bright and can be attached to your back pack etc., etc., I use them all the time, cars will see you a hundred yards before they get to you, if they hit you they aimed....Smile

Don't know what state you're in, lotte, but in CA you're asking for a ticket using these while riding. They may be legal elsewhere, though.


All those blinky lights can be set to steady on or blinking its the blinking part that "may" cause an issue..., just a thought folks may not know they can be set in either mode.......by and by I've used them bicycling and scooting and had local and state cops not even blink in new york and connecticut, it is my opinion that the blinky thing is more a urban legend than a real concern as too the police actualy careing at all, they realy have substancialy better things to do than bother with a guy or gal on a scooter, again just my opinion.... scoot on !!!!!!! be safe and scoot more !

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