This is a big topic, as the motorcycle revolution has kicked into high gear in the past couple of decades. Even with high-powered headlights, people have the hardest time actually seeing bikers, especially at night, so besides the multitude of public motorcycle awareness campaigns, what else can these road warriors do to avoid a bikers’ worst fear? LED lights for motorcycles are a great answer to the nighttime visibility issue.

Nighttime AccidentsMotorcycle At Night

According to the NHTSA, approximately 60% of motorcyclist fatalities occur after dark, most often negotiating a curve or striking another vehicle that has pulled out in front of them with out noticing.

Anyone who rides, or has family and friends that do, knows that night riding is the most dangerous time for bikers. My own mother and stepfather own a Harley, and I’m always a little concerned when I get a call from them after dark, (luckily, they don’t actually ride much after dark anymore).

Aside from other drivers, another thing to take into consideration is the limited visibility issue. The IIHS Database states that motorcycle deaths are nearly 28 times more prevalent than auto deaths per mile traveled, and not all of those fatalities are related to other drivers.

At night, you simple can’t see as well, and all it takes is a branch in the road or a dead raccoon that you don’t see to make you lay that bike down.

Preventative Measures Will SAVE YOUR LIFE!

As a biker, you have already considered this major safety concern, probably every time you mount your bike after dark. It can be pretty stressful to drive when you realize that nearly anything out of ordinary on the highway can mean life or death, so what can you do?

Rider Visibility:Motorcycle Headlights

This one is simple, just get way brighter headlights! For bikes, you want something that will project a strong white light WAY ahead of your bike.

There are a lot of choices for motorcycle headlights*, there are quite a few affordable ones on Amazon, listed in the link to the left. Aside from just flat out being brighter, a lot of these headlights have really cool halo lighting surrounding the projector lamps.

Bike Nighttime Appearance:

This is also an easy, affordable fix that will increase your overall safety on the highway, as well as make your 2-wheeled beast look flat out intimidating. Look into underglow lighting for your bike, there’s nothing that draws other drivers’ eyes to you on the highway better than colored lights.

Think about it, normally, all a driver can see at night is your single headlight. While that should be enough, most of the time it isn’t. The problem with that single light is that from a distance in the dark, it can be really difficult to gauge how far away the bike is, or how fast they are going.

Enter the UNDERGLOW! When you have a colored light shining on the pavement under your bike, now other drivers have a non-direct light source that their eyes automatically reference for depth in addition to the blinding headlight.

My biggest recommendation for motorcycle accessory lighting is definitely OPT-7 products. They have one of the most specialized motorcycle underglow kits you can find, in their AURA Motorcycle Lighting Kit**. OPT-7 is known for their versatile products, the make specialized kits for not only motorcycles, but cars, trucks, golf carts, and boats as well.

Custom Hayabusa

Animals:

This is a big one, as we all know, animals are completely unpredictable at night. The reason is that animals’ eyes are far more responsive to light than ours, so when they look up into headlights at night, it’s a lot like if you were to put on night-vision goggles and look into a light bulb.

They get extremely disoriented and they just…panic.

Next thing you know, bam! You’re trying to figure out why you’re laying on the ground and wondering where your bike is. If I know anything about drivers, it’s that NONE of us want to crash because of an animal in the middle of the night. Here is a list of animal avoidance safety tips to consider.

Another thing you can do as a motorcycle enthusiast, is to install an animal avoidance alert whistle* on your bike. This isn’t a guarantee that you won’t still have confused animals running in front of you, but it seriously reduces the likelihood. These whistles produce a high-pitched sound just outside of our primary human audible frequency, which gets picked up by animals’ ears and scares them off before you ever get to them.

Before these devices, bikers just had to rely on making their bikes flat-out LOUDER, which in turn scares not only the animals, but also old people, children, and people with sensory issues.

Not me though, I LOVE the rolling thunder. 🙂

Be A Better Biker!Better Biker

As ridiculous as it seems, there is a bit of a stigma that has been attached to motorcyclists. Because of all the illegitimate happenings inside some of the less reputable motor clubs, for the past few decades much of the general populace has pointed to bikers as rogues, rebels, criminals, and irresponsible individuals in general.

Now, this is a new generation, and MILLIONS of motorcyclists are giving the motor passion a new look. A lot of well respected people are enthusiasts now, and even the motor clubs are doing their best to clean up their names. This is a strong step in the right direction, but it’s up to ALL riders to help maintain this perception.

If we all had the same respect for other drivers, then maybe there would be a lot less road rage incidents, and a lot less negative connotation attached to motorcyclists. This starts with you, if you treat every other driver with respect, give them their space, and do your best NOT to frighten them, then you’ll be doing yourself a favor. That’s one less person that will want to pull out quick when they see a bike coming.

One quick note to sport bike owners… keep BOTH wheels on the pavement when driving in traffic. Just sayin’.

Biker Fashion

So, this is a touchy one. I already know how much “cool” plays a part in the way bikers choose their road gear, so the idea of putting on a ridiculous orange safety vest is just not in the cards for many riders. So how do you get the added visibility without looking like a rookie?

There are a lot of companies out there that make stylish motorcycle gear that incorporates reflective surfaces, even some that add LED’s and fiber optic lights to their gear. Some of these various accessories include:LED Motorcycle Jacket

  • LED Helmets
  • Reflective Leather Jackets
  • LED Jackets
  • LED Motorcycle Chaps
  • Reflective Vests
  • LED Harnesses

Before writing these things off as ridiculous, do a quick Google search on them, you may be surprised at just how cool some of this stuff is. Granted, there are a lot of companies that go overboard with it, but there are plenty of simple, stylish designs out there that will add visibility to you at night.

Be Cool AND Protect Yourself!

Hopefully I’ve given you a little to think about as far as being safe on your bike, or if nothing else, given you a couple of style ideas to add to your look.

It all basically comes down to what you’re willing to do to protect yourself and the other drivers around you. Underglow kits, projector headlights, and LED clothing are all great ways to let the rest of the drivers know you’re there, but I know this stuff isn’t for everyone.

If you want to stick to the old school look, just please, continue practicing motorcycle safety. The last thing we need is MORE biker deaths on the roadways.

If you enjoyed this article, give me a little shout-out below, and feel free to follow SickLites on our new Instagram page here: https://instagram.com/sicklites.

Bobby

Founder of SickLites.com

*As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a commission at no cost to you from purchases made from Amazon links on my site.

**As an OPT-7 affiliate, I earn a commission at no cost to you from purchases made from OPT-7 links on my site.

 

10 thoughts on “LED Lights For Motorcycles – Avoid Deadly Drivers!

  • Barbara

    I like your post and love the fact that you are addressing the safety issues. I love bikes and I use to drive them like a nut when I was younger. I just love the speed. now I have more sense in my head and they scare me. But after reading your post and thinking about all the things that can be implemented to make them safe I might actually try to drive a bike again!

    • Bobby

      You totally should Barbara! Bikes are great, you already know how free you feel when you ride the open road. With all the cool lighting and stuff they have now to increase biker safety, I feel a lot more comfortable advising people to jump onto two wheels and letting go a little bit. Anything that lets you feel your freedom is a plus in my book.

      I’m a speed guy too, but like you, I’ve gained a little life experience. Now I only throttle down hard when I’m on long straight roads with no traffic. (or the occasional dirt road… love the slide!). 

      Thank you for checking out SickLites, I hope to see ya back in the future! I wish you success, and I hope you have a great day!

      Bobby

  • Nate MC

    I think LED clothing and lighting are a great idea for all bikers. Far too many tragic accidents happen because drivers of motor vehicles don’t pay too much attention to the roads; At least with LED lights, clothing and even an underglow kit, it increases the chances of bikers being seen.

    • Bobby

      You’re right on point Nate, considering just how many people die on bikes every DAY because of not being seen, why in the world would ANY rider not want to light it up a little? I agree completely, safe is definitely better than sorry when it comes to motorcycles.

      Thanks for checking me out man, swing through anytime! Have a great day!

      Bobby

  • Jon

    These are some great tips that are being offered for motorcyclists. I don’t care what anybody says though you need a helmet as my uncle got paralyzed/retarded for life by not wearing a helmet and riding (he was drunk but he could have at least made it out in tact.) Also a friend of my dad’s who has rode a bike for his whole life and never got into a crash has said he rides like no one sees him because honestly it is hard to see a motorcycle. That means slowing down and getting out of the way of cars like they could make contact with you anytime.

    • Bobby

      You’re absolutely right Jon, my mom’s biker friends say the same thing, ride like nobody sees you, because they DON’T. That’s exactly the point I want to make with the whole “Be A Better Biker” section of the article, ultimately, it’s up to the rider to be responsible and aware.

      And yes, helmets are a must. In the event of a lay-down, pavement and skulls don’t mix very well. I’m sorry to hear about your uncle, that’s a tragedy for sure. Just goes to show the actual necessity of helmets, even if the law says you aren’t required to wear them. Protect yourself, because nobody else is going to do it for you.

      Thanks a lot for checking out my site Jon, feel free to come back anytime! I wish you great success, an have a wonderful week!

      Bobby

  • Rus

    Very interesting article, lots and lots of information in there!. As a biker myself I’m all too aware of the age old problem of visibility, and think that anything that can make you more visible, especially at night can only be a bonus!. These lights certainly look cool! And being LED’s, they’re not going to kill your battery either!!

    • Bobby

      Hey , thanks Rus! I agree completely, my mom and my aunt ride and as cool as I think it is, it still makes me nervous. Not because they aren’t good at riding, but because I know how many drivers out there just don’t see bikes.

      Ironically enough, I just had a battery thing happen on my truck the other day. I accidentally left my LED scanner light on overnight, and it didn’t kill my battery at all. So the next day I was helping a buddy out building a fence, and I turned my radio on for a couple of hours… Bad move. Turned the key and…. click. lol I thought the radio wouldn’t wipe my battery out THAT fast, but it did. Not that it’s relevant, I just thought about that when you mentioned that LED’s won’t kill your battery.

      Feel free to stop in anytime, if you need any help with anything, I’m here for ya!

      Great success to you, and have an excellent day!

      Bobby

  • Paul

    Dear Bobby,

    Thanks a lot for the informative and helpful article.

    Indeed, riding bike in the night time is really risky and I avoid riding bike in the night. You not only addressed the problem but the best thing is you have provided with the solution as well. The preventive measure you provided is super helpful and I got helpful insights from it. Prevention is better than cure!

    Brighter headlights and underglow colored lighting is the way to go thanks a lot for the great advice.

    Many of my friends and relatives met with an accident because of animals, recently my church pastor met with an accident too and thanks for the list of animal avoidance safety tips. I read that article too you have provided great advice I totally agree with you that it’s far better to brake in a straight line when the animal appear suddenly.

    Your article certainly made me think more on the subject. Great information, you have really given a lot of value here.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    • Bobby

      Thank you very much Paul, I always appreciate finding out that people found my articles useful. This subject in particular rings very true to me, as my mother and stepfather ride a Harley, and are constantly telling me another friend of theirs has met a tragic fate at the hands of a night driver or a deer in the road. I worry constantly that they ride at night, and have been pushing for them to light up their bike to help avoid their own tragedy.

      I’m glad you found my article informative, feel free to come back any time and check out the latest at SickLites! I wish you great success, and I hope you have a great day!

      Bobby

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