I'm an Electrical Engineer and have designed a circuit to override the auto-cancel. I'm with you, I've had too many close calls due to the signal shutting off well before it was designed to. Mine shuts off after 5 flashes often enough to cause serious concern.... I plan to do the modification this spring. If you're interested, I'll let you know how it goes and give you instructions when I'm done. Let me know.
True, I've always removed blinkers on my past bikes to clean up the looks, and relied on hand signals , and turning my head to look.If you're depending on your blinking light to allow you to turn into oncoming traffic you'll get killed sooner or later anyway, so it doesn't really matter.