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Discussion Starter #1
Wondering if anyone is running an aftermarket HID low beam and a modulator that runs on the high beam. Is it worth putting the HID in the low side for daytime? Do you think anyone is going to see the modulated hi beam anyways with an HID low? I know from a previous bike the HID at night is far superior to the standard halogen.
 

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I have the HID for both low and high but thus far haven't used the highs since I haven't been out after dark. Mommy won't let me. ;-)
 

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I am a fan of the modulator used 'em for decades. I have a handlebar mounted switch for it and use it as my "light horn" on the low beam as that is what I ride with. High beam is seldom used - only at night for added visibility. I have an HID in the high beam position and an LED in the low. An LED can abide a modulator, but an HID can not.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yea modulator on HID is a no go. My last bike I had an HID bi-xenon. One bulb was both and a little motor tilted the bulb for hi beam sort of. But I figured with the XCT I could run the HID in the low beam have plenty of light and probably never use the high beam at night. LOL I got it and its free so guess I can try and not worry about being out the $$.
 

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I ran a modulator on a bike, almost 20 years ago. As RicZ says, very noticeable. In my case, I decided that I didn't really want to draw that much attention to myself, as I often ride a bit over the speed limit, but it was a trade-off.

In any event, I think I'm missing something regarding your question. If you modulate the (halogen) high beam, won't the (HID) low beam be off at the time? I almost never ride at night, but doesn't the low beam go off when you switch on the high beam on these bikes?
 

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Bill P.---Like your's, the low beam stays on when the headlight is switched to high beam.
 

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Bill P.---Like your's, the low beam stays on when the headlight is switched to high beam.
Ah, thanks -- never really noticed (as I say, not being a night rider).

Then @djh3 has an interesting point: having the HID going 100%, with the halogen modulating, would probably take away some or much of the effect of the modulation. I've never seen (or read about, or heard of) a multi-headlight-on/modulation setup like that. @djh3, if you want to get complicated, you could set up a double-relay configuration, such that turning on the high beam turned off the low beam; this would require a bunch of work and splicing, etc., and may not be worth it.

Another option would be to replace the HID low beam -- although it's a really nice feature that they put on the '12 XCTs -- with a halogen, and modulate that.
 

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I'm very pleased with my arrangement - LED low and HID high with a switchable modulator on the low. The HID is not significantly brighter than the LED. The only drawback is, since it takes a few seconds for the HID high to warm, using it as a flash-to-pass is out of the question. However, switching on the modulator gets better results and comes off less hostile to other drivers.
 

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I'm very pleased with my arrangement - LED low and HID high with a switchable modulator on the low. The HID is not significantly brighter than the LED. The only drawback is, since it takes a few seconds for the HID high to warm, using it as a flash-to-pass is out of the question. However, switching on the modulator gets better results and comes off less hostile to other drivers.
Interesting setup, Ric.

When folks purchase an LED headlight, do they have to be concerned about whether it's dimmable? I know that when I buy LED bulbs for the house, some say that they can be used on dimmer circuits, and some say they can't.

And modulators for bikes have to dim and then brighten the "bulb" in the circuit, right? I mean, it's my understanding that a bike modulator is not allowed to just switch it on and off, per the federal regs on this stuff. Correct?

Put another way, I had never heard of LEDs being used in a modulator setup ... but I hope I learn at least one new thing each day.
 

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To clarify.........Normally a modulator pulses the light; that is, it goes from 100% to 30% and back to 100% and repeat. With the same modulator (there are LED specific ones) the LED bulb flashes on and off. I was worried that might damage something and phoned around to modulator & LED mfrs & suppliers and the consensus is, since its not doing that all the time, only when I switch it on for short periods, no harm is done.
I rather like the flashing as it is much more dramatic and attention grabbing. Woo Hoo!
 

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To clarify.........Normally a modulator pulses the light; that is, it goes from 100% to 30% and back to 100% and repeat. With the same modulator (there are LED specific ones) the LED bulb flashes on and off. I was worried that might damage something and phoned around to modulator & LED mfrs & suppliers and the consensus is, since its not doing that all the time, only when I switch it on for short periods, no harm is done.
I rather like the flashing as it is much more dramatic and attention grabbing. Woo Hoo!
I suppose dramatic and attention grabbing is good. That's the whole point of modulators.

However, I'd worry about having something illegal. Here is part of the rules:

S7.9.4.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either the upper beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser inten- sity, provided that:
(a) The rate of modulation shall be 240 ±40 cycles per minute.
(b) The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70 percent of each cycle.
(c) The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17 percent of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.


This is from the fed's official printing site: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title49-vol6/pdf/CFR-2011-title49-vol6-sec571-108.pdf (bottom of page 384 in that document).

So, if I understand you correctly, a modulated LED light would be going down to 0 percent, i.e., "less than 17 percent." And going down to 0 is not really what the gov't calls "modulation," but instead more like, yep, on and off.

I was stopped a few times, back in the day, when I used to have a modulator. I carried a copy of the regs in a saddlebag, but even so once I got, from a state trooper, "turn it off, or tell it to the judge" (and, like you, I did have an extra on/off switch, besides the photo-cell to prevent night-time modulation, and besides the mere capability of switching from low beam to high beam, or vice-versa, depending on which beam you modulate).

I guess my point here is that having LEDs go on and off seems to me to violate the regs -- unless there are newer regs available somewhere -- and I wouldn't want that. Yeah, I know, I violate regs all the time by speeding, but I try to keep that to a moderate level. And some LEOs really want to bust your chops if you have a modulator in the first place.
 

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Ever since the 70s, I had installed a Priority Light unit on my bikes. It converts rear turn signals to running / brake / turn lights. They are amber too, which is illegal. In all those years, I got stopped for that only once and told the cop if he cited me, I'd chalk it up to a life insurance premium, but I would never remove the Priority light unit. He didn't write me up - not even a warning. He understood. And that's how I will handle it if I get pulled over for a flashing headlight. Remember, mine is not on full time, just when the situation looks risky.
Regs are written by regulators whose job is to write regulations and they do it so well too. The catch is, will the regs be enforced? In many instances; no.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am not changing to an LED so that is not part of the equation. I think the LED's on a modulator are a special modulator and bulb possibly. I'm sure if say custom dynamics makes a led specific modulator it would take the beam within specs. Mine has the "eye" to shut it off at dark, but I can flip the brite on and off I think it is and hi beam stays on.
Just wired up an earphone jack on my SENA. So maybe I'll try the headlight later this week and see what I think.
 
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