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On the way back from "Friday the 13" at Port Dover, Ontario, I got pulled over for having my headlight modulator on. The officer said that from a distance he thought that my motorcycle was an emergency vehicle. I was polite to the officer who stated that he believed it was illegal. After a rather friendly dialogue he asked for my license, ownership and insurance documents. A long story short: because he was not certain, he did not issue a ticket.

I am aware of the Transport Canada document regarding headlight modulation:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/mvstm_tsd/tsd/1080rev3_e.htm

According to the Highway Traffic Act, it does not specifically talk about modulators as stated by an officer at the regional branch in my town. He said that lighting has to be a continuous white light, discernable at 150 meters. He also mentioned that if I get pulled over, I'd have to confront the issue, build my case and prove that my modulator is within limits - kind of like guilty until proven innocent. This is a hassel, although I truely believe that the modulator does what it is supposed to do.

In talking to a Kisan representative, he told me that their modulators operate within the standard limit at 50 - 70% for each cycle (240 oscillations per minute). He also mentioned that the Honda Club of Canada fought to make headlight modulators legal.

Does anyone know of a legal document, other than Transport Canada, that refers to headlight modulation that I can carry with me and refer to if necessary?

I would really hope that this does not happen to often, especially on the way to work in the morning.

Thanks
 

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According to the Motor vehicle act Regulations (BC regulations)
Section 4.05 (8) A motorcycle may be equipped with modulating headlamps if the headlamps comply with section 5.6 of the Technical Standards Document No. 108, Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Canada)."

the Motorvehicle safety regulations are the Transport Canada documents you where talking about.

So from the sounds of it... you have to find Ontario's version of the Motor vehicle act. And then go into the headlamp section.. and there should be a revision, or a actual entry (depending on how old the revision is.)

I tried to find something in the highway act and regs... but don't have time right now... hope this helps out a bit
 

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mmartin1872 said:
According to the Motor vehicle act Regulations (BC regulations)
Section 4.05 (8) A motorcycle may be equipped with modulating headlamps if the headlamps comply with section 5.6 of the Technical Standards Document No. 108, Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Canada)."

the Motorvehicle safety regulations are the Transport Canada documents you where talking about.

So from the sounds of it... you have to find Ontario's version of the Motor vehicle act. And then go into the headlamp section.. and there should be a revision, or a actual entry (depending on how old the revision is.)

I tried to find something in the highway act and regs... but don't have time right now... hope this helps out a bit
Hey mmartin 1872 that is a heck of a first post. Thanks for the information and welcome to the forum.
 

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I have often wondered about this. While I myself have passed numerous troopers and deputies in FL and never been stopped, I have wondered what would my defense be if pulled over by an overzealous cop. I keep thinking the day is coming one will try and nail me on it.

It isnt a topic you read much about because of the very low number of riders who utilize the modulator. Myself, I think it is one of the very best and effective safety devices a biker can add to his bike. They really gain the attention of cagers who are sitting at lights or intersections waiting to make a turn.

I wouldn't be without one myself and if ever ticketed for it I WILL fight it in court, ( once I find all the legal documents to bolster my defense.....LOL ).

Thanks for posting this topic.

Chris
 

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I would think if you carried a copy of Transport Canada regs regarding the modulator you should be alright!

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 intensity, provided that:

(a) The rate of modulation shall be 240 ± 40 cycles per minute


Find out what your rate of modulation and if you are in compliance, I wouldn't worry about it!

The modulator did what it is suppose to do...MAKE YOU BE NOTICED!
 

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I have heard nothing but good things about these devices from people
who use them. I do not use one because when I have seen other riders
with them, I have trouble judging the distance between us if they are on-
coming.

Instead, when I think that I may not be seen or in high density situations,
I just turn on my high beams (they are usually 'on') anyway.

peace
 

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bikervas said:
On the way back from "Friday the 13" at Port Dover, Ontario, I got pulled over for having my headlight modulator on. The officer said that from a distance he thought that my motorcycle was an emergency vehicle. I was polite to the officer who stated that he believed it was illegal. After a rather friendly dialogue he asked for my license, ownership and insurance documents. A long story short: because he was not certain, he did not issue a ticket.

I am aware of the Transport Canada document regarding headlight modulation:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/mvstm_tsd/tsd/1080rev3_e.htm

According to the Highway Traffic Act, it does not specifically talk about modulators as stated by an officer at the regional branch in my town. He said that lighting has to be a continuous white light, discernable at 150 meters. He also mentioned that if I get pulled over, I'd have to confront the issue, build my case and prove that my modulator is within limits - kind of like guilty until proven innocent. This is a hassel, although I truely believe that the modulator does what it is supposed to do.

In talking to a Kisan representative, he told me that their modulators operate within the standard limit at 50 - 70% for each cycle (240 oscillations per minute). He also mentioned that the Honda Club of Canada fought to make headlight modulators legal.

Does anyone know of a legal document, other than Transport Canada, that refers to headlight modulation that I can carry with me and refer to if necessary?

I would really hope that this does not happen to often, especially on the way to work in the morning.

Thanks
I have one on my ACE and I carry a copy of the Transport Canada Regulation pertaining to the modulators. My understanding is that Federal Acts and Regulations overide Provincial Acts and Regulations. Therefore it is a Federal Law that regulates the Headlamps and Modulators...not a Provincial one. If you do get a ticket ( in Canada) go to court and fight it, or at least photocopy and carry a copy the specific regulation with you to show the police if you get stopped I have mine folded up with my ownership etc.

I use mine primarily in the city or where there is a larger volume of traffic. Otherwise I ride with my highbeam on. I also have a brake light flasher on the rear of my bike.

Never been stopped and questioned about either yet. As a matter of fact, I questioned an OPP officer about them at the bike show in Toronto last year...and he had them on his own personal bikes.

I have no idea what the laws are in the USA on these???


...Rick
 

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It looks like the Transport Canada document allows modulation. The spec sheet that comes with the modulator should describe the function, and you can compare it with the statute be sure your modulator complies.

I keep a copy of the spec sheet with my registration and insurance card. I also keep the Federal (US) DOT statute regarding modulation in there. We've been stopped once, and showed both to the trooper. He blew them off, but didn't write a ticket.

In CA, are you innocent until proven guilty, or guilty until proven innocent? If the former, I wouldn't worry about it. Let them write the ticket, take it to court, and make the province PROVE you broke the law, using only the officer's visual acuity as evidence. Can he count that high / fast? Hmmmmmm If the latter is the case, you have the evidence (spec sheet and statute) to defend yourself.

CB
 

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The law in the US is universal since it is included in the Federal Highway laws (FMVSS 108 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) (49 CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4) and specifically says that individual states may not pass laws to the contrary.

Here's a location for the applicable Canadian laws:

http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-Safety/Modulator-regs-canada.htm
 

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I just got one from BikerBuddy.net. least expensive and you get a discount when you combine it with a Gonzo harness, or if you use the "contact section" and list you HSN credentials.

I have tested al of them and most are go devices, however, they are also simple devices thus there is no reason why some one should pay up to $160 for one. They are easy to install, about five minutes, and the P1 is available with an on and off switch if you order it that way so when you get into parts of the world that you may not be sure of the laws, you can take the safe route.


Cheers
 

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Would you like documentation in Microsof Word format?

I made a copy of the documentation at the front of the modulator book. I've created it in Microsoft Word to look and read just as it is in the book. This way I can print out as many copies as I need and carry some on me as well. If you would like a copy of the Word document, let me know and I will email it to you. This is some of the imformation stated:

HEAD LIGHT MODULATORS ARE LEGAL
- in all of United States & Canada.
Below is a partial reprint of the Federal Standard 108, which makes
modulators legal. No state can usurp Federal Authority, and therefore
local Law Enforcement cannot issue citations for the use of modulators
in there jurisdiction and expect to prevail in any Court of Law.

Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
49 CFR Parts 571
[Docket No. 97-57; Notice 1] Executive Order 12866

Motorcycle Headlamp Modulation System

s7.9.1 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to either the upper or the lower
beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity 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% of the
maximum intensity measured at the same point.
(d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power feed of the beam filament
being modulated and not in the ground-side of the circuit.
(e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper beam
remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
(f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with an the axis of its sensing
element perpendicular to the horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation shall cease
whenever the level of light….less than 270 lux.
USA/Canada
 

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Federal Motor Vehicle Standards,
CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4

Federal Motor Vehicle Standards, CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4
S7.9.4 Motorcycle headlamp modulation system.
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 intensity, 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.
(d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power lead of the beam filament being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.
(e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper beam remain operable in the event of a modulator failure.
(f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its sensing element perpendicular to a horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation shall cease whenever the level of light emitted by a tungsten filament light operating at 3000 deg. Kelvin is either less than 270 lux (25 foot-candles) of direct light for upward pointing sensors or less than 60 lux (5.6 foot-candles) of reflected light for downward pointing sensors. The light is measured by a silicon cell type light meter that is located at the sensor and pointing in the same direction as the sensor. A Kodak Gray Card (Kodak R-27) is placed at ground level to simulate the road surface in testing downward pointing sensors.
(g) When tested in accordance with the test profile shown in Figure 9, the voltage drop across the modulator when the lamp is on at all test conditions for 12 volt systems and 6 volt systems shall not be greater than .45 volt. The modulator shall meet all the provisions of the standard after completion of the test profile shown in Figure 9.
(h) Means shall be provided so that both the lower and upper beam function at design voltage when the headlamp control switch is in either the lower or upper beam position when the modulator is off.
S7.9.4.2(a) Each motorcycle headlamp modulator not intended as original equipment, or its container, shall be labeled with the maximum wattage, and the minimum wattage appropriate for its use. Additionally, each such modulator shall comply with S7.9.4.1 (a) through (g) when connected to a headlamp of the maximum rated power and a headlamp of the minimum rated power, and shall provide means so that the modulated beam functions at design voltage when the modulator is off.
(b) Instructions, with a diagram, shall be provided for mounting the light sensor including location on the motorcycle, distance above the road surface, and and orientation with respect to the light.

Yes, we in the states are legal.


California, specifically:

Headlight modulators

25251.2. Any motorcycle may be equipped with a means of modulating the upper beam of the headlamp between a high and a lower brightness at a rate of 200 to 280 flashes per minute. Such headlamps shall not be so modulated during darkness.
 

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I found the actual ohio revised code law and had it printed on 1 sheet of paper and carry it in my jacket whenever i ride so if i get pulled over I can pull out the actual law and tell the officer to go on his merry way :D
 
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