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Driving through a small local city today and was pulled over by Police cruiser. After he ran my plate, he came up to my cycle and I asked what I did wrong? He was very polite and stated he needed to inspect my bike for safety because my headlight was flickering. Wondered to myself if my CCW came up on my motorcycle plate like it does on my truck plate but wasn't about to ask him. I informed him that bike has a headlight modulator and that the headlight modulator was doing what it is supposed to do for my safety and explained how they work. He said that he has been riding for 2 years and never saw a headlight modulator and stated "But I Ride a Harley". Showed him a copy of the Federal law stating that headlight modulators are legal in all 50 states and told him that you can install them on any make of bike. He asked if he could take a picture of the Federal Law copy, thanked me and sent me on my way. I have to agree with him about not seeing modulators in this area which make mine even more noticeable to the on coming traffic and that person who is about to pull out in front of you from a side street. Have only seen a couple other modulators in my travels but they were in the Youngstown area.
 

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I never knew about the modulator until I joined this forum. I have seen a few around here, and wondered why the driver was flashing his light. Works though, got my attention, mind you I am always looking at bikes when driving my cage, can't help it.
 

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the lesson here...

Modulator on passing lights, steady stream on the headlight.
Because "Officer I have a permit to carry that" has failed before.

Glad he accepted the paperwork and let you go though.
 

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the lesson here...

Modulator on passing lights, steady stream on the headlight.
Because "Officer I have a permit to carry that" has failed before.

Glad he accepted the paperwork and let you go though.
I would have to re-read the law, but from what I remember, you can't have a modulator on passing lamps.

Used to have one on my Aero.. They really do work, and I too carried a copy of the law, just in case... I have been tailed by the police a few times - more so then, when I had a modulator, than I do now, not having a headlight modulator..

Those police might have thought it strange themselves, at the time, and put in a call in to query the law on these things..

Just remember.. Using one, you will draw attention to yourself.

Also to note.. In certain States you have a duty to inform the police officer on first contact, if you are stopped while CC.. Arizona for one.
 

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I love using my modulator up here, people get out of the way because they think you're a cop, or they say "there's something wrong with your light, or my favourite " hey your Harleys broken." If I have time I explain that it's to keep the next idiot from hitting me, if not I give them a big smile, a thumbs up and a thanks, so they wonder if I heard them.

Dingo.
 

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Driving through a small local city today and was pulled over by Police cruiser. After he ran my plate...
Went through nearly the exact same thing in downtown Gettysburg back in June. Differences:
o First time I was pulled over for a modulator. Been using it for 12+ years.
o Cop was not a rider.
o Found he'd left his cell phone in his locker so couldn't take a picture.
o Readily accepted when I offered to snap a photo and e-mail it to him.
o Said he plans to distribute or post a copy of the federal statute (after verifying it, of course) through the department so everyone knows.

All in all, it was irritating to be stopped but the officer's polite courtesy turned it around -- made me glad to have the opportunity to spread some knowledge. Not quite to the point that I didn't mind losing time. But almost.

the lesson here...

Modulator on passing lights, steady stream on the headlight.
Because "Officer I have a permit to carry that" has failed before.
Nope. Nope.

Modulator goes on the headlight elst illegal. Typically installed to "flash" the high beam. The low beam is the "steady stream."

There is no permit for a headlight modulator as they are ALLOWED BY FEDERAL LAW. (Look it up?) Not that I'd make much of a fuss with an officer who decided to be an authoritative a__hole. I would politely offer to shut it down until I was out of his jurisdiction. Should he insist on giving me a ticket the sucker would definitely see me in court -- and I'd sue his department to recover my expenses. Because, you know, who could pass up the chance to educate?



FWIW, the laminated copy of the federal law that I carry in my saddlebag has a copy of the modulator's specs laminated on the back. I'd sure hate trying to prove the thing was "flashing" at 240 ±40 cycles per minute while standing at the side of the road.
 

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Went through nearly the exact same thing in downtown Gettysburg back in June. Differences:
o First time I was pulled over for a modulator. Been using it for 12+ years.
o Cop was not a rider.
o Found he'd left his cell phone in his locker so couldn't take a picture.
o Readily accepted when I offered to snap a photo and e-mail it to him.
o Said he plans to distribute or post a copy of the federal statute (after verifying it, of course) through the department so everyone knows.

All in all, it was irritating to be stopped but the officer's polite courtesy turned it around -- made me glad to have the opportunity to spread some knowledge. Not quite to the point that I didn't mind losing time. But almost.



Nope. Nope.

Modulator goes on the headlight elst illegal. Typically installed to "flash" the high beam. The low beam is the "steady stream."

There is no permit for a headlight modulator as they are ALLOWED BY FEDERAL LAW. (Look it up?) Not that I'd make much of a fuss with an officer who decided to be an authoritative a__hole. I would politely offer to shut it down until I was out of his jurisdiction. Should he insist on giving me a ticket the sucker would definitely see me in court -- and I'd sue his department to recover my expenses. Because, you know, who could pass up the chance to educate?



FWIW, the laminated copy of the federal law that I carry in my saddlebag has a copy of the modulator's specs laminated on the back. I'd sure hate trying to prove the thing was "flashing" at 240 ±40 cycles per minute while standing at the side of the road.
The 'permit' was in reference to @nraluke 's CCW.
Frankly I know nothing about the modulator, I do know about illegal search, and police reaction/over-reaction.

Side note: You may have no flashing lights on a motor-vehicle in the state of new jersey without an occupational or traffic safety regulation permit, a quick glance at the federal statute for the modulator says that it does supersede any relevant/applicable state law, but that might not stop the officer from writing the ticket, or performing a search/inspection of me or the bike, so while I might ultimately win in court, I neither recover the court costs, nor the time/energy.

I have no issue with the modulator, in fact it seems like a great idea (i've said it before Moar light, Moar light, Moar LIGHT!) and like I said @nraluke and all others with it, I'm glad it wen't so well for you. But gentleman, your lives will be easier if you switch em off in jersey, or just stay out of the awful state all-together, I'll meet you in DE we'll ride there lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Don't ride anywhere near New Jersey. To far away and to much back up on the bridges. LOL PS= modulator doesn't flash off and on, it stays on but raises and lowers bulb brightness very quickly, pulsates.
 

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I have seen people look at my modulated light ,at least they see me.When you come into Va. on the interstate there is a sign that says seat belts required and radar detectors illegal but no mention of the helmet law.There should be a all state uniform set of laws.In Va. when they call your plate in the dispatcher will tell them if you have a CCW permit.
 

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Like having a modulator when I want it not all the time. A idea still in the deciding stage.
 

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Like having a modulator when I want it not all the time. A idea still in the deciding stage.
The modulator I had, would turn off automatically dusk till dawn (by law they have to), also you could turn it off manually by flipping the high and low beam switch within a second.

One Cool thing it did.. If you had modulation turned off.. When you hit the horn, your headlight would flash for a few seconds automatically.

If you hit the horn with modulation already running, then the headlight would flash faster for a short time.

Unfortunately, modulators don't work with ballasts, which is why I don't have them on my scoots; as one uses LED and the other HID headlight bulbs..
 

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I thought I saw a couple bikes with modulators on them but after hearing your discriptions these were different. They were both on adventure bikes, not that that makes a difference but I could see the light before I could see the bike in the day time. They were both a blue color light and very pinpoint like a good LED flashlight focused to a small dot and they were off to the right side of the headlight but went by too fast to see exactly what it was but sure looked like an extra light mounted somewhere near the headlight. From what you all are saying that's illeagal? Sure got my attention but wow it was bright.
 

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Am I missing something here... headlight modulators have been around for decades. I'm thinking the late '70's or early '80's is when I first read about them. Seems I remember people back then worrying about them possibly triggering epileptic seizures in some suffering from epilepsy?

My point is, the cops "never heard of them"? Huh...?

BTW, here in Indiana if/when on officer runs your plate, if you have a LTCH it is shown on his computer screen. He/she already knows before they approach your vehicle.
 

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Am I missing something here... headlight modulators have been around for decades... .. ...My point is, the cops "never heard of them"? Huh...?
Mmmmmm.. You would think now, wouldn't you?

Since the first smart alec took the stand and said.. "But. Your Honor.. I didn't know robbing banks was illegal! ..They now say that "Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.." ... Unless. :roll:
 

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I have seen people look at my modulated light ,at least they see me.When you come into Va. on the interstate there is a sign that says seat belts required and radar detectors illegal but no mention of the helmet law.There should be a all state uniform set of laws.In Va. when they call your plate in the dispatcher will tell them if you have a CCW permit.
I thought VA legalized Radar Det.?
My understanding was that DC was the last hold out east of the Mississippi?
 

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Sounds like a good cop doing his job and not trying to bust anyones chops
Yup, sure does.

But gentleman, your lives will be easier if you switch em off in jersey, or just stay out of the awful state all-together, I'll meet you in DE we'll ride there lol.
I've ridden in Jersey more times than I can count. NEVER an issue with the modulator. Seen many, many Jersey cops, too.

Never thought Jersey was such an awful state, either. Last I knew, 80% of it was wooded -- and -- 90% of the people lived in 10% of the land area. Those two factors weigh heavily in my choice of roads. Makes a difference? Biggest gripe I have with the state is those stupid filler covers on the fuel pump nozzles. That alone makes it worth paying extra to fuel up in New York or Pennsylvania. (The idiot standing at the pump watching me only irritates when he has to be the one to run my credit card through the reader.)

Now Delaware... I've heard you better NOT have a modulator running when you take your bike in for the mandatory state inspection.
 

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Yup, sure does.



I've ridden in Jersey more times than I can count. NEVER an issue with the modulator. Seen many, many Jersey cops, too.

Never thought Jersey was such an awful state, either. Last I knew, 80% of it was wooded -- and -- 90% of the people lived in 10% of the land area. Those two factors weigh heavily in my choice of roads. Makes a difference? Biggest gripe I have with the state is those stupid filler covers on the fuel pump nozzles. That alone makes it worth paying extra to fuel up in New York or Pennsylvania. (The idiot standing at the pump watching me only irritates when he has to be the one to run my credit card through the reader.)

Now Delaware... I've heard you better NOT have a modulator running when you take your bike in for the mandatory state inspection.
I'd say probably 70-30 wooded, and that's where I am, in the heart of the woods, and soy fields.
But we've got a LOT of testosterone fueled 25-30 year old cops, who want to play big man, and trained in the high crime areas. So when they get down here they get bored and touchy. Your city guys are usually no trouble unless your in a shore town, but sheriff's and troopers, don't forget to lick their boots!

Mind you I have no qualm with law enforcement in general, I'm a gub'ment employee already, and a Criminal Justice major lol.

As for DE inspection, I wouldn't know about that, we dropped inspection for bikes, and last month for cars older than '95. Besides we won't be subject to DE inspection anyway, but they do have some great roads!
@vito you mentioned a DE rider, we need expertise here man, modulators in DE, yay or nay?
 

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I am in Canada and get a lot of "looks" over mine. Been stopped by civilians many time saying I have a problem with my battery because my light is flashing. All the bikers I pass I get a second look, and cagers at stop lights and such are always looking at it.

I guess it does its job real well. With my orange Icon mesh jacket, I really feel I have upped my visibility at least twice fold and that's gotta be a good thing!

On another note; since I put on the fairing, my riding has increased twice fold. I have military injuries, and I find the lack of slight sideways movement by buffeting has extending my riding by 1 hour (have to stop) to two hours. Wow. Never riding without a fairing again. It's nice when you spend all that money and really get a lot of benefit.
 

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I am in Canada and get a lot of "looks" over mine. Been stopped by civilians many time saying I have a problem with my battery because my light is flashing. All the bikers I pass I get a second look, and cagers at stop lights and such are always looking at it.

I guess it does its job real well. With my orange Icon mesh jacket, I really feel I have upped my visibility at least twice fold and that's gotta be a good thing!

On another note; since I put on the fairing, my riding has increased twice fold. I have military injuries, and I find the lack of slight sideways movement by buffeting has extending my riding by 1 hour (have to stop) to two hours. Wow. Never riding without a fairing again. It's nice when you spend all that money and really get a lot of benefit.
Looks good too!
 
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