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Risk Hierarchy: Information - Rider Ed - Driver Ed - Conspicuity - Bike Defect - Ultra-Defensive Riding - Crash Avoidance - Injury Mitigation - Crash Scene

eye    Other Gear for Motorcycle Conspicuity

Although we spent a lot of time on the what you can do to make your front lights more conspicuous, because this is the direction of many crashes, we have seen bikers make many other conspicuity improvements. We note that ten percent of crashes are from the rear, often while the bike is stopped in traffic or at a signal. Many of these accidents are lethal so additional lighting and conspicuity at the rear might help here.Beemer milspec

Additional brake lights

We're pretty certain that adding brake lights is helpful. They should be mounted as high as possible. We favor LED technologies for this, because the current draw is so low that the other bike lights are not affected. Installation is a simple matter of finding the wires (consult the shop manual or owners forum). Use a wire-tap device or cut and solder the harness if your skill level is up to this. Or have a professional motorcycle technician do it for you.

Additional tail lights

If your motorcycle is not bright at the back, or if you have added accessories like bags or you sometimes haul luggage, consider adding additional brake and tail lights, and turn signals. You can often upgrade the bulbs to LED. A lot of LEDs blink very fast in turn signals. If you don't like that, you can buy a new flasher or add some resistance or corrective electronics available in any bike gadget store.

You can buy flashing LED tail lights and license frame lights, they are cool but not legal in some states, check your local and state regulations.

Other Visibility Aids

If you browse the police catalogs, you can find all sorts of auto-reflective decals and tape, including a series with color-match to several popular paint colors. I can't think of any flat vertical surface on a bike that couldn't improved by a little autoreflection.

The area of rider wear is also of interest. Autreflective decals or tape on the helmet helps, especially in night riding. Crash statistics seem to suggest that more accidents happen at night. Maybe keep a hi-vis ANSI jacket on the bike in case you are out at nightfall. Even better, wear it all the time, as is required on US military bases.

Riding wear with autoreflective tabs or piping, and high-visibility colors was found to be a major benefit in avoiding accidents in Maids.

We plan some video demonstrations of high-vis bike clothing in the near future.

Air Horn

Stock bike horns can be a bit wimpy. An air horn can help us get noticed in an emergency. When installing a new horn, check if there is already a relay and if not, install one.