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  #1  
Old 4 Oct 2012
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Day time running lights Question.

On one of my bikes the headlight is not on all the time, can anyone tell me if a LED strip light of about 6-8inches(15-20mm) wired into the ignition so only the LED's are on is acceptable as 'lights-on' in Europe or does the light have to come from the 'headlight' to conform?
Many thanks
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  #2  
Old 4 Oct 2012
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The LED's don't count, it's the main headlamp that needs to be working.
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Old 7 Oct 2012
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For you own safety drive with the light on...

People have tendency to overlook you on your bike when you drive with out light on.
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Old 7 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2499 View Post
For you own safety drive with the light on...

People have tendency to overlook you on your bike when you drive with out light on.

I drive in Europe with light on but I wanted to know if instead of using my headlight I could use a LED strip light wired into my ignition so it would be on all the time, and use less battery power.
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Last edited by palace15; 13 Feb 2014 at 13:20.
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  #5  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by palace15 View Post
I drive in Europe with light on but I wanted to know if instead of using my headlight I could use a LED strip light wired into my ignition so it would be on all the time, and use less battery power.
I guess the plod would want a headlight source. You cant run a pilot light even if its in the headlamp.

And, the battery is continually topped up as you run and there is no loss of battery power. Headlights on keeps your rectifier a bit cooler too, I believe.
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  #6  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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If I am right in thinking you have an Enfield with permanent magnet rotor alternator, whatever electricity you generate and don't use has to be dissipated by the voltage regulator. Using more power to drive stuff actually is easier for the regulator.
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Old 8 Oct 2012
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For bikes with type approved lighting (not sure of the date, outside my area of imeadiate knowledge), ie those without a switch, whatever comes on with the ignition would have to work. Strictly speaking, if approved with filament lamps LED's probably do not meet the requirement.

Bikes before the lighting approval are covered by national legislation. Typically this will state something like "Dipped headlight on at all times" which will be further defined in national construction and use type regs as having a certain beam pattern. An LED inside the headlight shell might meet this but the strips won't. You could make a fair claim that the strips are a marker or sidelight, so if thats what the other countries law translates as you have half a case.

The Plod is never going to be able to test any of this. The likes of MIRA and the TUV's have tilt ramps and back lighting and screens and meters and lasers and goodness knows what else. The Plod will do it by eye. If they can see your light and it's white and looks like any other bike they'll assume it's close enough. If you dazzle or can't be seen or the pattern of lights may confuse an hungover 12 year old with a license to shoot people, they'll write you a ticket. There is the additional factor that ticketing foreign bikes in places without on the spot fines is often pointless, plus what's legal on a UK bike in the UK is legal for transit through any UN country even if local law enforcement disagrees. Law enforcement have the additional fall back that modified lights also equals no insurance and you were probably speeding and had bald tyres as well.

It's a can of worms. If the LED's will save your battery (check, on the Enfield it certainly used to be use it or loose it), I'd look for something that looks closer to standard bike lighting (spots with LED H3's?). If you don't wake the Plod up you avoid all the issues above.

Andy
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Old 8 Oct 2012
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You can also probably get away with using a 20w bulb in the pilot light as a day time running light. This was (and possibly still is) common with older BMWs. Worth considering if you want to use the spare power for something like heated grips so long as you make sure the alternator is wired to give enough power out when needed.
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Old 8 Dec 2012
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I live and ride mostly in France. I have been stopped a couple of times for just using the daytime headlamp strip on My BMW R80RT. It has been converted to LED but the French flik dont like it.

Not actually been nicked for it. Generally if you are pleasant and talk nicely to them they just tell you to use your normal light and let you go.

Good news is that the law regarding reflective clothing for bikers has been abandonned
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  #10  
Old 9 Dec 2012
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European Regs

the UNECE regs, which govern all of the world except the USA (the only country which has yet to accept ECE regs) has not provisioned for the use of DRLs on motorcycles.

Most countries have their own vehicle design rules, but since everyone apart from the US has signed up to the UNECE regs, they are valid everywhere except the US. And countries like the UK havent even bothered updating their own local design rules since 1991, when ECE regs became almost universally valid.

Techincally the UK regs dont even allow cars with HIDs, but since UK brands and UK manufactured vehicles such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Mini etc make almost every vehicle with HIDs it highlights the fact that local regulations are effectively meaningless these days.

ECE motorcycle regs have not gotten around to approving HID lighting on motorcycles nor DRLs for motorcycles. So technically they are illegal. But it is something thats under consideration. A 12 watt DRL shining straight ahead gives much more visibility than a 55 watt low beam shining on the road. The only reason they arent legal yet is because they havent gotten around to it, not because its a bad idea.

In terms of global harmonization of vehicle standards rules, recalcitrants like Australia are currently phasing out Australian design rules for ECE rules. And the US DOT is in talks to phase out the SAE standards for ECE standards.

So you see, in the end, the Germans always win. (since ECE standards are based on TUV standards)
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  #11  
Old 18 Dec 2012
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Here in the Czech Republic you have to have A main headlight on at all times side lights are not accepted nor are running lights, failure to do so can mean an on the spot fine and possible points.

Its for you own safety!
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  #12  
Old 24 Dec 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
...ECE motorcycle regs have not gotten around to approving HID lighting on motorcycles...
Are you certain about that? I believe that BMW's most recent model of very large touring motorcycle is equipped with a HID headlight.

Here is a link to the BMW UK website, where technical specifications that include 'xenon headlight' are provided: BMW 1600 GT - UK Website

Michael
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