You’re gonna stay out past your bedtime and have to ride home in the dark of night. The only problem is there’s a whole new host of dangers that you’re gonna encounter that the average street rider might not be prepared for, but knowledge is power, and today we’re gonna give you five tips to keep you safe the next time you’re stuck out after dark.
What’s the biggest difference between riding around during the day and riding at night?
It’s dark. Now, you might live in a city or suburbs with a lot of streetlights, but even if those lights are bright as a thousand suns, you’re gonna have pockets where it’s dark. If you want to be able to see in those dark spots, you’ll have to ditch that smoked visor.
Wearing some sunglasses it’s not just because they make me look beautiful, it’s because I actually ride home in the night more often than not, and it’s way easier for me to carry a pair of sunglasses in just a clear visor than a smoked visor and a clear one.
If I get stuck out at night, all I need to do is take my sunglasses off, put ’em in the neck of my shirt, and I’m good to go. I don’t have to bother carrying around a second visor, swapping it out and finding a spot to store the old one. Some people will say that it’s totally fine to ride with a tinted advisor because you can just pop it up and ride without the visor in your.
Now imagine you’re rolling down the street with your dark adjusted eyes, and somebody drives by you with their high beams on in the middle of downtown. Happens all the time. Now suddenly, you’ve got an eye full of lights and you can’t see what’s going on through an already darkened shield; sunglasses are just the better choice.
Secondly, the human eye adjusts pretty slowly to light the rods and cone cells can take up to 20 minutes or even more to fully adjust. It’s why you get those tracers in your vision. When you look up at the sun, your eye cells are being bleached by the light. Try walking in from a bright sunny day into a dark room and seeing what happens.
Riding super sports at night is a lot of fun. You get to max out your speedometer on the highway because you know what you paid for the whole speedometer, so you’re gonna use the whole speedometer.
Now slow down there. Speed racer. I know you’re wanting to do a bunch of highway poles on the highway at night, but you don’t wanna be riding faster than your headlight. But spike, the speed of light is 670,200,000 miles an hour. Well, Now, I know motorcycles are fast, but even the turbo high boost is not that fast.
Your motorcycle isn’t going that fast, relatively, and it does mean that your headlight is always gonna be throwing light in front of you, but it’s only designed to throw light between 25 and 40 feet in front of you. At 100 km an hour, you’re covering 88 feet per second, giving you less than a half a second to see, diagnose, and react to an obstacle.
You shouldn’t be riding with your high beams on anyway, unless you’re out in the country. If you’re rolling around with your high beam on, you might be thinking that you’re making yourself easier to see, but you’re actually blinding oncoming drivers. And in the case of older bikes with side by side headlights, you might be fooling a driver into thinking you’re actually a car about a block away.
The safest way to ride at night is to slow down and run with just your low beans. You look like a radioactive nerd nerve. Look guys, I know nobody wants to ride around like a giant safety cone, but what do you think’s easier for a driver at night to see?
Now, look, you don’t need to be a complete BMW boy and roll around in your neon yellow highlighter suit brighter than the light of thousand sons. And sure, maybe your subtle gear with has some light strips on it so that a car crawling up your butt at night might just be able to see some reflections.
Subtle is not exactly the best answer. Pick some bright colours, maybe something that matches your bike. Whites, reds and blues are all more visible at night than black and gray. You might also consider grabbing a helmet that contrasts with the rest of your gear, just so that the eye is drawn to it. Part of the reason why I wear a white helmet is so that I’m easier to pick out.
It’s not all that dorky looking except for the horrendous skull graphic on the side of it. Anything that’s gonna help me not get rear-ended by a driver, that’s a plus in my book. Now, we talked a little bit about the science of seeing at night in that last piece, but it’s not just headlights that are gonna mess up your night vision.
A lot of these fancy motorcycles today have these big displays that are really bright, but they do have their night modes. Even still, you don’t want to be shining a bunch of light in your face while you’re riding. While I’m an advocate for riding with your phone on your handlebars, I’d recommend not having your phone on while you’re trying to ride at night for the same reason.
It’s basically the same thing as a large display dash. Now, you might have your phone on your handlebars and it might have a dimmer on the screen, and you might be a world class text and driver, but you don’t want to be distracted by a bunch of lights on your dashboard. Stay focused on the ride.