Headlights and horn
May 30, 2009 at 5:20 am #2917zeppelinfromledParticipant
I am the proud new owner of a Kawasaki Ninja 650r – it will be delivered to me on Wednesday. I’ve been running through my checklist of things that I need. Clearly I have safety gear. I’ve also ordered some Bohn armor to check it out (link to a review below), and I’m basically ready to go.
What I was wondering is if people (with whatever bike) have upgraded their headlights and/or horn. If so, what product(s) are you using and how do you like them? I’ve heard good things about HID lights, namely that they’re bright. In my car, I just have some bright white bulbs and I can definitely tell that they’re brighter than the stock bulbs were. For a horn, I just want a chance that the guy about to cut me off with his windows up and music playing will be able to hear the horn. I’ve heard that a lot of people use air horns for their bikes – does anyone have a specific brand/model recommendation?
Thanks in advance
Link to a review of the Bohn armor that I ordered:
http://www.webbikeworld.com/bohn-body-armor/May 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm #19077briderdtParticipant
Even in my car, I’ve never seen the horn as a good evasive manuever. I’d rather use the time and energy to actually save my skin.May 30, 2009 at 2:11 pm #19080zeppelinfromledParticipant
It’s more for a preventative measure. If I see someone about to pull out, a blast on the horn could keep them in place. It’s honestly also more to express my disapproval when I’ve successfully avoided the situation. Someone pulls out in front of me and I have plenty of time to stop, but it was still an inappropriate thing for them to do – that’s when I would honk the most.May 30, 2009 at 2:46 pm #19083MunchParticipant
There is a lot of horn upgrades on different sites. Anything from air horns to some that just put out a lot of noise. I have never used my horn… like brider your usually to busy making a quick maneuver. I have been thinking of going to a salvage yard a getting me an old Buick horn though……just to get rid of that road runner horn that came stock.
For the headlight……be careful to match the wattage and needs of the OEM bulb as you risk either blowing the fuse constantly or put such a load on it that the charging system can’t keep up.May 30, 2009 at 3:43 pm #19088SantaCruzRiderParticipant
I guess because my bike is considered a tourer, Kawasaki installed a fairly decent horn that sounds more like a car horn (import, not domestic). But I have rarely ever used it.
I especially haven’t used it in crossing situations, as my hands are usually busy getting ready for avoidance. Plus, I’m skeptical about whether the car driver is going to be able to quickly located the source of the horn. If he doesn’t already see me, he may just assume the horn is someone behind him.
One place I have used the horn is when I’m along side a car that is starting to creap into my lane or puts on his blinkers for my lane in cases where I can’t immediately accelerate out of the way.
I also never use it as follow up to someone doing something stupid. The way I look at it, if someone made an honest mistake — they usually get it once they see me on their bumper or sliding past at the next light. If they are idiots and truly oblivious — me and my horn can’t help them.May 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm #19090eonParticipant
+1 on SantaCruzRider’s comments. I’ve used my horn several times to alert other drivers of my presence, specifically when they are about to move into my lane. It’s not intended as a blast of disapproval, just another means of getting myself noticed (the whole reason horns are fitted on vehicles in the first place). If you find yourself blasting other road users with it then you are letting yourself get angry and that can only have bad consequences.
WEbbikeworld has a section where it reviewed multiple aftermarket horns, they even included sound samples so you can hear what they sound like. Cannot remember the outcome of the tests but Stebel seems to be a popular brand. Have not done this myself. I’ll just stick the the default meep meep.
Not sure I’ve ever heard of anyone replacing the default headlights. I’ve heard of people adding extra lights to the front (PIAA I think is a popular brand). Replacing the stock headlights sounds a bit specialized to make/model of your bike. You might get more info at a Ninja forum.
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