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Adding auxiliary lights can make motorcycle riding safer

The last thing you want to do when you are enjoying the open road on your motorcycle is to get into a crash. Without the protection of the steel framework provided by a car, you are always extremely vulnerable to an accident with serious injuries.

Like all motorcycle riders, you want to do all you can to make your bike visible and to stay safe. To better see and be seen as a rider, and adding auxiliary driving lights can help.

Match the lights to your type of bike

You may have a new cruiser or touring bike on which auxiliary lights come standard or are available as a dealer-installation option. Older motorcycles do not usually have these, however. You may think that adding auxiliary lights will only be more effective after dark, but they can also supplement your existing lights to make your bike more visible to oncoming traffic during the daylight hours.

Two choices

There are two main varieties of auxiliary driving lights. You may want lights that either project a short but wide sweep or offer a longer, narrower pattern. The former is designed to enhance low beam headlight illumination so you can better see objects at the side of the road: deer, for example, or a bicycle rider. The long, narrow pattern supplements your long-range, high-beam illumination and allows you better visibility of objects in the road ahead.

Consider your electrical system

What is the electrical capacity on your bike? Typically, a set of two auxiliary driving lights will pull an additional 110 watts of power. If your electrical system is limited, however, you might consider going with LED lighting, which is more energy efficient than the standard issue but still casts a lot of illumination.

Staying safe

Motorcyclists are at a higher risk than automobile drivers, so have a greater need for safety. While you cannot predict what the drivers who share the road with you might do in terms of causing an accident, adding auxiliary lights to your motorcycle may make all the difference between being invisible and being seen.