Hello I'm Ryan F9 and
here are five ways to make your motorcycle safer.
Number one: extra loud horn.
Car drivers try to merge right into me on a weekly basis
so a better noise maker is good for safety.
This is the slimline sports horn from PIAA
It'll do 112 decibels at 500 hertz
For comparison's sake, an average motorcycle horn throws around 100 decibels
when it's brand new.
If you're riding around on a 1980 something piece of history
your horn probably makes even less noise.
So the slimline gives me an extra 15 decibels or so
and while it might not sound like a lot
we have to remember the decibel scale is logorithmic
so a gain of 10 means the horn gets twice as loud
ergo: this thing will blow your ear drums compared to a stock horn!
Of course there are loads of other options like the Sound Bomb or the Screaming Banshee
both of which are louder than this PIAA
but I still chose the slimline because it only draws 2.8 amps
so it's not going to fry any of my fuses.
Plus it's super easy to install,
as the name suggests the slimline sports horn is slim
I measured this guy at about 10 cm x 8.5 cm x 4 cm
so it's not going to take up much space on my machine
It's actually about the same size as my stock horn which is just under the beak here
so I'll probably just install this guy in the same place
and at a featherweight 185 grams, it doesn't take much engineering to mount the thing either
Speaking of which, you are are supposed to re-use the factory wiring with this guy.
And if your bikes uses a plug attachment rather than the positive and negative leads
well, that's okay, because PIAA threw in the ground wire you'd need to make that work.
So all around: not hard to install.
My only complaints with the slimline can be counted on three fingers.
One: it only does a 500 hertz frequency and I wish it alternated between two different tones
because that's better for grabbing attention.
Two: this cover is only water RESISTANT so I have to mount it somewhere
that's not going to get direct spray.
And three: the main unit is metal but this exterior housing is plastic.
So parts of my motorcycle that get hot
are going to be a no-go when it comes to installation.
Now my number two mod to improve safety is green,
gooey, and cheap-as-hell!
The idea is simple:
I deflate my tyre, pull the valve out, and squeeze this stuff in.
Then I just pump it back up and forget about it.
As I ride the centrifugal force will spread the slime all over the inside surface of my tyre
and if I run over a nail, then this will magically plug the hole.
Okay... so maybe it's not magic, but it is clever.
Basically, this is just a bunch of fibres and congealing agents
suspended in liquid goo.
When you poke a hole in your tyre, the pressure forces the slime through the hole
but when the liquid goo goes out, the fibres start to stack themselves up inside the puncture
packing together until they're air tight again.
The whole thing happens in an instant and the only results in the loss of a few PSI.
You probably won't even notice that you actually ran over a nail
until you stop and see a little green spot on your tyre.
Tyre sealant won't do TOO much for bead leaks or side wall punctures
but on the contact patch, it'll fill up-to a quarter of an inch hole.
The safety benefit is obvious: the tyre doesn't deflate, so I don't crash.
There's even some protections from catastrophic punctures
Like if you run over a railroad spike and put a toonie sized gap in your tyre
Of course, slime won't completely fill a hole that size
but it will take a lot longer to exit your tyre than the air.
But it will slow the deflation down, and that can make the difference between
getting safely to the side of the road or losing control.
Now, before I sing too many praises, I should mention that this particular tyre sealant
is not the one I'd choose.
Slime stays liquid so when you go to change your tyres, it makes a bloody mess.
Some mechanics straight up refuse to work on tyres that have slime in them
and I don't blame them.
Plus, this stuff is recommended as 'repair only' for high speed motorcycle tyres.
However there is a brand called Ride On which makes a tyre sealant
that turns into a semi-solid gel.
That way it doesn't leak everywhere when you remove the tyre
and it has the added benefit of balancing the wheel.
Most importantly, Ride On is kosher for high speed motorcycle use.
So, I love tyre sealant as a saftey mod but I'd take
Ride On over this green stuff.
My third favourite safety mod is about seeing and being seen.
Basically; light yourself up and other people won't run into you.
Or; you can light your surroundings and avoid running into other stuff.
Most light mods, like this unit from Kuryakyn Constellation Light Bar,
they do a bit of both.
I'm going to rap out the options real quick:
Light bars are common on cruisers.
They're typically mounted as a horizontal beam underneath the stock
head light or tail light
and they have two units on either end which look something like this.
This one is from the front light bar because it has a turn signal and then the extra head light
rather than an extra tail light.
Then there's auxiliary lights.
The name itself can refer to any secondary light, but in our circles,
it typically denotes the single units ADV riders attach to their crash bars.
Underglow is a fun one.
That's a downward facing light that creates an aura on the pavement underneath the motorcycle.
It's actually great for safety because most underglow is some funky colour
and anything unusual is quick to get noticed.
You can also buy hand guard lights.
Sometimes; they're just white. Sometimes; they're secondary orange turn signals
and sometimes both.
You typically have to buy the entire hand guard with the light in it
whereas if you just buy and LED and stick it up on here, it's called an 'accent light' instead.
So, accent lights are single stick-on or screw-on units which you can put just about anywhere.
They're most common on customised bikes. While they're not so great for lighting
your surroundings, they are handy for being seen.
Then, there are helmet lights.
These are usually stick on LEDs which flash to garner attention.
And finally, you can modify your existing lights
The HID headlights are a really popular way to see further and get seen sooner.
You can also get brighter turn signals and tail lights although it's more common to use a modulator on those.
A modulator is a device that can pulse your head light or tail light to draw more attention.
My fourth safety mod is similar to lights but simpler: reflectives.
See, lights can be a pain in the ass! You have to figure out how to install them, re-wire stuff
change bulbs and batteries. And if I get carried away, my motorcycle will start looking like a Christmas tree!
Which is lame. On the other hand, reflectives don't change the look of your bike that much
especially in the daylight.
Rather than generate their own light, they borrow it from the car that's about to hit me!
So this is cheap and easy to install.
It's detail tape from Pro Grip, in reflective white, although there's a bunch of other fluorescent colour options
for people more interesting than myself.
And, theoretically, I could put it anywhere. I could line my side cases with it
I could trace the outline of my windsheild. I could spell Ryan F9 across my gas tank
like a narcissistic bastard...whatever!
Pro Grip does say that one roll is enough to circle both sides of two rims.
So that give you an idea of what they think I'll use it for.
I know there's some dandy Fort Nine stickers that are pretty bright...shameless plug!
You can also get reflective arm bands or vests which are really nice because you take them off during the day
Same goes for reflective magnets which I can stick on my tank when the sun goes down.
And finally there's glow-in-the-dark piping you can get to actually trace the lines of your helmet
if you want to look like something from Tron.
Speaking of which, my fifth safety mod, is also for my helmet.
Multiple visors. Clear one at night, tinted one during the day.
And don't under-estimate what this is worth. Obviously riding at night with a dark visor is stupid.
You won't see as well, and sight is somewhat important, for piloting a motorcycle.
But riding during the day with a clear visor can also be dangerous
Prolonged exposure to bright light or glare, especially when your vision is focused
can quickly result in eye strain.
Eye strain makes it harder to focus. I'll be slower to perceive visual stimuli, especially stuff in my peripheries.
Like, a deer jumping on to the road, for example.
Plus! Eye strain can cause blurred or double vision. Cause headaches, neck, and back pain
All of those things make it harder for me to ride a motorcycle.
So I bought a couple of different visors.
And I swap 'em when I have to.
My Variant is about the worst helmet in the world to change a visor on
but it still only takes five minutes.
And that's it for my favourite safety mods! Thank you guys very much for watching!