BMW K bikes (Bricks)

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1Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:54 pm

Bikesmith

Bikesmith
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Hey everyone!
    I was just taking a look at the Gearbrake unit (www.gearbrake.com). It seems like a great idea. It flashes your brake lights any time you decelerate. Has anybody here used it? Any thoughts? I'm curious what people think in general, but I also have a specific concern: Would it make my Bulb Monitoring Unit unhappy?
   I suppose the alternative would be to get in the habit of tapping my brake lever even when engine braking is sufficient.
   What do you think?
    -Jon


__________________________________________________
Jon
Mechanically competent, electrically idiotic
------------------------------------
1985 BMW K100rs
1940 Royal Enfield WD/CO
1968 Honda CL125
    

2Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:59 pm

BobT

BobT
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I think that it would be illegal in most countries. The BMU can very easily be eliminated as anyone would with LED bulbs in their rear lights.
Some of the stuff that I see on their website is available from ebay China (probably where they originate) but at 20 times the price.

    

3Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:16 pm

Point-Seven-five

Point-Seven-five
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Nothing pi$$es me off in traffic more than following one of those a$$holes who drives with one foot on the brake, flashing their brake lights every couple of seconds. 

Brake lights induce a very slight amount of stress in the following driver that over a period of time turns to anger and in some hopefully rare cases, road rage.

Do you really want to deal with that?


__________________________________________________
Present:
1994 K75RT
1991 K100RS

Past:
1994 BMW K75S
1992 BMW K100RS
1982 Honda FT500
1979 Honda XR185
1977 Honda XL125
1974 Honda XL125
1972 OSSA Pioneer 250
1968 Kawasaki 175
    

4Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:21 pm

Laitch

Laitch
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Not a good idea. I think it would eventually desensitize following traffic to the meaning of brake lights.


__________________________________________________
1995 K75T 73,000 miles
Gearbrake? Usa-lo10
    

5Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:37 pm

Bikesmith

Bikesmith
Silver member
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Interesting. My question seems to have touched a nerve. Sorry if I upset you guys.
   It seems to me my brake light should come on any time I decelerate hard enough to be a concern to the person behind me. A brick can slow down quite rapidly just from engine braking. Much more quickly than the average car. Shouldn't we be informing people behind us of hard deceleration, regardless of whether it's engine or brakes doing the slowing?
   -Jon


__________________________________________________
Jon
Mechanically competent, electrically idiotic
------------------------------------
1985 BMW K100rs
1940 Royal Enfield WD/CO
1968 Honda CL125
    

6Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:41 pm

Dai

Dai
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Well... in theory the bugger behind ye shouldn't be that close. If he is, it isn't going to matter how your brakelights work because you're about to become his new hood ornament anyway.


__________________________________________________
'83 K100 upgraded to K100RS spec
Others...
'78 Moto Guzzi 850-T3, '79 Moto Guzzi 850-T3 California,'93 Moto Guzzi 1100ie California,
'03 Suzuki Blandit GSF600SK3 (NFS any more because wifey has claimed it)
    

7Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:15 pm

Bikesmith

Bikesmith
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So, are you saying we shouldn't use brake lights at all, because they don't work? That would be a interesting, possibly even defensible position.
   I'm just saying that, with respect to traffic around you, decelerating quickly with engine braking is the same situation as decelerating quickly with your brakes. If you signal to traffic around you when doing one, you should signal to traffic around you when doing the other.
  For any given deceleration rate, there is a subset of possible drivers behind me who will rear-end me if I don't signal, but will stop in time if I do signal. Shouldn't I alert those people? That's the whole reason brake lights exist. The method I use to achieve the deceleration seems to me to be irrelevant.
    -Jon


__________________________________________________
Jon
Mechanically competent, electrically idiotic
------------------------------------
1985 BMW K100rs
1940 Royal Enfield WD/CO
1968 Honda CL125
    

8Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:26 pm

92KK 84WW Olaf

92KK 84WW Olaf
Life time member
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I have been thinking along these lines too. Then engine braking is quite significant and compared to the automatic car the K engine braking is quite abrupt. But I also agree with the comments about the tapping of the brake light annoying over sensitive folk behind and I would be keen that it would be solid rather than flashing. However in stop start riding then it may remain an issue where bikes don't filter as we do here.


__________________________________________________
1992 K100LT 0193214 Bertha Alaska Blue 101,000 miles
1984 K100RT 0022575 Brutus Baja Red bought 36,000 now 89,150 miles
1997 K1100LT 0188024 Wotan Mystic Red 58,645 now 96,650 miles
1983 K100RS 0011175 Fricka 29,495 miles Damn K Pox Its a Bat outta Hell
    

9Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:45 pm

Bikesmith

Bikesmith
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Olaf,
   They do a non-flashing version, too. It's actually cheaper than the flashing one. It also has adjustable sensitivity, so you can set it to come on only when you're decelerating as hard as if you were braking.
   Unfortunately, I just heard from someone from Gearbrake. I'd asked if it works with the bulb monitoring unit. He said it doesn't. You'd have to disable the BMU to use the Gearbrake. Not a deal-breaker, but a point against their unit.
   -Jon


__________________________________________________
Jon
Mechanically competent, electrically idiotic
------------------------------------
1985 BMW K100rs
1940 Royal Enfield WD/CO
1968 Honda CL125
    

10Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:03 pm

Born Again Eccentric

Born Again Eccentric
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@Bikesmith wrote:Interesting. My question seems to have touched a nerve. Sorry if I upset you guys.
   It seems to me my brake light should come on any time I decelerate hard enough to be a concern to the person behind me. A brick can slow down quite rapidly just from engine braking. Much more quickly than the average car. Shouldn't we be informing people behind us of hard deceleration, regardless of whether it's engine or brakes doing the slowing?
   -Jon
An interesting discussion Jon.

Just after I got my first K100LT, and after a riding gap of about 15 years, I took advantage of a riding training course held at my work and run by a couple of ex Police riders (sponsored by the local council to try and improve riding skills and reduce bike accidents). The course consisted of a morning classroom teach in followed by an afternoon riding in city traffic and was as  enjoyable as it was educational. Anyway, point is I thought I was riding well by letting the engine do a lot of the braking rather than constantly be dabbing on the brakes. I was soon corrected! The instructors opinion was that we should use our brakes more just because it is accompanied by the brake light activation and that hopefully alerts following drivers to the fact that we were slowing down.

Personally though - I hate people that constantly dab on their brakes and do like the engine braking effect - but I unless you have dropped down a gear or two, the engine braking should never be giving "hard deceleration". If I am decelerating hard, it will be with both engine and brakes (or just use the "soft" side of a car for instant deceleration - not recommended!!)


__________________________________________________
Gearbrake? Uk-log10 Gearbrake? Sco-lo15Gearbrake? Eu-log10
                              Paul  Gearbrake? 905546712

"Heidi" K100LT 1991 (Grey) (VIN 0190172 Engine No. 104EB 2590 2213) - 5th owner. January 2014 (34,000 - 61,000 miles and counting....)
"Gretel" K100LT 1989 (Silver Grey) (VIN 0177324 Engine No. 104EA 2789 2211) - 4th+ owner. September 2015 (58,500miles and counting....). Cat C Insurance write-off rebuild Feb 17
"Donor" K100LT 1990 (Red)  (VIN 0178091 Engine No. 4489 2024) - 6th & final owner (crash write-off now donor bike).   June 2012 (73,000 miles) to November 2013 (89,500 miles)
    

11Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:32 pm

Bikesmith

Bikesmith
Silver member
Silver member
Good point. Maybe I'm being sloppy with language in using the term "hard deceleration."
   But here's what I mean: Say I'm in a regular automatic-transmission car (The vast majority of cars in the U.S. are automatic) with someone following at a reasonable distance in a similar car. If I completely let off the gas pedal but don't touch the brake, the car behind me only has to do the same to keep pace.
   Now I'm on my K with a car following me. If I let off the throttle completely but don't touch the brake, I'm still going to slow down more quickly than the car can manage without brakes (even if it isn't "hard deceleration").
   At the core of it, a brake light is a message to the person behind you, right? It says "I'm slowing down quickly enough that you need to put on your brakes if you don't want to rear-end me."
   I feel that whether I send that message or not should be determined by my deceleration rate, not by the mechanics of how I'm achieving that deceleration.
  
   A side note: The responses who disagree with me are citing instances of brake lights being on too much. I actually agree with those people. Drivers often just have their foot on the brake pedal, especially on a long, gentle descent. The brake light is on but they're not slowing down. I agree that that's aggravating and tends to desensitize people to brake lights. I've long thought that the brightness of brake lights (perhaps how many brake lights are turned on) should be determined by the firmness of the brake use rather than just on and off. Maybe they should always be tied to actual deceleration rate. Take the brake pedal out of the equation completely.

   I'm not saying that something like a Gearbrake should be set up so that it comes on with the barest breath of slowing. I'm saying your brake light should always come on when someone behind you needs to respond to your deceleration.
   -Jon


__________________________________________________
Jon
Mechanically competent, electrically idiotic
------------------------------------
1985 BMW K100rs
1940 Royal Enfield WD/CO
1968 Honda CL125
    

12Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:37 pm

92KK 84WW Olaf

92KK 84WW Olaf
Life time member
Life time member
The key thing we learnt too was to bring the traffic with you, as in when you are slowing down use brake first and make sure traffic behind is also slowing with you.

If you don't you might get shunted from behind, particularly if you plan on stopping at a roundabout and the guy behind is watching the cars on the roundabout and not what's in front of them.


__________________________________________________
1992 K100LT 0193214 Bertha Alaska Blue 101,000 miles
1984 K100RT 0022575 Brutus Baja Red bought 36,000 now 89,150 miles
1997 K1100LT 0188024 Wotan Mystic Red 58,645 now 96,650 miles
1983 K100RS 0011175 Fricka 29,495 miles Damn K Pox Its a Bat outta Hell
    

13Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:14 pm

Point-Seven-five

Point-Seven-five
Life time member
Life time member
@Bikesmith wrote:Interesting. My question seems to have touched a nerve. Sorry if I upset you guys.
   It seems to me my brake light should come on any time I decelerate hard enough to be a concern to the person behind me. A brick can slow down quite rapidly just from engine braking. Much more quickly than the average car. Shouldn't we be informing people behind us of hard deceleration, regardless of whether it's engine or brakes doing the slowing?
   -Jon
You didn't upset me.  I was only pointing out that the appearance of brake lights induces a stress response in the driver behind you.  Frequent flashing causes drivers to to concentrate more on your lights rather than the situation around them which is definitely not a good thing.  The faster and closer the traffic, the more stress you are causing in following drivers.  Traffic is stressful enough without having more caused by frequently flashing brake lights that do not signal an actual braking situation. 

Rather than flashing brake lights at other drivers, it would actually be safer to control your speed and following distance so as to not require abrupt changes in speed.


__________________________________________________
Present:
1994 K75RT
1991 K100RS

Past:
1994 BMW K75S
1992 BMW K100RS
1982 Honda FT500
1979 Honda XR185
1977 Honda XL125
1974 Honda XL125
1972 OSSA Pioneer 250
1968 Kawasaki 175
    

14Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:50 pm

Bikesmith

Bikesmith
Silver member
Silver member
@Point-Seven-five wrote:flashing brake lights that do not signal an actual braking situation. 
   Here's the key. I'm not talking about lights that don't signal a braking situation. I agree that would be irresponsible and aggravating. I'm talking about a genuine braking situation, or rather a subset of genuine braking situations, in which my brick can slow down sufficiently with just engine braking, but the cars around me will need to use their brakes to keep pace. It's not frivolous. It's an actual, significant slowing. If the cars behind me don't put on their brakes they will rear-end me. Why wouldn't I want to alert them to that situation? Why wouldn't they want me to alert them to the situation? I'm not activating a brake light on a whim. I'm not advocating turning it on when nobody needs to see it (In fact, I hate that situation too). I'm talking about turning on the brake light when the people around me need to know that I'm slowing down significantly.
    I understand your point about brake lights causing stress. I might say that those people need to relax a little Smile , but I agree that's a common response to brake lights. I see it as a "Don't Cry Wolf" situation. Don't tell me you're slowing down if you're not. Brake lights (whether activated by brake pedal, lever, or something like Gearbrake) that don't actually indicate a braking situation are a nuisance at best, dangerous at worst. I think the converse is true as well, though. If you're in front of me and you don't indicate an actual braking situation, I think that's just as bad.

    As for "control[ling] your speed and following distance so as to not require abrupt changes in speed," of course that's a recommended way to behave in traffic. I never said otherwise. No matter how carefully I control my speed and following distance, though, sometimes I have to slow down. And I feel the people behind me should know when I'm doing so.


__________________________________________________
Jon
Mechanically competent, electrically idiotic
------------------------------------
1985 BMW K100rs
1940 Royal Enfield WD/CO
1968 Honda CL125
    

15Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:24 pm

Bikesmith

Bikesmith
Silver member
Silver member
I just thought of another way of putting it:

   What constitutes a "braking situation?" It's an easy answer to say that it's when you are applying your brakes. However, I think that's not only simplistic. I think it's wrong. I'd argue that a "braking situation" is when you are decelerating hard enough that people behind you need to respond.
   The standard brake light system indicates an approximation of that. Most of the time, when your brake lights are on, you are decelerating hard enough that those behind you need to respond. However, this system gives both false-positives and false-negatives. That's why I think that it's wrong to say that foot on a brake pedal defines a braking situation.
   The false-positives are obvious. Your foot is on the brake pedal (or hand on the lever) just hard enough to activate the light. That's stress-inducing, aggravating, and dangerous. I don't think anyone would disagree. It's bad.
   What I'm saying, though, is that the false-negatives are just as bad. You're slowing down hard enough that people behind you need to respond. But because it's a result of engine braking rather than from your brakes, no signal is given. You're relying on them to accurately track the deceleration of your vehicle with no deceleration signal. That's a recipe for a rear-ending.
    Now what Gearbrake claims to do is eliminate the false-negatives without adding to false-positives. Isn't that a good thing? It would, of course, be better to eliminate all false signals. But isn't a partial solution better than no solution at all?

   What I was asking with my original post was whether anyone had any insight into how well Gearbrake achieves that goal (elimination of false-positives with no increase in false-negatives). I'm still curious about that if anyone knows.

    If nothing else, it's been an interesting discussion, yeah?


__________________________________________________
Jon
Mechanically competent, electrically idiotic
------------------------------------
1985 BMW K100rs
1940 Royal Enfield WD/CO
1968 Honda CL125
    

16Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:04 pm

Laitch

Laitch
Life time member
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@Bikesmith wrote:I suppose the alternative would be to get in the habit of tapping my brake lever even when engine braking is sufficient.
What do you think?
That's what I do if I figure there's an distracted driver approaching from behind. I occasionally do that at a standstill, too.


__________________________________________________
1995 K75T 73,000 miles
Gearbrake? Usa-lo10
    

17Back to top Go down   Gearbrake? Empty Re: Gearbrake? on Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:25 pm

Bikesmith

Bikesmith
Silver member
Silver member
Yeah, ultimately, I think that's my answer. A tap of a brake lever isn't really that much of a hardship. It is a free solution to the false-negative problem, isn't it? I already do it sometimes. I should just try to be more consistent with it. Plus, a tap of the brake lever means you're already covering the brake in a potentially tricky situation, which is a good habit to develop.


__________________________________________________
Jon
Mechanically competent, electrically idiotic
------------------------------------
1985 BMW K100rs
1940 Royal Enfield WD/CO
1968 Honda CL125
    

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