May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and I’ve found two innovative products from Vectolabs LLC that I feel will help to improve your visibility to drivers following.
We can all agree that better visibility should help to improve safety on the road.
The inspiration came from a close call that Vectolabs co-founder Faizal Ali had. As he approached the highway exit, he let off the throttle and started to slow. He heard tires screeching what felt like inches behind him and veered into the breakdown lane just in time to avoid becoming another rear end collision statistic. After this harrowing incident, Ali went home and began sketching plans for the Vololights system.
Vololights is a revolutionary new technology that enhances a motorcycle’s visibility and has the potential to reduce the risk of a rear end collision.
The Vololights Brakeless Deceleration Indicator is an LED Brake Light built into a license plate frame. It uses a three-axis accelerometer and a built in microprocessor to measure deceleration. The Vololights system operates independently of your OEM tail and brake lights. If you let off the throttle, or downshift, the Vololight responds with flashing LED lights to alert traffic behind you.
As you let off the throttle and start to slow, the System will begin to flash its super bright LED lights twice a second. If you stop more quickly, the accelerometers recognize the rapid slowing, and flash the lights at five times per second. According the Vectolabs, this was based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data that showed 5 flashes per second as the optimal rate to gain the attention of distracted drivers.
Here are a few short videos from the Vectolabs team.
Most people that purchase it are very happy with the workmanship, ease of installation, strong customer support, and of course, an added sense of confidence while riding.
Most of the reviews and comments I have read about it say that it was a straightforward install. Vololights is designed for simple installation with no special crimping tools required. Some riders mention doing slight fabrication to get clearance on their bike, or machining the edges of their license plate to get it to fit the frame properly. The Vololight website states that it is compatible with at least 47 out of 50 state motorcycle license plates. Alaska, New Mexico and Minnesota residents may want to verify compatibility before ordering. Additionally, the Vololight Motorcycle Brake Light is not designed for use on motorcycles where the license plate is attached to the swingarm.
Fit is a concern on some models of bikes. Vectolabs has the solution in the form of a black box that connects to your existing brake lights, flashing them instead of the LED License plate frame. This is an excellent choice for riders outside of the US that do not have the same sized license plates. It is also a good choice for the custom and bobber crowds that still want the added safety of increased visibility without the additional hardware on their bike. The Volomod Brake Light Controller has to be spliced into the brake light circuit. It is a slightly more advanced installation than the Vololight License plate frame. With the supplied instructions, the installation should be simple enough for most motorcyclists.
What do Customers think about the Vololight Motorcycle Brake Light?
Here are some highlights from the reviews I have read:
Honestly, the install was so simple with good instructions, I find it hard to believe that anyone that is skilled enough to ride couldn’t do it. The end result is a clean installation that looks very OEM.
Amazon Customer Review; 5 out of 5 stars – dluxdlitz
I think the Vololights work great. They alert drivers behind you when you let off the throttle and you are slowing without braking and of course when you are actively braking. I actually took me about 20 minutes to install them.
Amazon Customer Review; 5 out of 5 stars – O. Torres
If you ride I strongly suggest you get this. Easy to install. Fits your basic motorcycle license plate just right. Works just as they said. Flashes as down shift or release the gas. Then flashes like crazy when you break. Seems to do a great job of keeping most cars from staying to close.
Amazon Customer Review; 5 out of 5 stars – Manuel D
All went well according to the instructions and the unit performs very well. I no longer have cars running up on my rear when I roll off the throttle (motorcycle engine braking is much more effective than the typical car), and I’ve actually seen them backing off (and here in California, the land of tailgate-or-lose-your-lane, that’s huge). I would strongly recommend the Vololights for any motorcyclist; should be stock OEM on road bikes.
Amazon Customer Review; 5 out of 5 stars – Sandog
I know for sure that this has caught the attention of drivers that may not be paying as much attention as they should, My K1600 has considerable engine braking and this has been a lifesaver, Literally. Thank you for a great product and great service.
Vololight.com customer 5 out of 5 stars. Tim Cooper
My wife purchased Vololights for me as a Christmas gift. I installed it on my 2015 R1200RT. What a nice and easy install, and what a confidence builder in being seen! Thank You for this product. As far as safety items go, Vololights is second only to a helmet. Ingenious! Soon to be the standard on all motorcycles. A true home run.
Vololight.com customer – 5 out of 5 stars – Patrick
Installation was simple with the included Posi-Taps. Calibration was easy, and I set it in the default mode which seems to work well for my bike and how I ride but I may experiment more with setting changes when I have someone following. I have noticed that when I get onto an on ramp people do back off, I watch my mirrors and lightly tap my brakes but they give me more space than when I didn’t have the Vololight installed. I wish other riders had it installed as we filter through traffic behind each other or riding in a group to notify other riders of what you are doing as well. I plan on getting the VoloMod when I install lights into my top case, anything that helps make people alert of my presence and actions help keep me safe so I can keep riding.
Vololight.com customer – 5 out of 5 stars – Mark Wilkinson