Full beam or not full beam?

I just wondered what peoples thoughts were on riding the bike with full beam on.
Personally it fookin winds me up no end, blinding everybody else on the road.

We have enough problems with car drivers, and this does us no favours.
What are your thoughts out there if indeed you have any on this?

sounds like we are scraping the barrel…

use full beam when there are no road lights, and to flash.

Do not use on oncoming traffic, do not use to follow traffic.

Same rules apply no matter what vehicle you are in.

note chavs with spot lights who get fined for having them cos they think they look good.

No i’m on about normal daytime conditions.
I drive down the A40 most mornings and see no end of bikers with full beam on.

I use full beam when i’m filtering between cages i flip main beam on off to let them know that i’m coming and most of the times it does work and they move over for me, well at least they don’t pull over in front of me!!!

my bike has main beam on all the time,

full beam for fog use.

I travel down the A40 everyday to work, and I never used to ride with the full beam on but I find its so much better as the drivers in cars when your filtering can see you coming! I had never ending amounts of cars pulling out infront of me, now they try not to chance it… I feel that blinding someone is better than them changing lanes and crashing into you. I find a lot more cars are moving out the way for me as well as I pass through as they notice the glare straight away!

When I’m just normally riding I always have my full beam switched off, its mainly filtering…


From a saftey standpoint, when filtering through slow, or stationary traffic, I always have my main-beam on, as it does get results, drivers tend to spot you that bit easier, which means you’re less likely to get a door, fag or sandwich accident going on. I don’t use it when there’s a chance oncoming traffic could be blinded, and definately not whilst at night, unless for its intended use, i.e a dark road with no oncoming traffic.

I always have my lights on low beam, but only use the high beam when I’m on an unlit road at night. I must say I’m going to have to try it while filtering. It will get you noticed a lot more.

I come down the A2 in the mornings, and have started to use full beam when some of the car drivers start getting restless. Only if I am filtering and the traffic is 0-5mph or so. It is more effective, however it is illegal as far as I am aware.

If I get stopped for it, or for not hammering on the anchors when I come round a corner to see a speed camera, or when I go over the white line at a light; I’ll argue that I’ll take the fine and points as it is not worth more than my life.

IMO, It does get you noticed a lot more, and I feel safer having my full beams on! Obviously being very vigilant at the same time, but it does honestly make a difference and if that difference helps you to survive then I’m sure its an option optimal to use!


My beam alignment is fecked… so low beam is worse than full!! Its the time of year when I realise I didn’t get it sorted last year! :slight_smile:

Now I like that filtering idea - never occurred to me before! As a 30k miles per year car driver I must say you do notice the brighter lights in your rear-view that much easier!

Good idea!

I thought id ask, as they did a article on it in MCN a year or so, and basically said that with full or main beam on you and the bike are obscured behind the light and car drivers cannot measure how fast the light is comming towards them, thus making people miss judge your speed and pull out of junctions/cut you up. Apparently you cannot measure the speed of a light source, but can easily measure the speed of a bike and rider comming towards you.

Remember i’m obviously only talking about daytime riding.

So if you ride with full or main beam, keep this in mind.

Loud and bright does it for me, but that’s a valid point, thanks MrGee! By the way, are we going to be graced with your presence tomorrow night, assuming it’s dry?

Yep, i’l be down if it’s dry!

See ya tonight.

It seems to me while reading this that people are using the terms main beam and full beam interchangeable. It’s my understanding that all new bikes have the main beam wired to the ignition, so you have no option but to ride with the main beam on. This is also the recommended practice of lots of road safety organisations.

Regarding the use of full beam, there are arguments to using it when filtering though slow moving traffic, which have already been mentioned in the thread. I also use full beam when I’m stuck behind lane hoggers. I tend to hold the passing switch for about 3 seconds to make them aware of my presence, without using the full beam aggressively, hoping they will move to the left.

Hi MrGee… If I’m filtering through heavy traffic, I always have my high beam on. The car drivers definatly seem to see me much better and are more aware of my presence… Has saved me on more than one occasion…

Hopefully see you out toninght dude…

stops every ‘helpful’ idiot telling you ‘you’ve got a light out mate’ too…

daytime - full beam all the time. Night time its too harsh and dazzles

there is some truth in the car drivers ability to your speed. However, at least in those situations they actually recognise there is something there. would always rather they take a second to work out ‘what is that blummin light’. loud can and beam means that cars do position themselves to let you through when filtering, and have definately aborted potential sideswipe lane changes when they have picked up the bright light in their wing mirrors. helps with the shocking frustrated driver u-turns that when i used to not have the FB on, they have come so close to taking me out its not even funny.

There was also a very interesting article in Bike (i think it was) that basically talked about the dragonfly effect - it basically catches prey by moving in line with the prey so it approaches it directly and maintains its relative position to the surrounding scene. when it becomes very close (looms) the prey craps itself and freezes allowing the dragonfly to catch it.

Same effect apparently works with the human eye. Driver at a side road doesn’t look for a bike particularly, and the bike’s relatively small size means it doesn’t alter much as it approaches until its almost upon the car (small block amongst other seemingly stationary blocks of colour/information). The car not having seen the bike pulls out, sees the rider and slams the breaks at which point the rider clark kent’s it over the bonnet.

essentially even if they are looking directly at you, they cannot see you in the majority of cases. apparently doing a small weave towards them to show more of a side view of the bike to them can be effective (but not to the point that you compromise your ability to brake). moving from near the curb to outside the lane is apparently adviseable as will give them more of a chance to see you and you are further from the car for an emergency move

oh, and pray…

Use Full beam especially when filtering

3 stages of headlights.

side lights - won’t light up much, Volvo’s have them on all the time.

dipped lights (main lights) - normal use.

Fog lights (full beam) - for filtering and some other night time use, not quite sure…