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Ode to a Vincent tail light


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Non-VOC Member
Ode to a Vincent tail light.

Twinkle, twinkle little light. Hardly seen when it is night.

6 volt to your very soul, trying to glimmer in your little hole.

Shining like a little dot, electrified by less than a watt.

You being so dim beneath your glass, I ride, a sparkler sticking from my ass.


Hugo Myatt

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VOC Member
When I bought my first Vincent the seller told me it was shy at night and had 'Here I am' lights, rather than 'There you are' lights.

Alan J

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VOC Member
It's not that difficult to improve on "Joe Lucas" in the 21st. century-if you ride at night forget originality!! {whoops, that will upset somebody!!} I followed afriend on his 650 A.J.S.650 in the rain the other night and he was invisible!! black bike, black clothes, poor back light and no indicators for turning!!:confused::confused: P.s. enjoyed the "poem!"

Tom Gaynor

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VOC Member
Rear lights

I like Indianken's verse. I can relate to that.
A problem with LED lights I became aware of when using LED torches, is that the light seems to be very directional. There's little "scatter". This means that the LED light that is so satisfyingly bright when I squat down to look directly at it, isn't very visible (assuming she is aware that there is anyone else on the road) to the mum on the school run, 12 feet above the road, in her SUV. (SUV: the Transit van of the middle-class)
Overthehill addressed this by packing his "STOP" light with faceted reflectors, and i can testify, having followed him, to the brightness of his LED rear light. Compromises have to be made though, because the Miller shell has very little room.
Even with "the board" of dozens of LED lamps, my lamp, with no scatter except from a scratched lens, is MUCH less visible than the "squarish" Lucas tail lamp fitted to my Sunbeam S7, and to Series D Vincents. Painting the inside of the shell white helps, but what it needs is a faceted lens, instead of the plain one. Goffie please note! Please!
Overthehill also fitted an after-market-intended-for-cars LED strip screwed under the seat as a brake light, so when he braked, man, it got BRIGHT. It was like following a modern Honda. And this was in daylight, or at least the gloom of a wet Scottish summer afternoon.
(There might be a parallel here with super eco lamps that are too dim to read by, with "proper" incandescent lamps, but I don't want to go there. I've got a pot of yoghurt to knit before breakfast.)


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Non-VOC Member
I have been running a pair of these led brake hyperlites lights for a few years now on "PIP", my Rapide.


I mounted them just above the upper corners of my license plate carrier.They can be wired to just go on with your brake light or you can have them flash for a short time and then stay on with the brake light. Day or night, they seem to keep tailgaters at bay and help wake up the drunks by just give the brakes a little tickle.

Works for me.
Ken Smith


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VOC Member
Accepting that there are directional failings with LEDs, they do have a major advantage for those of us with coil ignition and failing memories. I ride black bikes in black clothes and ran on pilot lights when I remembered. One sunlit day, with my wife following in her car, I ran out of petrol and stopped. I switched everything off to restart and continued on a reserve tap range test. The car followed me into a tunnel of trees and my wife later told me that I became invisible. This prompted me to rewire my lights, using LEDs front and rear, so that they are on all the time the ignition is on. They draw so little that they do not detract from starting and although forward facing the front pilot lights give a full reflector of light when viewed from any distance. I even use LED speedo bulbs which are bright enough to show in daylight and give the best instrument illumination I’ve ever had.
On the Knight I use 28 LED car type strips, vertically either side of the number plate and have them wired to the brake light circuit through a diode and to the ignition/pilot circuit through a resistor. This allows them to light at diminished brightness without activating the central brake light and to light at full power when the brake light circuit is on. Following drivers cannot fail to see these lights and that strikes me as fulfilling their primary aim. My Comet (also on coil with full time LED pilot, speedo and rear bulbs) is only equipped with a Lucas style rear light but I have plans to put similar strips inboard of the panniers once fitted and then I shall fit a Miller stoplamp with a car racing “rain light” inside. If I were concerned about being seen from the sides, it would be easy enough to install individual LEDs in bolt heads, or dimmed brakelight strips under tank or seat. Alan J is probably right about this upsetting somebody but if one rider keeps his bike in use instead of allowing it to become a static display, upsetting other people is entirely worthwhile.


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VOC Member
An alternative to the above which is perfect apart from the lack of side visibility inherent to the standard Vincent rear light is as follows. Gut the inside of a standard rear light and go to a breakers, or if all else fails buy new, the reflector for a modern small moped. This will have a reflector about 3" diameter with a bulb holder in the centre designed to take a twin filament bulb. You will probably have to trim the outside of the reflector to fit inside the original housing and you might have to make arrangements for the rear of the light to poke through the number plate. Mine did not need to have an extra hole. Fit a modern 5/21 watt bulb and then refit the original red plastic etc. I am assuming in all this that you have 12 volt lights. It is much more visible than the LED systems which replace the original bulbs and it looks almost standard for those who care about such things.
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Photos from the 2022 North American Rally

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