This might just be one of the coolest things to come along for motorcycles in a long time.
In a car, cornering on a wide curve isn’t such a big deal, because your headlights have a pretty wide sweep. Also, you’re in a car: It has four wheels, and if it’s a little dark on the inside of the curve, it isn’t quite as heart-pounding as when you’re on two wheels.
But on a motorcycle, two things happen when you’re taking a curve in the dark. The first is that your headlights — if you have more than one — point straight ahead, meaning that you’re busy illuminating the other side of the road or even the bushes. The second is that taking a corner on a motorcycle doesn’t involved turning your wheel; in fact, the laws of physics being what they are, it involves actually turning your front wheel slightly in the opposite direction of your lean/turn. (It’s true. That’s why the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic RiderCourse teaches you to “press right, lean right, go right” and “press left, lean left, go left”; you actually push forward on the handle on the inside of your lean/turn.
What this all adds up to is that you’re just not illuminating what you really need to see — your lane and the inside of the curve. But thanks to J.W. Speaker, that might be changing.
The J.W.Speaker Model 8790 Adaptive Low Beam LED Headlight is specifically designed to kick on extra LEDs when you lean into a curve, thereby lighting up that inside curve in a way you’ve never experienced before — that is to say that it lights it up AT ALL. The harder you lean into a curve, the more LEDs come on to light up that blind spot. Illuminating this blind spot is a major change in nighttime motorcycling.
The replacement lamp takes about 15 minutes to install, which probably means 45 minutes if you’re as mechanically inept as I am. The lamp fits in a standard 7-inch headlight bucket, which means you’re not shopping for additional parts to plug this one in. And since it’s an LED bulb, the lighting fixture takes up less room and uses less energy.
I have not personally used or even seen this in person, but according to a fantastic review on GizMag.com, it looks beyond awesome. The reviewer there claims that only BMW has come out with such a thing, and then only on some high-end models, making this sweet lamp the aftermarket part to beat.
Check out the GizMag review over here, which is not only informative and educational, and not only filled with great photos and a very illustrative video, but the reviewer is just plain hilarious to boot.