To indicate or not to indicate?

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To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby Pharisee » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:38 am

As I've mentioned in other threads, I'm currently rebuilding my 1955 AJS M18S. It won't be a show bike or a museum exhibit... it will be ridden. OK, not every day but if the past is anything to go by, around 2-3,000 miles a year. I'm trying to keep it looking fairly original without being overly zealous about it. My quandry is this... Should I fit flashing turn indicators while I'm at it, purely as safety feature if nothing else? Hand signals can be a bit awkward, particularly turning right when you need your hand on the twist grip. I get the feeling, from riding my other bike without turn indicators, that a lot of car drivers have no idea what you're doing.
So... I'm wondering how many of you that ride these old machines have actually fitted indicators? If you have, what sort did you fit and where did you fit them?
John
Last edited by Pharisee on Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby spookefoote1956 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:16 am

My experience is that most car drivers don't know what they're doing. Although, to be fair, it is quite difficult texting, shouting at the kids and setting the sat nav so what's a few motorcyclists off the road to worry about!
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Hail Joe Lucas ............ Prince of Darkness!
All my bikes are original........ to me!

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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby JimFitz » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:19 pm

Hi John

I fitted indicators to my Sunbeam S7DL and I used the Lucas style indicators (short stalk version) with LED lamps and a suitable flasher unit (for LEDs). It is running 12v from a high output alternator but 6V LEDS are available so should not cause any issues with current drain on standard set ups. Negative earth equipment seems a little more widely available than positive earth so you may decide to convert as I did.

In my experience many car drivers do not understand hand signals and unless a flasher is operating they tend to ignore them. I use the flasher as well as hand signals if possible.

Even more dangerous is fitting flashers and then forgetting to cancel them. I fitted a buzzer in the headlamp which activates after a short time and then gradually increases in volume.

I will be fitting indicators (and warning buzzers) to my remaining bikes. I know some say that they destroy the look of old bikes but they could save your life.

Jim
Too old to Rock and Roll but too young to die.

1952 G80 rigid, 1960 G12 DL / Watsonian Monza, 1954 G80S.

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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby Andy51 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:34 pm

I find texting whilst on the bike very difficult - oh, I see I have misread the exam question. I fitted indicators, using round 60s type from Paul Goff. I modified the front indicator stalk mounting threads to fit mounting nuts in headlamp, and made a simple metal bracket to fit behind number plate - make this out of 1/16 in plus strip as it will vibrate a fair bit. PM me for more details and photos. PS I didn't fit buzzers/ repeater light but I will be doing so over the winter. Andy

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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby spookefoote1956 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:48 pm

I'm sure that they are probably a good idea. However, brother Albert has them on his Dommie and spends half the time finding the switch then leaves the darn things on leaving me to catch up and wave at him like a mad monkey!
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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby Cjay59 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:08 pm

John,

I have been thinking about fitting indicators as well on my AJS 18S, I remember pictures of the gauntlets with reflective white paint, don't want those, and I would of course like them to be discreet. I was watching a programme called 'Goblin Works Garage', series 2 episode 6, VW Campervan, but there is also a bike build as part of it. A Ducati Hill Climber, he fits a micro LED light set up from Germany, road legal, and are, half the size of a pound coin, which includes, brake light, tail light and indicator.

Like these...

LED Indicators.jpg
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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby les ward » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:15 pm

I was at a mini roundabout and put my arm out to turn right. The young girl stopped, but as I turned started off again. I stopped with my front wheel against her front wing. She said, "I thought you had changed your mind, because you put your arm down". After that I decided to fit indicators.

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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby Reynard24 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:34 pm

If it's a bike I ride with a pillion then I fit indicators, for those I ride alone I use hand signals.
I have fitted both the Lucas type and Honda style round indicators. The former have plastic indicator bowls and tend to vibrate loose. The Honda type have a metal bowl and fit on a splined shaft so do not. Switches are easily sourced and fitted - there are some really unobtrusive switch clusters available on ebay for around £15.
I wouldn't bother with the smaller indicators from China - if you're going to fit them, you want them to be seen otherwise you might as well keep using hand signals.
With your 55 bike you have a pair of fairly large holes already in the headlamp ears and headlamp itself - these would be OK for the Lucas type but may be a bit large for the Honda stems which are 8mm. You would need a reflector with a pilot bulb though to replace the torpedo sidelights. You also have two sets of bolt holes that secure the rear mudguard tail section and grab rails and one set of these could be used to mount the indicators but you'd have to route the cables carefully to avoid being chafed by the rear tyre.
On my bikes I have used the headlamp fixing bolt holes and made brackets to fit onto the back of the numberplate holder and mounted the rear indicators on these.

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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby alanjennings » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:43 pm

Just fit indicators and use them when you feel it is neccesary- like when turning right in the dark!!
Alan [Morini] Jennings

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Re: To indicate or not to indicate?

Postby Richard Mills » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:48 pm

I have fitted indicators to my Matchless, BSA and Velocette. I like to keep my hands on the handlebar and not be waving them about in the air. Also, hand signals can only be given when the controls do not need to be operated (above story illustrates this problem). Unfortunately I have not had good reliability from LED indicators (I think that the vibration kills them) and have reverted to bulbs on one of them and may change the others as and when they fail again. Perhaps would not have had problems if I had bought from a different source eg Goff. Bulbs can be used OK because the Matchless and BSA have 180W, 3 phase alternators, and the Velocette has an Alton alternator. Whatever, I would not ride them without indicators being fitted (or mirrors).

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