Dynamic brake lights explained

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Published on 10 July 2015 by Gill


Filed under Category: Features

BMW Motorrad has just released a dynamic brake light, designed to achieve a higher level of safety by improving the brake light function.

Braking and being seen by the traffic behind is vital for motorcycle riders’ safety on the road, so any product which can better warn drivers of following vehicles about when a motorbike is braking must be seen as a step forward. 

But how does this work? BMF asked its technical expert Ted Foreman to explain.

“So what this is doing is giving following driver an indication of how hard the bike is braking, BMW are following car technology where this has been recently introduced, it informs following drivers if the vehicle in front is just braking gently or really hard that is why the different stages are operated by rates of deceleration.

“With cars it is linked to the Brake assist function. Consider it as an automatic activation of the hazard warning lights - incidentally this was at a time the proposed operation but it was rejected in the EEC/UNECE.

“You will see it introduced on all bikes over time maybe even part of European Whole Vehicle Type approval.”

This additional brake light function, which is still limited to the EU / ECE area, warns following traffic in two stages when the motorcycle in front brakes hard or makes an emergency braking manoeuvre.

Stage one is activated when the motorcycle decelerates from speeds above 50 km/h. In this case the brake light flashes with a frequency of 5 Hz. As the motorcycle approaches standstill (less than 14 km/h), the hazard warning flashers are also turned on in the second stage. These remain turned on until the motorcycle accelerates again to a minimum speed of 20 km/h.

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BMW's new brake light