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Turn Signals and Marker Lights - is there a difference?

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Old 04-12-2011, 05:01 PM
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Default Turn Signals and Marker Lights - is there a difference?

To those of you who've been around a while, these may sound like pretty dub questions. Yeah, I'm a newb.

Maryland doesn't require turn signals on motorcycles. But, as a safety and liability thing, I want them anyway. I'm putting a Wide Glide rear fender on my Fat Bob and don't really like any of the solutions I've seen for relocating turn signals if I want to keep my quick detach mount. Great Bike Gear, I think, has the best option I've seen so far, but I'm not crazy with how it looks when bags are off.

I've seen some marker lights that have potential.

So, beyond the fact that turn signals blink, what's the difference between turn signals and amber marker lights? Is the blinking relay "in" the turn signal, so you need a "turn signal" lamp for it to blink or is the blinking controller before the turn signal, so any light will do?

If it's brightness, I can remedy that with a brighter LED - essentially putting a turn signal bulb in a marker light bracket - is that correct?

Ideas, suggestions and pics are appreciated - vou


For what it's worth and for people who may search this issue, here's the DOT turn signal location requirements for motorcycles:

At or near the front—1 amber on each side of the vertical centerline at the same height, and having a minimum horizontal separation distance (centerline of lamps) of 16 inches. Minimum edge to edge separation distance between lamp and headlamp is 4 inches

At or near the rear—1 red or amber on each side of the vertical centerline, at the same height and having a minimum horizontal separation distance (centerline to centerline of lamps) of 9 inches. Minimum edge to edge separation distance between lamp and tail or stop lamp is 4–inches, when a single stop and taillamp is installed on the vertical centerline and the turn signal lamps are red.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:59 PM
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To those of you who've been around a while, these may sound like pretty dub questions. Yeah, I'm a newb.

Maryland doesn't require turn signals on motorcycles. snip.......
Really??? No turn signals? That is so weird.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:18 PM
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As for the difference between signal and marker lights.
Signal lights flash, or blink.
Markers are on steady and do not flash or blink.
Signal lights on front must be white or amber, or any shade in between.
Signal lights on back must be amber or red, or any shade between.
Marker lights are amber for front and red for back.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:22 PM
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Signal light have a "flasher" installed in the system (the light bulb does not have the capability to 'cause' the flashing). The marker lights do not have the "flasher" in the circuit.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:23 PM
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Really??? No turn signals? That is so weird.
Yeah, isn't it.

TITLE 21. VEHICLE LAWS - RULES OF THE ROAD

§ 22-206. Stop lamps and turn signals.

(2)(b) Turn signals.- Every motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer registered in this State and sold as a new vehicle after June 1, 1961, shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps meeting the requirements of § 22-219(b) through (h) of this subtitle, except that:

(1) Motorcycles need not be equipped with electric turn signal lamps; and

Last edited by voudoujoe; 04-12-2011 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:27 PM
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I just Googled that too. Really weird, but I imagine somewhere there is a provision saying you must use hand signals to turn or change lanes. Haven't checked that far.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:29 PM
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Signal light have a "flasher" installed in the system (the light bulb does not have the capability to 'cause' the flashing). The marker lights do not have the "flasher" in the circuit.
OK. So, the flashing is somewhere in the turn signal unit - meaning that if it isn't a "turn signal, it won't blink and there's not much you can do to make it blink.

Thanks, arcticharleyman
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:45 PM
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I just Googled that too. Really weird, but I imagine somewhere there is a provision saying you must use hand signals to turn or change lanes. Haven't checked that far.
Yes and no. You have to give a signal if turning might affect another vehicle. That's pretty subjective. My brother is a Trooper and says, basically, if its safe to make the lane change without signaling, then it's not required.

Given the fact that bikes are invisible, it doesn't warm my heart.

Also not that (f)(2) says may and not must. Even if you have them and are supposed to signal, you don't have to use them.

§ 21-604. Turning, slowing, and stopping movements; required signals.

(c) Required signals.- A person may not, if any other vehicle might be affected by the movement, turn a vehicle until he gives an appropriate signal in the manner required by this subtitle.

(f) Use of signal lamps.- The signals provided for in § 21-605 (b) and (c) of this subtitle: (1) May be used to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a stopped, standing, or parked position; and

§ 21-605 says you can use am arm signal.
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:39 PM
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OK. So, the flashing is somewhere in the turn signal unit - meaning that if it isn't a "turn signal, it won't blink and there's not much you can do to make it blink.

Thanks, arcticharleyman
to modify a light from a marker to a running & turn signal system you must pull out the single element contact in the socket & replace it with a dual contact. It will now have 2 wires running to it.
the first wire runs the marker or running light & the second wire runs the turn signal. Your bulbs will now be dual element like an 1157 brake light bulb in your car's tail lights!
Hatch.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:03 AM
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Something to consider when choosing which turn signals to use. Those cute little LED lights may be very bright, but when I'm making a turn and someone is bearing down on me from behind, I sometimes find myself wishing for something the size of a 47 Buick hubcap with flashing train bulbs in it.
 
 
 
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