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Thread: Is AHO a relevant law for motorcyles?

  1. #1
    Rookie sansubr's Avatar
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    Default Is AHO a relevant law for motorcyles?

    Hello xBhpians,

    I'm just an ordinary biker who commutes to work and does some weekend rides. I'm not a motorcyling fanatic or a raging motorcyling groupie, but what I enjoy riding is a well built, reliable, practical, good performing motorcycle for the money I pay. So, while I may not have the tone or perspective some of the petrol heads may have, please bear with me.

    I feel that our (Indian) manufacturers have done a fantastic job over the years to create some of the most wonderful motorcyles. From practical usage to performance oriented to pure enthusiast variants, they have everything to meet the entire economic spectrum of our society. I wanted to understand if they are being held back by archaic, irrelevant laws created by the bureaucracy of our country. And consequently, are we being flogged for the bureaucracy's idiocy?

    The Road and Transport ministry passed a compliance circular to motorcycle manufacturers saying from April 1st, 2017, all vehicles must have an always-on headlight.

    I would like to know what really is the purpose of AHO when DRLs were previously made mandatory by the same bureaucracy on motorcycles? From what I understand, an always headlight is required in places where you need to know if there is oncoming traffic in cases of fog, smog or obviously, low visibility. Clearly, this law is relevant in places where fog and visibility affects riding.

    Now, coming to India, less than 25% of our country is affected by severe fog - this 25% includes the coldest motorable roads and also densely populated urban areas from Himachal to Amritsar to Delhi to Ganga plains and NE.

    I come from a tropical climate down south. Pray tell me, why does a manufacturer need to follow this law to make AHO here? There are only two seasons in most places in Southern India - decently hot and very hot. If this was not enough, mother nature decided to gift a third weather type called sweat to coastal areas. I'm sure Mumbaikars and Chennai people can relate

    Dude, can someone tell the bureaucrats that for people like us, fog is like northern lights? It's a phenomenon we pay money to travel to see!

    Now, this law looks like a copy-paste job from some European union law by some lethargic bureaucrats. What is surprising is that no manufacturer has asked why exactly do they need to put AHO on motorcyles when the same bureaucrats have not asked car manufacturers to do the same!? What is even more surprising is that consumers like us have not bothered asking why on earth do I need a AHO on my bike in 35 deg C weather as if sunlight was not melting the poor oncoming rider enough, I would make him feel more at home with my headlight. Also, I already have DRLs for this very purpose!

    This law is only relevant to some parts as I mentioned above and manufacturers can work with dealers to implement AHO in the regions where it is required.

    Why does AHO bother me?
    I have read posts on xBhp and posts across the internet that have mentioned how this AHO will apply more load on the alternator and thus the engine. Doesn't this mean the engine will consume more petrol? While this may be negligible from an individual perspective, this going to more petrol imports overall. Does this make sense when the govt is pushing EV tech and reduction in dependency on oil.
    Since the light is running more often than it should, it may have to be replaced often. That is ₹ for me.
    Secondly, new bikes and scooters are coming with LED headlamps which are seriously blinding and annoying. I don't mind the warm yellow light, but this white light is torture either during day or night. Feeling aside, while LEDs may be efficient in power consumption, LED lamps cause us fatigue.
    Thirdly, I need to pay ₹ to install a switch to turn off my headlight because I don't like disturbing the oncoming traffic and concerned people who say, "bhaiyya aapka light on hai," although this is a dying trend these days. Looks like they know the silliness that is going on.

    Now, does putting an on-off switch affect production cost for manufacturers? I don't know. Maybe qualified people can answer.

    I may be misinformed and would like you to guide me in the right path.
    But please tell me why we cannot have decentralized motor vehicle laws.

    If what I say is right, it is time that we take this up with the authorities.
    If I ever get a chance to visit the concerned authorities office, I'm going to shake his hand, sit on the chair, take my phone, turn on the torch, throw the light directly on his face and continue talking.

    Thank you
    ---
    नमो नमः

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    Default Re: Is AHO a relevant law for motorcyles?

    Thread approved.

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    Default Re: Is AHO a relevant law for motorcyles?

    AHO is more of safety feature, it helps in visibility of the bike by others which improves safety on road. I agree that this will be most useful during seasons of dense fog and also when it rains. Though there are many areas in our country which don't suffer from fog it is still good to have feature. It help even in broad daylight because people are not always very alert on streets and in our country in which all kinds of beigns from dogs, cats, cattle to children, old people and stupid people are on the streets, so it definitely helps. It was not done before because we didn't know its value and cost was prohibitive but with technology and general improvement in civic sense we can and should adopt these features which are tailored towards safety.

    Just take the simple example of the current set of very popular TVS XL mopeds on the road, these hardly used any lights any time of day but now they all sport a small led front light which is cheap, doesn't consume much power but it now makes this moped easily visible on roads.

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    Default Re: Is AHO a relevant law for motorcyles?

    Virtually every motorcycle sold in the US has an always-on headlight. It's a safety feature. Having your headlight on at all times increases the distance at which your bike can be seen by oncoming motorists even on a clear sunny day. It also helps to differentiate your bike from a busy background such as in heavy traffic, making it less likely some car driver will turn left in front of you.

    Studies have shown, and several motorcycle safety organizations here in the US recommend, that safety is further increased by riding during the day with the headlight on high beam all the time (but remember to switch to low beam at night when around other traffic so you don't dazzle other drivers).

    As to the cost issue, US bikes don't have on-off, just a high-low, so the extra switch is not necessary. For Indian bikes, you shouldn't need to add a new switch, just use the one already on the bike. The vast majority of bikes should have the light wired so the light goes off when the ignition is shut off anyway, so you can just leave the switch in the "on" position. Regarding electric load, the low beam on the headlight draws maybe 12-15 watts at most, and even the tiny bikes of India are going to use alternators that generate many times that much power. The fuel cost might be on the order of one extra litre per year, maybe two if you ride a lot. And you're not likely to need to replace the bulb much more often. What kills incandescent bulbs is the cycle of on-off and the temperature change involved. Having it on all the time does mean it goes on-off every time you ride, but even then, it's not that much more.

    And don't knock those LED lights. They draw far lower power, sometimes 4 watts or less, for the same amount of light. And that eye-searing color is a lot closer to the hue of sunlight, meaning your eyes will see more detail when looking at things illuminated by that light. The problem you describe has nothing to do with the lights themselves, and everything to do with riders who don't have their headlights properly aligned.
    ATGATT: All The Gear, All The Time!

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    Post Re: Is AHO a relevant law for motorcyles?

    If you are a driver of a big taurus truck, the visibility of motorcycles in the left hand (especially) and right hand side when you are on the sides of the lorry is very less. What I would hope is this AHO may be at least a proactive step in helping other drivers to find two wheelers near them. Remember, we have people with less eye sight and poor reflexes also driving. This AHO must have some positive effect overall.

    PS:I will prefer rider should honk once or twice the horn shortly to alert when overtaking and when you are on the left side of large vehicles. This honking is more of a necessity in Indian conditions.

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    Rusted ROCKRZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is AHO a relevant law for motorcyles?

    Quote Originally Posted by sansubr View Post
    Now, coming to India, less than 25% of our country is affected by severe fog - this 25% includes the coldest motorable roads and also densely populated urban areas from Himachal to Amritsar to Delhi to Ganga plains and NE. ...
    Just because you dont require it, doesn't mean nobody requires it. also, saying that its required only for 25% of regions( and hence not relevant), is like saying i use my toilet seat for less than 2% of the day, hence it shouldn't be there.

    Quote Originally Posted by sansubr View Post
    I have read posts on xBhp and posts across the internet that have mentioned how this AHO will apply more load on the alternator and thus the engine. Doesn't this mean the engine will consume more petrol?
    Theoretically, yes, it does add load. but then the horn consumes more power than any led drl. Also, the load on the alternator is irrelevant since its chump change for most alternators on indian bikes. Yes, fuel consumption will increase. but, the amount of extra fuel consumed is so less that eve experts wont be able to tell the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by sansubr View Post
    Since the light is running more often than it should, it may have to be replaced often. That is ₹ for me
    Yes, the LED will burn out faster and replaced often. but you need to retrospect how important is you being visible to others to avoid an accident. If its okay for you to being knocked down by someone who didn't notice you, i would strongly recommend adding a switch to turn it off. It is a feature to add a layer of safety and make your 2 wheeler more visible to others. It wont prevent a accident, but it helps the other driver to notice you if he errs.

    Quote Originally Posted by sansubr View Post
    Secondly, new bikes and scooters are coming with LED headlamps which are seriously blinding and annoying. ... Feeling aside, while LEDs may be efficient in power consumption, LED lamps cause us fatigue.
    blinding and GLARE from headlamps aren't new. You cannot blame the regulation if the service center doesn't do the basics of headlight leveling.
    Whats annoying for you, is basically easy spotting to others.

    Quote Originally Posted by sansubr View Post
    Thirdly, I need to pay ₹ to install a switch to turn off my headlight...Now, does putting an on-off switch affect production cost for manufacturers?
    The basic point of the regulation is to not turn off the headlights. so the removal of switch is well justified. However, when you install that, you are bypassing the regulation and hence being on the illegal side. So, i strongly recomend you to save the cost and have a mentos
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    Default Re: Is AHO a relevant law for motorcyles?

    Companies have started adding the on-off switch on some models again.
    The idea is to have a LED DRL strip always ON and a dedicated ON-OFF switch for the main headlamp.

    TVS Ntorque
    Bajaj Avenger series

    I am not sure if this is a bypass of the law or not, but no one has any objection on these vehicles.

    For me, the AHO spoils the look of a good DRL, KTM 250 and 390 have really good looking DRLs which go unnoticed by the headlight always ON.

    And if TVS and Bajaj can give us these setups (with LED DRL always On and A dedicated switch for main headlamps), why not all the manufacturers.
    If the bike is a basic 100 cc commuter, dodge the switch. But if the bike is an expensive premium bike with DRLs, give it a switch like the above two examples.
    One person wants the AHO, switch it ON and forget about it, another one wants to show off his swanky DRLs, they will be always ON anyway.
    #bpk likes this.
    I would like to thank my legs for supporting me, my arms for being always by my side and my fingers; I could always count on them.

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