August 2, 2020 - Tired of Waiting?
Sick and tired of traffic lights ignoring your bike because it weighs less than a Fiat? I can hear one hundred and sixty degree asphalt laughing at you now.
I don't know how many times I've had to run a perfectly good red light because of this, but it hasn't been lately that's for sure. Not since I learned a simple trick.
Traffic lights not programmed to change at pre-set timed intervals, change when triggered by a disturbance to the magnetic field of a large wire loop embedded under the road surface. When a large mass of metal passes over this loop, it's magnetic charge lets the traffic light know someone is waiting and the light changes to green... we hope.
But not always with a motorcycle.
You'd think a 750-lb. chunk of American steel would be enough to trigger the red/green brain, but often not. Regularly I have to sit through two or three signal rotations before I do the obligatory cop-scan and blow the light. There's one light just blocks from my place my Fat Bob would never trigger - until now.
One solution involves a little box known as a "green light trigger" you "hide" somewhere on your bike. Two problems however: It's not easy to aesthetically hide, and that little $30-$40 box (tax and shipping NOT included) is filled with $3.00-$4.00 of magnets you can buy at any hardware store.
Do what I did.
Take two 1-1/4" to 1-3/4" diameter round ceramic (or chrome plated) magnets and stick them to the underside of your bike. Magnets of this size are strong enough to stay in place no matter the depth of the pothole or ferocity of the train track.
You'll smile every time a magnetic field thinks you're riding a Peterbilt.