Thursday, June 9, 2016

The light has shined: Vololights addendum.

After two days and some tinkering, I got the Vololights to work pretty reliably on the PCX. They now work as advertised. Here's what I found, after some trial and error and input from others who have the product. To calibrate the accelerometer correctly, not only should the bike or scooter be off its side stand or center stand, it also should have someone on the seat. In my case, I found a kid at school from the current second term class who was about my weight to sit on it for me.

This got the scoot properly balanced and put the suspension right where it normally would be when I ride. After re-calibrating and resetting to touring mode, I asked him to drive the scoot down the parking lot, engine brake at a certain point, then continue and do some normal braking. On came the lights as soon as he let off the throttle completely.

It's nice to have the device properly calibrated to my scooter, though in order to get it to respond to engine braking, one can't gently roll off the throttle, it has to be a sudden change, which is still ok.

With everything working properly, it was time to do a bit of surgery to the PCX. I borrowed a pneumatic cutting tool from the tool room at school and nipped off the bottom of the fender. It's pretty clean job and appears almost as if it was intended to look like that.

So do I recommend the Vololights product? Yes I do, but I'd recommend that if you are not mechanically inclined, you get some help with the installation and calibration process. Let's go over the details:
  • Installation is simple enough, but you may need to grind off the edges of your plate to make it fit. This is not a fault with the product, just something to be aware of.
  • To wire the device into an existing wiring harness, you will need to do some splicing or cutting away of existing components. Additionally, you may want to use more durable connectors instead of the supplied option.
  • Calibration is tricky.
  • Once calibrated and set to the correct sensitivity for your bike or scooter, the device works as advertised and provides an extra element of safety.
  • The LED's are bright enough to be seen from a decent distance. I could still see them very well when the PCX was about 100 yards away. 
So long as you're aware of what you need to do to install and set up the device properly, you'll be fine. I feel, from my own perspective, that the Vololights plate frame is a solid safety accessory for any motorcycle or scooter.

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