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Visibility Project - Retroreflective Materials

I set out recently to make my GPZ more visible at night. Hopefully the info here will help others gain a little more safety for nighttime riding.

Step 1 - Improving Givi Reflectors

I came across this great tip one the web a while back. I wanted to post it here so hopefully a few more people might stumble across it. Behind the red reflectors (there are a few little black screws that hold on the reflector) on the Givi E360, E50 Maxia, and probably the E460, is a white celephane material. Supposedly this is to meet some European standard. The result is that the reflectors are quite ineffective. Replacing this white plastic film with a retroreflective material (Scotchlite, Reflexite, or similar) drastically increased the birghtness of the reflectors. I used a silver colored Reflexite material.

The daytime look of the bag is not changed, but the reflector brighness is dramatically improved at night. Below are a couple of pictures illustrating the difference that this the reflective material can make:

As you might guess only one of the E360 side bags and half of the Maxia topcase were reflectorized. These pictures were taken with a digital camera just outside the range of the flash. The flash is unable to significantly illuminate the bike, but the little light reaching the reflectors is directed back to the source by the retroreflective material. I felt that this flash test was an accurate representation of how the reflectors behave in a car's headlights.

Step 2 - A Tasteful Sprinkling of the GPZ with Reflective Tape (coming soon)

With some red and black (yes, black) Scotchlite material, I plan to tastefully highlight a few spots with reflective material. Particularly useful on the black GPZ will be the black Scotchlite which I plan to inconspicuously place on the bottom fork tubes among other places.

 

Materials Sources

I purchased the reflective material from two different sources: Galls and Gempers. Here's what each of them carry.

Gall's

Scotchlite- available in a wide assortment of colors and widths
Reflexite Daybrite - a less reflective but more visible in the daylight version of the Reflexite product
Gloflex - a retroreflective material that also glows after being exposed to light

Gempers

Reflexite - what I used on the Givi bags, available in a 2" wide by 25' roll. The 2" wide tape is perfect for the E360 bag.