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Distance, blind spot and camera: Ride Vision - safety flash for cyclists

Distance, blind spot and camera: Ride Vision – safety flash for cyclists

Blind spot, distance to the vehicle in front or collision warning: Until now, motorcyclists were responsible for their own safety. The Israeli company Ride Vision has now developed a system of the same name for self-assembly, which is intended to relieve the driver here. But that’s not quite without him.

Anyone who buys a new car these days usually also buys a whole arsenal of assistance systems. The distance to the car in front is measured, warnings of vehicles in the blind spot or imminent collision are given. These little helpers are quite strange for motorcyclists. In fact, very few manufacturers currently offer such complete security systems. Israeli company Ride Vision recognized this gap and developed an eponymous upgrade kit to close it.

Ride Vision’s two wide-angle cameras don’t really give a good picture on a naked bike.

(Photo: Holger Preiss)

The assistance and warning system includes two wide-angle cameras that are permanently mounted at the front and rear, warning LEDs to be placed in the side mirrors, a sensor that is mounted on the front wheel, and a control unit. It processes all the information and, ultimately, for the corresponding information. That sounds manageable and the Ride Vision company also sells the kit, which costs at least 500 euros, for self-assembly. However, connecting with the fancy wiring and connection requirements for the wide-angle cameras and wheel sensor is not that easy.

specialist needed

In fact, the writer of these lines had a specialist sent from Israel to help install the individual components, and without whom he would have probably ended up in disaster. Because it is not as easy as the manufacturer claims. Not even if the corresponding adhesive materials are already supplied with fairly simple assembly instructions. However, cameras, for example, require a clear view and must be placed at the bow and stern in such a way that the clear view is not disturbed by anything.

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The GPS transmitter is attached to the seat and the wheel sensor lights up when ready.

(Photo: Holger Preiss)

That brings other problems. At least for people who love the lines of their bikes: they are very annoyed by the camera eyes, which are not exactly small, and the cables that connect them to the control unit. Especially with naked bikes or even racing machines, everything looks a bit artificial in the truest sense of the word. The eyes can be hidden better with the slightly different coatings on the enduro models. Admittedly, because of the expected safety features, personal vanity must take a backseat to the motorcycle, but somehow it hurts the soul. Even when you know that there is currently no such sophisticated system as Ride Vision, even for series production motorcycles.

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The gateway to moisture?

But if the rear camera cable comes out of the taillight and there’s a gap right there that’s a moisture inlet of some sort, then you might want to rethink your installation idea. Because here it is accepted that moisture penetrates under the seat. Exactly in the same place where the battery is located on most motorcycles. The control unit itself must also be connected to it. Sure, because the piece needs electricity to work. And here the author was on the verge of anguish for a moment when the colleague from Israel used the cutter to open the insulation of the main battery line in order to connect the control unit to it, and then also solder it.

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The Ride Vision system control unit must be powered by the motorcycle battery.

(Photo: Holger Preiss)

Wiring the mirror-mounted LEDs to the lock with cable ties doesn’t really flatter the eye of the esthete. Especially since the complete side cladding has to be removed in order to move it in the direction of the control unit. So again: assembling the system is not easy and actually has its pitfalls that the layman can certainly fail at. In this sense, Ride Vision should reconsider the request with the phrase “easy mounting”. The manufacturer says: “We have found that most motorcyclists are real screwdrivers and have no problems with such an assembly.” Well, the author is not one of them.

In the end it works very well

But in the end, thanks to the kind colleague from Israel, everything is there and works very well. As proof of this, two yellow light-emitting diodes on the corresponding side mirror flash briefly when starting. However, to the author’s surprise, nothing happens when he rolls to the intersection. The car is barely two meters away. Everything is correct, explains the Ride Vision specialist, the system only reacts from a speed of 40 km/h. Instead, the exterior yellow LED in the left mirror suddenly lights up and warns that a VW Touran appears in the blind spot, then quickly overtakes its own motorcycle. This is useful because the lamp is faster than looking over your shoulder.

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Warnings are displayed by LEDs in the mirror and can then be viewed along with all other driving data in the Ride Vision app.

(Photo: Holger Preiss)

On secondary roads and motorways, however, a kind of light organ flickering starts when driving fast and on busy roads. The red LEDs in both mirrors flash frantically, emitting one collision warning after another. Because that is really annoying and the flickering doesn’t stop even when overtaking, the next stop is used for adjustment. Ride Vision provides an app with the control system. As long as the control unit is powered, ie as long as the ignition is switched on, the sensitivity of the warnings as well as the brightness of the LEDs can be adjusted here.

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curb wild flicker

Now that the wild blinking has been reduced a bit and the LEDs are no longer blinding the eyes, the system is becoming quite useful. Because yes, in the end you pay different attention when you ride a motorcycle than when you entertain yourself in the car. But if you don’t notice the person driving ahead or even swerve, then the flash of light is a tried and tested means of braking in time and stopping before a potential collision. The LEDs also warn you if vehicles get too close to your motorcycle from behind.

If it really fails, the recording of the two cameras can be of great help. But it is better to watch the movies for personal entertainment after the trip. In fact, the two cameras work like a dash cam. However, Ride Vision ensures that recordings that end up on a server will be deleted within three hours if the user does not download them. Because in combination with the data also stored in the app, such as the distance, the maximum speed reached, the angle of inclination and the number and type of warnings, it may not always be useful for the sporty driver. Incidentally, this latest data, apart from movies, is only stored on the user’s smartphone and can also be irretrievably deleted there at any time.