Print this page to keep with you on your motorcycle in
case you get stopped by the Police.
This Federal law supersedes all state
laws and makes motorcycle headlight modulators legal in all 50
108 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards)
(49 CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4) allows motorcycle
headlight modulation systems all
50 states provided they comply with the standards set forth in this
section. Title 49 USC 30103
(b1) (US Codes) prohibits any state
from forbidding a system that conforms to FMVSS 108. Click here to see the regulation.
Code of Federal Regulation - Title 49, Volume 5, Parts 400 to 999
Revised as of October 1, 2000
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 49CFR571.108]
TITLE 49: TRANSPORTATION -
CHAPTER V, NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY
ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
PART 571, FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE
SAFETY STANDARDS -
Subpart B--Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards -
Sec. 571.108 Standard No. 108;
Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment -
S7.9.4 Motorcycle headlamp modulation system.
S18.104.22.168 A headlamp on a motorcycle may be wired to modulate either the upper
beam or the lower beam from its maximum intensity to a
lesser intensity, provided that:
(a) The rate of modulation shall be 240
<plus-minus> 40 cycles per minute.
(b) The headlamp shall be operated at maximum power for 50 to 70 percent of
(c) The lowest intensity at any test point shall be not less than 17 percent
of the maximum intensity measured at the same point.
(d) The modulator switch shall be wired in the power lead of the beam filament
being modulated and not in the ground side of the circuit.
(e) Means shall be provided so that both the lower beam and upper beam remain
operable in the event of a modulator failure.
(f) The system shall include a sensor mounted with the axis of its sensing
element perpendicular to a horizontal plane. Headlamp modulation shall cease
whenever the level of light emitted by a tungsten filament light operating at
3000 deg. Kelvin is either less than 270 lux (25 foot-candles) of direct light
for upward pointing sensors or less than 60 lux (5.6 foot-candles) of
reflected light for downward pointing sensors. The light is measured by a
silicon cell type light meter that is located at the sensor and pointing in
the same direction as the sensor. A Kodak Gray Card (Kodak R-27) is placed at
ground level to simulate the road surface in testing downward pointing
(g) When tested in accordance with the test profile shown in Figure 9, the
voltage drop across the modulator when the lamp is on at all test conditions
for 12 volt systems and 6 volt systems shall not be greater than .45 volt. The
modulator shall meet all the provisions of the standard after completion of
the test profile shown in Figure 9.
(h) Means shall be provided so that both the lower and upper beam function at
design voltage when the headlamp control switch is in either the lower or
upper beam position when the modulator is off.
S22.214.171.124(a) Each motorcycle headlamp modulator
not intended as original equipment, or its container, shall be labeled with the
wattage, and the minimum wattage appropriate for its use. Additionally, each
such modulator shall comply with S126.96.36.199 (a) through (g)
when connected to a headlamp of the maximum rated power and a headlamp of the
minimum rated power, and shall provide means so
that the modulated beam functions at design voltage when the modulator is off.
(b) Instructions, with a diagram, shall be provided for mounting the light
sensor including location on the motorcycle, distance above the
road surface, and orientation with respect to the light.