to add a little excitement to your night riding? Tire Flares may
be the answer!
These LED wheel lights screw on to the
valve stem of a motorcycle (or bicycle, car, etc.) and automatically
activate at night. The tiny LED light in each Tire Flare
automatically activates on
while the tire is rotating and shuts off within about 5 seconds or so
when the tire stops.
The Tire Flares don't flash, so the
continuous light forms a "light circle" as the tire is in
motion, providing a wonderful effect.
The multicolor version of the Tire Flares throw out
short pulses of very intense neon-like colors of red, blue, amber,
purple and green, and as the tire spins faster, the colors sort of merge
into each other and form other colors and a really cool rainbow-like
light (see photo below).
Tire Flares come two to a package.
Each Tire Flare has four AG8 button watch batteries included, and 6 more
batteries are also provided in the package. Battery life will
probably vary, but is claimed to be about 200 hours. LEDs take
very little power, and although I haven't used mine for anywhere near
200 hours, the batteries haven't run down yet either.
Each Tire Flare has a very small hex
screw in the metal barrel, and the provided hex wrench allows the Tire Flare
to be tightened against the valve stem to help prevent theft and to help
keep it in place.
They're very easy to install: first unscrew the
top of each Tire Flare to remove the plastic shipping protector covering
batteries. Screw the clear dome back on, install the Tire Flare on the valve stem,
tighten the hex screw, and you're ready to go. By the way,
the clear dome also has a small O-ring to help prevent
The Tire Flares weigh about 11g (3/8
oz.) each, so there's a possibility that you may have
to re-balance the tire, but I didn't notice any problems on the bikes
that we tried with Tire Flares installed.
Also, some bikes have very large disk
brakes that may hide the Tire Flare's LED light. My Triumph
Thunderbird Sport is a good example -- the combination of 17" tires
and large diameter dual front disks means that the Tire Flare is hidden
behind the disks and the effect is muted.
By the way -- I don't think it's a good
idea to install any type of device on a 90 degree valve stem. Any
type of spinning weight on a 90 degree valve stem has the potential of
separating the valve stem from the trim, which could have nasty results
They work great,
however, on my '86 BMW R65, with its 18" wheels and single small
front disk (and drum rear) brake. I didn't try the Tire Flares on
a bicycle, but I bet they would work great with a bicycle's huge tires
-- the kids would probably love a pair as a Christmas stocking stuffer!
tried everything I could think of to get a good photo at night as the
bike rode by, but between the bike's headlights and background lights in
the neighborhood, I couldn't
duplicate the effect that is seen by the naked eye.
So this photo
is a rough illustration of the color output from the multicolor
version of the Tire Flares. I spun a single Tire Flare around in
the dark with the camera's shutter on self-timer.
Tire Flares are a cool novelty item that
can really attract attention. They add a bit of fun to night
rides, and they sure draw a lot of stares. I'm not sure if this
type of lighting is legal in all jurisdictions, but they're easy
enough to remove if necessary.
And who knows -- maybe they add to
nighttime safety by making the motorcycle more visible? Oh, and
one more thing: Make sure you concentrate on riding, and don't try
looking down at your own tires!
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Review: Tire Flares LED Wheel Lights
Retail Price: £12.95 - £12.95/pr.
Red, white, blue, green, amber, purple or multicolor.
Comments: Very cool lighting effect for
motorcycle or other tires. Screws on to valve stem;
continuous (non-flashing) LED light. Automatically
turns off during daylight. The multicolor Tire Flare