#255: ‘Fire’ safety

I noticed a motorcycle rider hammering down the motorway the other day. He stood out against the traffic, which included lots of other bikers, because be was wearing a tattered old plastic vest over his tattered old leathers. The vest itself had once been luminous green but was now a dirty shade of grunge. What made him so noticeable was its movement in his slipstream.

This set me thinking about how to make motorcyclists more visible by equipping them with a source of illuminated flickering. We are super sensitive to this kind of motion: perhaps because it resembles fire.


The trouble is convincing riders to wear anything that is a) uncool looking and b) tainted with the word ‘safety’.

Today’s invention is to provide each new machine with a small harness of fibreoptic cables attached to a variable speed strobe lamp at one end. The cables would be distributed around the machine (avoiding the rider and pillion) providing it with a christmas tree effect when in motion.

In order to avoid being described as such, the lights could be lit in flickering, wave-like sequences which resemble streamlines or flames and in colour(s) to match the bike itself.


  1. Bikers won`t go for it, because in theory, it would slow them down !

  2. I guess not all bikers are really as devoted to speed as they like to appear. Many are keener on looking ‘cool.’ An acquaintance of mine once bought a soft-top 911, which he never drove over 60mph, claiming that people couldn’t see him if he was going fast.

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