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Hi All

Just taking a poll........night riding??? Yay or nay. I am thinking about taking my scoot on a 35 mile ride into NYC to check in someone to my Airbnb this evening and by the time I ride home it will be dark. I have rode the 35 miles to and from countelss times during the day......but never at night.
@caschnd1 avatar
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Absolutely! I didn't own a car from 2003 until 2015. I spent half the year riding to work in darkness. Just make sure you have good lighting on your scooter. I used a really bright LED tail light. The upside of riding after dark, people are looking for lights. During they day they often overlook us because they are looking for larger vehicles. I think riding at night sort of levels the playing field (assuming you have modern bright lighting).
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caschnd1 wrote:
Absolutely! I didn't own a car from 2003 until 2015. I spent half the year riding to work in darkness. Just make sure you have good lighting on your scooter. I used a really bright LED tail light. The upside of riding after dark, people are looking for lights. During they day they often overlook us because they are looking for larger vehicles. I think riding at night sort of levels the playing field (assuming you have modern bright lighting).
Yes, I have a 2022 GTS. I ride at night all the time close to home, just never have done a long ride at night. Thanks for your thoughts!
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UTC quote
I ride at night frequently, and visibility is very important. A good headlight and tail light are big factors, but also any reflective material or decals you have will also help you be seen.

Take a route you are familiar with, stay aware of all possible traffic, and ride defensively.
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jimc wrote:
Now if you can get the deer to wear them…
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Yup. Somedays it's the only time you can ride during the summer in Phoenix.
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In built up urban areas - no problem at all. In country areas where a kangaroo or wombat might jump out in front of me - I try to avoid.
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I do it but I don't find it fun. If out in the country I try to follow a car because his lights provide so much more visibility.
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The best riding is often between sunset and sun rise. Less traffic, more empty roads.

If you're in deer country, just be mindful that it's close to dusk and dawn that nocturnal creatures can get more active.

Other than that, as long as you don't suffer from poor vision, enjoy the best time to be on the road.
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Night riding? Of course! It can add some to the challenges of riding, such as glare or other visibility issues, but it's also awesome and I do it almost every day.
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I try to avoid night riding. Just a personal choice.

We group ride out in the rural midwest. The problem with
deer moving actively just after dusk and at night is significant.

We have actively avoided riding out into the country to
steak houses at night. We try to stay closer to the small
town we over night in on extended rides and select
restaurants in town.

Hey, we are dodging deer mid day. Usually they move around
after dusk. But, the moms can not control the young fawns
and follow them as they dash around mid day.

Last year, I had the fawn cross out of ditch directly in
front of me and the mom pass between my scoot and
my following rider. Crazy braking and swerving saved
the day. Usually, we can see them 50 yards ahead and
almost bring the riding group to a stop for safety.

Deer hits by cars are big in Frostbite Falls Minnesota

Bob Copeland
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Every work day… something about needing to be in plant, and on the production floor by 4:45 am…. Or playing in St. Louis and coming home later than I planned….
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UTC quote
for me, it's all about the animals. riding in areas with animals on the road at night is too dangerous for me. but in metro I'm happy at night as long as it's not raining (lights + wet visor is a kaleidoscope)
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The streets in my adopted hometown are in a sorry state of disrepair. Makes night riding feel like a shitty video game where you only get one life. I do it when I have to but I never look forward to it.
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UTC quote
DiBiasio wrote:
The streets in my adopted hometown are in a sorry state of disrepair. Makes night riding feel like a shitty video game where you only get one life.
Ditto here in Houston.
As long as I stay on a familiar route I have all the potholes memorized and it makes for good memory exercises.

I was out one night a few years back and "discovered" a new pothole that literally broke my rear shock.
I don't know how or why my front wheel made it through without flipping me but it sure did a number on the rear shock.
Felt like I was riding a low rider the rest of the way home. Wha? emoticon
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Maybe different across the country.

Here in Minnesota, we had five mild winters which allowed
the deer population to significantly expand. Local
municipalities, in the greater urban Twin Cities, allow the police
to hunt deer. The harvested kills were processed and the
meat provided to food shelves.

This last winter was extreme and the deer population was
checked.

Here is the issue. The leash law no longer allowed dogs to
roam free. These unleashed dogs drove deer and other
animals out of urban areas. The dogs did not hurt these
animals - they just barked them out of the city.

Now, I have had everything but bears in my backyard.
Deer, coyotes, racoons, red fox, rabbits, ducks, squirrels.

I am not against the dog leash law. But it has changed things.
I see dead deer everyday on the side of the road on my way
to work.

So, riding a scooter or a car at night is an issue.

Bob Copeland
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adri wrote:
The best riding is often between sunset and sun rise. Less traffic, more empty roads.

If you're in deer country, just be mindful that it's close to dusk and dawn that nocturnal creatures can get more active.

Other than that, as long as you don't suffer from poor vision, enjoy the best time to be on the road.
Case and point. There is a 14 mile stretch of a wonderful road along the hudson river that during the day can be busy - this evening it felt like it was all mine! Great experience.
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Kind of a rare bird here perhaps...because every one of my rides, for 9 years - starts in and sometimes ends in the dark hours before and after dawn.
Reasons? Less traffic, nice fresh countryside smells and vista's.
Recommendations include:
1) Ride known roads (the dark is not a good time to go exploring)
2) Ride at a speed within the lighting of your scooter.
3) Give serious thought to improving your rear lighting to increase your visibility to following traffic. LED light bars, lighted top cases, etc. (especially if you ride in the fog or rain at night)
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

Relax and enjoy the serenity of night rides!

O.S.
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I ride at night, but mostly in the summer because it gets rather cold at nights for the majority of the other seasons. It's more dangerous than riding during the day, IMO. Lots of stupid animals out, including deer and drunk humans.
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Molto Verboso
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for me scooter riding is recreational so I usually only ride during daylight hours. Perhaps I am a wimp but I accept that.
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I'm another who only rides for pleasure and again that is during daylight hours.

somerset
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In spite of the excellent lights on my newer bikes I gave up riding after dark years ago. I've just lost too many riding buddies to drunken idiots.
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UTC quote
Fritz Katzenjammer wrote:
In spite of the excellent lights on my newer bikes I gave up riding after dark years ago. I've just lost too many riding buddies to drunken idiots.
Yeah that's a problem downtown as well even with the RIDE program often being at many of the intersections.

Other that I'm fine with roads I know and just ok on those if don't. The potholes here are everywhere due to all the condos going up in the west side
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I'm a fan of wearing night glasses with yellow or amber tinted lenses. I find this to be especially helpful at dusk.

I cannot vouch for the 'as seen on TV' options that make specific claims of improved visibility. I'm just talking about a pair of old Oakley's I had for winter sports on cloudy days and to reduce the glare off my face shield.

When I lived in the Bay Area and would attend Quitters meet-ups.. I would ride at night from San Francisco back to Oakland, over the bay bridge. It only sucked if I was leaving the same time a Giants game was ending.
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UTC quote
LarryMK wrote:
for me scooter riding is recreational so I usually only ride during daylight hours. Perhaps I am a wimp but I accept that.
... so what though? "Recreational" and darkness are not mutually-exclusive.
The most fun recreational activities are typically done at night
somerset wrote:
I'm another who only rides for pleasure and again that is during daylight hours.

somerset
Likewise, pleasure and darkness not mutually-exclusive, and many of the most pleasurable things are typically done at night...
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
I have nothing against night driving but I live in an area with a lot of very aggressive and often drunk drivers. Drunk driving is more likely at night so I will keep my driving to daytime hours. The sad thing is that in my area there are two scooter clubs and I would like to ride with them but there are two issues. One is they are not really that close to me and it would be a 45 minute ride for me just to join up with them and they do a lot of night rides and while riding in a group at night should be fine I still have that long ride to meet with them and then get home. Oh well anyways now it is a bit to hot to go riding
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I share the same concern as others who stay away from rural night riding. I worry about critters coming out of nowhere and causing me to lose control. I don't mind occasional city night riding but usually won't ride on a Friday or Saturday night. Sure, anything could happen any day of the week but I somehow feel safer on a weeknight.
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The presence of deer is what makes me pucker a bit at night. Every once in a while I see a road kill on my route and wonder if that could have been mine.

OTOH, did a downtown Minneapolis night ride to see the lights with oakwoodjoe (thanks Joe!) and it was awesome! Some irregular pavement but nary a deer in sight.

I do love dusk riding...if it's light enough to at least see something about to cross the road, but a bit of that, I dunno, privacy or whatever of semi-darkness, seeing my dashboard lights....
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UTC quote
fledermaus wrote:
I do love dusk riding...if it's light enough to at least see something about to cross the road, but a bit of that, I dunno, privacy or whatever of semi-darkness, seeing my dashboard lights....
Same here! Dusk is a great time to ride. I know that feeling of seeing the scooter lights, the pavement moving below you, and the last light of the sun setting.
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It's a common misconception that motorcycle/scooter riding is more dangerous at night. Not according to statistics.

The majority of PTW accidents and fatalities happen in broad daylight under clear skies on streets with speeds under 40 mph, mostly at intersections.
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giallo wrote:
It's a common misconception that motorcycle/scooter riding is more dangerous at night. Not according to statistics.

The majority of PTW accidents and fatalities happen in broad daylight under clear skies on streets with speeds under 40 mph, mostly at intersections.
Yes, but people need to tell themselves things so they can justify their decisions to themselves, so they will ignore you for saying this lol
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giallo wrote:
It's a common misconception that motorcycle/scooter riding is more dangerous at night. Not according to statistics.

The majority of PTW accidents and fatalities happen in broad daylight under clear skies on streets with speeds under 40 mph, mostly at intersections.
That is interesting, but statistics like that can be a bit deceiving as it is likely most PTW driving is during the day, making the likelihood of accidents more common during the day, so it is hard to know how to interpret that stat.
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LarryMK wrote:
That is interesting, but statistics like that can be a bit deceiving as it is likely most PTW driving is during the day, making the likelihood of accidents more common during the day, so it is hard to know how to interpret that stat.
That is a good point. Also true that accident rates are highest among inexperienced PTW riders. And when are most inexperienced riders out and about - yes, daytime.
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My favorite time to ride! Cool, clear, less traffic. When the days get shorter around here (pretty much Sept - April!) it's mandatory to ride in some dark if I'm going to commute, and that's the primary purpose of my PTW.

Acknowledged: Deer are an issue in the suburbs or country
Bugs will also overcome your windshield and face shield in a matter of minutes as well.
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Dooglas wrote:
That is a good point. Also true that accident rates are highest among inexperienced PTW riders. And when are most inexperienced riders out and about - yes, daytime.
also a good point
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UTC quote
giallo wrote:
It's a common misconception that motorcycle/scooter riding is more dangerous at night. Not according to statistics.

The majority of PTW accidents and fatalities happen in broad daylight under clear skies on streets with speeds under 40 mph, mostly at intersections.
MN Fatal crash stats for year through 5/23/22:

Index 2022 MOTORCYCLE RIDER DEATH STATISTICS NOTES

· HELMET USE
○ Riders wearing a helmet 3
○ Riders not wearing a helmet 5
○ Not known if Riders wearing a helmet 0
· SINGLE-VEHICLES CRASHES vs. MULTI-VEHICLE CRASHES

○ Crashes involving only the motorcycle 4
○ Crashes involving motorcycle & another vehicle 4

· THREE-WHEELED MOTORCYCLE FATALITIES
○ Fatalities involving three-wheeled motorcycle 0

· MOTORCYCLE vs. ANIMAL
○ Crashes involving rider colliding with animal 0

· PASSENGER FATALITIES
○ Passengers died in motorcycle crashes 0

· MOTORCYCLE LICENSE ENDORSEMENT or PERMIT
○ Operators had a valid endorsement or permit 3
○ Operators did not have valid endorsement or permit 5

· NEGOTIATING CURVES
○ Crashes involving rider negotiating curve 3

· RIDER DEATH BY AGE
Under 20: 0
20's: 1
30's: 2
40's: 3
50's: 1
60's: 1
70's: 0
80's: 0
90's: 0
Unknown: 0

· RURAL vs. URBAN AREA
○ Crashes happened in rural area 6
○ Crashes happened in urban area 2

· SPEED vs. LIMIT
○ Motorcyle speed exceeding posted limit 3
○ Motorist speed exceeding posted limit 0

· SUSPECTED ALCOHOL38
○ Alcohol/Drug impairment factor 2


So far that's zero fatal crashes with an animal this year. BTW, 2022's been a much better year for MC safety than 2021 which was extremely high.

I will get data for crashes by time of day but they don't publish, because it's tough to estimate, night hour crashes vs miles ridden. They do estimate that on aggregate but not hourly. (Next month I should get crashes as well as fatal crash data. That comes out less often.)
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Fun fact about crash statistics where speeding is involved: unless they don't have positive proof of speeding, they go with their assumptions. Cars are usually listed as going the speed limit.

For the poll, I'll ride whenever. It depends on WHY much more than when. For general traffic and wildlife, dusk and dawn are the most dangerous times. Animals are more active and sun glare makes motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles near-invisible. For trouble, my experience is later at night is when you need to pay attention for different reasons...DUIs, people looking for trouble, overtired drivers, etc.
Mostly, I just shift risk priorities throughout the day, plus whether it's the weekend, plus if a holiday is near.

This weekend, for example. People are going to be loony. Be safe out there, day or night.
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UTC quote
I used to ride at night but stopped when my cataracts got bad. I have had surgery for them now but haven't tried it again. I don't think the LED headlight on my hpe is that great.
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Joined: UTC
Posts: 2290
Location: Ohio
UTC quote
Fritz Katzenjammer wrote:
In spite of the excellent lights on my newer bikes I gave up riding after dark years ago. I've just lost too many riding buddies to drunken idiots.
Sorry for losses.
I hear you...drunks late at night.
I'll say this....5:30 > 7am is not when drunks are on the roads around here.
Either smoking hulks in a ditch, on their roof - or laying in their vomit in the front yard.

O.S.
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