Vololights | Bright Ideas for Safer Motorcycling
Vololights Brakeless Deceleration Indicator

Vololights and VoloMod Brakeless Deceleration Indicator.

The slipper clutch was invented because downshifting a motorcycle at high speed and dumping the clutch can decelerate the bike extremely hard. The consequence of this is a skid and loss of control – roughly the equivalent of locking the rear brake, but without touching the brake pedal.

A less emphatic downshift at lower speeds can likewise cause the bike to decelerate without causing a dangerous skid. But instead, this type of downshift can scrub off speed without using the brake, and following traffic won’t be warned by the bike’s brake light which may result in a rear-end collision.

Now imagine you had a brake light system that not only senses deceleration and lights up some bright rear-facing red LEDs, but lights them up in such a way that the intensity matches the degree of deceleration — even though you aren’t using the brakes. Just such a smart solution is now available – the Vololights Brakeless Deceleration Indicator.

In addition, even though it is not intended to act as a replacement for your bike’s brake-activated stop light, it can function as a back-up system in the event your brake light bulb burns out. The system enables following drivers to know you are slowing down—and warns them about how rapidly you are slowing down.

So, how does this thing work? Vololights’ patented technology combines a three-axis accelerometer and microprocessor to measure deceleration whether it is caused by engine braking, downshifting or applying the brakes. But the system goes beyond the function of indicating deceleration; it also has the capability to make the degree of deceleration more perceptible to other drivers. With a variable flash rate, the degree of deceleration is also perceptible to the driver behind you. The greater the rate of deceleration, the more intense the flash rate.

The product also has three sensitivity settings that can be selected based on the type of riding— and therefore the type of deceleration most likely to routinely occur. For example, a sportbike rider who tends to use more braking force than a commuter bike rider or touring bike rider can select the “sport” setting to have the system outputs adjusted accordingly.

The system is designed for simple installation with no special crimping tools required. The Vololights license plate frame runs on your motorcycle’s 12 VDC power taken from the rear license plate illumination bulb. The Vololights unit also has its own onboard license plate illumination LED so your bike will still be street legal.

The product as delivered includes everything necessary for installation (see image), including four screws to secure your license plate between the front and rear Vololight frame. Then the two bolts that secured your license plate to your bike originally are used to secure the frame assembly to the motorcycle.

The included quick connector is used to secure the two wire power. Once that is completed, turn the motorcycle’s power on, calibrate Vololights one time by placing the magnet that is included in front of the lens momentarily while the motorcycle is upright on a flat surface.  The Vololights unit flashes to indicate that the device is calibrated.  When that is done you’re ready to ride.

There are two products in the lineup at the moment. One is the Vololights license plate unit, shown here, which is mounted in the place of your standard license plate. The other product, which we will focus on in an upcoming article, known as the VoloMod is designed for:

  • Harley Davidson owners
  • International/domestic riders with different sized license plates that may not fit the Vololights license plate model
  • Customers with fender eliminator kits
  • Riders who do not want to see additional hardware on their motorcycles but want the benefits of Vololights.

The VoloMod is essentially an upgraded circuit board without the LED lights or license plate frame. It is a 2” x 2” (5.08 cm x 5.08 cm) weatherproof box with two sets of wire leads that will function the same although it will be installed under your motorcycle’s seat (or in another suitable location) and in-line with your current brake lights or directional signals.

The VoloMod kit includes the connectors, calibration magnet and self-adhesive hook-and-loop patches to mate with the hook-and-loop material that is factory installed on the back of the weatherproof module box (see image).

The product is the result of collaboration between Jesse Szynal and Faizal Ali, both from California. Szynal tells Ultimate MotorCycling that their company, Vectolabs, LLC., has just signed on with Parts Unlimited, to facilitate national and international distribution. For additional information, visit Vololights.

Stay connected to Ultimate MotorCycling as we follow-up with details on the VoloMod product, and installation/use reviews of both products in the near future!