Traffic lights can't see blue...

Anyone else having problems setting off the traffic sensors when riding big blue on the streets?? It's gettin a little old waiting for a car to show up just so I can get thru an intersection thats been empty for a week (read 15 sec.) It's either that or I gotta figure out a way to go everywhere using right hand turns...yikes!!! As far as I know, the ground sensors are either magnetic or inductive, and are sensitive to big things made of ferrous materials like iron and steel, and ride fairly close to the road surface. Probably not a problem for something kinda big and low like a Harley, but not good for the aluminum laden WR.

Anyway, anyone else have this problem??? late...Gary


'99 WR400 with CA plates...ooooh yeah!!!

yeah, i usually just run it if nobody's around, but i have dual sported long enough to know which lights are on a time delay and which search for a vehicle. most cops know a bike won't set it off and if you can clearly see no traffic around anywhere then most cops will not have a problem with it. i hope!?!

I asked an ex-trooper about that at work one day and he said that it is commonly known a single bike will have a tough time of tripping the sensor. He said that most officers will not even look twice, but others just may be looking for an excuse...

If there's traffic(cops) around I'll usually just put it in neutral,set it on the side stand,walk over and push the button for the pedestrian cross walk.Better than a ticket.

I push the button to if anyone is around.


There is a stratgy to trip these things. It depends on wether or not you can see the sensors, IE if the road has been repaved since the sensors were put in, The things look for meatle to disrupt their field, The bike, even the steel frame of the WR sitting way up there, can do the job. The problem is they are looking for 2 or more field disruptions. The best way to trip them is to roll down about 12 inches or so from the center line of the road and as you approach the white stop line turn the bike to the right to cut the diaganal corner of the wire box. Check out the sensors on an intersection you can see them on and you can see the where abouts of them, stradeling the corner of the sensor box is the best way to set the triggers off.

My street bike has a center stand that I use to trip the sensor. I pull up to the sensor so that the left "foot" of the center stand will contact it when I push it down. If the light doesn't appear to recognize me, I push the stand down with my left foot and tap the roadway surface a couple of times. This works 95% of the time, no kidding. The kickstand on the WR may work like this, too. It's worth a try and it don't cost nuthin'.

[This message has been edited by Rich in Orlando (edited August 29, 2001).]

I've had troubles tripping these things with my V-Max, and that's no lightweight bike. I can't imagine giving a guy a ticket given these circumstances (oops, now you all know what i do for a living). Yah, there's probably some nitwit that just don't get it and would write the ticket. If your bike is legally on the roadway, you have a lawful expectation to travel on the road and if the lights system hampers you from doing so, you cannot be expected to sit there until it starts snowing or your kids graduate from college. That would be my defense in court and I think it has merit. Beware of the arguement of "why didn't you turn right to lessen the danger you presented to other motorists?". If there is a problem intersection, contact the road department for that particular municipality. They'll probably fix it because it presents a potential liability if they don't. If they don't hear from you, they may not know the problem exists.

Thanks for all the far I can't seem to put my finger (or my bike) on exactly where the sensor gets...well...sensitive. But if these things can't see a freakin V-max, there's no way its gonna see the WR. If I gotta hit the crosswalk button I guess I will but, c'mon!!! Could you imagine gettin a ticket for riding on the sidewalk becaouse the stupid light wouldn't let you go down the street?!?! "No really officer, I wasn't doing a wheelie off the curb..." what a clusterf@#$ that would be... Anyway, tonite, I will be trying out the diagonal alignment theory (with thanks to WR_Jason) and the "still has me laughing" tapping the kickstand routine (with thanks to Rich in Orlando). Yeah...that'll be great, people driving by will think I'm nuts or something...I love it!!!


'99 WR400 with CA plates...ooooh yeah!!!

G, you can always try a steel shoe from Maely in Corona.

I have a great solution:

Since so many have trouble starting the WR, just kill the engine, turn the throttle a few times to flood it out, then put the kick stand down and go throught the hot start drill putting extra weight on the kick start.

This will certainly trip any weight type censors and the light will change right away.

Of course, you will have to pull over after going SAFELY through the intersection since you will be so tired.


I've occasionally had to proceed through a red light after waiting several cycles or waived to a car behind me to come up closer to trip the censor. I've always wondered if I got pulled over if that excuse would make the officer laugh or if he would take me seriously:

But officer, the light wouldn't change and I can't sit here all day.

The he would say: Yes, but you didn't have to pull that long wheelie through the red light.


If you ride the street enough you will learn where the problem areas are. For me, braking a little late to add more force on the front tire seems to help in most cases. Sometime if I'm already stopped I'll hold the front brake and rock on the front suspension. If all else fails, I will either go through light as mellow as possible or make a right turn, the bust a U-turn and make another right back onto my destination street.

After getting a ticket for driving in the bicycle lane, after I simply pulled to the side of the road for a motorcycle cop with his lights on, I wouldn't put anything past a cop -- and I lost that battle in appeals court too. You must assume they won't see it your way to avoid getting a ticket.



2001 WR250F

White Brothers E Series Full exhaust

Panoram computer

Fly bars

jet kit

YZ timing I think (bought used)

Grey wire mod

it is not a weight sensor, it is magnetic. on a street bike or any bike with electric start you can kill the bike and hit the starter for a second. this causes a strong magnetic field and will trip the lights.



Originally posted by Bryan:

I have a great solution:

Since so many have trouble starting the WR, just kill the engine, turn the throttle a few times to flood it out, then put the kick stand down and go throught the hot start drill putting extra weight on the kick start.

This will certainly trip any weight type censors and the light will change right away.

Of course, you will have to pull over after going SAFELY through the intersection since you will be so tired....

DUDE...I think I've been flamed!!! Man, its even a multi-thread flame...OUCH!!! From the moderator no less...guess I'm gonna have to cap myself now...


'99 WR400 with CA plates...ooooh yeah!!!

Well, I guess I'll get this post flamin with 50 posts from myself... not that it appears that anyone gives a rats ass, but I have not found a fix to this yet. Although I loved trying to bounce the kickstand, it was truly retarded and I'm not doing it anymore.

Will re-post if I learn more (with big thanks to big_G!!!)



'99 WR400 with CA plates...ooooh yeah!!!

I have been busted for running the eternal red. I didn't get a ticket, but I had to sit there for a while he checked license, registration, insurance, body cavities (kidding).

I sat thru several cycles of the light, looked around and went for it right as he crested the hill. He said, "Nice move, do you always wait for a cop to approach before running a red light?"

Years ago I actually built a device that would trip the magnetic sensor. My first proto worked, but it was kind of bulky and I didn't have the resources to finish it.

Sounds like the problem is still around so maybe I should dig it up and have another bash at it......

Heywood (uhh-huh-huh..hey...wood...) ohh sorry, I can never resist the quoting the boys (Beavis-n-Butthead), especially with your logon. I'm still giggling...I just loved those two...

Anyway, hell yeah.. what did you make?? Seems to me a little EMF disturbance near the roadway could tickle the sensors. If it worked, wouldn't it be nice to have a little hanging device that did this. It could run off of the stator battery feed, then it could be disconnected real easy when its trail time?? Hmmm...

As for runnin lights, well, I might have blown a couple last night. I don't know what else to do. You sit there like an idiot and within like 10 seconds, you can tell the f-in light can't see ya. 5 minutes later, I guess you're still supposed to sit there. What a bunch of **** ... I was hoping the crosswalk button would be easier, but you gotta get way outta shape to go over there, manuver back, hope someone isn't driving up, try not to look stupid, try not to look like you doing something illegal, try to haul ass so the cops cant see knobby's...

Maybe I should look up ole Maley... hey Scott, you got an old pair for me???



'99 WR400 with CA plates...ooooh yeah!!!

Hey G:

Actually I found that random noise wouldn't work so it was a little more complicated.

The sensors are just like the metal detectors that people use at the beach.

The loop in the ground is part of an electronic oscillator. When you bring a metal near the loop, it changes the loop's inductance which changes the frequency of the oscillator. They look for changes in frequency to trigger the light. The circuit is tuned to the one specific frequency so it is pretty immune to noise.

I am going to try and dig up my old drawings. If I find anything, I'll let you know.

P.S. Heywood is from an old rumor that John Elway once checked into a hotel as Heywood Jablome :)

[This message has been edited by Heywood (edited September 08, 2001).]

Don't feel bad...I took my dads new Honda Insight or a test drive (awsome car but thats a different post) and it wouldn't trip some of the sensors.

why don't you try wrecking at each red light? i'm sure the sparks and static electricity generated from steel vs. pavement would surely trip that puppy!!

I've seen this problem before. It's because we're giving off relatively no magnetic resonance to trip the sensors under the pavement. My '95 KLR250 would trip them if I rolled over it, backed up a foot or two, then went over again. My '84 Honda Nighthawk would NOT trip the sensors without another bike next to it. I learned pressing the start button to run the starter (had a clutch to disable from flywheel when running, so it didn't grind) would trip them. Now my '01 Yamaha YZF600R trips all of them no problem :) without doing anything special except perhaps rolling back and forth a little.

I've talked to some cops I know and here's what they said: City cops know the problem and don't care if bikes run the light as long as they are being careful about it (no wheelies, heavy lean angles, or darting out into traffic). But if you don't at least give the light a "chance" they'll get ya. So at least look like you're trying to trip the detector, not just "f it, I'm going".

Rural police usually know about them, but will pull you over anyway.

If you explain why you did it (low magnetic field on your bike won't set these off) and you're not a jackass about it, normally you they'll let you go as long as you didn't ride or act like an idiot.

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