Resistance among motorcyclists to daytime running lights for all road users used to be huge. About ten years ago, headlights with a slight amber tinge were launched to soften their resistance. But it was another color that made the breakthrough: blue. The special amber motorcycle lamps remained non-sellers.
Protests were loud – quite typical for the motorbiking community. Motorcyclists, their associations and lobby groups ranted about daytime running lights in cars for decades. They claimed that it would be more difficult to see bikers if everyone was driving with their lights on. They themselves have had to ride with their lights on in Germany and many other countries since the 1970s. There’s quite a debate going on about whether lights being compulsory for all vehicles has a negative impact. Studies from Sweden, where daytime running lights have been prescribed longest, prove that they don’t result in an increase in accidents involving motorcycles.
Among the often emotional discussions there were also voices that assumed the bikers were only after something that would make them stand out from the crowd. So about 15 years ago people started thinking about how to keep it that way. A special motorcycle headlight was born. In addition to changes to the optical characteristics it was particularly noticeable because of its slightly amber tone.
For everyone keen to join in the trend there were halogen lamps soon after with a special color coating. It was a bit like a fake tan – far too orange and not at all natural, looking as bad on a bike as it does on bikers. The amber lamp was a flop. So were the special motorcycle lights. The reason is pretty obvious. If you want a color other than white, it should be blue. Motorcyclists also like to choose lamps with a bluish tinge. Osram’s range includes both the very blue Cool Blue Intense series and the X-Racer which has been specifically optimized for harsh conditions on motorcycles.
There’s another development that has made life difficult for amber lights: daytime running lights. The LED versions especially provide motorcycle manufacturers and upgraders with a lot of room for customization.
The idea of introducing daytime running lights with an amber tinge was a complete non-starter.