By September 16, 2010

Real Time Industries Reflective Stickers for Yamaha FJR Saddlebags Review

You may not know this about me, but I’m a safety geek. I motorcycle just about all year ’round, and most of that riding is in commuting traffic. The sun goes to sleep earlier and earlier as the months wear on, to the point that it’s pitch black where I live by about 4:30 in the evening. The majority of my ride home is in total darkness except for the headlights of my fellow commuters.

Visibility should be a top concern of any motorcyclist. People see us, but may not “perceive” us due to the way that the human eye processes information. The eye sees a variety of objects, then groups them according to similar sizes and shapes. Motion, flashing, or other visual effects elevate objects in the visual priority chain, but the oddly shaped, smaller-than-usual motorcycle normally gets put dead last on the perception scale.

The only time you might win a visibility contest is if a dead animal is next to you in the road. Not a good game to play.

So, what is a safety dork to do? I try to elevate myself and my bike up the perception ladder by adding color and reflective surfaces to my preparedness toolkit.

I put large, reflective stickers from Real Time Industries on my Yamaha FJR 1300, and they are very effective at a very low price.

At $16 before shipping, these reflective stickers illuminate the back of my bike from a far distance. The flash on my camera is not very bright in comparison to a car’s headlamps, and it still lit the stickers up pretty well. Sedagive? followed me home the other night in the car, and she said that the stickers were very visible.

The stickers are black, and are hardly noticeable during the day. I had full-on SOLAS silver tape on my prior bikes, so this is a big step up for me from a “fashion” perspective.

The stickers are custom-cut just for the saddlebags of a Yamaha FJR. They will fit any year and either generation of the FJR, because the saddlebags haven’t changed at all. The sticker kit also comes with two strips to fit on the side of the saddlebags. I haven’t applied these yet.

Installation was easy. There are some advanced procedures that some folks do to make the stickers fit nicely without bubbles. Some mist a mix of water and dish soap onto the bike via a spray bottle. This allows you to move the sticker around until the water dries. Some use a squeegee or similar device to get all of the air bubbles out.

I’m kind of lazy, so I just cleaned the back of the saddlebags and stuck the stickers on. It took me about five minutes, including taking the saddlebags off of the bike. Yes, there are some bubbles, but I don’t really care that much. Your own preferences may vary.

All in all, I am very pleased with Real Time Industries and their reflective sticker kit for my FJR. They make stickers for a few other sport-touring bikes. I might even pick up the fairing kit.

Strongly recommended.

Posted in: motorcycling, review

3 Comments on "Real Time Industries Reflective Stickers for Yamaha FJR Saddlebags Review"

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  1. David in MS says:

    Visibility is also a big issue for those of us who commute on bicycles. I have reflective tape all over my bike, including the crank-arms. That gives a nice flickering motion to get folks attention.

  2. Alex says:

    Wow! Thanks for the positive comments and the great writeup DrFaulken! I’m please that you took the time and posted this.

  3. Mads says:

    Great idea, makes riding in the night a bit safer.

    Now I just wonder if you can buy them outside the US?