By "Moccasin" Mike

Do a Web Search for "Traffic Light Trigger" and you'll find hundreds of pages of techno-info and about as many pages of folks that will sell you a "Kit" for your bike. Traffic light "Trigger" are sold in many different varieties, for the purpose of making you and your bike more "visible" to traffic sensing loops near Intersections.


Well, that depends on how your traffic lights are setup, and whether or not you normally get "skipped" in the signal sequences.

Let's say you are the only person sitting in a turning lane at a four way intersection. You sit patiently (or not) while watching the lights change, and you get passed over. You know for sure you got passed over because you saw the straight lanes and the cross lanes both go through two light sequences! Finally, your hero drives up and stops behind you in a car, and you get a green signal on the next sequence. You might benefit from a traffic light "trigger".

On the other hand, you seem to sit for long spells waiting your turn, but it always comes without the assistance of other traffic. Traffic light triggers won't speed up the timed sequence. They just let the system know you are there so you don't get skipped.


Not all lights use ground loop sensors, but the ones that do have a buried wire "loop" in the pavement (you can usually see the cut lines in the pavement), which senses ferrous metal passage overhead, and sends a small electrical pulse to the nearby control box, telling it to include that lane in the next sequence. However, with today's heavy use of mag wheels, alloy frames and plastic fenders and tanks, many motorcycles no longer pack enough iron to trip the loop's magnetic field. Adding a strong magnet low to the frame of the bike will create a LOT of magnetic impulse as it passes over the loop wires, mimicking a larger volume of steel or iron that other vehicles commonly carry.


Its a magnet!. Plain and simple! If you want to sell something simple, you gotta give it a fancy name, and maybe even hide it in a plastic box so it don't look so simple!!

Traffic Light Trigger Kits can be bought all over the net, eBay and in bike shops for anywhere from $10 to $20. Some range from a simple, 2" ceramic magnet and a plastic zip tie with some really basic "installation instructions", to the same thing in elaborate plastic encasements with built in screw mounting tabs and/or adhesive mounting tape.

The kit to the right came to my door at a price of $10, and included mounting instructions. Now, considering it would have cost me six bucks worth of gas to drive to town to get one of these myself, I didn't consider it a bad deal. Didn't even need the zip tie, because my bike has a nice flat steel crossmember under the frame. That magnet ain't going nowhere!


If you want to do-it-yourself, or don't like waiting on the UPS man, and have a Lowe's or similar hardware store nearby, check to see if they have these ceramic magnets. I found this pack in my local Lowe's store for less than $3 for the pack of two (if one's good, two's gotta be better, right?)

Place the magnets on a low but protected area of your bike frame. If you don't have a flat surface, zip tie them to the frame tubes. If your bike has plastic skins (sport bikes, Gold Wings, etc) and little to no steel down low, glue the magnets on the plastic or use 3M adhesive tape.

When you approach traffic signals and your in front of the line, try to drive right over one of the the cut lines in the road so your magnet can do its job. For a little extra tickle, gently rock your bike back and forth an inch or two while waiting on the light. This constant movement along with the magnetic pull will get you noticed by the controller! :-)

Mocc's Place