Temps in the low 80s and sunny, enjoying the ride home, feeling a nice breeze course through my mesh riding jacket. Work had been pretty good today and my RT was running great as usual.
About the stock horns that came with my 2004 BMW R1150RT, I'd always thought they were pretty loud and they'd come in handy on previous occasions to wake up some moron on the road. Heck, they seemed so loud before when I inadvertently pushed the horn button instead of the left turn signal and scared myself!
This is what I thought up until the ride home today, when I had to use them again. I was riding in the left lane and had a feeling this cager in her new suv (dealer tags) was going to do something stupid. You know how sometimes you just know when someone is going to move into your lane? This was one of those times. Man am I glad of the stuff I learned at the MSF BRC, from safe riding books and bike forums.
Sure enough, the idiot starts moving into my lane after pulling ahead a little bit, this after I had been right alongside her, both of us doing the speed limit. I am laying into the horn as I see her left front wheel move into my lane. Nothing! Apparently the 89db put out by the stock horns had no effect on her. This idiot just keeps moving into my lane forcing me to rapidly slow down and she ends up in front of me by perhaps 5 feet!
I kept slowing while continuing to blow the horns and she finally notices me right behind her. I now believe she wouldn't have noticed me even then had her passenger not noticed that she'd almost hit me and told her. She does that pathetic hand wave that people do when they realize they screwed up but I was so pissed off at this point that I kept blowing the horns. She finally gets back in the right lane and I pull past her sheepish looking face with one final long blast of the horns. She tries the hand wave again and it took all my will not to flip her off! Moron!
Sometimes having a dark visor does not help you convey a 'angry stare' when that's all you got left to convey your displeasure at a stupid cagers actions. I must remember to flip my visor up the next time! Or, just flip them the bird I guess. ;)
So, long story short, now thinking about plunking down about $40 to replace one of the horns with a 139db Stebel horn. Or perhaps, go the whole hog and get two of them. Two of them together are quite loud as you can see for yourself here.
Only things stopping me from buying the stebels right now is the amount of electrical work that I am hesitant to take on to mount the stebels to the bike and a suspicion that I could have horns equivalent to a Tractor-Trailer Truck and still it would not be enough at times to get an idiot's attention! Today's cager probably had her damn music on high volume.
There's also other loud horns available at local auto parts stores, perhaps I'll see if there's one close to the db output of a stebel and check out how it sounds.
Then, there's the more "extreme" options for dealing with idiot cagers: