Friday, January 18, 2008

Trust but Verify

Today I relearned the meaning of the phrase "Trust but Verify" which was attributed to "the great communicator", President Ronald Reagan when he spoke about arms control with the then "evil empire" aka the Soviet Union.

I'd been riding around for quite a while thinking that the tail light on my R1150RT seemed a bit dim, even at night. It was lit every time I checked so I just wrote it off to cheapness on BMW's part in terms of what wattage bulb to put in the tail light socket.

I was researching whether "brighter" tail lights existed for my motorcycle and on one of the sights I kept seeing a mention for: "Check your owner's manual for correct replacement information". A light went off in my head, pun intended, and I went to retrieve my motorcycle's manual.

Lo and behold, when the bulb had been replaced by me, it had been replaced by a 5 Watt bulb! The manual stated it should be a 10 Watt bulb! The dealer had given me the wrong one and I had trusted them to get it right instead of verifying it!

A quick call to the dealer confirmed all this, they swapped them out for me no problem. I had originally bought two 5 Watt bulbs, one to replace the burned out one and the other as a spare. So they gave me two 10 Watt bulbs, the right ones this time and their apologies. I like this dealer, I just have to do more verification to eliminate human error I guess.

See below pics, it's hard to tell but I see a difference in brightness between the top picture (sorry for the bluriness) with the 5Watt bulb and the bottom picture with the 10Watt bulb.

5 Watt Tail Light

10 Watt Tail Light

I feel a little more visible and thereby a little more safer now. Trust, but verify!

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