Brake Free Helmet Brake Light
The home of Brake Free, the brightest smart high visibility helmet accessory with wireless brake detection you c...
I was a beta tester for the product. I have put many thousands of miles on Cerberus (Yamaha XSR 900) using the Brake Free unit. Wearing it changed how drivers around me behave in a positive way. After beta testing, Brake Free asked me for a quote; they liked my quote enough to use it on the website. My quote appears in the "What riders are saying" block.
I can now say, after about 3,000 miles, that I still believe it is the best way to be seen by automobile drivers and it is the only way I know to effectively change their behaivor.
Notice: I was not paid to promote, review, or comment on Brake Free. I saw the Brake Free unit on Indygogo and thought it looked interesting enough for me to invest a bit more than $100 in the product. From the first emails on, the Brake Free team did a tremendous amount of hard work designing, building, finding a manufacturer, testing, retesting, and ultimately producing the Brake Free unit. They took far more time then they thought they would need, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This review is my assessment of the "eating" of the pudding, er, use of Brake Free. The tireless dedication of the team to details and hard work was obvious and impressive. Frankly, I am in my 60s, I no longer have the drive to do the work necessary to bring a product of this quality to the market, I am glad there are those out there like the Brake Free team who are willing to do so.
This review is my straightforward assessment after months and thousands of miles using Brake Free daily.
Recommendation: I highly recommend Brake Free. It is a piece of equipment that will change the behavior of drivers around you by making you obvious to them. I know of no other pieces of equipment that change the behavior of auto drivers the way Brake Free does. The aftermarket brake light flashers are fine, but motorcycle brake lights are too low to be maximally effective. Brake Free is helmet-mounted so it is high enough to be obvious even to the most oblivious and distracted auto/cager driver. I suggest you ride with the Brake Free unit in flashing mode since it makes you the most noticeable in all conditions, from bright light to rain, fog, and night.
The Brake Free tail light/brake light unit is a small butterfly-shaped LED unit, which attached using a small clip glued onto the back of the motorcycle helmet. It is battery powered, wireless and works independently of the motorcycle braking circuit. The unit works in one of three modes, stealth, on, or flashing. In stealth mode, the unit has two small lighted LED bars, but the LED taillight is not lit upon braking or slowing the brake-light lights. In on mode, the taillight is always lit but muted when compared to the brake-light, it is about like most motorcycle taillights. Upon braking or slowing, the brake-light lights. In flashing mode, the taillight flashes at all times until braking or slowing after that the brake-light lights. The brake-light is very bright, sufficiently bright to be easily seen in the daytime, and at night it is very bright.
I ride with the unit in flashing mode, and it has changed the behavior of drivers around me in a positive way. I frequently get comments from drivers in the city, noting that it is much easier to see me in traffic from behind with the Brake Free unit.
I have put about 3,000 miles on the Brake Free unit, and I have had no problems with anything, it works every time I ride. I charge the Lion battery after each use, and I have ridden up to about eight hours without the unit shutting off due to lack of battery. I do not know the battery life, but in flashing mode with my relatively aggressive riding style (I spend most of my time riding twisties, occasionally in the city, but I seldom ride the freeway), it is more than eight hours.
The unit has proven durable, it has remained attached to the helmet, and it functions in rain, hail, sun, and, of course, wind and vibration. The build quality is very good to excellent. I have knocked it off the helmet when putting it into my grocery run top case without incident.
The unit is activated by a single button that is sealed from the weather. One long press turns the unit on, then a short press will move the program from whatever mode the unit is onto the next mode, another short press advances the program to the next mode, and a third short press brings the unit to the final mode. A long press when on will turn the unit off. Once locked-in, the mode does not change even if you turn the unit off and back on.
Mounting the unit was simple. The directions were easy to follow, just make sure you have the unit and the helmet clip where you want it before you glue it on. Once on, the clip is solidly mounted to the helmet.
Some riders have asked me about the weight of the unit. I do not notice the weight of the unit on the back of my helmet. Even if I did, the protection it offers is worth any minor helmet weight increase. As I said, I've ridden thousands of miles using the Brake Free unit, I've ridden up to eight hours using the Brake Free unit, and I find the weight unnoticeable. Then again, I am a big, strong guy, so others might have a different opinion.
Automobile drivers' behavior has changed noticeably since I began using the Brake Free unit. October 2019, I was rear-ended on Hwy 101 near Ukiah, California, at full California freeway speeds. The Brake Free unit was not in production yet, and I had not received my beta test unit. Weather was damp, foggy, and dreary. I strongly suspect that the likely distracted driver who did not see me would have seen me if I had been sporting Brake Free. But to that I will never know, he hit and ran, never to be seen again. I was wearing full armored clothing Klim Outrider pants, Feildsheer Hydro Heat Heated Jacket, gloves, and Forma Adventure boots. At freeway speeds after a collision, the impact was impressive, but the gear kept me from serious injury. I mainly received skin burns not from the road (road rash) but from the clothing being subjected to the rapid deceleration of the impact with the ground. Knees, elbows, and my right side all had friction burns, but I was fine. Cerberus needed about 10 minutes of wrenching (the kickstand got tweaked, and left footpeg bracket was bent and that caused a bit of problem with shifting - a little adjustment and everything worked fine) but the top case, Shogun frame sliders, and the Barkbuster Storm handguards took the brunt of the damage.
Because of the inclement weather, I was difficult to see; with the Brake Free unit in flashing mode, I would have been obvious even to a Ukiah stoner.
The Brake Free unit is entirely free of Bluetooth or other connectivity and so does not need a cellphone connection or module to be wired to the motorcycle. It also works when the rider is deceleration/engine braking without using the brakes on the bike, this means that drivers will be warned the bike is slowing without the application of the brake. This is one of the best features of the Brake Free unit.
I leave the Brake Free unit attached to my helmet and charge it via the provided micro USB cable, where I store my helmet in the motorcycle shop/garage. That means all I need to do is remember to press the Brake Free on-button for about one second, make sure it is in flashing mode and put on the helmet. Then when done, I turn off the Brake Free unit and plug it into the micro USB cable. It takes less time than it takes to do a quick clean of the face shield.
If you have questions, the comments are open, or send me an email.