Does your town have the sensors buried into the ground at the front position of the lane?
If so, those are magnetic. I read that is is best to ride up the seam of those (not the middle) as the edge is thinner there. Light triggers are activated by a magnetic field, not by weight as many people think.
If you do a search you'll come up with a few other threads on this exact same subject. Since you are in California, the law says if a light is malfuntioning that it is allowable to go through the light after coming to a complete stop and yielding to opposing traffic. The sensor should be tuned to sense the magnetic field of your bike, if it is not, well, that counts as a malfunctioning light.
If you were ever stopped by a cop, that would be your rationale.
A few words of advice. You can't just ride up, stop, yield, then go. You have to give the light a chance to cycle for each direction of traffic. If it doesn't have a chance to cycle, then you'd be guilty of running the light. If it is cycled through all the other directions, and then your bike didn't trigger the sensor, THEN you could go.
Also, I know down there in Fremont and Milpitas there are those red light camera's. (Like over by Fry's Electronics) Malfunctioning sensor or not, do NOT run a light that has a camera. You cannot fight or dispute those tickets as it is an independant firm that handles those, not the local police.
Or as Mello mentioned you can get a green light trigger. http://www.greenlighttrigger.com/
I don't know if those cause any problems to the bike, the manufacture (of course) claims they don't.
I know a guy that has a magnet attached to the side of his boot, (cruiser guy) and that works. He used a fishing magnet that he got at an outdoor supply store.
Other then that, I have learned to avoid the area's where I know the lights have bad sensors. If that means I go around the block, or make a right turn on a side street then a u-turn and then a right to get going again, then I do that. I hate sitting at a light and having my bike heat up.
Also, nothing wrong on a straight away with letting a car pass you and let the car trigger the sensor.
thanks for the tips flash. i wait a few cycles before i go but i still have a fear for cops. i dont want my insurance to go up. ill check out that green light trigger. ive never heard of it before. thanks
Well put Flash. I've posted about this a while back also. I've heard mixed stories about the greenlight triggers. Never used one myself though. Another post also mentioned securing magnets to the bottom side of the fairings. You can also call the city and give them the intersection/direction and tell them the light sensors are not picking up your bike (they are adjustable). I've actually called on a few 4 months ago and nothing was done about it. How unusual...[8D]
Best thing to do is check local laws and see what you can do about it. Here in Texas, your basically stuck at the light...even if it cycles 3 times...Sucks!
The green light trigger seems to work. Their is a lite by my house that I always used to get stuck at. Now as long as I stay to the left side of the lane and ride where a cars driver tires would go it works fine. Now I don't seem to get stuck anymore. I used to wait for another car to come up behind and then trigger it. Or I would run it.
I made a discovery the other night. when you get up to one of those red lights that never seem to change try pulling in the clutch and drop the kick stand. so far, it seems to be just enough metal to trip the magnetic widget that decides to turn the light green. I have only run into 2 of these situations since discovering it. Try it out.
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