Screaming Banshee horn ensures that motorcycles get noticed
By Ben Coxworth
June 18, 2012
As Gizmag’s Loz Blain will tell you from personal experience, one of the biggest dangers faced by motorcyclists involves not being noticed by drivers of larger vehicles. The small-car-like horns that come as standard equipment on most bikes do little to address that situation, which is why electrical engineer Peter Olt invented the Screaming Banshee. It’s an aftermarket motorcycle horn that blares at a sure-to-be-noticed 139 decibels – but only when the situation calls for it.
Olt came up with the idea last year, after a car suddenly entered his lane while he was riding in Florida. He decided that while a very loud horn would be useful in such situations, it would be inappropriate for everyday “Yoo-hoo, the light’s turned green”-type scenarios. Therefore, the Banshee doesn’t actually replace the bike’s existing horn. That horn is left in place, and can be activated with a simple tap of the horn button.
However, when the user urgently needs to alert another driver to their presence, they just hold that same button down for a quarter to half a second – depending on the chosen setting. This will activate the sonic assault, along with causing the high beam headlight to pulsate. Its volume level might not be quite up there with The Hornster, but it can apparently be heard from up to three blocks away.
The system consists of the air horn itself, and a matchbox-sized sealed control unit. It draws power directly from the bike’s battery as opposed to the factory horn wiring, which is typically not set up to handle the approximately 18 amps required by the Banshee. It can reportedly be easily user-installed.
Although it was designed primarily for motorcycles, the system can also be installed in cars.
It can be purchased via the company website, with prices starting at US$99.99. More information is available in the video below.
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