This 'Third Brake Light' For Motorcycles Is Smarter Than It Looks

(Image: HUB)

Motorcyclist, electronics tech and inventor John Henry spent years developing a “third brake-light” for motorcycles and is finally taking it to market. The helmet-mounted LED illuminates when the bike is slowing down and acts as a rescue beacon in a crash.

The light, called the Heads-Up Braking System, sells for $259 and actually has a longer list of functions than just “blink.”

It’s basically a set of synchronized LEDs hooked up to motion sensors that activate the lights based on speed of deceleration. That means it’s wireless– no need to splice it in to your motorcycle’s electronics system.


It also works as an electronic flare; blinking when you walk away from (or are thrown from) your bike. That’d be extremely useful in “pulled-over-on-the-side-of-the-highway” situations.

Here are all the toys included, per the company’s site:

  • Kelatronic™ (KEL™) System: Highly engineered & sophisticated system that senses deceleration (without applying the brakes) and activates the LEDs.
  • Dual Mode Function: (only on hardwired installation): Integrates your vehicle’s brake light with the KEL™System to sense deceleration and activate light.
  • Ultra Bright LED Helmet Light: Equipped with automatic Night-time dimming feature – The brighter the day, the brighter the LEDs.
  • Self-Check System: Lets you know every time you start-up that your HUB System™ is ready to go.
  • Instant-On Emergency Flasher: Every time you turn your vehicle off, the LEDs flash until you turn vehicle back on. This is an important safety feature when stopped along a road.
  • Proximity Automatic Hazard Lighting (PAHL™) System: Senses when you walk away from your vehicle (7-15 ft) and flashes. This is also your “flameless” flare. Your receiver can be removed from helmet and placed on the ground to warn others.
  • Trailer Mode: (only on hardwired installation): When trailering your vehicle, the vehicle lights become your trailer’s 3rd brake light.
  • Sleep Mode: Designed to conserve battery life. If receiver does not receive signal for 10 minutes it goes to sleep. Any deceleration will wake it back up immediately.
  • Receiver: Works on 2 AAA batteries (extra long life)
  • Transmitter: Works with or without (hardwired) 2 AA batteries.
  • Independent Frequency Operation: Other signals will not interfere with operation of unit.
  • Low battery warning: Will alert you when battery life is low – however the unit will still operate properly for some time.
  • Designed to function in water: Hopefully you will never need this, but just know it’s engineered with this feature for your ultimate safety.

CityPages says the Heads-Up Braking system is the product of “16 years, countless design revisions, prototype testing ad nauseum, and $1.3 million.”

Henry and his wife are in the process of showing the device off locally around Minneapolis/St. Paul and hope to spread out a little further soon.


You can buy the device right off HUB’s website. I’m curious to hear what bikers and non-bikers think about the idea. There’s no denying more lights will make riders easier to see. Henry says the NHTSA found a 54% decrease in rear-end crashes when third brake lights were mandated on cars, think this could be similarly successful for two-wheelers?


Hat tip to Gregory!

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

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Known As E

It took them 16 years and 1.3 million dollars to make something that a intellegent kid could make with a Arduino and some Ebay LED’s in a weekend.