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Thread: Seeking RADAR Detector Advice

  1. #16
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor31
    I have the best advice. Calibrate your speedometer and simply drive the speed limit. Use the money you save on the detector to buy some gas to go someplace nice on the bike.
    I do that a lot these days. I used to drive just a bit faster than the traffic and was always open to a ticket for 10 to 15 over. When the Interstates started to get so crowded, I found myself working hard thru clusters of cars and trucks. So I started to just back off the throttle if I came up on a cluster and fall back a bit. Then I noticed that clusters would pass me from time to time, trucks too, and I was left in an empty space of road for long periods of time until the next cluster. Very pleasant. We're usually at a speed of about 5 over.
    On two lanes, I did the same, just backing off instead of passing. Then I noticed that most of the vehicles that I would have passed turn off within a few miles. I figure that most of the traffic on two lanes is local. So no real need to pass...just wait a few minutes and the road is empty again. The trouble here is I'm usually at a speed of 10 over (the old speed limit before the "gas shortage"), slower than lots of the traffic, but easy pickings for the local leo. I remember a gal back in the '70s had a sticker on her fairing that said "But Officer...I keep my house at 55...".
    BMWMotorcycles, fun when they're running...
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  2. #17
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor31
    I have the best advice. Calibrate your speedometer and simply drive the speed limit. Use the money you save on the detector to buy some gas to go someplace nice on the bike.
    Terrible advice, for certain situations. In my particular case, the best secondary roads for my daily commute are posted at 25-35mph which is irrationally slow. These roads have good lane width, good to excellent surfaces, gentle curves with good visibility, very light population/driveway density. Local traffic typically moves at least 40mph. 40-50mph on the bike is a completely rational speed. Heck, 40mph in my ancient, ratty, 4x4 pickup truck feels reasonable and prudent. If they were more heavily patrolled I'd conclude that the irrationally low limit was simply a revenue-generating ploy. However, that's not the case; inforcement is rather intermittent. But, when they are out there, they're "stragetically" (you know what I mean, given your former career) placed.

    I was just out west, driving on roads that were extremely similar in every respect, and they were routinely posted at 40-50mph out there. This happened to be New Mexico but I've seen similar in Utah and Colorado too. When population/driveway density starts to pick up, or hazards such as blind corners exist, the limit is ratcheted downward. In most cases it has always felt prudent to run at the posted limit out west. But not where I live.
    Steve O. - MOA #122171
    '05 R12GS, '76 CB200 (wife's)
    '91 K100RS, '87 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane, '84 Yamaha FJ1100, '85 Honda VF500F, '76 Yamaha RD400, '82 Honda XL500... and more

  3. #18
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soffiler
    Terrible advice, for certain situations. In my particular case, the best secondary roads for my daily commute are posted at 25-35mph which is irrationally slow. These roads have good lane width, good to excellent surfaces, gentle curves with good visibility, very light population/driveway density. Local traffic typically moves at least 40mph. 40-50mph on the bike is a completely rational speed. Heck, 40mph in my ancient, ratty, 4x4 pickup truck feels reasonable and prudent. If they were more heavily patrolled I'd conclude that the irrationally low limit was simply a revenue-generating ploy. However, that's not the case; inforcement is rather intermittent. But, when they are out there, they're "stragetically" (you know what I mean, given your former career) placed.

    I was just out west, driving on roads that were extremely similar in every respect, and they were routinely posted at 40-50mph out there. This happened to be New Mexico but I've seen similar in Utah and Colorado too. When population/driveway density starts to pick up, or hazards such as blind corners exist, the limit is ratcheted downward. In most cases it has always felt prudent to run at the posted limit out west. But not where I live.
    Well taken points. I usually travelled with a radar detector just to keep aware of the tax collection going on in some areas rather than intending to speed and avoid.
    On the Interstate 74 going past Danville, IL, the speed limit was maintained at 55 when the Interstates went to 65. Just recently, the IDOT raised it to 65 because they said that all the traffic was travelling 65 so that must be the safe speed as determined by the traffic. I suppose there were no speed related accidents as well during this period.
    A breath of fresh air.
    BMWMotorcycles, fun when they're running...
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    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  4. #19
    Registered User R100RS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flash412
    My next one will either be a Valentine-One or the latest, greatest from Cincinnati Microwave.
    Ummm, for all practical purposes, the V1 IS the latest and greatest from Cincinnati Microwave (from back when CM actually meant something). Same person, different company.
    -Mike

    '02 R1150R
    '88 R100RS

  5. #20
    Loose Cannon flash412's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R100RS
    Ummm, for all practical purposes, the V1 IS the latest and greatest from Cincinnati Microwave (from back when CM actually meant something). Same person, different company.
    Yeah, I meant to say, "... latest and greatest from Escort."

  6. #21
    SweetT
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    I use an escort 8500 and have been pleased. I have it mounted on a RAM mount for a radar detector. I think RAM mounts are sold through cyclegadgets.com. They are an adjustable ball and socket mount that works really well! I drilled and tapped a hole in the filler cap on the top of one of my fork legs. I screwed in a mounting ball and loc-tited it in place. Then I just attach my 3" adjustable arm with the magnetic radar detector mounting plate, plug in my power and audio wires and I'm good to go! I think the whole mounting set up cost $43 shipped. but I did have to spend $7 on a 1/4" tap.
    It keeps the detector behind the windscreen, but still within easy reach in case I need to change settings, adjust volume, etc.

  7. #22
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    In most cases it has always felt prudent to run at the posted limit out west.
    Exception: New Mexico, where you can safely go about 130 in most places yet limits tend to be about 65.

    Just recently, the IDOT raised it to 65 because they said that all the traffic was travelling 65 so that must be the safe speed as determined by the traffic.
    That's highly unusual, despite the fact that most places have laws requiring speeds to be preiodically studies and adjusted to what 85% of drivers are doing. Most places choose to keep them low, for whatever reasons (I think revenue).
    For those who say that speed enforcement is not about revenue, why doesn't it seem to work? I'll bet jail time would work...and I wonder how many cities and states would go into extreme budget-crisis if NOBODY perpetrated a moving violation for a year...
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  8. #23
    USERNAME
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg
    Exception: New Mexico, where you can safely go about 130 in most places yet limits tend to be about 65.
    agreed. i'll add west texas to this. you can make Pretty Good Time out there.

    i was back east for a week in august, and i was utterly amazed at the huge number of cops i saw out doing speed control. it was wild.

  9. #24
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    Thumbs up

    I'll bore everyone with this reply and add my 0,02 cts as the V1 IMHO is pretty much the best. I have had two units and no tickets in 10 years. My dad and brother each have one and are ticket free too (so far ) YMMV

  10. #25
    "Enthusiast" King's Avatar
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    Go with the Valentine 1. It identifies all the X band crap near the strip malls or the gas/convenience stores near the exits on the slab. It indicates the number and direction of the threat, usually K or Ka. It lights up when you get hit with laser, but you gotta be good. Seems to me that I encountered more state troopers using laser this year than ever before. They seem to be a little more conspicous, probably because they need to aim, like target shooting. Happy Trails.
    Don Braasch # 9049
    2003 K1200RS 1981 R100RS
    1974 R75 "S" 1977 R60/7

  11. #26
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Another vote for a V1 from a long time user. I've had an original Escort, a original Passport and the Valentine 1 carries on the excellent detection and interface Mike Valentine has been known for.

    Additionally, if you buy a used V1, you can check with Valentine to find out if the unit has been updated or is stolen. They periodically update the software in the units and will do so for customers.

    Try that with anyone else. Valentine stands behind their product like noone else, IMHO.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  12. #27
    rick_dyana
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    Beware

    Spent a lot of money on a Bluetooth K40 on both my K1200S and my M3. Yeah, it does scramble laser (I think), but in K or Ka bands alerts when I have a visual and have already been clocked. Maybe it's the install, but I am back to Valetine, which has never ever failed me.

  13. #28
    Gary99
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    My Valentine 1 has paid for itself many times over in the three years I have had it. If stopped, which I haven't been, just throw your gloves over the detector. It is therefore not in plain sight.

  14. #29
    Live the Dream JRD's Avatar
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    Question

    The Valentine V1 seems to be the detector of choice among responders to this thread, with a positive reply or two regarding the Escort 8500 x50. The V1, Escort 8500 x50, and Bel rx65 are the highest rated units in all the research I've compared. Has anyone had experience with the Bel rx65 on a car or bike?

    Also, I'm wondering why knowing the direction of a radar threat is important to me as a rider. The Escort and Bel units are rated nearly as sensitive as the Valentine in rear detection. When I hear/see an alert signal, I'm going to slow down regardless of the direction indicated.

    And what about laser threats? All three promise some warning, but are any of them really effective in detecting laser/lidar?

    Lastly, on mounting systems (in my case, for an R1150R with a Parabellum fairing, but would apply to all). I'm interested in the pros and cons of windshield vs. shelf/arm type brackets as sold by CycleGadgets and other vendors. What is the Forum's experience here?
    Joe DeLuca
    SW Ohio USA

  15. #30
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRD
    Also, I'm wondering why knowing the direction of a radar threat is important to me as a rider. The Escort and Bel units are rated nearly as sensitive as the Valentine in rear detection. When I hear/see an alert signal, I'm going to slow down regardless of the direction indicated.
    Many times I've pulled out onto a freeway and started picking up a hot signal from *behind* me. So I knew where to look for the threat and that I shouldn't grab a handful to move ahead through traffic. When I come into a strange town and start getting a hit, I can see it from the front, now the sides, now behind me and from that information know that it's stationary, I've passed it, and if I didn't see a cop it must be something at the mall I passed.

    With all other detectors you only know the level strength - not the direction. Having used the V1 for three years, I would gladly trade a bit of detection range for direction information - it's far more useful, especially since all top detectors find a signal way beyond the danger zone.

    And what about laser threats? All three promise some warning, but are any of them really effective in detecting laser/lidar?
    Laser must be shot from a stationary ambush position. Since the beam is so tightly focused, odds are good you won't get any early warning, but I have on some occasions. Laser has to reflect off of something: paint, chrome, reflective license plate (or stickers on the back), or headlight reflector. Bikes are harder to hit and many have less reflective area. I've been shot straight on riding my K1200RS and the cop didn't get a good read (trust me - I would have known if he did ). So, bottom line is laser detection is of some use, but very little IMHO compaired to radar.
    Greg Feeler
    BMW MOA Director & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

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