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Thread: Radar detector for the thrifty?

  1. #16
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DesertRider
    I've been following this thread and I keep thinking that I'm missing something, or at least there are a couple of things I don't understand.

    - I don't see what's so hard to understand about Scott's decision that he doesn't want to spend $400 on a radar detector. We all have finite funds, we all have to prioritize and make choices, and Scott (commendably, in my view) is putting a few things like home and family ahead of buying the most expensive version of a motorcycle toy. I mean, there's more to life than motorcycles, no? (I say as one who is as nuts about bikes as anyone, and my family along with me -- we own 8 motorcycles, everyone rides, my wife and I plan vacations around riding destinations. But there's still more to life than just motorcycles.)
    Don't forget that a detector is not motorcycle specific; I take my Valentine in whichever of my 3 vehicles that I happen to drive that day, so it shouldn't be classified as a motorcycle toy.

    - I'm not seeing the huge watershed difference between a Valentine and an Escort 8500 or even a Bel 985.
    Well, when you're riding with someone sometime who is running a V1 and you're running a CM product like I was and they suddenly brake hard and you're wondering why until your detector goes off a few seconds later, those differences will have meaning. A few seconds is huge in terms of possibly avoiding a ticket.

    A quick search of comparative tests seems to indicate that the differences between the them are minor, and more dealing with gizmo features than detection capability. Several of the comparison tests actually rated other units better than the V1.
    Maybe I have missed those tests. If you have links for them, could you share them?

    Now I'm sure fans of the V1 could make a case why it's better (and so could Escort and Bel fans, I imagine) but the point is that if there's a difference between them, it's certainly small, and in terms of real on-road risk management (which is what a detector is), the Escort or Bel might actually be just as effective in practical terms.
    In practical terms, the information presented by the V1 is the most useful. The bogey counter and the directional arrows let you know how many and which direction they are. When your detector goes off, what's the first thing you do? Probably you slow down. The second is that you try to locate the threat, right? You look this way and that, and check your mirrors looking for the cop. The V1 tells you the direction and if ther are multiple threats, the arrow for the strongest signal will flash while the other stay unblinking. Saves a lot of head turning. After having lived with a V1 for a few years, I cannot imagine going back to a detector that did not point in the direction of the threat.

    Now I know that in toys of the ego (motorcycles and moto toys certainly qualify), for many people a significant part of the pride of ownership is the inner knowledge that you have the best, and the easiest way to gain that feeling is to make sure you buy the most expensive unit available. No one deliberately thinks of it that way, of course, but it's a very easy jump from "I paid the most" to "therefore I got the best." Whatever turns you on, I guess, but in this case Scott has asked a very valid question -- how much better is the V1, really - and from what I see a fair answer is "not much, if anything at all."

    Now if I'm missing something in the equation, I'd truly be interested to hear it because I've been thinking about a new detector myself. But I'd like to see some real evidence of substantially better real-life performance. I already know that the V1 has the highest status appeal, but that doesn't do much for me.
    I care nothing about status (ask kbasa, he knows me) and I am very tight-fisted with my money. I always seek something that is functionally as good or adequate rather than buy the current trendy item (no aerostiches for me, TYVM) so this thought does not apply to me. Perhaps Scott lives somewhere where they don;t crucify you for speeding, but here in the people's republic of MA, a speeding ticket can raise your insurance rates for SIX YEARS if I am not mistaken, so I take every advantage that I can.

    I appreciate that we all need to prioritize our expenditures, and I am certainly in that boat as well. And, my opinion of the V1 is shared by a significant number of friends of mine who are chronic speeders with a capital S who graduated to the V1 from other brands. This is why I advise anyone who wants a detector but cannot afford the V1 to just hold off and wait until they can afford it rather than buy something else.

    Of course, as the say: It's your nickel...
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  2. #17
    1flyer
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    Guys, you are off the point of the post. This isn't a discussion on the virtues or warts of the V-1, it's about helping Knary find a radar detector that fits the amount of funds he is willing to spend. Debate is not the thread, helping him with the identification of an alternative is.

    Now then, I would think for most people on this board there are only two choices, V-1 or 8500. Knary, if you are looking for alternatives, you may not find them here.

    Good Luck.

  3. #18
    R1100R "Traveler" DesertRider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Emoto
    Well, when you're riding with someone sometime who is running a V1 and you're running a CM product like I was and they suddenly brake hard and you're wondering why until your detector goes off a few seconds later, those differences will have meaning. A few seconds is huge in terms of possibly avoiding a ticket.
    Anecdotes abound touting the wonders of every detector, but anecdotes are not objective data. Show me the data.

    Maybe I have missed those tests. If you have links for them, could you share them?
    I just did a quick Google search, below are the top three that came up. Note that *none* of them rate the Valentine as significantly better than the other top units, in some cases not as high as some other units.

    Motor Trend
    Consumer Search
    RadarTest.com (note there are four parts -- see page links at bottom)

    In practical terms, the information presented by the V1 is the most useful. The bogey counter and the directional arrows let you know how many and which direction they are. When your detector goes off, what's the first thing you do? Probably you slow down. The second is that you try to locate the threat, right? You look this way and that, and check your mirrors looking for the cop. The V1 tells you the direction and if ther are multiple threats, the arrow for the strongest signal will flash while the other stay unblinking. Saves a lot of head turning. After having lived with a V1 for a few years, I cannot imagine going back to a detector that did not point in the direction of the threat.
    I'm not seeing how the arrow really helps -- if still within range, you need to keep the speed down, no matter the direction. But perhaps I'm missing something.

    I appreciate that we all need to prioritize our expenditures, and I am certainly in that boat as well. And, my opinion of the V1 is shared by a significant number of friends of mine who are chronic speeders with a capital S who graduated to the V1 from other brands. This is why I advise anyone who wants a detector but cannot afford the V1 to just hold off and wait until they can afford it rather than buy something else.
    I understand your friends like it and obviously you do, but I'm not seeing the data that shows the Valentine is better. I have nothing against it, and the $400 is not big deal to me, but the data I've been able to find does not indicate the V1 to be better, and in some cases not as good. Show me hard data otherwise and I'll be a customer, but I do need to see more than conflicting personal anecdotes. I think you can understand why that is not a good guide.
    DesertRider in sunny Arizona, USA


  4. #19
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Oy.

    I've had radar detectors for 20 years. The V1 interface provides me with the most useful information and seems to false less and give me a pretty lengthy warning distance. See pictures of my summer ride for evidence of whether a radar detector will make you ticket-proof.

    If you're not going to buy a V1 (and after talking with scott on the phone yesterday, that ain't in the cards), I'd perhaps take a look at the cordless BEL 945 with the ear piece.

    YMMV, of course, but my perception (and a long history of Car and Driver reviews) has led me to believe that there's Valentine and then there's everything else. It's certainly not gadget lust on my part, it's functionality for me. Which is why I ride big German motorcycles that probably cost more than they should.
    Dave Swider
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    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #20
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DesertRider
    Anecdotes abound touting the wonders of every detector, but anecdotes are not objective data. Show me the data.
    http://www.caranddriver.com/article....rticle_id=1993

    I just did a quick Google search, below are the top three that came up. Note that *none* of them rate the Valentine as significantly better than the other top units, in some cases not as high as some other units.

    Motor Trend
    Consumer Search
    RadarTest.com (note there are four parts -- see page links at bottom)
    Note that radartest has a beef with Valentine and is not objective. I haven't had time to look at the others yet.


    I'm not seeing how the arrow really helps -- if still within range, you need to keep the speed down, no matter the direction. But perhaps I'm missing something.
    They, along with the bogey counter and signal strength meter, help you to build an accurate mental picture of the threats in your vicinity. If you see no value in knowing where the cops are then fine. I want to know where they are.


    I understand your friends like it and obviously you do, but I'm not seeing the data that shows the Valentine is better. I have nothing against it, and the $400 is not big deal to me, but the data I've been able to find does not indicate the V1 to be better, and in some cases not as good. Show me hard data otherwise and I'll be a customer, but I do need to see more than conflicting personal anecdotes. I think you can understand why that is not a good guide.
    And... you're not going to "see the data" as this isn't a university class or a double blind controlled experiment, so forget it

    Look, why don't you go out and buy one of each and use them side by side for a couple of weeks. You can return any mail order item within a month, I believe. Then let us know what you think.
    Eventual Master of the Obvious
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  6. #21
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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  7. #22
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    Kbasa, I donÔÇÖt think anyone has heard us yet. If youÔÇÖve talked to Knary about what might help him out good for you. I run an old unidin (SP?) and have been ticket free for years.

    This reminds me of situations at work. There is so much discussion and enthusiasm for providing an answer no one takes note of the original question.

  8. #23
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JimVonBaden
    Ditto!

    I have encountered a few people who think I am wasting my money on Joe Rocket. But I cannot justify a $1000 riding suit that gives an arguably marginal improvement in protection. H*!!, I only paid $2500 for my bike.

    NOT trying to start a safety discussion, just making a point!

    Jim
    But Jim, since I wear an Aerostich, and my bike IS better than your bike, I am a better rider than you.

    My favorite is whenever someone starts a post with, "Why would anyone buy a $15,000 motorcycle and then...". Silly people.

  9. #24
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 1flyer
    Kbasa, I donÔÇÖt think anyone has heard us yet. If youÔÇÖve talked to Knary about what might help him out good for you. I run an old unidin (SP?) and have been ticket free for years.

    This reminds me of situations at work. There is so much discussion and enthusiasm for providing an answer no one takes note of the original question.
    No problems here. It's just part of the fun of a forum - that it is a campfire, not a google search. When I can, I'm going to spring for either the Bel or the Escort depending on what the prices are at the time. I have no problem settling for 95% of the performance at 50% of the cost. Otherwise I'd be in the line for the R1200GS.

  10. #25
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    Escort S2

    For what it's worth I run the S2 cordless unit and have had great luck with it. It has the option of running either on batteries or with a power cord. I drive professionally and use it both in my car and on my bikes averageing close to a 100,000 miles a year. I've owned a Valentine, Bel's and various Escorts over the years and this unit works great and gives me all the warning I need. Just because you are running a detector doesn't mean you can run out in the left lane wide open, you still need to run with your eyes, ears and brain at 100%. It's surprizing how many people I see exceeding the limit thinking they can get away with it because they have a rada detector. I put my S2 in a small ziplock bag and run it in the sleeve pocket of my Darien and run the cord thru the arm vent to the collar. This makes for a clean install with no hassles like were to put it everytime you stop. I just take off my jacket and take it with me whenever I get off the bike. This also means if you own more then one bike the unit doesn't need to be transferred when you change machines. Check it out and it might just be what you need. Ride safe as in most parts of the country the people in cars haven't had to share the road with motorcycles for a few months.
    Papple

  11. #26
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    *great* idea for carrying the detector.

  12. #27
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    Free one here

    Hey Knary, ping me and I will send you a FREE radar detector. All you have to do is buy a cord. I don't use them, and if you want it I will send it.

  13. #28
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Re: Free one here

    Originally posted by lorazepam
    Hey Knary, ping me and I will send you a FREE radar detector. All you have to do is buy a cord. I don't use them, and if you want it I will send it.
    OUTSTANDING!!!

    This is a great forum.
    Eventual Master of the Obvious
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  14. #29
    Registered User 104857's Avatar
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    I use a Cobra XR1010, it has the ear piece jack & cost less than $100. For me it works great. But knowing I don't have the "best" I use a bit of common sense. Like, pay attention to it, pick my areas to take liberty with the speed limits carefully, i.e. especiallly watch near school zones, construction zones, metro areas. Also there is always someone who can't stand the fact that you are in front of them, let them go & pace them from a 1/4 mile back. Having a radar detector doesn't mean you can get away with 20+ over where ever you are.
    IMO spend less $'s use more common sense & you will get the same results. no tickets

  15. #30
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Originally posted by knary
    But Jim, since I wear an Aerostich, and my bike IS better than your bike, I am a better rider than you.

    My favorite is whenever someone starts a post with, "Why would anyone buy a $15,000 motorcycle and then...". Silly people.
    Got me Scott. And, you are most definitely a better rider than I!

    Then again, I am saving the pennies I saved from the Joe Rocket stuff to buy a K1200RS.

    I have no problem settling for 95% of the performance at 50% of the cost. Otherwise I'd be in the line for the R1200GS.
    Not worried about the new K bike either. I wouldn't be able to afford it until it was 2-3 years old anyhow. 95% for 50% sounds like good math to me!

    Jim

    PS Take the freebie!

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