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Thread: Intercom suggestions and recommendations

  1. #1
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Question Intercom suggestions and recommendations

    Now that the wife is getting her own bike, the AutoCom system I had planned on purchasing might be changing. Any comments or suggestions?

    I would like to do bike to bike as well as having the ability to do rider to passenger and listen to CD/MP3 player.

    Thanks.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  2. #2
    Registered User TCOLBURN's Avatar
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    Now, I'm looking for an intercom to be used between motorcycle and sidecar. Doesn't have to be wireless (in fact, maybe better not). I've been considering Autocom and have seen a number of positive recommendations. Any thoughts out there?

    Thanks..
    Tim Colburn #03842
    Park Forest, IL
    Secretary, Chicago Region BMW Owners Assn #3

  3. #3
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Two issues on the same thread..

    First for Bradford I would suggest that you consider not having any bike to bike set up until your wife has a few miles under her belt. She will generally be nervous anyway and you may find yourself had press not to provide "advice" as you ride. I would suggest developing a good set of hand signals and communicating this way for a while.

    Having said this if you decide bike to bike is important you have a few variables to consider, i.e. FRS radio or CB. I have heard that the autocom stuff has problems with CB's and may be ok with FRS. The J&M stuff works great with CB (that is what I have) but I hear audio quality is better with the autocom.

    You could also start simple and cheap with a pair of chatterboxes. I have never used them myself. Another route would be to try the setup offered by the earplug co (www.earplugco.com) which has the ability to use FRS radios with earbud mic / speakers. Very clean setup.

    For the other topic (bike / sidecar) I would suggest that you look at either the J&M or Autocom, depending if you want to include a CB. If not I would go to Autocom, FWIW.

    HTH.
    Rob Nye
    06 R1200GSADV 06 R1200RTP
    IBA 250 My Iron Butt Rally Blog
    Bristol, Rhode Island USA
    Proud to move oil

  4. #4
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Agree with waiting

    I 100% agree with the waiting a little while on the use of the intercom. However between a gift certificate that is going to expire and a discount that expires at the end of May - purchasing now is very advantageous.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  5. #5
    Need More Riding Time Kneedragon's Avatar
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    I was thinking about a helmet mounted voice activated mic/earphone set for my Cobra FRS. My wife and I ride several bikes and this seems to be a much less expensive way to go than intercoms for each bike.
    Q: Does anyone have any experience with this type of set up??

    Thanks............


    -28'C in East Ontario this AM.
    "Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here!"

  6. #6
    Have bike, will travel lancew's Avatar
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    I have a Chatterbox bike-to-bike setup, and I would recommend something else- I've never been happy with their performance at anything over 50 mph. The wind noise just screws them all up, plus they are NOT weatherproof. Next time I will pay a little more for a better setup. Just my .02, YMMV.
    #92115 - '01 R1150GS

    Why don't they make a Nerf Martini Glass?

  7. #7
    zepper
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    Intercom communication

    My wife and I are very happy with the Autocom system that I installed in our full face helmets (Nolan) which come with a perfect space that lifts out for the speakers. I place the unit in a pocket or a belly pack and we find it works well at all speeds. The secrets to success are a good system, proper placement of the head speakers and very proper placement of the microphone almost touching your lips. We do not have to raise our voices and find it fun to be able to chat so privately even amongst others. To go bike to bike we would use the Kenwood system that is recommended. The set up is expensive and thus far all our riding friends are envious but not spending the money to go bike to bike as yet. Nonetheless, my riding wife and I love the convenience of chatting without turning our heads and shouting. My wife would be first to tell you how well she can instruct me on when to turn and when not to turn or change lanes while we are wired together. I do not know how I did these things before I had her to tell me .

  8. #8
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    Discount??

    Bradford, what type of discount will you get that expires at the end of May?

    I would love a good intercom for my fiancee and I. The Autocomm sounds like the ticket, but the $$$$$$! If there is a discount, I may jump.

    Zepper, you had me laughing!
    Any fool can go fast when the road is straight.

  9. #9
    R1100R "Traveler" DesertRider's Avatar
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    My wife and I wanted a bike-to-bike system and we tried all kinds of headset systems to connect to FRS/GMRS radios as well as ham-radio handhelds (my wife and I are both licensed). None of them worked very well because they weren't designed to be used in a high-noise environment. You need a headset that provides audio feedback of your own voice, which is standard for motorcycle- and aircraft-specific intercoms, but standard radio headsets don't provide that.

    After trying lots of different things we ended up with a pair of HJC Chatterbox X1's (GMRS) and we've been very happy with them. Both our intercoms are mounted in full-face helmets (hers an HJC CL-12, mine a Arai Quantum/f). The VOX feature could be better implemented, but once you learn to use it works OK. Using the handlebar-mounted PTT switch (included) instead of VOX works very well. We've had no problems at high or low speed and with the extra power of GMRS we've been able to communicate as far as two miles apart under real-world conditions. That's much better than FRS systems we tried, which often would not work even a half-mile apart in city conditions.

    The Chatterbox X1's can accept all kinds of external audio inputs such as CD, cellphones, etc., but we don't use any of those. Overall we've been very happy with them, would certainly buy them again.
    DesertRider in sunny Arizona, USA


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