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Thread: Communication suggestions

  1. #1
    '94 K75 heejrbmw's Avatar
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    Communication suggestions

    I'm looking for a good bike-to-bike communication system. I'm at square one. Nothing in mind, no specific knowledge of any product, and no idea what is the best system to consider. As stated, the primary emphasis is bike-to-bike, over short distances. Bike to passenger would be a bonus, but since I usually ride by myself, it is not essential. The ability to add cell phone, gps, mp3 would all be bonuses, but again, not essential. Anyone have any good options? Any help would be appreciated.
    Ed Evans - - Semper Fi
    '94 K75 '92 K75S
    "Always do more than expected." Coach Jerry Moore, ASU

  2. #2
    Registered User peterbonly's Avatar
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    comm system

    very happy with Sena SMH10 - working well with son on the back of the bike as well as with phone and MP3. I can hear thru fairly good ear plugs at highway speeds.

    Possible question of weight but don't know the unit's weight or comparison with other systems.
    -pp Long Distance Motorcycle Adventurer
    '00 GS w/ >165K miles; '07 RT w/ >140K miles

    LD blog: www.ppldma.com

  3. #3
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    I have a Starcom system on our bikes. It works okay, but I am awash in a sea of cables and wires. I suspect it is about the same as an AutoCom set-up. I give it a tepid endorsement. I am considering using one of the bluetooth based Cardio Scala systems; hope you get some comments rom folks that are using one of those.
    Kevin Huddy
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  4. #4
    leesrt
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    If your primary reason is for stereo, GPS, and phone then go with the Sena. The sena has better sound quality and functionality with the above. The sena doesn't allow a group intercom conversation between several riders, you have to connect to each rider separately. Sena also has many options for how you can connect speakers and mics to your unit. One option replaces the helmet speakers with a 3.5mm adapter on the side of the unit. You can connect your own earbuds which will improve sound quality and provide noise protection if they're the type that insert in your ear for isolation.

    If your primary reason is for intercom go with the G4. It does everything the Sena does but is a little buggy at times with audio. Sound quality is a notch below the Sena. Intercom is excellent because it allows an open conversation with up to 4 G4 users, like a conference call. It also allows on the fly connecting with another G4 user. If you meet up with someone on the road they just double click the a or b channel and it sends a quick connect beep to your headset. If you want to talk you just tap your button and your connected.

  5. #5
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    Talking

    We have some Nolan N-103 with ncom for sale. We bought some Schuberth that will go with the K1600. The Nolans will do Rider-passenger or bike to bike. We have never had a problem with them. Im not sure but I dont think you can connect with more than 1 other person. They are bluetooth so you can use your phone, mp3 player or gps. They are incorporated into the helmet so there is nothing hanging on the side like some of the other intercoms. They work great.

  6. 06-19-2011, 02:57 PM

  7. #6
    '94 K75 heejrbmw's Avatar
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    I agree with not talking on cell phones while driving, and I don't have any intention of doing so. Hence, the emphasis in my initial quest for information was stated as "bike to bike communication." Even that desire is limited. I'm not a chatty person when driving anything. I'm primarily interested in being able to let my riding partner know if I want to pull off or stop, or inform him of something in or on the road, or a trouble situation coming up, or pointing something out to one another without having to stop, etc. There are enough distractions out there!
    Ed Evans - - Semper Fi
    '94 K75 '92 K75S
    "Always do more than expected." Coach Jerry Moore, ASU

  8. #7
    TAC302
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    my opinion on Sena units

    We as a charter club bought a set for group rides so that the leader could communicate with the trailing rider. Seems to work fine but some of the members bought sets and when we tried to match up more than one set it got too complicated to be safe while riding.
    Riding as just two riders, the bluetooth works great for music from mp3/iphone and to communicate with partner. Highly recommend for sound quality and ease of operation (just two buttons).

  9. #8
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    IMHO if you want to talk with someone while driving down the road you should pull off the road and converse. IMHO there is little difference between comm devices on the road and idiot cage drivers talking on cell phones which is becoming illegal in more and more places. Please just saying,no flaming !
    I disagree. We use bike-to-bike on all our longer rides and we do not chat. We do use it to warn each other about hazards, provide advance warning of turns and indicate we need to stop for whatever reason. Properly used bike-to-bike commo increases safety of both riders. No flame, just a different point of view.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
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  10. #9
    Registered User clowry's Avatar
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    We have Autocom units on our bikes, with the Kenwood radios. Yes, there can be a lot of cables. On my R12CL, everything's pretty much in place and I plug in the Kenwood and the GPS in the morning (having removed the overnight). On my F650CS everything lives in my tankbag and there are a couple more cables to deal with. It is NOT bluetooth, and NOT wireless, but I like that the whole works is bike powered. I'm not having to worry about the battery going dead in my bluetooth headset and becoming useless. Just my 2 cents!

  11. #10
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clowry View Post
    We have Autocom units on our bikes, with the Kenwood radios. Yes, there can be a lot of cables. On my R12CL, everything's pretty much in place and I plug in the Kenwood and the GPS in the morning (having removed the overnight). On my F650CS everything lives in my tankbag and there are a couple more cables to deal with. It is NOT bluetooth, and NOT wireless, but I like that the whole works is bike powered. I'm not having to worry about the battery going dead in my bluetooth headset and becoming useless. Just my 2 cents!
    +1

    I tried a couple bluetooth units and was dissapointed by the battery life and the sound quality. Never got a s far a trying the bike to bike use of them. Though I hope that someday this technology will reach the point where it will function as I want it to, I'm not convinced it's there yet. I want it for audio from my GPS, both directions and music as well as to be able to communicate basic messages with my wife on her bike when we travel and to be able to do this 10 to 12 hours a day for multiple days. Until the wireless technology surpasses the functionality of my wired in Autocom/Kenwood systems, I'll be sticking to them, messy wires, tethering cables and all.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  12. #11
    Registered User DPeakMD's Avatar
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    I'm a huge safety proponent, but don't see bike-to-bike as a liability when used for the right way for the right reasons.

    Our local club extensively uses FRS/GMRS radios with various systems including Starcom and Autocom. The advantages of radio communication are longer range and better inter-operability between riders. We warn each other of road hazards, plan and execute maneuvers such as passing vehicles, upcoming turns and exits, making gas stops, or re-connecting after getting separated at stop-lights. I think these communications make it much safer to ride as a group.

    Recently we had a rider go down in a turn on a two-lane road. The commo alerted the ride leader to the fact the rider was OK and they were getting assistance and to concentrate on alerting on-coming traffic. This wouldn't have been possible without commo.

    I'm still very impressed by the quality of the Autocom system that I've used for about the past 4 years. Yes there are wires. But it is dead solid reliable. It takes under 5 seconds for me to plug in a cable to my helmet and a cable to my phone after a stop. The radio and GPS stay plugged in for the most part. I keep my phone charged as I normally would and the battery doesn't run down any faster from keeping a Bluetooth connection on all the time. When I used a hand-held radio it would run for 2-3 days on a charge. It's adaptable to your situation. Radar detector, cell phone, radio for bike-to-bike/terrestrial or weather, XM/Sirius, GPS, intercom--any of the above, all of the above--Check! Speakers in your helmet or ear buds--Check!
    Dallas
    2011 R1200GS Adventure
    Smoke Grey Metallic Matt

  13. #12
    '94 K75 heejrbmw's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input from everyone. I like what I read about the Sena SMH10 and Peter Bonly seems to support its use. Has anyone had any serious issues with this unit?

    Thanks,
    Ed
    Ed Evans - - Semper Fi
    '94 K75 '92 K75S
    "Always do more than expected." Coach Jerry Moore, ASU

  14. #13
    Motorradfahrer
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    I failed to see the Cardo Systems Scala Riders listed. They have the Q3 and G4 models which are quite different. They are easy to use, have long battery life and are east connect to other riders. I got the G4 units last year and parked by Q3's (G4 bluetooths music while Q3 uses wire, both bluetooth talk and GPS). I can talk to my wife, blur her out and listen to radio or iPod, listen to GPS directions or listen to nothing but the wind. I can one touch the unit to talk to a third or fourth rider. I love them and have nothing against Sena just not familiar with them. I see the Cardo systems at every BMW dealer and never Sena. I also had a warranty issue with my speakers and they sent me a new set. 2 year warranty, water proof not water resistant.

    P.S. Cardo Sytems makes the units for Schuberth.

  15. #14
    R1200RT Artiee's Avatar
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    Motocomm Sidekick SK-1000 Communicator

    My wife and I use a pair of these:

    http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...municator.aspx

    The microphone and earpieces velcro inside the helmet. I use the adjustment straps on my jacket to help route and hold the cables. Unlike Bluetooth systems, which can only be paired with a few other like units,, the Sidekick is an actual radio which operates on the same bands as CB and you can talk to anyone else with a CB type radio system. You can secure the radio any where -- I tuck mine into a jacket pocket. When off the motorcycle, you can take and use the radios to keep in touch with each other.

    My only complaint is the rechargable battery doesn't last long, so on all day rides, I have to back the rechargables up with AA batteries.

  16. #15
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Just got the dual pack Sena SMH10 Bluetooth Communicators. Pulled the Starcom syatem off all our bikes. It works well and is very easy to use. Haven't used it on a long ride yet, but so far so good.... and no stinking cables to contend with.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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