Bluetooth for Shoei RF 1100
I'm in search of a Bluetooth system for my new RF 1100. I'll need to be able to pair with a Zumo or Iphone. I've read the threads here and appreciate that neither of the two major competitors, Sena and Cardo, do everything perfectly. I'm hoping those of you with real world experience with these units can help me make a decision. In order of most to least important to me:
1) Install / affix to the RF 1100 without the need for drilling or adhesives. I thought I read somewhere here where a member had to use the adhesive strips on one of these units on his 1100, but I can't find the thread. I want a unit that clamps onto the helmet.
2) Able to pair reliably with the Zumo and Iphone
3) Good sound quality
4) Ability to use earbuds rather than speakers. One dealer told me both can do this, but I'm only aware of a hack for the Cardo. I'll give the speakers a try, but I'm betting I'll prefer my Etymotics, which also offer some noise protection.
5) Ability to use either a boom or button mic in the helmet. I'm not sure how well a boom would fit inside a FF helmet (I've only tried them on modulars) and I'd like the option to switch if the boom is too obtrusive.
6) Easy-to-Use Controls: I know the Sena has the wheel and the Cardo smaller buttons. I could learn to use either if I had to. I've read here and elsewhere about people's Sena mounts falling apart.
7) Inconspicuous. I don't want to look like someone strapped a WWII era field radio to my helmet!
Thank you for sharing your experience.
mmm, yes, good questions here on a topic of interest to me.
subbing to see any feedback!
No one has an RF 1100 and BT?
I have a Sena on my HJC IS-16, (similar to the Shoei), and have been using it for almost 2 years now. I chose it over the Scala product after reading as many reviews as I could find. One very exstensive test/review can be found at -
The unit has worked very nicely for me. One of my requirements was to have the best speakers available and the Sena has them. It also has a 3.5 port for those that want to use their own earbud speakers. It pairs with my Samsung MP3 bluetooth player and holds a charge for approximately 2 days. The MP3 player will lose power in approximately 8 hours.
The mount itself have never failed. I installed it per the instructions and it's been rock solid ever since. The only thing I don't like about it is the bottom of the unit protrudes below the bottom of the helmet about 1/2 inch or so. It's only an issue when you take the helmet off and set it down on an uneven surface. I just try and be extra careful how I put the helmet down.
The control unit snaps on and off with ease and they're very easy to install. I bought a pair of these babies and installed one in my wifes helmet. It's a great intercom system, crystal clear at any legal speed with no interference. My riding buddy bought a set for himself and his son. I have paired mine with his and talked for a whole day on a ride.
To me, I knew going into this type of system that nothing is going to be perfect but the Sena meets all my needs so far. The best part is they are cheaper than any of the other systems. It is so nice to be rid of the wires of my Autocom.
As this technology progresses, I expect the Sena to put out even better units. They've already produced an updated version. BTW, I think your RF1100 has a nice flat side (jaw) area for mounting. I've had my eye on a new helmet lately and I'm looking very hard at the RF1100 and the Arai Vector 2. I might end up with the Shoei because of the better mounting surface.
As for the speakers, I always wear 30-33 NR earplugs when I ride. The Sena speakers are strong enough to be heard through the plugs and there's no wires to worry with! The size isn't really a factor for me. It does protrude from the helmet a bit but no big deal. Rarely will bump it with my shoulder when turning my head sharply for a head check/lane change. Sorry to go on and on... I'm loving my Sena so far!
This may be of only minor concern, but use of earbuds in both ears is illegal in NY.
Karl, it's funny you mention this. I got pulled over for the first time on 2 wheels two nights ago. For crossing double yellow to turn into a parking lot of all things. I only recently started wearing the earbuds and I was nervous as I pulled off the helmet, knowing that two earplugs is verboten. Luckily the officer wasn't interested in busting balls, I think he was mostly interested in checking that I had an MC license.
I wonder what the position is on regular NR earplugs? I'm not aware of a rule. Making me re think helmet speakers.
I have a Sena system in an RF1000. Any of the popular BT systems will fit your helmet. Check the link to WebBike Worald and you'll find some comparative info to help you pick a system.
An Intrepid Incompetent
Team Pterodactyl Montana Outpost
Canyon Creek, MT USA
I have an RF-1100 and Bluetooth!
But I have speakers and am extrememly pleased with the the setup.
I use a J&M Elite Bluetooth headset. Their speakers have amazing sound. The headset is paired with a Zumo 665 (Stereo BT) and my Blackberry Storm II is paired to the Zumo.
I have Mp3, XM radio, Nav directions, and phone which all work flawlessly also Weather and Traffic alerts as well as Red Light Camera warnings. . I wear E-A-R soft Gripper earplugs. (they only come with a cord now so I just cut the cord on a new pair of the pack. Sound is extremely good. (I am a professional musician, by the way)
The mic is not a boom but is countersunk in the chinbar. I have had this setup since May of 2010 and it has performed flawlessly. Battery charge has not been a problem and their software is upgradeable, but yoou have to send the control unit to J& M for any upgrades.
Also J&M headset controls are easy. An On and Fff rotary knob that also controls volume to a passenger (if you use it that way, if not you just switch the helmet unit on) A rocker paring switch. and a - Volume and + volume button. All very easily used while gloved.
"The Older I Get, the Faster I Was"
'09 Black Metallic Sapphire "Fully Farkled" RT
The relative merits of the Sena and Cardo have flip flopped.
I used the Cardo Q2 with my riding partner for a couple seasons then the Sena came out and it was better ergonomically and from a performance viewpoint. But the brands aren't cross compatible so I didn't switch. Eventually the Cardo G-4 came out and it was better than the original Sena IMO. It has upgradable by web software for example. Relative to a couple year old Q2 it has much longer battery life, better ergonomics and simpler pairing.
Recently Sena has upgraded to a similar system.
I use mine (G-4 at the moment) for bike to bike, to my Zumo and I Phone and do not listen to music when I ride- both sets speakers lack any real sound quality for music though both are good for voice,etc. Range of the G-4 is generally OK for riding with a partner but if you're out of sight of each other a lot you'd really want a system with an FRS radio capability. Batteries last for a long all day ride no problem' unlike the earlier Q2.
I use an RF 1000 and have no problems with the Cardo clamp which is plenty strong for any normal use. I haven't tried one on an RF1100 but I don't know why it shouldn't work. You do have to pry the liner a bit to slip it in of course.
Re boom interference- the boom will no doubt interfere in many FF helmets where the the chin bar is close. But Shoei leaves more room than most and it fits in mine without touching me- which it wouldn't with any of the Arai's and many others. BUT, as you know helmet makers employ a limited number of shell sizes to make all of the fitting sizes in their lineup so in addition to brand, the actual size you wear may impact this factor. I wear a L.
Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to go with the Sena. Reviews on both are pretty damn good. Although the Sena is noticeably larger (eyesore?), the jog wheel looks like a major advantage over the Cardo's buttons. I have awful tactile ability with gloves on to begin with, so the wheel will simplify things, think.
Does anyone use the thin wire mic, as opposed to the boom? How is the performance?
I have been using the Sena this past year mainly as an intercom. Works extremely well. Easy to have a normal conversation at speed.
The installation on the RF1100 was very straight forward using the clamp.
Very nice setup.
I use both the boom mic and wire mic on my 3 helmets. I also use both speakers and buds. I use the boom as if it was a wired mic. I tape it in position and it works fine. Hearing is much better with the buds, particularly at highway speeds. The buds can be a pain in the butt to put on one off.
An Intrepid Incompetent
Team Pterodactyl Montana Outpost
Canyon Creek, MT USA
I think a lot of folks have been buying their Sena systems from www.rocketmoto.com I've heard good things about them and last I checked they had good prices on a dual set. BTW, the speakers of the Sena (IMO) are very capable and get past my earplugs just fine. I've used the boom mic with no issues at all. No interference from wind or anything. I used the phone feature a couple times and those on the other end said they didn't know I was on a motorcycle.
Originally Posted by Bobonli
I have un-paired my phone on purpose. I don't talk on the phone while riding. Just music and a little conversation with my wife (passenger) or another riding buddy. That's it. I guess if I had a fancy GPS that talked to me I could hear that too but my Garmin Nuvi 550 works just fine. I can read the directions. It's so nice to be completely wireless
Sena SMH-10 on Shoei RF 1100
I just put my 6 month old Sena rev 2 (mini usb) on my brand new Shoei RF1100 and went for a ride and made a call.
The liner comes out easily if you are careful. The Sena goes in easily, I put adhesive backed velcro loop 3/4" wide, cut about 2" long across each speaker location. I use the boom mic. There is plenty of room for the mic between my large chin and the helmet. The Sena clamp has room and really works, the two wires tuck in right away and can go in far enough that you don't need to cut the cheek pad keeper strip to slip it back in. The Sena is far enough rearward that it doesn't interfere with the lock/lift visor lever. I already enjoy better speaker locations in this helmet, since it has slightly bigger than needed cutouts already. Fine tuning a mm or two might not ever be needed.
The Sena works great for two up intercom with my wife. It works well for receiving calls. I can use the voice commands on my GZone Rock waterproof phone with some trouble, even to the point of exiting interstates to "voice call" the right person and then get right back on when the phone picks the right person to call. I don't use GPS or listen to stored music. The Sena works in rain but sometimes one of the two speakers will go "out" for a few hours or restarts, battery removal and install sometimes gets both speakers working well again.
When my phone battery is low, it won't bluetooth, same with the Sena. Because my "Stich" pants are snug, I ride with my phone in my outside chest pocket, the Sena likes it there, better than my rear pants pocket.
Update: I didn't need to cut anything to slide the clamp in or slide the wires in, once I had the cheedpads and top liner out.
Last edited by 075038; 01-01-2012 at 02:17 AM.
I've been using it for about a month now. Nice product. I must be missing something because my RF100 doesn't have ear cutouts per se. I just slid the speakers in behind the liner. I have to finalize the position and use the velcro but, otherwise, it's working as good as can be expected.
I just realized that you can't upgrade the firmware on a Mac. That sucks but I can live with it. My only PC is at work and so locked down that I do not have rights to install software to do the upgrade. Hopefully they'll have a mac version soon.