Motorcycle communications systems wired or wireless

В рубриках: Automobile | Автор: admin 04.07.2011

Motorcycle Communications Systems, Wired or Wireless?

The question we get asked time after time is “what is the best motorcycle communication systems for bikers?” We always follow this up immediately with another question – “what exactly are you looking for?”

This is because the options are many; from a single rider who just wants to be able to answer his phone whilst riding and perhaps use a Sat Nav, to a group of riders who want to be able to keep in touch with each other whilst on a ride-out.

Throw in there the fact that some riders may want to listen to music and some want all of this, without any wires, and you start to appreciate how complex bike communications can be. There is, therefore, no quick answer to this question. One of the problems we are very much aware of is that it is easy to overload the customer with too much information which can be counter-productive.

Let’s start with some basics. Rider and Pillion would like to be able to communicate with each other on a basic level, such as “Can we stop, I need the loo”. There are plenty of reasonably priced systems available which will do just this, such as the Albrecht Basic Rider to Pillion Intercom which is available with either full-face or open-face headsets. This is a battery operated wired intercom system. However, if you are likely to be travelling at high speed and have to contend with wind noise, this will not be up to the job.

The Starcom Advance System is not only an intercom but a whole entertainment system. Rider and pillion can listen to music, which will mute when they speak to each other. Communication is clear, even at high speeds. The unit, which is the size of a credit card, is wired to the bike’s battery, so no need to worry about batteries running out. Headsets are provided for either full or open face helmets. The digital system allows both rider and pillion to listen to their own music. Mobile phones and GPS devices can be connected either by cable or Bluetooth.

Perhaps you want all of this but do not want any cables coming from your helmet or attaching you to your bike. Bluetooth may then be the option you are looking for. There are numerous Bluetooth devices available now which in the main comprise of a small unit which attaches to the outside of your helmet with either a clip or sticky pad.

Inside the helmet you typically have an earpiece and either a boom mike or a stick on mike for full-face helmets. Interphone is a well-established Bluetooth intercom system which enables you both to connect to another Interphone, i.e. your pillion or another rider, and also to a mobile phone/GPS/MP3 player. It was initially unique in that it allowed the user to connect to more than one other Bluetooth device.

Bluetooth intercoms have now moved on to provide stereo sound and Interphone have brought out their new F4 system which incorporates this feature. Midland also do a range of Bluetooth Intercoms in their BT range and Starcom have their BTGO. The only disadvantage of Bluetooth is the range. For rider to pillion it is ideal, but if you want to use it for rider to rider, you must bear in mind that the range is going to be around 200m, which is fine if you are intending to stay close together.

However, if you are looking for motorcycle communication between a group of riders who may not stay this close together, you perhaps should think about using radios. Again, the options are many; you can each buy a radio, headset and PTT (press to talk) cable and as long as you are all on the same wavelength (usually PMR446), you will be able to communicate with each other.

The range varies depending upon the radio you have (typically the more you can afford to spend the better it will be) but you should usually be able to count on a range of between mile to 2 miles, depending upon conditions. Midland do a great bike-to-bike kit which contains everything one rider needs, if there are 2 of you, you need 2 and if there are 10, you need 10. Nice and simple and affordable.

If you are also looking for other features, such as ability to use mobile phone and listen to music, then you will need to go back to a system such as Starcom. With the Starcom unit wired onto your bike, you will have these features available. You can then add a radio kit to this unit and away you go.

So, to go back to where we started from, you can see that the solution will differ depending upon the requirements. This is very much an area in which you get what you pay for, we get lots of customers telling us about the unit they bought for 20 and it worked fine when they were both stood by their bike testing it but once on the road, they couldn’t hear each other.

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