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Riding companion communication
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My wife has recently obtained her license to ride on the road. While I ride with her, I am always trying to give hand signals etc to let her know what the road ahead if offering. While there are numerous communication devices out there, I was wondering if any of my TTR friends had some experience with any devices I might use to communicate with my wife while we are riding. A distance of only 100 metres is all we would be apart. Price is of concern so a budget device would be best. 

Thanks Paul.



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Aussie Paul wrote:

My wife has recently obtained her license to ride on the road. While I ride with her, I am always trying to give hand signals etc to let her know what the road ahead if offering. While there are numerous communication devices out there, I was wondering if any of my TTR friends had some experience with any devices I might use to communicate with my wife while we are riding. A distance of only 100 metres is all we would be apart. Price is of concern so a budget device would be best. 

Thanks Paul.


Good question Paul! I will be interested in the replies myself wink



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On our BMWs we have AutoCom systems with PMR/FRS radios that provide clear comms at motorway speed over a good mile or so. I don't think they'd be suitable on a dirt-bike as they're hard-wired, but I think you'll struggle to find better quality comms. It's also probably the most costly solution as you need to buy the unit, headsets and radios, but you can tailor it to your exacty needs with other accessories, music inputs, pillion connectivity, bluetooth connectivity etc. Sourcing radios from China and most of the Autocom parts second hand, I still reckon I've invested a couple of hundred pounds per bike to get these fitted, but they are excellent.

We first tried cheap PMR/FRS radios (you may already have a set) with a wired headset, which was a cheap solution, but the quality was poor at anything over city-driving speed as there was no noice cancelling (which the autocom has). This might be an option if you're offroad, or keeping the road/windspeed low. I had radios already and the headsets were around 40-50 pounds for the pair.

A lot of people (who don't like the idea of hardwiring) swear by Bluetooth headsets (something like an Interphone or Sena) - these attach to your helmet, are self contained and self powered (and therefore need recharging) but offer good quality comms and can also link to things like sat-navs and phones if you want - you can even buy them in pairs so you're all ready to go. Price wise, I still think you're looking at at least a hundred pounds per headset for something at the lower end of the range.

One key consideration you might want to consider is that anything that's using a Radio to transmit is most likely going to offer Simplex communication, meaning that only one person can speak at a time (as Radios generally can only either transmit or recieve). For our Autocoms, we have a Push to Talk (PTT) button on the handlebars to "engage" the radio, but you can set them up for Voice Activation (VOX) but this can take a moment to engage and disengage meaning the start of a conversation might be clipped. When we're on the same bike and my wife is pillion, the Autocom isn't using the radio so the comms are Duplex, which means we can both speak at the same time over each other and conversation is more natural. The Bluetooth systems generally offer Duplex communications.

Also consider if you're likely to want to communicate with other people and what they are using - with my AutoCom system, I can communicate to anyone else running a radio-based system which is what most of the instructors and tutors I have met use, but if all your buddies are rocking Bluetooth, you won't be able to cross-talk.

When my wife first started riding, she found that just the reasurance, positive comments and pointers incredibly helpful even before she was happy pressing the button and talking back to me! Now we have all sorts of conversations about what we're seeing, and pther people on the road.

Hope that helps!

Simon

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You can buy these cheap or pay top dollar, just remember- you usually get what you pay for.

Here is a search from eBay- CLICK HERE

Nice info Simon, good work!

Jarrah

 



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We use duplex bluetooth units, what that means is you can speak at the same time instead of waiting till the other stops speaking
They also have a range of about 1200mtrs 8hours continues use 3 days stand by time, also has a fm radio to listen to music, connects to your sat nav, you can conect upto 4 units, I bought from China they advertise on eBay but I delt with them dirct, payed £95 including delivery for two units, if I bought one from eBay it would have cost £67 for one.

If this is what you are after post on here then I'll put the link up, if you contact them just say you could do it outside eBay but still pay though PayPal, I remember I had to pay import vat £16 I think, still a god price I think

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Me and my brother use Sena SMH10 bluetooth devices. We both swapped out the speakers for a little higher comm quality, just had to do a quick saulder job. For straight communication and music they work great. Im in Western United States and I know most of you guys are European, so im not sure if the Sena is available, but we are both really happy with them as a good comm and music bluetooth device.

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2000 TTR-250 living at sealevel in California, United States.  I mostly ride technical desert and mountain trails with standard gearing.  Been riding since I was 5 and never turned back.  

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After many many years of using a wired Autocom I swapped to a pair Sena SMH10's about 18 months ago for rider pillion use.

In July this year I was touring with a couple of friends, one of whom was using the Sena too. We paired the devices easily. Depending on the terrain we were fine up to about half a mile apart. This was excellent. Just like chatting to a pillion.

I also use it with a Garmin satnav and my phone. All works well. When using the satnav it interrupts the chat which is fine, except the other user doesn't realise this. We found it best to just mute the satnav.



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Life long rider. Currently the CCM 450, a GSA and a Guzzi Le Mans I've had since 1981. Sold the TTR September 2016.



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Yes bluetooth headsets are great. Me and my buddy use them without problems. Its great for laughing at your mate when he comes off and gets covered in mud :)
Ours are just cheap ones but they work very well and last all day from fully charged. www.ebay.co.uk/itm/500M-Interphone-Wireless-Bluetooth-Motorbike-Motorcycle-Helmet-Intercom-Headset-/252071296200


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My mate and I have been thinking of intercoms lately for when we go off on our road bikes touring, then we would be able to tell each other when we want petrol, or say if we've seen a B&B sign etc.

Those cheap ones look quite good Locky, do you have to push a button to be able to talk? I.e does my mate have to listen to me singing n stuff ha?

Can you hear the voice even with earplugs in?

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Pete. South Somerset, England.

03 Blue model. Renthal bars, (13/48), CRD AP2 zaust, Totally ttr's bash plate

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It's constantly on Pete, but lasts all day on a full charge. My mate forgets and i hear him swearing at cars etc

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2004 TTR250. White Brothers E series exhaust, modded airbox, rejetted, 13/48 c&s & many more mods..



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What about the volume, do they go pretty loud?

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Pete. South Somerset, England.

03 Blue model. Renthal bars, (13/48), CRD AP2 zaust, Totally ttr's bash plate

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Yes I find it loud enough Pete up to 60 mph. It's ok at 70 but not as clear. To be honest I was surprised how good they performed.

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2004 TTR250. White Brothers E series exhaust, modded airbox, rejetted, 13/48 c&s & many more mods..



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+1 for SENA-10 they work great, easy to pair with other bluetooth devices as well, not necessarily SENA.
Bought the kit second hand for cheap, and in new condition. Technology is still updated meaning their software is easy to update.
Sound is good even with earplugs that I wear all the time.


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