Rider to rider communication system?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Byrdmando, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Byrdmando

    Byrdmando Adventurer

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    I have a friend I ride with occasionally. When we ride we are forced to pull over and talk face to face to relay info.

    What is a decent Inexpensive way for two riders to communicate....intercom type system ? And I am perfectly happy with very basic......at least while I figure out if this is worth it. What do y’all do?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Byrdmando
    #1
  2. TripleTriples

    TripleTriples Long timer

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    You could try cheap two way radios with a speaker and mix in your helmets, but you'll just end up wishing you'd spent the money on a Cardo or Sena.
    #2
  3. Scout416

    Scout416 Adventurer

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    Both Cardo and Sena make entry level comms. I currently use a Sena 20S, regardless of hype (each have thier fan club) both are reputable products. Yes i have used both and choose the best at the time.

    I recently purchased a used Sena SF2 on this site for less than 100.00. It is basic. Easy to set with a smartphone app.

    Pro - inexpensive, low profile, listen to music, intercom
    Cons - only does one thing at a time well ( overlay not mesh) hard to move betweem several task using buttons.

    Do your research and watch some videos. You will be alot happier. I agree with Triple Triples, post
    #3
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  4. Yellowjacket

    Yellowjacket Long timer Supporter

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    Research Chatterbox Radios. Many riders in Southern California, unhappy with their current radios, are switching over to Chatterbox. They have good reception in canyons also, unlike the former radios the riders had.
    #4
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  5. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    I got given a cheap ebay BTcommunicator They were like $50 each
    And so me and my wife tried them, and found that they worked so much better then the Chatterbox radios we had tried in the past.

    In fact we enjoyed them enough that we ponied up for a Sena 10S dual kit when it was on sale early last year.
    Now we ride together and have for nearly 20 years, so there was some growing pains with listening to each other talk
    But it was awesome to be able to talk to each other.

    Then to add that the ability to get directions from my phone it's been awesome.

    We can get about 8 hours of travel time out of a charge and they work well enough to hear on a DL650 and Ducati Hypermotard at typical Ca freeway speeds.

    If I had to do it again I'd get Sena or Cardo, But the BTcommunicator work well as a proof of concept.
    The bad taste in my mouth from chatterbox from their older radios, I wouldn't touch them.
    #5
  6. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    I think you'll find the BT communication is one of the nicest add-ons you can make to your riding experience. I have two riding friends who bought Sena BT headsets so we could talk on rides. With one, it is like two friends carrying on a conversation while sitting in the front seat of a car together. With the other, we don't talk nearly as much, but it is still nice. And with both, it is great to be able to warn the other rider of sand on the road, or a deer, or whatever. Or even to say you want to stop for a pit stop.

    Like squish, I've seen some really inexpensive BT headsets on eBay for ridiculously low prices. I rode to Utah with a fellow who heads up a riding group north of me. He bought two of them for rides. He takes one and the sweeper rider at the tail end takes the other. For his purposes, it works great. The only caveat is that while you can link up to other BT systems, you're doing it as a phone. There's limitation in range that way.

    If you decide to splurge and buy one of the nicer and more expensive BT headsets, look to see what others are using. I don't think there's much difference in the quality of any of the major brands. I have a Sena, but I think Cardo is probably just as good. The linking though between brands is the reason I say this. If you're trying to link to a Cardo with your Sena, you are doing it like you do with the eBay elcheapo version. You're linking as a phone.

    Last comment. Don't get caught up in all the fancy technology they are trying to sell you. I've heard that "Mesh" isn't all it is hyped up to be. And if the other riders you're with don't have "mesh", you're back to a basic BT headset anyway. So you could get by easily with a $100 Sena for the next ten years probably.

    Chris
    #6
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  7. MtnRoamer

    MtnRoamer Been here awhile Supporter

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    We ran the Sena SMH5-FM for years (just FYI there is quite a difference between the Sena SMH5 and the SMH5-FM in terms of range and speaker quality). They use some of Sena's most proven tech (some of their latest stuff is still getting the kinks worked out). Both the Sena SMH5 and SMH10 series are basically bulletproof. If you are buying new and looking for basic comms I would recommend the SMH5-FM since they are reliable and cheap (you can pick up a dual pack for like $225).
    #7
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  8. HarveyM

    HarveyM Long timer

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    #8
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  9. Byrdmando

    Byrdmando Adventurer

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    Ok. I went with the DT-S2. The price was right and I can do it NOW. I was finding myself getting DEEP into the weeds trying to make the perfect purchase....but ultimately not getting any closer to an actual purchase. Thanks for all the helpful advise.
    #9
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  10. blackripley

    blackripley Long timer

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    When hand signals are not enough.

    There are a bunch of different systems out there. It all depends on the type of communication you are looking to have. If you just want to exchange quick information or do you want to hold a conversions. If its just for quick exchange of information you want a push to talk system not an open mic one. There are a few other factors to think about that might make a difference. A big one is at what speed/noise level you want to be able to talk and hear at. Also battery life, size, and range.

    I have both.
    When riding with my daughter we use an intercom (cheep Bluetooth only 30' range) that is full duplex and we carry on long conversions and a lot of what is that, did you see that, and I need to........

    When riding with my friends (cross country) we use push to talk (CB) system. No one wants to hear what is going on in my helmet all the time. I would look for a set of gmrs radios with privacy codes and a set of headsets.
    #10
  11. blackripley

    blackripley Long timer

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    That is also where I started, it just did not seem feasible or reliable I tested 3 apps.
    Cheap and easy system I have used was a set of FRS walkie talkie talkabouts with a throat mic set up.
    [​IMG]
    ^ About $30 to $75 each
    [​IMG]
    ^ about $40 for an ok set of 2


    On my touring bike (harley) I added the factory CB system, the down side is that headsets alone cost more than the walkie talkie and throat mic set up for 2 bikes.
    #11