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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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  #1  
Old 14 Apr 2005
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Intercom or not?

I can't make up my mind about this. Should I buy a intercom or not to the bike. I do alot of touring with my wife on a BMW and I have been thinking about this. When we commuicate we talk or scream to eachother. It works and it's sort of the way it is on a bike, right. But sometime I want to say something and then I have to slow down or stop to talk to her. But on the other hand it's very nice to have those moment for your self on the bike with no one to disturb you. Specially when you going to overtake a car and a voice tells you in your helmet "should you really overtake that car now"?
Anyway, if I decide to buy a set, should I buy a set fixed to the bike with cables or a set with two seperate walkie-talkies. Anyone have any experience with reliability and so.
I appreciate all sort of feedback on this.

Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 14 Apr 2005
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I suggest you either buy a cheap set, so if it doesn't work out it doesn't matter, or go and try out several at dealers/manufacturers.

The tricky bit seems to be to find good headsets and get them fitted right. The model of helmet will also have an influence on sound quality.

I tried a PMR radio kit from Conrad Electronic in Germany and ended up sending it back, unusable. Some other people seem happy with it, though.

If you are always on one bike I wouldn't buy radios. Buy something that's linked. No interference and better sound quality.

There are also Bluetooth headsets appearing now: no wires!

If it uses batteries make sure you can use standard AA or AAA NiMH batteries, NOT proprietary accus. Cheaper and less hassle in the long run. (This counts for ANY gadgets you buy.)

I'm in the process of rigging up two old Baehr CB sets on our bikes. German users swear by them, but their gear is hellishly expensive. I'll report back in the Comms forum once I have something to report.

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  #3  
Old 14 Apr 2005
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The general wisdom is that you get what you pay for. I dont think I would want a box attached to the side of my helmet. From personal experience the wires are not overly bad to deal with.

Yankee Dog

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  #4  
Old 18 Apr 2005
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I also considered getting an intercom, but after much discussion with my fiancé we both decided against it.

Sure, there are times when you wish you could speak up and tell her something but there are ways around it.
We have both developed simple hand signals that are fun and sometimes hilarious to use on long trips.
When she absolutely has to tell me something I will always stop and use the opportunity to stretch my legs.
We also enjoy telling each other what we saw along the way when we pull over for fuel/meals/sleep.

An intercom would be nice but we both prefer the time spent in silence together. No intercom for us… but if you decide to get one – get something decent (the best you can afford).
I have play-tested cheap systems and they are extremely unsatisfying!
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  #5  
Old 15 Jun 2005
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Me and my girlfriend tried Nady bike to bike intercoms on our Scandinavia tour. And in our opinion they were more hassle than they were worth. I would agree that you get what you pay for and maybe if we had a professionaly fitted Autocom system costing thousand pounds then it would have been better but our system was still not the cheapest and at any speeds above 40mph there was just too much background noise from the wind. Also the wires are a pain in the *rse and not very durable so we spend a lot of time repairing delicate mics and headphones. there are wires between your helmet and you and then between you and the bike so always unplugging and untangling etc etc. Just my opinioin. Something else to consider...is the frequency you will use always legel in the countries you will be travelling in? i never got an answer to that question.

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  #6  
Old 6 Sep 2005
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I've got the Autocom Activ 7 system. Bought it via internet direct for £195 and installed into bike and helmets myself. Have now done 20k miles with them and can't think of not using it. Can also connect mp3 player, mobile phone, satnav etc.

Well recommended.

Also check www.intaride.com
Similar to Autocom and well recommended.
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  #7  
Old 6 Sep 2005
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Me and my mates bought radios and headsets before going to Norway this summer and they were guff. Or rather the headsets were. We couldn't communicate over 50mph because the background noise is too much, my headset broke after 2 days and one of my mates after 6 days. A total waste of £60. If you are going to get sets get better/more expensive and higher quality ones than we did. I will try to remember the brand and post it on here to warn people off!
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #8  
Old 11 Sep 2005
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"slow down!"

"why did you overtake on that bend?"

"oooo, stop a minute, i saw a nice pair of shoes in that shop!"

"its left here.......oh no, the other left, well i was pointing!"

"beep at him, hes on his mobile"

still want an intercom? or is it just my wife?


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  #9  
Old 23 Sep 2005
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got the autocom system wired to the bike this year. voice activation works great and sound quality is very good. i am normally concentrating on the road and miss quite a bit of the scenery. being able to hear for example 'there was a footpath down into the gorge, looked like nice rock pools in the river as well, should we check it out and have our lunch down there, what you think?' without having to stop or slowing down on a great mountain road just for hearing that is great,being able to make a decision together without taking anything away from my fun of riding fastish on said road is even better. the places we are having our breakes have changed quite a lot and we both would hate being without intercom. she is thinking of getting her own bike now and we will definitely have bike to bike then. the only thing to remember is, when you have to cough or sneeze, cover the microphon with your finger.
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