motorcycle communication systems

Bluetooth communication for motorcycles

The use of mobile phones has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. Chances are you will not leave the house without your mobile phone. We see more and more motorcyclists using their hands-free mobile phone on their motorcycles, using a Bluetooth headset which has been integrated into their helmet. There is a wide range of Bluetooth motorcycle communication systems available, each system has its own price tag and functionalities.

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What kind of communication is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a universal wireless technology which connects (multiple) devices within a short distance of each other. Many computers and smartphones are now equipped with Bluetooth functionality. Motorcycle navigation systems are also often equipped with Bluetooth, so that you can receive navigation instructions via your headset. A Bluetooth kit for your helmet makes it possible to use your mobile phone, navigation device and MP3 player through built-in speakers and a microphone.

Bluetooth and motorcycling? How does that work?

Nowadays we all use devices such as our mobile phone, and/or GPS navigation systems (Garmin, TomTom, Interphone etc.). If you would like to use this in a responsible and easy way, then it is advisable to use a Bluetooth handsfree kit which is integrated into your helmet. Some helmet manufacturers offer systems that can be fully (and seamlessly) integrated into a certain type of helmet, but there are also universal kits which fit in almost any helmet. The basic components of a communication system are typically: 2 speakers, a microphone and a base unit. If you have an open face helmet it is recommendable to use a microphone which is attached to a flexible ‘boom’, for full face helmets there are special ways to attach it. Major communication brands are:

  • Sena
  • Cardo
  • Nolan N-Com

Which types of communication systems are there?

There are different types of Bluetooth kits, for example there are universal kits which fit in most helmets. Examples of universal kits are:

  • Sena 10R
  • Sena 20S
  • Cardo Scala Rider Packtalk
  • Cardo Scala Rider Freecom 1, 2, 4

Universal kits have been designed in such a way that they should fit in almost any helmet. It is wise to check if there is any space in the helmet (or if any space can be created) to place the speakers. The base unit is usually placed on the outside of the helmet (usually) on the left side. This can often be done with use of a double-sided adhesive patch, or a clamp that can be clamped onto the helmet between the outer shell and inner lining.

Beside the universal kits there are also manufacturers that make special Bluetooth kits for certain helmets, these systems can be integrated seamlessly into the helmet. Some helmets, such as the Schuberth C4, even have built in speakers, microphone and an antenna – all you have to do is purchase the Sena SC1 system and plug in the module and the battery. The disadvantage is that you will need to purchase a new communication system when you eventually buy a new helmet. Examples of integrated systems are:

  • Sena 10U
  • Schuberth SC1
  • Nolan N-Com B5
  • Shark Sharktooth
  • Schuberth SRC system

Schuberth SRC system

sharktooth bluetooth 

Schuberth SRC System Shark Sharktooth

The brands often offer models with different features. They usually start with a basic model with the most basic functions and end with the most comprehensive features. The structure of functionalities per model is as follows:

Solo

The most simple system provides features which allow you to pair your communication system with your mobile phone. When paired, you can make calls, receive calls, receive navigation instructions from your GPS navigation device and listen to music.

Bike to passenger

These type of systems allow you to enjoy all of the features that the solo version has, with the addition that communication between the rider and the passenger is made possible. For this to work, the passenger’s helmet needs to be equipped with a similar system. These sets are often also sold as DUO kits.

Bike to bike

This set can do everything the solo and bike to passenger systems can do. However, a bike to bike system can also communicate with other bikers with a certain range – if they have a compatible communication system. The range of the set and the maximum number of users varies per brand and model.

Some brands have models that allow you to talk to multiple riders over a greater distance. Note that communication systems of different brands do not necessarily work together. If a system does not have ‘universal intercom pairing’ then it is wise to find out which communication systems your fellow riders use.

Good quality communication sets are available from around € 110,-. If you need advice or assistance in making a choice you can contact our customer service at (+31 20 214 9680)

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