Newer Wings, Bluetooth, CB Radio, Helmets

Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:00 am
Location: Louisville, KY
Motorcycle: 2003 GL1800

Newer Wings, Bluetooth, CB Radio, Helmets

Post by paulrmedina »

I'm a 39 year old guy, riding a 2003 Wing. It belonged to my father. He's (turning 70 next month) riding a 2008 or 2009. We have usually ridden together, but I also started a family in the last few years, so for instance, this year we only got to ride together 2 times the whole season. We're in KY, not much more riding weather left this season. We've always maintained constant chat using our CB radios connected to our helmets. We chat regularly. I listen to my phone music through the headphone plug in the fairing through the factory stereo or through the plug in my helmet.

My question is - he's got the itch to upgrade to the new lighter Wing with Bluetooth. How can I maintain contact with him, like the CB radio, if he doesn't spend the $1200 to get the CB radio? I don't exactly understand the abilities of bluetooth helmets, was not paying attention since I had a wired connection. In my experience, most bluetooth sucks. I've seen stuff claim to work at 33 feet stop working at 10 feet, with perfect line of sight. I've got earbuds that connect to my phone in my pocket that cut in and out because I'm walking while mowing grass. Stop moving, sounds great. Walk, cuts in and out like garbage. I don't want to maintain a phone call with him just to say "it's clear ahead, you're good to pass." Do Bluetooth helmets interrupt my music when he pipes in, is it like PTT? Sometimes we stay 200 feet apart, but sometimes we are 1,000 yards apart - I saw some article claim that BT can do a communication up to a mile, but I'm having a hard time believing this.

To throw in another complication - I've also got a brother in law, who sometimes rides his 2006 with us. Rarely so far, but hopefully that will improve. Will the two other riders have to upgrade their helmets from wired to bluetooth helmets just to save one guy from buying a CB? Will it work just as well, or is this going to be a shiny new thing that doesn't work half as well as the other stuff?

I guess my issue is - if they actually do half of what they claim to do, I think I'd be ok. But if it's only 10% of what they claim to do, then this seems to be a downgrade. What are other's experiences?

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Andy Cote
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Re: Newer Wings, Bluetooth, CB Radio, Helmets

Post by Andy Cote »

Sounds like quite a party. Anyone join in?

There are a number of posts on this subject. When it comes to Bluetooth, I think a lot is related to "you get what you pay for." Cheap stuff works cheaply. Better stuff (J&M, Cardo, Sena) works well, has good range and can work with several users. You can use a functionality such as MESH that can link many riders but they all need to be on the same brand.

If you have a good Bluetooth headset, it will mute your music to engage in an intercom type conversation and will allow the phone as well. In all honesty, there really is no reason to use the onboard Honda system any longer if you all use the same brand Bluetooth. If you want to continue to use the Honda system, you can, at an additional cost.

Check some of the earlier threads on this and I suggest Sierra Motorcycle Electronics, They are probably a short ride for you to go in and have a conversation and look at your options. And their prices are really good.

Another option, you and your BIL could split the cost of a CB for dad. Might be cheaper. Christmas is coming after all.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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'02 GL1800 lives in Dawsonville, GA now.
My son is going to enjoy it for many years to come.

Re: Newer Wings, Bluetooth, CB Radio, Helmets

Post by AZgl1800 »

I gave my 1800 to my son last August, kept my little 250cc scooter

it is naked for communications, period.

did a lot of research and ended up with the Sena 50S

it will do the following: It can interface with the bike's intercom, provided you install a Bluetooth Adapter on the bike, which Sena offers.

No CB at all... I don't miss that though.

2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc
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