Our resident expert of all things bikes answers your questions
Dave, My wife and I have decided to go touring together more often. I’ll be riding and she’ll be pillion, and of course, there’ll be luggage.
She’s not so keen on camping and is more an advocate of comfort.
We’ve been chatting about communication when on the bike, is it worthwhile? And which system? Wired or wireless?
Robert Soddon, Carlisle
The hardwired systems are a little old fashioned these days. Being tethered to the bike with a wire can be a bind, although they do work very well. Bluetooth systems offer far greater freedom and can be connected to a GPS or phone.
Some GPS devices or phones can be used to play your favourite music or even radio transmissions. Plus if you’re riding with others with a similar intercom, rider to rider communication can be a great benefit. How long the charge lasts on these wireless devices is worth considering.
I’ve found that my system will last a couple of days, but I charge them at the end of every day anyway, it doesn’t take too long When it comes to whether rider-to-pillion comms are a good thing or not, there are different opinions. Some like the solitude of riding while others enjoy the connection to each other.
I’m firmly in the latter. Although when my missus is having a go at the car trying to cut us up I have to explain only I can hear! A great benefit of the intercom is when trying to find that road out of a busy town or the hotel or campsite.
While the rider is concentrating on avoiding the traffic your pillion can be looking for that turn and conveying the information to you. And obviously, those toilet breaks or stops for any reason can be easily relayed rather than mystery taps on shoulders or digs in your back.
So which Bluetooth system?
There are many out there, some quite cheap, some alarmingly expensive. Use the internet to search for the system that suits you and your budget. Forums, such as ABR’s (www.adventurebikerider.com/forum) are a great source of knowledge and experience.
I have mine fitted to my flip front helmet. It can be a little difficult to get in the right place, the mouthpiece needs to be in front of your mouth. They are designed this way to cut out unnecessary noise.
The earphones also need to be positioned correctly, takes a little time to get it all right but helps with the efficiency in use. Make sure the helmet you use is the type that allows you to remove the lining as this makes it much easier to fit the system. Have a great trip, and remember, they all have an off switch.
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