Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 6:46 am Thread Starter
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Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

I got my hands on this pdf today, it explains a bit of the audio system for the new K !

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post #2 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 8:07 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Thanks for posting this STeinar!

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post #3 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 8:53 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

This seems to say (on the final table) that "navigation commands to the helmet by wired or BT" exist with the BMW communication system, but wired only to Scala and others. The diagram seems to offer different info. Does this mean the navigation with only pair with BMW headset system??
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post #4 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 12:34 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by mx125
This seems to say (on the final table) that "navigation commands to the helmet by wired or BT" exist with the BMW communication system, but wired only to Scala and others. The diagram seems to offer different info. Does this mean the navigation with only pair with BMW headset system??
I am currently using the Nav 4 on my K1200LT with 2 J&M Bluetooth systems, a Scala 4, and a Nolan. They all pair with the Nav 4 in Bluetooth mode.
Here is another link.
http://www.bmw-motorrad.com/com/en/i...html&notrack=1


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post #5 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 1:33 pm
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Question Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

I'm trying to find out if the Nav 4 system is a Garmin 660 0r 665. I'm also trying to determine if I can get it cheepr directly from garmin. Any ideas
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post #6 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 2:13 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Thanks for the link. If you ever get your hands on the owner's manual in PDF, please post a link too.. Much appreciated.
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post #7 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 2:15 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

It will be cheaper from Garmin but you will lose the BMW features and some of the connectivity. It is a 660. Buy the Nav 4 there will be a cheaper version without the mount for the K1600's as they do not need the mount to be compatable.


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post #8 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 2:26 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Fluffy
I will keep looking, so far no luck.


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post #9 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 4:19 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Ok, now that I'm on my home PC and a bigger monitor, I can see that the BMW communicator can do more things and can be operated from the switch gear..

I bet it's more or less the same version as the Schuberth one, but with a different firmware... music for rider and passenger.. that's nice... The Schuberth unit is $400 for one communicator... Can't wait to find out how much they want for bmw version.
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post #10 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 4:41 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy
Ok, now that I'm on my home PC and a bigger monitor, I can see that the BMW communicator can do more things and can be operated from the switch gear..

I bet it's more or less the same version as the Schuberth one, but with a different firmware... music for rider and passenger.. that's nice... The Schuberth unit is $400 for one communicator... Can't wait to find out how much they want for bmw version.
In the uk for the helmet shown in the picture a bmw system 6 with the intercom system its £680 pounds.
The setup is simular for the new rt so if you can get hold of a 2011 rt radio manual I think it will be simular as you can only use the thumb wheel with the new helmet system when connected via bluetooth.
If you connect with anything other than the bmw system it locks the wheel out.Can you get the system helmets over there I seem to remember reading on the site that the helmets wern't usa spec.
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post #11 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 5:12 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Thanks for the info. I'm in Canada and the BMW helmets are sold here for big $$.. Make that $900CAD plus communicator, plus tax... ouch!! BringMuchmoooooreWallet!

Last edited by fluffy; Jan 13th, 2011 at 7:44 pm.
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post #12 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 5:22 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

What about FRS/GMRS radios. They work on the LT perfectly. It does not seem that this is an option here. Is it?
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post #13 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 6:15 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Here is a link to the radio book that can be downloaded for the newer rt with the bluetooth function this might help explain how it all works.Change the model to rt and then click downloads and you will see the radio manual.
http://www.bmw-motorrad.dk/dk/da/index.html
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post #14 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 9:01 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by philh24
Here is a link to the radio book that can be downloaded for the newer rt with the bluetooth function this might help explain how it all works.Change the model to rt and then click downloads and you will see the radio manual.
http://www.bmw-motorrad.dk/dk/da/index.html
Thanks for posting. On page 36 of the manual:

Quote:
iPhone
An iPhone can be used as a playback source in the same way as an iPod. The telephone func- tions are deactivated while the iPhone is being used as a play- back source; a message to this effect might appear in the display of the iPhone.
That's not particularly good news for iPhone users.

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post #15 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 10:07 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

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Originally Posted by sfoster
That's not particularly good news for iPhone users.
Yeah, that sucks, actually. :^)

Maybe they figure we'll be too busy changing Sirius stations, programming the gps to find the nearest food and/or fuel, and adjusting the suspension and heated seats and heated grips to be chatting on the phone.

I will get this fixed, one way or another. Even if it means putting my iPhone into a waterproof case and wiring it separately. Hmm, maybe I can use my old iPhone 3 as a music-only source.

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post #16 of 140 Old Jan 13th, 2011, 10:23 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Some things that I have noticed.
1. Some or much of this information may not apply to the US K1600.
2. The system 6 helmets are not yet DOT certified.
3. I-Phones will ring through the Nav 4 but I have not found a way to answer it yet.
(this keeps the LT a cell free zone)


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post #17 of 140 Old Jan 14th, 2011, 12:22 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy
I bet it's more or less the same version as the Schuberth one, but with a different firmware... music for rider and passenger.. that's nice... The Schuberth unit is $400 for one communicator... Can't wait to find out how much they want for bmw version.
New Schuberth Bluetooth = Scala.
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post #18 of 140 Old Jan 14th, 2011, 12:30 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by iride4u
I-Phones will ring through the Nav 4 but I have not found a way to answer it yet.
(this keeps the LT a cell free zone)
Humm, my iPhone works seamlessly with my Garmin 665. I use the Cardo Scala Bluetooth helmet system for phone, XM radio, weather and traffic alerts, and navigation prompts. No one believes it when I answer the phone and hold a conversation at 75mph on the interstate. No road noise at all.

Here's my question. Will the 1600 have Bluetooth separate from the Nav4 or will the helmet system mate to the Nav4? It's a real shame that the Nav4 is equivalent to the 660 (instead of 665) and therefore lacks satellite weather and traffic.
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post #19 of 140 Old Jan 14th, 2011, 1:58 am Thread Starter
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Well - it seems to me that I will use the Speaker out option - and use my AKE INNOVA - as on my LT. Then use the bluetooth dongles on the INNOVA - and the 201 bluetooth helm sets.
Then only us the radio/ipod music from the bike - connect the GPS to the INNOVA - by hard wire or use AKE PBM-H2 bluetooth dongle.
Bike2Bike will go through the INNOVA.

Cellphone will then go through the GPS system - and into the INNOVA.

Short version - ALL will be as it is today on the LT!

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post #20 of 140 Old Jan 14th, 2011, 6:53 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

BMW will have to have a different solution for the US market since the System 6 helmet and its communicator are not sold here. I've be happy with a firmware upgrade for the Card G4 (Cardo builds the communicator for Schuberth / BMW helmets). The Cardo G4 has a USB input and can be hooked up to a computer for programming. Plus I can buy a pair of Cardo G4 for $350, versus $400 for just one bmw communicator.
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post #21 of 140 Old Jan 14th, 2011, 11:31 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by fremme
Well - it seems to me that I will use the Speaker out option - and use my AKE INNOVA - as on my LT. Then use the bluetooth dongles on the INNOVA - and the 201 bluetooth helm sets.
Then only us the radio/ipod music from the bike - connect the GPS to the INNOVA - by hard wire or use AKE PBM-H2 bluetooth dongle.
Bike2Bike will go through the INNOVA.

Cellphone will then go through the GPS system - and into the INNOVA.

Short version - ALL will be as it is today on the LT!

regards
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Not quite. Today I can hardwire my phone into the com system and use it as a phone...with the Nav system sitting in my garage. If the Nav is now an integral part of the communication system, I suspect that BMW will sell a lot of them...even if they do cost three times as much as the Garmin.

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post #22 of 140 Old Jan 14th, 2011, 12:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Well - yes - But I have two options :
Let the phone connect to the Garmin - and then to the intercom - or for me - use a AKE PBM-H2 bluetooth dongle - that will connect the AKE intercom with my phone.

There is also a cable to connect the phone directly to the intercom if wanted.

AKE system is "one" way to go - as there are similar option out there.

But for me - it looks like I'm going to use a wired (or semi wired) intercom to mix all the options - and to give the different priorities of sound etc. - as today.

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post #23 of 140 Old Jan 15th, 2011, 2:30 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

I’m confused. Are we saying the blue tooth option, other than BMW Communicator, using the left grip controller will not work all functions, i.e., radio, i-pod, Nav IV, phone? My thought had been to upgrade my Nolan 103s wired J&M headsets to J&M Bluetooth. Will this work? Why would BMW do this – it makes no sense to me, other than force someone to buy their communicator, which I’m not sure I know what it is?

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post #24 of 140 Old Jan 15th, 2011, 2:59 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by sorchilla
I’m confused. Are we saying the blue tooth option, other than BMW Communicator, using the left grip controller will not work all functions, i.e., radio, i-pod, Nav IV, phone? My thought had been to upgrade my Nolan 103s wired J&M headsets to J&M Bluetooth. Will this work? Why would BMW do this – it makes no sense to me, other than force someone to buy their communicator, which I’m not sure I know what it is?
In theory:
You won't be able to use the rotary controller on the left grip to operate the bluetooth communicator in your helmet unless you have the bmw communicator but since it's not available in the US, BMW will have to come up with a different solution, such as permitting Cardo to make the firmware available for the G4. (Cardo makes the communicator for bmw).

(i can still turn up the volume on my G4 b/t communicator by pressing the button on the its side on the side of the helmet, but full operation from the left grip would be a cool touch.. I'm sure they will have something for the US market, and making the firmware available for the G4 would - for once - be the least expensive solution.)
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post #25 of 140 Old Jan 16th, 2011, 7:38 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy
In theory:
You won't be able to use the rotary controller on the left grip to operate the bluetooth communicator in your helmet unless you have the bmw communicator but since it's not available in the US, BMW will have to come up with a different solution, such as permitting Cardo to make the firmware available for the G4. (Cardo makes the communicator for bmw).

(i can still turn up the volume on my G4 b/t communicator by pressing the button on the its side on the side of the helmet, but full operation from the left grip would be a cool touch.. I'm sure they will have something for the US market, and making the firmware available for the G4 would - for once - be the least expensive solution.)
I do hope your right about them letting cardo upgrade the g4 system but if they do they will not sell many of there own systems in other countries. It costs more for 1 of the bmw systems than it does for a pair of G4's.Anybody who can get the sytem 6 helmet with communicator wont bother because its cheaper to get the G4.
The radio setup is very simular to the rt one and is probably the same unit, what a few people with the rt system have done is fit a bluetooth dongle in the line out coming from the radio.If there is no line out which is highly unlikely you could tap into the speakers.
This will allow you to use the wheel function for volume and anything else its designed to do and you can use whatever bluetooth headset you like.

Last edited by philh24; Jan 16th, 2011 at 7:43 am.
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post #26 of 140 Old Jan 16th, 2011, 9:02 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Since BMW will not be releasing the helmets for the US market maybe they wil get a universal systen similar to what they did with J&M. Only time will tell.


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post #27 of 140 Old Jan 16th, 2011, 9:24 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by philh24
I do hope your right about them letting cardo upgrade the g4 system but if they do they will not sell many of there own systems in other countries. It costs more for 1 of the bmw systems than it does for a pair of G4's.Anybody who can get the sytem 6 helmet with communicator wont bother because its cheaper to get the G4..
True that, but there's always going to be people who don't want a clumsy add on, when they can have a fully integrated system designed for the helmet.

I'm in the clumsy add on crowd, 2 Cardo G4's for $350..

I'm sure there's going to be a solution offered, either from bmw or the aftermarket, in time.
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post #28 of 140 Old Jan 16th, 2011, 9:28 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Posted elsewhere that I spoke to and corresponded with the folks at J&M, including the owner. They are fully committed to a solution for the K1600. The first they got to look at one was at the Long Beach show.

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post #29 of 140 Old Jan 16th, 2011, 12:15 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by sorchilla
I’m confused. Are we saying the blue tooth option, other than BMW Communicator, using the left grip controller will not work all functions, i.e., radio, i-pod, Nav IV, phone? My thought had been to upgrade my Nolan 103s wired J&M headsets to J&M Bluetooth. Will this work? Why would BMW do this – it makes no sense to me, other than force someone to buy their communicator, which I’m not sure I know what it is?
Doug, I'm with you. Although we haven't seen if/what connections BMW has
wired in yet, I'm bothered that BMW obviously spent lots of time and
money working out license and use agreements for a prioritized Bluetooth
system instead of demanding that everything (especially the GPS) be
command driven by their multi-controller. Just think how much easier
it would have been to just hard wire in connections for sound, intercom,
and inputs so the owner could easily use what they choose. You would
think that BMW and other manufacturers would see just how much
customer dissatisfaction comes with the high cost and
limited functions of using prioritized GPS/Bluetooth/Apple system.
BMW should just tell them "we'll use your system and you'll pick
up customers, but we won't accept prioritization that limits our
customers to your products"

Go figure that BMW would invent one of the greatest safety
and rider convenience inventions to come along in the last
two decades (the Multi-controller) and then make it not
not fully integrated with their priortized outsourced
electronics.....just like a bad dream but seamingly
quite acceptable to BMW

Perhaps they will get the message when they figure out how
many riders just turn to J&M.

Last edited by JonfromCB; Jan 16th, 2011 at 12:24 pm.
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post #30 of 140 Old Jan 16th, 2011, 1:14 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

It's distressing to me that they do not seem to have a provision for a FRS/GMRS radio. The LT with both the J&M intercom and the Voice II had a simple plug and play system for the bike to bike radio system. There is no mention of this in any of the literature for the 1600. Does anyone know differently?
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post #31 of 140 Old Feb 26th, 2011, 10:12 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

I said this on another forum but my issues at this point are:

1. Wireless only. When it works it's great, but wired is always better. Make sure you charge!

2. No PTT (Push to Talk). VOX works great given a set environment, but screen height, side wind, speed change these variable all the time.

3. NO FRS! This to me is the big deal breaker. I am new to BMW (ridding ST1300 now), and I hope there is a third party solution to this.

Still love the integration but I can live with 1 and 2 but item 3 is a kicker. Really no one at BMW thought about bike to bike communications with all the stuff they've put on the K1600 series? WOW!

Dave...
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post #32 of 140 Old Feb 26th, 2011, 10:30 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

I talked to John at J&M Audio products before I put my deposit on a Silver GTL and he said they were already working a solution for the BMW bluetooth set up and would be released in March 2011.
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post #33 of 140 Old Feb 26th, 2011, 8:24 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berzins
I said this on another forum but my issues at this point are:

1. Wireless only. When it works it's great, but wired is always better. Make sure you charge!

2. No PTT (Push to Talk). VOX works great given a set environment, but screen height, side wind, speed change these variable all the time.

3. NO FRS! This to me is the big deal breaker. I am new to BMW (ridding ST1300 now), and I hope there is a third party solution to this.

Still love the integration but I can live with 1 and 2 but item 3 is a kicker. Really no one at BMW thought about bike to bike communications with all the stuff they've put on the K1600 series? WOW!

Dave...
I agree with you completely. However, it gets worse. I sent an email to Jane about my concerns that was forwarded to BMW. I received a response from Sergio Carajal at BMW. He stated that in order to have the 1600 system work properly I would have to purchase the Schuberth helmet. He said that no other aftermarket system would provide the same connectivity to the bluetooth set up on the 1600 other than Schuberth. I sent an email back to him saying the the Schuberth does not fit my head. He responded that the helmets are much better now and he was confident that it would fit. No other option was given other than Schuberth. So, if you want to use the bluetooth on the 1600 with your SO add another $2500 to the cost of the bike and enjoy the pain of the fit, or do without.

He did state that their aftermarket department was working on a solution to the FRS radio but had no idea when it would be available.
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post #34 of 140 Old Feb 26th, 2011, 9:27 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

What about the stand alone bluetooth device that BMW reps were telling bike show attendees, something like the Cardo G4?


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post #35 of 140 Old Feb 26th, 2011, 9:54 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffy
What about the stand alone bluetooth device that BMW reps were telling bike show attendees, something like the Cardo G4?
I have no idea. All I know is Sergio said that the BMW Communicator was designed to fit the Schuberth Helmet only. This is a copy of his email:

The new K 1600 GTL comes with a new Bluetooth system for wireless communications. The system supports multiple connections to the Bluetooth BMW Communicator system that we will offer at our dealers shortly. The system will offer the following functionality:



· Wireless streaming of music from any source of the motorcycle’s audio system to the rider’s and passenger’s in-helmet communicator:
The music content can come from the motorcycle’s Sirius satellite radio, AM/FM tuner, iPod connection (iPod not provided), USB stick (stick not provided), or AUX input.

· Intercom between the two helmets

· Wireless Nav IV connection to the rider’s in-helmet communicator

· Individual wireless cell phone connections to the rider’s and passenger’s in-helmet communicator

· Volume control using the multi-controller for the rider’s in-helmet communicator

· Passenger’s in-helmet communicator system can control the motorcycle’s audio system to skip songs / radio stations

· Intercom activation from the motorcycle’s button panel or directly from the in-helmet controls



Third party system will not offer the same level of connectivity. For example, the passenger’s helmet does not receive an audio signal with a third party communicator system and the multi-controller will no longer control volume level. The passengers ability to skip songs operating his/her helmet controls would also not work.



The BMW Communicator system is designed to fit the Schuberth C3 helmet. The helmet comes with the necessary indentations for the battery, headphones and microphone.



Regarding two way radios, that is not something we offer, but I know our Aftersales department is working on a solution, but it is too early to tell when this will be ready and how it will work.



Regards,



Sergio
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post #36 of 140 Old Feb 27th, 2011, 10:31 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Wow, just wow. For me and several friends who were considering moving to the BMW, this is just a total deal breaker and incredibly short sighted on BMW's part. It reeks of "our way or the highway" thinking intended to corner a market with proprietary-only features. It most surely is not a technical issue, but a marketing strategy that may cost them a number of buyers. It certainly will in our case. Too bad and unnecessary.

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post #37 of 140 Old Feb 27th, 2011, 10:55 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Can't be too surprised, remember a business's goal is too separate you from as much money as possible, your job it to prevent that. The way I use my comm system I have not seen a BT system yet that has the same level of functionality and quality as my Autocomm. I am definitely looking forward to that day but for me it just isn't here yet.

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post #38 of 140 Old Feb 27th, 2011, 11:27 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by flint350
Wow, just wow. For me and several friends who were considering moving to the BMW, this is just a total deal breaker and incredibly short sighted on BMW's part. It reeks of "our way or the highway" thinking intended to corner a market with proprietary-only features. It most surely is not a technical issue, but a marketing strategy that may cost them a number of buyers. It certainly will in our case. Too bad and unnecessary.
If the system BMW offers isn't going to work for you why make it a deal breaker when it is so easy to set up an aftermarket system? I use a Starcom that works great on my bikes and have seen great systems from J&M, Autocom and Baehr.

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post #39 of 140 Old Feb 27th, 2011, 1:05 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

I e-mailed John at J&M audio about a month ago. He said they were already working a specific system for the 1600s that would be available sometime in March.
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post #40 of 140 Old Feb 27th, 2011, 5:00 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

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Originally Posted by roadking04
I e-mailed John at J&M audio about a month ago. He said they were already working a specific system for the 1600s that would be available sometime in March.
I am sure you can't answer these but I'm going to ask anyway. B*)

1. CB or FRS. To each their own, but I'm an FRS guy.

2. Will it integrate into the existing system? So you can continue to use the BMW BT audio integration for mobile phone, GPS, audio, etc, but add int the use of FRS?

It just seems to me that depending on who you ask at BMW vs the dealers vs trade shows, the answers seem to be different. Of course that adds to the frustration I think we all have on this.

Dave...
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post #41 of 140 Old Feb 27th, 2011, 10:49 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berzins
I am sure you can't answer these but I'm going to ask anyway. B*)

1. CB or FRS. To each their own, but I'm an FRS guy.

2. Will it integrate into the existing system? So you can continue to use the BMW BT audio integration for mobile phone, GPS, audio, etc, but add int the use of FRS?

It just seems to me that depending on who you ask at BMW vs the dealers vs trade shows, the answers seem to be different. Of course that adds to the frustration I think we all have on this.

Dave...
Unfortunatly I have no good answer for you at this time. Hopefully everything will become clearer as we get closer to the delivery dates. Many systems may mostly work, a few may work very well. I currently have 3 different systems and will go with the one that works the best even if I have to add a new system and or a new helmet.


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post #42 of 140 Old Feb 27th, 2011, 11:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

A CB or FRS is no different than a cellphone.

I'm working on a Bluetooth dongle where you could connect a CB or FRS - and then pairing the dongle to the Bluetooth headsets like a cellphone.

I will write about my project on my new intercom site ...

regards
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post #43 of 140 Old Feb 28th, 2011, 1:18 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by flint350
It most surely is not a technical issue, but a marketing strategy.
I've heard this exact comment before, and I must say as an engineer and life-long rider I disagree. It is clearly a technical issue foremost, and a marketing strategy secondary. Let's call it the "Apple" syndrome, if you will.

Every product is a combination of a million design choices and technical decisions. And yes, marketing has its say, too. After all, the whole point is to sell product and make a profit.

But what I see with the BMW system is the same thing I see with Apple. A premium product with a few technical innovations that no one else can offer, offered at a premium price. And a very large reason why they can offer this new-fangled technology is by controlling all aspects of the ecosystem.

Many technical folks (usually those working on competing platforms) bitch about the "walled garden" that is Apple, yet the vast majority of consumers have faith that the Apple logo means that their shiny new toy will do exactly what it's advertised to do. Download something from the App Store and you know it'll just plain work. Buy an Apple-certified case, or headset, or dock/speaker set, and you know they will fit and perform exactly as described. For the average consumer, that peace of mind is worth the premium price. Which is a large part of why Apple is currently sitting on $30 billion in spare change . . .

BMW has gone the same route here. By integrating with Schuberth and with Garmin at the design level, they have offered features that no other motorcycle or aftermarket manufacturer can match. Sure, you can buy a cheaper Bluetooth system and save a few bucks, but you give up the ability to control it using BMW's new rotary grip controller. And there are a ton of places where you can buy a discounted nüvi, but it won't be able to read the Beemer's current miles-to-empty and automatically suggest a route to the nearest gas station.

So yes, if your primary concern is "open" technology (usually a euphemism for just plain frugality) then these things are deal-breakers. But if you've spent years and thousands of dollars trying to get these various technologies to co-exist in some useful form like many of us have, then you start to appreciate an all-in-one guaranteed-to-work solution. For many folks, the extra costs are worth the peace of mind.

But if that's not you, then you're welcome to try and sort it out on your own in the vain hope that you can save a few measly dollars even if it means ending up with an inferior or incomplete system that may or may not perform as advertised . . .

Ken
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post #44 of 140 Old Feb 28th, 2011, 8:22 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
I've heard this exact comment before, and I must say as an engineer and life-long rider I disagree. It is clearly a technical issue foremost, and a marketing strategy secondary. Let's call it the "Apple" syndrome, if you will.

Every product is a combination of a million design choices and technical decisions. And yes, marketing has its say, too. After all, the whole point is to sell product and make a profit.

But what I see with the BMW system is the same thing I see with Apple. A premium product with a few technical innovations that no one else can offer, offered at a premium price. And a very large reason why they can offer this new-fangled technology is by controlling all aspects of the ecosystem.

Many technical folks (usually those working on competing platforms) bitch about the "walled garden" that is Apple, yet the vast majority of consumers have faith that the Apple logo means that their shiny new toy will do exactly what it's advertised to do. Download something from the App Store and you know it'll just plain work. Buy an Apple-certified case, or headset, or dock/speaker set, and you know they will fit and perform exactly as described. For the average consumer, that peace of mind is worth the premium price. Which is a large part of why Apple is currently sitting on $30 billion in spare change . . .

BMW has gone the same route here. By integrating with Schuberth and with Garmin at the design level, they have offered features that no other motorcycle or aftermarket manufacturer can match. Sure, you can buy a cheaper Bluetooth system and save a few bucks, but you give up the ability to control it using BMW's new rotary grip controller. And there are a ton of places where you can buy a discounted nüvi, but it won't be able to read the Beemer's current miles-to-empty and automatically suggest a route to the nearest gas station.

So yes, if your primary concern is "open" technology (usually a euphemism for just plain frugality) then these things are deal-breakers. But if you've spent years and thousands of dollars trying to get these various technologies to co-exist in some useful form like many of us have, then you start to appreciate an all-in-one guaranteed-to-work solution. For many folks, the extra costs are worth the peace of mind.

But if that's not you, then you're welcome to try and sort it out on your own in the vain hope that you can save a few measly dollars even if it means ending up with an inferior or incomplete system that may or may not perform as advertised . . .
Well said Ken. However, if I want to join the "Apple closed technology system," and enjoy the benefits of knowing everything will work as presented, I will only suffer monetary pain. If I want to enjoy the benefits of the BMW "closed system" I will have to endure the physical pain of a helmet that does not fit my head. I think that BMW should offer options to those that do not fit the Schuberth mold. To force one to ride in pain is not realistic and is just plain unsafe. So, it's not just about dollars.
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post #45 of 140 Old Feb 28th, 2011, 8:59 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEhrler
If I want to enjoy the benefits of the BMW "closed system" I will have to endure the physical pain of a helmet that does not fit my head. I think that BMW should offer options to those that do not fit the Schuberth mold. To force one to ride in pain is not realistic and is just plain unsafe. So, it's not just about dollars.
My thoughts exactly. Tried Schubert (among some others) some years ago and it was not a fit. Arai is the only helmet that fits to my head.


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post #46 of 140 Old Feb 28th, 2011, 9:43 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

The bmw kit is an extra that is fitted to the system 5+6 helmets by dealers but I am sure there will be a part number for the kit.If you purchase the kit maybe you could make it fit your helmet's.
I had bmw's earlier attemp at bluetooth the ws1 I think it was called and this would easily have fitted inside many helmets without much modifiaction.
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post #47 of 140 Old Feb 28th, 2011, 11:04 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
...But what I see with the BMW system is the same thing I see with Apple. A premium product with a few technical innovations that no one else can offer, offered at a premium price. And a very large reason why they can offer this new-fangled technology is by controlling all aspects of the ecosystem....
I agree to a point - Apple is usually bulletproof and I am willing to pay for that just as I would with the BMW, it is not about frugality at all. It is about choice and available technology. Apple, for example, refuses to use Adobe Flash and has partly crippled the iPad because of that refusal - not because of a tech issue. BMW is doing the same thing - this refusal to allow a wired connection is one example, not a tech issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
...Buy an Apple-certified case, or headset, or dock/speaker set, and you know they will fit and perform exactly as described. For the average consumer, that peace of mind is worth the premium price. Which is a large part of why Apple is currently sitting on $30 billion in spare change . . .
Again true, but still not the point. BMW would love to have Apple's rep for quality and peace of mind, but this is not about that. Making everything so proprietary is a business decision, not a tech one in many instances. Adding a simple wired outlet to allow other helmets and headsets is not difficult. Using proprietary Bluetooth only connection to one very limited helmet maker and interfacing with only one specific Garmin model (an outdated one at that) is business, not tech.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
BMW has gone the same route here. By integrating with Schuberth and with Garmin at the design level, they have offered features that no other motorcycle or aftermarket manufacturer can match. Sure, you can buy a cheaper Bluetooth system and save a few bucks, but you give up the ability to control it using BMW's new rotary grip controller. And there are a ton of places where you can buy a discounted nüvi, but it won't be able to read the Beemer's current miles-to-empty and automatically suggest a route to the nearest gas station....
Do you honestly believe that there is something special about the Bluetooth profile used to connect only to the Schuberth helmet that couldn't work with other Bluetooth helmets that may fit more people? They couldn't make the controller work with the nearly identical Zumo 665, just the 660? I would bet they had to work harder at making it proprietary than just to interface at all. I don't care about cheaper, I care about function - I'm not trying to save pennies. If I were, I wouldn't be looking at BMW at all. I'm looking for a full featured operation that they have purposefully (IMO) crippled in order to preserve a closed market. I don't want a discounted nuvi, I already use a top of the line (expensive) Garmin 665 on my Victory that connects via Bluetooth or wire and - yes, just imagine the shock - can read my bike's miles-to-empty and automatically suggest a route to the nearest gas station. Does this mean - horror - that Victory and Garmin can easily do something technical that BMW just can't manage? Really? So, since in your view it's about tech possibilities, the fully functioning system I have now is somehow beyond the scope of BMW engineers working with the same Garmin people. I doubt that. I maintain it is (mostly) a marketing strategy. Do you really think the Garmin 660 is so "special" that they can't allow the system to work with the 665 and its better features?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
So yes, if your primary concern is "open" technology (usually a euphemism for just plain frugality) then these things are deal-breakers. But if you've spent years and thousands of dollars trying to get these various technologies to co-exist in some useful form like many of us have, then you start to appreciate an all-in-one guaranteed-to-work solution. For many folks, the extra costs are worth the peace of mind.

But if that's not you, then you're welcome to try and sort it out on your own in the vain hope that you can save a few measly dollars even if it means ending up with an inferior or incomplete system that may or may not perform as advertised . . .
Great summation and example of missing the point. Again, it has nothing to do with my being "frugal", but more to do with BMW being the opposite. They are forcing everyone to use a Bluetooth only connection, when adding a simple wired outlet would be fairly simple (I'm not an engineer, but I'm tech savvy enough to know this is true). Not only do they force a BT-only connection, they force it on a single, proprietary helmet maker that they have long been in bed with.

Many people don't like the provably inferior wireless sound and battery requirements and extra gear you have to carry. Many don't like the fit of a Schuberth (although I like my C3 a lot and have had it for 2 years, before it was even legally available in the US - there's my "frugality" again I suppose). Many don't like the overall quality of sound and available volume from the Schuberth system. I maintain it would have been relatively simple to address this with no loss of functionality at all and certainly not an "inferior or incomplete system" but one that would be much improved and more popular. Of course, all IMO and YMMV.

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post #48 of 140 Old Feb 28th, 2011, 11:49 am
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Quote:
Originally Posted by flint350
Great summation and example of missing the point. Again, it has nothing to do with my being "frugal", but more to do with BMW being the opposite. They are forcing everyone to use a Bluetooth only connection, when adding a simple wired outlet would be fairly simple (I'm not an engineer, but I'm tech savvy enough to know this is true). Not only do they force a BT-only connection, they force it on a single, proprietary helmet maker that they have long been in bed with.
.
What a great simple approach. Just add the regular wired BMW connection and it allows all of us that have been happy with the wired connection for years and have a helmet that fits, continue to use that helmet with the new system. Perfect.
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post #49 of 140 Old Feb 28th, 2011, 12:32 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

Apple's stance on flash is most definitely a tech issue first, and a stubbornness/ego issue second. Flash simply sucks battery life and crashes the system. In fact, the only time my Mac crashes is on flash websites or when using Office (with decade-old code that is bloated and buggy). There's a reason the iPad is exceptionally stable and gets 11 hours on a charge.

In contrast, Motorola was so confident that the website for their Xoom tablet is completely flash-only. Except the Xoom is shipping without flash support, so it can't even render its own website. Motorola promises that a fix is coming soon . . .

And I maintain that BMW's stance is technical first and marketing second. Sure, they want you to buy their branded products first. But by limiting the specific pieces involved, they have a more thorough control over the exact interface specifications. And it allows BMW to standardize on a specific model, limiting their local inventory costs. So it is better for BMW from a technical standpoint, and it happens to make them more money.

That doesn't stop a rider from using their own gps, albeit with somewhat reduced functionality. Or from buying a different helmet and using a different Bluetooth setup or fitting the Schuberth/BMW kit into it. You still have options if you really want them.

Personally, I'd prefer a wired option as well. I haven't found a Bluetooth setup yet that will run for 24 hours straight. And I imagine that J&M or somebody will off we that option soon enough.

I'm simply not going to bitch at BMW for making the choices that they did for the reasons that they did. Not that that would help at all . . .

There are other options though.

Ken
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post #50 of 140 Old Feb 28th, 2011, 4:52 pm
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Re: Communication systems for audio system K 1600 GT / GTL

BMW Touring USA has posted this on the K1600 forum:

http://www.k1600forum.com/forum/2239-post41.html

Basically, the Schuberth helmet neckroll communicator will be BMW's own, and not Schuberth's.

Now what they need is to make a Cardo G4 type of unit available so you don't have to buy a new helmet...

But for those who want a wired solution, we'll have to see what J&M comes up with.
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