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post #1 of 26 Old Nov 17th, 2011, 3:02 pm Thread Starter
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Communication system ?

Hi all. I just bought my K1200LT about 3 weeks ago (2001 with 26,000 miles), and I love it. My bike didn't come with the com system. My question is. Those of you that have bikes with out the com system how do you communicate with your passenger? Has anyone added the com system and is it difficult? I'm looking for ideas on what system I'm going to use. Thank you.
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post #2 of 26 Old Nov 17th, 2011, 3:37 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

how deep is your pocket,,?? for me scala rider g4 teamset was the most affordable works with gps and iphone for music and calls

Regards Linton
From the land of Kangaroo's and Koalas
and no koalas are not Bears



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post #3 of 26 Old Nov 17th, 2011, 4:37 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

+1 for the Scala. I have the G3 set and love them. The G4 set is better yet.

The only additional advice I can offer is for you to figure out exactly how you want all of your inputs to work. Then verify it can be done before you buy.

Loren

WAK1200LT
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post #4 of 26 Old Nov 17th, 2011, 6:32 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

There seem to be good things said about the Sema SMH10 also. I'm trying to decide between that and the Scala g4.
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post #5 of 26 Old Nov 17th, 2011, 7:27 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

Www.compacc.com has the g4 on sale for $339.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying " I'll try again tomorrow".


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post #6 of 26 Old Nov 17th, 2011, 11:21 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

I like the 'hard wired'.. no battery to run down on the Bluetooth.. but, to each his own as I hear they are getting better.

For 'weekend' warriors, no biggie for batteries I expect..

I have an 'Intaride'.. it comes from England.. and has been flawless for 6 years.

http://www.intaride.com/motorcycle_communications.html

And, they now offer BT..(bluetooth)...

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #7 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 7:01 am
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Re: Communication system ?

I communicate with my passenger by turning the music down and my voice up. Certainly is an easy system to install and maintain.

1999 BMW K1200LT "Galatea"
1976 MERCEDES-BENZ 280S "Lady Genevieve"
1993 MERCEDES-BENZ S320 "Lady Audrey"
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post #8 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 8:20 am
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Re: Communication system ?

For the greatest amount of flexibility, expansion and experience . . . and great support!!

http://autocomdirect.com/

Dan Finazzo
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post #9 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 9:53 am
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Re: Communication system ?

My .02 cents worth here I guess. I tried the Sena headsets and just couldn't get enough volume in the Nolan helmets to be comfortably heard. I'm not remotely interested in making or receiving telephone calls at 80 miles an hour either, but the big thing for me was always having to be sure the batteries were charged and then having to get things synced up on each ride.

I went back to the J&M here - http://www.sierra-mc.com/proddetail....CB-2003C-K12LT

This setup is easy to install ( relatively easy ) after getting the Tupperware off the bike. It gives you great communication between rider and passenger, CB if an when you need that and Weather channel. I tour with a couple of groups from our club and we always try and have a radio equipped bike in front and back so no one gets left behind. Plus the radio had and input the allows you to take in input from your LT radio to the J&M and you have radio through the headsets. Great on trips. The CB or Intercom will over-ride the radio it a signal comes in. The folks at Sierra Electronics can direct you as to the correct headsets you'll need.

Note on the J&M. The mount that is supplied seemed a bit short to me, so I fabed one by laying out the original one on metal and then lengthening the bracket. Cut it out, drilled the holes and then power coated it. Can't tell it from the original and it's in a better angle for me. Also I have lots of Han radio experience 50+ years. I didn't think the J&M antenna and it's mounting bracket was up to par for me. I went to a local truck stop on I-75 and for $40 got a Non Ground type Firestick and side mount with proper coax. Mounted that to the right side of the top box and the same angle the radio antenna would be and I have a great CB signal with almost 1:1 swr.

This is just another way to do things.

Tommy
77 years old and gittin' younger
__________________________________________________ __
'07 K1200LT Black w/color matched Hannigan Europa II Trailer
'09 KLR650 heavily modified for the TAT


IBA #48786
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post #10 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 10:24 am
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Re: Communication system ?

As others have said. It depends on what you want to do and how many accessories you want to work. It also depends on if you want wired or wireless.

I do have the BMW intercom on my K1200LT but I suffered from a short in the wiring to my headset plug and my wife went through a lower cord a year at the flex point for some reason.

Our needs were simple we just wanted voice communication and GPS (at the time a future purchase but have since gotten). For some reason, we prefer our music when we listen to come throught the fairing and top case speakers.

For us, the Scala Teamset Pro, fulfills our needs. But I can tell you that a wired system is superior sound quality. But Bluetooth does come close. I have a friend with the Sena and his experince is identical to mine.

Instead of typing everything again, I'll just point you to the Scala posts I wrote on our blog here for my personal review: http://ourbmw.wordpress.com/tag/scala-rider/

Chris Ehlbeck
2002 BMW K1200LTE Toscana Green Retired with 85,391 miles
2014 BMW R1200RT Quartz Blue Metallic

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post #11 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 10:31 am
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Re: Communication system ?

I have the sema smh10 and my wife and I love it. Works well and lasts a long time...

2000 Maroon [Canyon Red] K1200LTC
2006 DL650 [Red]
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post #12 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 10:57 am
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Re: Communication system ?

The latest generation bluetooth products work just fine. Several good brands have been noted. I've installed wired intercoms on several of my bikes and like the outcome a lot, but the work is a PIA compared to sticking bluetooth modules on two helmets.

JD

Jeff Dunkle
Ocala, FL
2000 LT - Motorvation Formula II
1995 R100GS
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post #13 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 11:07 am
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Re: Communication system ?

I have added a Starcom digital and it works well and I am happy with it. I have had Baehr, Auto Comm & Bluetooth in the past. The Baehr is the best hands down and would have bought one this time, except I was hoping to save some dollars this time around and they no longer have US support, have to go through Germany. While doable, I decided to try Starcom and glad I did. Bluetooth is ok if you only have 1 or 2 devices. In my case, besides communication with my wife, I run GPS, radar & MP3, and Bluetooth could not handle all of the above seamlessly like a good wired system.

Regards & Ride Safe!

Bruce
'09 Black LT
4-Wheels moves the body, 2-wheels moves the soul.
IBA # 8547
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post #14 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 11:32 am
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Re: Communication system ?

Scala G4 works better than what we had which was zip. I would like more volume and less time before Vox responded. If it is in a power saving mode then Its a good 3 seconds after you speak before you can be heard so we still resort to tap and point if something has to be noticed right away. Battery gets us thru a 10 our day easy but someone said that when the battery can no longer hold a charge there is no option for replacement. Found ours at 4wheelonline.com for $309 + tax.
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post #15 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 2:57 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Communication system ?

Thank you for all the great advice. Does anyone know if I can get the stock unit and all the cables and just plug into the stereo? Or is there more to it then that.
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post #16 of 26 Old Nov 18th, 2011, 3:57 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by baloo
Thank you for all the great advice. Does anyone know if I can get the stock unit and all the cables and just plug into the stereo? Or is there more to it then that.
You probably can, if not still available from BMW, certainly EBay. But know, there are much better choices out there.

Regards & Ride Safe!

Bruce
'09 Black LT
4-Wheels moves the body, 2-wheels moves the soul.
IBA # 8547
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post #17 of 26 Old Nov 19th, 2011, 8:49 am
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Re: Communication system ?

I've used Bluetooth wireless and wired systems. This gets down to personal choice. If it's outright quality and convenience of the final installed product, I personally prefer wired.

I have a Starcom1 Advance system on my other bike. It's clear at all speeds, expandable and works flawlessly. But as stated above, the install is quite an undertaking - when I installed it on my Honda VTX1800 cruiser, which has pretty easy access to everything (unlike the K1200LT), it was alot of effort.

Conversely I have also tried bluetooth systems on both bikes and I personally find the fact you have to recharge it every night, along with your cell phone and any other accessories that you travel with, a nuisance. And I've also found on the LT that on windy days or at 55+mph the 2 bluetooth types I tried were hard to hear (on the VTX, which has a louder exhaust - still meeting 80dB limit - and less wind protection, over 40mph and there's no point talking). But install is dead simple and you're up and running fast, so install convenience is huge.

I am in limbo right now as to whether I take the Starcom1 off the VTX and install it on the BMW (I have custom made chrome plates so there's a bit of work to do this), or go find another Starcom1 and install it so I have complete compatibility across the two bikes. In the background there's also the pressure of my wife saying "you shouldn't have two bikes filling the garage"...... but that's another story.

Good luck with whatever you choose, and I hope MHO helps.

BMWMOA member

Current rides:
2005 Dark Graphite Metallic BMW K1200LT
2002 Pearl Orange Honda VTX1800 Retro

Prior rides:
Suzuki GS425E (Australia)
Suzuki T250R (Australia)
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post #18 of 26 Old Nov 19th, 2011, 11:33 am Thread Starter
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Re: Communication system ?

Lol. That sounds like my wife. I also have a V-Star 11000 and she just couldn't understand why I "needed" another bike.
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post #19 of 26 Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 6:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: Communication system ?

On the stock bmw intercom where does the passenger plug in?
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post #20 of 26 Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 6:53 am
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Re: Communication system ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by baloo
On the stock bmw intercom where does the passenger plug in?
I can't say if all BMW factory intercoms work this way, but on the '09 LT with the Voice II intercom the passenger plug is below the left rear speaker - right next to the power outlet.

If you look closely you can see it in this image I grabbed off Google:


Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #21 of 26 Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 7:09 am
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Re: Communication system ?

As some have said, decide first what you want it to do. Then determine if you want a hard wired system or Bluetooth.

Both have advantages.

My 02 K1200LT had an Autocom system that I installed and I was very happy with it. It required (I think) 4 wire taps and a +- connection to the battery.

My present K1600 has Bluetooth and I love the lack of wire to my helmet. I do have to charge up the helmet about once a week.

Determine what you are going to do with it and what will be connected. CB, Radar, Music source, Cell Phone, GPS, Intercom, etc.....

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

12 K1600 GTL
02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #22 of 26 Old Dec 3rd, 2011, 2:45 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

I bought a Baehr unit from a vendor that used to be on this board (Raffy - justrideit.com, or motogear4you.com ?). They made one specifically for the LT that taps into the base sound system at the rear speaker junction under the passenger seat. It's more versatile than the stock com unit, but was also very spendy, like $1000. I found one link to it.

Baehr K1200LT
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post #23 of 26 Old Dec 5th, 2011, 4:17 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

I removed an Autocom to go to a Sena SMH-10 system. There's no question the Autocom is a little better on some things, but it is crazy expensive. Expanding it for multi-bike and multi-rider was both complicated and insanely expensive.

Really the one thing the Autocom does better is switch instantly for passenger comm, where any of the Bluetooth systems have a little delay. Otherwise the Sena works great for everything.

An Autocom setup for one bike with 1 rider and 1 passenger is $700 just for parts. Add another rider, add a $100 headset. Add another bike, add another $450 control box. Etc. A Sena two-rider kit is under $300 and each extra person is $150. No cost for another bike.

Carlos Alvarez
Gilbert, AZ
2000 K1200LT-I
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post #24 of 26 Old Dec 5th, 2011, 4:49 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

Sena gets my vote. Super simple to sync with other units and phone. Once sync, no need to do it again unless you reset the unit for some reason. Super simple to use even with gloves on and it took like 30 seconds to figure it all out. Phone to the helmet, very good reception and depending on windscreen adjustment, person on the other end can't tell if I am on the bike or not. Can't tell you about music, use the stereo on the bike. Intercom is great. Bike to bike is pretty much line of sight and a few turns in the hills. If the connection breaks due to terrain, it will reconnect automatically once it is close enough again. Very easy to use and very easy to understand the other rider. Simple push of a button and you are talking. Wind noise, what wind noise. I have to actually turn my unit down even with ear plugs it is so loud. I have talked on the thing for 2 hours back and forth with another rider, then used it for the next three days without charging. Just in case, I do carry the car charger that can be used while using the unit. I have no complaints about the Sena. Any issues I have had have been addressed by Sena and issues resolved.

Best thing, no wires. Get off the bike for a quick break, or get gas etc, no wires! And it still works of course. This is great fun, as your riding partner is dealing with someone (with their helmet still on) just connect and start "whispering" things in their ears, see if you can mess them up.

Best part is it's the holiday season, go to the Sena Facebook page and see if they are having any contests to give units away. I got my first unit this way, won it, free yahoo!! last year. As soon as I saw how great it worked, bought another.


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2005 K1200LT-Ocean Blue
1989 K100RS - Blue & White
1992 K75S - Black
2013 Ural Patrol - Sold
2007 R1200GS-Granite Gray-Sold
2004 R1150R-Titan Silver-Sold
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post #25 of 26 Old Dec 5th, 2011, 5:48 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

I purchased the SensSMH10 dual headset over a year ago. ..nothing but good things to say about them....battery lasts longer that I ride ...a couple 14 hour days...I synced once wih my wife....always link up automacticly...also have 3 or 4 friends that are synced for group rides ,..range is alomst a mile...phone calls are crystal clear as is streaming audio form my iPhone...

also purchased extra headsests $36..., mic and speakers....just clip on/off main control unit from helmet to helemt in seconds..

man I love this Bike!!

____________
2006 K1200LT
Magnisium Schwartz
San Diego, Ca

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post #26 of 26 Old Dec 6th, 2011, 5:51 pm
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Re: Communication system ?

I have used the Blueant Interphone for 4 years now. When I ride solo, I use it to take calls, and when I ride with my wife, it has worked perfectly for the intercom-there are no wires to get caught, we easily get 4-6 hours on a charge, and then take them into a restaurant for recharging, or in the motel at night on trips. They are waterproof, inexpensive, and our experience has been very positive. There are three Ebay ads today for them-I think less than $300 for a pair.

They took only a few minutes to synch and learn how to use, attach easily to helmets, and I ride with several other folks who have much more expensive and elaborate systems, and we have far fewer problems.

Dave
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