HELP Please: Nolan N104 & N43 Communication Suggestions.. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 2 Old Nov 4th, 2012, 6:47 pm Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Cassville, MO, USA
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HELP Please: Nolan N104 & N43 Communication Suggestions..

I just purchased my first BMW after having a Goldwing for many years. I got a sweet deal on a 2006 K1200LT with only 7,048 miles on it.. Because this is my first BMW, and it does not have the factory communication package installed, I have some questions about getting the BEST communication setup. There is one caveat before we begin, however:

I have the new Nolan N104 N-Com helmet and my wife has the N43 N-Com helmet. We do not have the N-Com system in either helmet and we have not purchased the N-Com system as of yet. Thus, any suggestions from those in the know would have to consider use with our current helmets. We do not necessarily have to use the Nolan N-Com system as I realize Sena and others offer good competing systems. We are just looking for the best for the money system that will work very well with our current helmets. I am not willing to purchase a different type of helmet as these are brand new and we really like them.

Proceeding on...

My new (slightly used) bike has the Autocom Easi-PLUS - KIT150 installed. I also received a 7-page 8.5x11"-size detailed info packet on this system with the bike. It appears this Autocom will connect 1) cell phone (iPhone 5 hopefully), 2) Music in Stereo, 3) GPS (I don't have yet), 4) Radar Detector (I don't have and won't ever have), 5) Bike to Bike (Don't care about), 6) Bluetooth Receiver and 7) Intercom between Driver & Passenger.

I am immediately interested in using our two Nolan helmets to access, in the following order from the preceding paragraph above: #2 & #7 (equal need) and then #1. I would like #3 at that point when I add the GPS which will likely be next year sometime. I do not need numbers 4 or 5 at this point, and likely never.

Can those in the know suggest the BEST route to take for me to achieve my wants in the paragraph immediately preceding this paragraph? What is the BEST system I could purchase to achieve my goals above while still utilizing our new Nolan helmets?

Is the Autocom I have a good thing or not so good for my needs? Can this Autocom be used with Nolan N-Com helmets? If so, will it sound good or is there a better system out there?

It is my understanding from the previous owner (2nd owner of the bike) that the first owner installed the Autocom solely for the purpose of using his MP3 player-to-helmet function. I am told that the Autocom itself needs to be soldered into the BMW on-board radio for the radio signal to come through the helmets as it is not at present and never has been out of the box. Right now, I get radio via the external bike speakers only. Since I am not knowledgeable about the Autocom, I need some serious help to understand what I have and what I need to do to get it connected to work as I want.

My goals at the end of this communications project are as follows, in this order:

1) Ability to talk to my passenger helmet-to-helmet with ease.
2) Ability for the BMW stereo music to be piped into the helmets (via bluetooth, I suppose?)
2a) Ability for stereo music to be piped into the helmets from one iPhone 5 or two separate iPhone 5's (if possible)
2b) Ability for onboard CD player music to be piped into helmets in stereo
3) Ability to make, or receive, telephone calls via iPhone through helmets (using hands-free, SIRI, if possible) - doesn't have to be stereo but reasonable hearing quality, nevertheless.
4) LATER: Ability for GPS directions to be piped into helmet. (Not as ultimately important)

I would sincerely appreciate any and all legitimate, tried and tested, suggestions, advice and/or other related comments from those with experience in communications on the K1200LT, Nolan N-Com helmets and Autocom systems. I don't mind spending money to get the right setup but I'd like to keep spending to a minimum if I can use what I already have to achieve the best results.. I am NOT looking for MONO sound. I would like the BEST stereo sound I can get on a motorcycle traveling down the highway at 60-70mph...

Unfortunately, the two BMW dealers I have visited about this issue were not knowledgeable on my needs. They both suggested I seek help from the online community and thus, here I am.

Thanks for your help in advance..

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post #2 of 2 Old Nov 26th, 2012, 3:24 pm
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Location: LA, CA, USA
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Re: HELP Please: Nolan N104 & N43 Communication Suggestions..

I've been using Nolan helmets for a good 5-6 years now.
I also tend to upgrade my helmet when the newer N-Com system updates as well.
When the 104 was released, I was the first in line. What the salesman failed to tell me (or he didn't know) was that you cannot link any helmet below the 104 to the 104. You can only link a 104 to a 104. Even though the Nolan website says you can connect the 104 to every helmet below it, I've been trying for a good year now with no luck. When I upgraded my 103 to a 104, I bought new, smaller cheek and crown pads for the 103 so my wife would have a newer helmet as well. Sadly, they did not link. Instead, we call each other and communicate that way. Not as solid of a comm device but it works.

As for all the fun things you would like a helmet to provide, such as stereo Music, GPS and helmet to helmet communication, I hope I can provide a few answers for you.

Helmet to helmet communication is phenomenal. I've carried on conversations with fellow riders a good 1/4 - 1/2 mile away. We've had 4 of us chatting at 1 time but you're only allowed 1 bluetooth connection. So if I'm chatting with other riders, I can't stream music from my iPhone or turn by turn from my GPS. But you can connect any of these devices via a stereo mini plug. So Bluetooth music via iPhone and turn by turn via stereo min plug.

The N104 is the first full stereo helmet they offered. The 103 did have 2 speakers but it was still a mono bluetooth signal. The 104 is also significantly lighter than the 103 but sadly it's equally as noisy. Then again, what modular isn't noisy.

Also, you'll each have to stream music from your own devices. Bluetooth can only make 1 connection; i.e. 1 helmet. What the wife and I do is listen to music via the mini plug and chat via bluetooth. I also use my iPhone 5 as a GPS as well. So with the music piped in via mini plug, the iPhone GPS silences the music to give me directions which the wife hears too since we're both connect to the same mini plug. If you're riding 1 up and streaming music from your iPhone, the iPhone GPS will come through as well.

Chatting at 70 MPH is pretty much the limit you can do before there's way too much road noise. Siri is awesome when it comes to hands-free dialing.

Well, that's pretty much all I can think now. If you have any more questions feel free to ask as I may have overlooked a few scenarios. Good luck!

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