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post #1 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 8:07 am Thread Starter
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best option?

Okay, here's my dilemma:

I just bought my bike which has the following items that came with the bike in their specified state.

Radio: currently has no rear sound (haven't had time to determine if it's speakers, wiring, or radio that is the issue).

CB: currently not on the bike, but has been mounted previously (isn't the factory unit, just a plain uniden pro110).

Intercom: also not a factory unit, and although the wiring remains the unit itself has been removed. However, the headsets were not included with the purchase.

Interface: it appears that this is what ties everything together allowing it to work simultaneously without confusion, but I may be way off on that one?

My concern is that I want all of these features to work if at all possible, but don't really know where to start or if I would be money ahead to start from scratch? No, I'm not buying a new bmw. :-)

As far as the radio is concerned I like the features of the factory unit (handlebar controls, speed sensing volume control, and the radio display and buttons. I can fix stereo wire termination issues, as well as replace speakers, but if the rear channels are out on the unit I plan to utilize an amplifier which I would run off of the front channels assuming there aren't pre outs from the factory on a 99'.

What's the easiest/least expensive way to bring everything else together, and have bluetooth capability so that both riders can use their phones as well as the other features without running dual headsets into both my helmet, and my wife's?

I know that I'm asking a lot from a bike that's running on technology that's nearly two decades old, but it's a bmw, and I'm an American so I don't think this is too much to ask, is it?

Thanks in advance for any helpful information! Dale
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post #2 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 8:15 am
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Re: best option?

Radio: currently has no rear sound (haven't had time to determine if it's speakers, wiring, or radio that is the issue).

Hi, Dale. You have the radio op manual? If so, then you've prolly read up on the fade/balance feature of the radio. If not, then there is a procedure to mute the rear speakers OR the front speakers. My manual is away at the moment, so hopefully, if you need the instructions, someone with the manual handy will post up. Good luck. And do enjoy the bike once you've got everything sorted.
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post #3 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 8:51 am Thread Starter
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Re: best option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick View Post
Radio: currently has no rear sound (haven't had time to determine if it's speakers, wiring, or radio that is the issue).

Hi, Dale. You have the radio op manual? If so, then you've prolly read up on the fade/balance feature of the radio. If not, then there is a procedure to mute the rear speakers OR the front speakers. My manual is away at the moment, so hopefully, if you need the instructions, someone with the manual handy will post up. Good luck. And do enjoy the bike once you've got everything sorted.
Hey Dick,

Thanks again for your reply.

As you know I just got the bike Fri.
The weather is still pretty chilly here in kc so I'm not riding at the moment because I haven't purchased warm gear yet. So I currently spend most of my free time trying to sort out what changes I want to make to prepare for the open road, and researching solutions for the changes that I deem necessary. :-)

I haven't read the manual as of yet, but do intend to read it soon.

I did think to check the fader, and tried moving to center, as well as fwd, and rear which didn't effect the absence of rear sound. Strangely enough the front and rear controls seem to function properly although I'm not 100% sure about volume control since the speakers aren't very loud at all until the bike is at highway speeds. If there are additional settings that I'm unaware of I'd be anxious to check those as well, but I fear the rear channels are out since that seems quite common.
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post #4 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 4:48 pm
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Re: best option?

Concerning the lack of sound from the rear speakers, I'd pull the rear seat and make sure the electrical connections from the bike to the trunk are good.

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post #5 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 5:27 pm
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Re: best option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Upright View Post
Concerning the lack of sound from the rear speakers, I'd pull the rear seat and make sure the electrical connections from the bike to the trunk are good.
+1 It is possible that the PO removed the rear trunk and didn't connect all the wires when putting it back for the sale.

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post #6 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 5:52 pm
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Re: best option?

Agreed, depending on what "interface" or "communications" unit was in place before, the OP may have cut the wires to the rear speakers to feed to the intercom system, rather than just tapping off them and using a switch.
The autocom system has a diagram available (top right pic) showing where to tap into the connectors in the DIN plug for the rear speakers.
It might help diagnose whether they are still connected or not.

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post #7 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 6:43 pm
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Re: best option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by superstan26 View Post
Hey Dick,
I'm not 100% sure about volume control since the speakers aren't very loud at all until the bike is at highway speeds. If there are additional settings that I'm unaware of I'd be anxious to check those as well, but I fear the rear channels are out since that seems quite common.
The problem with the channels usually is just one, and it is the output electronics that is the problem. It usually means that you need an expensive repair or a new radio. There are multiple replacement units available that are more cost effective and give you a more modern radio.

Since both rear appear to be out it is possible that you have a connection problem or a plug out. The AutoCom intercom had multiple options to siphon off the sound and could have a direct wire in or an additional transfer switch that will allow you to shut off the rear speakers with a mechanical switch so that the rear speakers will not work when you are using the AutoCom. This allowed you to fade all the sound to the rear speakers and cut the physical speakers. Find out where the connection is heading to the AutoCom and follow it back to the speaker wires. It is also possible that one of the previous owners cut the rear speakers out of the wiring to eliminate them altogether, instead of the switch.

In your post you said that the unit gets louder at speed and that means that the speed sensor circuit might be involved. I don't remember if there is a speed sensitivity adjustment like most of the newer radios, but there might be.

Have you tried to use the cassette or CD to verify if you just have a radio issue? The antenna has a spring and ball connection just below the mast and if that is dirty or missing the radio output is not very good. Holding the antenna will kick up the volume. If all three sources have the same issue you have an output transistor problem or a speaker connection issue. There are lots of connections between the radio and the speakers.

The early radios also had an issue where the female side of taper pins at the rear of the radio would become 'tired' and open up and you get poor sound, static.. etc.. That problem can actually be troubleshot with a closed fist smack on the BMW rondel on the top of the stingray.. If that fixes the problem is is only temporary and the female pins need to be tightened and a dialectic grease used to help the connection.

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
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post #8 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 8:05 pm
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Re: best option?

You will also want to check the connections under the stingray (the big piece on top that holds the radio. There are several quick connect type connectors from the radio to the speakers under there and if someone has been messing about they may not be completely connected causing the speakers to be out.

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post #9 of 23 Old Feb 25th, 2014, 8:09 pm
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Re: best option?

I chose a different path and think I made a good choice. My motorcycle didn't have a CB radio, but after having them off and on over the years, find I really never used it. With phone technology now reaching most areas, a CB is heading towards being archaic.

The audio on my newly purchased bike was very scratchy and I didn't want to take my bike apart first thing to find the problem. Instead, I bought a Sena bluetooth system for my pax and I.

This unit is very easy to set up and operate. The Sena allows intercoms between up to four persons so a small group can be on a single network but not all have to talk at once like FRS comms. One person can to talk to any individual or everyone at the same time.

The Bluetooth allows me to use my phone, MP3 players, and GPS. The Sena provides independent volume controls for each unit which is a major bonus. In town, I listen to Pandora or i-heart radio on the phone and MP3 on trips.

It also allow connectivity to devices like CB and two-way radios either through bluetooth or wired directly to the headset so you won't have to sacrifice CB if you don't want to.

I have since found and repaired the motorcycles' comm system but the Sena is still more convenient because I don't have to plug into the bike, and I don't have headset leads dangling from my helmet.

Battery time listening to music or intercom 100% of the time has so far surpassed 11 hours which is my longest riding day so far. It's a good piece of gear and allows some real flexibility.

The BMW radio and comm system is really good and probably offers better sound quality overall. If I were a real purist or hadn't lost so much hearing (aircraft mechanic) I might be tempted to use the BMW comms but can only hear the difference when the bike is still.

Just my 2 cents. You might want to consider opting for more flexibility.

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post #10 of 23 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 12:09 am
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Re: best option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geneapodaca View Post
I chose a different path and think I made a good choice. My motorcycle didn't have a CB radio, but after having them off and on over the years, find I really never used it. With phone technology now reaching most areas, a CB is heading towards being archaic.

The audio on my newly purchased bike was very scratchy and I didn't want to take my bike apart first thing to find the problem. Instead, I bought a Sena bluetooth system for my pax and I.

This unit is very easy to set up and operate. The Sena allows intercoms between up to four persons so a small group can be on a single network but not all have to talk at once like FRS comms. One person can to talk to any individual or everyone at the same time.

The Bluetooth allows me to use my phone, MP3 players, and GPS. The Sena provides independent volume controls for each unit which is a major bonus. In town, I listen to Pandora or i-heart radio on the phone and MP3 on trips.

It also allow connectivity to devices like CB and two-way radios either through bluetooth or wired directly to the headset so you won't have to sacrifice CB if you don't want to.

I have since found and repaired the motorcycles' comm system but the Sena is still more convenient because I don't have to plug into the bike, and I don't have headset leads dangling from my helmet.

Battery time listening to music or intercom 100% of the time has so far surpassed 11 hours which is my longest riding day so far. It's a good piece of gear and allows some real flexibility.

The BMW radio and comm system is really good and probably offers better sound quality overall. If I were a real purist or hadn't lost so much hearing (aircraft mechanic) I might be tempted to use the BMW comms but can only hear the difference when the bike is still.

Just my 2 cents. You might want to consider opting for more flexibility.
I have the sena smh10 and sena sm10 and just got my lt, I need to spend some more time with it but I think I can bluetoooth the bikes radio and cd player and cb into the helmet.. as well as gps and radar detector... but like I said.. need to spend time with it

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post #11 of 23 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Re: best option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNclebudintx View Post
I have the sena smh10 and sena sm10 and just got my lt, I need to spend some more time with it but I think I can bluetoooth the bikes radio and cd player and cb into the helmet.. as well as gps and radar detector... but like I said.. need to spend time with it
I'm going to be interested on how you make out. I use my iPhone to a C3 helmet with the SRC system and it works excellent but I would like to get my Zumo 550 directions and my CB/FRS to the helmet...

Keep us posted!

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post #12 of 23 Old Feb 26th, 2014, 9:17 pm Thread Starter
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Re: best option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geneapodaca View Post
I chose a different path and think I made a good choice. My motorcycle didn't have a CB radio, but after having them off and on over the years, find I really never used it. With phone technology now reaching most areas, a CB is heading towards being archaic.

The audio on my newly purchased bike was very scratchy and I didn't want to take my bike apart first thing to find the problem. Instead, I bought a Sena bluetooth system for my pax and I.

This unit is very easy to set up and operate. The Sena allows intercoms between up to four persons so a small group can be on a single network but not all have to talk at once like FRS comms. One person can to talk to any individual or everyone at the same time.

The Bluetooth allows me to use my phone, MP3 players, and GPS. The Sena provides independent volume controls for each unit which is a major bonus. In town, I listen to Pandora or i-heart radio on the phone and MP3 on trips.

It also allow connectivity to devices like CB and two-way radios either through bluetooth or wired directly to the headset so you won't have to sacrifice CB if you don't want to.

I have since found and repaired the motorcycles' comm system but the Sena is still more convenient because I don't have to plug into the bike, and I don't have headset leads dangling from my helmet.

Battery time listening to music or intercom 100% of the time has so far surpassed 11 hours which is my longest riding day so far. It's a good piece of gear and allows some real flexibility.

The BMW radio and comm system is really good and probably offers better sound quality overall. If I were a real purist or hadn't lost so much hearing (aircraft mechanic) I might be tempted to use the BMW comms but can only hear the difference when the bike is still.

Just my 2 cents. You might want to consider opting for more flexibility.
Tried to respond earlier but I'm not too great at the internet communication thing...must have forgotten to hit a button or something to finalize my post?

Regardless, this is where I stand (rather sit) currently.

Today I didn't have much time to mess with it because we have family and friends visiting, and various other things going on. However, I did read the radio control manual, and tinkered with the options. I kind of thought that the speed control feature could have something to do with the low volume but tried changing its setting from 2 to 1-4 without change (since the bike was stationary I assume this is typical) to off which also didn't effect it. The best I can tell none of my volume controls are working although the front and rear mutes work, and the front left right toggles also work, is this typical? I read something about preset volume in the user guide, but don't know that I understood what the implication was, nor did I see how to change it. It said something about the tp/mute button will not override the preset volume if I recall correctly. I may put up the exact phrase later, but I can't remember where I sat the manual in my frustration (trunk?).
I wiggled the connections under the pillion, to no effect, and also disconnected/reconnected with the same results. I currently have the trunk removed for testing, but I doubt I do much tonight.

I did order the sena headsets yesterday which should be here tomorrow! It was a tough decision since I have friends that have the scala rider, but I feel like I made the choice that was best for me. They'll just have to talk to me by phone until they buy the sena set. :-)

Thanks for all of the input, I'm looking forward to getting this resolved, and I'll definitely update this thread when I determine the cause(s) of my issues.
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post #13 of 23 Old Feb 27th, 2014, 8:11 am
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Re: best option?

+1 on the Sena. I have totally removed the 6 disc changer for the bag and the radio / cb from the stingray. Love having the extra room. I didn't get comms cables with mine, so I don't have that experience to compare. However, the Sena does everything that I need as far as comms, music, phone, etc.

Toby

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post #14 of 23 Old Feb 27th, 2014, 7:02 pm
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Re: best option?

Also a Sena user here. 2 things:
1) Last summer we had a 5-way intercom session going - that was 3 pilots and 2 pillions, all with Senas.
2) Sena is firmware updateable and just last week came out with an update (5.0) that allows a Sena SMH10 to use "Universal Intercom Mode" to connect to other brands! You won't get a 5-way in this mode, but you will likely be able to talk to your friends.

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post #15 of 23 Old Feb 27th, 2014, 7:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: best option?

UPDATE:

As it turns out the problem was that one of the previous owners was a H.O.D.D. (Hands Of Death/DESTRUCTION).

I would have taken pics if I had any idea how to post them. Here's the scoop for those of you that can get the big picture without an 8mp camera via grammatical relay:

1) I took the trunk off last night because my rear speakers hadn't worked since purchase.

2) I determined that the left and right rear channels are (yellow & yellow/green) as well as (blue/lavender & blue/red) in the multi-pin connector.

3) I looked at the bike side of the multi-pin connector and determined that the afore mentioned hackjob p.o. had spliced the wires for some part of the intercom, c.b., or some other device that it's not currently in service. I also found a heavy duty radio shack electronic noise suppressor that was wired with an on/off switch which I found perplexing, all of which I swiftly removed, and returned to stock configuration.

4) After finishing my rewire I found that the rear speakers were back in action even though the absence of volume control remained with the exception of mute should I want an already quiet stereo to be altogether silent.

5) I took my 4 year old mini me for a ride down our culdesac and while riding I hit the volume and it.... increased as it should! Not sure why since it wouldn't do it while at a standstill, but never the less it worked, and now I have full use of volume even when the bike is stationary!

Thanks for all of the help!

Note: My headsets didn't come in today, and I'm not sure why since they're only 30 mins from my home where they have supposedly been waiting for delivery since yesterday. Oh well, at last I have tunes until they arrive, and more importantly now every factory option in the bike works.

Next project: oil change, and possibly tune up. Considered canisterectomy today, but haven't studied that one thoroughly enough to feel good about it so far.
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post #16 of 23 Old Feb 27th, 2014, 9:09 pm
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Re: best option?

Good deal, your going to do well here...

Sometimes just a little help gets you over the top!!

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
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post #17 of 23 Old Feb 27th, 2014, 10:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: best option?

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Good deal, your going to do well here...

Sometimes just a little help gets you over the top!!
Thanks Jack. I hope I can help to others eventually.

I have to admit I'm a little intimidated since I've never worked on anything German before, and although I understand basic wiring, and circuitry I'm not up to speed on a lot of the gadgetry.

But once I build up a little steam there's no telling how over the top up get. :-)
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post #18 of 23 Old Feb 28th, 2014, 1:43 pm
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Re: best option?

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I have to admit I'm a little intimidated since I've never worked on anything German before, and although I understand basic wiring, and circuitry I'm not up to speed on a lot of the gadgetry.
Bottom line is it's metric, and all bolts turn the same way as SAE. If you have the desire and patience to learn you are 90% there...

Time to do the tasks you will have to sort out. However, if you figure the time necessary to make the appointment, deliver the M/C to the dealer, pick-up the M/C and the time spent earning the money to pay the labor charges it becomes quite easy to justify. The bottom line is if you have problems on tour you might be able to recover in a reasonable amount of time and expense.

One suggestion I have for you as you take on maintenance tasks is to take caution when tightening all bolts and use the torque specs religiously every time.

Torque wrenches are quite reasonably priced and over tightening costs big time, being self-induced they are escentially avoidable and quite humbling..

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
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post #19 of 23 Old Feb 28th, 2014, 2:03 pm
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Re: best option?

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Originally Posted by superstan26 View Post
Thanks Jack. I hope I can help to others eventually.

I have to admit I'm a little intimidated since I've never worked on anything German before, and although I understand basic wiring, and circuitry I'm not up to speed on a lot of the gadgetry.

But once I build up a little steam there's no telling how over the top up get. :-)
I worked on my German cars and bikes for at least 20 years with SAE tools before I spent money adding metric tools - when I needed a 15 mm just bought a 23/32 in. socket - so see what you need or splurge for a complete new set of tools

Gary
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post #20 of 23 Old Feb 28th, 2014, 2:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: best option?

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I worked on my German cars and bikes for at least 20 years with SAE tools before I spent money adding metric tools - when I needed a 15 mm just bought a 23/32 in. socket - so see what you need or splurge for a complete new set of tools
I have a great set of tools sae, and metric, air, hand, and electric, wood, metal, mechanic etc. Just gotta dive in there. I also have a full k1200lt fsm. So I should be in good shape! :-)
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post #21 of 23 Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 12:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: best option?

Well, I tore her down today...

I figured I'd find a filthy air filter because it has obviously been driven down some dirt roads at some point which I noticed when I pulled the trunk.
I was surprised, albeit pleasantly surprised to find what appeared to be a nearly new looking air filter. It looked the same on both sides, and no trace of dust out dirt through visual air inspection, no trace of dust from the technical test (smacking it)? Is there a pre filter, or is there only one air filter which is located conveniently underneath the gas tank so that you only have to take half of the bike apart to inspect/replace?

Tomorrow I'll dig into the spark plugs, and wiring visual inspection. After that I'll be changing the oil so it appears that I'll need 4 qts. of 20w50? I'm planning to use full synthetic, I generally use castrol products, any complaints about this choice? Recommendations? Am I in the right track?

According to the BC I'm only averaging 30 mpg so I'm thinking I may have a bad O2 sensor because it smells like it is running somewhat rich as well, but I figured if rule out some of the other more routine items first.
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post #22 of 23 Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 6:54 am
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Re: best option?

Quote:
Originally Posted by superstan26 View Post
What's the easiest/least expensive way to bring everything else together, and have bluetooth capability so that both riders can use their phones as well as the other features without running dual headsets into both my helmet, and my wife's?
You rip out all the add on bits that are left over, get a pair of SMH10 Bluetooth headsets for your helmets, and a SR10 interface to a CB radio if you think you absolutely must have it.

Unless you are putting about below 35 mph the bike's stereo is useless. Bluetooth to your phone will give you better music than you can get from any BMW stereo. Want Sirius/XM? just install the app on your phone and listen. If you really want to listen to FM radio you can use the FM tuner in your headset.

The BMW stock radio is designed for use with their wired headset system if you wanted to hear the music, you can buy a $600 wired unit to replace what is missing but you then can not have Bluetooth for the helmets only wires. Add $295 for the Bluetooth to the phone that will only let you answer calls.

If you want the best intercom system with bike controlled music, then that is wired headsets and about $800 to $1000 in parts if you install it all yourself. If you want Bluetooth you really need to abandon what is on the bike and go pretty much as a complete separate setup, Fix the bike stereo so you have tunes to listen to while you wash it.

I just went down this road and spent a lot of money on trying to make the on bike system work the way I wanted. It's all in a pile on my floor waiting to go on ebay, and I have a pair of SMH10's on the way with a SR10 for interface to my Ham Radio two way. All of it fits in the tank bag, I can listen to XM,FM,all of my music collection on the phone, Pandora, etc... the wife can listen to her own music or chat with her friends on the phone, or as she prefers, talk to me so I cant hear my own music.

Bluetooth does not let you listen to music and intercom at the same time, so keep that in mind. Only a wired system will mix the music in with the intercom.

But the SMH10 will let me make a phone call completely with my voice, I can also control the music by play/pause/etc by voice as well (I use the iphone that has voice control)

So you actually need to make some decisions, is having music from the bike in your helmet very important? if so then your only choice is wired. Look at Autocom SPA and the Autocom Bluetooth phone adapter to hook in your phone, also you need to get the autocom radio adapter to hook to the CB, then another autocom adapter to hook the stock stereo speaker outputs into the autocom. You also will want to get a set of coiled headset extensions at $50.00 each.

I found it a lot easier and cheaper to just abandon everything on the bike, and I end up with a better system that does more.

Currently riding a 2003 K1200LTC
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post #23 of 23 Old Mar 3rd, 2014, 8:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: best option?

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Originally Posted by timgray View Post
You rip out all the add on bits that are left over, get a pair of SMH10 Bluetooth headsets for your helmets, and a SR10 interface to a CB radio if you think you absolutely must have it.

Unless you are putting about below 35 mph the bike's stereo is useless. Bluetooth to your phone will give you better music than you can get from any BMW stereo. Want Sirius/XM? just install the app on your phone and listen. If you really want to listen to FM radio you can use the FM tuner in your headset.

The BMW stock radio is designed for use with their wired headset system if you wanted to hear the music, you can buy a $600 wired unit to replace what is missing but you then can not have Bluetooth for the helmets only wires. Add $295 for the Bluetooth to the phone that will only let you answer calls.

If you want the best intercom system with bike controlled music, then that is wired headsets and about $800 to $1000 in parts if you install it all yourself. If you want Bluetooth you really need to abandon what is on the bike and go pretty much as a complete separate setup, Fix the bike stereo so you have tunes to listen to while you wash it.

I just went down this road and spent a lot of money on trying to make the on bike system work the way I wanted. It's all in a pile on my floor waiting to go on ebay, and I have a pair of SMH10's on the way with a SR10 for interface to my Ham Radio two way. All of it fits in the tank bag, I can listen to XM,FM,all of my music collection on the phone, Pandora, etc... the wife can listen to her own music or chat with her friends on the phone, or as she prefers, talk to me so I cant hear my own music.

Bluetooth does not let you listen to music and intercom at the same time, so keep that in mind. Only a wired system will mix the music in with the intercom.

But the SMH10 will let me make a phone call completely with my voice, I can also control the music by play/pause/etc by voice as well (I use the iphone that has voice control)

So you actually need to make some decisions, is having music from the bike in your helmet very important? if so then your only choice is wired. Look at Autocom SPA and the Autocom Bluetooth phone adapter to hook in your phone, also you need to get the autocom radio adapter to hook to the CB, then another autocom adapter to hook the stock stereo speaker outputs into the autocom. You also will want to get a set of coiled headset extensions at $50.00 each.

I found it a lot easier and cheaper to just abandon everything on the bike, and I end up with a better system that does more.
I actually took off anything that wasn't being used yesterday to start from scratch as you stated. I have the c.b., the interface, the intercom and all wiring set aside. I purchased the smh5 2 person set for my wife and I (it did everything I needed with the exception of c.b. which I'll probably never use but some friends decided that it'd be good for everyone to have a c.b. when we take a trip to Utah later this year (they may have to call me if they went to talk).

I fixed my rear speakers, as well as the lack of volume and I hear them loud and clear at interstate speeds even while only using fronts. I'm likely going to replace the haes speakers with some infinity kappa component speakers, and will likely add an amplifier sign the road for even clearer louder sound although it's no risk since I have tunes in my helmet now anyways.

Thanks to all the info and opinions you have shared.

Dale
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