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I'm headed to Americade on the 8th of June with hopes of seeing first hand what's available for my new 2007 LT. I'm also a first time BMW owner so still trying to figure things out.
What do I need to listen to music, ipod, driver/rider, bike/bike, (Zumo, at a later date) through my helmet. My old helmet isn't very comfortable so I'm thinking of replaceing. Any suggestions? The new bikes have the communication system built in, so that should be taken care of. Should I just get a helmet with mic and headphones built in or buy a helmet and add such to it? I wear a full face now and would like to stick with it....I think.
 

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Voice II 101

Whether to buy the separate components or get a new helmet with them in it, is a personal choice. The latter will give you less choice, but will probably save you some grief and a few dollars in the end. Either way make sure you pick a helmet that you are comfortable with. The component speaker/mike setup is made by J&M and either sold directly by them or by BMW. It's not cheap, so price the helmet and components together when making that decision. There are a couple of other options out there that work, but reportedly give you less fidelity on the headset speakers. The VOICE system needs a powered mike, so you can't use anything on the market. There are many posts on headset options out there, and quiet a few on helmets with preinstalled headsets. Regardless you will need lower cords as well..available from BMW directly for the J&M headsets. Other brands sell their own lower cords. The headset setup alone gets you all you need for music and on-bike chatting.

An I-pod will plug directly into the aux port on the VOICE; all you need is a 3.5 to 3.5 mm cord available from Radio Shack (or BMW if you prefer to pay more).

Cell phone should be doable with a simple cord from BMW (2.5 mm to 2.5 mm). However not all cell phones are created equal. I still cannot get mine to work correctly through the VOICE (BTW, I'm on #2), but the same phone worked fine with my cheap Chatterbox setup on my old bike. Buy the cord, read the cell phone posts, get an adapter for your phone (if needed), and cross your fingers.

Bike to bike is a little more complicated. You obviously need a pair of radios, and Kenwood is the designed choice for the VOICE. You used to be able to get fairly cheap Freetalk units (FRS band), but selection has decreased and you are probably looking at dual band units (FRS/GMRS) that are in the $150 each range now. GMRS gives you longer range however, and between the two you can probably talk to most other riders with bike to bike. Some owners have modified cords to get other mfr's FRS radios to work with the VOICE series units. BMW also makes a CB unit that has had good reviews, but it is pricy. With any bike to bike option you need to get a "push to talk" button from BMW for around $75. It's easy to install, and should be standard equipment.

With a long enough cord, the high $$ BMW cupholder makes a good place to put the FRS radio or a cell phone. A "tank" bag works too, but get the Chicane and not the BMW one.

Maybe the next generation LT will be bluetooth compatible, but for now only the GPS sends out a Blue signal.

Good luck and have fun. But plan on spending most of $1000 on all of the above.
 

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I understand J & M will have a booth at Americade.

They are great people to work with and got me set up with headsets and cords for the shorty helmets we already had. Just a matter of using their correct cords. They were the vendor for BMW before the VOICE Comm I and II came out and are still the vendor for the BMW CB.

The issue is BMW has some unique wiring match ups that may need to be overcome if you are not using their pricey accessories. No major promblem more of a pain. There is a wiring diagram around here somewhere that can explain what I mean.
 
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