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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone tried the new Nolan N102/103 wireless bluetooth helmets? The idea of having the units plug into a designed receptacle instead of having to try and attach a device to your helmet is a really neat solution. However, I am currently using the Cardo Scala teamset wireless intercoms and am very unhappy with them. They seemed great at first. However, the short boom on the mikes, plus the fact that unless they're practically in your mouth don't pick up anything and the lack of sufficient volume makes them almost useless except at speeds less than 40 mph.

I just completed a 5057 mile trip over 17 days (rode at least 140 miles every day) and have the units on our open face Nolan helmets. Over 17 days, the weather encountered was everything you can imagine. Some days were so windy we could barely stay on the road. Other days were super with the wind behind us. On the windiest days, we turned our units off to keep the noise down from the wind continuously triggering the mikes. My wife's voice quality is such that her voice doesn't come through very well even when there is no other interference. So, the Cardo Scala riders are not the answer for us.

But, I'm not about the invest $1200 in two wireless helmets until I've either heard sufficient reports about their superb quality, or tried them for myself. Unfortunately, they are not the kind of item most helmet suppliers keep on hand for demo purposes.

Anyone else tried them?
Do they really work well?
Can you turn the volume up sufficiently to hear even on windy days at 70 mph? I'm not talking about listening to Clare de Lune in stereo, just good solid voice quality.
Why can't we get some of the "com" units Jack Bauer used on 24? Those seem to work pretty well although they are monaural.:)
 

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I'll dive in, I have the NCom with 102's...Had them for a little over a year now.
The bad stuff first. The audio quality for music playback is terrible. I recently had my RDU (radio) take a dump and a a last resort used the Ipod connected straight to the helmet... That lasted for a day and I parked the bike and suffered from PMS (parked motorcycle syndrome) for a week until I replaced the RDU.The Bluetooth connection to various phones (several posts on this site) is a time consuming ordeal. I fumble with the thing every so often with mixed results. The price is a little steep, but like you I like the integrated look and going wireless.
Now the Good. The ease of use is perfect. Once you get accustomed to the set up and program it once, your golden. I believe the newer (2nd gen) is true stereo sound, although I do not believe mine is. none the less the wife and I enjoy them immensely. The sound quality is there for the spoken word, and the volume will blow my ears back if needed, I usually have the volume set two (taps) below max. At all speeds (except stopped) that is sufficient. The microphones are not chincy. a good firm feel to them, and wind is not noticed except occasionally. I ride with my visor up and/or helmet open and the wife claims she can not hear the difference. Although I will say I hear hers at times. Range is pretty good as well, although not tested BTB, I can give my order to the wife when she goes into the gas station for goodies....Battery usage is suffice enough for an 8-10 hour days worth of riding, just make sure to turn them off and charge them for the next day. There is no back-up when the power dies!!!
Bottom line if you like the capabilities of the wireless function, I believe this is a good if not the best solution out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
shoswell said:
I'll dive in, I have the NCom with 102's...Had them for a little over a year now.
The bad stuff first. The audio quality for music playback is terrible. I recently had my RDU (radio) take a dump and a a last resort used the Ipod connected straight to the helmet... That lasted for a day and I parked the bike and suffered from PMS (parked motorcycle syndrome) for a week until I replaced the RDU.The Bluetooth connection to various phones (several posts on this site) is a time consuming ordeal. I fumble with the thing every so often with mixed results. The price is a little steep, but like you I like the integrated look and going wireless.
Now the Good. The ease of use is perfect. Once you get accustomed to the set up and program it once, your golden. I believe the newer (2nd gen) is true stereo sound, although I do not believe mine is. none the less the wife and I enjoy them immensely. The sound quality is there for the spoken word, and the volume will blow my ears back if needed, I usually have the volume set two (taps) below max. At all speeds (except stopped) that is sufficient. The microphones are not chincy. a good firm feel to them, and wind is not noticed except occasionally. I ride with my visor up and/or helmet open and the wife claims she can not hear the difference. Although I will say I hear hers at times. Range is pretty good as well, although not tested BTB, I can give my order to the wife when she goes into the gas station for goodies....Battery usage is suffice enough for an 8-10 hour days worth of riding, just make sure to turn them off and charge them for the next day. There is no back-up when the power dies!!!
Bottom line if you like the capabilities of the wireless function, I believe this is a good if not the best solution out there.
Thanks for the feedback. Nice to know someone has tried these. I do believe this type of helmet with pre-installed holes for the wireless equipment will become the standard. I just wish it would be sooner, rather than later.
 

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I'm looking at going wireless also and based on all the feedback on this site, I'm looking at the Nolan 103. Checked it out in the store and was impressed. Little pricey but life is short and I want stuff that works. My question is this: How do these bluetooth setups hold up in the rain? The salesman told me they were water resistant but not waterproof. Not sure what that means. Anyone had a problem with it getting wet? The other issue I had was the battery time. I've been told the bluetooth system by Nolan will last about 7 hours before needing recharged. I can foresee that being a problem. I'm wondering if a person could buy a back up battery and while one is in use the other is charging while going down the road? Maybe two fully charged batteries and charge them both at night in the hotel room? Anyone have any thoughts on this? Bottom line is it is a lot of money and for that price, I'd hate to run into problems like....wow, never thought about that...
 

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Ised8m said:
How do these bluetooth setups hold up in the rain? ...
Had the unit in my helmet for almost a year... No issues with weather. If you have the Nolan now, remove the door and the access into the helmet is small. this is where the connection to the inside set up is. they use spring contact points, assuming you do not go swimming with a helmet on it will be fine!


Ised8m said:
The other issue I had was the battery time. I've been told the bluetooth system by Nolan will last about 7 hours before needing recharged. I can foresee that being a problem. ...
As stated above: Battery usage is suffice enough for an 8-10 hour days worth of riding, just make sure to turn them off and charge them for the next day. There is no back-up when the power dies!!! Assuming that we used them all day, and charged them at the hotel. we were fine the next day. In addition the wifes Comm would stay open due to her perfered set up most of the time and I expereinced only once when her battery died while on the bike... but then it was 8 hours into the ride home and I did not charge them the night before.. Batteries are a NON issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ised8m said:
I'm looking at going wireless also and based on all the feedback on this site, I'm looking at the Nolan 103. Checked it out in the store and was impressed. Little pricey but life is short and I want stuff that works. My question is this: How do these bluetooth setups hold up in the rain? The salesman told me they were water resistant but not waterproof. Not sure what that means. Anyone had a problem with it getting wet? The other issue I had was the battery time. I've been told the bluetooth system by Nolan will last about 7 hours before needing recharged. I can foresee that being a problem. I'm wondering if a person could buy a back up battery and while one is in use the other is charging while going down the road? Maybe two fully charged batteries and charge them both at night in the hotel room? Anyone have any thoughts on this? Bottom line is it is a lot of money and for that price, I'd hate to run into problems like....wow, never thought about that...
Ok, here I go again.

Some time after I posted originally, I took a look at the Chatterbox (latest version). I got two units with the Open face hookup. Tried them in our old Nolan open face helmets. I couldn't believe the difference in the Chatterbox and the Scala-Rider Q2. Wow! Chatterbox puts the Q2 to shame on volume and clarity both.

Well, I then purchased two flip helmet hookups and tried them on my new Nolan N103 (without any of the Nolan comm stuff), and was again amazed at the volume and clarity that is present. I'm still unable to connect to my VOICE II comm system, but no longer care much except for the fact that now the CB is totally useless.

My BMW Nav II GPS is getting a little long in the tooth so to speak and I decided to upgrade. I found a brand new in the box Garmin 2820 (uses the same Nav II hookup on the bike) and now I'm able to bluetooth my phone to the GPS and my Chatterbox to the GPS and get all of my phones features on the GPS screen and NO CORDS. The only drawback to the 2820 is, no slot to add additional memory. It's a little short, but works OK. I need to delete the music already prestored in it. It's an MP3 player as well, but the memory is limited and you have to decide on whether you want maps or music loaded. otherwise, this is what I was shooting for all along.:D
 

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Very interesting. I don't know why but I always associated Chatterbox with Goldwings...I guess because of the hardwire setup. But going bluetooth, I could do a Chatterbox with a Nolan 103 helmet and be totally wireless and recieve GPS (I have the Zumo 550) , cell phone, and MP3? That would be all I need since the Zumo has satellite radio and I never listen to the bike's traditional FM. Very interesting.
 

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Ised8m said:
Very interesting. I don't know why but I always associated Chatterbox with Goldwings...I guess because of the hardwire setup. But going bluetooth, I could do a Chatterbox with a Nolan 103 helmet and be totally wireless and recieve GPS (I have the Zumo 550) , cell phone, and MP3? That would be all I need since the Zumo has satellite radio and I never listen to the bike's traditional FM. Very interesting.

IMHO, I think if you have the Nolan why not go for the Nolan set up? The new version is true Stereo and streams from almost anything. If your going with a B2B or CB set up get ahold of a blueCom unit. This way you are completely wireless. Velcro the PTT button somewhere put the radio/gps/Ipod somewhere and ride. i will say that I reverse engineered my bluetooth connection by going "wired" and I miss the Ncom units. FWIW... :D
 

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I'll admit when I saw the whole Nolan setup (Nolan 103 with the Nolan bluetooth equipment) it all looked pretty slick. If Chatterbox has a superior sound quality I'd have to take that into consideration. I'm guessing the Nolan setup would go pretty seamlessly though.
 

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Its hard to do with the Nolan equipment, because of the availability locally, but if you can get the CB stuff and try the Nolan, i think you will be pleasantly surprised. I personally think the Nolan set up is better by far. Style, price and function....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ised8m said:
Very interesting. I don't know why but I always associated Chatterbox with Goldwings...I guess because of the hardwire setup. But going bluetooth, I could do a Chatterbox with a Nolan 103 helmet and be totally wireless and recieve GPS (I have the Zumo 550) , cell phone, and MP3? That would be all I need since the Zumo has satellite radio and I never listen to the bike's traditional FM. Very interesting.
You do have all the right stuff already.

I just got my Chatterbox unit installed on top of the hole Nolan provides for their own (or J&M supplied) bluetooth devices. I just use the opening from inside the helmet, cut a small groove in the bottom of the hole cover that snaps in and run the cable out that way. Then super glue one or two spots the keep it from popping out later. Works for me and my wife.:)
 
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