Motorcycle rider's needs for a RD

Vortex

Making Videos
Observer
Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
21,165
Reaction score
41,415
Location
Washington State
So I get a bunch of questions from people online about what the best RD is for a motorcycle and considering I'm not a bike rider, I don't have the faintest idea. I'd love to be able to offer them something helpful and not just say "I don't know, go ask people on RDF." :p

So for those of you guys who do ride, what do you like and why? What are your needs that you find different than people (like me) who drive cars?

I know there's things as far as size, getting a remote audio output to a wired or wireless headset, and so on, but I really don't know too much about this and would love to hear about what you guys have found is needed when riding a bike.

Is it mostly an audio thing? Are visual things like arrows and a frequency display needed at all? I'm curious. :)
 

JustinP

PSL +PSL
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
5,099
I think the "needs" (and "wants") are pretty much the same for motorcyle riders as for car drivers. The difference is you are constrained by the platform you have to work with on a motorcycle, and it varies by motorcycle. For example, on my larger touring bike, wihth more cockpit space and a dash shelf, I run the V1 with my phone and Waze/YaV1 next to it, much like I do in the car - and I can see everything easily, like the arrows and frequency. On my smaller sportbike, I have the Redline tucked in a radar box (http://www.legalspeeding.com/products.htm#radarbox). Can't really see it and rely solely on audio for alerts.

Yes, the audio is a big part of it. Or, I should say, being able to "get" the alert. When you're riding, you're not going to see or hear a RD alerting without either having the audio in your helmet, or some kind of extremely loud audio alert, or a super bright visual alert. I know a lot of riders that run radar detectors, and there's a lot of different ways to get the alerts that work for different people. Personally, I prefer to hear the alerts over my helmet speakers. I can instantly tell from the tone what band it is, how strong it is, and if it's a threat.

A couple options that are popular:

H.A.R.D. - http://www.legalspeeding.com/HARD-System.htm#.VwdJz8s2tZ4 - One side plugs into your detector, the other side mounts on your helmet with a LED heads up display. Flashes when the detector goes off.

Visual Alert - http://www.marcparnes.com/Visual_Alert.htm - Plugs into the detector's audio port and flashes brightly when the detector alerts.

Radar Screamer - http://www.motorcycleradar.com/radar_screamer.htm - Plugs into the detectors audio port, and emits a super loud tone when the detector alerts.

The problem with those three options, is they don't tell you right away what the band and signal strength is. They just let you know the detector is doing something, and you still have to look at the detector to see what it is. That slows down reaction time. That's why I prefer the helmet audio system, where you actually hear the detector - you can react instantly if it's a threat, or ignore it if it's a signal that's not a threat.

I use a small MixIt2 motorcycle amplifier for my setup (http://www.mixitproducts.com/). It has a priority mono port for the Radar detector. When you get a signal on the RD, it automatically mutes everything else. A lot of riders use a helmet intercom/audio system like the Sena, and you can connect the detector through that via the aux port, or using a bluetooth transmitter.

There's a lot of variables involved, and it's different for each rider's setup and what they have to work with. But, the needs are pretty much the same - it's just a matter of getting them to work with what you have.
 
Last edited:

TurboDriver

PSL + 50, every now and then
Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Messages
1,868
Reaction score
2,169
Location
Michigan
I agree much with Justin...

It depends on what you're riding. Sound is the biggest IMO as your eyes are always busy on a bike. Bluetooth to the helmet is probably the best for good sound indications, or a loud detector. I would usually opt for my X50 Black in loud audio mode over my Redline because the X50 has better tones to hear. The detector was on a self fabricated mount at the bottom center of the windshield, easy to see.

I ride a Goldwing and have just finished my ALP/9500ci install (pictures soon). For a cruiser bike like this I think an installed system is the way to go. The bike gets ridden a lot and quite often on long "trip" rides. A remote offers a theft proof, always ready protection. The bluetooth module in a side water proof compartment (the rest of the guts are in the back trunk) means all I need is to mount my phone- which auto connects to both the ALP and the bluetooth in my helmet, fire up Waze and I am well covered. A speaker (hifi) is mounted under the dash panel and is protected from the weather for times I don't have the bluetooth fired up or ride without a helmet.

The challenge IMO opinion is the mounting brackets needed for bike installs...you must be creative and might need to fabricate your own design. Aluminum tube and flat stock can be found at hardware/building stores in a wide variety and sizes, and can be cut and bent quite easily. Honestly for my latest install I spent a lot of time just staring and contemplating the options and deciding what I liked best and what would actually work. I even had the radar head mounted and had to start over because of location and clearance issues...bikes are not easy to have a professional, decent looking install...I mean most people have a sweet machine that they love and spent a ton of money on, it can't look like a horses arse right!
 

JustinP

PSL +PSL
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
5,099
I agree much with Justin...

It depends on what you're riding. Sound is the biggest IMO as your eyes are always busy on a bike. Bluetooth to the helmet is probably the best for good sound indications, or a loud detector. I would usually opt for my X50 Black in loud audio mode over my Redline because the X50 has better tones to hear. The detector was on a self fabricated mount at the bottom center of the windshield, easy to see.

I ride a Goldwing and have just finished my ALP/9500ci install (pictures soon). For a cruiser bike like this I think an installed system is the way to go. The bike gets ridden a lot and quite often on long "trip" rides. A remote offers a theft proof, always ready protection. The bluetooth module in a side water proof compartment (the rest of the guts are in the back trunk) means all I need is to mount my phone- which auto connects to both the ALP and the bluetooth in my helmet, fire up Waze and I am well covered. A speaker (hifi) is mounted under the dash panel and is protected from the weather for times I don't have the bluetooth fired up or ride without a helmet.

The challenge IMO opinion is the mounting brackets needed for bike installs...you must be creative and might need to fabricate your own design. Aluminum tube and flat stock can be found at hardware/building stores in a wide variety and sizes, and can be cut and bent quite easily. Honestly for my latest install I spent a lot of time just staring and contemplating the options and deciding what I liked best and what would actually work. I even had the radar head mounted and had to start over because of location and clearance issues...bikes are not easy to have a professional, decent looking install...I mean most people have a sweet machine that they love and spent a ton of money on, it can't look like a horses arse right!
Looking forward to seeing your installation pics!
 

itwasntme

Premium RDF Member
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
1,240
Location
NY
In my car although there is some interference to the Redline, I use it band segmented as a Ka only detector along with a swept V1 using YaV1 for the frequency information. On my motorcycle there is just no way to get enough separation between the two detectors and still have them both in a good reception location. So, I can only run one detector at a time. 95% of the time, that detector is the V1 with the YaV1 sound being played into my helmet via blue tooth. With very light traffic and, open vistas, I will run the Redline for maximum range, it's a very hot detector and on all but the rare occasion, beats the V1. For the most part I prefer to have the arrows though, that's why the V1 does the yeoman's share. The Redline is hardwired to a Sena SR10 blue tooth hub, then paired to my helmet blue tooth headset. I also have a Cheetah GPS camera locator and two-way radio wired to the SR10 hub. Yes, it's hard to intermittently scan the phone screen for frequency and waze info while also keeping attention on what's important, not getting crushed! Divided attention on a motorcycle is never a great way to go and, extreme discipline must be used to mange it all very carefully. Much more tiring than in a car and, it really wears you down after a while if you try to stay focused on everything.
 

KeithB

Premium RDF Member
Intermediate User
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
153
Reaction score
257
Personally, I'm a minimalist when it comes to riding. The only mods I make are wiring for heated clothing and the RD, seats, some lighting, & maybe a windscreen. I've had no stereo, no GPS (I still use maps), no communicator on any of my bikes. I'm not a big fan of the "airplane cockpit" look. Way too much distraction for me, I'd rather keep my eyes up & on the world around me. I suppose a helmet heads-up display might be nice, but that would add to the complexity. The simpler it is, the less futzing around I have to do. Same with blue tooth, more things to charge up each night and maybe the batteries don't last 18 hours in a day.

I have the RD in a tankbag hidden, with quick-detach wires for power & mono helmet speaker. There must be an ear jack or it's not an option for me. I also have more than one bike. I just keep everything I need in the tankbag so I can switch very easily between bikes. Occasionally, I also pull the RD out and use it in my 2nd car.

LIDAR has not been an issue so adding jammers aren't really an option due to cost and bulk. The few times I've encountered LIDAR on interstates or in towns, I've either seen them first or was actually behaving myself. They aren't used on those remote 2 lanes where I sometimes boogie.

I only have to hear that a signal is detected, precisely which signal it is is not that important even though I like the Redline voices. Automute has been nice. It must have very solid connections and I have to trust that it's always on since I can't visually see it. Long range is critical since I often ride deserted 2 lanes out west. GPS lockouts aren't needed, I'd rather have the extra noise (since I don't listen to anything else and don't have to worry about passenger peace & quiet) vs a locked out signal that is real (since I can't see a lockout indicator).

It must work from 10 to 110 degrees and be fairly resistance to moisture (but doesn't have to be waterproof since I have a rain cover for the tankbag). Smaller size is important and it can't weigh a ton. The Passport x50s and the RedLine have worked well but definitely no larger than those.
 

Normsky

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
436
Reaction score
114
Location
OH-IO!
V1's knob is about the easiest to control the volume and to mute.

I went for simple too and just mounted the V1 to the fro t brake reservoir on my sport bike.. Even with earplugs in on the highway it was easy to hear the V1 when lying on the tankbag for my 1-hour commute.
 

FlankDD

Learning to Drive
General User
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
I have been pinched in the back country on desolate roads so max sensitivity was the most important variable for me. I went with a Redline which I also liked because is less likely to be counter detected. I pipe the sound with wires into a helmet headset/earspeakers. I have moved my setup as far forward in the cockpit as possible so that IF needed I can look at the display. But by far the most important alert for me is SOUND. Also I have the idiot light setup so that I can quickly scan and see if I have power or an alert. This is positioned directly ahead so it is pretty much always in my scan pattern.

On my Goldwing I leverage the onboard amp and sound system to pipe the sound in as an aux input. On both of my installs I fix the RL to the cowl and not the bars as this helps the visibility of the detector display and ensures I do not have any physical interference from lock to lock with bars.

The power to the unit is switched and is a direct wire. I carry a cig light power plug as a backup power lead.

med_gallery_2144_2760_1161251.jpg
 
Last edited:

chesterdawg

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
76
Reaction score
19
Location
Commerce, GA
Thanks Justin.

---------- Post added at 07:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:51 PM ----------

I'm currently looking for my first RD/LD and doing lots of research. I want to be able to use it on my GL1800 Goldwing as well, sportbike days are over.

So much conflicting info out there, read one thread and you pretty much decide on one RD, read another thread....

Everything from the 9500ix and to a lesser extent the Max2 to the V1, uniden lrd950 (or its newer replacement instead?), Radenso Pro SE.
I'm sure I left out some top dogs, feel free to mention.

In addition to being able to use in both pickup, van & Goldwing I would like to be able to limit it being visible i.e. bright lights being seen from vehicles behind me. I know some of the Escorts allow for the SmartCord so you can dim the display on the RD and it will light instead on the charger/plugin.

The V1 really seems like a quality unit with add ons for everything I would like, great for auto but what about motorcycle? too much stuff?

Thanks,

Steve
 

JustinP

PSL +PSL
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
5,099
Thanks Justin.

---------- Post added at 07:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:51 PM ----------

I'm currently looking for my first RD/LD and doing lots of research. I want to be able to use it on my GL1800 Goldwing as well, sportbike days are over.

So much conflicting info out there, read one thread and you pretty much decide on one RD, read another thread....

Everything from the 9500ix and to a lesser extent the Max2 to the V1, uniden lrd950 (or its newer replacement instead?), Radenso Pro SE.
I'm sure I left out some top dogs, feel free to mention.

In addition to being able to use in both pickup, van & Goldwing I would like to be able to limit it being visible i.e. bright lights being seen from vehicles behind me. I know some of the Escorts allow for the SmartCord so you can dim the display on the RD and it will light instead on the charger/plugin.

The V1 really seems like a quality unit with add ons for everything I would like, great for auto but what about motorcycle? too much stuff?

Thanks,

Steve
I run the V1 on my Yamaha FJR. You should no problem on the Goldwing mounting it up where you can see it easily and make use of the arrows/counter etc.

Check out my custom $2.99 tupperware cover :D

https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash2/t31.0-8/1274713_10201218620125259_2090379241_o.jpg
 

natedog7700

PSL + whatever i feel like
Beginner User
Joined
Oct 7, 2015
Messages
587
Reaction score
400
Location
Milwaukee WI
:)
 
Last edited:

chesterdawg

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
76
Reaction score
19
Location
Commerce, GA
I run the V1 on my Yamaha FJR. You should no problem on the Goldwing mounting it up where you can see it easily and make use of the arrows/counter etc.

Check out my custom $2.99 tupperware cover :D

https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash2/t31.0-8/1274713_10201218620125259_2090379241_o.jpg

Nice!
Thanks again for fast/informative reply. I like the custom rain protection, I was actually wondering what to do about that.

I'm also wondering with the wing if I go with the V1 if I will need the audio alerts if I'm able to mount it straight ahead and not on handlebars. I wear a full face helmet and the chin bar blocks my handlebar mounted GPS so I have to drop my head a little bit which is no big deal for gps but for RD I need to see all the time.

I do have a mp3 player connected to the aux outlet of the bikes stereo, cb, sound system and listen to it with ear buds, controlling the volume with the wings handlebar mounted volume control. The Mix-it looks like it may be the trick!

Any suggestions on the other models I mentioned?


I had an '07 FJR, really liked that bike but like the VFR and CBR before it had to sell after a year or two because of 3 ruptured disks. The Goldwing is the only bike I can ride now that does not cause pain (Corbin seat really helps). I'm still tempted to get a GSA though, the one bike I've always wanted but never purchased. This is my third wing though after decades sportbike & standards, once you get used to one its hard to ride anything else. Like most bikes the stock suspension is the first thing to go, replaced with Traxxion Dynamics. For a big girl she now handles nice:

D80_2009_1036.JPG
D80_2009_1039.JPG

Steve
 
Last edited:

JustinP

PSL +PSL
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
5,099
Nice!
Thanks again for fast/informative reply. I like the custom rain protection, I was actually wondering what to do about that.

I'm also wondering with the wing if I go with the V1 if I will need the audio alerts if I'm able to mount it straight ahead and not on handlebars. I wear a full face helmet and the chin bar blocks my handlebar mounted GPS so I have to drop my head a little bit which is no big deal for gps but for RD I need to see all the time.

I do have a mp3 player connected to the aux outlet of the bikes stereo, cb, sound system and listen to it with ear buds, controlling the volume with the wings handlebar mounted volume control. Is it possible to somehow have the V1 override the mp3 player with an alert or should I just figure out how to mount it to use just the visual alerts?

Any suggestions on the other models I mentioned?
There's some audio options out there for the Wings - like this unit:

http://www.cellset.com/auxswitchadset.html

Will allow multiple things to use your aux input, and provide priority for the radar detector alert. I don't really stay up on the GL1800 stuff, so there might be something better available. But it gives an idea. Personally, even on the FJR with the detector right in front of me, I need audio. In the daytime when it's sunny, unless I'm actively looking at it, I can miss an alert.

I can't personally speak to your other options, as I've never used them. From what I've heard, the 9500ix is getting a bit long in the tooth. The Max2's performance does not live up to it's price and hype. The LRD950 and RPSE get a lot of great feedback, and typically do great in tests. It really comes down to what you want in a detector. The 950 and RPSE both have built in GPS so you have lockouts etc, where the V1 doesn't. The V1 gives great situational awareness with it's arrows and counter, but lacks the GPS. So it's a trade off.


I had an '07 FJR, really liked that bike but like the VFR and CBR before it had to sell after a year or two because of 3 ruptured disks. The Goldwing is the only bike I can ride now that does not cause pain (Corbin seat really helps). I'm still tempted to get a GSA though, the one bike I've always wanted but never purchased. This is my third wing though after decades sportbike & standards, once you get used to one its hard to ride anything else. Like most bikes the stock suspension is the first thing to go, replaced with Traxxion Dynamics. For a big girl she now handles nice:
Whatever you can ride that puts a smile on your face is what matters. The wings are surprisingly nimble for there size, once the wheels are turning.
 

PointerCone

M3 Kng
Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
23,167
Reaction score
21,849

firstsage

Lifetime RDF Contributor
Beginner User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
167
Reaction score
78
Playing the new guy card....
I saw the R1 install and that looked nice, but I wanted to understand something. I thought I had read that you want the RD mounted as high as possible, or am I mistaken? I have a kawi Concours and would like to have my RD mounted in a similar location.
2nd does the rear antenna suffer by being blocked by either your body or the internals of the bike? Doesn't it need line of sight?

Thanks for your patience.

Jon
 

yellorockets

Learning to Drive
General User
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
13
Reaction score
15
Playing the new guy card....
I saw the R1 install and that looked nice, but I wanted to understand something. I thought I had read that you want the RD mounted as high as possible, or am I mistaken? I have a kawi Concours and would like to have my RD mounted in a similar location.
2nd does the rear antenna suffer by being blocked by either your body or the internals of the bike? Doesn't it need line of sight?

Thanks for your patience.

Jon
The R1 install was great because it had adequate space behind the instrument cluster to mount with line of sight visibility out the windscreen. As far as rear detection, I can only assume that it would be effected, but (knock on wood) I don't worry too much about anything behind me ;). i have found it very effective to use in conjunction with Waze (set to alerts only) to identify potential threats at much greater range and prepare in case I get an active alert.

Only thing on an install like this to remember to set the detector volume to mute and only use the bluetooth feed. Nothing worse than pulling up to a stop light and the cops hear your radar going off.

---------- Post added at 11:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:53 PM ----------

Much more difficult on the ZX10. With all the new electronics space is very tight behind the windscreen, so I did a tank mount with quick release. One thing that has bothered me on the Cobra is the mini usb seems to lose connections at very high speeds (when you need it most) so I have switched out for the Passport Max 2 and will post pics of the new setup soon.





 

JustinP

PSL +PSL
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
5,099
Playing the new guy card....
I saw the R1 install and that looked nice, but I wanted to understand something. I thought I had read that you want the RD mounted as high as possible, or am I mistaken? I have a kawi Concours and would like to have my RD mounted in a similar location.
2nd does the rear antenna suffer by being blocked by either your body or the internals of the bike? Doesn't it need line of sight?

Higher is typically better for picking up RADAR. In reality, in most cases on a bike, we're talking a foot difference at most, so the difference will be trivial. Lower and closer to your headlight is better for picking up laser, but if you have the unit tucked in the bikes plastics, that doesn't matter anyway.

Yes, the rear antenna will suffer from being blocked by your body and/or the bike's internals. You want the detector as far forward from you as possible so it can pick up signals around you.
 

WJS

A low profile can be the best defense
Intermediate User
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
547
Reaction score
392
Location
CT
Okay, here’s my setup for the bike.

Motorcycle: 2014 NC700
Primary use: commuting

Primary goals:
Stream the following to the Sena 10S Comm System:
Alerts from Valentine1 Radar Detector
Waze alerts and guidance from iPhone.

And continue to utilize V1Driver iPhone app for lockouts.

Secondary goals:
Music from iPhone (Pandora, Spotify, etc.)
Connection to iPhone for receiving calls

Hardware:
Sena 10S Helmet Comm System
Sena SM10 Bluetooth Transmitter
iPhone 6s
V1 RD
V1 Direct-Wire Power Adapter
V1 Remote Audio Adapter with ESP
V1 Connection LE
12v to 5v Step-down Transformer

V1 Bike.png

The 12v-to-5v transformer, V1 Direct-Wire adapter, V1 Remote Audio Adapter and V1C LE are all installed in the “frunk” of the NC700, away from the elements.

The above configuration is installed in the bike and is working with one exception; if music is streaming from the iPhone, alerts from the V1 are not transmitted via the SM10 due to the iPhone and SM10 both using the A2DP protocol. The 10S headset only allows one A2DP connection. This was confirmed by Sena. However, if I plug my iPhone into the SM10 using the extra MP3 port, all works as I want it except setting up Waze, opening Spotify and connecting it to the SM10 are all extra steps I’d rather not take; I’d like the iPhone to remain in my jacket pocket so it can better receive GPS signals.

Current workaround is to just not listen to music. I would like to and was close to making music a primary goal but really, V1 and Waze alerts are much more important. I’ve never taken a call while riding and I doubt I will so that feature is an extra I’m not concerned with.

If @mswlogo can accomplish adding Bluetooth audio to the V1Driver app, I will be able to stream all source via the iPhone and eliminate the need for the SM10 while gaining the ability to stream music. At least that is my hope.

As far as the V1 RD install goes, the NC700 has the perfect spot under the instrument cluster. Turns out the simplest and secure way to mount the V1 without too much trouble was Velcro. 1 strip on the V1 and two carefully placed strips on the bike makes it secure, straight & level and easy to install and remove. I am a fair-weather rider so rain is not a concern. If I get caught in the rain, I’ll pull over and quickly put the V1 in the storage compartment. It’s also well concealed yet still very visible to me while riding. It doesn’t move like some other mounts force (e.g. handlebar mount) which is great.

V1_Above.JPG

V1_Front.jpg

V1_Windshield.JPG

V1_Display.JPG

This setup worked out great and if I can stream everything via the iPhone it will be perfect.
 
Last edited:

Discord Server

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
77,630
Messages
1,182,977
Members
19,856
Latest member
Jeffyzf
Top