Motorcycle Radar Detector Guide

RoverTtx

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After Vortex's last stream, it seemed like many people could use help running radar detectors on their motorcycles. I'll try to share what I know and make a useful resource here.

Overview:
There are two unique challenges to this:
  1. Mounting the detector
  2. Getting the alerts in your helmet/dash area
The simplest method is to use your phone paired to an intercom like a SENA, then run an app that talks to your detector via bluetooth. This way you'll get alerts on your phone screen as well as through your headset. This will allow the detector to be mounted anywhere with power and not have excess wires, displays, etc.

What's Needed
  • Helmet intercom (Sena, Cardo, etc)
  • Smart phone - If you want to use a Valentine Detector, go for an android. Waterproof is a plus
  • Radar Detector with bluetooth - Bluetooth allows you to control, see, hear it via a phone and avoid audio wires, fumbling with controls while wearing gloves, etc.
    • Typical things still apply in choosing a detector. For example, you probably want something with long range and good false alert filtering.
    • Currently, my top picks would be an Escort Max 360 or a Valentine One Gen 2 but anything with bluetooth and good radar abilities will work. I LOVE using a Valentine with the JBV1 app and that would be my personal choice.
  • Mounts
    • For the phone, I recommend a RAM X mount, but this is just preference
    • For the detector, this is up to you. I'll attach some photos of typical mounts that work well. Remember, most detectors aren't waterproof so consider this when mounting. People used to sell waterproof housings for the Valentine V1 but I can't find them now. Make sure the front of the detector isn't too obstructed, the device is level, and if it has a rear antenna be sure to keep it unobstructed if possible.
    • Detectors are expensive, so be careful mounting near front fenders because rocks can easily kill one
    • Simplest choice is a ram handlebar mount paired to a flat ball attachment. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004O8LF26/?tag=rdf0cd0c-20 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JUWB6SO/?tag=rdf0cd0c-20
4-30912P-RADAR-2.jpg
Radar-Detector-Mount1.jpg



Setup:
  • First, mount your phone and detector. Both should be easily removable for security and rain.
  • Run power to the detector. Find a switched and fused 12v power source to tap in to and hardwire detector power to this.
  • Assuming you have your helmet audio figured out already, you just need to connect the detector to your phone. This is different for every detector, so find help for your specific case
  • Many apps will automatically start when the detector turns on and connects. This is probably ideal, so you just turn on your bike and the app opens on your phone.

A few notes:
This setup does rely on a phone, but if you have the display visible and volume maxed on the detector you will likely see/hear it alert even without a phone.
This setup may not be ideal for you, but it's what I've found works best and is the most straight forward to use. Unless you really want a remote display, the phone is ideal for most and probably already has a place on your bike.
 
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RoverTtx

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I would like to add to your fine write up, for consideration the RAM Magnetic mount.
Fast, clean, secure, convenient.
Love mine.
No straps required.
View attachment 165155 View attachment 165156
Nice! I've never used those so I didn't know whether they were trustworthy or not.
I want to add that to the original post but my ability to edit the first post seems to have passed. Maybe a moderator can help me?
But here's that product on amazon if anyone is curious https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Y0ZC8M/?tag=rdf0cd0c-20
 
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Vortex

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Thanks so much for volunteering to help create an awesome resource for your fellow motorcycle riders! This is great. :)

I love that you're going into details about specifics and things that are unique for using on a motorcycle. Seeing all the setup photos are excellent too.

Do you like those third party visual lights that flash when your detector goes off?
 

LouG

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I too use Gen2/JBV1. Among the many advantages is CSA's on the one screen (no splitting or background running), cam database and user marks all alerting on the JBV1 screen.
Since I've been using apps I have a viable display option with more info at a glance than a detector display can provide.
On sports or naked bikes you usually cannot mount the detector stealthily and easily visible.
As for mounting, I use very strong velcro plus a retaining strap so that it can't be snatched while I'm paying for gas or similar.
 

DC Fluid

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Nice! I've never used those so I didn't know whether they were trustworthy or not.
I want to add that to the original post but my ability to edit the first post seems to have passed. Maybe a moderator can help me?
But here's that product on amazon if anyone is curious https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004Y0ZC8M/?tag=rdf0cd0c-20
You have to twist/slide it off the mount.
Rare earth magnets with about 40lbs of holding force.
A rectangular steel plate is attached to bottom of detector and fits into mount recess.
Very clean.
I have some info here...
 

RoverTtx

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Thanks so much for volunteering to help create an awesome resource for your fellow motorcycle riders! This is great. :)

I love that you're going into details about specifics and things that are unique for using on a motorcycle. Seeing all the setup photos are excellent too.

Do you like those third party visual lights that flash when your detector goes off?
Well it was your idea!
Hopefully it will serve to help someone down the line.
Personally, I don't feel the need to add those lights as I never have trouble getting alerts... but it would be a nice addition for someone willing to go the extra mile.
 

atc250r

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I spent a lot of time, effort, and money making what I consider to be the best set-up for a RD on a motorcycle. I am in Canada, in a province where detectors are illegal so stealth was #1. I also cross the border into ND and MN almost weekly, so again stealth is #1. I came up with this set-up in 2016, so I used a Redline-O, which is still treating me exceptionally well. I bought an electrical enclosure box, and a plastic Shade 5 welding lens For the front of it. I bought a power cord from Safe-N-Sound, with a Power LED light and a mute button. Bought the Escort Ground Loop Isolator and a 3.5mm Y adaptor and Bose QC-20 noise cancelling ear buds.

I modified the enclosure box to allow it to vent, yet remain waterproof with Frogskinz Vents from the snowmobile world. Drilled a couple 1” holes in the box, then applied the waterproof vents. Then drilled a hole in the box for the power cord to enter, and the Ground Loop Isolator to exit. I sealed that off with a rubber grommet from a Chevy dealer. I wired up the power cord to my low-beam headlight wire, so anytime the engine is running the detector is Live. That is confirmed by the red LED below my speedo. A tiny Mute button is affixed near my left grip to mute an alert I’m not interested in. The LED also flashes with the intensity of the audio alert. The audio comes to the handlebars through the ground loop isolator, into which I have the Y adapter plugged in. The other Male end of the Y adapter is plugged into my bikes audio system, which can be playing music from my phone, Waze, or satellite radio. With the Y adapter, radar alerts are heard above the volume of the music. Into the female end of the Y, I plug in my Bose. These things are amazing. If you want to ride Without wind noise, get a set of QC-20’s.

I tried many other systems (HARD LEDs, Marc Parnes LED, Radar Screamer, etc) but that’s all junk. Audio into your helmet is the only way to go.

I have been running this set-up for 4 years and tens of thousands of miles. It is the bomb. I start the engine, plug in my Bose, and ride away. No worrying about theft when I park overnight at a hotel. No worrying about rain. I leave the detector in that box 24/7.

Any questions, fire away.
 

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DC Fluid

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I spent a lot of time, effort, and money making what I consider to be the best set-up for a RD on a motorcycle. I am in Canada, in a province where detectors are illegal so stealth was #1. I also cross the border into ND and MN almost weekly, so again stealth is #1. I came up with this set-up in 2016, so I used a Redline-O, which is still treating me exceptionally well. I bought an electrical enclosure box, and a plastic Shade 5 welding lens For the front of it. I bought a power cord from Safe-N-Sound, with a Power LED light and a mute button. Bought the Escort Ground Loop Isolator and a 3.5mm Y adaptor and Bose QC-20 noise cancelling ear buds.

I modified the enclosure box to allow it to vent, yet remain waterproof with Frogskinz Vents from the snowmobile world. Drilled a couple 1” holes in the box, then applied the waterproof vents. Then drilled a hole in the box for the power cord to enter, and the Ground Loop Isolator to exit. I sealed that off with a rubber grommet from a Chevy dealer. I wired up the power cord to my low-beam headlight wire, so anytime the engine is running the detector is Live. That is confirmed by the red LED below my speedo. A tiny Mute button is affixed near my left grip to mute an alert I’m not interested in. The LED also flashes with the intensity of the audio alert. The audio comes to the handlebars through the ground loop isolator, into which I have the Y adapter plugged in. The other Male end of the Y adapter is plugged into my bikes audio system, which can be playing music from my phone, Waze, or satellite radio. With the Y adapter, radar alerts are heard above the volume of the music. Into the female end of the Y, I plug in my Bose. These things are amazing. If you want to ride Without wind noise, get a set of QC-20’s.

I tried many other systems (HARD LEDs, Marc Parnes LED, Radar Screamer, etc) but that’s all junk. Audio into your helmet is the only way to go.

I have been running this set-up for 4 years and tens of thousands of miles. It is the bomb. I start the engine, plug in my Bose, and ride away. No worrying about theft when I park overnight at a hotel. No worrying about rain. I leave the detector in that box 24/7.

Any questions, fire away.
And what a bike too!
 

spankyaf

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I recommend Netradar because of its remote antenna, jammer integration and phone app
 

atc250r

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@atc250r very nice. Does the box sitting in your intake affect performance at all?

That’s not actually the air intake on my bike. But there is an oil cooler behind the box that I am blocking about 50% of. This did concern me in the first year, so I carried a Fluke infrared temp gun with me and pulled over and checked oil temps frequently. In my type of riding, 185° is common. I think 210° is the hottest I’ve seen. Granted, I’m not doing stop’n’go rush hour commuting in Phoenix in July. Your results may vary...
 

KeithB

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I prefer simplicity in my setup. I also have to switch between 2 bikes. My setup is to hide the Redline O in a tankbag and a hardwired earphone jack to a speaker installed on my helmet. I figure less "break points" makes it more reliable.

By listening only, I can keep my eyes fully on the road. The K band false alerts keep me assured it's on and working. I just move the tankbag (which also contains the garage door opener and a covid mask) between bikes.
 
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LouG

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That’s not actually the air intake on my bike. But there is an oil cooler behind the box that I am blocking about 50% of. This did concern me in the first year, so I carried a Fluke infrared temp gun with me and pulled over and checked oil temps frequently. In my type of riding, 185° is common. I think 210° is the hottest I’ve seen. Granted, I’m not doing stop’n’go rush hour commuting in Phoenix in July. Your results may vary...
210 (100C) is perfectly fine. Oils can run much hotter than that. My car often gets to 115C.
 

Biggo

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I have been running this set-up for 4 years and tens of thousands of miles. It is the bomb. I start the engine, plug in my Bose, and ride away. No worrying about theft when I park overnight at a hotel. No worrying about rain. I leave the detector in that box 24/7.

Any questions, fire away.
Great set up that I may well copy with my new Redline EX . I assume you really only get alerts from ahead as the bike shields behind? Trying to work out what sort of box you have used do you have any other photos of the box enclosure you could share ?
 

LouG

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FWIW, the rear antenna on my V1 is shielded by me, yet on a test against 34.7 Ka the range difference between front and rear was only 100 metres.
 

DC Fluid

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FWIW, the rear antenna on my V1 is shielded by me, yet on a test against 34.7 Ka the range difference between front and rear was only 100 metres.
Same with me using R7. The only time you can see signal strength drop off from the rear is when you directly block the rear horn from a direct view to the gun.
Otherwise, every detection I get front and rear the motorcycle picks up slightly better than having the steel cage truck around me.
 

atc250r

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Great set up that I may well copy with my new Redline EX . I assume you really only get alerts from ahead as the bike shields behind? Trying to work out what sort of box you have used do you have any other photos of the box enclosure you could share ?
Correct, only the front of the detector has any use in my "box". However, it amazes me how much rear-range I still get, from signals reflecting from objects ahead of me.

Anyway, the box is a BEX Series 3 Enclosure


Other series box's are different sizes, from mine is a Series 3 (B3-160) and it looks like the dimensions would work for a EX as well. Get yourself 2 of the MF80 mounting flanges, 1 end plate (just for the back EP3). 1 set of screws (TS-008), and a sealing kit (SK3). I cut the box to the appropriate length (in a band saw), then glued on the rear end cap. The front end cap is a Shade 5 polycarbonate welding lens (trimmed to fit with a knife).

I was worried about heat having a detrimental effect on my Redline in a tight box, so I drilled large holes and stuck on these..


They were totally waterproof for a couple years, but now they allow water in when washing my bike with a garden hose. Still no issue from riding in rain, but I should probably replace them for good measure...

And my power cord, mute button, and LED light is an all-in-one kit from Safe-N-Sound. Their website is no more, so hopefully they haven't shut the doors? Perhaps they're just on social media now? I don't know, as I'm not a Facebook'er

Good luck. Let me know if you need further assistance.
 
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wjbertrand

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My set up uses a Ram magnetic power plate, a Sena SM10 bluetooth dongle and a Cardo packtalk helmet communicator. The earphone jack is connected via a standard 3.5mm patch cord to the Auxiliary input jack on the Sena dongle. The Sena dongle is paired to my Cardo headset.

The Sena dongle also has an audio input jack. I used a second 3.5mm audio patch cord to connect that to the headphone jack on my GPS. I use that connection to listen to MP3s, XM radio and navigation prompts from the GPS. The Sena SM10 dongle defaults to the Audio input as long as there's no signal on the Auxiliary input so I can listen to music and nav prompts until the RD alerts. In that case the Aux input has priority and mutes the audio input so I never miss an alert. Lastly I have the GPS paired to the second bluetooth channel in Cardo headset in "phone only" mode and my iPhone in turn paired to the GPS. I make and receive calls via the GPS. The phone is not paired to the Cardo headset.

To power the GPS and the R7 I have them connected to a Neutrino Black Box power distribution module. The SM10 dongle has an internal rechargeable battery that lasts about two days of all day riding.

In the photo the SM10 (little gray box) can be seen mounted to the handlebar below and slightly to the right of the GPS.
 

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DC Fluid

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My set up uses a Ram magnetic power plate, a Sena SM10 bluetooth dongle and a Cardo packtalk helmet communicator. The earphone jack is connected via a standard 3.5mm patch cord to the Auxiliary input jack on the Sena dongle. The Sena dongle is paired to my Cardo headset.

The Sena dongle also has an audio input jack. I used a second 3.5mm audio patch cord to connect that to the headphone jack on my GPS. I use that connection to listen to MP3s, XM radio and navigation prompts from the GPS. The Sena SM10 dongle defaults to the Audio input as long as there's no signal on the Auxiliary input so I can listen to music and nav prompts until the RD alerts. In that case the Aux input has priority and mutes the audio input so I never miss an alert. Lastly I have the GPS paired to the second bluetooth channel in Cardo headset in "phone only" mode and my iPhone in turn paired to the GPS. I make and receive calls via the GPS. The phone is not paired to the Cardo headset.

To power the GPS and the R7 I have them connected to a Neutrino Black Box power distribution module. The SM10 dongle has an internal rechargeable battery that lasts about two days of all day riding.

In the photo the SM10 (little gray box) can be seen mounted to the handlebar below and slightly to the right of the GPS.
Nice bike!
 

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