BikerCom Bluetooth Intercom System
BikerCom Bluetooth Motorcycle Intercom Communications
Part 1: Introduction, Setup and Use
by H.B.C. for webBikeWorld.com
More on wBW
Owner Comments (Below)
Motorcycle Bluetooth Intercom Page
Motorcycle Intercom Page
Part 2: Installation
Part 3: Using the BikerCom
The BikerCom (aka Biker Com) intercom and
communications system is a relatively new product. It's a unique
hybrid system, combining wired and wireless features to get
the job done.
It may not satisfy everyone, but compared to other wired
or wireless motorcycle intercom and communications systems it
does a lot and it does it all extremely well.
Call it a hybrid or call it a compromise; I call it one of
the best-designed, well-built and most solid performing systems
I have ever used.
No, I’m not finished with it yet. Yes, it has potential not
For those who have been following, this
is part 8 of the 2009 webBikeWorld Bluetooth Extravaganza, an
ongoing series of evaluations of Bluetooth-based motorcycle
communications systems. As with most of the other evaluations
there are two parts to this Biker Com review and a third may
be in the offing.
Part One introduces and discusses the system, features, initial
configuration and, other information, all to help you become
better informed about this unique system. Part Two will describe
the installation (on a helmet and motorcycle), system use, summary
and compatibility tables and available technical information.
Early this rainy summer the Editor felt the need to load
me up with goodies…knowing full well that like a crow, I can’t
resist the shiny new things. Actually I volunteered and as I
finish this evaluation in early September, when summer seems
to have having finally arrived, you won’t hear me complaining.
Playing with toys is what I live for -- just ask my spouse
and friends. Besides -- we know that the only real way to evaluate
communications system is from the saddle, and that means riding
And before getting in to the fabric of this evaluation, a
little thread needs to be pulled here -- that being Bluetooth.
I have to say -- and disregarding the skeptics -- that I am
most impressed with the progress Bluetooth has and is making
and how it is being applied.
Except for one, all of the systems evaluated so far have
speed, versatility, reliability and the ability to add other
peripherals via a wired connection. Again except for one, all
of them support the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)
for full stereo audio streaming.
As well, most of them support the Audio/Video Remote Control
Profile or AVRCP which makes for some feature rich configurations
and to a great extent, hands-free in the truest sense. This
industry segment seems to be alive, well and growing and in
that sense, we all win.
BikerCom Bluetooth Intercom and Communications System and Push-to-Talk
I have no hesitation in using wired,
wireless or a combination system. For both my spouse and I using
a motorcycle communications system is just part of our motorcycling
regime: seldom do we leave home via two wheels without this
capability. What gets used depends largely on requirements and
sometimes, the platform.
The Biker Com system is a product of Open Road Solutions,
in existence formally since 2007 although development of the
Biker Com intercom and communications system had been ongoing
for several years prior. The head office is located in
Taiwan along with other corporate activities.
As their flagship motorcycle communications system, Biker
Com is a result of experience gained by the founding principles
and what was seen as a global motorcycling requirement for a
complete quality system. A dynamic development program has seen
continuous development and refinements based on user feedback.
While open to debate, the Biker Com system is somewhat of
a hybrid -- combining wired and wireless components and technologies
that work together as a hub controlled system, it still allows
components to function in standalone mode.
It is unique in many ways but also mainstream in others:
some categories can be compared with other systems while some
In The Big Box
The display box is quite large but
considering everything packed inside, totally understandable:
Control Box (system hub).
Two Bluetooth headset modules
- Helmet Headset Rider (HHR) and Helmet Headset Passenger
Two Helmet Headset Clips (helmet
Two detachable boom microphones.
Two small foam carry cases for
the removable Bluetooth modules.
A 110-220 AC/DC charger with
dual mini-USB connectors.
Three 3.5mm stereo audio cables
(straight to 90-degree connectors).
Two radio interface cables, both
with dual-plug (L and K standard) connectors.
Two 3.5mm 4-element extension
cable used for the Push-to-Talk harness or the radio connection.
One powered Push-to-Talk (PTT)
harness with bi-adhesive backing.
One long two-wire fused (3 Amp)
power harness for connection to 12V DC power.
An installation bag with a hex
key and a great selection of foam and hook and loop mounting
bits to aid in mounting up the headset and in getting speaker
placement just right.
BikerCom Noise Filter
BikerCom Noise Filter
One other component sent
along indicates the effort put into identifying requirements
and producing a solution; that being the optional BikerCom Noise
Filter Accessory component. Two of these were included in one
of the first shipments and I got two more with the last kits
These electronic modules are meant to be used if a two-way
radio is added to the system, powered by the motorcycle battery
and/or is connected to an external antenna, as is often the
case with many CB radios.
It's probably a good idea to install a noise filter anyway.
When battery power is used or components like the Control Box
are mounted on the motorcycle (under the seat and/or near the
battery or management modules) the system can become ‘dirty’
or conductive in an electrical sense, which can cause interference.
The BikerCom Noise Filter isolates the Biker Com components
from conductive noise. If not filtered or attenuated out, this
noise ends up being heard in the headset and it can be transmitted
during voice sessions. This is not an uncommon issue, having
experienced it myself on various motorcycles.
The filter unit is meant to be mounted more or less permanently
although the system wiring allows the filter unit to be connected
or removed from the system in short order -- great for evaluation
The BikerCom motorcycle communications system control box, front
BikerCom motorcycle communications system control box, rear
The Control Box
The core of the BikerCom system
is the Control Box or hub. All intercoms or communication devices
that will be used must connect to this hub by wire or wirelessly
by Bluetooth and in turn the hub wirelessly transmits and receives
audio to and from the helmet headsets. With five 3.5 mm audio
ports, plus the ability to pair up with two Bluetooth devices,
a variety of peripherals can be connected via the Control Box.
Based on Bluetooth version 2.0, the Control Box provides
Class 2 power for connectivity, allowing a wireless range of
up to 10 m or 33 ft under optimal conditions between the Control
Box and paired Bluetooth devices. The proprietary wireless link
between the Control Box to the rider's and passenger's headsets
provides a similar range.
This hub approach, similar to a standard network hub, has
its advantage in allowing multiple wired or wireless connections
with the Control Box which then manages the audio feed to and
from the headsets based on system priorities and features.
Some will perceive that the BikerCom is more complex to use
and manage than standalone Bluetooth systems, in reality it
is not and is actually easier to use than some 'simpler' headset
systems. The only (possible) disadvantage is that Control Box
is another component to deal with for power, storage and security
- something that users of wired systems already know of.
What really differentiates the BikerCom from other wired
and wireless systems is that the system link between the Control
Box and the Headsets is wireless. And with the Push-To-Talk
(PTT) component installed (even if radios are not going to be
used) the system is powered On and Off by this device; direct
access to the Control Box is not needed.
The BikerCom Control Box supports the Headset Profile (HSP),
the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) and in all likelihood,
the Hands-Free Profile (HFP) that provides the additional interface
features supported by the BikerCom.
The unit measures 14.0 x 7.5 x 3.0 cm (Length x Width x Thickness),
weights 150gr and is finished in a smooth flat black finish.
The face has five buttons, all slightly recessed and all with
corresponding LEDs for status light display.
The HHR (Rider) and HHP (Passenger) On/Off buttons are arranged
vertically on the left, while the Power, Other and Mobile Phone
Rider (MPR) buttons are right of centre. The control module
is powered via a 12V DC fused harness connected directly to
the battery or some other appropriate switched/un-switched power
The Control Box is turned On and Off by using the main power
button on the box or by the PTT button, if it is connected.
A voltage monitor turns the system off when supply voltage drops
below 12.5V DC…a seemingly minor feature but important in the
overall scheme of things.
Activating the wireless link to the headsets is done with
the HHR and HHP buttons. The ‘Other’ button is used to connect
with a Bluetooth device and the Mobile Phone Rider button is
for pairing with the Rider’s (primary) Bluetooth device.
A two-wire power harness with mini-connector emanates from
the bottom left of the Control Box. A cutout on the back provides
the mounting surface for the five 3.5mm connector ports: PTT,
Radio, Aux 1, Aux 2 and Audio. Two other small cutouts on the
back side allow power connectors to be tucked out of the way
when not in use.
The Helmet Headset
The two helmet headsets included
with the BikerCom system are called the Helmet Headset Rider
(HHR) and the Helmet Headset Passenger (HHP). (Editor's Note:
The HHR and HHP are what I would normally call the rider and
passenger intercom module).
The headset assemblies are multi-piece, comprising the actual
Rider and Passenger Bluetooth module and the mounting bracket.
Mounting is done by using either the clip or bracket secured
to the bottom edge of the helmet shell or secured by use of
supplied (thick) adhesive hook and loop pads. The speakers are
hard-wired as is the boom microphone base.
A small screw-off mount with a 3.5 mm connector lets the
boom microphone be changed or replaced in seconds, a good feature.
Even though the boom microphone is not obtrusive and stays in
place, a thin wire assembly would work as well or possibly better
in some full face helmets.
The headset module snaps down onto the bracket, locking the
two pieces together securely -- easily one of the best latch
mechanisms seen on any of the systems. The microphone is marked
with a black and a silver wrapping next to the wind-sock covered
microphone. For correct orientation the silver marking is on
the mouth side.
The speaker leads are long enough for the XD3, the Nolan
and the BMW System Six, so I suspect they will be fine for most
installations. Helmet installation will be described in Part
Headset controls and indicators are simple. There is a status
light just in front of the Multi-Function Button (MFB) positioned
towards the rear of the module. Two small pressure controls
for volume Up and Down are located on the top and bottom back
The mini-USB 5.0V power port is located on the back of the
module and a small and very flexible weather plug, itself attached
to the module, is compressed and pushed in to seal the power
port when not in use.
Initial Actions & Observations
Each kit includes
a small 110-220V charger for North American use. As with other
systems coming to market or being updated, the charger features
dual mini-USB connectors for charging both system modules concurrently.
With the latest kits on hand, the first action was to unpack
the goodies from the boxes and inventory everything. I mark
the rider and passenger Bluetooth modules of each system with
the last three digits of the control module serial number to
provide a measure of system control and reduce the chance of
components, once paired, from getting mixed up.
All four Bluetooth modules were placed on their initial charging.
The red light on the modules indicating charging went out after
only 1.5 hours on the first set and just over 2.5 hours on the
second set. Even with some residual charge, it is still important
to fully charge the units up before initial use.
With tentative mounting spots on both the BMW R1200R and
F800GS identified, initial use will see the modules carried
in the tank-bags occupying the same space as the smaller
StarCom (wired system review)
Digital systems do when in use. For more installation information
see Part Two.
With this hub-based system, the headsets for the rider and
passenger are paired to the control box rather than each other.
While the procedure is not complicated, it is somewhat different
from most other Bluetooth headset systems. Hint: read the instructions
or you might be fiddling around for quite awhile.
Another observation is that the buttons on the control box
seem hard to operate (this point was actually raised by the
representative regarding one of the earlier versions). The latest
systems received work better, but the On/Off switches on both
the rider and passenger Bluetooth modules still only move about
1.5 mm between on and off.
This is a small amount of play, but a definite click is heard
and felt when they are used.
This brings up ease of use - the three pressure activated
controls are not hard to operate with light to medium weight
gloves, but the two On/Off buttons given their slight recess
and minimal travel can be tricky. Better tactile control or
use of pressure buttons for all five would really help here.
For many users direct access to the control box is likely
to be limited once everything is installed and wired up, similar
to other mainstream wired systems. Being able to power the system
on and off via the powered Push-to-Talk component is the perfect
solution when access is limited.
Initial System Configuration
Although my first
pairing was to use the Bluetooth headset module in a standalone
configuration paired to my HTC Touch (detailed in Part Two),
from a ‘system’ perspective, the first pairing effort undertaken
should be with the Control Box.
To Pair the BikerCom Control Box and the Rider's
Bluetooth Module (the HHR):
Step 1 - Both devices must be off.
Step 2 - Press the multi-function button or Multi-Function
Button for ten seconds, its light flashes Red and Blue indicating
Step 3 - With the HHR (rider's) button on the Control
Box already on, turn on the main power.
Step 4 – The HHR Control Box light blinks Red - within
a few seconds pairing will occur.
To Pair the BikerCom Control Box and the Passenger's
Bluetooth Module (HHP):
Step 1 - Make sure the HHR (rider's) headset is already
connected to the Control Box (per above).
Step 2 - Switch the HHP (passenger's) button on and
wait 5 to 10 seconds until the light starts to flash Red.
Step 3 - Press the Multi-Function Button on the passenger
headset until in Pairing Mode, indicated by the light flashing
Red and Blue.
Step 4 - Switch the Control Box HHP switch OFF and
then ON: the two devices will connect.
Once connected or reconnected, both the rider and passenger
Bluetooth intercom status lights on the Control Box are
a steady Blue with blinking Red and the indicator on the
helmet modules blink a rhythmic Blue.
Wireless Connection One: MPR, or Mobile Phone Rider
The Biker Com system has something called a "Mobile Phone
Rider" (MPR). For this Bluetooth connection I used the
HTC Touch device. With the Control Box powered up and then the
HHR, the status indicators will light up and settle into their
With the mobile phone readied, pushing the MPR button for
a few seconds causes its light to flash Blue then into the familiar
Red/Blue flashing that indicates pairing mode.
In a few seconds the ‘BC-MPR’ device shows up on the screen.
After accepting the pairing, the only services option presented
is ‘Headset’, nothing else. This typically indicates that the
basic functions supported by the headset and hands-free profiles
Initial calls were made using the phone and its menu features.
As soon as the call was initiated audio was switched over to
the headset. I could terminate the call by using either the
phone menu, pressing the Multi-Function Button on the headset
once quickly or, best of all, having the other party terminate
If the mobile phone supports voice control or voice dialing
functions and if properly configured pressing the Multi-Function
Button once should activate the appropriate menu on the phone.
I did get the HTC to call two different numbers that I have
saved off in the voice activation menu.
As the MPR connection is Priority One for the system the
audio from the device is only streamed to the HHR (Rider) headset
Just remember that control of the motorcycle and being aware
of your surroundings is the only priority here: anything that
can be a distraction shouldn’t be.
Wireless Connection Two: Other
Any audio from devices
paired under this option is streamed to both the rider and passenger
headsets as a stereo broadcast or shared stream, although the
passenger will lose all audio if a higher Mobile Phone Rider
(MPR) priority is active (see table above).
Pairing the Garmin zumo 550 With the BikerCom System
With the GPS Bluetooth readied, push the Other button
on the Control Box for a few seconds to put it in pairing
mode. It takes about 30 seconds for the two devices to find
each other. The zumo displays ‘BC-Other’ as the device to
add, which I did and then set the Audio menu for Navigation,
MP3 and Phone.
After another minute the two devices actually started
to communicate, the typical delay I get when using the zumo’s
Bluetooth. The mono audio stream finally got pushed to the
hub and then up to the headset. The zumo wireless link is
noisy and the audio stream of poor quality.
Pairing the BMW Navigator III+ (Garmin 2820) With
the BikerCom System
Although I usually complain
about its lack of features compared to a zumo550 or something
newer, the Navigator always impresses me when it comes to
pairing, reconnecting and just plain working as a paired
I paired this GPS using both the mobile phone and the Other
(BC-Other) connections. Both pairings took a few seconds and
that was that. The Auto-Connect feature of the BMW Navigator
that I typically leave turned on usually had the two devices
paired by the time the helmet was put on.
Hint: Pairing devices via the BC-Other allows both headsets
to listen to the stereo broadcast from the hub. Any mobile phone
connection is heard only in the rider's headset.
Rider and Passenger Bluetooth Module (HHR and HHP) Constraints
The Biker Com is comprised of a set of two Bluetooth modules,
the HHR (Helmet Headset Rider, or the rider's Bluetooth intercom
module) and the HHP (Helmet Headset Passenger, or the passenger's
Bluetooth intercom module) that function as a pair.
As system components, the rider module has most features
available to it at all times but while the passenger can receive
most audio, outside of the intercom, the user cannot actively
participate in phone or radio sessions.
The headsets are not meant to be standalone units as they
were specifically designed to function with the Control Box
or hub. As well, they are not a device qualified by the Bluetooth
Qualification Body, so reliable performance in standalone mode
with Bluetooth devices is not guaranteed.
The Bluetooth Qualification Body is part of the
Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the organization
that "oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and
the licensing of the Bluetooth technologies and trademarks to
The Intercom functions between a system set of the paired
BikerCom rider and passenger headsets and is not meant to be
used as a longer distance rider-to-rider capability. With typical
use the intercom and shared stereo or broadcast feature is solid
out to about 25 feet, but anything after that is very sporadic
and clear line of sight becomes critical.
I did conduct one test with the headsets worn by two riders
on two motorcycles, but unless you are practicing the side by
side routine, something never recommended, using the two headsets
as a rider to rider intercom capability is just not viable.
Both the rider and passenger Bluetooth modules are meant
to be paired individually or collectively to a single device:
the Control Box. While not having Bluetooth Qualification, either
headset can be used individually to pair and connect with one
For standalone use or with the hub off-line this is an option
that can be exercised to provide a mono or stereo audio stream
to the headset.
Once the headsets have been discretely paired to other devices
they will not connect to the Control Box. Only one pairing can
be undertaken by the headset, so no switching between devices
is possible. To restore the headsets to the system, the individual
rider and/or passenger intercom module pairing procedure must
Audio Signal Prioritization
Good systems assign priorities
and the Biker Com is no exception although with more device
connections possible, some groupings take place within the respective
As described in the manual, there are two scenarios that
serve to detail the situations that bring the priorities into
play with the resultant conditions:
|Mobile Phone Rider (MPR) Connection
1, Bluetooth MPR is available for rider
• Intercom - enabled
• Priority 2 audio inputs
Other – shared
- Push-to-Talk – as activated
- Radio (two-way) – audio IN shared, audio OUT from
- Auxiliary 1 – shared (ie – GPS for
- Auxiliary 2 - shared (ie – Radar
3 functions enabled and shared
||- Audio input enabled and shared
to both HHR and HHP
|Mobile Phone Rider (MPR) Connection
1, Bluetooth MPR in use by rider
• Intercom - disabled
• Priority 2 functions
maintained for HHR (rider)
||- Bluetooth Other
- Two way radio – audio IN and OUT via HHR only
- Auxiliary 1
- Auxiliary 2
3 functions disabled
||- Audio input disabled to both HHR
The duplex wireless intercom allows
the rider and passenger to talk back and forth freely. The intercom
is available except when the rider’s Priority One device (e.g.,
the mobile phone) is active. The intercom is voice activated
(VOX) and obviously optimized for rider with passenger use.
While I had presumed that the intercom would be available
only when both headsets were connected and in use, I was wrong.
With the Control Box and rider headset connected and the passenger
headset switched off (no passenger connection) the headset VOX
(Intercom) can be triggered by the rider.
I thought that having the powered Push-to-Talk component
connected was part of the issue -- it is not. So to see how
the matter was going to impact standalone use, I purposefully
took a fairly high speed highway run in very windy conditions
with the front vent of the Arai XD3 helmet open and/or the visor
up so as to deliberately activate the VOX due to noise levels.
When the intercom goes active, music is muted and that ‘open
channel’ audio loop is there in the headset - you have to wait
a minimum of ten seconds for it to time out (if it does) before
any other audio resumes. Thankfully each headset module can
be individually adjusted depending on noise and audio (microphone)
This is done by using the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons
in a specific sequence to increase or decrease the sensitivity
values in discrete steps. My fear was that even the highest
adjustment would not be enough and that the VOX would keep triggering.
But I found that the highest setting works quite well. Unless
there is a sudden loud noise, inside or outside the helmet,
the VOX will not typical trigger while on the road, making use
of the system with only the rider module operating a more sustainable
Have used and evaluated many communications systems with
VOX, manual or automatic activation or a combination, I prefer
those that allow the intercom to be de-activated or activated
by either user.
Where the intercom is or can be a switched feature, the primary
consideration is to make sure that as desired or needed, the
intercom is activated before getting totally focused on the
twisty road ahead -- button fumbling is not recommended, especially
when an ‘uh oh’ corner comes up!
VOX does have its advantages, but it needs to be carefully
engineered and calibrated so that high and low thresholds accommodate
a wide range of environmental and user conditions and provide
sufficient adjustment for fine tuning.
Advanced Audio Feature
Another feature that also
becomes quite noticeable, but much more appreciated, is the
automatic audio control that maintains a consistent or ‘fixed’
audio level in the helmet vis-à-vis the surrounding environment.
Most four-wheeler systems have had this feature for some years
even though many owners don’t know it is there...
As ambient noise levels increase or decrease helmet volume
increases or decreases accordingly. The feature works by sampling
with adjustments made dynamically. It works quite quickly and
smoothly in reacting to changes to the user environment. This
As recommended in the manual, I took time to ‘tune’ each
connected peripheral with the system and as previously identified
made sure that intercom activation volumes were at the required
settings. This all contributes to a more enjoyable audio environment
inside the helmet.
Easy street awaits -- just plug
the desired peripheral directly into the appropriate port on
the back of the Control Box and allow the hub to manage the
audio stream to the headsets based on system priorities (see
table provided below).
Connecting an Audio Player to the BikerCom System
With the rider module active and the Control Box powered
up, plugging in the iPod Nano activates that device and
almost instantly the stereo audio stream arrived in the
Connecting a GPS Device to the BikerCom System
Both the Garmin zumo550 and the BMW Navigator III+ were
connected to the Control Box via their audio cables using
Auxiliary One as the input port. As long as no higher priority
audio is active (Rider MPR), active audio from the device
will heard by both rider and passenger.
As this is a wired connection music streamed from the control
box to the headsets is stereo but the monotone navigation instructions
are just that -- mono. Navigation instructions will override
the music temporarily as audio output from the device is managed
Motorcycle Bluetooth Intercom Page |
Motorcycle Intercom Page |
Product Review: Biker
Com Bluetooth Intercom System
Open Road Solutions
MSRP is $749.00 USD
||Made In: Taiwan
Dates: July - September 2009. Publication
date September 2009. Notes: Warranty:
One year from date of original purchase. Certifications:
Headset - CE, FCC. Control Box - CE, FCC. Products
provided by the manufacturer for this review (more).
The webBikeWorld intercom evaluators always wear properly
fitted ear plugs while riding during the intercom evaluations and this is reflected
in thee opinions on sound quality and speaker volume. Your experience may
and probably will differ. Always wear high-quality, correctly fitted ear plugs
when riding a motorcycle (more
Note: For informational use only. All material and
photographs are Copyright © webWorld International, LLC since 2000.
All rights reserved. See the webBikeWorld©
page. Product specifications, features and details may
change or differ from our descriptions. Always check before purchasing. Read
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►Your Comments and
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Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.
From "D" (3/10): "In (Part
3 of the Biker Com review) I am confused in the 2nd
and 3rd paragraphs. Are you stating that the Midland radios
will not work at all with this setup? Would it be possible
to elaborate more on exactly what you discovered? I am
hoping to find a US source for this product soon. It was stated
that they had trouble with the Midland (FRS/GMRS) radios, but
it was unclear if they would work. Can the reviewer elaborate
if the FRS/GMRS radios will work with this product?"
HBC's Reply: Given the referenced paragraphs
of the BikerCom Part 3 - Using the BikerCom System article,
I believe you are asking about FRS/GMRS radio use, which I explained
was not successful, even though it was possible on occasion
to get the system to key or transmit, and on another instance,
receive a transmission from another radio, but never with any
consistency. I did point out that my testing was ongoing.
At the time of publication, the only radios successfully
used were the two portable transceivers provided by OpenRoad.
These transceivers are multi-band in function and can be used
quite freely in some parts of the world, but for North America,
they are for Amateur Radio use (for which I am licensed). These
transceivers are state of the art and fully compatible with
the BikerCom systems. My success in using this equipment was
identified in the article.
So no, the Midland FRS/GMRS radios, nor anything else tried
so far, will work properly. Some will key, and some will receive,
but not both. The not-acceptable workaround is to press both
the BikerCom PTT and the transmit button on the radio to initiate
I am working on an update and have, as time permits, been
testing a wider range of FRS/GMRS radios on-hand or as on loan,
to try and identify the primary issues, which I suspect are
switching delays in the individual radios and VOX settings to
mention two. Accordingly, I am working my way through an extensive
test matrix to see what works and what doesn't.
There is such a wide range of consumer radios on the market,
especially here in North America, and there are also real differences
between brands and models in different parts of the world based
on regional or national restrictions and guidelines.
I know that BikerCom is hoping to get a list of qualified
radios drawn up, but given their limited North American market
presence right now, it could take a while: which is one reason
I am trying to work through the issues. I do not yet know of
any North American distributor for the BikerCom systems, unfortunately.
I was planning on doing a follow-up on the systems, once
the updated pieces are received from Open Road and the radio
issue was going to be part of that. I have been in contact with
some overseas users and hopefully some radio related information
will be forthcoming...
Hope some of this information helps."
From "R.U." (10/09): "Thanks
for the great review. I wish you would address the volume level.
I always ride with ear plugs, and have no problem adjusting
the volume on my StarCom so that I can hear perfectly. Does
the BikerCom have sufficient volume to overcome ear plugs?"
HBC's Reply: I had a comment in the articles
about wearing earplugs, etc...but to be more specific and direct:
It is seldom that I ride anywhere without wearing earplugs,
unless doing some with/without earplugs audio tests on systems,
helmets, etc. Once the individual device audio output levels
are set, and the volume on the BikerCom Bluetooth module is
adjusted for comfort levels, particularly with earplugs, then
the automatic audio control takes care of the rest.
Although a subjective comment, from my perspective I haven't
noticed any difficulties in still being able to hear incoming
audio when wearing my standard earplugs. I would have to say
that there is sufficient output for most users. In high noise
environments, I have the Rider module at around the 75 percent
point. I have cranked the Rider module up once or twice to maximum
and it was a bit much.
Just remember that every individual configuration depends
on the rider (hearing, audio level preferences and ear protection
used) and the equipment (motorcycle, helmet, clothing, etc).
I also have a StarCom Digital system and it definitely has
more gain than the BikerCom, but that is not unusual, or unexpected,
for a wired system with higher output standards."
From "A.S-K." (9/09): "I
am very much interested in HBC's review of BikerCom and I am
looking forward to the reviewer's installation (or solution)
to the BMW System 6 helmet!!
Your reviews are fantastic