Motorcycle Communicators - What to Look for
May 30, 2013
What to Look for and How to Buy.
When you’re riding with a group, or even just a single passenger, it’s important to be able to communicate easily. Not only does simple communication make for safer riding, but it makes for easier and more comfortable riding as well. Long gone are the days of screaming at your passenger amidst the noise of the highway, and you’ll never have to worry about your hand signals meaning something different in each of your five riding groups again—let alone your hand signals going completely unnoticed around blind curves. Communicators are also great for passengers, who can let the rider know when they need to make an adjustment without having to wait for a stop.
Most motorcycle communicator radios are FRS radios (family radio system). FRS radios allow for easy communication with any other radio in range that is tuned to the same frequency channel. In order to use one with a riding buddy, each of you will need to have one. It will generally cost over $250, but the investment is well worth it—just ask anyone who has them.
There are a number of advantages to purchasing an FRS radio and headset, including:
- The ability to verbally communicate via intercom with another rider up to two miles away—hands free and without using signals
- Input jack for cell phones (not recommended for use while riding) or alert/radar detector
- Audio input jack (AM/FM, CD, MP3) that mutes music when another rider initiates communication over the intercom
- The ability to have a passenger plug into the rider’s headset
- Push to talk options available for noisy environments—the voice activation may trigger the intercom in very noisy areas, and the push to talk feature is nice to have in order to avoid this. Although most headsets will allow you to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone in order to help with this issue as well.
You want to look for a headset that has rechargeable batteries; it will make your life a lot easier! You also want to look for the noise cancelling feature. The best place for the ear pieces is inside the ear pockets of your helmet—this also keeps them protected in the rain, though a good radio will be water-resistant. Headset options are available for both open and closed faced helmets. Motorcycle communicators are mountable and can be attached directly to the helmet or motorcycle. If you often ride with a passenger, many riders choose to mount the communicator to a saddle bag.
Eagle Leather recommends the Chatterbox FRS-X2 radio because it has it all. It is Chatterbox’s most technologically advanced unit. Its features include:
- A large illuminated LCD display with 14 channels and 38 talk groups
- VOX/voice activated or PTT/push to talk with a full duplex intercom
- Cellular phone input and an audio input with full stereo sound
- Rechargeable Ni-MH battery allowing up to 2 miles range
- Tough water resistant casing.
Eagle Leather can help you select your next headset. Just drop in and talk to any one of our sales associates. We’re here to help!