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BikerCom - Ultimate Wireless Motorcycle Communication Gear?

  Posted at 01:22:14 PM
  File under  Bluetooth Gadgets
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

NOTE: A very extensive review of this product is now on-line. It is divided into three parts.

Click here to read the product review.

For those of you who have been following this site, you know that we cover a lot of wireless communication hardware for motorcycles. Apart from the helmet manufacturers who have their own Bluetooth headsets integrated into their helmets, there are the third party suppliers. These are companies that manufacture wireless headsets for almost any helmet.

There are two kind of wireless gear; #1) the ones that are self contained and are bolted onto your motorcycle helmet and #2) those that have a central hub, and communicate with your helmet using Bluetooth.

The advantages of #1 is that they are small and nothing gets installed on your motorcycle. You can therefore take your helmet with you from motorcycle to motorcycle, while maintaining your communication services (intercom, GPS, music and/or phone). The disadvantage is that you are limited to what your unit can do. The equipment is small, so there's only so much you can put in a small package.

For equipment #2, the advantage is that you can provide many more services and possibilities, since you've got a central hub that connects to all sorts of other gear (bike-to-bike, CD players, coffee machines, etc). The disadvantage is that usually this gear is mounted to your bike, so a bit more difficult to take with you to another motorcycle.

BikerCom Control Box
Taiwan based Open Road Solutions Open link in a new window's BikerCom falls in the 2nd category, ie, a central hub with wireless communications.

Their central hub, called the "Control Box",  connects to a large variety of devices, and then connects, using Bluetooth 2.0 Open link in a new window, to a headset installed in your helmet.
BikerCom Control Box

The BikerCom hub connects, with wires, to a walkie-talkie :- enabling bike-to-bike communications (PTTPush-To-Talk, also known as Press-to-Transmit, is a method of conversing on half-duplex communication lines, including two-way radio, using a momentary button to switch from voice reception mode to transmit mode. button included), to a music device :- like an iPod or MP3 player, radar detector, GPS and/or mobile telephone. You can also connected devices to the hub using Bluetooth, like your phone or GPS. In fact, the BikerCom Control Box allows for two Bluetooth connections at the same time!

The hub has 5 incoming connectors, each with their own interrupt priority. The Control Box is wired to your motorcycle's electric circuit, preferably to a 12V cigarette accessory plug.

BikerCom Bluetooth Headset

BikerCom Bluetooth helmet
The hub communicates with your helmet headset using the wireless protocol Bluetooth 2.0. This protocol is full stereo, so listening to your favorite musician will be in stereo.

The headset is clamped to your helmet, and weighs 100 grams. The rechargeable battery will last you 12 hours talking time and will recharge in 2.5 hours.

No indications on price or availability yet, but it's expected real soon.

The folks at Open Road Solutions are looking for dealers around the world, so if you're interested, let them know. On paper, this looks like an interesting product. I hope to be testing a unit shortly, so I'll let you know how it stacks up.

Click here for more information Open link in a new window

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