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BlueBike - Bluetooth Communicator For Motorcycles

  Posted at 12:09:24 PM
  File under  Bluetooth Gadgets
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

We're really being spoiled with all these new gadgets for motorcycles appearing recently. A couple of years ago there were one or two Bluetooth intercoms/communication devices available for motorcycle riders, and that was it. Now, there are many, either from the helmet manufacturers {link} themselves, or from 3rd party manufacturers {link}.

BlueBike Logo
From one of the third party manufacturers, here is Germany's Votronic Open link in a new window Bluetooth solution. It's called BlueBike Open link in a new window, and it's dubbed "BlueEntertainment for Bikers".

BlueBike is one of the more and more frequently seen communication hubs systems (like Autocom, Starcom, AKE, etc), allowing you to communicate and listen to music, radio, bike-to-bike and other electronic gadgets.

BlueBike Helmet-Basic


BlueBike comes in different flavors, the basic setup is called "Helmet-Basic", and consists of a unit mounted on to your helmet (most type helmets, any brand) that will communicate via Bluetooth 1.2 to your mobile phone or GPS.

The unit is rear mounted (like Hello-Biker {link}). It weights 190 grams, but since it's mounted on the rear of your helmet, there's no aerodynamic drag.

The unit contains two slim loudspeakers and a microphone. The Lithium-Ionen battery provides, according to Votronic, a minimum 20 hours of operation time, depending on the loudspeakers used (they have 2 types, the 3W one uses more electricity and that will lower the consumption to 12-15 hours).

You can recharge the batteries either via a 110/220 Volt charger, or via the motorcycle's 12V power. 90% recharge takes 1 hour, a full charge takes 3 hours.

Price: €350
Availability: Now
If your mobile phone provides auto-answer, that facility will be used. Sound volume is regulated automatically depending on ambient noise levels.

BlueBike Helmet-Basic


The next step up is called "Solo". It's the same setup as above (Helmet Basic), but a communication hub is installed on your motorcycle.

Your helmet device continues to interface with your mobile phone via Bluetooth, but will now also communicate with the central hub.

Price: €450.
Availability: Now
Note: Helmet-Basic not included
The hub interfaces with wired devices, such as music devices (like iPod or MP3 players or radios), and with Bike-to-Bike walkie-talkies. Music is piped in via stereo. There's also a Push To Talk (PTT) button that is to be used for the Walkie-Talkie.

"Helmet-Basic 2x"

Next possibility is the "Helmet-Basic 2x". This option consist of 2 "Helmet-Basic" configurations, allowing you to talk to your pillion passenger, while still listening to your mobile phone and/or GPS.
Price: 2x €350.
Availability: Now

Your pillion passenger can also use a mobile phone independently.


BlueBike Premium

Finally, Voltronic's ultimate setup is called "Premium". Interphone facilities as above remain, like talking to your pillion and communicating with your mobile phone. However, the Premium communication device interconnects with a large variety of wired devices. Music (iPod, MP3, CD, radio - all in stereo), Bike-to-Bike (with a wireless PTT switch), wired GPS and wired mobile telephone (in case you don't have a Bluetooth phone).
Price: €650.
Availability: September 2007
Note: Helmet-Basic not included

The system uses priority interrupts, meaning that when listening to music, and your mobile phone rings, it will interrupt the music while you talk on the phone. Sound levels are regulated via an auto-volume facility.

You can start with the basic setup, and expand when required. However, you will need the Helmet-Basic to communicate with the hubs, i.e., you can't use a 3rd party Bluetooth communicator.

: They currently don't work with distributors, you can buy the gear directly from Votronic, but that may change.

If you don't want to install the Helmet-Basic in your helmet, you can send them your helmet, and they'll do it for you. Cost: €50.

The devices look really good, offering a lot of possibilities to bikers. It would seem that you can "entertain" yourself and your pillion on long rides, listening to music, talking to your buddies via Walkie-talkie, even talking on the phone. The price is pretty steep, since if you want to have the whole hog, you'll be forking out some €1300. But then what do the top of the line Autocom, Starcom cost you ? And you don't have wireless for that since they don't offer that.

For more information, click here Open link in a new window

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