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Answers to Your Questions about Radio and Wireless Voice Communications

SEN | Bike to Bike communications.

01 February 2018

Bike to Bike communications.

There are currently three ways to talk bike-to-bike;

Long Range Bluetooth
Perhaps the most obvious solution is to use a long range Bluetooth helmet kit like the ones made by Sena and Cardo Systems. Each helmet kit will speak to paired helmet kits, some systems allow talking to a couple of other helmets and you can pair them to your phone, sat-nav and listen to music.

The long range claims made for the helmet kits are at best optimistic being purely line-of-sight. Any obstruction however minimal will block communications. Small rises in the road, buildings and trees to stop communications. So if you cant see the other ride you won't be able to talk to them.

So the claims made by the makers perhaps stand up better in the wide open roads on the plains of the US rather than the winding undulating lanes of Europe.

Finally when riding as a group of three or more the Bluetooth system does not lend itself to one-to-many calls without button pressing.

Two-way radio.
Radio gives a much more reliable longer range communications than Bluetooth, radios are much more powerful and will penetrate vegetation better and reflect off buildings to some extent. Communications is still more or less line-of-sight but much more forgiving at a distance than Bluetooth.

Radios are ideal for one-to-many communications but they are strictly push-to-talk so only one user can talk at any time.

The radio can be connected direct to a helmet kit to make the simplest bike to bike system but this won't allow music or phone connection. A hardwired intercom such as Autocom will allow music and phone connections or to gain the best of Bluetooth and its cable-free advantages the Sena SR10 will interface the radio to a Bluetooth helmet.

Only PMR446 radios can be used outside the UK across Europe and these make the ideal radio for touring.

Press to talk over cellular (POC) is the only really long range solution. This can be considered just like the two-way radio option above but POC radios have a SIM card and take advantage of the mobile phone network using mobile data to transfer push to talk speech.. So if both bikes are in phone coverage they can talk, even if they are 2 or 200 miles apart.

POC radios can be used in any country where there is phone coverage.

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