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Music and radio

Urban Surfer

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Urban Surfer

What's the answere? Sat radio, mp3? What's a good one? What do they cost. Is there a good one for a bike, that will survive vibrations, and weather?

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I vote for sat.


Several reasons. I'm not doing the playlist so I don't get board. Multiple channel choices. Goes everywhere you go without interuption. (except for some signal drops once and a while depending on enviroment)


Mine is the size of a deck of cards. No vibration issues. I guess it could get wet in a massive down pour but it's easy enough to cover.


I'm cheap so my Sirus was 30 bucks for the unit then add on sub fee.

Totally worth it in my eyes and the programming suits my tastes.

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I use an XM Skyfi,like the larger display and buttons.

XM roady is also a popular unit.

Also have an iPod for shorter trips,it can go in the jacket pocket and you don't have to disconnect cords when you get off the bike,unlike my XM.


Have looked at the Pioneer Inno XM unit,pretty small and holds up to 50 hours of music,etc in it's memory.So you can take it with you off the bike.

Still in the spendy range($320-399,depending on rebates)


There is at least one iPod product that allows downloading of streaming audio.You could easily fill your iPod to max capacity and have more than enough music,if you go that direction.Then refill it with new music when you have had enough of the current batch.It's called iFill,from Griffin.Allows you to keep your iTunes and other music/data/photos in separate sections on your iPod.



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Satellite is OK but you run into the problem of having to listen to a lot of stuff you don't necessarily want to hear in order to get to the tracks that you do want... too much channel surfing required. So my preference is for MP3, although that solution is more practical if you already have a large library. With many thousands of tracks on my player of an very eclectic assortment there's plenty of variety.


Plus points for satellite are the availablity of news (with far too many commercials though) and the chance to be exposed to more stuff you haven't heard before, but on the balance I prefer a large MP3 library. As to which player, almost any will do fine. Pick one that supports a remote control so that the player can get tucked away where it will be protected from vibration and the elements.

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The best answer may also depend on where you ride. In the Appalachians, I often have reception problems with the XM and resort to the iPod.

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No news, no commercials, only the music I want: I carry an iPod in my inner jacket pocket (nothing ties me to the bike), with an iJet RF wireless remote (the controller is velcroed to the base of the left mirror stalk, next to the switchgear) and Etymotic ER6i earspeakers (very good noise reduction and very good sound). My tank bag is electrified and I carry a charger for the iPod for the rare occasion that I ride longer than the batteries last.

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I prefer XM radio. I used to listen to music now it is occasional news and LOTS of baseball...I love baseball on the radio and I have my choice of the best announcers in the country. XM over Ipod because of the variety you can get. You can download books to the Ipod and radio programs etc., but that requires more planning than I want to do.


I do carry the Ipod so I can get my Edie Brickell fix when I feel the need.

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Have tried both. XM is the way to go for me. iPod is too difficult to select/change while riding. It's "Party Shuffle" and take what comes up. On the other hand Delphi's SkyFi and SkyFi2 make it easy to switch. No problem with vibration, etc. You might need an inline noise filter. You might need an amplifier for your headset...something like a MixIt...or the "AmpliRider" from www.electric-avenues.com.

The MixIt requires a 9v battery; the AmpliRider is hard wired with a volume control you can put anywhere you'd like. Cannot honestly suggest Shelbrook Audio.

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Some good considerations already posted. I have both XM (Roady 2) and iPod and I use both. Some previous posts have advised to stay away from the newer Roady XT unless you don't mind strapping it to the bike (tends to pop out of carriage). Also, both XM radios and iPods are portable so you can use them also in/on your other vehicles. Subscription costs about $12 per month for XM (and $7/mo for additional radios). No subscription costs for iPod and iPod it is very handy while camping 'cause you can listen to your tunes (instead of other campers snoring, laughing, etc). Both devices will make your riding more enjoyable. wave.gif

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I use a us$25 pocket AM/FM radio from Radio Shack.





I used Velcro to mount it on the clutch fluid reservoir on the left handlebar. I plug it into my Autocom system. It runs on three AAA batteries. I have considered wiring it up to the bike's 12v power, but it's easier to just replace the batteries every month or so.


This radio has only a few buttons, and they're easy to push while wearing gloves. I use only the auto-scan button, the AM/FM button, the on/off button, and occasionally the volume control.


The main down-side is that this radio is not weather-proof. But I can easily un-Velcro it and stow it during downpours. And if it gets soaked, or stolen, it's easy to get another one at Radio Shack for another us$25. So far, I've had mine for about a year and it has been rained on a few times, but I have not had to replace it. (And Houston gets more rain than Seattle, and I ride almost every day...)


I like to be able to listen to local radio stations as I pass through new places. With satellite radio, you can pick up the same stations all over the country. That sounds like it would get boring after a while. And I don't like the idea of having to pay over us$140 per year in subscription fees to the satellite radio people, in order to listen to radio stations with commercials in them.



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I just sing to myself. It's weatherproof, I don't worry about being stolen, it's free, no wires to mess with, no commercials, I can choose my music, no buttons to push, I can even make up my own good news and weather forecast. clap.gif

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For me one consideration is when you want to listen. I don't want the hassle if I am just running short errands. If it is a "ride" though, one that calls for the tank bag, then I will probably bring along music. IPOD and Sat radio both have plusses and very few minuses. I have my Sirius Starmate Replay mounted to my tank bag, connected to the RR's elec system thru an acc socket, and ET6i earplugs and it works GREAT. I can see the appeal of an IPOD, but actually in the car, with an in dash MP3 player, I mostly listen to AM or FM or Sirius. With the Sirius you can have 30 presets, so if you get tired of one format, just push a button to change "stations." I have not been bored with it or do I find myself changing stations frequently. I used the in home antenna, mounted on the rear fender below the license plate and it works fine. Being on the tank bag (magnetic), when I stop, it is easy to take my technology with me. It is also very easy to reach and read. If it starts to rain, I have a clear shower cao in the bag and I cover the whole shebang and ride on.



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