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To get the radio or not?


Bill767

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Looking hard at a new RT, in fact more than looking, getting close to pulling the trigger. Have heard some pros and cons on the radio from BMW. Love to get some opinions to help in our decision. Thanks in advance.

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I have the radio/CD on my 2006 RT. I got it for free (yes, really) after my dealer delivered the wrong bike, and the only other one he could get from BMW stock had the radio, but that's another story.

 

I'd say it's definitely not worth the price they charge. That said, the CD does not skip, and the radio has good reception (it's from a 3-series BMW car). I wear earplugs all the time, so it's hard to hear once you're at highway speeds. I recently installed an Autocom, so I can use my iPod if I want tunes. I expect I'll be using the radio/CD even less now. I'd say you'd be better off getting an Autocom -- better sound for less money (especially if you use some sort of in-ear speakers). BTW, there is no easy way to plug an iPod into the BMW radio, though some have gone through a rather laborious, and complicated, procedure using a car adapter to achieve that.

 

If you skip the radio, you'll also have a handy storage spot for small items, and a little less weight.

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When I bought my 07 RT,It had the J@M ComII+(part# 71 60 0 412 987)0n it,Have my pasport and zumo 550 hooked up to it,Works great,Love my XM,,Also has CB and Weather,,6 pin plugs that go to helmet speakers and mic,,That # is a BMW part #,hope this helps,,

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I have never heard a speaker-based motorcycle audio system that was worth a damn... BMW RT, LT, even the Goldwing premium sound system. Such a thing just doesn't work on a motorcycle, too much ambient noise. Isolating earplugs are the way to go.

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Laffo IBA#34115

In three years and 30K miles the radio on my 04RT has been on TWICE. Both times while polishing somthing or other on itand then one of those times I left it on and drained the battery. I use the ipod and earphones when I want to listen to something as the radio is pretty much useless while moving. I'd prefer the storage pocket if I had to do it over again.

 

You asked, my $.02.

 

Go ahead, pull the trigger.

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I thought I would never have ordered a new bike with the radio, but my used '06 had a radio. Actually, I like it a lot, and I'll like it even better when I rig my iPod to it. I like the controls and the speakers are pretty good. Sometimes I want tunes but don't want earbuds. I also like always having a local weather channel on the road. I'm probably going to get an '08 RT next spring if there are decent colors, in which case, yeah, I'll order the ridiculously overpriced radio.

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Yeah pricey, but I'd get it again. I can hear it fine at speed. I enjoy the blowtorch AM talk/news stations, and they also carry my local professional sports teams... have a thing for listening to baseball. Basically, I like having the choice to listen to it if I want, radio or CD.

 

I also bring along an iPod, sitting in the jacket pocket, pumping tunes through earplugs.

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Interesting, about 40/60. As long as we're talking about this, what Autocom do you use? Any way to go wireless to helmet speakers for an iPod, Zumo, radar detector, phone, and driver to passenger communication, etc? The driver/passenger communication, bluetooth for the phone and the Zumo are my main goals.

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Lets_Play_Two
Yeah pricey, but I'd get it again. I can hear it fine at speed. I enjoy the blowtorch AM talk/news stations, and they also carry my local professional sports teams... have a thing for listening to baseball. Basically, I like having the choice to listen to it if I want, radio or CD.

 

I also bring along an iPod, sitting in the jacket pocket, pumping tunes through earplugs.

 

I had a radio on my '03 RT and I enjoyed having it as opposed to nothing. I would suggest a Zumo 550 and XM (for probably less money), you get the GPS and XM radio as well as the ability to play MP3 if you desire. Also adds weather capability which I had the chance to test yesterday. I was able to reroute my return trip to avoid thunderstorms in my original path!! If you like baseball (and I do, got married under the Harry Carey statute outside of Wrigley Field last Sunday ) you get it all on XM. grin.gif

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Lets_Play_Two
Interesting, about 40/60. As long as we're talking about this, what Autocom do you use? Any way to go wireless to helmet speakers for an iPod, Zumo, radar detector, phone, and driver to passenger communication, etc? The driver/passenger communication, bluetooth for the phone and the Zumo are my main goals.

 

I was talking to a guy yesterday who has this thru Nolan helmet. I think he said helmet and needed accessories were about $800 (don't quote me.) He was not happy with the quality of the sound and said he has decided that he does not need to get or make calls while he is riding (very distracting he said).

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I hate to spend money on a new helmet, actually two. I would be looking for a way to put speakers and mike in 2 Shoei X-11's, ideally with blutooth. I already have a Zumo 550, so could go with MP3 instead of the iPod. I don't have the XM option, but it does sound intriquing. As far as the phone, with the Zumo I can already tell if I have an incoming call, and realistically that is probably enough, I can then determine if it is important enough to pull over and call back, but it would be nice to able, in that rare case to answer or nake a quick call.

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I have not been one to want to listen to anything other than earplug-filtered road noise while riding. I bought my '07 RT for the bike and all that it has to offer me with disregard for the radio/CD player. Nevertheless, my bike has the radio/CD player only because the bike had everything else that I wanted and the dealer reduced the cost of the radio/CD player to $450 or so. I have never used the CD player as CDs have gone the way of 8-track tapes. The radio is okay. I listen mostly to talk radio where the quality is of lesser importance than music fidelity. I've listened to music and talk radio a few times on the RT; I won't bother with listening to music anymore in this manner--essentially worthless. However, talk radio is amusingly audible even at higher speeds with the stock windshield (to be replaced soon) at full extension.

The salesguy was surprised to find an aux cable coming from the CD player compartment and told me that he was 'surprised' to find a plug for my iPod. An input for my iPod it is not.

 

I would vote against the radio--but continue to read more from those who have more experience than I. I think that it would be better to have that extra storage space capability.

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russell_bynum
I have never heard a speaker-based motorcycle audio system that was worth a damn... BMW RT, LT, even the Goldwing premium sound system. Such a thing just doesn't work on a motorcycle, too much ambient noise. Isolating earplugs are the way to go.

 

Harley makes a good one that actually works.

 

I agree, though. The BMW one isn't worth a damn.

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Interesting, about 40/60. As long as we're talking about this, what Autocom do you use? Any way to go wireless to helmet speakers for an iPod, Zumo, radar detector, phone, and driver to passenger communication, etc? The driver/passenger communication, bluetooth for the phone and the Zumo are my main goals.

 

I was talking to a guy yesterday who has this thru Nolan helmet. I think he said helmet and needed accessories were about $800 (don't quote me.) He was not happy with the quality of the sound and said he has decided that he does not need to get or make calls while he is riding (very distracting he said).

 

Progress. smirk.gif

My old technolgy Autocom with cables provides excellent audio clarity from my old tech, non Tooth phone.

Very costly, poor quality, no thanks, at least for now. lurker.gif

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MrHondamatic

I had a radio on my then new 81 Goldwing. That was my first and last radio on a bike. The sound was OK and it worked well enough, I just found myself not listening to it unless I was cleaning the bike. I prefer the sound of the engine and rushing wind, that is music on two wheels.

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Couchrocket

Man, w/ all the nice GPSs out there w/ XM radio, iPods, etc., you need a radio on a bike like... well think of all the pimpley hyperbole you want... you don't need it. Spend the money on a Zumo 550 or something, and AZ Al earplug speakers!

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I already have a Zumo 550 that I used on my VFR. Just wondering, what about the radio prep kit, any sense in getting that?

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I have been riding for 35 years and I love the idea of a radio. The few times I have tried to do it, I couldn't stand not listening to my engine. I just couldn't divide my attention between the responsibilies as a motorcycle driver and the entertainment of a radio. I want to, but have been unable to do it. Maybe it's just me, but I feel that I "need" to hear that motor just to stay tuned into my bike.

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The radio is works well up to about 90km/hr. I find that I will only use it when travelling around town. Once I get away from the city I find the reception suffers somewhat.

 

The radio comes as standard on R1200RT's sold in Australia, so I didn't get a choice. But if I had the choice I wouldn't have the radio. It would be too much money for too little use.

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I, too, got a radio on my '06 12RT because it was the only bike the dealer had in stock and I didn't want it to slip away from my greedy little grasp. I have listened to it quite a bit, but found out that by replacing the windshield with a V-Stream, it makes the radio much more "listenable". Still hard to hear it going 85 down the interstate, but anything under 70 is really nice. I wear earplugs and actually can hear it better with them in my ears. They seem to get rid of the wind noise while still letting the radio through, although you have to turn it up a tad louder. Overall, I'd get it again. I like the CD player, it doesn't skip, and I've hooked up my XM Roady and listen to it through the FM tuner in the radio.

 

-Craig

 

2006 R1200RT

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LOVE it on my '02 RT. Have added a ZUMO 550, and now play the XM radio through it as well with a cassette adapter which plugs right into the ZUMO bike mount. With a Cee Bailey Euro or AEROFLOW windshield, I can hear the radio great at volume 21 in the 70-80 mph range.

 

I'll DEFINITELY buy it again if I get a new RT ...

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Is it possible that the people who like having a radio are either shorter or have taller windshields? I really just can't hear mine above about 20mph.

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Is it possible that the people who like having a radio are either shorter or have taller windshields? I really just can't hear mine above about 20mph.

 

Interesting idea. I am looking for an aftermarket windshield, too!. I am 5' 8" and use the low seat. The stock windshield is irritating. I like to look above this windshield b/c of the distortion in the upper area of the shield--especially irritating on hills and twisties--just scarily distorted. But, with the windshield in a lowered position, I get some effect of the wind. The ZTechnik 2402?2420? whatever, was recommended but then again, I have heard people talk of Cee Bailey and all the rest.....

I would like to hear people mention their height, seat position and any other relevant data so that I can get the best possible shield on the first order.

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Is it possible that the people who like having a radio are either shorter or have taller windshields? I really just can't hear mine above about 20mph.

 

Interesting idea. I am looking for an aftermarket windshield, too!. I am 5' 8" and use the low seat. The stock windshield is irritating. I like to look above this windshield b/c of the distortion in the upper area of the shield--especially irritating on hills and twisties--just scarily distorted. But, with the windshield in a lowered position, I get some effect of the wind. The ZTechnik 2402?2420? whatever, was recommended but then again, I have heard people talk of Cee Bailey and all the rest.....

I would like to hear people mention their height, seat position and any other relevant data so that I can get the best possible shield on the first order.

 

I'm 5'8", and have the low seat on my R12T. I switched from the stock shield to the ZTechnik this spring. It definitely has less distortion than the stock shield. On the other hand, unlike the stock shield which is "scooped" out across the top edge, the ZTechnik is pretty much straight across resulting in my looking through the shield somewhat more, unless I remind myself to sit up (as in good posture). It also vibrates a lot less than stock.

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Definitely skip the factory radio.

 

Just did my first long trip - Phoenix to Denver with the new RT (without the pricey BMW radio). I used earplugs and a portable XM (Pioneer Inno) with the external antenna velcroed to a tank bag. It was great. Shure earplugs provided terrific sound. The XM, of course, had a ton of stations, and excellent reception (all through the Rockies!). Best part -listening to the US Open while enjoying the ride from Durango to a remote ranch in South Central Colorado.

884038-DSCN0599.jpg.6fbdbaa54169465e81fbc1eb5445c904.jpg

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I always used to ride with a police style half helmet with the visor and it didn't cover the ears. Hence I could hear and very much enjoy the factory radio on my RT's I've owned (02 and 04). The first came with it and I thoroughly enjoyed it and could hear it fine except on the interstate. When I was without an RT for a while and was specifically looking for an 04 Black one, I had to have one with the radio from previous enjoyment. Since then, my daughter has been riding with me more and since she has worn a full face for better protection, she couldn;t hear the radio very well. I upgraded helmets to the Nolan N102 Ncom with speakers and wired communication so we could talk. I soon figured out how to wire it directly into the xm-roady radio and NOW we both can talk to each other and hear the music just fine inside the helmet!! I ALWAYS was a proponent of the factory radio and half helmet BUT now with the nolan flip ups and the in helmet speakers I can say I will never need another bike with a stereo. It just plain works better to have the better protection of the flip up style helmet with speakers and comm system. Don't fork out more money for that radio brother and look into the other in helmet speaker sytems.... Autocom,N-com ...whatever , you will never go back!

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I love having a radio on my '03RT so I have something to play my Sirius receiver through. I can hear it OK up to about 50mph when I don't have ear plugs in, however I always wear Etymotic ER6i's with custom ear molds and plug it into a headphone jack in my dash. I can keep the volume at a safe listening level which is not effected by speed, protect my ears from excessive noise, and still hear what's going on around me. thumbsup.gif

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JerryMather

I used to have a radio with my RT and enjoyed it at lower speeds when I could still hear it.

Now I use an ipod on both of my bikes and don't miss a radio. An ipod with ear phones just seems a better fit for me.

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Silver Surfer/AKAButters

I wouldn't. MP3, XM radio, run through my Autocomm and Zumo 550 into helmet, or in ear, speakers better suit me.

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