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BMW Audio System with Bluetooth


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I'm looking at a new R1200RT with the BMW audio system (the $1300 radio with FM/AM/Wx/Satellite radio and BT built in). I'm wondering how the built in Bluetooth works with a BT configured helmet. Of course, the salesman said it's much more convenientand reliable than a hard-wired system like Autocom, Star, or Baehr, but I'd like to hear some testimony from real users like the members of this forum. Any comments would be appreciated. I can always pull my Baehr comm system out of my '04 RT SE and use it in a new RT w/o the BMW audio system, but the built in radio with handy left hand volume, mute, and mode controls sure would be nice. :)

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Be advised!!!!!! Be warned!!!!!


The bluetooth on the new RT is far from the run of the mill Bluetooth set up. It only works within their product - Schuberth Helmet, for example.


There are work arounds as, thank goodness, there is an aux line behind the radio. This can be used as a work around access point as well as there has been some work with an A/B switch type set up to allow you to listen through the speaker, the headset/Autocom/Baehr, and both.


I would make a call to Cycle Specialties in Modesto, CA and speak with Jesse. He has gotten in there, found the work arounds, etc. and can answer your specific questions.


In speaking with A&S Cycles on Roseville the other day, they have found a work around integrating some bluetooth dongles that will allow Bluetooth helmet hookups.


There are a lot of potential work arounds and many more road blocks to getting around BMW and their desire to, essentially, lock down the system.


Hope this helps some. I would call Jesse and speak with him for specific hands on knowledge. He knows what he is talking about.

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The work around that A&S found works until you add a BMW Nav IV into the mix. Here's the scoop:


First off, I love the audio system but the speakers suck, don't care I'm going to use bluetooth!


The BMW Radio sounded perfect, Bluetooth connection to Rider and passenger helmets, AM, FM, XM, Ipod connection and nice handy controls. Only problem is that with a standard bluetooth (Like the Sena I have) it will only connect to a single unit. Passenger can not connect to the BMW system unless you both have the BMW Communication system. ($700 helmet + $400 bluetooth adapter TIMES TWO!)


A&S connected a couple of bluetooth adapters to the unused rear speaker connector. The Rider connects to one and the passenger the other. By putting the radio's Fade control to full rear you turn off the front speakers and send the audio signal to the bluetooth adapters. It's a simple solution that works well.


Enter the Nav IV. I bought it with the bike to replace an aging Zumo 550. I love the way these things work with a cell phone. Problem is the BMW version will only work with Bluetooth and steps all over the protocol that the radio and/or the two adapters use. And that is why I've spent most of today pulling the Starcom1 Advance off of the K bike and installing it on the RT.

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Thanks for the info. I'm glad I posted this question. I'm not sure the extra $1300 for the BMW audio system is worth the handy left hand controls for volume, mute, mode, etc. I can see why you would want to install a Baehr, Starcom, or Autocom system into the rear channels of the BMW radio and I would probably wind up doing the same rather than spending over a thousand bucks on each BT configured helmet just to have full BT capability. I have a Zumo 550 that probably wouldn't interface with the BMW BT very well either.

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John Bentall

Hi Tom,


Here in the UK we get a fair amount of high-quality radio broadcasting, so I listen a lot.

I would not buy an RT without the radio, and I would

I have owned my RT for almost 6 years, so it works out at roughly $200 per year of enjoyment.


..and I would definitely hook up via an Autocom rather than BT.

I use in-ear monitors, so that's 1 cable.

Heated gloves in winter, so that's another cable...... etc


I do not want to plug my BT helmet into a charger after each ride, thankyou.



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I have the J&M BT kit for the helmet, a Zumo 550, and a BT phone with a load of MP3s on it, and a built in FM radio.


I get Stereo music from the phone and can voice dial from the helmet as well as receive calls.

(phone use for me on the bike is reserved for emergencies, I don't multitask well)(pizza is an emergency)


The helmet talks to the GPS for directions.


The phone is a cheap LG Prime, at Amazon


I had the Zumo


I bought the J&M about 2 years ago


I have got at least 12 hours+ on the J&M, and they sell a better battery as well. At the end of the day I plug the helmet and the phone in to charge.


So less the Zumo. I'm in about $360.

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