Martyn Posted May 1, 2006 Share Posted May 1, 2006 Two weeks ago I rode up to the Autocom factory in Leamington Spa, just over an hours ride from my home, for a factory installation of their AVi on my 2001 R1150RT. This entailed firstly the removal of the Pro1 that I had owned for about 5 years. This was one of the 5-pin systems, being purchased before Autocom moved to 7-pin plugs. I drank their coffee & read back issues of “Bike” magazine until the fitter informed me all was ready, including the installation of headsets in my helmet & that of my pillion. I was given a thorough run-through of the installation, & an explanation of the various control knobs, easily accessed by lifting the pillion seat to reach the set, which had been fitted in the space at the rear of the seat. It was suggested that in the first instance I rely on the factory default settings, & see how it went. I was also given a copy of the fitting instructions & sent on my way. I should perhaps explain that I use the system in two main ways. A) As a rider/pillion intercom, usually at not too high a speed, whilst pleasure riding across the Cotswold hills, & B) As a bike to bike set up, using Kenwood TK - 3101 sets. I am by profession a police officer, but in my off duty time I am involved in rider training & I am an examiner for the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) & I utilise the radios to give route directions to the Test candidate - e.g. “ At the T-junction ahead, turn right, right, right”, that sort of thing. The repetition is to ensure the candidate hears the directions accurately, & in years gone by the radio reception was none too clear, so it was a wise precaution. Once home I read the instructions, & proceeded to try out the pillion to rider setup. My initial impression of the 7-pin plugs & leads were that they were robust & fitted together precisely. We set off for a ride on a fairly windy day, & I immediately noticed that the side-tone, that feeds my voice into my own headset, was crisp & clear. I also sensed that the VOX actuation was even quicker than the older sets I had used. I use a BMW System 4 in open-face mode, & the side wind was “tripping” the VOX at times, so at our first stop I just made a slight adjustment, & that seems to be right for me & my bike, which incidentally has a C Baileys screen. The default settings for rider/pillion balance seemed just right for us. All in all, I was pleased. A few days later i went out for a day with a old friend who also has an Autocom fitted bike, & uses the same Kenwood sets. It was still quite a blustery day, & we covered some 250 miles around mid-Wales, with a fair bit of back & forth chatter. I also gave commentary several times for 15-20 minutes at a time. In all this use the VOX picked up well & my friend commented on how clear a signal he was receiving. The headset utilised with the AVi has a device to detect ambient sound, & raises the volume accordingly, & this appeared to be functioning very well. My friends Autocom set is an older generation model, & I am fairly confident he too will be upgrading in the near future. Finally, on Friday, I had an IAM test to conduct. The candidate said that he had a little experience of bike to bike radio from his initial motorcycle training, & off we set. I am pleased to say he was successful, & he commented that the route directions had been coming through loud & clear, so that was one worry removed from the pressure of taking a test, so we were both happy on that score. I do not use a mobile (cell) phone, so cannot comment on the manner in which it works with the AVi, but as I know many happy users who utilise that function on the older Autocom sets, I am sure it would be just fine. I am more & more taken with GPS systems, & am currently looking at a Garmin set for the RT. Autocom have set up many BMW’s with these sets, & try to keep a suitable mount in stock - Wunderlich make, I think - so I can see myself heading back their way in the near future to get that installed. All in all, my first impressions are very positive, & this set does seem a genuine move forward from its predecessors, & I am pleased that I made the change Link to comment
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