It is often difficult for a motorcycle driver and passenger to communicate as they are riding along with the wind blowing in their faces. Even the old-fashioned method of shouting is not always effective to get a message to the other person. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, there are now driver to passenger systems available that allow the driver to and passenger to communicate. If either one wants to pull over to get a drink, snack, or to take a break, they can get the message to their partner easily. High-tech systems allow clear communication for any type of conversation. Anyone looking for a motorcycle intercom will find many to choose from online. MotorcycleIntercom.com sells the latest systems, while keeping costs to a minimum.
One type of driver to passenger system is an acoustic motorcycle intercom, which is the simplest of all systems available. There are no electronics involved because it uses tubes with rubber tips that are inserted into the ear. Another tube is used for a mouthpiece to talk into, and they connect together through a box. This very basic system is sufficient when driving in the city at a slow speed, but it is difficult to hear when high speeds on the highway are reached. Another drawback to acoustic intercoms is that they cannot be used for bike-to-bike communication.
There are two other kinds of motorcycle intercoms that are widely available. These are the wired and wireless intercoms. Wired models use wires that run from the rider and passenger. There is a control box that holds the battery and electronics. This type of system can be somewhat inconvenient because there are several plugs that need to be unplugged whenever the passenger and driver get off the bike. The benefit of a wired model is that there is no external interference.
Wireless models use one of the four radio technologies available in the United States. These are Bluetooth, FM, FRS, and GMRS. FM is commonly used because it is efficient at transmitting clear sound, but if it is used by driver-to-driver, its performance is not good if they are too far apart. FMRS is much better for long range performance. The other two radio technologies are similar to a walkie talkie. These are the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and the Family Radio Service (FRS). They are not made for private conversations since they are public frequencies. The newest motorcycle intercoms are Bluetooth. They can be used from bike-to-bike or from passenger to rider. The hearing range of a Bluetooth is shorter, but this eliminates interference and provides privacy in conversations. A Bluetooth based system can also be used to communicate with a car that is behind you or with a cell phone that is Bluetooth enabled.
There are Bluetooth intercoms available with helmet mounting, such as one model that can communicate with other riders who are one mile from each other. It can be used with three other headsets, or linked together to allow four-way communication with two people on two different motorcycles to communicate. This device is compatible with a MP3 player or a cell phone with Bluetooth capability. Helmet mounting is used with this wireless system, which makes it much more convenient than wired systems that require unplugging each time that you get off the bike. Helmet mounting is possible with almost all three-fourths and full face helmets. Intercom systems that mount onto helmets are typically windproof, and they also usually have noise cancellation and echo cancellation features. These eliminate much of the engine noise and that of the wind. They mount with adhesive and a clamp, and Velcro pads may be used to hold the microphone in place.
There are also models available at a lower cost if all that is needed is a driver to passenger intercom. These systems are also Bluetooth, but they do not have the long range capability necessary for communicating bike to bike.