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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am an avid radar detector user in my cars and always use top notch devices. I never used a detector on a motorcycle. That said, most of my speed tickets were on a motorcycle. Never figured how to get this to work, effectively, without taking attention from the road and riding. Almost all of the traps around my neck of the woods are Ka.

Wanted to get some ideas on what would make a good detector for a motorcycle. Some factors are:

Cordless Yes/No?
Size?
Installation method?
How do you get the signal into the helmet, if you do? I have seen some ideas, but wanted to first hand reviews.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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I have a RedLine, and have a Bluetooth sender connected to it, and in my helmet i have a Senna 10U head unit which receives alerts from the radar, (cordless) i have only Ka band set up. I fits on all 3 of my bikes, I used to have one of those bike dedicated radars, (TPX), just an average detector, but water resistant. A couple of mates have the new Unidens, they seem to be the best on the market at the mo, my wife has a Bell STR, thats a great radar also, but signal sound is to weak to run through a wire to speaker setup like i used to have, it stays in the car. should work good with a blue tooth sender tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Dave. What sender do you use?
 

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Heres a pic of it set up on my 1290. Its a 4.1 sender, and it has to be a "low latency" sender with 3.2 plug fitting, the same charger charges it as does the Senna head unit. (comes with charger) I have a Shoei GT Air, and Senna make a unit for that particular helmet (can connect phone and also talk to other Senna' rider units) they also make a unit for the MK2 GT Air helmet and for a few other makes. I get about 2 times 5 hours of power from both units, so basically lasts 2 days then they both need charging. If i find one on eBay, il post a pick of it.
 

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Here sadly that would all be a waste of time. Fixed cameras have to be announced on the road so that's easy to see and slow down.

But they've taken to simply filming from a Helicopter - easy to calculate the ground speed - And yes they can read the plate - Esp if you tip them up. They have to announce the chopper is up there but the blighter can cover 20-30kms at any given time. So you never really know where it is.

We live right next to one of the M/C routes into the Hills. Chopper is around a lot. On the plus side we have't had any serious accidents on that road in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here sadly that would all be a waste of time. Fixed cameras have to be announced on the road so that's easy to see and slow down.

But they've taken to simply filming from a Helicopter - easy to calculate the ground speed - And yes they can read the plate - Esp if you tip them up. They have to announce the chopper is up there but the blighter can cover 20-30kms at any given time. So you never really know where it is.

We live right next to one of the M/C routes into the Hills. Chopper is around a lot. On the plus side we have't had any serious accidents on that road in a while.
Luckily, here, it's still good old boys in police cars, mostly operating Ka equipment. At any rate, most of my riding is in the boonies, so no use in any fixed devices and they don't use a lot of Laser.
 

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Lidar vs radar

Radar detectors often work only if the Officer is constantly sending out a frequency in order to detect people's speed. If the Officer is smart, he will only press the radar button once as he sees the violator. Once your detector alerts, he already has your speed.

Now LIDAR, which is used in California and other states, shoots light. The beam is pinpoint and at 1000 feet away it has a spread of 3 feet. This being said, if a radar detector says they can detect LIDAR, I would question it. Officers that use LIDAR aim the device at a particular car's bumper and shoot a single light frequency at the car. This is why a Radar detector can not pick up the LIDAR if you are driving next to a car that has been shot in order to warn you to slow down.

In my opinion, the only good thing about a Radar detector is to warn you of construction or accident zones. In California construction and tow companies send out a frequency that detectors can capture. I think the only full proof way of not getting a ticket is to not speed.
 

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I used an Escort detector for many years connected to a "screamer" to give a loud audible warning. They're not a guarantee of avoidance though and you still have to keep your situational awareness up. As JP mentions, if an officer just uses "instant on", the chances of reacting are very slim. I got most of my warnings when a patrol car was further up the road checking other traffic. Stationary unmarked speed detection vans at the roadside gives less warning as the radar is angled across the road but you still get sufficient warning to button off. Mobile radar and stationary vans use microwave technology in NZ and there is no effective means of jamming the signal.

Laser (lidar) use in NZ is less common. You can jam the signal with a high quality jammer but there are a lot of products on the market that simply don't work. Avoidance by using a detector and active jamming are worlds apart. I recently read of a case in the UK where a car driver was caught using a laser jammer and copped a massive fine and a month in jail. Not aware of any instances in NZ but a Highway Patrol friend of mine says it's possible to bring a prosecution under perverting the course of justice.

I haven't bothered to fit my detector to my last 2 bikes. A good one does work well but I just use situational awareness and choosing time and place for a bit of enthusiastic riding these days. Doesn't always work though. I copped a (small) speeding fine a couple of years ago :grin:
 

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I did a summary on my blog a few years ago but the content is still pretty much relevant: https://geoffjames.blogspot.com/2010/05/radar-detectors-worth-having.html . Hope it's of some interest.
I'll check it out for sure. Fortunately, where I live, radar detectors aren't really needed for motorcyclists.

Most everyone does 80mph in the fast lane, without issue. The police here are some of the highest paid, in the world, so I suppose they can pick and choose. I keep a low profile, lolZ
 

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This cop did the turn his radar on as he saw me technique, my detector went off and i only had time to off throttle, he got me exiting a corner, he said he locked me on at 132kph, and asked what my excuse for speeding was, i said i was scrubbing in new tires, and needed to go faster through the corners to scrub in the edges. Got the lecture.
 

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I used to have good luck with Escort Passports. I have a 9500 in my WRX, but haven't bothered to plug in since a cop pointed and laughed at it after handing me a speeding ticket. Both the local and state police in my area use the handheld laser units. Detectors don't go off until you're being clocked which only adds insult to injury. Plus, having a detector visible on the dash during a traffic stop doesn't help your case when trying to talk your way out of a ticket.

I now use Waze. It's a phone nav app that allows all users to post traffic alerts such as police location. Works great for most moderately traveled routes in the US.
 

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I used to have good luck with Escort Passports. I have a 9500 in my WRX, but haven't bothered to plug in since a cop pointed and laughed at it after handing me a speeding ticket. Both the local and state police in my area use the handheld laser units. Detectors don't go off until you're being clocked which only adds insult to injury. Plus, having a detector visible on the dash during a traffic stop doesn't help your case when trying to talk your way out of a ticket.

I now use Waze. It's a phone nav app that allows all users to post traffic alerts such as police location. Works great for most moderately traveled routes in the US.
All my speeding tickets (motorcycle) have come from patrol cars driving towards me, and they turn the radar on. If in a group of riders, all the ones behind the leader get a chance to brake when their radar goes off, its saved me many a time, also some cops here like to hide in behind trees in driveways and leave their radar on, detector can pick them up 2-5kms away sometimes. We also have mufty cars (unmarked) that cruise around with their radars on, or they sometimes turn them on when they see you, detector gives you the warning, and you can assess the situation, like can he turn, how much traffic between us, maybe i just slip passed a few cars then turn off, etc. I like to have a detector, its like riding blind without it.
 

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This cop did the turn his radar on as he saw me technique, my detector went off and i only had time to off throttle, he got me exiting a corner, he said he locked me on at 132kph, and asked what my excuse for speeding was, i said i was scrubbing in new tires, and needed to go faster through the corners to scrub in the edges. Got the lecture.

Nice pull!! I love this excuse!!


I always hold to the mantra....don't be the fastest person on the road....but that rarely helps when I am on the bike! Luckily I drop my brother's names and they give me a warning (two are state police).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As I mentioned in my first post, I am pretty familiar with radar detectors, jammers, what's legal, what works, what doesn't work, the clear limitations on timely LIDAR detection, etc.

In a state where Ka is a primary mean of speed limit enforcement, with no or very few instant on or LIDAR and even less on the backboards I ride on, a detector definitely adds a layer of defense. Nothing is 100%, but even 60% is better than 0%.

It should be noted that I don;t really drive/ride faster when I have a detector.

So my questions, if I had to rephrase them, would be:

1. What are the preferred installation methods on your bikes.
2. Even more important, what is the preferable way of getting the warning signals into the helmet? BT? H.A.R.D?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A great example today where a RD could have saved someone a lot of $$ and points.

Was driving down I95 from EWR to south Jersey. An unmarked trooper in a Dodge Challenger was coming behind me. I could clearly tell he was looking for potential victims. I was doing less then 5mph over, so I just stayed in my lane and kept him in my mirrors for a couple of miles. He was shooting radar the entire time. Some less sensitive drivers were going by, not even noticing him. A couple of cars passed him at a good 15-20 over. He just sped up and followed them for another mile, until he turned his light on and stopped them both(!).

So indeed, some more sophisticated cops might use instant on. You can also encounter laser, that is hard to beat without a jammer. That said, most cops don't assume you have a detector in the car and will just cruise around with their radar on until they stop someone.

So... It is true that a detector will not offer 100% protection against a speeding ticket, but I will take the 80%+ that it offers, where I ride and drive. Better than 0%.
 
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