Without going into a lot of detail, in discussion with my riding buddy, we came to the mutual conclusion of having some way that we could talk to each other while on the road.
I did a lot of googling looking at all the specs of the Bluetooth units and decided that the best choice would be either the BlueAnt Interphone F4, or the Cardio Scala Rider G4. I kind of liked the G4 since it had an FM tuner but it wasn't waterproof, while the F4 was. The only thing that I did not like was the fact that only units of the same brand can link with each other, and only two units can be paired. These BT units can also pair with a BT cellphone, or BT GPS
(typical BT units designed for helmet mounting)
I remembered that a few years ago I purchased a headset unit from IMC at a motorcycle show that had remained unused for many years
(I've probably had these units for 5 years, in original packaging)
while these are not Bluetooth they are made to connect to a standard FRS/GMRS radio, as well as to a cell phone through a wired connection. The idea of using a standard radio appealed to me as then others on the same channel would be able to hear our chitter chatter. I had lots of FRS/GMRS radios that I had purchased over the years but the cables used the single pin connector, while all the radios that I already had used the 2-plug system, so I needed an adaptor.
Luckily I remembered Mr Lee from IMC Electronics NA Ltd who just happens to live near Port Moody, BC so after work last week I made arrangements to meet him at his home office where he gave me two adapters to connect my radios
I have 4 of these Midland units which are rated for 12 miles under ideal conditions, but if they can manage to stay connected for a kilometer (while riding) then I would be more than thrilled. These radios can also be used while off the bike and make excellent communicators to keep in contact at the hotel (room to room).
When I got home from work I decided to mount the flat speakers and boom microphone into the helmet. It didn't take long and all the wires are hidden under the helmet liner
There is a master quick disconnect to unhook yourself when you dismount your bike
There are two flat helmet speakers, one for each side which are secured with double sided tape (supplied) . I didn't want anything stuck to the outside of my helmet so I stuffed the velcro mount for the flexible mic under the padding so that it would be behind the faceshield to minimize wind noise.
I decided to mount the boom mic on the left side with the quick disconnect, but there is enough wire to mount on the right if so desired
I noticed from the forums that due to wind noise the VOX (voice activated) function is not all that reliable due to noise at high speed, and these cables come with a PTT (Push to talk button) with a velcro strap which makes mounting to the handlebar a breeze. I will have to experiment with different positions under actual conditions this coming weekend.
I think being able to communicate with your riding buddy during a long trip is essential. Trying to get the attention of the person in front while on the freeway in heavy traffic would be hard to do when you are looking for the washroom at the next exit.
I also noticed that IMC has a BT adapter available for use with their BT headsets. I asked Mr Lee (IMC Electronics NA Ltd) about this and it seems that I would be able to power this using the 12V from the bike and be able to stream my Sirius satellite radio through my helmet, in STEREO, using the helmet speakers, and also the fact that you can pair your GPS and cellphone too. There is already built in priority. When the phone rings it will shut off the music automatically.
It is something to consider when I am riding alone