Don't forget that a detector is not motorcycle specific; I take my Valentine in whichever of my 3 vehicles that I happen to drive that day, so it shouldn't be classified as a motorcycle toy.Originally posted by DesertRider
I've been following this thread and I keep thinking that I'm missing something, or at least there are a couple of things I don't understand.
- I don't see what's so hard to understand about Scott's decision that he doesn't want to spend $400 on a radar detector. We all have finite funds, we all have to prioritize and make choices, and Scott (commendably, in my view) is putting a few things like home and family ahead of buying the most expensive version of a motorcycle toy. I mean, there's more to life than motorcycles, no? (I say as one who is as nuts about bikes as anyone, and my family along with me -- we own 8 motorcycles, everyone rides, my wife and I plan vacations around riding destinations. But there's still more to life than just motorcycles.)
Well, when you're riding with someone sometime who is running a V1 and you're running a CM product like I was and they suddenly brake hard and you're wondering why until your detector goes off a few seconds later, those differences will have meaning. A few seconds is huge in terms of possibly avoiding a ticket.- I'm not seeing the huge watershed difference between a Valentine and an Escort 8500 or even a Bel 985.
Maybe I have missed those tests. If you have links for them, could you share them?A quick search of comparative tests seems to indicate that the differences between the them are minor, and more dealing with gizmo features than detection capability. Several of the comparison tests actually rated other units better than the V1.
In practical terms, the information presented by the V1 is the most useful. The bogey counter and the directional arrows let you know how many and which direction they are. When your detector goes off, what's the first thing you do? Probably you slow down. The second is that you try to locate the threat, right? You look this way and that, and check your mirrors looking for the cop. The V1 tells you the direction and if ther are multiple threats, the arrow for the strongest signal will flash while the other stay unblinking. Saves a lot of head turning. After having lived with a V1 for a few years, I cannot imagine going back to a detector that did not point in the direction of the threat.Now I'm sure fans of the V1 could make a case why it's better (and so could Escort and Bel fans, I imagine) but the point is that if there's a difference between them, it's certainly small, and in terms of real on-road risk management (which is what a detector is), the Escort or Bel might actually be just as effective in practical terms.
I care nothing about status (ask kbasa, he knows me) and I am very tight-fisted with my money. I always seek something that is functionally as good or adequate rather than buy the current trendy item (no aerostiches for me, TYVM) so this thought does not apply to me. Perhaps Scott lives somewhere where they don;t crucify you for speeding, but here in the people's republic of MA, a speeding ticket can raise your insurance rates for SIX YEARS if I am not mistaken, so I take every advantage that I can.Now I know that in toys of the ego (motorcycles and moto toys certainly qualify), for many people a significant part of the pride of ownership is the inner knowledge that you have the best, and the easiest way to gain that feeling is to make sure you buy the most expensive unit available. No one deliberately thinks of it that way, of course, but it's a very easy jump from "I paid the most" to "therefore I got the best." Whatever turns you on, I guess, but in this case Scott has asked a very valid question -- how much better is the V1, really - and from what I see a fair answer is "not much, if anything at all."
Now if I'm missing something in the equation, I'd truly be interested to hear it because I've been thinking about a new detector myself. But I'd like to see some real evidence of substantially better real-life performance. I already know that the V1 has the highest status appeal, but that doesn't do much for me.
I appreciate that we all need to prioritize our expenditures, and I am certainly in that boat as well. And, my opinion of the V1 is shared by a significant number of friends of mine who are chronic speeders with a capital S who graduated to the V1 from other brands. This is why I advise anyone who wants a detector but cannot afford the V1 to just hold off and wait until they can afford it rather than buy something else.
Of course, as the say: It's your nickel...