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Thread: Satellite Radio

  1. #1
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    Satellite Radio

    For my new K1300GT--am looking for a radio. What is difference between XM and Sirius? Who sells receivers that will stand up for awhile on a bike?
    I'm assuming that I'll use RAM mount.
    On Ice

  2. #2
    If I understand correctly, XM bought Sirius some time back, so there is only one option with Satellite radio. Most of the Zumo models have XM built-in, so if you do not have a GPS, or are thinking about replacing the one you have, you should should weigh the option of buying a Zumo to get both a great GPS and XM as well as an MP3 player all in one unit.

    I should mention that I bought a Garmin nuvi 550 (also a waterproof unit rated "motorcycle friendly" by Garmin) mainly because I did not want XM and I already have an MP3 player I use when riding.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

  3. #3
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    there is a bit of a difference Between Sirius and XM, for instance XM has (or had) a Jazz channel i liked that played some electric fusion type jazz -and NOT *smooth* jazz- Sirius does NOT have that particular jazz channel. recently bought a new vehicle that comes with 3 free months of Sirius satellite radio. i am trying to be impressed but so far not so much.
    the one channel i like a lot, Little Steven (Van Zandt's) UnderGround Garage, seems to play the same songs over and over- much like any other radio station. in a little over two weeks i have heard the same songs repeatedly. weak, IMO.
    lots of variety across the board on satellite, tho i am not into sports or talk radio, so that alone wipes out almost half the channels.

    good international and BBC news, tho

    classical, OK, some traditional type jazz and a Sinatra Channel, plus Outlaw (alt) Country and Willie Nelson Channel for more like classic Country. it really depends on what you want or can tolerate.

    the big plus is it's virtually everywhere. but then again so is an iPod or Sim Card, both of which may plug into the average or up-scale GPS. if you can stream off your phone then leave your home PC on and stream your own iTunes files (and your friends') with Simplify Media, or rock Pandora or other APPs. probably your fave public radio station has an iPhone APP too!

    to me Sirius and XM seem to have limited appeal... for a price.

  4. #4
    2009 R1200RT beemeup's Avatar
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    Sirius

    I have been a Sirius subscriber for quite some time and enjoy the BB King Bluesville Channel very much along with Classic Vinyl (Classic Rock) and The 60's Rock Channel (which sometimes features legendary New York 60's DJ Cousin Brucie at the mike). I think you can probably buy a package from them now that has a mix of both XM and Sirius Channels. I think satellite radio is great, I never listen to commercial radio anymore. Don

  5. #5
    Registered User northsquad's Avatar
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    Sirrus Radio

    One suggestion here fellas, if you subscribe to sat radio don't provide them with an accurate telephone number, especially a cell phone number for your account. I had sirrus radio in my Audi, and when it expired I decided not to renew. Sirrus began harrassing me on the telephone calling me three to four times a day despite the fact I asked them to stop. Eventually I filled a complaint with the FCC, but they still kept calling. Eventually I decided to just lie to them and tell them the car was stolen, that stopped the calls. This took 3 months to accomplish so unless you want three to four calls a day from this number 18663017344 belonging to sirrus don't give them an accurate telephone number.
    MOA Member #106320A
    2003 R1150RT Silver
    2008 K1200GT Dark Graphite

  6. #6
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Wait until you try to cancel a subscription...

    Here in CT, satellite radio drops out a lot. I also find the fidelity very lacking compared to MP3 or CD.
    MOA #107139
    RA #28511

  7. #7
    Are we there yet? tonyfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWPhreak View Post
    Wait until you try to cancel a subscription
    I recently called to cancel my subscription for three radios, and they told me that since I had been a customer for so long, I was eligible for one year at half price. It seems they gouge the hell out of you then give you a deal when you try to leave.

    BTW, the jazz channel on XM is called Water Colors.
    2009 K1300 GT
    1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo
    1990 Kawasaki ZX600R
    2005 R1200 RT - gone

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyfr View Post
    I recently called to cancel my subscription for three radios, and they told me that since I had been a customer for so long, I was eligible for one year at half price. It seems they gouge the hell out of you then give you a deal when you try to leave.

    BTW, the jazz channel on XM is called Water Colors.
    The regular deal is 2nd vehicle cost 1/2
    I've used mine all over the USA & Canada don't have a problem with reception ecepting a hill or a mtn in the way on rare occassions.

  9. #9
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    I have Sirius in my car and think it is well worth the price. I can get get an all Blues channel even in the boondocks of Maine and Vermont.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  10. #10
    beemerbum beemerbum's Avatar
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    Satellite Radio

    Sirius purchased XM...thankfully they are still run as two (almost) separate services, at least in Canada (part of the industry agreement). We have three subscriptions and yes they are cheaper after the first one, and once riding season hits in earnest again here, my current XM portable subscription gets moved over the zumo 665 that is transferred between my RT and the 800.

    Have used the SUV subscription and both the motorcycle units in Canada and US without any issues and I have never run into the 'reprogramming' issue that some seem to experience when moving north, or south, of the border?

    Less the odd dropped signal and as someone has noted, audio quality can be poor (particularly channel separation).

    But having said all this, not sure if all the subscriptions will continue later this year...and subscribing to the other XM services for weather coverage, etc, is costly, at least here in Canada, but if travelling constantly in the US, where coverage is darn good, then its probably worth it.

    My 0.02 cents (Cdn), cheers, Bruce
    One is never enough...'14 R1200GSW, '14 F800GS Adv and whatever catches the eye next...

  11. #11
    RTST
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    Watch these people, in my book they are crooks. As stated earlier trying to cancel is a nightmare, they will tell you that the service can be turned off and on to save your contract time during times you may not ride (they wouldn't for me). Being from your area of the world I got alot of dropouts when riding in the foothills and mountain areas. Both my wife and I ride and the cost is very high even when the "give" it to you for half price. We switched to mp3 players with the slot card feature and are very happy as there are no dropouts and the quality is better (we use Starcom systems, and have custom molded earphones) I would research other systems before going to sat radio, besides the cost is less for other systems. my $.02.
    Larry

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by RTST View Post
    We switched to mp3 players with the slot card feature and are very happy as there are no dropouts and the quality is better
    That is the way I went. I just bought a 2011 SUV that included XM Radio and came with the 3 month trial. I can understand the attraction if you spend hours in on the road on a regular basis going cross county like a long commute to work. Since my office is 5 minutes from my house and the sound system also plays MP3 files from a USB drive or on CD, I just did not hear anything on XM that I could not put together myself on MP3 CD's. We use those in the house on a Bose player that also plays MP3 CD's. You can get over 11 hours of MP3 music on a CD times 6 CD's in the changer is 66 hours. If I want to go to the trouble, I can put all CD's we own in MP3 format on a 16GB USB drive.

    On motorcycle trips, I use a small (1.5" x 1") MP3 player in my shirt pocket. Rechargable Li-ion lasts 15 hours, and I can recharge from the bike when I get to camp. It also has an FM radio. FM is little value when riding cross country, but is great when you get to camp and want to listen to the news. I use noise isolating earbuds that work as well as my earplugs when the music is off and also carry regular earbuds for use around camp.

    XM Radio is offering me half price for the first year ($77) since I didn't pickup the service after the 3 month trial. Even at the reduced price, the value does not seem to me to be in line with the price.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

  13. #13
    Registered User clowry's Avatar
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    I guess we're an oddity. We've had our XM subscription for quite a while, and love it. I bought a second vehicle kit, and move my radio between the car and the bike. I've rarely had an issue with the signal dropping out, though admittedly the reception's been better with my SkyFi2 than with Dave's RoadyXT. I won't be buying an installation kit for my 2nd bike, though. I'll use my trusty ancient iPod. I have music on my GPS, but the volume doesn't seem adequate for some reason. I just can't hear it at highway speed.

  14. #14
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    Whew, what a lot of trouble with satellite radio. I tried HD radio, since I want to keep up with my kids, but it didn't work - whether or not it is the radio or the radio station, I do not know.

    IMHO there is a parallel between local radio stations and sticking with US and State Highways, verses riding the Interstate Highway System. The US and State roads give an entirely different view of our country. Riding the Interstate system is the fastest way to see nothing, all behind a tractor trailer and sandwiched between soccer mom's in their SUVs.

    Local places have local flavored radio, complete with accents, news and events. Texas, one of the bluest states in the nation, even has a Texas Public Radio in the southern and western part of our State, which may not even be an NPR affiliate, not sure. Who would have known?

    Many may not appreciate local flavor like South Texas Public Radio, to each their own. Just my own two cents.

  15. #15
    If your GPS is built for it, XM has real-time NEXRAD weather maps. I found it an awesome feature. Let me route around storms many times. Not sure if Sirius offers real-time weather.

    Quote Originally Posted by RTST View Post
    Watch these people, in my book they are crooks. As stated earlier trying to cancel is a nightmare, they will tell you that the service can be turned off and on to save your contract time during times you may not ride (they wouldn't for me). ...
    My experience was totally different. I had XM and I've turned mine on and off several times. No problems at all. Never had a billing problem.

    My only reception issues were in deep canyons out in the Western U.S. and along small mountains in some more moderate valleys traveling through British Columbia from Hyder over to Jasper Park.

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