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Thread: Bluetooth that does work well with 2011 RT's Bluetooth

  1. #1

    Bluetooth that does work well with 2011 RT's Bluetooth

    As a new 20011 R1200RT owner that has built-in Bluetooth, I was attempting to pair it up with my ancient Cardo Scala-rider TeamSet system (think it is the 1st generation Scala).

    The bike simply says, "Huh? There's a Bluetooth system nearby?"

    I've been wanting to replace this system but it just doesn't die. After 3 or 4 years I still get a full day of scratchy mono intercom and GPS voice-navigation soupcan-quality performance!

    So... if I was going to upgrade to the current technology, does anyone know what works (well) with the 2011 RT Bluetooth system?????

    I have read reviews of the Sena SMH-10 system and that looks really good. But I don't want to pull the trigger on it (or another similar system) without knowing it 'works' pretty well with the bike.

    I would like to have not only intercom with spouse, but connect to bike and GPS (zumo 550), hear good quality stereo tunes in the speakers, and be loud enough to hear all this with earplugs without undo sound distortion.

    I guess it's a lot to ask for a system. I understand that the BMW Bluetooth system does it all and more (at least according to my bike's Bluetooth instruction manual) but I shudder to find out the price of that.

    Jon
    1995 Honda ST1100
    2005 BMW K1200 LT (gone)
    2011 BMW R1200RT

  2. #2
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    I bought the Sena SMH 10 and it quickly paired with the bluetooth on my 2011 RT, but the left speaker was defective so it was returned. I replaced it with the Scala Rider G4. It is smaller but not quite as easy to operate. It too easily paired with the BMW bluetooth. I'm still learning to use both the headset and the BMW electronics so re-establishing a connection after powering both off has me stymied, but I have only done it twice now. The sound is good if not quite as good as the Etymotic E6i ear buds it replaced. I'm happy, just technologically challenged.
    2015 R1200GS Adventure

  3. #3

    2011 r1200rt

    I have been told by Bill at Ride West in Seattle, that due to the new 1600 coming out, BMW has developed a new system (I have a schubert helmet, so my conversation was geared towards it) to integrate with the RT system. I had the new "collar" system to go with the Schubert helmet, and new bike, but it didn't control the volume. (Unless you monkey with the collar itself in flight.) I want to be able to use the volume control on the handle bar. I've been told this new system is to be out within two weeks and will do just that. They accepted the return of the collar system (last week), and I'm just waiting for the call. I am a bit surprised that BMW hasn't worked out the issue better, perhaps it's because they've focused on doing such a great job on the handling and functionality of the bike instead! Frankly, a hard wire system would be fine with me, but Bill didn't seem to have a solid suggestion for that. I'm a "new guy" though, especially to all the technology on bikes issues. That's what I've learned so far, but again, I still don't have it figured out.....
    Don Fitzpatrick
    Woodinville, WA
    2011 1200RT
    1999 XR650L

  4. #4

    How well aftermarket BT systems work with 2001RT

    Thanks Kurt and Don.

    Did you get a price on the new BMW setup? I'm not in the market for a new helmet (well... I would LOVE to get one of those new helmets) so I'm probably outta luck there - unless it can fit on most any helmet like most other systems.

    Spouse (and me really too) is not fond of wires but I understand that the hard-wired systems tend to work very well. It's the somewhat flaky Bluetooth (perhaps only the early generation Bluetooth) that didn't live up to (early?) expectations.

    Still wonder if anyone has used one of the latest "general purpose" Bluetooth systems with the 2011 RT and can get pretty much all the bells as the BMW ones can.

    Jon
    1995 Honda ST1100
    2005 BMW K1200 LT (gone)
    2011 BMW R1200RT

  5. #5

    Bluetooth Operability

    Let me begin by saying that I have been using this technology for as many years as it has been out. I love it. But, and this is a big but, just as USB had significant compatibility issues with it when debuted, so does Bluetooth. While standards do exist, there are so many variations used by manufacturers there is no guarantee two devices will pair and work, even with the same supposed version. For example, my Garmin 765T, Samsung Rogue, and J&M rig work wonderfully together using the J&M as a hub. In this configuration, the Garmin is at a lower priority level than the phone (if music is playing and the phone comes on, the music stops). However, with my new Zumo 660, I can have either the 660 and the J&M paired or the Rogue and the J&M paired but not both. Additionally, the Rogue when paired with either Garmin will allow others to hear me but I cannot hear them regardless if the J&M is in the circuit or not. All units have the 'latest firmware updates.' Additionally, just because two devices 'pair' does not mean they will work well or even at all. I have enough Bluetooth devices (Microsoft, Apple, LG, etc, etc,) to believe I know what I am talking about. Specifically, when you mix manufactures, there is always the possibility the system components may not talk to each other. Currently, the only sure fire thing is to make sure that where ever you buy from has a good return policy or that you know someone that has the exact same arrangement and confirms that it will work. With all this said, I am sticking with Bluetooth technology and will make the necessary adjustments.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  6. #6

    pricing

    Hello Jon, no they didn't have pricing yet. (I did ask.) I suspect it will be more than I want to pay.....but they'll get my money. I haven't ridden bikes with helmet audio before, so hard wires, or bluetooth are both a huge jump on the positive side for me.

    My plan at this point is to continue to work with the dealer to get the bluetooth functionality working using all "factory and dealer" recommendations. (For the record, I have an Iphone, and BMW Nav IV Garmin GPS, and other than handle bar controlled volume, they did work together.) If this doesn't work, I'll start mixing it up a bit most likely by hard wiring.

    My Ipod puts great music in my ears with the old fashion ear plugs, and the phone is obviously integral working with it, but I just don't have the radio or easy volume control. I guess I'm getting a bit greedy wanting it all to work! Certainly a nice problem to be struggling with! Most importantly I'm enjoying putting the miles on the machine

    Don
    Don Fitzpatrick
    Woodinville, WA
    2011 1200RT
    1999 XR650L

  7. #7

    Bluetooth setup on 2011 1200RT

    Thought I'd give an update on what I've found to date. As of my last post, I had returned my schubert helmet "collar" system, as the volume control could not be used with the rotating volume control on the handlebar. I know this is a small thing, but for 400.00, I thought it reasonable. The other part of that decision, is that I was told by our local BMW dealer that a new system would be coming out that would have that ability on it. The new system being part of the new 1600's sound system.

    Long story short, the new system is still not available, and no one seems to know when it will be. I grew impatient and went to Radio Shack. I bought a collar system for 70.00 dollars, made by LG. It is the LG HBS-700. It is stereo, and has the ACD2 capability. (I think that's the code that's listed in the manual.)

    The results so far are that for 300.00 less than the BMW option;

    Upside

    - My Iphone works through the Nav iv system
    - The bluetooth syncs with my phone, the nav and the bike. Meaning they all work.
    - It's a comfortable setup.
    - If the phone rings, it overrides the stereo and displays on the Nav four sytem.
    - The house radio works, as does the Ipod music lists all controlled by the handle bar controls
    - volume and sound quality are adequate (I have lost some hearing through general aviation, so take this with a grain of salt)

    Downside

    - still no handle bar control for volume (The mute button does work though)
    - syncing appears to need to be done every time, which just takes a moment.

    Summary, not perfect, but not bad. Be interesting to test drive the new BMW version if and when it comes out and see if it's worth the money.
    Don Fitzpatrick
    Woodinville, WA
    2011 1200RT
    1999 XR650L

  8. #8
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Do the earbuds fit under the helmet without irritating your ears/head? What about use in rain etc.?
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  9. #9
    Registered User
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    My dealer expects the new BMW system in mid-June and estimates the the price to be $400.
    2015 R1200GS Adventure

  10. #10
    Hi Mark, yes they do fit under the helmet quite nicely. They are very small, at least compared to most that I've seen. I have not taken a long ride since acquiring the system, but so far so good. I don't think the rain will bother the unit because it fits so closely to your chin. If it did, I suspect you'd be pretty wet throughout your riding suit.

    Glad to hear that mid-June is the approximate timeline. I am going to test drive the new system and see how it works, but you can't really beat the price on this alternative!
    Don Fitzpatrick
    Woodinville, WA
    2011 1200RT
    1999 XR650L

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    May 2011
    Location
    Portage, MI
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    I have a Chatterbox XBI2 it has its quicks, but seems to pair quickly and work well.

  12. #12

    LG HBS-700 - not bad temporary sound solution

    Don,

    I didn't know something like the LG HBS-700 existed!

    After work today I went to Radio Shack too and picked one up. From what I understand from the instructions, I went and synced it up first to the zumo 550 GPS. Then turned everything off and turned the HBS-700 back on to pair with the RT bluetooth system. That worked too. Not sure if I need to have the RT's bluetooth on first, then turn on the GPS, but it appears that I can get bluetooth from the RT (FM, USB drive, Sirius, weather, etc), the Mute on bike indeed works, that GPS navigation takes priority and after a navigation blurp, auto goes back to the RT's bluetooth.

    I have not tried the phone paried to the GPS and using this headset. I figure it does not have the means to actually give a conversation while moving. So I figure I will "see" someone calling (the GPS will identify who or the number) a (no noise reduction, etc). I could hear the message (if they leave one) in the headset and/or pull over and try to establish a call while stationary. I have a flip-face helmet so that might work. Have to see.

    On a side note - I tried the Sena SMH-10 and the outcome was terrible. I wonder if the ones I got were made on a Friday. They would not charge under 5 or 6 hours, one headset had a bad speaker, and volume got less and less after about an hour until I could no longer hear my spouse (on pillion) unless we were nearly stationary. I was so-o hoping for them to work but I returned them. I have an 1st generation Scala set that still works "ok" as an intercom but in truth, kinda sucks too.

    Jon
    1995 Honda ST1100
    2005 BMW K1200 LT (gone)
    2011 BMW R1200RT

  13. #13
    Hey Jon, glad you saw some value in this option as well! It actually does have the means to make a call from the road. I have made a call on the road going about 35 and my wife was able to hear it fine.....actually I left a message on the home recorder, and while there was some back ground noise, it was very easy to understand. I simply brought up my phone list on the GPS, and hit dial, and away it went. Keep in mind this phone list data is actually on my IPhone. Technology not being a strong suit for me, I was impressed that I could get it all to work.

    I have also found, that you don't need to use the blue tooth feature on the phone, simply plug it into the bike. The bluetooth with the bike and GPS setup does the rest. (For a while I was trying to sync all three, and it just wasn't necessary.) Pretty slick!
    Don Fitzpatrick
    Woodinville, WA
    2011 1200RT
    1999 XR650L

  14. #14
    Here are my 2 cents. I have a 2011 RT with the Audio System and Blue tooth. I have a Shuberth C2 and the Sena SMH10 and the Nano Ipod. To get all this stuff to work the way I wanted it was a challenge, but I am almost there.

    The Sena is Blue tooth to the Audio System for the iPod but volume control does not work, just from the Sena. The Sena also Blue tooth my iPhone and I am paired up with another Sena for Bike to Bike Com.

    When all this is in sync, it works great but sometimes either the phone or the iPod doesn't sync up until you mess with it here and there. Plus I just noticed that the iPod doesn't shuffle the songs....it just plays in order of A-Z??? Any ideas on that anyone??
    Barry
    2011 R1200RT
    Schuberth C3,Sena SHM10
    Zumo 660

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