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Thread: Need help - how to connect my stuff to a new R1200RT

  1. #1

    Need help - how to connect my stuff to a new R1200RT

    Hey guys, it me again. I posted about getting either a '15 or a '16 RT. I'm comfortable with the decisions of which hardware to purchase with this RT, but I'm holding off until I'm confident about how I'm going to get my gadgets to connect to the new Beemer so I can make full use of the bike. So here's a few questions I need your collective help with.

    I'm currently using an Autocom (now don't laugh) on my current RT to connect the Radar Detector, Garmin GPS, Ipod, together. I bluetooth the Iphone to the Garmin, and I have music stored on the Garmin, so whatever goes through the Garmin gets to my ears. I also always use ear buds with speakers built in, and not the helmet speakers.

    The new RT will have bluetooth wireless functionality built in, and to get the most out of it, I'm thinking of getting a Shuberth helmet with the add-on bluetooth connectivity. Expensive yes.

    1. Do any of you use this helmet to connect your stuff to the RT? If so, are you missing any functionality from the bike?

    2. How do I use ear buds with this set up?

    3. I also read on this forum that one of you used a 4.0 bluetooth transmitter to bypass the RT's 2.0 bluetooth software, so the XM radio output is greatly improved. What does that require?

    4. Can I connect everything with bluetooth, including the RD, phone, GPS, and iPOD?

    Appreciate your ideas.
    John

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Hi John, while you are waiting for bike specific audio connection help, you could check the in forum "Tag Cloud". many of the connectivity questions may find answers through what has had a "Tag" added to the threads.
    If you are not familiar with the "Tag Cloud", you can read up on it here- http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....Tag-Cloud-quot
    Good luck, please post how you make out.
    Gary
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
    Registered User JIGGIN's Avatar
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    I ride using a Schuberth helmet. I had not heard a lot of great things regarding their comm units so I installed a Sena 20S. A little more hassle to install but it works great. I run my phone through the GPS through the bike to my helmet. My I-Pod I plug into the bike which then runs through the blue tooth to my helmet. Although I have speakers in my helmet which are pretty good, when I play my I-Pod, I want better fidelity, so I plug my ear speakers into the Sena which has a plug for them. Then I am in the concert hall. I would run your phone and RD through your GPS, your I-Pod through the wire plug-ins in the Rt compartment, and I don't know what you would plug your ear pieces into unless you install a plug on your comm. All of these take a little time to get all synced up, but once you're through you can enjoy them all.
    2014 R1200RT

  4. #4
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    There is very little room in the right compartment for an iPod and maybe a lightning to normal adaptor, plus the over $130 BMW adaptor cable.

    Just put your music on a USB stick ($30 should do it), plug it in directly to the cable in the compartment and you are good to go to select artist, album, ... using the multiwheel.

    That assumes your music file has a hierarchy for files such as that used by iTunes, Media Monkey, etc. Artist, Album, song is what I recall the order is.

    The Schuberth helmet takes a custom collar made by Cardo. Don't know if it has provision for earbuds. My Cardo G9 is the same electronics but that model does not provide for earbuds. A later model may do so, so check with them. Works great.
    Ed
    2015 R1200RT; 2011 R1200RT RIP; 2000 Triumph 900 (sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  5. #5
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    John, I've got an Autocom on my 2004 R1150RT, but haven't used it since I switched to a Sena SMH10 about 2-3 years ago. Haven't looked back since. I wanted to add some things that required updating my Autocom to run Bluetooth, etc., and the cost of a then new SMH10 dual set wasn't much more, so the choice was easy. If you're anything like me, you'll really enjoy the lack of cables that full Bluetooth affords.

    I've got a Schuberth C3 with the Sena SMH10 attached. The really nice thing about the Sena is that all you need is their $30 mounting kit and you can move the "unit" to any of your helmets. I've also got an Arai Vector-II and a Nolan, plus my wife's Nolan all with the $30 mounting kits. Thought about going with a proprietary system like the Nolan or Shuberth, but then realized that I didn't want to get stuck to one helmet manufacturer. That's also why I went with Sena, greater connectivity and to my way of thinking, leading the pack it this field. I'm sure others feel differently, but that's my considered opinion. They now have new and improved 20S and 10S (can be configured via a Smart-app). The 10S will fit my SMH10 mounts (20S uses a slightly different mount), so if I wished to upgrade to the 10S it's just a matter of buying the unit and clipping it into the current mounts. If you've got more than one helmet, or envision doing so, than definitely consider something like the Sena. Even with just one helmet there are strong reason to give it careful consideration.

    One feature that doesn't get much notice but to me, should get considerable attention, is the fact that the Sena is one of the only, if not the only, unit that can be used while it is being charged. Doesn't sound like much, especially as these things have very good battery life, but many BMW riders do multi-day rides and I've found from experience that on day 2-3 you may be getting low on juice, especially if you're riding with others and involved in discussing things like fuel/food/rest stops, keeping tabs on iffy drivers, etc., etc. Just run a micro-USB cord to the unit for power and you're good to go charging the unit while you ride and use it. Really helpful at the end of a long day in strange territory where you'd really like to keep hearing those GPS directions to find your stopping point. Carl Reese recently broke the LA to NYC record by riding a BMW K1600GT in under 39 hours. I head the talk he gave at Max BMW on Feb 20th., and it was very interesting and informative. He had several problems along the way, one of which was that the Schuberth communication system can not be used while charging.

    As was mentioned the Senas have a plug for earbuds so if you like to use them it is super easy. I know folks who use both. They use the Sena hardwired speakers when they're just tooling around and use the plugin earbuds when doing longer rides. Best of both worlds. The "always there" convenience of the in-helmet speakers and quality of earbuds when they want.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  6. #6
    thanks Gary, I'll look into the Tag Cloud.
    John

  7. #7
    Registered User RYD1WD's Avatar
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    After getting frustrated and discouraged with the limitations of Bluetooth for multiple devices, I pulled my 10 year old Autocom Active 7 Smart out of the box and set it up the way I had it on my '04 ST1300 for 8 years... no regrets, the Autocom is still a more complete solution for those who don't get hung up on plugging in, IMO.
    Greg North - Sales & Marketing Manager, BMW Motorcycles Of Charlotte & Greensboro
    There are motorcycle owners, and there are motorcycle riders.
    And then there are those of us for whom motorcycling is an essential part of our journey - a way of life, and looking at it.

  8. #8
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    I agree that the Autocom works very well. Especially compared to many of the Bluetooth setups on the market.

    However to be fair, I think if one is going to compare what is likely the "King" of wired-communications (Autocom), than it should be compared against the top of the heap for wireless-communications (Sena) and not to the Cardo/BMW/Schuberth setup which is no better than second to the Sena, or worse still something below a Cardo. That's not to say that the Sena can't be a bit of a problem for people from time to time, but most are very happy with them.

    For me the amount of connectivity has never been an issue. In addition to my SMH10, I have the Sena SR10 for non-Bluetooth items like my 2-way Radio etc.
    The SR10 is a Class 1 Bluetooth Two-way Radio adapter based on Bluetooth 2.1+EDR technology. You can connect various two-way radio devices in the market by using SR10 and may talk wirelessly using Bluetooth headsets The Sena SR10 bluetooth two-way radio hub has two AUX ports that enable you to connect non-Bluetooth devices such as radar detector or GPS navigation. Along with the Sena SR10 bluetooth audio gateway, you can talk by phone or by two-way radios at the same time, listen to an alarm signal from radar detector and listen to the guides from GPS Navigation.
    I love being free from the umbilical cord, but will admit that if you are comfortable with having to plug into the bike each time you get on (forgetful me would sometimes have to stop and remember to plug in), you can't beat the quality of the Autocom experience.

    Only problem now is that many riders are moving away from the 2-way in favour of in/on helmet communications and Autocom can't communicate with them.

    Unlike many of it's competitors the Sena will fairly easily pair up to most Bluetooth competitors and not constantly be losing the connection. That means if you want to go riding with someone that isn't a regular riding companion and they've got a Cardo/BMW/Schuberth, Midland, J&B, Nolan, etc., you can likely pair up and have that convenience/safety. I ride with five different groups and individual friends, etc., so flexibility across platforms is very helpful for me. Otherwise, aside from that and having hit my head way too many times and being more forgetful now to the point that hard-wiring me into anything is problematic, I'd likely still be rocking the Autocom and be quite blissful doing it. ;-)
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: 2019 R1250RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '14 R1200RT / '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JIGGIN View Post
    I ride using a Schuberth helmet. I had not heard a lot of great things regarding their comm units so I installed a Sena 20S. A little more hassle to install but it works great. I run my phone through the GPS through the bike to my helmet. My I-Pod I plug into the bike which then runs through the blue tooth to my helmet. Although I have speakers in my helmet which are pretty good, when I play my I-Pod, I want better fidelity, so I plug my ear speakers into the Sena which has a plug for them. Then I am in the concert hall. I would run your phone and RD through your GPS, your I-Pod through the wire plug-ins in the Rt compartment, and I don't know what you would plug your ear pieces into unless you install a plug on your comm. All of these take a little time to get all synced up, but once you're through you can enjoy them all.
    Thank you Jiggin, I've heard some concerns also about the BMWcomm system. Not sure I can connect both Phone and RD to the GPS, but if so, that would be a simple approach. What do you think about the BMW Bluetooth system when it comes to audio quality? I've heard that since it is only 2.0, it has poorer quality than the Sena 4.0 Bluetooth? Or does that only come into play with the onboard XM radio?
    John

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by BMW Triumphant View Post
    There is very little room in the right compartment for an iPod and maybe a lightning to normal adaptor, plus the over $130 BMW adaptor cable.

    Just put your music on a USB stick ($30 should do it), plug it in directly to the cable in the compartment and you are good to go to select artist, album, ... using the multiwheel.

    That assumes your music file has a hierarchy for files such as that used by iTunes, Media Monkey, etc. Artist, Album, song is what I recall the order is.

    The Schuberth helmet takes a custom collar made by Cardo. Don't know if it has provision for earbuds. My Cardo G9 is the same electronics but that model does not provide for earbuds. A later model may do so, so check with them. Works great.
    Thank you for that information into the Cardo units. Are you using the Cardo unit that fits into the helmet neck liner or is yours one of the Sena type units that attach on the outside of the helmet? BTW, are you using a Shuberth helmet? If so, how do you like it?
    John

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    John, I've got an Autocom on my 2004 R1150RT, but haven't used it since I switched to a Sena SMH10 about 2-3 years ago. Haven't looked back since. I wanted to add some things that required updating my Autocom to run Bluetooth, etc., and the cost of a then new SMH10 dual set wasn't much more, so the choice was easy. If you're anything like me, you'll really enjoy the lack of cables that full Bluetooth affords.

    I've got a Schuberth C3 with the Sena SMH10 attached. The really nice thing about the Sena is that all you need is their $30 mounting kit and you can move the "unit" to any of your helmets. I've also got an Arai Vector-II and a Nolan, plus my wife's Nolan all with the $30 mounting kits. Thought about going with a proprietary system like the Nolan or Shuberth, but then realized that I didn't want to get stuck to one helmet manufacturer. That's also why I went with Sena, greater connectivity and to my way of thinking, leading the pack it this field. I'm sure others feel differently, but that's my considered opinion. They now have new and improved 20S and 10S (can be configured via a Smart-app). The 10S will fit my SMH10 mounts (20S uses a slightly different mount), so if I wished to upgrade to the 10S it's just a matter of buying the unit and clipping it into the current mounts. If you've got more than one helmet, or envision doing so, than definitely consider something like the Sena. Even with just one helmet there are strong reason to give it careful consideration.

    One feature that doesn't get much notice but to me, should get considerable attention, is the fact that the Sena is one of the only, if not the only, unit that can be used while it is being charged. Doesn't sound like much, especially as these things have very good battery life, but many BMW riders do multi-day rides and I've found from experience that on day 2-3 you may be getting low on juice, especially if you're riding with others and involved in discussing things like fuel/food/rest stops, keeping tabs on iffy drivers, etc., etc. Just run a micro-USB cord to the unit for power and you're good to go charging the unit while you ride and use it. Really helpful at the end of a long day in strange territory where you'd really like to keep hearing those GPS directions to find your stopping point. Carl Reese recently broke the LA to NYC record by riding a BMW K1600GT in under 39 hours. I head the talk he gave at Max BMW on Feb 20th., and it was very interesting and informative. He had several problems along the way, one of which was that the Schuberth communication system can not be used while charging.

    As was mentioned the Senas have a plug for earbuds so if you like to use them it is super easy. I know folks who use both. They use the Sena hardwired speakers when they're just tooling around and use the plugin earbuds when doing longer rides. Best of both worlds. The "always there" convenience of the in-helmet speakers and quality of earbuds when they want.
    Thank you Alan, after hearing from you and the others, I'm pretty well convinced the Sena is the way to go. So just so I'm clear on this, what functionality do you give up on the RT by not having the BMW comm system? Really appreciate your detailed response. Do you run an RD and your phone and an IPod for music? And do your listen to the XM radio? I've heard the on board BMW 2.0 Bluetooth is pretty bad quality wise compared to the current 4.0 that Sena and others use now.
    John

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    I agree that the Autocom works very well. Especially compared to many of the Bluetooth setups on the market.

    However to be fair, I think if one is going to compare what is likely the "King" of wired-communications (Autocom), than it should be compared against the top of the heap for wireless-communications (Sena) and not to the Cardo/BMW/Schuberth setup which is no better than second to the Sena, or worse still something below a Cardo. That's not to say that the Sena can't be a bit of a problem for people from time to time, but most are very happy with them.

    For me the amount of connectivity has never been an issue. In addition to my SMH10, I have the Sena SR10 for non-Bluetooth items like my 2-way Radio etc.


    I love being free from the umbilical cord, but will admit that if you are comfortable with having to plug into the bike each time you get on (forgetful me would sometimes have to stop and remember to plug in), you can't beat the quality of the Autocom experience.

    Only problem now is that many riders are moving away from the 2-way in favour of in/on helmet communications and Autocom can't communicate with them.

    Unlike many of it's competitors the Sena will fairly easily pair up to most Bluetooth competitors and not constantly be losing the connection. That means if you want to go riding with someone that isn't a regular riding companion and they've got a Cardo/BMW/Schuberth, Midland, J&B, Nolan, etc., you can likely pair up and have that convenience/safety. I ride with five different groups and individual friends, etc., so flexibility across platforms is very helpful for me. Otherwise, aside from that and having hit my head way too many times and being more forgetful now to the point that hard-wiring me into anything is problematic, I'd likely still be rocking the Autocom and be quite blissful doing it. ;-)
    Boy I understand the quality of the Autocom set up. Never had any trouble with it, and the audio quality is top notch for me. My only hesitation in going to wireless systems, is the audio quality. I just don
    T want to be disappointed in crummy audio quality. And I want to enjoying the XM radio, which I hear might have a quality problem.
    Thanks guys for both sides of this conversation.
    John

  13. #13
    Registered User JIGGIN's Avatar
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    Only problem I have had with the bike's Bluetooth is that occasionally with XM it will cut out. I then will switch to speakers on and then switch to off and it will come right back on. Other than that happening occasionally, the sound is very good with the helmet speakers. I always wear the ear plugs and the sound is very good, I suspect better with them than not.
    2014 R1200RT

  14. #14
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    I have been quietly following this thread. Lots of good information. As it stands right now, I think I am sold on the Sena 20S for a 2014 R1200RT, Nav V, iPhone6, and a Nolan N104 Evo helmet(s).

    Music is the lowest priority, following just behind phone calls. Number one is the Nav V with traffic and/or weather alerts using the Garmin Smartlink APP. Further connectivity to a pillion, or another rider, would be nice --but that seems to be a problem for the non BMW sets?

  15. #15
    Registered User patm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burangs View Post
    I have been quietly following this thread. Lots of good information. As it stands right now, I think I am sold on the Sena 20S for a 2014 R1200RT, Nav V, iPhone6, and a Nolan N104 Evo helmet(s).

    Music is the lowest priority, following just behind phone calls. Number one is the Nav V with traffic and/or weather alerts using the Garmin Smartlink APP. Further connectivity to a pillion, or another rider, would be nice --but that seems to be a problem for the non BMW sets?
    No worries, Senas as well as Scalas and others can talk with a pillion or in most cases with other Bluetooth comm devices, even when connected to multiple other devices. They usually work best with similar brand devices. The Sena being on top in regards to working with other brands.
    Pat

    Ride Safe!
    '16 RT

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