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Old 03-01-2012, 08:47 AM
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60wag 60wag is offline
Rising Sun Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,024

If I was riding a 1000cc bike on the highway, I'd like a 50w mobile radio with a decent antenna wired into the bike. For offroad use, my goal is communication with those nearby. The HT suits that need. The Yaesu VX-7R has a good enough battery that I had good performance on the 12 hour Piute Pass ride last year. I wasn't transmitting the whole time but the radio was set to full 5 watt output and the battery held up just fine. I do have a 12V lighter socket mounted on the bike so charging the battery in an emergency is possible.

Getting ready to ride with the radio is a small hassle - plugging in the wires and feeding the wire to the finger mounted PTT button. You can go with a handlebar mounted PTT but I didn't want to be wired to the bike. I knew that a wire between me and the bike wouldn't last too long. With the self contained setup, getting off the bike, either planned or unplanned, allows you to focus on things other than the radio wires.

The motocomm FGL-559 works fine with the Yaesu VX-7R. The first PTT switch was flaky but motocomm took care of it quickly. The kit comes with a pigtail that matches the jack on the radio. If you wanted to be able to use the VX-3, you can just get a different pigtail and still use the same helmet kit. I don't know what the microphone in the helmet picks up but people tell me that I am easy to hear despite the motor and wind noise. I am using a full face helmet with the visor usually closed.

I'm using the Diamond antenna.

I carry the VX-7R in a pouch made by Nite-ize. There are several different sizes. I believe I'm using the wide one. The pouch is widely available at camping supply stores. The only mod needed to the pouch to fit the radio is to not use the stock flap. I fold it inside the pouch, insert the radio and then added another piece of velcro around the pouch to retain the radio. So far, so good.

Yes, offroad riding frequently demands focused attention that makes yakking on the radio a bad idea. There have been times where someone asked me a question while I was in the middle of a loose rocky climb. I just wait until its safe to reply. Sometimes, I'll just pull over, shut off the engine to cut the background noise and make it easy to chat.

I also recently added a Find Me Spot to my backpack. It might not save my *ss but then again, it might for not a lot of $.
'03 KTM 450EXC
"If you know what you're doing, then you aren't learning anything." - A. Lincoln
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