TJ and I have Chatterboxes and at this point, we'd be hard pressed to ride without them. They're great for several reasons. We have the HJC-FRS models and I believe they run about $200 each bike, not sure about that. Expensive, but worth every penny.
Here's how they install. You have two speakers (flat, round, about the size of a half dollar or a little larger) and a microphone that go in the helmet. You just take out your padding in the helmet, peel back the lining and stick them in with velcro that way if you need to, you can remove them. Then, you pull the fabric back over the foam and reinstall it in the helmet. You run the cords along the bottom of the helmet, under the padding. Then, you velcro the mic to the inside front of the helmet and the cord ends up coming out the bottom left side of the helmet.
Then, you have the receiver unit that is shaped like a small, hand held CB, a little bigger than a cigarette package. That clamps to the side of the helmet with an adapter that stays on the helmet all the time, even if you have the units off to charge them. I didn't like this idea at first, but it is very stable and has good rubber padding to protect the helmet.
Then, you plug the headset/mic wire into the main unit, turn it on, adjust the voice activation and the volume controls and you're set! Very light weight and they even look kinda cool. My helmet doesn't feel any different to me with the unit in place, except when I pull the helmet off my head, I have to grab it a bit differently. If you don't like that setup, I have heard of people buying an extension for the cord and running the unit clipped to their pants pocket, jacket or in a tank bag. That's what I planned to originally do with mine until I saw how securely they attached to the helmet with no damage incurred to the helmet. They come off, so if you lock the helmet to the bike, you can pull off the unit and carry it with you.
We have done some various tests with them and I'll list those for you here.
<LI>We have been 1-1/2 miles apart and still been able to hear fairly clearly without breaking up too much. The literature says 2 miles, but I think that is pushing it.
<LI>We can ride approximately 85 miles an hour and still hear/understand one another, but that is pushing it as well. I understand this varies with type of helmet, placement of speakers, etc. Also, we've heard putting a small cotton ball over the mic will help cut out wind noise, we just haven't tried it yet.
<LI>Every once in awhile, we'll have someone cut in on some sort of "personal family radios" and either we switch channels (there are 2 channels) or one guy we visit with regularly on the way home.
<LI>There is a push to talk button you can attach to your handlebars or you can use the voice activation feature. Takes a little getting used to the voice activation, but it's definitely easier than constantly pushing a button.
<LI>You can plug in a walkman/discman and still use the voice activation, which then disables the music while the other person is talking.
<LI>When it starts to rain, the units quit working until they're dried out, but then they work fine again.
<LI>They are rechargeable and hold an incredible charge. We have had them since right after Christmas and use them constantly and have only recharged them ONCE, but they're about ready for a second charge! I'd say you could get at least 30-40 hours of continuous use on a charge and that's only a guess. </UL>
They are sure nice to be able to warn each other of things in the road, an upcoming turn or any number of things that you feel like saying when you ride. Also, now, TJ doesn't feel he needs to stop if I miss a light or get behind for some reason (he usually leads). He can just ask me if I'm still back there and if I'm okay, etc. We also warn each other of drivers who aren't paying attention or driving erratically.
If you have further questions, feel free to ask and I'll try to help out with what I can. Either e-mail but better yet in here, so we can share the knowledge.
We both love them and at this point, we'd be really lost without them.
Stacia - '00 CBR F4
"Objects in mirror no longer matter!"
[This message has been edited by Luv2RideFast (edited March 04, 2000).]