With the many Bluetooth motorcycle headsets on the market today some people wonder why anybody would want to add an archaic form of communication like the CB to their motorcycle. The most common reason for wanting a motorcycle CB is for group rides. Nothing beats a Sunday afternoon ride in the spring with a big group of friends all on 2 wheels. You might argue that when you go on rides you are looking to get away from the talk and noise and you don’t want to hear people while riding. And yes, you have a point. But being able to communicate with the others can be about more than just socializing. It can mean clearer directions and road hazard warnings to help keep the group together and prevent accidents. If you ride a Goldwing or Ultra Classic with a built in CB then you know how handy this communication can be in a group ride and sometimes when you are by yourself out on the freeway. If you take a ride cross country, talking on the CB can be a great way to pass the time or “meet” other riders, and truckers, along the way.radio strap
If you have looked into getting a CB installed on your motorcycle but became discouraged by the price tag of J&M Corporation’s JMCB-2003 don’t worry, there are other options. In the case of the J&M for around $400 you can have a very nice motorcycle CB right on your handlebars with excellent controls that allow you to change channels and use the Push to Talk while keeping your hands on the handlebars. It also provides a rider to passenger intercom and ipod input for listening to music. While J&M’s design is the cleanest, most user friendly motorcycle CB available, there are many other motorcycle CB options out there, some for a lot less money.
Let’s face it, you don’t need to be changing channels while you ride. For group motorcycle rides everyone will be on one channel and on the open road if you aren’t on channel 19 you probably won’t find anybody else to talk to. Volume also can be set and left alone in most cases. So all you really need on your handlebars is a push to talk button and you can keep the radio portion in a tank bag or someplace out of the way. The most basic (least expensive) setup requires a radio, a headset, a push to talk button and an antenna. Most portable radios come with a short flexible antenna, though not great, if your radio is mounted out near the handlebars you should have a 1/2 mile range, enough to talk to others on a group ride. The Midland 75-822 ($89) portable CB is a popular model which can be powered by a Cigarette lighter or with AA batteries. The Midland 75-785 costs even less ($43) but can only be powered by AA batteries. Both of these can easily be used in your car or any other handheld use when not on the motorcycle.
Headset options: Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to connecting a portable motorcycle CB to their helmet. There are several options but just keep in mind that you can’t have an open microphone so you must have a PTT between your helmet microphone and the CB. StarCom1 adapter kits which fit different style radios (Cobra, Icom, Kenwood, Midland, Motorola), include a waterproof push to talk button which straps to your handlebars, and a headset port. You can then choose from 6 different styles of StarCom1 headsets which include a stick on or boom microphone, speakers or ear bud jack (3.5mm) or both speakers and an ear bud jack.