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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To all,

As stated in my new member intro, I have a V-Star 950 (in the shop after 4 years of no riding for a complete service), but I am going to keep the 950 and upgrade to something larger for better safety on the highways (speed demons coming up on me and the 950 gets sluggish when traffic is doing well over the speed limit and you have to do the same to stay safe). Now, I am looking at the Raider or the Stratoliner and currently leaning towards a 2014 Stratoliner Deluxe (many are around with < 16K miles) but I have a question for the forum.

Having never ridden a bagger, the Stratoliner has speakers in the Fairing but I'm wondering about their need in today's world? I can imagine just a full Bluetooth setup with phone, music and intercom all coming into the helmet and no need for the speakers blasting the road/cars/neighbors (including Google Maps/Nav versus the Garmin). I'm assuming the helmet setup would still allow situational awareness such as fire/police/ambulance sirens or car horns just as well as the speakers but I'm not sure.

So, for those of you with baggers and speakers; is there any advantage over a full connection of Bluetooth over a helmet (minus parked and playing music at some stopping point)? Is using a helmet only setup any more dangerous (situational awareness, Etc.), or am I missing something? I'd love to hear from some of you that ride with either setup (helmet only, speakers, combination, Etc.) and what do you like or feel the advantage of either is.

Note, looking to upgrade to a new helmet with Bluetooth and will probably ask later on some recommendations. However, right now I'm focusing on getting back on the 950 and logging some miles to regain the muscle memory before I jump on something like a ~1900 with so much torque

My thanks for any and all comments
 

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To all,

As stated in my new member intro, I have a V-Star 950 (in the shop after 4 years of no riding for a complete service), but I am going to keep the 950 and upgrade to something larger for better safety on the highways (speed demons coming up on me and the 950 gets sluggish when traffic is doing well over the speed limit and you have to do the same to stay safe). Now, I am looking at the Raider or the Stratoliner and currently leaning towards a 2014 Stratoliner Deluxe (many are around with < 16K miles) but I have a question for the forum.

Having never ridden a bagger, the Stratoliner has speakers in the Fairing but I'm wondering about their need in today's world? I can imagine just a full Bluetooth setup with phone, music and intercom all coming into the helmet and no need for the speakers blasting the road/cars/neighbors (including Google Maps/Nav versus the Garmin). I'm assuming the helmet setup would still allow situational awareness such as fire/police/ambulance sirens or car horns just as well as the speakers but I'm not sure.

So, for those of you with baggers and speakers; is there any advantage over a full connection of Bluetooth over a helmet (minus parked and playing music at some stopping point)? Is using a helmet only setup any more dangerous (situational awareness, Etc.), or am I missing something? I'd love to hear from some of you that ride with either setup (helmet only, speakers, combination, Etc.) and what do you like or feel the advantage of either is.

Note, looking to upgrade to a new helmet with Bluetooth and will probably ask later on some recommendations. However, right now I'm focusing on getting back on the 950 and logging some miles to regain the muscle memory before I jump on something like a ~1900 with so much torque

My thanks for any and all comments
This is a great question, One that I will be following with keen interest to see what others discuss. I’ve been struggling with the same question, as my speakers are blown and I do need a new helmet.
 

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if your #1 goal is musical clarity and enjoyment, then fairing or saddlebag speakers do not even compare to having earphones or speakers in your helmet. the open speakers are battling wind noise, road noise, engine, traffic, etc. while earphones are blocking all that noise while piping the music directly into your ear canal. i've been using Shure SE215 earbuds for the past decade and i can't imagine doing highway trips without them. but they're not totally noise canceling. i can still hear my bike some, a car honk, and emergency vehicles. though, admittedly, not nearly as much as without the buds.
 

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I picked up a Stratoliner S last October, I don't think you'd be disappointed with the Strat. At the moment, the only music I listen to is the sweet sound of the motor.

My last bike was a Road Glide Ultra. It did not have blue tooth, you had to use a wired headset. I could choose to use the headset or the speakers for whichever function I wanted. I also began wearing earplugs all the time just before the RGU on an Ultra Limited. I tried both ways and settled on the music and GPS over the speakers with the phone through the headset. For me, the music in the headset just didn't sound right, also in my case, the cable became a PIA. I don't use a phone very often and finally gave up on the cable and just listened through the speakers. Although this may sound like it doesn't make sense, I think my ear plugs interfered with the sound from the headset more than the sound from the speakers.

I forgot to mention. If you are going to go the headset route, I'd suggest you get a stand alone headset, not one built into the helmet. With the stand alone, you'll have more options to choose from and it can be moved into a different helmet if you so choose.
 

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I rented a Street Glide that had the whole set up in the faring. The volume adjusted automatically as the bike slowed down or sped up. I used it for two minutes and left it off after that.
I tried Bluetooth earbuds once for a few minutes / miles as well. For me, the music was too much of a distraction, (on the bike it is like sensory overload for me. In my truck, not so much). Also, I was not comfortable with the reduced capability to hear what was going on around me, but my hearing is bad in the first place.

The earbuds were much better as far as sound though if that's what you want.
 

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I picked up a Stratoliner S last October, I don't think you'd be disappointed with the Strat. At the moment, the only music I listen to is the sweet sound of the motor.
This is me. I enjoy listening to the wind, the exhaust, and natural noises that are made by motion. I've been known to drive for many miles after a radio station has lost reception in silence just listening to the sounds of the car.

My all time favorite sounds are my old Allis Chalmers tractor pulling a hay rake. The whoosh whoosh of the rake and the drone of the engine takes me to my happy place. I know....I'm weird. :ROFLMAO:
 

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I have never had speakers on a bike, but have tried listening to the radio with the vent windows, side windows and back glass open and you looe a little bit of enjoyment. Plus I can't help but to give funny looks to the guys blasting music while cruising around town in traffic. My own opinions there.
However for bluetooth, look in to getting the add on with the speakers and mic that you put in to the helmet as opposed to a bluetooth helmet. It was talked about in another post, but getting a bluetooth helmet, you are locked in to that one helmet, vice being able to switch the bluetooth unit to other helmets. This idea works great for going to a different helmet dependent on the season or allowing one to have some down time while cleaning. I picked up a Freedcon set up in 19 and it is still going strong. It is basically a knock off Sena. So you can still listen to music, be interupted by navigation, handsfree answer calls, call last number, communicate with other Freedcon with in a short range, and listen to local FM stations. I would recommend looking for a helmet that has speaker cutouts in it also.
As far as bluetooth earbuds, be careful with those, in some states it is illegal to wear earbuds/earphones while driving. Virginia for example, however you were allowed to wear ear plugs. Which is what I would do. It would help knock down the wind noise, but still allow me to hear horns and sirens and the music/phone call. I tried a few work arounds, like the conductive headsets. While it worked, it was a pain to get the helmet on and off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To all,

Thanks to you all for your comments and input. I'm sort of leaning towards the full Bluetooth into the helmet (separate setup so it can be moved), where I can pipe music, navigation and phone calls into the helmet. I've had some major hearing damage (high frequencies, I blame it on not using ear plugs while in the Marines). So; noise damping ear plugs, definitely want the navigation (usually I use google maps), and then some minor music and must have phone. My wife is paranoid enough as it is about me on a bike and not answering a phone to say I'm all right is a no-go (I'm sure some can relate)

I think the fairing speakers wouldn't provide much use other than when parked and want some music while chewing the fat with people I'm with on a ride.

Thank you all, and keep sending in the way you use the bikes features. All of you are probably more experienced and have better ideas than I have now :)
 

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....My all time favorite sounds are my old Allis Chalmers tractor pulling a hay rake. The whoosh whoosh of the rake and the drone of the engine takes me to my happy place. I know....I'm weird. :ROFLMAO:
Dude....I get that 100%. To this day when I hear a centrifugal clutch jingle and ring, I am back to 1970 in the field behind my house sharing rides on a little 'mini bike' with a 5 HP Briggs and Stratton engine.
 

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My wife is paranoid enough as it is about me on a bike and not answering a phone to say I'm all right is a no-go (I'm sure some can relate)
In the fall I attend a meet and greet in Eurka Springs AR with other Road Star riders. One of the guys wife is the same way. He uses an app on his phone that she can check and see that he's still moving. If we make a stop for lunch or are done for the day he will send her a quick text letting her know it's a planned stop. Might be something to look into for her peace of mind.

I don't know the details of the app but I can reach out if you're interested.
 

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Bevo, how is the comfort of the Shure? Website makes them look a little bit bulky...?
i love them. the shape/design calls for the wire to go over the top of your ear so there is never any pull going on inside the ear itself. and they come with at least a dozen different tips for you to find whichever is most comfortable for you. i can wear them all day long in comfort. i have both the wired and wireless option of the SE215 and they are the same size. don't feel or look bulky at all. actually, they are considerably smaller than a lot of the other wireless options available if you go that route.
 
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