CB, GMRS, or Ham radio for communications - Page 2 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-27-2011, 08:56 PM
istephens's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Calgary, AB
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Originally Posted by Sam4938 View Post
I'm honestly not sure how a HAM radio would be mounted to a bike.... don't those use HUGE antenna's and need lots of power to broadcast?
You're right about the usual HAM rig, but my radios are all VHF/UHF (2m/70cm) low power (5 watt) handheld radios. They run off of internal LiPoly rechargeable batteries and have antenna's that are about 7" high. We just put them into a tank bag along with all the other crap that's usually in there.


Ian Stephens
2009 FJR1300
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-27-2011, 10:58 PM
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Location: St Louis Mo
Posts: 214
frs/gmrs kenwood on autocom here

Finally have my autocom setup the way I like with a kenwood freetalk 3131, my nexus one, and spare headset for passenger. I mostly use the radio to talk to girlfriend when she is trailing in the car with kid. Have not found any riders around me that use radios, just hand signals.

2009 Versys
2008 wr250r
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-27-2011, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Beaverton, OR
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Thanks for everyone getting back to me. I have a couple of Yaesus (the FT-60 and a VX-5) both of which are good radios. As others have pointed out the problem is that relatively few other riders are ham operators. I will probably go with a business/commercial radio programmed for the GMRS frequencies, mostly because that is what the few people who ride and have communications use. The advantage of the commercial grade radio is the ability to put a separate (read better) antenna on the rear of the bike. At the GMRS frequencies, this antenna will only be a little over a foot tall. A portable radio like this can be mounted in a tank bag, in a tank pannier, or on a RAM mount (inside of a waterproof bag). With some of the newer battery pack, operating life should be 10+ hours, unless one does a lot of transmitting.

I'll let everyone know what I end up with.

Ed Foltyn, KQ1R

2009 Suzuki DL650A
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-27-2011, 11:27 PM
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Location: Calgary, AB
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Originally Posted by rconti View Post
What do you think of the VX-7R versus say the Kenwood F6a? I'm looking for something to hardwire, connect to starcom, waterproof/resistant a plus, etc.. easy to mod the yaesu to FRS/GMRS? I'm really totally in the dark with radios here.
Yaesu makes a radio that is perfect for mounting on a bike - the FTM-10
FTM-10. I was close to buying one last year, but decided not to for reasons I can't quite recall right now, but I'm sure the reasons were good.

I think the only major difference between the VX-7R and the Kenwood F6a is that the VX is pretty water resistant. In other activities, I've done real-world tests in the rain and in puddles and the VX never missed a beat.

On my FJR I have the radio semi-mounted in my tank bag with the audio leads pugged into a bulkhead connector on the fairing of the bike, bike power running into the tank bag and an external antenna lead to an antenna mounted at the back of the bike.
(I've reorganized this since the picture was taken.

My wife wants a similar antenna to be mounted to her V-Strom soon.


Ian Stephens
2009 FJR1300
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-08-2011, 06:51 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: GHC-WA-USA
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Pretty convenient setup Ian.

I am a HAM as well, and most of the local 4X4 clubs are having their members get their ticket. 90% of the reason I got mine is for 4x4 stuff. Now, seeing as how it's summer, I like to ride my bike on the 4x4 overlanding trails we frequent, and need to be in communications with the cages, so I am looking at a good setup soon.

I am actually digging this man's setup-
GPS Mounts. Lets see them.

And from that basic idea, my plans are to setup my GPS, HAM (VX-6R), iPhone, and SPOT II above my controls (and get the clutter/weight off my handlebars).

For the Yaesu, I am nearly 100% convinced with a slight mod this will fit the bill nicely-

Add my Motocomm headset with a small adapter, and I *hope* that will be sufficient. Only way to find out is to try I suppose...

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post #16 of 16 Old 11-19-2012, 02:17 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aalborg, Denmark
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Originally Posted by istephens View Post
Yaesu makes a radio that is perfect for mounting on a bike - the FTM-10
I am a hamradio operator (CALL OZ5ACU). I have used the FTM-10SR for about 4 years now on my v-strom. I have had no problems so fare.

I use it for hamradio bands and also PMR (european FRS?)

I use the bluetooth option to connect to my Schuberth C3 helmet, so it is "hands free" when i am using VOX. It works perfect.

/Henning OZ5ACU
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