I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

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keysman
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I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by keysman » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:27 pm

The Apple iPod, love it or hate it, there's no questioning the iPod is more popular than any other portable media player (PMP) on the market. The iPod holds a massive 70% of the market share for portable MP3 players. Building on the success of the iPod and iTunes, Apple launched the iPhone in June of 2007. It was trial by fire for the iPhone which was was released into and already competitive smartphone marketplace with the likes of Palm, Research In Motion's Blackberry and a number of Windows Mobile smartphones. The iPhone was late to the game so Apple had to get it right if they were going to compete.

Now in it's third incarnation, there's no doubt that the iPhone is a popular smartphone option. Gartner, a leading technology research company, recently reported that Apple's share of worldwide smartphone sales reached 10.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Almost 11 precent of the market from a company that's only been in the smartphone game since mid 2007 is a great achievement. The success of the iPod and iPhone is undeniable.

Regardless of how successful the iPod and iPhone may be, it's obvious the designers and engineers at Apple where not thinking about motorcycle riders when they built these devices. Safely controlling a device like an MP3 player while in motion on a bike can be somewhat of a challenge. A gloved hand isn't nearly as nimble as a bare finger.

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With the exception of the third generation Shuffle, all of the current iPods and iPhones have at least one control feature that can not be operated without a bare finger. The click wheel on the iPod nano and the iPod classic both use a touch sensitive ring to navigate through the menus and control the volume. The click wheel works much like a touchpad commonly found on a laptop. You can't operate the click wheel through the fabric or leather of a motorcycle glove. The iPod touch and and iPhone use a more advanced touchscreen but for riders the result is the same. The touchscreen can't be operated while wearing a glove.

To complicate matters further Apple continues to make changes to their product line. Many third party accessories designed to work with older iPods no longer work with the latest iPods or the iPhone. Right now it seems that the accessory manufacturers are still trying to catch up with the latest changes Apple has implemented in their product line.

I suppose it would be easy to just simply dismiss the iPod and iPhone as products suited for a motorcycle rider but I'm willing to bet there are plenty of riders out there that already own an iPod or an iPhone. For those that already own one and for those who are thinking about buying one of these übergizmos, I thought it would be nice to introduce you to some products that can make using these devices while riding a possibility.

In the coming weeks I'll be posting a few articles and product reviews which take a look at equipment for listening to music while you ride. I'll look at this equipment through the eyes of a rider. I'll share with you what works and what doesn't, all from a riders perspective.

First, I'll be reviewing some helmet friendly earphones. I will also be looking at a product that gives riders tactile controls they can use in conjunction with the latest iPods and iPhones. In other words, old fashioned buttons you can use to control your iPod or iPhone, even while wearing gloves. Finally, I'll give you some ideas on how you can extend the usable battery life on these devices so you're tunes don't run out before you do.

Update 9/19/2009
The first two reviews are now published. Here are direct links.
Etymotic Research 6i Earphones Review
Griffin Navigate Controller for iPhone and iPod

:popcorn: Stay tuned, there's more to come.
Last edited by keysman on Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post by totalmotorcycle » Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:03 am

Looks good for the reviews, I look forward to staying tuned in. :D

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Unread post by keysman » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:46 pm

Before I get started with the official product reviews I feel it's important to mention that there may be laws in your area that prevent the use of earphones while riding. Neither I nor Total Motorcycle condone breaking the law. It's important that you check the laws in your local area before riding with earphones.

Certain locations may prohibit the use of earphones fully or partially. For example limiting earphone use to a single ear. Other locations may have no restrictions on the use of earphones. Check with your local laws prior to riding with earphones.

If you live in the United States the AMA website has a nice resource that lists motorcycle laws for that state. While the information is not earphone specific, in many cases it does provide earphone use restrictions as well as other important information. This is a great resource if you are planing a motorcycle trip out of state or if you just want to verify the local laws.

Here is the link to the AMA page on State Motorcycle Laws: http://www.amadirectlink.com/legisltn/laws.asp

I personally believe that hearing protection should be part of your standard set of motorcycle gear. I believe in the ATGATT principle for motorcycle riding. If your not familiar with the term the acronym stands for "all the gear all the time". I always wear a helmet, a proper motorcycle jacket, protective pants, motorcycle boots and gloves. To that I am now adding hearing protection. I like to be able to listen to music while riding and if I can find a solution that offers both hearing protection and gives me the option to listen to music at the same time, great! If I can't achieve both, I'll protect my hearing first and foremost, save my hearing, and listen to music off the bike.

I feel that the benefits of wearing ear protection while riding far outweigh any possible ill effects. A study conducted by the University of Southampton indicated that noise levels regularly reach or exceed 90 dB(A).

Here is a link to a summary of the study conducted by the university: http://www.isvr.co.uk/at_work/m_cycle.htm

The CDC reports the permissible exposure time at 85 dB is 8 hours before hearing damage can occur. However for each 3 dB over 85 dB the exposure time before damage is cut in half. For example at 90 dB you need to limit your maximum exposure time to just 2 hours. At 100 dB the maximum exposure time is reduced to just 15 minutes!

For more information on earplugs and hearing protection Web Bike World also has a collection of useful information on this topic here: http://www.webbikeworld.com/Earplugs/earplugs.htm
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Re: I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by MmeMagpie » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:36 am

Sony makes earbuds in the $30-40 range that sound pretty decent and provide a good seal against outside noise. My latest set has a volume control and start/stop on the left wire for the latest generations of iPod and iPhone (works with my 5th gen Nano and my iPhone 4s).
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Re: I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by Grey Thumper » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:00 pm

You can also just modify your gloves so they can work with capacitative touch screens like the ones on iPods/iPhones.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Making- ... ch-Screen/
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Re: I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by Marvin » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:57 am

Am I the only one that thinks a radio or sound system on any motorcycle defeats its purpose for wanting to or the reason to ride a motorcycle in the first place?
My motorcycle is an escape from the rat race, from the normal everyday things we all do by habit, the things we all do like pre-programed robots, when I am riding I am free from that, its my escape and any radio or sound system, or any type of electronic gaget reminds me of that rat race I just ran away from, I leave to get away from that, don't want to take it with me while riding!
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Re: I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by Marvin » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:00 am

to me its beautiful to listen to the quiet, to the wind, to the trees swaying, to a waterfall, the smells and the sights of the places I ride, thats my entertainment.
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Re: I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by keysman » Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:17 pm

Grey Thumper wrote:You can also just modify your gloves so they can work with capacitative touch screens like the ones on iPods/iPhones.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Making- ... ch-Screen/
I'm thinking about trying this on my gloves.
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Re: I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by MaeBe43 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:45 am

This post is from a few years ago. Curious if you're still on here? I have been trying to find a way to listen to my iPod while riding and after many cheap sets of headphones, and more recently a very over priced set from Monster called iSport that has taken a crap (one side works just enough to find myself constantly trying to adjust it to come on) :rant: with less and less success. But due to the price tag and the almost impossible option that I can get them replaced even though they're less then a year old, I have been making due with them to the point of lunacy!
Soooo I've been researching wireless options. I'm not mentally challenged, but I'm not as savvy when it comes to the "new" technology that I've tried and failed and just got burnt out on trying to keep with up with anymore. Too many cheaply made products. For example; 2 external hard drives took a dump in the last year which is where I kept my huge music library stored. I could go on and on, but if there was a way to put a record player on my bike I'm opting to go back to vinyl. (That's pretty funny if you're getting a visual on it) :music: I just want to listen to music on my bike without cords that get caught in my jacket collar, or come out when I put on and take off my helmet, and wouldn't it be swell if there was a way to forward a song, keep the volume from turning down while trying to push on my chest where my iPod hangs in a case that I afro engineered to try and forward the song. The poke and pray method with this technology is enough to make me want to stand in front of a train. It always happens right when the light turns green or when I'm getting on the freeway. HELP!!

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Re: I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by Wrider » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:21 pm

MaeBe43 wrote:This post is from a few years ago. Curious if you're still on here? I have been trying to find a way to listen to my iPod while riding and after many cheap sets of headphones, and more recently a very over priced set from Monster called iSport that has taken a "crumb" (one side works just enough to find myself constantly trying to adjust it to come on) :rant: with less and less success. But due to the price tag and the almost impossible option that I can get them replaced even though they're less then a year old, I have been making due with them to the point of lunacy!
Soooo I've been researching wireless options. I'm not mentally challenged, but I'm not as savvy when it comes to the "new" technology that I've tried and failed and just got burnt out on trying to keep with up with anymore. Too many cheaply made products. For example; 2 external hard drives took a dump in the last year which is where I kept my huge music library stored. I could go on and on, but if there was a way to put a record player on my bike I'm opting to go back to vinyl. (That's pretty funny if you're getting a visual on it) :music: I just want to listen to music on my bike without cords that get caught in my jacket collar, or come out when I put on and take off my helmet, and wouldn't it be swell if there was a way to forward a song, keep the volume from turning down while trying to push on my chest where my iPod hangs in a case that I afro engineered to try and forward the song. The poke and pray method with this technology is enough to make me want to stand in front of a train. It always happens right when the light turns green or when I'm getting on the freeway. HELP!!
Easiest method wouldn't be cheap, but it is useful. If you're willing to spend, and you already have a smartphone, go get yourself a Scala Rider Q2 Pro or G9. They can stream music over bluetooth to speakers that are installed into the helmet.

Second best method I've used is if you go get some Yurbuds Ironman earbuds. They're basically normal buds (but good quality) that have a silicone piece on it, making them lock into your ear canal. They work great, and even stay in when you turn your head and yank on the cord a little. You can attach that to anything with a headphone jack.
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Re: I Just Wanna Ride (and rock some tunes too)!

Unread post by Grey Thumper » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:29 am

I'm not the type to listen to music either, although I'd like a bluetooth intercom system to be able to communicate with a pillion or other rider. I've been thinking of getting a Sena SMH5 (since they're relatively cheap). Since it pairs up to an iphone or bluetooth music player, you might consider that for your music needs.
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