Staying in touch with your pillion when you’re riding together can make life on the road much more enjoyable.
Things have advanced from a home-brewed code of pokes and prods, and you can now seamlessly communicate with each other through intercoms attached to your lid. Here are five of the best motorcycle intercom systems, selected based on reviews from Sportsbikeshop customers.
Sena’s 20S Evo intercom is a step up in the range from the 10S, and achieved an average of 4.68 stars from the first 79 customer reviews. Owners say pairing them to a phone is quick and easy, but that getting your head around all the functions is initially quite tricky. Reviewers praise the great battery life (Sena claim 13 hours of talk time) and owners also find the hands-free voice commands particularly useful for operating the units while riding.
This unit from Cardo has been very popular with owners, registering a 4.85-star average score from the first 13 reviews. This one will cope with up to four connections, so is better for solo riders or small groups. Owners love the easy installation of the unit, but one suggestion is to watch Cardo’s YouTube video rather than reading their instruction sheet. The sound quality is praised, but some careful setting up in the Cardo phone app helps get it even better. It’s also worth noting the speakers are 40mm in diameter so they won’t fit in all recesses inside helmets.
Popular with Sportsbikeshop customers for a crystal-clear connection, the 10S received a 4.71 star average from the first 96 buyer reviews. Owners love that the two units in this twin pack arrive already paired together, and say they’re easy to install and use. They also say that pairing them with phones or sat-navs is fuss-free. They do point out you can only connect to intercom users on other machines when they’re within your line of sight, which those planning to ride in a group will need to bear in mind.
This unit has been around for a while now, but still pleases customers, who praise its build quality, battery life and sound clarity. Interphone claim the talk time is 20 hours and it’ll charge from empty to 80% in an hour. They also claim a one-mile range for riders communicating with other bikes, but customers say you should expect a more limited range than that (though most are still happy). You can connect up to four units - so four bikes or two bikes with rider and pillion - and you can share phone calls between rider and passenger. There’s no longer an option to buy a twin-pack, but they’re usually on a deal that makes it cheap to buy two singles.
The range-topping Cardo unit has gone down a storm with the first 15 customers to review one - claiming an excellent average rating of 4.80. This unit allows to you to create groups of up to 15 riders, who can all chat and also share music and radio between them. The range in normal intercom mode is claimed to be up to a mile, and Cardo say that can extend to five miles when you have six riders in a group. The 45mm diameter speakers for this unit will be too big for the recesses in some helmets, so best to check before buying. Also… head into the phone app and change the voice settings to UK English, otherwise the voice command function won’t understand a word you’re saying.