However, this can be difficult when you’re out on the road unless you have your laptop with you.
The 50 series now comes with wifi capability allowing you to automatically download firmware updates with the special charging cable.
Just plug in the wifi charger and connect to a nearby wifi source such as your phone’s hotspot.
Mesh is an intercom software system that allows multiple riders to connect even when some riders are out of line of sight.
It’s not a system I use much, but for group rides it is very convenient and is a vital safety feature. (In fact, on one occasion, a rider behind me yelped and I knew straight away he had gone down even though I couldn’t see him.)
Critics say the Mesh software is unreliable, but Sena claim the flaws have been fixed.
I haven’t found any difficulties at all. In fact, there is less “crackling” interference from surrounding obstacles such as blind corners, trees, buildings, trucks, etc.
Sena says the intercom range s up to 2km in open terrain, which is about right by my tests.
I haven’t tested its full capacities with a “virtually limitless” number of riders in Open Mesh and 24 riders in Group Mesh intercom. (I don’t have that many friends!)
However, I have no reason to disbelieve Sena’s claims that Mesh extends range up to 8km (5miles) between a minimum of six riders.
Sena 50R tech specs
Price: $545 (single pack), $965 (dual pack)
Warranty: Two (2) year from date of purchase on manufacturers defects
Dimensions: 97mm x 48mm x 27 mm (3.8in x 1.8in x 1.0in)
Speakers: 40mm diameter, 7.2mm thick
Weight: 65g (2.29 oz)
Operating temperature: -10°C to 55°C (14°F – 131°F)
Working distance: up to 2 km (1.2 miles) in open terrain; Mesh extends up to 8km (5miles) between a minimum of 6 riders
Bluetooth Intercom: 4 riders
Open Mesh Intercom: virtually limitless (9 channels)
Group Mesh Intercom: 24 riders
Microphone Noise Cancellation: Advanced Noise Control
So we don’t expect we would have a higher take-up rate than Singapore where the app has anonymous ID.
If the government wants 40% of Australians to download the app, then they should consider offering inducements.
They could include the freeing-up of travel restrictions.
If that’s the case, we would like to see motorcyclists allowed to ride solo for leisure, so long as they observe other rules such as social distancing, personal hygiene, staying within state borders and no overnight trips.
If the authorities were worried about too many app users heading out for a ride, fishing, surfing, etc, maybe they could send out an alert to a certain percentage of users on particular days saying they are allowed out.
Then, if they were intercepted by police, they would have proof that they are legally allowed out of home detention.
Some European countries have a similar system to restrict travel into the CBD during peak hours based on the last number in their number plate.
Prices start at $A225 for the controller and phone charger or $A127 for funding supporters.
You can also buy packs that include their dashcam, lights and various warmers, or buy them separately.
However, it appears the RoadOne will only work with their proprietary accessories, not accessories from other suppliers.
Plug&Play plan to go into production in August and deliver from October.
Be aware there are risks to crowd-funding campaigns and you may not get a full refund if the project does not go ahead.
Plug&Ride has a flexible goal of $42,450 and has collected about a quarter so far with about 50 days to go.
How it works
RoadOne is basically a Bluetooth controller centre on your handlebars that uses their phone app to recognise voice commands, so you will require a helmet intercom to operate it.
You simply plug all the devices into a centralised box under your seat that is connection to the battery.
The device won’t drain your battery if you forget to switch the devices off when you park your bike as the app has a proximity feature that switches the unit off when you walk away.
It reactivates when you return to your bike.
Plug&Play also hope to raise up to $A170,000 capital to fund extra accessories such as a handlebar remote control instead of the app, a GPS, a radio and an anti-theft device that recognises when the bike has been moved and tracks its location.
They’re also researching an emergency SMS alert that sends a location text to a specified contact in the event of a crash.
KahunaCollection heated hand grips, shifter pegs, brake pedal cover, muffler end caps, rider and pillion boards;
Low-profile two-piece fuel tank console with lighted CVO logo;
Sand Dune monotone finish with pearl topcoat and subtle graphics highlighted by Smoked Satin Chrome, Gloss Black and Black Onyx finishes;
Screamin’ EagleHeavy Breather air cleaner in Gloss Black; and
Wheels finished in Gloss Black/Smoked Satin.
Harley-branded Sena 30K
The CVO Road Glide comes with a single Sena 30K Bluetooth helmet headset that pairs to the Boom! Box GTS infotainment system.
It features Sena’s Mesh IntercomNetwork that automatically connects to a “near-limitless number” of riders in “public mode” to eliminate lost connections when someone rides out of range.
The headset can also connect with up to 16 riders in private mode up to 8km.
It not only allows intercom, phone calls, navigation prompts, radio and audio, all with voice commands, but also includes Apple Carplay if the phone is plugged into the bike’s charger.
A Quick Charge feature can provide up to five hours of additional talk time with a 20-minute charge.
Like all 2020 CVOs, it is powered by Harley’s largest-displacement factory-installed engine, the Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine (1923cc) with 169Nm of torque.
Harley also now make the Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee Eight 131 Crate Engine which can be fitted to current CVO models.
131 Screamin’ Eagle crate motor
It features the same 114mm (4.5”) stroke as the 114 Milwaukee Eight, but has been bored out from 101mm (4”) to 109mm (4.31”).
Harley claims it makes 90kW (121hp) of power and 177Nm (131ft-lb) of torque when matched to the Screamin’ Eagle Street Cannon mufflers. It also requires an ECM calibration and Screamin’ Eagle Pro Street Tuner.
Instead of using Bluetooth to connect, it uses a data connection to a Discord app server.
While EyeRide promises virtually unlimited group chats with others on the same network including non-riders, it relies on an internet connection and will use up your phone data.
Eyeride HUD screen
Otherwise, EyeRide is like a standard Bluetooth intercom that supplies music, phone calls and GPS navigation prompts using Garmin HERE maps, but also has a small HUD screen for important information as in this video.
It is slightly transparent and on the right side, which may be fine in a country where you drive on the right.
We are not sure yet if it can be moved to the left for riding in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and other left-side countries as they haven’t released all the details yet.
The company plans to launch a Kickstarter shortly to get the product off the ground. (We will update with the link when it starts.)
We advise to be cautious of supporting Kickstarter programs as you may not get your money back if they don’t go ahead.
Given EyeLights already produce a car HUD system, they may be a little more secure than a normal speculative start-up.
I haven’t used a HUD system yet in a helmet and can’t verify if it is a distraction or allows you to safely keep your eyes on the road.
However, I have driven several cars with HUD systems on the windscreen and found them extremely useful, safe and non-distracting.
Unfortunately, few of these aftermarket HUD systems or integrated HUD helmets have made it to market.
Infamously, Skully HUD helmets raised a record amount through crowd-funding then fraudulently spent it on fast cars and fast women and went bankrupt.
As much as we like the idea of wire-free vibration technology to introduce sound into a helmet, we just don’t think it works very well in the Domio Moto or Headwave Tag bluetooth units.
Both stick to the outside of your helmet and pump the sound into your helmet via vibrations. At $A264, the Domio Moto is cheaper than the Headwave Tag ($A329).
Our 2016 review of the Headwave system found it was too quiet, had poor sound quality, there was no stereo effect and the sound was drowned out by wind noise at anything over about 60-70km/h.
In June we published an article about Domio launching a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for their similar unit.
Not only did we express some concern about the sound quality based on our Headwave experience, but also the complaints about delivery from annoyed customers.
TheCanadian company contacted us and said they had since updated the product, production had started and they were satisfying orders.
They also offered us one for review, but it has taken about five months to arrive.
Domio Moto review
Let’s start with the positives.
The advantages are that you have no messy wires and there are no speakers uncomfortably pressing against your ears.
Sadly, the Domio Moto audio system isn’t any better than the Headwave system.
Sound quality is dull and mono only, there is little bass, and the sound is drowned out by wind noise at speeds over 60km/h on a bike without a windscreen and 80km/h on bikes with screens.
I also tried them with filtered earplugs to drown out the wind noise. These are very effective with traditional Bluetooth units where the speakers are next to your ears as the filters are directional.
However, in this case, the sound is non-directional, so with the earplugs in I could hardly hear the music even at slow speeds.
Domio sits in a cradle and they provide you with two so you can swap from helmet to helmet, while the Headwave unit sticks directly to the helmet, so it will only go on one helmet.
After my Headwave review, the makers accused me of not sticking it on properly, yet I had followed all their instructions.
Again, I followed the instructions this time to the letter: I found a smooth surface on the helmet with no joins or vents; I cleaned it carefully; and I firmly stuck it on with the supplied cradle.
Since it comes with two cradle fittings, I was able to trial it on two full-face helmets.
You can stick it anywhere on the helmet, they say. I tried one on the top and one on the back, but you could also put it on the side.
The poor sound results were the same for both helmets.
The legality of stick-on attachments is still up in the air. Also, there is some concern that stick-on units could cause head rotation and subsequent spinal injury in an accident. However, test results on such attachments will not be available until next year.
The Domio at least has a lower profile than the Headwave.
While both systems use vibration to send the sound into your helmet, they call them different terms.
Domio say they use “micro-vibration technology” and Headwave Tag call it “surface transduction”. It’s basically the same thing.
It’s difficult to explain, but the sound certainly surrounds your head because there is no discernible source such as from speakers next to your ears like in conventional Bluetooth helmet systems.
So it doesn’t really matter whether you put it on the back or one side.
However, it does not have any spatial or stereo effect because it’s coming from one source which is transmitted throughout the helmet via vibration.
The simple controls only allow switching on/off, pause/play and volume up/down. To select, advance or replay tracks, you would need your music source or phone within reach on the handlebars.
Like the Headwave Tag, the Domio Moto doesn’t have a microphone, so it is speakers only. That limits its use to listening to music and satnav instructions.
However, Domio Moto Pro ($A338), scheduled to ship in January, includes a wireless, noise-canceling “air mic” that, like the sound unit, sticks to the outside of the helmet. It uses “beamforming” technology which is a process that focusses a WiFi signal.
While traditional bluetooth systems have lots of messy wires and uncomfortable speakers next to your ears, sound quality is usually pretty good.
Domio and Headwave may be tidy and comfortable, with reasonable sound, but they are almost useless once over 60-80km/h, depending on whether you have a windscreen.