Tag Archives: Technology

Norshire Mini is smallest tyre inflator

Many adventure riders and tourers carry a tyre inflator in case of a flat, but they can be heavy and bulky.

The Norshire Mini tyre inflator is no bigger than a torch and is claimed to be the world’s smallest, making it ideal to carry on your bike.

The aluminium cylinder measures only 208mm in length and 40mm in diameter and features a powerful cooling fan.

The Hong Kong company has launched two successful Indiegogo crowd-funding campaigns, raising almost $400,000.

They offer discounts to supporters, but be aware that your pledge money may not be refunded if it doesn’t go into production.

Inflator for your bikeNorshire Mini is smallest tyre inflator

The inflator comes in several versions, but the one suitable for motorcycles is the Power Version with a Presta valve.

The Power version has 12 bar (174psi) of pressure and will pump 10 litres of air per minute.

They say it will pump up a motorcycle tyre in about five to eight minutes which is the limit of a battery charge.

It takes about 40-90 minutes to recharge the lithium iron phosphate battery.

You can charge it with a cigarette lighter or a 5V/2A adapter used to charge your phone.

They claim battery life of 3000 cycles of charging/discharging, compared with 500 for the Li-ion battery used in phones.Norshire Mini is smallest tyre inflator

You can also power the Norshire Mini inflator directly off a cigarette lighter output, but be aware this will also drain you bike’s battery.

Norshire Mini shows pressure in bar, psi, kpa and mpa and they say it is accurate to 0.2bar.

The built-in microcomputer measures the tyre pressure and automatically stops when it hits the preset pressure.

The stand-by power consumption is less than 1mA, so they claim it can sit idle for a year after a full charge without being over discharged.

Norshire Mini has four touch buttons for power, start/pause and +/- buttons to set the pressure.

It is powered by a high intensity ferromagnet 380 motor with 30,000 revs, 56W and 18kg of torque.Norshire Mini is smallest tyre inflator

They also claim the tight seal makes it quieter than most other portable inflators.

Their lithium iron phosphate battery works from -20℃, is less prone to spontaneous ignition and explosion than other types of battery and has a life of use up to seven years. It contains no heavy metals, rare metals or toxins.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Noise-cancelling Mplus earphones for riders

Indian earphone company SoundPeats will next month release the Motikom Mplus earphones, the world’s first active noise-cancelling Bluetooth intercom for riders.

There is no price yet, but if you sign up now for their email newsletter, you can get 40% off their launch price.

The Mplus headphones have an awkward-looking neckband which is the controller with wires connected to the earbuds.

It seems there is also a microphone attachment with Bluetooth intercom reception up to 150m.

Noise cancelling

Passive noise cancelling earphones simply seal in your ear and dampen some background noise. Active noise cancelling uses a reverse soundwave to neutralise background noise.

We have tried wearing Bose and Sony active noise-cancelling earphones before under our helmet and they just can’t cope with the wind noise on a motorcycle at highway speeds.

Wind noise can sometimes be over 100dB even under your helmet, which can lead to hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

Sena was the first to have a helmet with noise cancelling intercom although it is not yet available in Australia. We suspect this is because of difficulties gaining Euro approval since the French ban riders and drivers from wearing earphones while riding/driving.

Digilens and Sena develop cheaper HUD helmet
Sena Momentum INC noise-cancelling helmet

There are several other noise-cancelling helmets coming to market soon from start-ups and Nolan Helmets.

Mplus claims

Mplus noise-cancelling earphones
Mplus noise-cancelling earphones

SoundPeats claim the Mplus has five-level noise cancelling that uses their trademarked “HDNC technology” to cope with highway speed wind noise.

Like the noise-cancelling helmets, they also claim the reduction of background noise helps to enhance important emergency noises such as sirens, horns and screeching tyres.

SoundPeats have promised to send us a set when they are launched next month, so we look forward to trialling them.

Rider earphones

Mplus noise-cancelling earphones
Truengine 2 wireless earbuds

Meanwhile, SoundPeats also make non-noise-canceling earbuds suitable for riders such as Truengine 2, the first dual-driver hifi wireless earbuds.

They claim their TruEngine Crossover tech delivers “incredibly detailed stereo sound with powerful bass, clear treble, and balanced separation, creating a wider sound field for a totally immersive audio experience”.

We’ll see (or hear) as they are also sending these for review.

They will be available at a prelaunch price of just $US69 (about $A100).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

EJEAS Bluetooth helmet intercom review

If you’re sick of fiddling with the fiddly screws to mount your Bluetooth intercom, this budget EJEAS Quick20 is worth considering with its excellent audio quality.

It is Chinese made (as most Bluetooth units probably are!) and costs just $A185 each ($US129, €113,103) through their EJEAS website.

Quick clasp

EJEAS Quick20
Slimline unit

This unit is as slim as the top-of-the-line Sena 30K which is good for reducing drag and wind noise.

It features a fast-attaching bulldog-clip-type clasp attachment, so there is no need for fiddling with small allen keys and tiny screws that you can drop and lose.

EJEAS Quick20
Clasp attachment

The clasp simply grips the side of your helmet. There is also a stick-on pad and velcro attachment, if you prefer or your helmet doesn’t have access.

I thought the clip-on clasp might shake loose, but it hasn’t moved after prolonged riding in high winds and on bumpy roads.

However, the control unit doesn’t lock into the clasp firmly and while it won’t shake loose, you can bump it off when taking off your helmet, so be careful.

Bluetooth

As for the quality of the Bluetooth 4.2, it’s excellent.

It will only link up with one other EJEAS unit and won’t connect to other Bluetooth brands I have, but it does work very well between the two units.

It pairs quickly to your phone, GPS or another EJEAS intercom with handy audio prompts and always re-pairs when you turn the units on.

In fact, if you go out of range, it will revert to music or FM if you’ve been listening to them and will automatically reconnect once back in range.

They claim range up to 1200m, but it starts getting crackly about 800mm and you need line-of-sight connection.

Deploying the antenna improves reception a little as well as improving weak FM signals.

EJEAS Quick20
Use the antenna

Controls

The button arrangement is similar to the Sena units with a rotating knob and central “multi-function button” (MFB) that is easy to access even with thick winter gloves.

However, the raised motorcycle icon which is the on/off and intercom button can be difficult to find with thick gloves.

There is a separate FM button on the back and a “RST” reset button on the top that quickly turns off the unit.

Not sure why you need the RST button as you can turn the unit off and on using the motorcycle icon button by holding it for two seconds. Perhaps that’s a second you can save!

EJEAS Quick20

I also found that holding the MFB button two seconds only ever switched the unit on at the second attempt.

The rotating button handles both volume adjustment and radio station selection or skipping/replaying music tracks. To toggle between functions you have to hit the MFB again which makes it a little confusing.

Selecting FM stations is also difficult as there is no audio prompt to tell you the station you have selected.

Audio

The thick and large diameter speakers provide excellent audio quality with nice bass and plenty of volume.

But that makes them quite bulky, so they may not fit in some helmets.

They are a snug fit in my Harley-Davidson Vintage Stripe helmet which has deep ear recesses.

However, there are soft foam covers you can fit to the speakers to improve comfort against your ears.

It also comes with a choice of boom microphone for open-face helmets and bud mic for full-face.

Despite the loud wind noise in this helmet, the microphones effectively dampen background noise even at highway speeds.

Switching between music and intercom or phone calls is easy with a touch of a button.

But there is a delay of several seconds during which time you might think it’s not working and hit the button again.

After a while, you learn to have some patience and trust it will work.

Messy wires

One thing I don’t like is the messy speaker and mic wires.

Also, the plug is big and hangs low, getting caught on the collar of some of my jackets as I turn my head.

Even though this is made in China, the instructions are well written in easy-to-understand English. But the print is way too small for me to see even while wearing my reading glasses!

Conclusion

If you want high-quality audio and only need two-way intercom, the EJEAS Quick20 is well worth the money.

EJEAS Quick20 bluetooth intercomEJEAS Quick20

  • Bluetooth: 4.2
  • IP Rating: 65
  • Talk range: 1200m
  • Bluetooth Protocol: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP & HSP
  • Frequency Range: 2402MHz ~ 2480MHz
  • Battery Capacity: 530mAh
  • Standby Time: 300 hours
  • Talking Time: 8 hours
  • Charging Time: approx. 1 hour
  • Operating Voltage: 3.7V
  • Charger Requirements: DC5V/500mA
  • Working Temperature: -10~40℃

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sean +Mesh Bluetooth adaptor review

Sena +Mesh review by Jim Hulme 

The Sena +Mesh Adaptor is designed to seamlessly and easily link riders into a group conversation without broken links. We sent rider Jim Hulme out to test the $259 unit on the road with his riding partners. Here’s his review:

Out of the box

The +Mesh adaptor click-locks into either a rubber-strap-connected base or a surface-mount adhesive base. The adaptor containing the electronics and screw-on antenna easily separates from the base with the press of a button.

For my test, the rubber strap base could not be used on my BMW handlebars as there is no available handlebar real estate.

So I tested it in my jacket front pocket, inside my top box and finally on the pillion grab handles.

While mounted on the grab handles, it was easy to reach and activate the mesh intercom because Sena has provided it with a nice big button on the front of the unit.

The waterproof rubber-sealed USB port for charging can be difficult to access.

Setup and range

The +Mesh adaptor is easily paired with your Sena headset, then it automatically connects each time.

The 30K in the test was used to create a mesh group and the +Mesh client (Sena SRL integrated into the Shoei Neotec II helmet) was added to the group. During use, the main button could be used to leave and return to the mesh group as required.

The +Mesh adaptor is claimed to have 800m range in an uninterrupted straight line.

My experience with measured stops and voice quality checks verified this is accurate.

Connections

Sena claims it works with both Bluetooth4.1 and Bluetooth3.0 models, however, the audio quality is best with Bluetooth 4.1 models.

The +Mesh Adaptor takes up one of your bluetooth intercom spaces. If your headset is capable of connecting with three other headsets for four-way intercom, the +Mesh will take up one of those three spaces, leaving two spaces remaining for bluetooth intercom connections.

At least 2 mesh devices are required to be in a Mesh Intercom.

My use of two Sena SRL models provided almost flawless performance, but connections between the SRL and a Sena 30K were frustrating.

The biggest problem with the SRL is that it is not possible to use while charging. It also has an “irreplaceable rechargeable battery”, so when the battery ages, you have to buy a new SRL.

However, the 30K can connect to others in either “bluetooth intercom” mode which requires pairing, or mesh intercom which doesn’t require pairing.

Link and sound qualitySena +Mesh links unlimited Sena intercoms

Once the mesh link is established, increased distance and lack of “line of sight” due to curves and hills etc have a dramatic effect.

While the sound level can be still good, speech is unintelligible.

In most cases, this will recover as the link path improves, but can sometimes remain poor. This is a problem I experienced in other Sena devices such as the 30K.

To fix it, try disconnecting/reconnecting the link or turning it off and on again.

I also experienced intermittent, short, loud “screaming” sounds which my 30K partner could not hear.

I thought it was caused by the +Mesh adaptor, but later testing between two 30K units in a mesh connection resulted in some similar noise, but less often.

Following the adaptor test, we changed to two 30K units and tried them in normal paired connection and mesh connection.

In normal paired connection, there were significant sound quality issues, failure of the link after separation, and this didn’t recover without a reboot. There was no apparent increase in the range.

Then we changed to mesh connection and while the sound quality was not always perfect, the overall communication satisfaction was better.

As the two units recovered from the lost link connectivity, they seamlessly reconnected to the mesh. As reported with the +Mesh adaptor, the occasional loud screeching noises were still happening but not so often as when using the adaptor.

Conclusion

I think the +Mesh adaptor provides a better functional experience when connecting dissimilar units.

They also improved range and sound quality over a mesh of more than two units as they enhance the network signal strength.

The combined cost of the adaptor and your existing communication unit is significant so unless you really needed to use it to participate in a group of mesh users, you are probably better off just buying a 30K instead.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Argon transforms helmet into Iron Man

Argon Transform hi-tech helmet accessory transforms a standard helmet into an Iron Man helmet with head-up display, bluetooth, GPS and more.

Singapore start-up Whyre claim their Argon Transform is the world’s first dual-camera Augmented Reality attachment for a motorcycle helmet.

The $US795 ($A1140) unit doesn’t look too different to us from several others which are available or coming to market soon.

They include the HUDWAY Sight and Kiwi-designed Reyedr which is still seeking funding.

It also follows a growing wave of smart helmets that integrate HUD, and other tech into a motorcycle helmet.

The latest is the Australian-designed Forcite MK1 which has an LED light strip rather than HUD and includes a HD, wide-angle camera, Bluetooth and VOIP intercom and handlebar-mounted control unit.

Test Forcite smart helmet
Forcite

The advantages of aftermarket tech is that you can swap it to your new helmet when you retire the old one.

Argon TransformArgon Transform HUD

The Argon Transform comes as several Bluetooth-connected stick-on units for the side, front and back of the helmet, plus a screen on the inside of the chinbar.Argon Transform HUD

They combine a see-through head-up display with a Bluetooth handlebar controller, inbuilt GPS unit, plus front and back cameras.

Whyre claim the front and rear units weigh only 150g and balance each other out.

Argon Transform HUD
Rear camera

Riders will be able to see tailor-made info such as caller ID, GPS navigation arrows and speedometer, as well as what’s behind them. Video is recorded and stored on an SD card or accessed via an Argon app.

Argon Transform HUD
Rider’s view of the periphery screen

It will also allow riders to access specific ride statistics, Argon settings, a social community and a logbook that records last maintenance dates, spare part changes/cost etc.

The intercom has range only up to 100m, but the speakers are claimed to have active noise-cancelling which should mean clear sound without background wind noise and no need for earplugs.

Argon Transform HUD
(Never put your helmet on the ground like this unless you wants ants or other bugs in your helmet!)

The offline built-in GPS does not require data and operates in remote areas where phone reception is weak.

Argon claims the lithium-polymer battery will last for eight hours on a charge. 

Whyre has launched an Indiegogo Campaign to get a $US25,000 and is already a third of the way there.

Early customers will get the Argon Transform for $US398 ($A570) compared with the retail price of $US795 ($A1140). They plan to ship in February 2020.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sena Savage Bluetooth helmet review

If you have been looking for an open-face helmet with Bluetooth communication, the new Sena Savage is the answer.

It features integrated controls, speakers and a microphone discretely in the brow section of the helmet.

As you would expect, it’s noisier than a full-face helmet, the microphone is not as quiet as in a full face helmet, but it’s equal to or better than the boom-mic units people attach to their open-face helmets.

And it is neater as well. The compact two-control functions on the side of the helmet are sadly visible, yet easy to use.Sena Savage

They work the same as the Sena 20S controls wth a button and a dial/button/toggle control.

With just those two controls, you can switch on/off, summon Siri, play music, answer and reject calls, pair t your phone and another intercom, summon an intercom user, skip tracks and change the volume.

The only problem I found with the Savage is that the amplifier and speakers are not powerful enough to provide adequate sound when I wear my filtered earplugs.

The filtered earplugs reduce the overall sound a little, but mainly they filter out the damaging wind noise that gives you tinnitus.

They allow you to hear important traffic sounds such as emergency siren and horns, plus listen to your music and phone conversations at a lower volume that doesn’t hurt your ears.

Unfortunately, this system is a little too quiet, so it’s really only useful up to about 80km/h.

Last year I reviewed the Sena Momentum full-face helmet and I was so impressed it has now become my go-to helmet. Read my review here.

Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet hi-fi savage
Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet

It is a shame the Savage does not have the same volume levels as the Momentum Lite.

Still, it’s a very comfortable and useful helmet for around-town duties where an open-face helmet gives you extra vision to look out for errant traffic.

The quality of sound and noise-damping of the brow-mounted microphone is ok, but not great.

They also use this system in their Calvary half-helmet.

Sena Cavalry motorcycle half helmet with bluetooth unit savage
Sena Calvary

I talked to a few people on the phone while riding and they said it sounded a bit distorted at city speeds and over 80km/h there was to much wind noise.

That seems to be vindicated by this promotional video where the rider is mainly cruising around town.

Sena Savage

The Savage is now available in Australia in matte black in medium, large and XL sizes at $A499.95.

That makes it cheaper than buying a helmet and separate Bluetooth unit.

You can also buy optional long and short peaks and we imagine the three press studs would also fit many visors suitable for other open-face helmets.

It is the first open-face helmet with Bluetooth 4.1, connecting with three other riders up to 1.6km.

Like other Sena units, it is an intercom and has integrated 10-station FM radio which can be accessed hands-free with voice controls.

Talk time is 11 hours and the lithium polymer battery charges in three hours.

The composite fibreglass shell helmet weighs just 1100g and features removable and washable padding, with a nylon double-D-ring fastener.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Motorrad teams up with Sena Bluetooth

BMW Motorrad has now teamed up with Sena Bluetooth to provide special a “Fit-for-All” helmet two-way intercom system that can be extended up to six people.

Basically it’s a Sena 10 series intercom with a BMW badge and probably a “BMW price”!

We asked BMW Motorrad Australia how much they cost and when they would be available. We are still awaiting a reply, but the standard Sena 10S costs about $250.

BMW teams up with Sena Bluetooth
BMW Fit-for-All intercom

BMW has slapped its blue roundel logo on previous collaborations including Navigator GPS units which are Garmin Zumos and BMW 2-in-1 gloves which are Held Air-n-Dry gloves.

The Sena 10S is the simple, bargain version which is easy to operate and very reliable.

BMW Motorrad also has a Bike-to-Bike communication module that extends the basic Fit-for-All intercom from two-person communication to up to six riders and range to 300m.

BMW teams up with Sena Bluetooth
BMW Bike-to-Bike communication

That means that when used in a group the front rider can still communicate wth the rear rider up to 2km in “optimum conditions”.

Riders can choose between a private and the six-member public mode using a free app.

The UV-resistant and weatherproof communication system uses only three buttons to handle most functions.

It has eight hours of battery life and can also receive and make phone calls, provide GPS spoken directions and play music from a Bluetooth device.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Domio Bluetooth helmet sound adds mic

The Domio Sport Bluetooth helmet system provides music without internal speakers and messy wires, but has now added a microphone system that has no internal or boom mic.

The Canadian company launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to raise the funds to start production of their Domio Pro unit with the mic.

UPDATE AND WARNING: We have contacted the company on several occasions to ask when these will be delivered and have not received a response. Customers say they have not yet received theirs, so please DO NOT pay them until they confirm delivery. Their Facebook page says they are shipping in a week. We will advise if customers start receiving units.

Domio Sport and Pro use micro-vibration technology to deliver sound into your helmet.

The Sport model is similar to Headwave Tag which uses “surface transduction” to transmit vibrations through the helmet. However, we tested the Headwave unit and found it awful. Click here to read our review.

Headwave Tag turns your helmet into a speaker domio
Headwave tag

At $US129 ($A175), the Domio Sport is much cheaper than the Headwave Tag ($A449), but neither has a microphone — until now.

How Domio Pro works

Domio Pro includes a wireless, noise canceling “air mic” that, like the sound unit, sticks on the outside of the helmet.

It uses “beamforming” technology which is a process that allows you to focus a WiFi signal.

Domio Pro Bluetooth helmet sound system
Air mic

In this case it also cancels out wind noise and sound vibrations coming from the helmet shell and only accepts sound from a small area right in front of your mouth.

It’s not a Bluetooth intercom unit, so if you want to talk with another rider or your pillion, you will have to call them on your phone.

You can pre-order Domio Pro now for a 35% discount on the retail price of $US199 (about $A270).

Domio Pro Bluetooth helmet sound system
Domio Pro with speaker on top and mic at the side

Given our dismal experience with Headwave Tag, we can’t recommend this unit until we have tested one.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ride-sharing app Tonit values privacy

There are many ride-sharing apps available, but Tonit adds a feature to ensure that riders protect their privacy and don’t incriminate themselves or void their insurance.

Tonit spokesman Alexandra Pony says users do not need to use the app’s tracking feature which only shows the route and speed.

Privacy rules

Riders can also choose to track their ride, but can keep them private on their profile.

“No one can view the rides they go on and/or access any of this info unless one chooses to make their rides public,” Alexander says.

“Also, riders can choose what info they’d like to keep — eg speeds, routes, etc. So a rider can opt to delete their speed from their profile.”Ride-sharing app Toni values privacy

When tracking rides/ride sharing (this feature is yet to be released) riders will be able to share their location in real time with friends.

“This feature will be 100% up to the rider and will require approval from both parties before sharing live locations,” he says.

“There will be a duration and route preset so that it automatically stops once the ride is over.

“We’re riders too and know the risks. Our goal is to create a great community to share experiences and connect with other riders.” 

Global community

Ride-sharing apps such as Rever, EatSleepRIDE and Riser are focused on GPS maps and tracking, allowing riders to download and use when offline.

Tonit is focused on building a global community, says Alexander.

The free Android and iOS app launched in November 2019 and already has 119,000 downloads and 86,000 active users. It hit #1 trending lifestyle app on Google Play in April.

The Tonit social hub allows motorcyclists to “meet, mingle and enjoy each other’s rides and experiences”.

It has an Instagram-style feed which allows riders to posts pics, tips and tricks, offer advice, and track and share their favourite routes.

Riders can also find other riders in their area and chat within the app to plan rides and create or join a variety of clubs that suit their style of riding.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sena +Mesh links unlimited intercoms

Bluetooth giant Sena has introduced a +Mesh wireless adapter that will link any version of their intercoms to any number of other Sena headsets.

It basically turns any Sena into a Bluetooth intercom with their +Mesh technology that allows people using the headset to come and go from a linked conversation without breaking the link.

The unit is arriving in Australia this month at $259. So there will be no need to update your Sena headset to the latest unit to experience +Mesh tech.

Connects unlimited Sena intercomsSena +Mesh links unlimited Sena intercoms

Sena says the +Mesh wireless adapter allows “seamless communication with other Sena headsets”, rather than connecting via Bluetooth.

Range is claimed to be up to 800m line-of-sight.

You can install the device on your handlebars or any other part of the bike with unobstructed line of sight with your intercom and others.

Simply press the button to turn your headset into a more advanced and flexible Sena +Mesh headset.

“Mesh-network technology will instantly connect you to a virtually limitless amount of users and provides a more stable connection by intelligently searching for lost intercom connections and automatically reconnecting them once back within range, while the rest of the group stays together,” Sena says.

We can’t say how well it works, but Sena Australia say they will send us one to test, so stay tuned.

Sena helmets

Meanwhile, Sena’s updated Momentum Mesh helmet is coming to Australia later this year. 

Sena Momentum Lite Bluetooth helmet Sena +Mesh links unlimited Sena intercoms
Sena Momentum Lite

Australia will not get the Momentum PRO and INC and INC PRO until the second generation is released with European certification.

There is no release date for the second generation as yet.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com