What to Look For in a Motorcycle Radar Detector

Looking for a motorcycle radar detector? Don't miss out on valuable features and must-have functions.

Alert Systems
The biggest issue with motorcycle radar detectors is finding one that actually gets your attention when you're in radar range. Some motorcycle radar detectors use loud tones that are supposed to be audible over road noise, although that's questionable depending on your speed, helmet style and whether you're wearing earplugs. Other motorcycle radar detectors use flashing LEDs or in-helmet wiring to transmit video or audio cues to let you know a radar is being used nearby. Many audio systems also have headphone jacks so you can run headphones to your helmet to hear audio cues.

Think about your riding style, and what alert system would best suit you. You don't want a system that relies on you visually looking down at the radar, because you need to stay focused on the road. If you do a lot of fast riding on open roads, road noise may prevent you from hearing audio signals. Evaluate the different alert systems to determine which one would best meet your needs.

Battery Operated or Motorcycle Powered?
Some bikers hate battery-operated radar detectors, because you never know if the battery might wear out at a crucial moment and leave you unprotected. Others hate running wires or relying on motorcycle power because it can be a pain to hook up. Weigh the pros and cons of battery- and motorcycle-powered radar detectors to ensure you get a system that satisfies you.

Mounting Location
Mounting can be a big deal for motorcycle radar detectors, especially if they rely on a hardwire connection to the motorcycle for power. Additionally, if you get a radar detector with a visual display, you'll want it to be in a good location so you see it without taking your eyes off the road for more than a second.

Think about where you'd mount a radar detector, and whether it would be for you to see its visual display. If you frequently travel through different states, keep in mind that radar detectors are illegal in some places. A hidden radar detector may be the best choice for you, but keep in mind that you almost always have to rely on an audio cues with these models.

Don't Get a Car Model
Resist the temptation to buy a car radar detector and rig it onto your bike. Car radar detectors may not be waterproof, and they may not stand up to the elements you encounter on a bike. Additionally, most car radar detectors emit a relatively quiet audio cue that you'd be extremely unlikely to hear on a bike, so they won't do you much good. Stick with a motorcycle model so you can ensure it has the features you need.

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Imagine driving down the highway and seeing in your back mirror red and blue flashing lights and hearing that siren that makes every driver's heart pump a little harder. You realize you are being pulled over and during the holidays, the police are out in full force to enforce traffic laws. However, everyone knows that all speeders are not pulled over so speed limits cannot be "strictly" enforced.

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Speed: It's something a lot of us yearn to do while in a car. You're late to your appointment; you forgot your kid gets out early; your boss told you that if you were late once more, you're fired! All of these things give us reason to speed, but is it worth the ticket? Absolutely not. This is why you should consider investing some money in a nice radar detector. Now I'm not condoning speeding. On the contrary, I'm all about keeping the roads safe for everyone!

To make a radar detector comparison, you first need to know about the radar technology used by local police. From there, you can start to compare features.

The history of the radar detector begins in the early 20th century, when military forces first used radar to detect enemy positions.

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