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Speak Out: Mobile Motorcycle Operation

A contributor states, "I would like your help and suggestions for radios (dual Band +) and antenna, and mounting for use on 2008 Honda Goldwing. I have found a used Yaesu FT-8900R (Quad) and New Yaesu FT 7900R (Dual) each for <$300, but have not put money down yet. Not sure which features should be must! I don't have big budget, but I would like the most for my money. I am using Yaesu FT-2400 2meterw/Comet dual band antenna at present."

19 opinions on this subject. Enter your opinion at the bottom of this page.
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K6HUH on 2016-03-20
I pretty much agree with all said above, however, I do tour on a trike and do have a radio installed. No HF, just ftm-400dr for APRS, and blue tooth because it's there and my SENA headset works great with this radio. I don't try to QSO while riding, my safety and my wife's safety is too important. The APRS is fun though.....


TANAKASAN on 2010-04-10
Yes, it can be done, but please do this safely:

1) Use a throat mike and earphones fitted into a helmet, the throat mike cuts down on wind noise.

2) Figure out some form of quick disconnect so that when you fall off of the bike the cord doesn't strangle you or break your neck.

3) Your body so close to the antenna is going to do strange things to the SWR and you're going to absorb lots of RF radiation, so keep the power down.


KC5CQW on 2010-04-09
For those people that say it is too unsafe and YOU
wouldn't use a radio while riding; You're probably right.

As for myself, I routinely drove through intersections and
at slightly elevated speeds with a hand mic in one hand
while pulling a neoprene glove on the other with my pinky
finger and my left knee on the steering wheel all while
QSO with dispatch.

Some people can multi-task effectively and safely while
most cannot.
To those people I say only do what you feel safe within
YOUR skill set.

Having said all that Bravo Sierra, Absolutely refrain from
any QSO while riding within city limits. It is just too
dangerous. Period. Like another ham stated, wait until you
have reached a stopping point in your trip to QSO.

KC5CQW on 2010-04-09
OK, i'm about to become very unpopular...
I was a full-time EMT for 7 years.
My bike was a 1984 BMW R100RT.
If Yaesu had that FTM-10R when I had the bike, I would
have installed it on my bike.
It is designed just for this purpose.
What I did was install a 1/4 wave whip on the lugage rack
ant used a VX-5R with hand mike.
It wasn't really useable and quite unsafe.
I would say get the FTM-10R and all of the Bluetooth
accessories needed for a safe ride. Rig a PTT on your left
handlebar so that your thumb can activate it whilst using
your palm and fingers for control and clutch work.
And for crying out loud, NO RADIO WHILE BLUE HAIRED
BTW, while wearing my EMS uniform on a white bike with
antenna, I caused a lot of braking action from the 4-
wheelers in my visual area.

W5GNB on 2010-04-09
No radios on my bike,

I am far too busy watching out for little old Blue-Haired ladies who can't see over the steering wheel and unable to see thier hand in front of thier face (but yet they pass the drivers license vision test ???????))

And teen aged kids yapping and texting on thier Cell Phones.

73's and Happy Riding!!
Gary - W5GNB

K3VW on 2010-04-08
I have been riding Harleys since 1954 and running HF/VHF motorcycle mobile since 1977. I have never had a problem with talking on the radio's while riding my Touring bike. Most others don't believe I am motorcycle mobile. Lots of work involved because of the limited ground plane a bike offers. I even work 160 meter motorcycle mobile, one of the few you will hear ! Willy K3VW

W7ETA on 2010-04-07
Inquiring minds want to know? What helmet would be better than the one he has now?

Is it safe for him to ride in the rain?

Did he buy the right motorcycle and the right color?


WO4V on 2010-04-07
I blew the finals in my ft-817 running it on my bike...of course, the ft-817 was known for blowing the PA just by looking at it hard. I bought mine new when they first came out, so I should've had my head examined for attempting this, anyway.

Anyway, I got it fixed and now it serves as an excellent qrp mobile/base/portable, it's intended function.

BTW, I NEVER tried to talk on it while in motion. I own a crotch rocket and it takes ALL my attention while capable of killing you or getting you thrown in jail.
Now, I take it along in a kit and ONLY operate separate from the bike as QRP portable. I have been riding over 45 years and have fell off enough bikes to cause an extreme aversion to sliding on the pavement...

Ride safe, first. Talk on the radio when you get to your destination.

Dave, WO4V

K8QV on 2010-04-07
Spend the money on a better helmet. Sounds like you're going to need it.

I play ham radio and I also ride. I know there are many tough guys on bikes who think they can tune radios, read and set the GPS, talk and text, smoke and drink a beer while riding. Fact is, riding requires full time attention.

Don't be a needless statistic who raises my insurance rates.

K6SDW on 2010-04-06
I teach the safety course for MSF in Northern California -- my vote is no radio, GPS, IPOD, cell phone...most anything that can be a distraction. Just put on your safety gear and go for a ride and leave the electronic toys for the car/truck/home!

A fellow instructor (non- ham) got so busy diddling with his GPS mounted on the handlebars, he drove off the road, hit an embankment and went over the handlebars landing on his head/helmet.....he was in neuro-surgery 3 hours later getting his brain wasn't pretty!!

Cheers All

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