why do motorcycles have radios

Between the wind, the roaring, and the helmet

can you really hear the radio while you are riding?

Depends on the bike. The big tourers have loads of calm air behind the fairings and they don’t have big, roarty exhaust pipes.

Also, not all states have helmet laws, and not all trips are on the highway.

I was more surprised the first time I saw a bike with an air conditioner. Then I got a motorcycle and said “Hey, it’s really nice out (it was like 90+ degrees), I’m gonna go for a ride” and I learned then when it’s that hot out, it’s like riding into a blow dryer. I could see where an AC would be nice to keep you somewhat cool.

I was wondering.

The guy across the street has a really loud motorcycle, as in rattle the windows, block out the TV loud. The radio is even louder.

A lot of riders I know use ear buds. I never had a radio, but had ear buds for a radar detector.

An acquaintance has a stock suped-up bike. The helmet has wireless earphones. He claims it sounds just like riding in a car with radio on and window open.

I have never listened to music while riding. I could easily have my ipod and earbuds with me if I wanted to, but I don’t really need or want the distraction. I want to hear what is going on around me as much as possible. Not all, but many rides (urban and rural) can come with potentially dangerous moments in which your absolute attention/reaction time is a must. In my opinion that’s harder to achieve while listening to music. Oh I went on such a sweet ride today :D.

Helmet? What helmet? There are quite a few riders who don’t wear helmets. Even in states where helmets are mandatory, riders often choose beanie or “novelty” helmets that leave the ears fully exposed.

I suppose that for straight-piped cruisers a dashboard radio is OK at back-country cruising speeds, but if you’re doing 75-80 on the interstate highway, I expect it’s going to be hard to hear much of anything unless you turn the volume up to truly injurious levels.

That doesn’t apply to Honda Goldwings, which have a freakin’ barn door for a windscreen. I normally wear earplugs inside my helmet when I ride my bike (a BMW R1200RT), and when I rented a Goldwing once, I found I didn’t need earplugs at all, it was whisper-quiet in the cockpit. If I had bothered to turn on the radio, I’m sure it would have sounded nice.

For my bike, I have speakers in my helmet. These supply me with iPod music (only on interstate highways), FRS communication with my fellow riders, and directions from my GPS receiver. You get better stereo sound with speakers right next to your ears, and you don’t annoy people for 20 yards in every direction when you’re jamming out to Anne Murray. :smiley:

I have speakers in my full-face helmet, hear them just fine (even with earplugs in).

But I have ridden bikes with speakers on them. As long as you’re not running some ridiculously loud pipe (I don’t), you hear radio speakers just fine at around-town speeds (35-45 mph), even with a full-face helmet on (although it helps to have the visor cracked). A big fairing helps, but isn’t essential.

At highway speeds, even a big fairing doesn’t do much, once above 50-60 mph you’re hearing wind, not radio. But I don’t ride at highway speeds without earplugs in, the wind is just too loud and I like keeping my hearing!

I wondered how much you can hear with a loud bike on the open road.

I would have thought that like Scootergirl, riders would want to hear what is going on around them,

Maybe instead of cussing the neighbor, silently since he wouldn’t be able to hear me anyway, I should buy him a helmet with speakers.

I have a helmet with speakers. I can listen to my Ipod, make phone calls, use FRS and Ham radio if needed.

Ham radio is only on my cruiser. The FRS system I have is actually attached to my helmet so I can always communicate with family and friends no matter which bike I choose.