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Discussion Starter #1
So I was on a ride today with a guy who had a radar detector...That thing was COOL!!!! He singled me and slowed around a corner to reveal a sheriff sitting there!! I thought these things only worked in direct line of site! Can some of you more knowledgable people here fill me in on these little beauties. I already looked up the Escort 8500 x50 and at 300 bucks I didn't think they were that badly priced!

So a couple of questions:
1) is there any deterioration in the function by placing the unit behind the screen vs in the open? What are the mounting options?

2) how does it notify you? Are you always looking down for a led? Or if it is audible, how loud is it? can you hear it over the bike and all the other wind and road noise?

3) is escort the leader in the industry and a descent machine?



amy other input would be great!! TIA
 

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I would say Valentine 1 is the leader in teh industry, with ecsort a close second...
V1

As to alert impovement, try something like this:

visual alert
 

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mybluett said:
I would say Valentine 1 is the leader in teh industry, with ecsort a close second...
V1

As to alert impovement, try something like this:

visual alert
I wouldn't put the Valentine ahead of the Escort. If anything, I'd say the Escort 8500 X50 has been voted #1 in leading magazines and radar detector test labs more times than the Valentine has. Both have their pros and cons. Both are good detectors.

Personally, I had been using the Escort 8500 X50 for a long time before I switched over to the Beltronics RX-65. The RX-65 has upgraded components, picks up more bands (including the new Ku band) and has a digital voice to announce the type of hit to boot! :D

Regarding the original question, radar detectors don't just pick up radar signals that are fired directly towards the detector. They also pick up reflections. Radar signals bounce around on ANY hard surfaces like trees, signs, rocks, tarmac, other cars, etc., etc. If there's a cop in the area using a radar gun a lot, a good detector will start to pick up reflections sometimes up to a mile before you get to the cop! If the conditions are good, maybe even further.

Don't think that a radar detector will always save your butt though! It's easy to pick up cops ahead if they are driving around using active radar, i.e. they have their radar guns on all the time. A well trained cop will hide and wait until they have you in sight and then trigger the radar gun once they have their sights on you! If you're unlucky to get hit with an 'instant on' radar like this, you'll probably still get a ticket.

You're most vulnerable on a bike when you're out by yourself and there's no traffic around. If there's a cop using instant on radar and there's no traffic, you won't pick up any reflections to warn you of what's ahead!

Cops also have other weapons! Some of them have LASER guns. LASER can be targeted to a single specific target and because it's 'light' rather than 'radio', it doesn't scatter and reflect much. Pretty much all detectors pick up LASER but if a LASER alarm goes off on your detector, you are almost certainly being specifically targeted!

As for the output from a radar detector, all of them have an LED display of some sort and a built in speaker. Neither of these are reliable on a bike! There are a whole host of other ways you can get an alert from a detector though. They range from 'screamers' that amplify the alert so that any living thing within a mile radius can hear it, to light displays (inside and outside the helmet) that grab your attention. Me, I have helmet speakers and I pump the audio from my RX-65 to the speakers.

Finally, since radio waves travel through most things, you have some flexibility as to where you can mount a detector. I have mine velcroed on to the top of my tank bag. It views the road ahead through my windshield and it works perfectly in that location. I pick up direct radar and reflections from up ahead, radar reflections from behind and LASER from ahead.

As to the effectiveness of radar detectors, in 49,000 miles of riding, I've only received 1 ticket and that was when I was tagged by LASER! I've evaded more speed traps using RADAR than I can count. The detectors have paid for themselves many, many times over! :cool:
 

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Depends on how big you want the unit to be...

I have both the Valentine and Escort detectors, and I much prefer the Valentine over the Escort, because of the additional features that it offers. With it you can tell where the radar is direction-wise, and also how many are around, as it counts them. It is, however, considerably larger than the Escort, so I use the Escort on the bike because of it's higher stealth level, as detectors are illegal in this fine state. As noted above, you're cooked if you get hit with instant on, and there's no way to beat it. Luckily, because detectors are illegal here, the cops are lazy 99% of the time and just leave them on all the time and spray everything in sight. I've had one since 1978 (early Escort), and have gotten one ticket in that time (knock on wood). They both work great, and it won't take you long to learn how to read or interpret what they're telling you.
 

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Having recently recieved 2 speed achievement awards, I am very interested in radar detectors. My main concern is being able to notice when it is going off. The Hard system looks good but is really expensive, any other suggestions? I will check out the audio remote. So far this year I have spent $500 on fines and attorney fees, that money would have bought a nice radar detector and mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
grabdawg when you say this fine state are you refering to California, you don't have your profile filled in?

If so I didn't think they were illegal here!
 

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grabdawg said:
as detectors are illegal in this fine state.
+1 Since you haven't filled out yer profile pardner. We have no clue what that means. Thanks.
 

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Anyone have any pics of a "hard mount" (bolted bracket type) on a 996 ?

Thanks :D
 

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That would be VA...only state in the country where they're illegal.

CT used to be illegal as well, but someone challenged the law up there and they rescinded it. It really is an unconstitutional law, as all it is is a radio receiver that picks up designate frequencies for radar, lazer, etc. I can't figure out why noone has taken it to court here yet...I guess it's not worth it money-wise. I don't know what the fine is now, but years ago when I got caught the only time, I had to bail my Escort out at the county courthouse and pay an illegal equipment fine ($50). That's pretty cheap costs for all the money it's saved me over the years in tickets and insurance rate hikes!
 

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For mount recommendations, see: http://www.motorcycleradar.com/applications.htm

I use the Escort 8500. Been using them (Escorts) since 1980. On top of the tank bag, so that it's simple to go from bike to bike. The best thing is the sound, and the fact that it comes with an earphone jack. I just stuff the earphone up near my ear, and listen to WKOP.

It gets better...the Escort/Passort 8500 has a built-in votmeter! It's a selectable setting that allows the unit to display the battery voltage when it's not detecting any radar signal. It's great to glance down and see how your alterator/RR is doing!
 

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I would recommend the Escort for the bike because it offers approximately the same performance as the V1, has a built-in headphone jack and the directional arrows are of dubious value on a bike due to mounting location, reflected signals, etc. and it costs less. I don't feel I need to know WHERE the radar is coming from so much as the fact that radar is operating in close vicinity. If I perceive a threat I simply slow down, it doesn't matter if it's behind me or infront.

All of my tickets since I've been using a detector have been of the instant-on variety. That said, you are NOT necessarily a sitting duck just because the officer has used instant-on. I've evaded many more instant-on threats than I've been ticketed for. It has to do with the skill of the radar operator and the low radar signature of our narrow bikes. Many of the instant-on, moving radar SMD's have a relatively broad beam and the officer is not accustomed to bikes with such low radar reflectivity. It has been my experience that the officer will turn on his radar before he is in range, leaving time to slow down before he can get a lock. Of course if he nails you in a turn there is little you can do as he will be right on top of you before he triggers his radar and he will get a nearly instantaneous speed reading.

Laser requires an even higher degree of operator skill, especially at a distance. My bike is flat grey and has the smaller Ducati Designs headlight. While I'm sure it's possible to get a laser lock at considerable distance, the officer needs a steady hand and good targeting abilities. Otherwise the Escort will provide an alert with time to slow down before a lock is made. I've been the obvious target of a laser on at least two occasions and both times I was able to scrub off 15 mph in time to avoid a ticket. I love to watch the officer shaking his head at the side of the road as I go by.

Much more important than directional arrows is having the audio portion of the alert in your helmet. There is no way a blinking LED can immediately transmit as much useful information about a threat as the rich and varied tones of the Escort audio. Sure, an LED might blink with different rates but it takes too long for the brain to convert that to useful information. The helmet speaker solution offers the immediate clue of volume AND tone type which, with experience, will allow you to react quickly and appropriately to any threat much more quickly than any type of blinking LED. Then, after you have slowed down, the speed of the alert can be used to determine when the threat has passed. In most situations I simply do not have the time to remove my eyes from the road to look at blinking directional arrows (which are often misleading anyway).

To answer your questions directly:

1) Mounting the detector behind the screen will not significantly affect the performance. It is slightly better to have it mounted higher and more forward because it will pick up more return if it can see the road in front of the bike due to reflected signals but the main thing is to have it pointed in the general direction of the threat.

2) How does it notify you? See above, audio to the helmet is by far the best solution. With an inexpensive headphone speaker properly mounted in front of the ear you will be able to easily hear any alert at any speed, even with 32 dB earplugs.

3) The top rated detectors are all good enough that any difference in sensitivity will probably be minor in relation to subtle effects from mounting position. The Escort is tough little unit that has a decent resistance to a bit of water or rain. The V1 is more sensitive to water if user reports are any indication. I try to keep my Escort relatively dry but am impressed with how much water it has taken without missing a beat.

The main thing is to get a good detector, learn how to use it and then use it!
 

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ESCORT SOLO S2 recommended

I am personally partial to ESCORT SOLO S2. It works on batteries and has terrific performance. It comes with an earphone jack built in for riders. With no power cord, it is a snap to install and de-install and easy to switch between bikes and cars if needed.

http://www.escortradar.com/solo.htm
 

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I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the visual device that goes inside your helmet that alerts you? I am one who like to listen to music while riding.
Bruce
 

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I have been using the Escort 8500 X50 on my bike and it works fine.

I have a Valentine 1 for my cars, but it needs an upgrade so I can't really compare right now.
 

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bjclay said:
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the visual device that goes inside your helmet that alerts you? I am one who like to listen to music while riding.
Bruce
I have used the HARD system and prefer sound. After a while of riding with the HARD I start to ignore the flashing light. Also it doesn't change for signal strength.

For radar and music you need a helmet sound system that can combine the 2 signals.
 

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Virginia is the only state with a no radar detector allowed law.

If you haven't ever used a radar detector before, use the radar detector in your car on a few trips to get the hang of how the local police and highway patrol use the detectors.

The California Highway Patrol seems to leave their radar on more than than not. Arizona on the other hand seems to turn theirs on and off as they encounter traffic. Both state's Patrol seem to leave their Radar on when they have somebody pulled over. It works as a slow down zone for all us with detectors.

California uses the radar detector pointed out the rear of the car quite a bit too. I've seen a CHP pass and the signal go to nothing because he is using the forward radar and then come back on quite strongly as he switched to the rear radar. Then a dummy speeds past me and runs up on the CHP and gets pulled over.

When running on Interstates among big trucks you'll get confusing indications of where the radar is. I've gotten an indication of the radar is ahead then behind. What happens is the barn door rear end of the trailers reflect the signal from up high, looking like the radar is ahead and then the police run up close enough to give you a true indication of they are behind you.

Not necessarily recommended as normal practice, but running in a bunch of big trucks down a fairly steep grade, I was a full 10 to 15 over the speed limit when the detector lit up. The trucks offered such a large return (reflection) over the pip squeak return from me on the bike that I wasn't seen while I was slowing down.

I have a Valentine-1 and am sold on it. The front, rear, side indicators and count of bogeys helps a lot. I have it's audio run into an Autocomm system on the bike.

By-the-way, I use the speed indicated on my GPS as my guide. I rent a lot of cars and lots of time pack my GPS with me, most car speedos are significantly slower than indicated, my BMW motorcycle is fairly close. In my two Honda cars and big Ford truck, I figure I can safely run +5 MPH indicated over the posted limit and be safe from speeding when crusing in the 65-70 MPH range. Don't try this until you use your GPS to check your speedo!
 

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Where/how do you guys mount the detector...... if thats not a private question........any more pics of what works best?

Am trying to position a Bel Pro RX65

Just read in the instructions not to position it behind tinted screen..........but I've got the Zero Grav tinted.
Does it matter?
 
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