Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle cb performance’

Portable radios can be added as a functional communication system for bikers if it is done right.

There are basically three types of systems.

CB Radio, GMRS, and FRS. The most compatible type of system is CB Radio. This system has been offered by several bike manufactures for some 40 years. If you want to communication with others at rallies or other events you will find that most bikers will be using CB Radio.

FRS and GMRS are high frequency FM transceivers. I prefer GMRS for several reasons. The first is GMRS provides the best performance. 20 to 30 miles of range is possible with high end radios. The second reason is high quality water proof radios are available.

The CB system is set up slightly different from FRS and GMRS. The CB system will require a permanent antenna system, a PTT (Press to Talk) switch mounted in a convenient and safe place such as the left hand grip, and a tank bag.

We recommend a tank bag for several reasons. The radio will be isolated from the elements, and all cables will be routed to one central location other than the biker. If the radio is mounter to the bikers belt for example, the PTT switch cable, the antenna coax cable, the helmet headset cable and the pos/neg power supply cable will all be connected to the radio that is the bikers side.

This is a spider web at best and can’t be safe in the event the biker must dismount quickly.

If the radio is in a tank or windshield bag all cables are routed to the bag. Only one cable (the helmet headset cable) is attached to the biker. Most headsets have a quick detach connection inline making a quick dismount possible.

FRS and GMRS systems are set up the same with the exception of the antenna system. No external antenna system is required and exceptional results are possible with the rubber duck antenna on the radio. CB radio will have poor results from a rubber duck style short antenna.

Expect 25 to 75 yards of distance from this type of antenna on a portable CB and 20+ miles using GMRS with the short rubber duck style antenna.


My intercom sounds great but people on other bikes tell me they can’t understand me. What can be wrong?

More than likely you have an antenna system or a CB radio problem. If the problem were the headsets or headset cords the intercom would be distorted as well.

Basic troubleshooting procedures require a process of elimination in order to get to the culprit. Remember easy & cheap 1st, hardest and expensive last.
Can anyone understand your passenger? The likelihood of both headsets being defective is extremely low. If you are experiencing similar results from both headsets move on, it’s not the headsets.

Antenna system is next. With the antenna system you have coax, a stud mount, an antenna, and the antenna ground. Check them out in this order – ground, antenna, stud mount and coax cable. Try moving the coax or grab the antenna bracket.  If the SWR fluctuates you have a ground problem.

The SWR should be below a 2.0 and not fluctuate more than .1 up or down when moving the coax or grabbing the bracket. In other words 1.9-2.1 of fluctuation is ok. Remember, paint and primer are your enemy. Pinched or melted coax jacket is not good- replace it. Consider the MU-8R18 coax cable. It is great for running the coax through tight places.

Spin the antenna in a circular direction and check the SWR. Look for serious fluctuation or a spike. If it exhibits either replace it and same for the stud mount is screws into.
If none of the above resolves your problem and you can’t find a local professional that can resolve your issue, bring it to us. We will resolve your issue.
Please call for an appointment before showing up unless you intend to leave the bike as we may be booked for the day.

Servicing Your Equipment – More Info