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Entertainment gadgets - safe?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by titus, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. In light of this story, I've got to thinking about how such devices apply to motorcyclists.

    I'm not interested in discussing cyclists this time - just want to talk about headphone type devices and their use by motorcyclists. Not interested in whether they should be illegal or not, either (personal responsibility yadayada). I've just purchased a bluetooth enabled intercom set and I'm really wondering whether I should use it for entertainment rather than 'driver aid' functions of GPS and rider to rider communication.

    I know plenty of netriders use them for music etc. - just wondering if you ever feel a bit compromised in terms of aural awareness? We already have to deal with wind and mechanical noise, and the muffling characteristics of helmets.
    FWIW I habitually pull to a stop to receive phone calls, so that's not really an issue for me.
  2. I am not sure it is directly applicable because of the differences in the vehicles. Sound is not necessarily the same cue to Cagers and Motorcyclists as it is to Pedestrians and Cyclists. It is a valid observation though, I would be interested in others opinions.
  3. Every single time Ive had a close encounter with a pedestrian, they always have earphones in.

    Seriously, this is natural selection.

    Ironically the music that theyre listening to is probably killing off the only effective 360 degree sense they have, then theyll wish they could have their hearing back.
  4. I've tried commuting with my ipod in and felt too isolated/distracted to be comfortable in heavy traffic. That's a personal thing though, and I'm happy to accept that others can make their own judgements.

    Out on the open road, though, why not?
  5. I can do either while commuting, but when you're tearing up the twisties, there's no better soundtrack than the Top Gun soundtrack!

    Or you could actually put something good on.
  6. Good point about choosing your time and place. That's probably the way I'll play it, I think. In all truth you probably wouldn't hear anything external above 80kmh.
  7. Around town I won't have headphones on. If I'm on a touring type trip I will but if I come to twisties I turn it off so I can concentrate.

    As far as entertainment gadgets.....I call it "my bike" :D :D
  8. and playlist, I've got one named Fast (eminem, RHCP, Regurgitator) and one named Chill (Whitlams, RHCP, Little Birdy) and depending on mood and traffic situation I'll choose whats best.
  9. Agree on the playlist. A diet of Motorhead, Rammstein and AC/DC increases the DR's fuel consumption by 10-15%, whilst halving the width of my chicken strips :grin:.
  10. I don't know what the fuss is about.

    Probably the best mod i did for the GS was to install an 11" flat screen DVD player just underneath the speedo. Makes sitting in sydney traffic much more fun, and I think (at my age at least) I still have the necessary peripheral vision to function properly in traffic and watch finding nemo at the same time.
  11. Just looking at the story that prompted the original post, at first glance it seems to be down to the guy being an inattentive dill who didn't look for a tram when he should have. FFS, they're 2.5m square and God knows how long. How hard is it to see one? If you bloody look, that is, which you should anyway, even if you haven't voluntarily disabled your hearing.

    Nice change to see someone other than motorcyclists and speeders getting a bit of a spray from MUARC though.
  12. "Raindrops keep falling on my head, but that doesn't mean HOLY$HIT A TRAM!!!"
  13. Despite all my safety consciousness and noob status I still feel comfortable with music - but only one earphone in, and not at full volume. A little too comfortable perhaps...it's probably not the coolest look singing and bopping at the lights :)
  14. :rofl:
  15. Comment made recently (somewhere) about the potential danger of noise cancellation option on these systems. Once again, I'm thinking it's probably a good thing at the open road speeds, but maybe not so good in town (?)

    TBH, it's rare that I'm aware of another vehicle on noise alone (Ducatis excepted). Maybe it's more the distraction factor.
  16. exact same as I do, but I don't care what other people think about me bopping up and down and side to side and playing snake with my bike on the road. All is fun :D
  17. In NSW the laws have recently been changed to include "Any function of a mobile phone device" to be illegal to be used whilst riding, and it includes using it as an MP3 player.
  18. I, too, wouldn't do music around town, but would definitely consider it for long, boring trips. Listening to music is too distracting *insert min-rant about sound quality, compression^, etc.*. I want to minimise the chances of me tuning out to the traffic around me.

    ^The sort that comes from the loudness war, not codec related.

    EDIT: It has just occurred to me that overly hot albums could contribute a fair bit to rider fatigue, too. See? Bad sound is bad for your health! :p
  19. The distraction argument is an interesting one...

    I can be very distracted by music when doing desk work, but it doesn't seem to matter (to me, anyway) when i am doing visual/physical things that are externally time-paced. If the task get complex, the music just seems to fall out of my scape, and when the road is clear again I think, oh! Music!

    I have mild concerns about hearing traffic, but haven't yet (with one earphone and not too loud) really felt that compromised.

    I think point made lightheartedly about the style of music is actually an essential one, though. My iPhone is full of pump-it-up stuff that was collected for the purpose of jogging, and it WILL make me ride differently. Need to collect some more chillsome.... Also i would have thought the right music might even help with rider fatigue on the open road.
  20. imho, it's unsafe!

    a recent anecdote: driving through the natio. some wks ago. come up to a cple of cyclists minding there own business. sure enough the guy has headphones on and is totally oblivious to traffic. just as well i was paying attention.

    headphones on the beach, yes. headphones whilst "operating machinery", or where full attentiveness is critical, no!