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Discussion Starter #1
so i am just about to pull the trigger on a factory CB radio for my bike. i don't use it much but was in sturgis last week and brought a handheld which i was able to control via my sena through Bluetooth with a remote PTT switch on my handle bar.
it was clunky but worked.
doing another ride this weekend and i really just want to bite the bullet and install the ridiculously overpriced factory radio setup.
I've heard a lot of complaints about the volume not being loud enough, and the BT connection or music stopping. I read these issues were resolved with the jan 2019 update?
so before i do this, and get even more disgusted with the outcome and money spent not to mention tearing the bike all apart again.
tell me what the current status is..
how is yours working?
do you have the update?
how much range do you get?
thanks in advance.
 

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I opted to *not* have it on my '18. I had it on the '08 that I just traded...and for the price...definitely not worth it. The range is horrible (unless they've corrected that, but I highly doubt it). I mean, it was good to listen to truckers for LEO...but Waze shows you that (not quite as accurately - truckers are 'real-time'). I'm sure there are CB apps for your phone for that aspect... Just my two cents - hopefully someone who has it can chime in.
 

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I too opted to not have it on my 18. If it worked without glitches maybe. My Sena SRL connects easily to other Blue Tooth systems. The problem I have is most of who I ride with still use the sixties CB technology.


Figure the parts will cost you $1100 discounted(CB, Controls and external antenna) With 2-3 hours labor for install. For me--not worth it
 

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I have the factory CB setup. Since I am a Road Guard with Run for the Wall we are required to have a CB. I find it much better then J&M CBs, very easy to use. The only time that I have had problems hearing someone is when they had a half helmet with there mic on the outside of a face mask.
I use it for other rides most of the year. While it is over priced and the technology should have been fazed out many years ago it is still the go to technology for large rides.
We did a club ride with out the Road Captain having communication and it was a disaster.
 

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I have it and it works fine. Range is ok much like the previous models. Maybe a mile if lucky and conditions are right. For my group rides its a must. Volume level issues were corrected with the 2nd update. The only thing I don't like is that the passenger cannot hear what the rider is saying when transmitting and the rider cannot hear what the passenger is saying when they are transmitting. This is not a problem with the CB or the Goldwing but a problem with how Sena manages that conversation. Hoping that gets fixed at some point.
 

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I have the factory setup. I do group rides with both GWRRA and a smaller local group. My only complaint is the low volume. I am hearing impaired to some degree though, but I have to keep my volume at full 20 and struggle to hear (and / or understand) due to the low volume. My 2014 wing had a much higher volume and I never had to run it at full volume as I do my 2018, as it would blow me out of the saddle. And, yes I have done all the software updates.
 

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I have a 2019 GL DCDT airbag with the factory CB and J&M BT-04 headset. The volume is fine.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
thanks guys, i don't need a lot of range but for group rides it's what they use, i would prefer to use FRS as range is a lot better, antennas smaller and much more clear. fortunately i could easily hide that handheld radio and control with my sena 10 2 way adapter over bluetooth if that ever becomes standard.
but anything has to be better then the rigged up handheld CB i used on my last ride the distance was about half a mile which was fine.
i bet if the antenna is tuned it would go farther, ill hook an SWR meter to mine when i get it installed. and see if the antenna length can be changed.

as for the cost that's the only turnoff for me. but i have a dealer account and i can buy stuff at a significant discount. all total about 900 bucks for everything and i can install it myself. still a ripoff but what can you do?
 

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I had the CB installed when I bought the bike because the dealer offered 22% off accessories. Used it on a number of group rides and it worked just fine. No tuning necessary for the antenna and I've been told it sounds crystal clear from those on the receiving end. I don't do group rides often, but when that time comes, it's well worth the $$ being able to instantly communicate. It's also been handy when communicating with big rigs on the interstate. No issues with the bluetooth connectivity or volume since updating the software, just have to make sure you've adjusted the "individual" CB volume. YMMV
 
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I find the volume low for listening to others but they hear me loud & clear! And I DO have good hearing! Sucks . . .
 

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I have the factory cb installed and can hear fine with a Sena SRL and a J&M BT-04. I always wear earplugs so the volume is enough
to hear with earplugs. I've installed all the updates from Honda, Sena, and J&M.
 

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I do not find the volume loud enough on the CB. I have all updates on the bike and headset. I first used J&M BT04S which worked somewhat when riding solo, but filled with problems when riding two up. I switched to Cardo Packtold Bold and it's much better sound quality and usability but still not loud enough.

For some reason Honda made the max volume 20 for the CB but 30 for everything else? On all other audio outputs I find a setting of 8-12 adequate, but the CB at 20 is not loud enough. Honda needs to resolve this!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
 

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I got the CB installed when I bought the bike. I have had no problems with it at all.
I bought the J&M shorty antenna, I thought it looked better being short.
I checked the SWR on both antennas and they were both very close to 1:1.


I use the CB every few weeks riding with our Goldwing Chapter and have no problems with range because we are usually close in a group.
I did not do the first update because I heard it messed up the CB and then I would not be able to use it.
I didn't install the update to fix that but waited until the next update came out and loaded that one. I still have no problems.
 

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I have the factory setup. I do group rides with both GWRRA and a smaller local group. My only complaint is the low volume. I am hearing impaired to some degree though, but I have to keep my volume at full 20 and struggle to hear (and / or understand) due to the low volume. My 2014 wing had a much higher volume and I never had to run it at full volume as I do my 2018, as it would blow me out of the saddle. And, yes I have done all the software updates.


This sounds exactly like be volume at 20 is still not enuff.
 

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I installed my factory CB on my 2005 and 2018 per Honda's instructions which said that no tuning of the antenna would be necessary if you follow the instructions. Wrong wrong wrong. You just can't assume that every CB installation will give the same results for every bike. If the antenna is not set properly for the CB wave length, then you will not utilize all the power while transmitting. Consequently, the radio will suffer damage from poor tuning. My 2005 gave me a reading of 1.75 when keyed down. That told me that a lot of the power was being sent back to the radio and not leaving the radio via the antenna. Trimming the antenna finally gave me a .00 to .01 from channel 1 to 20. Channels 21 to 40 gave me a .05. Extremely good grounding of the antenna is essential for superb operation as well as low SWR readings. The antenna mount gives poor grounding unless you make it better. On both of my bikes, I ran a separate good ground from the mounting bolt to the chassis to make sure I had a solid ground. Some people do not care about SWR's, don't understand and don't concern themselves if the radio seems to work ok. However, proper SWR readings ,which are the lowest you can get will give you more distance in transmitting with your CB and save your radio from premature failure. If you know someone with a SWR meter and the proper connectors, I highly recommend that you get it checked. As for volume, no problem there either.

Big H
 

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I installed my factory CB on my 2005 and 2018 per Honda's instructions which said that no tuning of the antenna would be necessary if you follow the instructions. Wrong wrong wrong. You just can't assume that every CB installation will give the same results for every bike. If the antenna is not set properly for the CB wave length, then you will not utilize all the power while transmitting. Consequently, the radio will suffer damage from poor tuning. My 2005 gave me a reading of 1.75 when keyed down. That told me that a lot of the power was being sent back to the radio and not leaving the radio via the antenna. Trimming the antenna finally gave me a .00 to .01 from channel 1 to 20. Channels 21 to 40 gave me a .05. Extremely good grounding of the antenna is essential for superb operation as well as low SWR readings. The antenna mount gives poor grounding unless you make it better. On both of my bikes, I ran a separate good ground from the mounting bolt to the chassis to make sure I had a solid ground. Some people do not care about SWR's, don't understand and don't concern themselves if the radio seems to work ok. However, proper SWR readings ,which are the lowest you can get will give you more distance in transmitting with your CB and save your radio from premature failure. If you know someone with a SWR meter and the proper connectors, I highly recommend that you get it checked. As for volume, no problem there either.

Big H[/QUOTE
This about says it all. If the CB is installed by a dealer they do not check anything. This is not their specialty you need to go to a CB shop and get it checked. Most motorcycle CBs are not adjusted properly or grounded properly. Also many of the antennas are for vehicles with a large ground plain that motorcycles do not have.
 

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This sounds exactly like be volume at 20 is still not enuff.
In my case that is correct. I run my other audio, (FM, USB, Apple Car Play, NAV etc) around 8-10 and can hear it fine, but with the CB at 20 (max volume), it is difficult to hear at regular group riding speeds. I'll add a ground as suggested by Big H. Does SWR affect only transmission, or both transmission and reception?

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I thought the antenna on the 2018-19 can't be removed from the base to trim for appropriate SWR.

I'm open to suggestions. It seems that most people don't have this volume problem with their factory CB.
 

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I'm going to be a Road Guard on RFTW next year. I have the Honda CB installed.

1. Yes, it's expensive. I'm more than happy to pay a couple hundred extra to not have crap hanging off the handlebars, out in the rain.
2. It works great.
3. Volume is loud.
4. I'm an Extra Class amateur radio operator, and I understand antennas. To state that Honda did not properly design their own CB for their own antenna is absurd.
5. When I ride with my Harley friends, they say that my Honda CB is strong and clear. The volume setting for the CB is separate from other audio inputs.
6. I'm hearing that other riders are getting one mile plus range over clear terrain.

Glad I got the Honda CB.
 

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I'm going to be a Road Guard on RFTW next year. I have the Honda CB installed.

1. Yes, it's expensive. I'm more than happy to pay a couple hundred extra to not have crap hanging off the handlebars, out in the rain.
2. It works great.
3. Volume is loud.
4. I'm an Extra Class amateur radio operator, and I understand antennas. To state that Honda did not properly design their own CB for their own antenna is absurd.
5. When I ride with my Harley friends, they say that my Honda CB is strong and clear. The volume setting for the CB is separate from other audio inputs.
6. I'm hearing that other riders are getting one mile plus range over clear terrain.

Glad I got the Honda CB.
What route are you going on next year. I did 5 years on Southern and now this will be my 5th on Midway and second on Sand Box. I do not believe that I said that Honda designed their antenna wrong but that some of the dealers are not careful as to how they install accessories. When I picked up my bike from a Denver Multi line dealer fasteners were missing and the dash surround was scratched.
 
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