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Uniden DFR9 Radar Detector and TaoTronics BA-12 Bluetooth Transmitter/Receiver

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Staff member
I decided to go ahead and purchase a radar detector.  My reasons:
  • Driving patterns around here have changed a lot in the past couple years.  Drivers often exceed the speed limits on some of the local roads and freeways.  I've never been close to being pulled over on those roads — yet.  I've seen others though in that unenviable position on the side of the road.  And who sticks out in a crowd?  The one motorcyclist who must be driving fast in comparison to the soccer mom in her SUV.
  • Freeways.  The Washington State Patrol used to have such a reputation that when drivers crossed the border from Oregon, they slowed down.  Not any more.  They still pull over a lot of people when rush hour is over, but there are so many going by over the speed limit, it reminds me of Kodiak bears snagging salmon out of the rapids.  A lot get by, but some get caught.  It is safer IMHO to go with the flow of traffic than to stick to the speed limit and have cars going around you.
  • Back country roads.  One of my favorite rides is up to Artist Point.  It's 3 hours each way and about an hour of the ride is on a two-lane country road that is only 50 mph...and invites 60 mph.  On a couple trips, I've seen outside one little community, the local sheriff lying in wait.  I have no doubt that if I was exceeding the speed limit as I rounded that bend, that I'd get a performance award.
  • If I'm leading a group ride, I keep to within 5 mph of the speed limit.  I also go with some other riders where I'm not leading, and when they get outside of traffic, they'll "make progress" as the LEOs in England would say.  The speeds aren't above what I'm very comfortable with on those roads, but I don't want to rely on the lead guy with the detector being the one who keeps me from getting a performance award.

So when my wife surprisingly :shock: said she was surprised I didn't have one already...who am I to say no?  Besides, I like gadgets.  I wouldn't ordinarily say that, but I started looking at my bike and I have a voltage indicator, GPS, front and rear dash camera, helmet mounted camera...and now a radar detector.  If you have ideas on what I "need" on my F800GT for another gadget, please let me know.  :D

So I got the Uniden DFR9 from Costco.  Why Costco?  If I decided this wasn't for me, it is extremely easy to make a return.  Their prices are generally good.  And on electronics, they often have something that is top of the line.  Turns out, the DFR9 is just that.

Reviews are generally good when you can find them.  Most of the reviews are really only a means to get you to buy from that particular website with about as many facts and data as you'll find in a magazine review on the F800GT.  Often just a restatement of the manufacturer's press release.

One review did say that in this price category, the Uniden DFR9 was the best in that class.  That was at the suggested MSRP of about $350.  Costco is selling this at $260.

  • GPS.  The advantage here is you can mark locations to ignore, like in front of your local grocery store with the automatic doors.
  • Filtering.  I feel like it is filtering out a lot of the automatic doors on its own.
  • Automatic muting.  The first two beeps are loud enough to catch your attention...but then it drops in volume considerably so that if you're stuck at a traffic light, it is very tolerable.  And if you want, just press the "Mute" button and all is silent.
  • Configuration.  In addition to a Highway and City mode, you can adjust about 30 individual settings.  After I get used to this detector, I may turn off all the K band alerts.  Those are almost always automatic doors and collision avoidance systems on the cars around you.
  • Red Light Camera alerts.  I know where most of these are, but it helps to have the reminder.
  • Speed cameras.  There was one ahead at a local school that I was warned about.  Nice.

The only disadvantage I can find on this unit is that it isn't waterproof.  A plastic sandwich sized zip lock bag works perfectly for it.

Now...how to be notified of an alert?  This is critical if the radar detector is to do you any good.  Most radar detector websites are pushing only a light system.  Either one on a dashboard, or one attached to the inside of your helmet.  I didn't like either idea.

Enter the TaoTronics BA-12 Bluetooth Transmitter/Receiver.  It's a small unit that plugs into the earphone socket on the Uniden DFR9.  I attached it with velcro.  It works like a charm.  :)  The BT connection is easily paired with the Sena 10C Pro headset I have.  If an alert comes up, the DFR9 tells me of the alert and what band it is in.  Cost is $30.  There's a cheaper version for $20, but I liked the TX/RX capability of this one.  The size is smaller than one of those small matchstick boxes.


Now how to mount it?  I'm partial to RAM mounts.  They simply work.  So I got these parts from GPS City.

  • ramb309-7.jpg
      RAM Mount Aluminum Motorcycle Mount Base Kit with Reservoir and U-Bolt Hardware
  • rapb200-12.jpg
    RAM Mount Plastic Double 1 inch dia Socket Arm with 360 deg Center Rotation
  • rap300-1.jpg
      RAM Mount Rubber Power Plate III Magnetic Holder
Here's what it looks like:


On this picture, you can see the BT transmitter on the side.  It's small.

Is this for everyone?  Probably not.  But I think it'll work for me. 

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