Best FRS/GMRS radios for motorcyles?

Currently looking to upgrade my radio for our motorcycles. My wife has a Kenwood TK 3101 connected to her Autocom Active Plus. The Kenwood works flawlessly I can hear her at most speeds. I’ve used cheap units with just a PTT and speaker/mic setup. Works fine up to 40-50 mph.
What I don’t know is it the combonation Autocom /Kenwood radio making her speech clear or the Kenwood radio or the Autocom unit. We used Motorola radios with her Autocom and had to many issues: no volume, range, etc.
What has replaced the TK 3130 TK 3101? Is Icom a good brand ? Some of the new Motorola’s can be charged by a USB cell charger. Will these work on a motorcycle? I would rather not by a Autocom or Starcom unit I just want decent bike to bike communications. What is recommended?

On a motorcycle, the headset is extremely important, as it has to make sure that no noise gets into the audio signal it sends to the radio. So I’d say it’s mainly the Autocom headset.

Icom is a great brand, they make excellent radios. However the ICOMs are limited to GMRS frequencies so you’ll need a license (about $85 for yourself and it’ll cover her as an immediate family member).

If you want to go a bit cheaper, you might consider the Midland GXT1000. If the Autocom doesn’t work, Kenwood makes the AVP-H1 open-face helmet kit with PTT wire. I used the GXT1000 with this kit for skiing this winter with great success- it was almost impervious to wind. Not sure if that extends up to 60mph, but it worked well for me :slight_smile:

However you should really try to find a way to wire the nice Autocom kit into whatever radio you end up buying.

Also, you will see a great many claims of 20-30 miles range, this is BS, you get 1-3 miles nominal range on almost any radio. More info here. Having more transmit power can help a bit in pushing the fringes of your coverage, but unless you’re on a flat dry lake bed you won’t get more than a mile or three. (Another reason I like the GXT1000’s- 5 watts of transmit power, which is about the most you can get)

I’m currently using a Midland with ptt. Over 50mph my wife can’t understand me. I was told by other people that the Kenwood or Icom radios make the difference in clarity at higher speeds. I think the mic & headset is probably the biggest difference in clarity. Her mic & speakers are from Autocom and connected through her Autocom unit. Any one have experience with a FRS/GMRS radio with a mic headset combo that works at speed or noisy conditions?

You are right- for a motorcycle, the mic and speakers are the most important thing for clarity. A radio may transmit slightly better audio or have better range than another radio, but its a case of garbage in garbage out- if you feed the radio an audio feed that’s 90% wind noise, not even the best radio in the world will help you.

However, it’s possible that Kenwood or Icom are compatible with a better headset and that’s the improvement your friends saw…

I’m curious, which particular Midland headset are you using?

You might try a throat mic, there’s a bunch of Midland ones here. I tried the AVP-H8 this past winter- the audio isn’t as clear as the AVP-H1 mic, but it shouldnt get any less clear as the speed increases. Might be worth a shot.
There’s also a 3rd party unit, the XLT TM100 which is like the AVP-H8 but has a finger PTT switch…

I’ve went thru several models of the Midlands. I have a headset,ptt system very similar to the AVP-H1 don’t like the clarity at speed. I thinking about upgrading to the Kenwood or Icom radios except they are a little pricey. Also don’t like them discontinuing models.

I agree the throat mic is the best bet. It picks up physical vibrations, rather than sound, so no noise will get into your transmission. Your voice could sound slightly muffled; but fully understandable, without any background noise.