Alright… hello adventure riders and motorcycle enthusiasts! Today, I want to talk to you about the PackTalk Slim by Cardo, for which I’ve recently had the opportunity to conduct a thorough review of how the system works.
So I was given a unit to demo on my KLIM Krios helmet. This particular helmet had not yet been tested for compatibility with fitment. The Cardo folks just weren’t sure if it would work with my helmet, so they went out on a limb to see if it would.
I received the unit in the mail and immediately started installing it. The installation process was pretty easy with only a slight hiccup and that was getting the wire placement the way my nitpicking brain wanted it. What makes this different than the other units is the fact that it has a separate battery and communicator module. The communicator fits on the side of the helmet like any other unit, but is super thin and streamlined, while the battery module sits on the rear section of the helmet. This adds a superior balance, in my opinion, and makes it so much more comfortable to use while riding for extended times.
The unit fits very well with just a slight gap on the communicator module backside. I am willing to state that Cardo could just list the unit as compatible with the Krios helmet on their website, but I will leave that up to them.
My next step was getting it charged. Normally, I would update the unit with the latest software, but I wanted to test it right out of the box. I hopped on a plane and arrived in California. Once there, I jumped on a brand new BMW R2018 GSA. It took me less than five minutes to figure out how to pair my phone with the PackTalk Slim. I headed off and I spent four wonderful days riding around California to test out the unit in various terrains. Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to take advantage of the DMC technology for communication with other riders. However, upon my return home, I was able to connect with my local riding group and take advantage of this feature.
While riding in California, I streamed music and took full advantage of the natural voice feature, which allowed me to say, “Hey Siri” for my list of full iPhone commands. It should also be mentioned that it works for “Hey Google” as well.
The battery life far exceeded my expectations. I went roughly a day and half between charges. The manual states that the battery will last up to 13 hours and I believe that to be factual. Perhaps if I was running with 15 riders on DMC, it might drain quicker, but I don’t ever plan on riding 13 hours in a day.
Another great feature is that you can have a private conversation with someone in your group using the PackTalk Slim. For example, I sometimes ride two-up and if we are connected with 13 other PackTalk units, I might want to have a quick private conversation with my passenger or perhaps someone else in the group. When the private conversation is over, we can hear and speak to everyone again with a simple click of a button. I’m also able to stream music to other riders or easily tune to FM channels in the area where I’m riding. The unit has universal connectivity, so if you are riding with a buddy who loves their Sena and another buddy who loves their eBay special, you can all be connected! No more hating on each others’ communication systems because they don’t pair.
The only downside I see, which is more of a personal issue, is that the Slim is unable to be switched to another helmet without a hassle. Since I ride multiple bikes and some helmets are used for specifics like Moto Vlogging or riding my dirt bike, I wish I could easily pop out the unit and pop it into another helmet. I should mention that I have four helmets, which is overkill, I know, but they are like underwear for me and somedays I just want some lace…
Overall, I’m extremely impressed with this unit and how easy it is to control the features. The learning curve is super fast unlike some of the other models. I will be keeping the Slim on my primary long distance touring helmet for sure!
Till next time ride safe and I will see you out on the road!
Posted in Gear Review & Thoughts and tagged #askforcardo, #bmwmotorrad, #motorcycle, #xladv, 2WheelAdv, Cardo, PackTalk, R1200 GS, R1200 GSA by admin with .
Howdy, folks! Before you start thinking it, yes, this is a cell phone case review. It’s motorcycle related, I promise!
So, for about 4 months now, I’ve been testing the Quad Lock system with my iPhone X. I hooked up three mounts on the following motorcycles: R1200 GSA, R9T Scrambler, and the mighty CRF250L. One of the cool things about the mount is the size. It doesn’t take up much real estate unlike my old system the X-Grip by Ram Mounts.
Since I’m constantly changing motorcycles for different events, it’s nice to just leave the mount on each bike so it’s ready when I need it.
The Quad Lock system itself is pretty straightforward with no real hangups. Well maybe one… if you failed the square hole/round peg IQ test, then this might not be for you. The most challenging part (which really isn’t all that challenging) is connecting the case to the mount. It kind of resembles an “X” style cut out which you have to align, push in, turn and listen for in order for it to lock.
While using the system, I tried my best to find fault in the mounting connection. No matter what I tried riding-wise I could not get it to fail. What I have noticed is slight wear, but as with anything you use a lot, it is bound to show some signs of use. I’ve dropped the phone multiple times from various heights (not on purpose) and managed not to crack the phone screen.
The basic kit is going to run you $70 and if you add the weather resistant poncho, it’s $95. Mine came with the poncho, which is a rubber cover that slips over the case/phone. I never felt it rained hard enough for me to pull it out and slip it on. Yes, I know that sounds terrible!
Ease of use
Great for taking a quick photo
Able to use for GPS
Good for multiple motorcycles/bikes
Different colored lever mounts
Weather resistant poncho
Extra mounts are not cheap at $49.95
Colored lever mount is $9.95 each (if you don’t like the standard blue one)
Weather resistant poncho comes at an extra cost
So, if you’re looking for a motorcycle cell phone mounting solution, you can purchase this with confidence knowing it will do what it was intended for. Check out their website below and sign-up on the website for a discount code.
Until next time, ride safe and see you out on the road!
Posted in Gear Review & Thoughts and tagged #xladv, 2WheelAdv, BMW Motorcycle, Cell phone case, cell phone mount, CRF250L, Motorcycle accessories, Quad Lock, R1200 GS, R1200 GSA, R9T by admin with .