Valentine One / H.A.R.D. Review

greenspun.com : LUSENET : MV Agusta F4 : One Thread

Itís been a few weeks since I installed my new Valentine One and HARD system on the new bike.. thought Iíd share a quasi-brief review.

FYI.. I have a Passport 8500 on my K12RS and have sworn by itís virtues since I got it almost 2 years ago. It's saved me many tickets and probably jail time. I have also commented more than once that I think itís a better detector than the V1. Now having both detectors in-house gives me a good chance to evaluate...so I can comment more confidently..

Why did I install a V1 and not the Passport on the F4? Not enough front to rear room. The V1 is almost a full inch shorter and install room on the MV is about as tight as Trinityís black ďpleatherĒ suit (Matrix reference). With my current install I have 1/4" clearance at full lock between the bars and the V1's face... good enough.

You can check out my humble MV V1 install How-To in our upcoming MV section at http://www.piratesk12site.net/MVV1.htm

Before I go any further Iíll admit up front that the positioning of my V1 on the MV is NOT optimum for detection as I am shooting through fiberglass. FYI.. I spoke with Mike Valentine prior to the install and he admitted I'd lose a little signal detection mounting it where I HAD to on this bike, but I wouldn't lose much and this seems to be true. The V1 seems to have no probs picking up either front or rear...So far, I am impressed with it. Detection seems dead even with the Passport. I even did a back to back run by the local speed trap and both seemed to pick up at exactly the same spot... Could the V1 pick up faster if it was out in the wind rather than behind fiberglass?? No idea.. but itís possible.

A downside.. as I had heard from every test I have read and many users... the V1 picks up a lot of bogeys that the Passport filters out... lots of false alarms which can be VERY problematic with the HARD.. I'll explain in a second... however.. I have changed my mind about the arrows on the V1. Had always figured I'd never use them as I think it would be unsafe to take my eyes off the road to look at them.. after all.. I NEVER look at my 8500... ever..However.. Iím eating my words now as I find myself looking at them often and they really do help... surprised me...It takes less time to comprehend directional signals than say reading numbers or letters at speed so a quick glance is only micro-seconds long...

Is the V1 better than the Passport? Not in my opinion.. Overall I'd say they are about even when all factors are weighed in.. the new V1's are sleeker than the old versions but they still cost much more than the 8500. I honestly have no preference when I have to put one in one of our 2 wheeled vehicles..

as for the HARD.. at http://www.legalspeeding.com which BTW is ...Inside Helmet Visual Alert - Instead of a blaring speaker, H.A.R.D. provides a visual alert: a flashing LED light , inside the helmet that is illuminated within your field of vision allowing immediate recognition of radar. The H.A.R.D. consists of two miniature devices. A transmitter that broadcasts to a receiver within the helmet.

Had been told that it would take a few weeks to get used to it after having in-helmet speakers for years.. Not for me... Instantly fell in love with it... No wiring.. easy to install.. VERY happy with it.. One good thing about using it with a V1 is that you need NOT buy any of the V1's accessory pieces in order to use the HARD.. it plugs directly into the V1.... however.. there are a few down sides that I am more than willing to live with... for now...

1. With in-helmet speakers, you can simply hit the detector's mute button if a strong signal is indicated... the mute doesn't work on the HARD as there is no sound.. meaning.. the red in-helmet light will continue to flash until you get out of range. This is a pain in the ass at times.. especially at night where the constant flashing is both distracting and/or could trigger a freakin' epileptic seizure.. Only thing you can do is reach up and point the light elsewhere OR turn off the detector...or close one eye... which is NOT what I like to do when riding.

2. The helmet unit is battery powered. I was told that until I got used to it I'd forget to turn it off when I got off the bike and run down the tiny batteries.. I thought to myself.. "Only a fucking moron would forget.Ē.... Doh!.. First night I forgot to turn it off and next morning.... dead batteries.. Had to go to radio shack the next day and bought a bag full o' batteries because I KNOW this will not be the last time.. There should be a little LIGHT on the helmet unit that shows on or off... but there is not. I may petition the manufacturer to look into this..

3. The helmet unit is NOT waterproof. If you plan on riding in the rain you must mount it inside the helmet ear area.. out of view.. out of sight.. and away from your thoughts of turning it off when you get off the bike. as I rarely ride in the rain... I mounted mine on the outside of the helmet so I can (in theory) remember to turn it off. The good thing is.. removing it from the outside and installing in the inside is about a 1 minute job... The helmet unit SHOULD at least be water resistant..but it's not...I may petition the manufacturer to look into this as well

Would I buy another HARD? In a second.. have been thinking of adding this feature to my K12 and removing the in-helmet speakers, but I think Iíll evaluate a few more months...So far is does as advertised and the install is litterally a 5 minute task...

Bottom line.. itís a nice set-up if you have a good memory and a fat wallet..

Hope this helps...

-- Pirate (pirate@acelink.net), November 06, 2003

Answers

You may already know that the V1 warnings are programmable to a point. I have one of the older units. If I hold down the power/volume/mute button, I can cycle through the various alert programs. My preference is when the display shows the tiny right-angle figure, like the positive quadrant of an x/y grid. Nearly all false alarms are eliminated in this mode.

-- Phil Pointer (ppointer@mindspring.com), November 08, 2003.

Actually.. I'm already in the "Full Logic" mode which is the mode that is supposed to filter out all the false warnings...V1 still picks up waaaay to many bogeys..almost to a point of being distracting. But I knew this going in. This (according to every magazine test) is the V1's biggest downside, unlike the Passport 8500 (arguably it's ONLy competition) which does a better job of signal doscrimination.

Still happy with it.. Have asked/suggested the HARD manufacturer make a few changes to their unit to make it more user friendly and durable.. we'll see if they listen.

-- Pirate (pirate@acelink.net), November 09, 2003.


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