As many of you might know, I've had the opportunity to beta-test the new Sportvue MC2 from Motion Research via RadarBusters.com. I've used it enough now to give everyone some initial impressions and will follow up as time goes on.
First off, a little bit about what it is and what it does. It is a heads up display that offers speed, rpm, gear position, and radar warning indications.
I had seen the previous model (MC1) talked about on various motorcycle forums and was intrigued by the technology. I did have a few reservations about it. The first thing that came to mind was that in photos it looked a bit large to me. Secondly, I was concerned that it would add wind noise to my helmet....something I did not want. More on that later.
I was pleasantly surprised when I was given the choice of color with my MC2. I chose the faux carbon-fiber, because what poser would be without that? :wink: The carbon-fiber look was a big improvement in aesthetics, imho. It actually made the unit look smaller and nicer than I had envisioned it would be.
The installation was pretty straight forward and simple. Those that are a little nervous about taking on a modification like this should fear not. It can easily be done in 2 - 3 hours taking your time.
After we installed it, I rode my bike home that night. I was eager to try it out. The first thing I noticed was that I kept trying to focus on the display rather than looking out in front. It is focused several meters out, so it takes a little bit of riding to get used to having it there.
Once you get the "hang" of it, it is great to have that information a glance away. It took about an hour of riding before my brain trained itself and now it is second nature. It's simply amazing to have that information right where it really should be. Secondly, I was pleasantly surprised that it did not seem to make any difference in helmet aerodynamics or wind noise.
One of the great things about the MC2 is that the speed display is much more accurate than the typical sportbike speedometer. You can program your exact tire diameter into the computer for a very accurate speed reading.
The RPM display doesn't do much for me. I just don't use or need it much.
The gear position indicator is a feature that I initially couldn't care less about. I've always thought that most of us riders just "know" what gear we are in at all times. This seemed like a useless feature. I was wrong! I really like having a GPI, and I'd bet that many riders who think like I did would be amazed at how nice that one feature is.
The last feature that I need to comment on is the Radar warning display. It's wonderful if it's working 100% but I've had some minor issues with that on my end. Most of it has been the sound settings on my Escort 8500 X50. The MC2 uses the headphone jack of the RD to get it's signal from. If you don't have the volume and auto-mute settings correct, you won't get a radar warning 100% of the time. I'll be sorting that issue out in the coming days with Sportvue's engineering team and posting a follow-up.
My overall impression is this: I truly believe it should be on every motorcyclist's wish list. It really is that impressive. It's the way information should be displayed. My batteries died the other day on a ride (they last quite long) and the first thing I did was to find the nearest convenience store to buy a new set.
I've tried to give both the positives and negatives in the previous review and will post follow-ups as I continue to use the MC2.
If you've read this far........thanks