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  1. #1

    Default Cobra radar for motorcycle

    I'm going to update my 8 year old talking Cobra for my Goldwing motorcycle.
    They have so many models now it's confusing. I want the compass feature this time, which they didn't offer years back. I need a display that's readable outdoors and not too small. I see the 9740 and 9730 but can't tell the difference between them. The the newer 9930, the display looks a little small and busy? I hook the headphone output up to my helmet headset so I can hear all the warnings. Another concern, I have mine secured well with epoxy on a RAM mount and RAM parts but I don't want to give a smash and grab thief too expensive of a detector. Any advice appreciated. Dave

  2. #2
    Speed Demon
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Rochester, NH


    hate to say it, but, buy a little compass, avoid the cobra, your wasting your money

    whistler makes some cheaper models that have gotten decent reviews

    otherwise just look for a used detector on ebay or something

    i recently sold my v1(one of the best), for 250$, retails for 400$

  3. #3
    Yoda of Radar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Los Angeles Area


    Cobras are horrible RDs. Take a look at the latest GOL test results:
    Once you use something better, you'll be shocked at how bad your Cobra really was.

  4. #4
    Advanced Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Cobra radar for motorcycle

    Quote Originally Posted by KheSanh1968
    I'm going to update my 8 year old talking Cobra for my Goldwing motorcycle.
    Any advice appreciated. Dave
    First off welcome to the Forum.

    Secondly, puuting a Cobra Rd on a Goldwing. :shock:

    You should be shot and pissed on after torture.


  5. #5
    Advanced Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Police State of Ontario


    One of the nicest interstate tourers and one of the crappiest Rds made... nice combo mate

  6. #6
    Speed Demon
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    I ride more than drive, and an RD on a motorcycle has special issues to consider:

    * Hearing or seeing the alert when your mind has been on the road and elsewhere for the past hour
    * waterproofing
    * usage with gloves
    * mounting issues on a bike
    * performance - detection ability and ability to recognize & suppress false alerts

    Hearing and seeing the alert:
    * plug in to your earphones - Autocom and Mix It 2 products provide a jack for the RD. There's other (less expensive) options
    * extra loud speaker for RD - V1 makes one, I'm sure there's other
    * bright LED - I've seen some bright LEDs pointed at the rider from the dash, they light up when the RD goes off
    * Helmet LED - VizAlert and H.A.R.D. devices do the trick and are wireless. The new TPX radar detector as a wireless helmet option. I think Whistler had a wired LED option if I recall

    * Currently just the Cruisader and the new TPX RDs are waterproof. The others require us to take them down when the rain starts, or try some sandwich baggies and hope for the best.

    * Personally, I haven't had a problem with using RDs with gloves. Just watch out for models with extra tiny buttons. Plus RDs aren't needing to be fiddled with a whole lot while under way

    * TPX offers several mounting options
    * I really like the RAM mounts, they have a zillion options
    * Currently, I'm using velcro and suction cups to mount my RD. It's been that way for a year with no issues

    * same issues apply here as to a car
    * Unfortunately, Cobras have been dismal in their performance. A-Class RDs are V1, Escort 9500, 8500 X50, Beltronics Sti and RX-65. Bel's Vector series (940, 955, 965, 995) all have similar performance despite what it says on their boxes. But they do well...about in the B+ category. Whistler's Pro 78 and XTR 690 are also good choices, probably also in the B-class. The poor Cobras have been ranking in the D-class or so.
    * Whistler's Cruisader is an interesting product. But from what I understand, it doesn't have the performance of Whistler's Pro 78 series.
    * The new TPX is...well...brand-spankin'-new! Initial performance testing is said to be on part with Whistler's Pro 78. I'm hoping some good things for this RD though.

    * I thought all Goldwings since 1985 had compasses built in on them. Or was that just the year when the top model had it?

    * Forget the compass, it's all GPS these days! I got a Garmin Quest. Not the newest/greatest these days, but I love it! Waterproof, lighting auto-dims at night. Mounted in a RAM mount it fits perfectly.
    * The GPS is the perfect tool for those cross-country trips. Not just for the mapping features, but they have every restaurant, hotel, mechanic's shop, etc. right in the GPS!
    * Mine turned out to be priceless on last year's trip to Montana.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Radar Roy recently did a review of a detector that is specifically meant to be mounted on a motorcycle. Here's the link:

  8. #8

    Default Maybe I should wait for Cobra 9950 tests?

    Thanks for all the input. I realize the Cobra is lower end. A new Cobra will probably work better than my 8 year old model? I thought having a compass feature would be nice if it was readable thru my baggy, which takes care of the 24/7 water resistance. I have my unit epoxied to a RAM diamond base ball mount and all my RAM stuff has security screws (no adjustment knobs). Since no other units have the compass feature and an audio out feature I'm going to piss-off the other posters who have condemned the Cobra units. I can't justify paying $300+ for another unit that will attract more thieves. I'm in Nebraska and the Trike is used for less than 4 months per year. So back to the question about Cobra units: which one has the best readable compass screen. I have tried a analog compass and there is to much electrical and metal pull to make the compass work correctly. Even with a Formotion motorcycle compass. Yes, I do have a Garmin SPIII with a direction screen. It's hard to read and must be on to see it, whereas the Cobra would be on all the time and faster to focus on. I was asking someone about the 9740 why different from the 9730 and the 9930. I believe there is a newer model in the line with a larger screen. It looked kind of busy with info. I am familiar with some of the bright LED's out there. I have to use the headphone output for two things if I use them. I need a bigger baggy! Thanks again.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Maybe I should wait for Cobra 9950 tests?

    Quote Originally Posted by KheSanh1968
    I can't justify paying $300+ for another unit that will attract more thieves. I'm in Nebraska and the Trike is used for less than 4 months per year. So back to the question about Cobra units: which one has the best readable compass screen.

    you might change your mind after you get a ticket with the Cobra. your first save with the $300 dollar detector will save you more in time, money for fine, insurance increase, and points on your license then the $300 dollar investment.

    read the reports and see for yourself how much better the higher priced detectors are.

  10. #10
    Power User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    MI / MA


    Isn't asking which Cobra has the most readable screen like asking which cancer medication has the best flavor?



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