Over the past year, I have looked for a new motorcycle intercom to use on my BMW R1200 RT. I had installed my old Motocomm unit that I had on my Honda CB900 Custom, but over time, that intercom unit has slowly given up the ghost. It got to the point where I had trouble hearing Amy unless I raised my windshield all of the way up and ducked down against the tank. Amy could not hear me most times. The Motocomm intercom unit was about 5 years old and had served me well.
After much looking, I found the IMC Motorcom BTS-300 bluetooth motorcycle intercom. I saw the advertisement for the IMC Motorcom BTS-300 bluetooth motorcycle intercom in the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Owners News, which is a monthly publication sent out to all members of the BMW MOA. I read a few reviews of the IMC Motorcom BTS-300 including this review by Web Bike World. The IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 looked like just the thing I have been looking for in a motorcycle communications device.
I ordered the BTS-300 intercom (two of them actually, one for me and one for my passenger) from the IMC Motorcom website. The order was processed very quickly, with me receiving the order in two days. The BTS-300 was very easy to install. The IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 is shipped with a boom mic for open or 3/4 helmets and a “button” mic for full face helmets. We installed the “button” mics in both my helmet and Amy’s helmet. On a test ride, we decided that there was too much space between Amy’s mouth and her microphone making it difficult for me to hear her. When we got home from the test ride, we swapped out her mic for one of the boom microphones. Switching the microphones allowed the mic to be placed closer to her mouth and I had no trouble hearing her at any speed. As with most noise canceling mics I have used, you need to be able to “kiss the mic” meaning that you should be able to touch the mic with your lips if you stick your lips out in a “kissing” like move.
Pairing the IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 bluetooth motorcycle intercom can be a patience trying endeavor. The instructions are a very poor translation to English. The instruction manual for the BTS-300 intercom system has several stickers that are used to correct mistakes. If the manual said to press the + button and that was wrong, the company just had somebody place stickers with a - over the error. Who is the lucky guy that got that job? Luckily I have paired many bluetooth devices and figured it out despite the best efforts of the instruction manual.
Most days on the commute to work, I turn on the bluetooth radio in my phone (a HTC Titan) and stream stereo internet radio over my Camos BTS-300 intercom. The sound quality is great (as good as it gets with compressed audio formats, I prefer the sound of vinyl records myself, but that is another whole website). The audio coming from my BTS-300 motorcycle intercom system is unmatched my the Motocomm unit that I used for so many years. There are no issues with volume as long as you have the speakers placed properly. The speakers need to be right over your ear canals, which I took great care in doing when we installed the units. I cannot listen to my music with the volume all of the way up (unless using Pandora, which seems to provide a very low audio level for some reason). When I receive a phone call, my music automatically pauses, and i take the phone call, then my music resumes when I hang up the call.
The buttons on the IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 are very easy to use with gloves on, once you have the placement of the buttons memorized. I had no problems memorizing where the talk, mute, volume up, or volume down buttons are.
I ordered the bluetooth adapter sold by IMC Motorcom that allows a two way radio to be connected. I connected the adapter to my motorola FRS/GMRS radio and was able to communicate with others using a Chatterbox motorcycle intercom system and my uncle who has an Autocom intercom system. The bluetooth adapter came with an equally bad instruction manual. This instruction manual goes into great detail on how to pair the bluetooth adapter to channel 2 on the bluetooth intercom system. The benefit, acording to the manual, is that you can then have your phone paired to channel one on the intercom system and have a two way radio paired on channel 2. This is a setup that I would LOVE to have, as there are many times that I ride solo on the BMW R1200 RT and communicate to somebody that has a Chatterbox intercom system over FRS radio, but would like to receive phone calls from my wife who is at home. With my Motocomm intercom system, it was no big deal, as there were wires everywhere that I could hook things to. Sadly, the instruction manual is dead wrong. Even though the bluetooth adapter instructions state that it can be paired on channel 2, it cannot. The instructions were written BEFORE the Camos BTS-300 was released. Channel 2 can ONLY be used to pair another IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 unit. IMC Motorcom needs to get this fixed, as I spent about 3 hours trying to do as the instructions said. They need a “Chapter sized” sticker to correct that mistake.
Phone calls using the IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 motorcycle intercom system are great. When I talk to people on the motorcycle, most cannot believe that I am not sitting at home. While testing it out, I got on the freeway while speaking with my wife. I placed the windshield all of the way down on the BMW R1200 RT and she could hear me just fine at 65 MPH. I am not a scofflaw that would go speeding down the freeway, but I am an amateur scientist, so in the name of science, I took the liberty of testing my Camos BTS-300 intercom on a phone call at 80 MPH and still was asked by a friend “Are you really on the motorcycle?” I have no problems hearing the people that call me. The sound is probably as good as my cell phone can deliver.
The IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 motorcycle intercom system is advertised as a bike-to-bike intercom system. To test the range of the Camos BTS-300 system, I enlisted the help of my 4 year old daughter. We ordered a spare set of speakers for her helmet and we used a mounting clip to secure the second BTS-300 intercom box to her helmet. If there are two things that she loves, it is talking and wearing a motorcycle helmet, so doing both at the same time is right up her alley. For testing, we both put our helmets on and she walked across the yard toward her grandmother’s house. There is a rise in between the houses, so I did lose sight of her at about 250 feet, but we were able to talk without static. I lost communication with her at 300 feet, but she went down a good sized hill, there was no line of sight with the two radios. When she climbed the stairs to her grandmother’s deck, I was able to talk with her at a range of 500 feet, as we had a clear line of sight. Later that week, my sister wore a helmet with the IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 installed and she rode another bike so that we could test the bike-to-bike capabilities of the BTS-300. We were able to communicate at ranges of about 1/4 mile sometimes in straight stretches of road. When we were in hills and turns, the range dropped off significantly, but we were easily able to communicate at ranges that I normally ride with others in all types of topography.
I like the size of the IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 motorcycle intercom system. It is very small, about the size of a small box of kitchen matches. The IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 is much smaller than the Chatterbox system that my father-in-law has. The BTS-300 uses a micro usb plug for charging and to plug the speakers into the BTS-300.
I have been having a problem with one of my IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300 units shutting off all of the time. It has consistently been the same unit. On a recent ride with my daughter to the local ice cream shop, I had to turn the unit back on 8 time during the 12 mile round trip. I emailed the address listed on the website and have attempted to call their phone on several occasions without success. I hate to think that I spent the kind of money that I did and they cannot be bothered to answer my calls or emails. The local BMW dealer tried to contact the IMC Motorcom email and phone and also the email of Benchmark Helmets, the distributer of IMC Motorcom and Camos products in America, as he wanted to inquire about becoming a dealer for their products. After waiting 3 months for return calls or emails, he gave up on Benchmark Helmets and IMC Motorcom. If I cannot get my problem remedied, I will not do any business with IMC Motorcom or Benchmark Helmets again, which is a shame, because the units seem to be a great system, and I am sure that I have one that has a 1 in 100,000 type problem, but ignoring customers and potential customers is no way to make a name for yourself. I am sending ANOTHER email to IMC Motorcom after posting this. I will keep my readers posted on any progress in getting my problem fixed. I would strongly consider checking out other intercom units that may perform just the same as the IMC Motorcom Camos BTS-300, but with companies that do not ignore their customers. I am sure that my “ads by google” probably have several other companies that sell motorcycle intercom systems. Check any company for complaints about customer service before buying.