Sena

GPX Routes for Virginia and West Virginia

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This week I’ve been having fun riding around VA and WVA before and after meeting up with a friend in Roanoke. Here are the individual GPX Routes I created, feel free to download any or all of them:

Philly to Front Royal VA

Front Royal VA to Roanoke VA

Elkins WV to Philly

Staunton VA to Hagerstown MD (I did this because I didnt have time to do Elkins to Hagerstown)

Elkins WV to Hagerstown MD (if you have more time than I did)

You might be wondering how I do my routing and directions on the fly while I’m on a trip like this. Because I refuse to bring a laptop for a 3-5 day trip. I do have my iPad sometimes but it’s not a laptop.

But when I’m out on a ride, or on a short trip, these are the 3 things I use: in conjunction with my iPhone so that I can do two very important things: A/ Create, save and/or share a route on my phone (without a computer) and B/ Receive turn by turn directions into my helmet.

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  1. Bluetooth Intercom (Sena or Cardo or Other). Right now, I’m using an older Sena SMH10R since my Sena 10R is on my Bell. But this Summer I’m going to spring for a new Cardo Freecom 4+ with JBL speakers. Woo hoo!

  2. InRoute app (iPhone only) - Read my Review here which shows you how to make GPX routes on the fly, as well as exporting them to share with a friend, or saving them for later. This feature is what differentiates it from Google Maps. At least for those of us with iPhones. I’m guessing Android users might have more privileges, and if that’s the case please post a comment below.
    As much as I like this app, the only thing I hate right now is the sound quality of the Voice. The female US English voice is too high pitched, so I started using the male UK English voice and it’s much better. I’m hoping that when I switch to Cardo, it’ll be a little better. The Google Maps voice (I call her Gigli) is much, much clearer and smoother.

  3. Google Maps: I mainly use this as a search tool for things like gas stations, restaurants, etc. Although you can create a multi-waypoint trip, you are limited to so many waypoints (far less than 100, I think 10ish or something) and you can’t save them on an iPhone. So InRoute really works better as a trip planning tool.

So I use #1 and #2 so that I can get turn by turn directions through to my helmet so I don’t have to look down to view the directions. I do have my phone mounted to a Ram Mount just in case, but I generally try not to look at it and just rely on the audio.

I created all of the above routes on my iPhone, using the InRoute app, no computers needed. You do have to pay a monthly or annual fee in order to have many waypoints but it’s worth the $30/year subscription for 100+ waypoints.

If you have any questions, please post a comment!

For more trip photos, please follow me: instagram.com/gearchic

Sena Bluetooth Remote Controls, 10R v. SMH10R

(Left) Sena's Handlebar Remote, (Right) Sena RC-3 Remote

(Left) Sena's Handlebar Remote, (Right) Sena RC-3 Remote

I love presents. Especially when they're for my motorcycle!  

While I was home, I upgraded my headset from the Sena SMH10R to  the Sena 10R. The reason I did this was because my younger brother wanted what I had. And I had been thinking about upgrading to the 10R so I could use these cool remotes. So what did he do? He gifted me a new 10R. Thanks little brother! (He's in his mid 30s but he'll always be my little brother) So that's how I ended up with these lovely remotes. Now the husband will have to upgrade shortly, so he can have a remote too. 

The headsets are virtually identical in form but the 10R has a few new features that may or make a difference to you. 

My new Sena 10R. I know, looks just like the old one.    Both systems are Sena's "Low profile units, which are designed to occupy a minimal amount of space and provide the lowest profile on the side of your helmet. As someone who has no protection from the wind in the form of a windscreen or fairing, I value minimizing wind noise as much as possible. That includes wearing one of the best helmets on the market and one of the best headsets. Although I prefer the interface of the jogdial, as on the 10S, I didn't want any extra wind noise being generated next to my ear.  But, I also can't use the smallest unit, the 3S-W because the intercom distance is simply too short. Sometimes my husband and I aren't riding right next to eachother, so having more range to work with is really useful.  For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to refer to these units as the old and new. Old for the SMH10R and New for the 10R.  So what's changed?   The new unit has an improved feel and interface along the surface. This has always been the downside of the old unit. The fact that you don't have Sena's proprietary jogdial means you have to make more precise movements. The only reason you'd purchase either of these units is because you want a lower profile and are ok with not having the best interface (which is the jogdial) This can be annoying, as you reach up to adjust volume, intercom your husband, or maybe pause your music. And the thicker your gloves, the harder it is to be precise. The small ridges alongside the main Sena button are difficult to feel sometimes, even when I'm wearing my lightweight racing gloves.     Now when I reach up to initiate a command, it's much more obvious as to what button I'm pressing. The surface is also much smoother and made of a different type of material, a little softer not as firm, thus the color difference which explains why the new unit is greyish in color not black like the old one. The main Sena button is easily differentiated from the plus and minus since it's now a smooth surface button. I know immediately on contact that which button I'm about to press. It also makes it much easier to turn the unit on and off.  Aside from the interface change, the new unit has improved speakers, the same ones as the 20S and 10S. I wouldn't say they sound twice as nice, but do seem to be a little less tinny in sound.  Another change that I am thrilled about is the upgraded Bluetooth 4.1 profile. Whereas the old unit had 3.0. The reason this is important is because now I can use one of their remotes!  Remember, these units are NOT the best options in the Sena lineup when it comes to user interface. I would recommend a 10S before I'd recommend a 10R because they're annoying to use. But since I'd rather have the lower profile, I accept these drawbacks.  With the option of a remote, now I can initiate commands from my handlebar, or my tank bag, or wherever else I place a remote. They've released two remotes. If you purchase the 10R, you can buy it with or without the handlebar remote. That one is strictly designed to attach to a handlebar. I recommend mounting this one to the clutch side so it doens't get in the way of operating your brake and throttle. It can get in the way of reaching for your turn signals on the clutch side, but surprisingly, with my small hands I didn't find it to be an issue. I already have to reach over quite a bit to reach my signals and horn so adding the remote didn't make that much worse.  But I do like the other remote a bit better, called the RC-3 a bit better. This one can be clipped to anything, not just your handlebar.  With it's slim design, you can attach it to other things like your tankbag or jacket. Wherever you find it most convenient to reach for it so you don't have to reach up to your helmet.  Finally, the other major change is compatibility with the Sena App. I'm most excited about this option, because making changes such as firmware updates is so much easier.  I can also  manage various settings such as VOX controls, audio sensitivity and intercom pairings. Sena has another app called Ride Connected, not to be confused with this one which is strictly designed to manage your headset controls.   So there you have it, new buttons, a new look, a new remote system and a mobile app!

My new Sena 10R. I know, looks just like the old one.  

Both systems are Sena's "Low profile units, which are designed to occupy a minimal amount of space and provide the lowest profile on the side of your helmet. As someone who has no protection from the wind in the form of a windscreen or fairing, I value minimizing wind noise as much as possible. That includes wearing one of the best helmets on the market and one of the best headsets. Although I prefer the interface of the jogdial, as on the 10S, I didn't want any extra wind noise being generated next to my ear.

But, I also can't use the smallest unit, the 3S-W because the intercom distance is simply too short. Sometimes my husband and I aren't riding right next to eachother, so having more range to work with is really useful.

For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to refer to these units as the old and new. Old for the SMH10R and New for the 10R.

So what's changed?

The new unit has an improved feel and interface along the surface. This has always been the downside of the old unit. The fact that you don't have Sena's proprietary jogdial means you have to make more precise movements. The only reason you'd purchase either of these units is because you want a lower profile and are ok with not having the best interface (which is the jogdial) This can be annoying, as you reach up to adjust volume, intercom your husband, or maybe pause your music. And the thicker your gloves, the harder it is to be precise. The small ridges alongside the main Sena button are difficult to feel sometimes, even when I'm wearing my lightweight racing gloves.

 

Now when I reach up to initiate a command, it's much more obvious as to what button I'm pressing. The surface is also much smoother and made of a different type of material, a little softer not as firm, thus the color difference which explains why the new unit is greyish in color not black like the old one. The main Sena button is easily differentiated from the plus and minus since it's now a smooth surface button. I know immediately on contact that which button I'm about to press. It also makes it much easier to turn the unit on and off.

Aside from the interface change, the new unit has improved speakers, the same ones as the 20S and 10S. I wouldn't say they sound twice as nice, but do seem to be a little less tinny in sound.

Another change that I am thrilled about is the upgraded Bluetooth 4.1 profile. Whereas the old unit had 3.0. The reason this is important is because now I can use one of their remotes!

Remember, these units are NOT the best options in the Sena lineup when it comes to user interface. I would recommend a 10S before I'd recommend a 10R because they're annoying to use. But since I'd rather have the lower profile, I accept these drawbacks.

With the option of a remote, now I can initiate commands from my handlebar, or my tank bag, or wherever else I place a remote. They've released two remotes. If you purchase the 10R, you can buy it with or without the handlebar remote. That one is strictly designed to attach to a handlebar. I recommend mounting this one to the clutch side so it doens't get in the way of operating your brake and throttle. It can get in the way of reaching for your turn signals on the clutch side, but surprisingly, with my small hands I didn't find it to be an issue. I already have to reach over quite a bit to reach my signals and horn so adding the remote didn't make that much worse.

But I do like the other remote a bit better, called the RC-3 a bit better. This one can be clipped to anything, not just your handlebar.  With it's slim design, you can attach it to other things like your tankbag or jacket. Wherever you find it most convenient to reach for it so you don't have to reach up to your helmet.

Finally, the other major change is compatibility with the Sena App. I'm most excited about this option, because making changes such as firmware updates is so much easier.  I can also  manage various settings such as VOX controls, audio sensitivity and intercom pairings. Sena has another app called Ride Connected, not to be confused with this one which is strictly designed to manage your headset controls.

So there you have it, new buttons, a new look, a new remote system and a mobile app!

SMH10R (Old) 

SMH10R (Old)