Road Glide banner

Infotainment & Bluetooth?

12627 Views 54 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  FLTRXS20
I have a bud that just got a '16 FLTRU. We were talking & he asked me if the new Infotainment system would work with a Bluetooth rig in his helmet. He was specifically interested in the capability with the CB.

Anyone got the skinny on that topic?
1 - 12 of 55 Posts
No, what he is looking for is to be able to use his current lid (with Bluetooth comm) with his new FLTRU, as opposed to having to put a wired headset into the helmet that plugs into the console. I don't believe he is looking for anything hands-free, just being able to use the CB via the current Bluetooth comms in his helmet.
This topic piqued my interest, as there are plenty of Bluetooth headsets on the market. So, what's missing? Apparently there is a protocol that H-D didn't request be added to the Infotainment system: the HSP-headset profile.

The 6.5 system supports these protocols: HFPAG, HFPHF, AVRCP, A2DP_SINK, and A2DP_SOURCE. But not HSP. Seems to me that it could be added in a flash update... unless we have to wait for a BoomTooth headset. ;-)
Exactly. There's a whole other thread on this subject, but the bottom line is above. It's not Harley's fault this time. NOBODY has it!
I guess I don't understand. I see plenty of Bluetooth headsets on the market (Sena, Cardo, UClear, etc.) Isn't the problem really with the audio manufacturers (head units) not incorporating support for the Bluetooth protocols & services presently available?
It's not the protocols. It's an addition to the radio that has never been mass produced or needed, not to mention liability. There are no companies that make motorcycle head units exclusively. They all make head units for cars. The Bluetooth on car head units is input only, not output. Imagine the lawsuit when a teen puts on his Bluetooth enabled headphones in his dad's F250, doesn't hear what's going on around him and kills someone.......

I don't know who makes the infotainment system, but Harmon Kardon made Harley's previous head units. Harmon Kardon is among the top tier of mobile audio companies in the world. The technology is available, but it's not necessary or feasible in a car, therefore it's not necessary or feasible on a motorcycle.,..,,in their minds.

Sent from Free App
Regarding the potential liability... I guess that's one opinion. Distracted driving is distracted driving. Seems immaterial if that teenager is trying to type with their thumbs versus listening to a voice in their ear.

Not to mention that you can use BT to connect your phone to the Infotainment system to make/receive calls, issue voice commands, etc. I don't see how expanding that to include CB increases the risk.

Harmon Kardon also makes the current HD system.

The only reason you can't connect some of the BT headsets (Sena, for example) is that the Infotainment system doesn't have the HSP protocol. I'm not aware of any other 'addition' that would be necessary.

At least that's my understanding from what I've read.
Here's what I know about HSP(Head Set Profile) The following is an intentional oversimplification:

HSP creates a relationship between the headset and rcvr where the headset is the input and output platform for the rcvr for the duration of the connection.

This relationship would not allow music streaming TO the headset, because the headset is the input device as well. That relationship would have to be disabled in order for music to stream from your head unit to your headset. HSP doesn't support stereo sound as we know it either.

Sent from Free App
And yet it seems that Sena's 20S headset does that.

I believe the A2DP protocol is what is used for the stereo sound.

But, what do I know? :grin:
Keep in mind, what you're asking THIS head unit to do, no head unit can do. It's complex but simple why they don't.

Mobile audio companies figure, if you're wearing headphones, you're listening to your phone, not in your car, where monitoring your surroundings is a must. Why spend the money to R&D the ability to insert a head unit between an S2S connection while simultaneously assuming at least some liability in the process?
I understand that no head unit currently does that. Sounds like an opportunity, not an impossibility. I remember when no head unit had any Bluetooth capability. Or, remember when no head unit could play an mp3 file? Innovation is what keeps products viable.

Harmon Kardon likely figured it was worthwhile to build this system to whatever specs the Motor Company wanted. I doubt they figured "if you're wearing headphones, you're listening to your phone, not in your car, where monitoring your surroundings is a must."
Granted, the market is small. For an audio manufacturer the bigger payday is the automobile market. And, there is simply no need to develop a product that has headset capability for use in a car.
But, HK developed this Infotainment system for HD using HD's specs to be used exclusively in a motorcycle.

As to liability, I am calling BS. The only difference between what I'm talking about & what currently exists is a wire - the cable coming from my helmet to the port on the tank. From a liability perspective does it really matter if the sound gets to the rider by way of a cable (what we currently have) or by radio waves?
See less See more
Seem like something that would not be that hard to do.
That's what I thought.

But then, I'm not an engineer. I just play one on the interwebs. :surprise:
You're stuck on technology but we've already agreed the technology exists. You're also operating on a couple of assumptions that I would say are false. 1) You use the word "develop" as if Harmon Kardon did anything new for the infotainment system. It's all over ten years old, put into a water resistant case. 2) Harley Davidson's business model does not include innovation. That would make them a market leader. They are the opposite.

It's Harley Davidson's BUSINESS model that is in the way. Harley Davidson makes money by combining two well known business models that usually don't go together: premium pricing and market lagging. Market lagging is usually combined with low pricing.....think WalMart. HD won't be first at doing anything that costs money. The infotainment system debuted in 2014. Every feature on it was available 10 years earlier. They paid bottom dollar for systems Harmon Kardon was producing 10 years ago and charge you $2000 for it. That same scenario is true of almost everything on an HD motorcycle. CAR systems don't have that function yet. You have to be in la la land to think Harley Davidson would be out front in that. And if they much of that cost would they pass along to the customer?

Remember when a DVD player would set you back $200? That's what keeps HD afloat. They're still charging, and getting, $200 for a DVD player.

Sent from Free App
That is all true.

My comments in this thread are all about what is possible... not probable. Others have commented about none of this being possible.

And, no, HK didn't develop anything new. They simply built a new head unit to HD's specs... which could have included the functionality I described. Simple as that. HD just didn't ask for it.
Looks like an interesting article. Unfortunately, reading it requires a WSJ subscription. Curious to hear if the Bluetooth gateway works as advertised.
Thanks for sharing. Was the WSJ more detailed? This was keeping with the CNN style. :grin:
I don't know why some folks see some of this as mutually exclusive.
I have a Nolan lid with an integrated J&M headset. I have every bit of functionality from the Infotainment system: listen to any audio source (radio, sat radio, anything plugged into USB); make & receive phone calls; use the CB; issue voice commands; hear navigational prompts.
The only missing element is eliminating the cable from the helmet to the connector on the dash... and it looks like the AKE module does that.
1 - 12 of 55 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.