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Cardo Systems: Paving The Way For The Motorcycle Bluetooth Market

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While it’s safe to say that Cardo Systems Inc. is an industry leader in the motorcycle Bluetooth communications market, the company wasn’t always interested in motorcycles. Established in 2001, Cardo originally focused on the personal communications business. “In 2005, we saw a need for personal headsets for motorcyclists, and in 2006 we released some of the first motorcycle systems,” said Jamie Cheek, director of sales, North America. The company now exclusively focuses on the powersports industry, and was the first on the market to successfully implement Bluetooth-to-Bluetooth communication up to a mile in distance.

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Cheek says the company recognizes a need for Bluetooth communications across all powersports segments — from touring aficionados to off-roaders to UTV riders. In order to cater to virtually every type of rider, Cardo currently offers several versions of its headsets:

  • Q1 TeamSet: Features include Bluetooth stereo music sharing, a built-in FM radio, wireless passenger-to-driver communication and software upgrade by mini USB port. MSRP: $259
  • Q3 Single and MultiSet: Includes everything from the Q1 plus enables users to go bike-to-bike up to a half mile in distance. Other features include interchangeable speakers and boom mic.
  • G9 Single and PowerSet: The most technologically advanced product from Cardo features bike-to-bike communication up to a half-mile and the capability to connect up to nine riders at a time through advanced speech recognition. Riders can also control music by voice command. The G9 also includes its own social network called the Cardo Community, which allows riders to become friends with other G9 users across the U.S. A rider can register his unit on the online community, search for fellow community members and then download them to his unit. The rider will then be automatically paired with these friends and can choose to communicate with them by voice command the next time they ride together.

All Cardo products are designed for helmet use and come with every type of mounting bracket for each type of helmet. This fall, the G9 versions will also be offered for snowmobile riders.

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By purchasing a Cardo product, riders gain a significant advantage in multiple areas, according to Cheek. They’re able to seamlessly communicate with their passengers and listen to and share music, making long rides more enjoyable for all parties involved. But perhaps the biggest gain is in the arena of safety.

“I’ve heard so many people say ‘Hey, your units have saved my life,’” said Cheek. “For example, maybe they’d been going around an overpass and saw a deer and told the guy behind them. They both could immediately react versus not being able to
communicate.”

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The company can’t tell us what’s on tap next, but judging by their work thus far, we can expect it to be big. Cardo will be showcasing its array of products at the inaugural AIMExpo with a particular focus on its newest product, the Q3.

“Hopefully it’s a good show” said Cheek. “Most dealers and consumers are pretty familiar with our products. It’s more educational; it’s showing what we do. The G9 takes some education and understanding of how it works, so we look forward to shows like this just to show off what all it can do because nothing in the industry compares to it.” 

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