Bluetooth vs. Mesh for Motorcycle Communication Systems

Bluetooth vs. Mesh for Motorcycle Communication Systems

If you’re looking for a motorcycle communication system, you’re probably going to use Bluetooth, which is the most popular way to send data wirelessly across short distances. Bluetooth has surged in popularity over the last several years. In fact, more than half of Americans purchase some type of Bluetooth device every year, thanks to the rise of Bluetooth enabled headsets, headphones and radios. The price of Bluetooth has also dropped dramatically since it was invented in the late 80s. There’s a good chance this technology is in your phone. 

But simple Bluetooth may not be enough when it comes to riding a motorcycle. You need to protect yourself when using Bluetooth motorcycle speakers. Driving requires 100% of your attention. You can’t afford to lose your connection in the middle of your route, especially when you’re in the middle of traffic or hitting a rugged trail. That’s why many riders recommend using what’s known as dynamic mesh communication (DMC) instead of traditional Bluetooth. These systems offer many of the same features but work in surprisingly different ways.

Learn more about the differences between mesh vs. Bluetooth.

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What Is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth uses radio frequencies to send data across short distances — usually around 30 feet, depending on the device. You can use this technology to wirelessly connect to your phone or to other riders on the road (for motorcycle communication, the different manufacturer uses a Bluetooth extender to allow a longer range) when traveling as a group. When using a Bluetooth communication system on a motorcycle, the leader will use their device to create a connection between them and the next closest rider as long as they are within range. The second rider will then pass the chain onto the next closest rider and so on until every rider is connected to the same chain. Everyone in the group will be able to talk freely without taking their hands off the handlebars.

What Is Mesh?

Dynamic mesh communication works a bit differently. Instead of linking every rider together in chain, any rider in the group is connected using a Bluetooth motorcycle headset. They will then create a direct link between themself and every other rider in the group. When other riders log on, their devices will join the thread. This way, everyone has a direct connection to everyone else.

wearing bluetooth communication device on helmet

Comparing Mesh vs. Bluetooth

Both Bluetooth and mesh technology use radio frequencies to wirelessly transmit data, but the former only sends data to up to two direct connections. Mesh creates a web of different links between everyone in the group. This may not sound that important in theory, but it can make a world of difference when you’re actually on the road.

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When you’re using Bluetooth, the entire connection will be lost if someone from the middle of the group leaves the group or accidentally falls outside of range. This means that the next closest rider will then have to link up to their device and so on until everyone gets reconnected.

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That’s not the case with mesh. Since everyone in the group has their own direct link to everyone else, the entire connection won’t be lost if someone falls out of range. The only person that will be affected is the person who gets left behind. As soon as they catch up, they will automatically rejoin the thread.

pair motorcyclists on mountain road

The difference between mesh vs. Bluetooth is clear. You shouldn’t have to worry about reconnecting your device when you’re navigating the road. This usually only takes a few seconds, but you will have to remove your hands from the handlebar . It’s best to keep your focus on the road as much as possible.

Riding is anything but predictable. There’s a good chance you and your fellow riders will get disconnected from the thread from time to time as the formation of your group changes, but that shouldn’t bring down the entire connection.

Learn more about dynamic meshwork communication to keep your team safe on the road.



Lukas Gojda/