The power of a motorcycle is easily appreciated with speed. The roaring motors, screeching tires and the strong winds as one speeds through highways and wide roads is just an incredible feeling. True bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts know exactly this feeling, and they know what different consequences it might lead them to, including numerous fines, speeding tickets, and even a visit to the courtroom. However, the best motorcycle radar detectors in the market might help you avoid those painful situations.
We’re all about safety and following the law, yet in times that any motorcycle driver gets carried away by the fun of the speed, we know the best way to prevent police officers from fining him: radar detectors. For our review for car radar detectors, check our leading radar detectors comparison.
Yes, radar detectors aren’t just for cars – they are actually for all kinds of private vehicles. However, when it comes to big bikes and motorcycles, the detector’s visibility and mounting can be quite problematic. That’s why you can’t just take any radar detector designed for cars and attach it to your motorcycle. There are actual detectors created for that specific purpose.
Our 7 Top Picks for Motorcycle Radar Detectors
To let you in on the best motorcycle radar (and laser) detectors, we came up with our own list after evaluating the detectors’ functions and features, detection capabilities and range, weather proofing, and visual & audio alerts.
1. Adaptiv Technologies TPX 3.0 Motorcycle Radar and Laser Detector
There is currently nothing more advanced than Adaptiv TPX 3.0 in all the detectors of the brand meant for motorcycles. Arguably, it is the most advanced even when compared to other brands too. It’s a new released that takes after the TPX 2.0, which is already an amazing radar device (it’s included in this review too). The 3.0, however, have an edge over the 2.0 in terms of feature improvements, like 360-degree detection and better alert systems.
- Red Light Cameras and Speed Cameras detection
- Small build
- Shockproof & weatherproof
- Built-in LED warning light
- GPS tagging
- Multiple user modes
- 360-degree protection
- Can be too expensive
Unlike the 2.0 and other motorcycle radar detectors that would require an extra Visual Alert System, this device already has an auxiliary light built into it, which can alert the driver in a hurry. The GPS feature of this radar detector can easily remember and store waypoints of speed and red-light cameras. In just one push, the data is collected and can be added to the waypoint central system of the brand. Updating is pretty quick on this feature too.
People might lift eyebrows on this radar detectors price, which is $100 more than the 2.0, but we definitely know that the added money paid is worth it. Aside from the earlier mentioned features, this radar detector is not too hot on the eyes of police enforcers, especially with its tiny case that can easily be concealed. Despite its size though, it is pretty tough.
The brand tagged this device as the “most advanced radar and laser detection system available for motorcycle use,” and we agree. We like that we can disable it even without turning it off, making it so easily to turn on and use whenever you need the feel to speed up.
2. Adaptiv Technologies TPX 2.0 Radar And Laser Detector
The TPX 2.0 Motorcycle Radar Detector from Adaptiv Technologies, although isn’t the most advanced detector of its brand, is still an amazing device to use for motorcycle rides. Even at the most harsh weather, this detector can serve its purpose well, as it is weather proof, shock proof, and water & vibration resistant.
- Can detect multiple radar frequencies: X Band, K Band, & Ka Super Wide Band
- Features increased detection sensitivity
- Give options for multiple user modes
- Great design for motorcycle use: waterproof, shockproof, and vibration resistant
- Certified by Speed Measurement Labs
- Features clear audio and visual alerts
- Easy to operate even with gloves on
- Not the latest version from the brand (currently, it is 3.0)
The design of this detector is very much user-friendly, especially with the added oversized buttons that can be easily pressed even when the user is wearing gloves. The huge LCD screen containing the visual alerts for this device is also positioned on top and can be angled depending on the comfort of the user. Even with direct sunlight, there is no difficulty in seeing the alerts clearly in the screen, too.
The device has a 3.5 mm jack to be used for other audio or communication systems, but it is well-designed to be used with the TPX Visual Alert or the TPX Wireless Headset.
It is also powered directly from the battery of the motorcycle, thanks to the Wiring Harness that comes with the package.
In terms of alerts, the LED lights of the device flas whenever there are signals detected. This ensures that the driver doesn’t have to take his eyes off the road just to see whether a radar or laser is nearby. Overall, for people with less budget compared to what the TPX 3.0 requires, the 2.0 is already a pretty good deal.
3. Rocky Mountain Radar Moto-Raptor Cordless Motorcycle Radar Detector
Another top motorcycle radar detector is a truly revolutionary product: the Moto-Raptor Cordless Motorcycle Radar Detector from Rocky Mountain Radar Detector. This device is truly unique because it features a standard wireless alarm–and as of this time, it is the only product that offers that.
The wireless system allows the user to install the alarm on the helmet, which means it’s easier for the user to see whether there is an alert, without looking down at the device or looking away from the road. The alert is expressed by flashing the bright lights of a blue LED, which then minimizes driver distraction.
- Small in size
- Weatherproof and shock proof
- With wireles alarm that can be mounted on the helmet
- Comes with a remote speaker
- There are some quality issues on its build and features
Aside from that unique, convenient and safe feature, this radar detector also have a really easy to use mechanism. The helmet unit already has the ON/OFF switch plus a volume controller that are powered by a rechargeable internal battery.
This means that there are no annoying wires and cables dangling everywhere, either connecting to the unit or the user. This makes the drive much simpler and the radar detection hassle free for the driver.
The module itself is very compact, only 2.8″ × 3.0″ and 1-inch tall, which makes it very easy to mount on the motorcycle and conceal from view. The module of the device has a smart mechanism, where a sensing circuit only powers up the radar detector when the engine is running and automatically shuts it down when the engine has been turned off.
This way, the user doesn’t have to worry about the detector running out on batteries after a drive.
This device can be quickly and simple installed, especially since the package comes with complete accessories and parts. It includes the remote detection unit, the A/C charger, the helmet alarm , the helmet speaker, different hardware, and mounting bracket.
Although many users have commented that it looks so flimsy and cheap, we think it offers something unique that’s laudable, especially when it comes to convenience in using radar detectors in motorcycles.
4. Escort Solo S4 Cordless Radar/Laser Detector
The Escort Solo S4 Cordless Radar Detector is generally intended for cars, yet its cordless feature makes it a great device to use in motorcycles too. It is the most recent and most advanced of Escort’s S series, improving on the well-performing S3 by adding features like EZ programming and a huge and brilliant resolution OLED display.
- Easy to operate
- Cordless, easy to mount, turn on, and use
- With 9-user programmable features
- Features a bright OLED display
- Can detect all radar bands including conventional and “instant-on” X-band, K-band, and Superwide Ka-band and POP
- Long range protection
- Features patented Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
- Can give false alarms especially on K band and laser signals
Since this radar detector is cordless, it is great to be used by those who often changes from one vehicle to another. And for people already using this in their cars, it’s easier to use this for their motorcycles, as well. There will be no dangling cords to distract the driver when this device is used, which is especially helpful in ensuring that the driver’s focus is concentrated on the road only.
This is a reliable tool in detecting all kinds of bands, especially the new instant-on X-band. It also offers off-axis protection, as well as laser detection that is often used by enforcers nowadays. Because it is designed to be used from one vehicle to another, it comes with a quick-release mount, a travel case and a set of batteries.
Although this particular detector isn’t ready designed for motorcycles alone, we give it credit for the convenience that its wireless feature brings. This device is perfect for casual motorcycle drivers that also uses their cars on a daily basis, especially as they don’t have to purchase two separate units of radar detector for each of their vehicle.
5. Escort Max 360
The Escort Max 360 was designed with a car in mind, but that does not mean that a motorcycle would not reap the benefits that it gives. Although no longer at the top of the line for Escort’s products, it was heralded as one of its best releases, mainly for these reasons: directional arrows, rear-facing antenna, GPS and AutoLearn technology.
- Has impressive range and timely alerts
- Directional arrows that give you more accurate positioning of police troopers
- Added protection through rear-facing antenna
- Pre-loaded with Defender database
- GPS-enabled AutoLearn remembers false threats
- Escort Live app for crowdsourcing location of threats
- Pricier than the competition
- Directional arrows take a while to register change in position
Max 360 was one of the first to adapt the directional arrows once Valentine’s patent has expired, and even manages to do it better. Escort designed it to give users more information on signals it will pick up. A change in the direction of a threat relative to the vehicle, however, registers a little later than desired, but the information is helpful nevertheless.
Another of its benefits is the presence of rear-facing antenna, which provides better protection and helps you specify the direction of a police signal more accurately. While no radar detector as of yet is immune to false alarms, this particular feature makes the Max 360 more susceptible because of the detector’s increased sensitivity.
While GPS equips you with advanced information on the location of speed traps and red-light cameras, the Max 360 is already pre-loaded with Escort’s Defender which is an extensive database of non-signal emitting threats. This is free for the first 3 months and then you’ll have to pay for a subscription.
Another added feature which will have you spend more dollars is connectivity to its Escort Live app. While the application itself is free, the component you need to do so won’t be.
You’ll need to purchase a separate Smartcord that enables the device with bluetooth so it could pair with your phone. The app then can notifiy you of threats and their location, as well as your speed, which is helpful if you find yourself not noticing that you are over the limit.
However, paying for the added features may be off-putting especially when considering that the price is already steep for the Max 360, and many of Escort’s top-performing radar detectors. Still, it is hard to ignore the conveniences it will give to a motorcycle rider, and how well it will be able to do so.
6. Escort Redline
We’ve got another of Escort’s heavyweights on this list: the Escort Redline. Already succeeded by the Redline Ex, the predecessor still has plenty to offer your speeding ticket-avoiding motorcycle rider such as an awesome, long detection range which makes it ideal for highways, dual antenna, exceptional alert system, and straightforward design that makes it easy to use.
- Promise of long detection range that actually delivers
- Makes accurate detections on the highway
- Alert system is reliable
- Controls on the radar detector are easy to master
- Simple and sleek design
- Not equipped with GPS
- Especially sensitive to false alarms in urban settings
- Still expensive considering the competition
Having long and wide detection range is something that every radar detector boasts of, but not each one is true to its word. You can count the Escort Redline out from those who are just bluffing, though.
Time and again, it has been tested to detect police signals of all sorts and distances, even going as far as 15 miles away. It has been able to do an excellent job every time, and was able to make a record that isn’t even close to others at the time.
This is made possible in part because of the double antenna present in the detector. It is one of the few to have it, and the position of the antenna is intentional to improve the sensitivity of the device.
The design is often at the middle or least of concerns when it comes to radar detectors, but when you’re focusing on the road, mastery of it can come in handy. In this case, the Escort Redline is up there in terms of intuitiveness and convenience.
There are two switches on the device besides one devoted for power: there is one for audio volume and another for sensitivity.
Unlike other Escort detectors that have OLED displays, the Redline has a far superior one with LED. The former is often washed out by the sun, and that’s no fun to read when you’re balancing yourself on a motorcycle.
Redline has an ultra-bright display that is readable all times of the day. The make is also simple yet sleek, but does not give the impression of being anything less than sturdy.
One fault in the device though is the absence of GPS, which is already a mainstay in today’s radar detectors. False alarms occur more often in the city because of this. You’ll have to rely on third-party applications such as Waze for the location of speed cameras and the like. Still, this does not make the Redline any less desirable.
7. Beltronics STi Magnum
Here is another record-breaking detector originally intended for cars making the list: the Beltronics STi Magnum. During its release, it became the very first to be legitimately invisible from radar detector detectors (RDDs). It still is effective today, and it is one feature any radar detector-using driver would love to have.
- Rendered undetectable by RDDs because of its stealth technology
- Has excellent radar range
- Comes with a sturdy make
- Radar detector has intuitive design
- Can be connected to Escort Live app so you’re aware of threat locations
- Lacks a GPS feature
- Does not necessarily come with bluetooth, another purchase is necessary
- Expensive than some newer models
The undetectability of the Beltronics STi Magnum is not to be taken lightly. With police equipment catching up to the technology of radar detectors, more and more of the latter are becoming obsolete just because they can’t shield themselves from detection.
Granted, not many places ban the technology, but you never know when it might come in handy. The STi Magnum can go stealthily in the presence of both VG-2 and Spectre RDDs. It also offers protection against lasers.
Ease of use is also one of the highlights for the radar detector. Even without extensively referring to the manual, you can easily grasp what the buttons on the device are for. What’s more, the built is sturdy, making it last longer in spite of the possibility of being exposed to different, potentially destructive elements.
It, however, lacks an built-in GPS, increasing the likelihood of picking up false alarms. But don’t worry, it tries to counter that with its Digital Signal processing that meticulously scans signals and categorizes them as either actual police signal or a false alarm. In the case that it does pick up the latter, the Automute feature comes in handy with a single click on the detector’s button.
The alerts are also topnotch as the digital voice is clear and informative, encouraging safe driving. It can be amplified in the case that driving with a motorcycle causes other sounds to drown the alerts.
Another option is to buy a Beltronics Smartplug since the device is compatible with Escort Live. Even without GPS, STi Magnum has plenty of things going for it, making it one of the most useful detectors around, and that’s not only for cars.
The market on motorcycle radar detectors doesn’t offer a lot of choices, yet these are the ones that stood out for us. These are reliable devices that are truly the best motorcycle detectors of today.
If you’re a motorcycle rider and enthusiast, remember that every time you’re on the road, it’s important to protect yourself from unexpected speeding tickets. Use a radar detector that would ensure a smooth, safe, and ticket-free drives to save yourself from the cost and hassle of a traffic fine, speeding ticket, or even court appearance.