With five centres across the UK, BMW Rider training supports customers through every step of their journey – whether getting on a bike for the first time, obtaining their licence or looking to advance their skills – a task made safer and more fun through the use of Cardo Systems communication devices.
Moving to Cardo products over two years ago, BMW’s Head Instructor, Ian Biederman, now has over 30 Cardo units in operation and plans to add more during the course of 2023. He explains:
“We’ve come a long way since using Private Mobile Radios (PMR) units, which while they worked well required mounting and cable routing. They were also heavy and cumbersome. Moving to Bluetooth was quite a step – and then mesh connectivity even more so. The range of the units is fantastic, the pairing process smooth and the units themselves are lightweight and slim so a lot of the time customers forget they’re there. It’s been a revelation.”
Whether giving advice or reassurance to a rider, constant communication is extremely important – and a legal requirement with learners – so the trainers have to be able to rely on the units completely.
“The clarity of the transmission is a definite bonus. It’s very important that the connection is consistent and stable and we find that the Cardo units work exceptionally well here. Range through the DMC system is effective and easy to set up through the app or on the unit. For learner customers, it is a legal obligation that radio units are used and so we need a stable platform to achieve this. We get this from the Cardo units over and above any other Bluetooth intercom used. Riding with the Cardo units brings the ability for us to be confident in the transmission and also train both customers (learner and advanced) and instructors alike.”
It’s testament that Ian chooses to use Cardo, even when he’s not working…
“All of my helmets have a Cardo mount on them and I take a spare out with me if I’m riding with a friend and want to connect. They’re so simple to mount and set up. I also like to connect my other Bluetooth devices and can listen to music or take calls – if I wished.”
For a training school, after service is also an important element in his decision on which brand to use.
“For us, warranty and support are key as we’re using these units all day and every day. They’re used in all weather conditions and even the two-year-old units we have are still working perfectly, despite over 1500 hours of use in that time.”
Ian is always looking for innovative ways to use the devices and is now using them to add value to the customer’s post-ride debriefing as he can record audio through the devices to overlay onto action camera footage.
“This is both a safety benefit but also really useful insight for our customers and a great learning tool and resource.”
As well as using the Cardo devices on the road, Ian also utilises the Bold headsets with customers for on-site training and on the ‘Rolling Road’ at shows and events – meaning the instructor and the ‘rider’ can speak to each other without the need to shout.
“The ability to have a constant information flow to customers is great – not only does it save our voices as we don’t have to shout with individuals on the ‘Rolling Road’ but for those training on-site, it also allows us to see more as we’re not having to run around with them when they first start riding.”
When asked to conclude why Ian chooses to use Cardo, he simply states:
“Simplicity, practicality, customer support and they work!”