Most people often think of trucks and cars whenever someone mentions CB radios because truckers and car owners often use them. However, ardent bike riders were not left out from the fun as they too can grab a CB radio for their bikes.
Motorcycle CB radio systems are actually compact versions of CB radio systems that are rugged and highly portable. However, not all compact CB radio systems can be perfect for use on your motorcycle.
As such, we lined up seven of the best motorcycle CB radio systems you can buy for your bike. While all of them are great, our top pick for the best overall motorcycle CB radio system was the Midland 75-822.
- 1 Why Do You Need a CB Radio for Your Bike?
- 2 How We Picked These 7 CB Radios for Your Motorcycle
- 3 Have a Quick Look at Comparison Table of Best Motorcycle CB Radio Systems
- 4 Reviews of Top 7 Best Motorcycles
- 5 What to Consider Before Buying a CB Radio for Your Bike
- 6 Conclusion
Why Do You Need a CB Radio for Your Bike?
Motorcycle CB radio systems are built with the biker in mind. As such, you can get literally all the benefits of a CB radio on your motorbike. In addition, since manufacturers know that their radios can be used on motorbikes, they tend to focus on the security and safety features. This makes most of your attention go to the bike and not the radio.
The simplicity of a motorcycle CB radio system also makes it easy to install on your motorbike, and this will be a far convenient way of communication with other drivers on the road compared to relying on your cell phone.
Additionally, because they are small and compact, they often cost less than some regular CB radio systems.
How We Picked These 7 CB Radios for Your Motorcycle
We'll be honest here. The most important thing we reviewed when selecting these seven CB radios for motorbikes was compactness and size. Since the general idea here is to find a CB radio that is virtually perfect for your motorbike, we also had to consider the features of the radios so that you can perform nearly all tasks that you could on a regular-sized CB radio.
Have a Quick Look at Comparison Table of Best Motorcycle CB Radio Systems
Reviews of Top 7 Best Motorcycles
The Midland 75-822 is a compact CB radio that can fall into many categories. While mostly used as a handheld CB radio, it could equally be a great option for motorcycle owners because it is lightweight, rugged, and portable.
One thing we liked about the Midland 75-822 was how it managed to have all the features that regular-sized CB radios have while being small and compact.
Regarding noise handling, the radio comes equipped with ANL and squelch control. ANL improves the radio's reception for weak signals while squelch control helps eliminate unwanted background noise. As such, you can enjoy clear and quality audio from the 75-822.
As we've seen large LCD displays, we cannot say that the LCD display of this CB radio is large. However, we can say that the LCD display of the Midland 75-822 is easy to read even when you are on your motorcycle.
The radio comes has five memory channels which means that you have a limit to the number of favorite channels you can have. Since the radio comes with the channel scan feature, getting fast access to channels will be effortless since you only need to press the scan button once.
The Uniden Bearcat PRO520XL isn't a radio you can tuck away in your pocket like the Midland 75-822, but it does come with a few extra features that make it superior. Its installation process might be a little time consuming, but the reward is worth it.
If a feature like PA functionality is something you'd fancy having while riding your motorcycle, then the Uniden PRO520XL can be a good pick. Though you may not use the PA functionality as often, getting a CB radio with the feature will save you from having to shop for another radio in future.
The adjustable squelch is also another feature that the PRO520XL had and we couldn't take it for granted because there are some handheld CB radios that lack it. The fact that the PRO520XL has it means that dealing with background noise during transmission will not be much of a problem.
In addition, this radio's LCD display is large, and it can also display the S/RF. As it has an RF gain control, you can dictate how sensitive the radio is to signals such that it is able to pick up even the faintest signals.
The Cobra HH 38 WX ST looks like a slimmed down version of the Midland 75-822 that can fit in a narrow pocket. It is known for its superb SoundTracker system which makes it one of the few CB radios that really focus on cutting noise and ensuring clear communication every time.
Small as it is, the Cobra HH 38 WX ST has a range of up to 4 miles. That means your CB will be able to pick up local and relevant CB channels. In addition, since the radio has a dual watch function, you can monitor two channels at the same time.
The radio features Cobra's SoundTracker system which is simply an extra layer of protection against noise. It cuts noise up to 90% so that you can enjoy clearer communication with other people while on the road.
Since the radio has a High and Low power switch, you can choose the low power switch whenever you need more battery life. Choosing the high power mode will make the radio use more resources so that you can get the best performance.
Not so many people talk about the Uniden PRO401HH as much as they talk about the PRO500 series. However, the elegance of the Uniden PRO401HH is simply overwhelming and we were amazed at just how great it is as a motorcycle CB radio.
Like the Cobra HH 38 WX ST, the Uniden PRO401HH has a narrow body as well which means that you can easily tuck it in your pocket while riding your motorbike. It features a small LED display that indicates the current channel, the transmission status, and whether the battery is low.
It equally blew us away by featuring both the automatic gain control and adjustable squelch. The radio will automatically adjust the gain so that your only worry will be the squelch control.
You can use the radio's high power mode whenever you prefer performance. On the other hand, the low power mode will come in handy when you're running out of battery and would like it to last a little longer.
The Uniden PRO505XL and the Uniden PRO520XL share a lot of similarities since they both belong in the same product line. However, the PRO505XL comes with slightly less features which makes it a great radio for an aspiring CB radio owner.
Even though the radio is small and compact, it features a handful of buttons on its front-facing plate such as the instant channel 9 button and a CB/PA switch. It is also slightly more advanced than the handheld CB radios like the Cobra HH 38 WX ST since it has a S/RF meter.
The backlit LCD display on this unit isn't all that large as it only has enough space to show the current channel and the signal strength. Regardless, these two values can be easily read from a short distance. That means you won't necessarily have to squint your eyes to see the current channel on the display.
The radio equally features dynamic squelch control which helps ensure that you get only the strongest signals that will provide high-quality sound.
Even though the Cobra HH 50 WX ST falls in the same series as the HH 38 WX ST, the two radios are physically different. Whereas the HH 38 WX ST went for a clean interface, the HH 50 WX ST is a rugged radio with plenty of controls on its front as well as on the sides.
The HH 50 WX ST could not lack the SoundTracker system as it was one of the features that made its predecessor, the HH 38 WX ST, stand out. However, the SoundTracker system isn’t the only feature that reduces noise in the radio as the radio comes with adjustable squelch as well.
Since the internal speaker and microphone of many CB radios are usually not the best, it makes sense to include a speaker and microphone jack.
The internal speaker was not all that bad, but it can become less audible especially when using the radio on a busy street
The Midland 75-785 does not quite resemble the 75-822 despite the two sharing almost the same name. Rather, this radio looks like the Uniden PRO401HH since it is compact, narrow, and elegant.
The simple design of the Midland 75-785 can easily fool anyone into believing that it is an entry-level radio that only comes with basic and stripped-down features. While this is true to some extent as it can be evidenced by the LCD display, the CB radio has nearly all the useful features that contribute to performance.
The high and low power switch, for instance, can come in handy whenever you wish to conserve the radio's battery. Switching the radio to low power forces it to use less resources so that you can get more battery life.
In addition, the radio comes with ANL and squelch control which helps in improving the radio's reception and eliminating noise.
What to Consider Before Buying a CB Radio for Your Bike
Getting a CB radio for your motorbike is slightly different compared to getting one for your vehicle. Whereas you have the luxury of space with a vehicle, there is very limited space on a motorbike and making adjustments on the radio can be tricky since motorbikes require your full attention at all times.
Since there are no major differences between motorcycle CB radio systems and regular CB radio systems apart from size, your primary focus when selecting a CB radio for your motorbike should be on the features of the radio.
You should look out for compact CB radios rather than regular-sized CB radios. Compact CB radios ideally try to have minimal features while still offering you the same experience that you would get from a regular CB radio. In addition, because compact CB radios have different sizes, you should strive to pick one that fits perfectly on your motorbike.
Optionally, you can also go for a handheld type of a CB radio which you can easily tuck in your jacket while driving. They are far more convenient if you intend to use your CB radio often.
Instant Channel 9/19 and NOAA Weather Channels
We wouldn't have stressed on this feature if you were simply picking a CB radio for your vehicle. However, since you'll be using the CB radio on your motorbike, you definitely want a CB radio that lets you instantly tune into the emergency channels easily. This will enable you to spend as little time fiddling with the radio so that you can remain focused on the road.
A CB radio that has NOAA weather channels is equally important because it gives you updates about the weather in your local area. Since you are more exposed when riding on a motorbike compared to driving a vehicle, you should pick a CB radio that has NOAA weather channels.
Your CB radio should equally have a backlit display so that you can operate the radio at night. Since your hands will be full throughout the journey, you could always park your bike and make necessary adjustments first before starting the journey.
However, CB radios with backlit displays also let you see different kinds of information at a glance such as the channel you are tuned to or the frequency.
Thanks to modern technology, you might not necessarily need a corded CB microphone for your CB radio. A CB radio that comes with Bluetooth technology can let you use a wireless headset along with it.
This will mean fewer distractions on the road as you won't have to pull the mic close to your mouth every time you want to transmit. In addition, since the headset is always close to your ears, you will always be listening to the channel you are tuned in to without any fuss.
Motorcycle CB radio systems are ideally compact CB radios that are perfect for use on your motorbike. They have nearly the same features you would expect from a regular-sized CB radio but tend to focus on making your CB radio experience great on a motorbike.
Since there are several motorbike CB radios to choose from, you can increase the chances of landing on a good radio by focusing on the features that make your CB experience easy on the motorbike such as backlit displays and the availability of an instant channel 9/19 button or switch.
However, you cannot go wrong with a CB radio like the Midland 75-822 if all you wanted was a simple and elegant radio for your motorbike.