T;; ;;;;; ;; radar detectors is controversial among mo- torcyclists. Currently, only Adaptiv Technologies makes a package speci;cally designed for our needs.
;is weatherproof TPX 2.0 detects X, K, and Ka radar bands and
police laser guns, and is easily mounted on the included quick-release base. ;e base is then secured to the motorcycle via common
RAM or Techmount-type hardware. ;e detector features a sealed
DIN connector for quick removal, and ;ve huge, glove-friendly
buttons to actuate controls.
;e wiring harness features three additional connectors for
motorcycle-friendly accessories, such as the included 3-LED
Visual Alert warning light, a 3.5mm audio jack with available
Bluetooth dongle for mono alerts to your comm setup or Adaptiv’s
optional wireless headset, and even a jack for an optional Blinder
laser jammer (not tested here).
Ergonomically, this design is superior. ;e TPX’s ;ve large control buttons are spaced far apart, reducing the chances of accidental
actuation while wearing gloves. ;e LCD display is located north
of the button array and angled toward the rider, requiring only
quick glances to read. ;e display and all buttons are backlit in
a deep blue hue. ;e controls themselves are generally intuitive:
A power button turns the unit on and o;, though one can wire
the TPX to switched power such that it turns on and o;
automatically with the ignition. Button backlighting
can easily be turned on and o;.
Volume control adjusts between ;ve stages,
and the same button can also toggle LED
brightness between ;ve stages, both shown
as a bar graph on the LCD display. Finally, a
city/highway button allows toggling between
city mode (for residential and industrial
areas where interference is common) and
highway mode (for wide-open spaces with
less interference). Within these city and highway main categories, using the same button,
the detector can be programmed to ignore
incoming X- or incoming X- and K-band alerts.
Installation is straightforward, essentially involving ;nding a suitable place to mount the detector, and
wiring up the harness. ;e manual calls for direct
connection to the battery, but our advice is to power
the TPX from a switched line to eliminate the possibility of parasitic draw running the battery down
even when the detector is “o;.” Running from a switched line also
adds the convenience of the TPX powering itself up and down in
sync with the ignition switch.
Objectively testing radar detectors requires expensive, specialized
equipment and, in many cases, the cooperation of local law enforcement, and neither was obtainable for the purposes of this article.
Likewise, we were unable to locate any objective, scienti;c testing
online conducted by independent third parties. As such, armed only
with the Speed Measurement Labs Inc. certi;ed TPX 2.0, I headed
straight into the lion’s den of strictly enforced speed limits—New
Jersey’s notorious Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, and Routes 1,
18, and 9.
Ignoring decades of ingrained instinct, I purposefully set out
to ;nd and exploit common local speed traps using real-time data
in my Waze app. ;is was risky indeed, since New Jersey is infa-
mous for being the most expensive state in the nation in terms of
astronomical ticket ;nes, state surcharges, and court fees, cou-
pled with the most speed traps per mile
of any state. A speeding ticket here can
approach or even exceed $1,000, if a law-
yer is required to ;ght it. If the TPX 2.0
can keep a motorcyclist ticket-free here,
it can succeed anywhere.
New Jersey State Troopers still use the ancient X-band ( 10.500-
10.550 GHz) which has all but disappeared nationwide, and the TPX
2.0 gave fair warning well before the stealthy police cruisers came
into view. Likewise, both the K-band ( 24.050-24.250 GHz) and
Ka-band ( 33.400-36.000 GHz) warnings could save mort-gage-sized ;nes to the state. In three months of riding,
the Laser alert rarely activated, but when it did, the
5-0 appeared a few moments later, leaving plenty
of time to scrub o; su;cient velocity. ;e TPX
2.0 identi;ed numerous places I could have
easily received speeding tickets.
;e audible and visual alerts were excel-
lent. Since each band has its own distinct
beep, within a few weeks of commuting I
was able to memorize which sound corre-
sponded to which band alert. ;is was use-
ful in ignoring X-band alerts in town (almost
always false alarms caused by garage door
openers.) ;e TPX’s integrated audio speaker
is surprisingly loud when set to high. I was able
to easily hear it despite the road noise at excessive
speed, all while wearing noise-canceling ear plugs
and a full face Arai. Likewise, the Visual Alert warn-
ing light (see photos) was invaluable in determining
signal detection without taking my eyes o; the road.
Its quick ;ashes indicate a strong signal, while the slower ;ashes
indicate a weak signal, all within the rider’s primary line of sight.
;e Adaptiv Technologies TPX 2.0 remains the only viable choice
thus far for motorcycle-speci;c detectors. From an ergonomic per-
spective, nothing else on the market right now comes close to allow-
ing riders such tactile, visual, and audible control on the ;y. Likewise,
during our testing regimen, it was routinely exposed to downpours,
sitting in direct sun for many hours per day, and even an errant splash
of gasoline from a faulty fuel nozzle. None of these environmental
conditions a;ected the TPX, but they would have likely dispatched
automotive-grade detectors very early on. For these reasons and for
the protection it does o;er motorcyclists against predatory revenue
gathering by the state, we can recommend it. MSRP is $299.
Adaptiv Technologies, 866-232-7848, adaptivtechnologies.com
Radar and Laser
The TPX 2.0 measures 1. 9 inches
high, 4. 5 inches long,
and 2. 9 inches wide.
It weighs 7. 5 ounces.
The Visual Alert 3/4-inch
LED array fit easily on the