I've had a difficult time with the alarm system on my bike. It is a Directed Viper 200
alarm system, and I'm not exactly certain what the cause of the problem is/was. Here is a capsule history of the saga:
August 2, 2006 - Purchased the alarm system new at the recommendation of a car electronics firm that I trust. It had most of the features I wanted in a bike alarm at a reasonable price. The features were, primarily and in addition to the ability to act as a normal alarm system, 1) A mercury tilt switch that trips the alarm if the bike is raised from the sidestand, 2) A closed-loop circuit that I can wire through my luggage, seat, etc. so that the alarm will trip if my tail bag is removed, the seat raised, etc., and 3) A weatherproof "Brain" and remotes.
August 18, 2006 - The alarm was installed by the company I purchased it from.
September 5, 2006 - I washed the bike and when I took it off the centerstand the alarm went off. Keep in mind that it wasn't even armed at the time. I finally had to disconnect it from the battery to shut it up. I took the "Brain" off the bike to see if there was any water in it and there was not.
September 6, 2006 - Trip to installer #2. I took it back to the people that installed it and had them look at it. They could repeat the problem at first and then it started to behave so I told them I'd give it another chance.
September 9, 2006 - While riding down the road the alarm started going off. Since I had already traveled nearly 250 miles that day I am quite certain it was not armed, and it just started going off while riding down the road. Once again I had to disconnect it from the battery to shut it up. This time everything was bone dry. No rain, no washing the bike, no nothing.
September 10, 2006 - Trip to installer #3. I took it back to the people who installed it and they decided to order a new "Brain" and see if that would fix the problem.
September 12, 2006 - The people who installed it called and said the new "Brain" was in. I scheduled a time to have it installed.
September 16, 2006 - Trip to installer #4. Got the new "Brain" installed.
September 17, 2006 - The alarm started going off when it wasn't armed again.
September 22, 2006 - Trip to installer #5. They worked on it yet again, and this time it didn't make it a half mile down the road before it started going off while it was disarmed yet again. I called the people who did the install and this time they decided to order a complete new system; cables, brain, remotes, the works; and start over.
October 2, 2006 - Called to see if the new system was in (10 days since it was ordered) and was told that it was not.
October 23, 2006 - Called to see if the new system was in (31 days since it was ordered) and was told that it was not. I blew up and the person I was talking to said he would talk to his boss, see what they could do, and call me back. He called back about an hour later and said that the new system would be there the following day (Tuesday). I scheduled to have it installed on Saturday (10/28).
October 27, 2006 - I was supposed to have the new system installed on 10/28 however they called at 4:30 on 10/27 (4 days after I scheduled the appointment) to say that the person who did the bike installs would not be there on 10/28 and it would have to be rescheduled. I missed the call and he left a voice mail that I did not return. Since I was scheduled to have eye surgery on 10/31 I did not know when I would be able to get back to get it done.
November 4, 2006 - Trip to installer #6. I stopped by to schedule the next installation. Since the installer was there they volunteered to install it at that time, so I had it done. Since I didn't plan to have it done I did not bring my spare remote so I will have to return that. When I got home I noticed that they failed to reconnect my closed-loop circuit so that will require yet another trip over there.
November 6, 2006 - Trip to installer #7. I returned the extra remote I had today and asked them about the closed-loop circuit. Iwas told that the disconnected end simply needed to be grounded so I took care it myself when I got home.
Summary - I had the alarm installed on 8/18 and was unable to use it until 11/4 (11 weeks and 1 day). I did ride the bike about 20 miles on 11/4 and another 50 or so on 11/5 and so far have managed to get 24 hours without it going off while it is disarmed. It remains to be seen whether or not it will work reliably. I'll update this page at some point to reflect what actually happened with it.
I have no idea what caused the original problems, nor do I actually know whether they are actually fixed or not. I assume that they are because the people that installed it really do very good work. They have kept working at it to get it right, but the 31 days that it took to get a new system was inexcusable.
Was it worth all the efforts? Maybe, if it prevents someone from stealing my bike or luggage. Would I do it again? Hell no! At least not right now! Maybe at some point I'll forget about the aggravation I had to go through, but right now I still don't trust it, I've made 6 trips to the installer (with at least one more to go), and it's all still fresh in my mind. I "Think" the Viper 200 is a good system, but so far it would be hard to prove it by me. Only time will tell whether or not it was worth all the trouble.
Update - January 5, 2007 - Since the complete reinstallation on November 4 the alarm system has not exhibited any problems. I've put about 2,000 miles on my bike since then and it has gotten wet a couple of times. Apparently the problems were eliminated whatever they were.
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