Real-World Performance / The Drive
Our Test Vehicle (Western Route)
We selected a test vehicle that would
serve our enthusiastic driving
requirements that wouldn’t break the
bank in the process. We settled on a
5-speed sterling silver BMW Z4
convertible for our 1500 mile journey.
The Bimmer was rented from
of Las Vegas, NV, an agency that offers
high-line vehicles for hourly (ouch),
daily, or weekly rentals.
Besides being hideously expensive to
rent, we resisted our initial urges to
selecting a yellow Lamborghini Gallardo or
the "arrest-me-red" Ferrari 360 Modena for
the test as we really didn’t want to
attract that much attention, considering
our expected driving style. These
works-of-art look like they deserve a
speeding ticket while parked!
Of course, we immediately applied
to our rental vehicle in the
event we inadvertently stumbled upon a
laser speed trap - try doing that
While we don’t condone speeding, we
wanted to use these detectors in a
manner consistent with their intent - to
protect their drivers from would be
As such we routinely cruised “in excess”
of posted limits and sometimes found our
speed to be occasionally north of the
rural areas of western states are a bit
more conducive to this sort of driving.
In other words, we wouldn’t necessarily
attempt driving as boldly in urban areas
and/or more populated states with more heavily
traveled roads - but we did want to
experience the full potential of these
great radar detectors.
Our Western Route
Red - Day 1, Blue - Day 2, Yellow - Day
3, Green - Day 4
Our Eastern Route
We decided to add two additional days of
driving to include several eastern
states (PA, NJ, NY) since we had as yet to encounter
a bona-fide X-band or laser speed
trap. Our "target" vehicle was a
late model BMW 540i Sport which had been
for about nine months and was still going
strong. We chose a route that
would take us through some of the most
heavily patrolled areas of NJ and NY
(I-78 and I-87, respectively.)
During this segment of our driving
route, we came to realize that the
"texture" of traffic enforcement is
different, in feeling, than that
of the West. In this portion of
the country, there tends to be a much
greater likelihood of being targeted
with instant-on/pulsed radar.
Although we had encountered some of
these kinds of speed traps during our
1500 mile trip out West, they where in
the minority by comparison.
We believe, in this driving
sensitivity must be balanced with a
minimal propensity to "falsing"
so as to not dilute the sense of urgency
of any given radar/laser alert.
Although the term "false" may be
misrepresentative - as any alert is
likely from a legitimate radar/laser
source - we use it here to mean from a
source other than a confirmable
speed-enforcement related origin (i.e.;
trooper or traffic speed sign).
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