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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
1st Time Harley Guy
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Oxford Michigan
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After Market Radio

I own a 2015 Fat Bob. I would like to add a stereo that is both capable of playing the radio and has a USB connection for iPod or Phone. I see many different types available online from less than $100 to over a $1,000. I am not looking for anything too fancy. I simply want to be able to listen to my iPod or radio while I ride (and I don't want to wear headphones). I also installed Vance and Hines pipes on the bike so I want to make sure the sound is loud enough to enjoy at 60 mph. This is my first Harley and I would really love some "expert" opinions. Be gentle!!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 02:11 PM
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Radio? On anything but a Bagger?

Now. On the serious side. Do not go cheap. Maybe even look at Marine grade. The speakers as well.
Possibly a pee-amp too. In order to get desired volume.
When choosing you need to consider the elements it may be exposed to.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
1st Time Harley Guy
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Location: Oxford Michigan
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All of the kits I find come with an amp. The speakers are waterproof and some of the amps are too. Even the 600 watt systems under $100 have mostly good reviews. I am hoping someone on here knows someone who has purchased one and can validate one kit over another.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 08:40 AM
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I put a clarion M502 in mine. Marine grade, plays and charges iPod, phone, and has pandora. No cd player but they don't work well on a bike anyway. 45 watts per channel. I also added a 500 watt amp and speakers from JM ROKKER. The radio isn't that much. I found this one on eBay. Somebody makes an interface that lets me use the hand controls to run the radio.

Clarion M502 Marine Digital Media Bluetooth Stereo w/ Pandora Support | eBay

Good luck and welcome from Columbus, Ohio

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 11:04 AM
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So you put loud pipes on your bike because YOU want to be heard. Now you want to be able to play music even louder over the sound of your pipes so basically YOU won't be able to hear anyone else....smh
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 11:06 AM
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I'm not raining on your parade. I've just messed with 12V audio for a long time and have some food for thought.

Do you ride with a windshield? If not, you better plan on something that is off-the-charts loud if you want to hear it at 60 mph with any clarity.

The fairings on the baggers reduce the wind noise significantly — more than even the big detachable shields that you see on a 'King or Heritage. Even with that, you better have pretty efficient speakers and a solid amplifier if you want to hear with any clarity at 60 mph. I use a clarion amp that is a legit rated 75wx4 RMS and you have to push it fairly decent at 65-70 mph. A lot of those cheap units boast high wattage, but in truth, it is a peak number. You have to know the true, RMS (continuous) output to really know anything about the unit.

The other issue is speaker placement. The bagger fairing naturally allows the speaker to be higher and focused inward toward your ears. Where are you going to mount the speakers? If you are running the stock bars, you don't have a lot of options.

Where are going to put the radio? Most of the non-bagger rigs are just an amp and speakers. They are designed to allow you to use any source with an analog output to drive the amp. If you have smart phone, you could rig this using a 12V bluetooth receiver in a way that you'd be wireless and fairly stealth assuming you found somewhere to hide the amp.

Lastly, I will say that you need to manage your expectations about what music should sound like on a motorcycle. I have spent a bunch of money on the stereo in my Ultra and the returns are limited. After replacing speakers, adding a quality amplifier and even trying a high quality, aftermarket head unit, the best listening experience for me is still, by far, wearing my 3/4 helmet and listening through the headset.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 01:54 PM
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Buddys wife had speakers mounted on her Heritage handle bars. Not very efficient at speed even with windshield. HD items.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:54 PM
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I'll chime in again. You are on a bike. It has obvious advantages, but also a couple of drawbacks. Unless you:

1. Use earbuds, (not very safe, but then again, Ive heard pipes before that are way louder than any earbuds and no-one says they are unsafe)

2. Spend a fortune on a high powered, high-end system that even then will not sound fantastic at highway speed.

3. Wear a 3/4 or a full face helmet and rig it for speakers, (Same issue....See #1).

You can either have the wind in your face on a bike, or a much better environment for music in your car.

"Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.." Robert Hunter
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