A client from Westminster came to Westminster Speed and Sound looking for some help on his 2007 Harley Davidson Street Glide stereo system. He had previously had a shop build him an audio system for his bike, and to say they did a poor job was an understatement. Not only did the bike sound lousy, the attention to detail was horrible and it degraded what was a beautiful bike. We’re seeing more and more of this lately, and would like bike owners to know that it does make a difference to use a shop that knows how to work on motorcycles and motorcycle audio.
The guy had heard that our work was top-notch, and he simply said, “I love this bike and I drive it all the time. I want it to sound great, look great and be reliable.” We took that statement to heart and suggested we completely remove the existing equipment and wiring, and start over fresh. We worked up a proposal that we thought best suited his goals and he liked our idea, so we set up a time for him to drop off the bike.
Total Wiring Disaster..
Once we had the bike in our bay and started to disassemble it, we were blown away by how poor the previous installation work was done. What we thought was a bike that needed some help became a bike that needed the wiring gutted, all the equipment removed and lots of other things fixed before we could even start on the new upgrades. There was loads of extra wiring under the seat and in the fairing; bare connections; and broken mounts for the front fairing speakers.
Leaving Audio To The Audio Professionals
The sad reality is this is becoming more common as motorcycle audio gets more popular. More and more people are trying their hands at audio upgrades that, to be blunt, should be left to the experts. People who specialize in engines, paint, chrome and suspension are gifted in what they do, and often, wiring and audio are not their specialty. The good news is that we understand what it takes to build a motorcycle audio system designed to look great, sound incredible and be reliable for years to come.
Proper Repair Solutions
Once we removed all the existing wiring and equipment from the previous install, we were able to properly survey the situation. We realized we had to make custom grilles for the fairing speakers because the existing grilles had a tweeter flushed into one side of them they looked gaudy. We fabricated new grilles out of expanded metal that looked factory once installed.
New Speakers – Fairings, Lowers and Lids
The mounts for the fairing speakers had been damaged on both sides and the previous speakers were flopping around. Our team was able to repair the fairing so the new speakers could be secured properly. We chose a set of Hertz HCX165.4 6.5” coaxial speakers. This series from Hertz has become very popular with bikers for the combination of great output and awesome sound quality. Since the factory fairing speakers were only 5.25” in diameter, we used speaker adapters from ARC Audio to allow us to fit the larger size. Upgrading the fairing speaker size gives the ride improved output for a very minimal cost difference.
It was now time to focus our attention on the speakers that were going in the lowers. We chose a second set of Hertz HCX165.4 to complement the fairing speakers, and we designed a removable connection inside the lower enclosure in case they ever have to be removed from the bike. We routed the speaker wiring inside the crash bar so it was completely hidden from view.
When it came time to choose speakers for the rear bags, we went back to Hertz, using the HCX690.4 6x9s. Part of the previous install included new bag lids, set up to hold a pair of 6×9’ speakers, so we already had a place to mount the speakers. We modified the bag lids so they would fit tighter and seal better, reducing the chance of rattling or water getting inside them. The client also told us that he wanted the option to remove the bags from the vehicle, so we designed a quick-release connector that is completely waterproof and hides under the rear seat; again, hidden from view.
Smartphone Geared, Motorcycle Optimized Radio
In speaking with the client early on, we learned that he wanted an easy way to play the music from his smartphone or other portable devices, so we installed an Aquatic AV Harley-specific AQ-MP-5UBT-H stereo system. This is a welcome addition for Harley Davidson owners – they finally have a motorcycle-specific radio that performs well and is designed to take the abuse of life on a motorcycle. It uses waterproof controls, and has Bluetooth for music streaming, USB and aux inputs for connecting portable media, and a full color display. It is designed from the ground up to work with the existing Harley stereo plug, steering wheel controls and mounting style. As you can see from the pictures, it looks perfect in the dash. And should you hold this thing in your hands, you can feel the build quality. It is heavy!
Amped Up With ARC Audio
At this point, we needed power, and we went to ARC Audio for our solution, the motorcycle-specific Moto600.4. It has more than 600 watts of power in an extremely small chassis, with a build quality designed to last on a bike without affecting radio reception the way many other amps do. We added an ARC Audio BXM sound module on the channels feeding the front speakers, giving them a lot better bass response. We mounted the amp and module securely in the front fairing, keeping all the storage capacity of the bags intact.
PROFESSIONAL Motorcycle Wiring And Installation
All of our wiring is properly loomed and securely tied into place, making it easy to service the bike in the future. We soldered all of our connections with heat shrink for lasting durability.
Tuned And Ready To Ride
When the installation was finished, our team spent significant time on fine-tuning the equipment, looking for every last ounce of sound quality and reliable output. Only when we are pleased with the final outcome do we call the client and let him know his bike is ready to be picked up.
New Harley Davidson Street Glide Stereo Makeover Wows Client!
On the day the client came to pick up his vehicle, we were anxious to see his first impression of the new work. When he walked into our bay and saw his bike up close, he started smiling and nodding his head in approval. When we cranked it up for the first time, streaming music from our tech’s phone, he was impressed. The music was crystal-clear and the output would make anyone happy. He repeatedly complimented us on the system, and the way we took care of him.
Come By And See Us Today!
If you own a motorcycle and have always wanted a great-sounding audio system, we invite you to stop by Westminster Speed and Sound in Westminster, Maryland, with your bike. Our team will look over your bike with you, get to know you better and design a system for your unique needs. Let us show you why we are Maryland’s most award-winning retailer.
You can also Contact Us HERE for more information about any of our products and services.