Common Complaint: “I Can’t Hear The Darn Thing!”
Motorcycle stereo upgrades are becoming more and more popular these days. It’s nice to be able to listen to your favorite songs while taking a cruise on your bike, no matter where or when. It adds to the therapeutic aura of riding! There’s one big problem with factory motorcycle stereos: You can’t hear them once you get up to speed! They play loud enough to hear them at low speeds (i.e. 25mph) but the very first complaint we hear from any client that comes in with a motorcycle is simply “I can’t hear the darn thing!” That’s where the WSS team can help you out!
New Victory Premium Stereo Needs More Kick
A client from the Baltimore, MD area came to us with a beautiful 15th Anniversary 2014 Victory Cross Country Tourer. The motorcycle came with the factory “premium” Kicker stereo system. We use the term “premium” loosely. The sound quality was better than many Harley Davidson stereo systems, but it was still seriously lacking in output. Even at moderate volumes the stereo started to distort and break up. The radio in this motorcycle was different from the typical Harley or Goldwing radio that was easily replaced. This Victory had a unit integrated in the fairing that came with many great features like XM satellite radio, iPod control, and handle bar controls for the stereo. Since we did not need to replace the source unit, we put ALL of our efforts into improving sound quality and output. The client wanted to be able to JAM at 60 mph… Here we go!
Motorcycle Stereo Upgrade Stage 1: Replace The Speakers
There were four factory speaker locations on this bike; two in the front fairing and two behind the rear seat. The speakers were 5.25″ in diameter. For replacements, we chose JL Audio C2 coaxial speakers. The JL Audio C2 line is made with silk dome tweeters and great quality components, delivering a clear and smooth sound even at higher volumes. There was a very limited amount of depth in the rear speaker locations, so we also had to modify the trunk (rear storage compartment) while installing the speakers for them to fit properly. These speakers made a very nice improvement in sound quality and gave us the ability to add real power. Power = output! Knowing the customer’s goal we knew we’d need to amplify the speakers. Just replacing the speakers makes a great improvement on ANY motorcycle. But if you really want to be loud, relying on the radio’s power alone just won’t cut it.
Arc Audio Mini Amplifier Solves The Power Problem
Now here’s where it got a little tricky. We knew we needed to add an amplifier to this motorcycle stereo upgrade. We just didn’t know where we could hide it. After spending some time taking the bike apart and looking at all possible locations we decided to install an Arc Audio KS125.2 Mini amplifier in the trunk! This was the only possible option since there was VERY little room anywhere else on the bike. The Arc Audio amplifier was the perfect choice. Its small footprint was a necessity, but don’t be fooled. This amp can deliver some real power! We mounted the amplifier vertically and made a trim panel to surround the amplifier and cover the rear speakers. To add a finishing touch, we also installed new carpet throughout the trunk. As you can see, the finished project looked like it came that way right from the factory!
Your Motorcycle Audio Upgrade Specialist
This motorcycle stereo upgrade is one of our all time favorites. The stereo played SEVERAL times louder than the original “premium” stereo, and had incredible sound quality even while riding down the road! We were very happy to help this client enjoy his stereo even while riding on the highway. We are glad to take on most any motorcycle stereo upgrade. Whether you have a Victory, Harley, Honda or any other motorcycle and are looking for something better in the world of sound, give us a call or Contact Us an email for more information! The team here at WSS Westminster Speed and Sound looks forward to working with you to make your dreams come true!