Motorcycle Audio 101

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2017 motorcycles

There is nothing better than tearing up tarmac on your two-wheeled beast. The wind pushing you back as you plow through miles of open road with the engine’s vibration running through your body. Unfortunately, this experience is not one that promotes quality audio. Cancel that; the first obstacle to on board entertainment is actually the manufacturer, who gave no thought on how to fulfill your entertainment needs. When assembling a motorcycle, sound systems are so far out of manufacturers’ priorities they never even make it into the design.

Section Description
1. Excessive Noise It's no surprise that your motorcycle generates significant noise. You are seated atop an engine lacking a closed environment. With such a variable it is clear that an aftermarket audio upgrade is necessary.
2. Weather and the Elements A motorcycle is vulnerable to all elements so whatever upgrades are installed to your vehicle will need to be extremely durable and weatherproof.
3. Premium Space With such little space available, your aftermarket sound has to be strategically placed throughout your motorcycle, not to mention compact.
A. Speakers Handlebar speakers are the most popular due to their versatility. They are weatherproof, durable and compact ensuring the unit satisfies your audio needs without sacrificing your motorcycle's performance.
B. Amplifiers If you get aftermarket speakers you have to get an aftermarket amplifier to power your unit. The deciding factor of what makes an amp specifically designed for a motorcycle is the size, ability to handle vibrations and elemental exposure.
C. Extras Although a motorcycle is compact you can still get the extra features you desire. This includes but not limited to GPS, MP3 Players and even Satellite Radio.

But even if your bike came with a factory stereo, there’s no way you would be able to hear those cheap trinkets they call speakers. Now, I don’t care how quiet you think your motorbike is. I won’t even ask what oil you pump through the engine. The only thing here we can all agree on is that your bike is extremely loud. And I’m not even talking about a souped up Kawasakis that roars hellfire or a Harley Davidson’s trademark exhaust. Even a cheap dirt bike has a loud engine making it impossible to enjoy your music while on the road. Before we get to the components of a killer motorcycle sound system, let’s check out some problems that your aftermarket sound system will have to overcome.

mtx handlebar speaker

Challenges Aftermarket Audio Has to Overcome

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While there are engines that purr quieter than a litter of kittens, they are usually found in luxury vehicle like Mercedes or BMW but nowhere near the chassis of a motorcycle. As we have already established, it doesn’t matter if you ride a Harley or a custom bike, the fact that you are seated right on top of the engine with additional road noise means that your ears will be getting audio from all angles, except your audio system of course. This makes it very hard to enjoy music even with a big pair of headsets on. Going for an excellent aftermarket sound system ensures that all the ambient road and engine noise is combated.

[wpsm_numbox num=”2″ style=”2″]Weather and The Elements[/wpsm_numbox]

Unlike your car or truck that offers a fully enclosed, well-sealed environment for the driver and passenger, bikers have to bear the harsh elements that come with the great outdoors. This also means that your electrical components and audio equipment will also be exposed to all these factors. Your aftermarket sound system has to be resistant to all the elements found outdoors. This includes rainfall and moisture, harmful UV rays from the sun as well as dust and debris.

[wpsm_numbox num=”3″ style=”2″]Premium Space[/wpsm_numbox]

If you are installing a couple of 15-inch subwoofers in the trunk of your car, you’ll have some cargo space left over. In a motorbike, however, the manufacturer did not include much storage or cargo space. This is specifically why your aftermarket sound system needs to be as compact as it is powerful to ensure you get a lot of bang without using up all of your available space.

Components of Great Aftermarket Audio

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The chances that your factory speakers are useless while driving 80 mph on the interstate is almost guaranteed. If you had a hard time hearing the speakers before the engine was in motion while it was parked in the driveway, there is no chance you will hear it on the road. Luckily there are plenty of alternatives allowing for music to be heard while on the road. Most commonly handlebar speakers are the solution. Not only do these add power, they maintain the weight distribution of your vehicle. Motorcycle speakers are designed to be compact and powerful to ensure the driver does not have to sacrifice safety.

[wpsm_numbox num=”B” style=”2″]Amplifiers[/wpsm_numbox]

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When it comes to competing with wind, traffic and other forms of road noise, stock sound is no match. With aftermarket speakers comes the need for an aftermarket amplifier. These amps ensure that your motorcycle’s sound system has the boost it needs to keep the juice flowing. Most importantly, aftermarket amplifiers are made in such a way that they do not present a heavy load on your bikes electrical system. They are compact, powerful and most importantly durable. They can withstand all types of weather and elemental factors to ensure your speakers always have power.

[wpsm_numbox num=”C” style=”2″]Extras[/wpsm_numbox]

Like any other upgrade, your sound system does not have to stop with the standard gear. You can integrate lots of other exciting options such as Mp3 players, GPS navigation, satellite radio among others. Be sure to get motorcycle accessories and not car accessories because the two categories are extremely different. Although they may function the same your car accessories are going to be larger but more fragile. Whereas on your motorcycle you need compact accessories that are extremely durable.

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