Installing a stereo system is one of the best modifications you can make to a motorcycle. Whether you own a street bike or chopper, you'll find the addition of a stereo system to be a welcomed feature. It will allow you to enjoy tunes while riding or when you are parked. However, there are a few things you should know about motorcycle stereo systems and how they operate.
Is it loud enough?
This is one of the most important features of a motorcycle speaker system. If you can't hear it, what's the point? So be sure to look for real customer reviews and even try to find a place you can listen. Keep in mind wind noise and if you have loud pipes. Many systems sacrifice sound output for a smaller, cuter looking speaker. You have to really consider these as they may not be heard above 40mph and turn in to a very expensive trinket. If you can't find many reviews nor find a demo to listen to, at least be sure the unit is returnable. Steel Horse Audio systems, for example, include a money-back guarantee.
Speaker Mount Location
One of the first things to consider when choosing a stereo system for your motorcycle is the speaker mount location. While standard cars and trucks have areas specifically designed for speakers, most motorcycles do not. With that said, certain stereo systems come with speakers that can be mounted directly onto the handlebars or highway bars of a motorcycle. This is an ideal location as it offers high-quality sound, and it doesn't get in the way of operating the motorcycle.
There are several different types of motorcycle stereos available on the market, each of which has its own specific features. So, which features should you look for in a stereo? 3.5mm auxiliary hookup is an excellent feature, as it allows operators to connect their smartphone or MP3 player to the motorcycle's stereo. Another noteworthy feature that's found in some motorcycle stereo systems is Bluetooth connectivity. With Bluetooth connectivity, you won't ever need to worry about connection cables for your phone or device. Assuming your device has Bluetooth, you can connect and/or control it wirelessly.
What About Engine Noise Interference?
This is a very real possibility with motorcycle stereo systems. The ground loops and “rev” noise may dilute the sound produced by the stereo. While this isn't necessarily a critical problem, it's still something that most people prefer to avoid. Most modern speaker systems should have noise filtering built in. However, in some cases you can reduce engine noise interference by investing in a noise suppression device, such as the In-Line Noise Suppressor. Compatible with receivers, equalizers and amplifiers, this 10-amp noise suppressor will dramatically reduce engine noise interference.
Is it Waterproof?
Unless you plan on keeping your motorcycle parked in a covered garage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you should choose a stereo system with waterproof speakers. Waterproof speakers will continue to operate rain or sun, regardless of what mother nature has in store.