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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Fairing Speakers and Installation

Bear with me and I'll try not to go on for too long.

I spent yesterday afternoon replacing the OEM 5.25" RG speakers in my 2015. The actual speaker replacement was a breeze but I spent hours messing with three different solutions to sound dampening and insulating the inner fairing where the speakers mount.

I'm using the JBL GT0638 speakers in my fairing and HD Headunit (4.3) no amp. All of my observations are subjective, with the bike sitting in the shop. Listened without the bike running and then with the bike running at idle. No road tests yet (weather is holding me back) EQ settings were flat lined and speed volume set to off.

First solution: JBL speakers installed - no mods other than speaker swap. The new speakers sound a bit better than the factory 5.25" speakers. Still sounded tinny, mids were nice and bass was a little improved but still boomy.

Second solution: I used Dynamat to create a backing and barrier between the back of the speaker opening and all of the other open space in the fairing behind the speaker mount. I'm no audiophile but the treble was tamed down and sounded more natural. Mids were still very good and the bass response sounded tighter.

Third solution: Dynamat removed and I created a new barrier between the back of the speaker opening and all of the other open space in the fairing behind the speaker mount using foil backed HVAC tape (.127 inch thickness). This caused shrill high frequencies, didn't affect the mid range much, and I think it actually made the bass worse.

Fourth solution: HVAC tape removed (note to myself - this stuff is designed to stick when used on stainless or galvanized HVAC ducting - but it could be used to hold plastic pieces together forever) Once this stuff sticks to plastic it is a chore to remove

I tore open an old polyfill pillow and removed the stuffing. I started to fill the enclosure with the polyfill, but began to worry about all of the fine fibers that were going to blow around inside the fairing long term. So I pulled the first batch of stuffing. At this point I was about ready to quit and just put everything back together and call the new speakers good without doing anything inside the fairing or speaker enclosure. But persistence pervailed.....

I went into the house and grabbed two large ziplock freezer bags. I stuffed the freezer bags with polyfill and then placed them inside the fairing and speaker mount. This pretty much shut off all of the other open space between the inner fairing and speaker mount. Then I reinstalled the JBL speakers and buttoned everything back up.

It might be a placebo effect since I spent so much time on this, but to me I think this solution sounds the best with these particular speakers. Treble was more natural without ringing your ears. The tinny sound is gone. Mid range still sounds great and the bass response sounds tighter. It doesn't sound like the drums are coming out of a cave, not boomy at low or medium volume levels (haven't pushed the volume yet since by this point the wife was already in bed and probably wouldn't appreciate Rob Zombie blaring out of the shop).

At this point I"m calling the whole thing done. I was going to add an AMP next weekend, but now I'm going to wait until my patience comes back. During the last speaker install I lost two mounting screws down in the fairing. I managed to fish one out from the bottom of the fairing but the other one is lost forever to the motorcycle gods. One last observation - those speaker screws can't be picked up or fished out with a magnet pen. I'm not sure whether it's the coating or the substrate.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 07:49 PM
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Aren't the 15 roadglide equipped with 6.5" speakers with a sealed enclosure?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-14-2015, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know about the RGS, because I just bought the Standard. On my RG the stock factory speakers are 5.25" and there isn't any enclosure.

However, the way the speaker mount is designed it can easily accommodate a fairly standard 6.5" speaker.

HD in their infinite wisdom sourced an OEM 5.25" speaker with an extra wide mounting ring so that people could upgrade to 6.5" speakers without hassle.

Now of course I'm sure it was their intent to "up sell" everyone on the HD Boom Audio upgrade. Smart I guess, but sometimes the things that the MOCO does just irritates the heck out of me.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 07:47 AM
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The only stereo diff between RG and RGS is the head unit. Speakers are the same. 6.5 speakers are an upgrade.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 09:49 AM
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First thing that came to mind was using old pot holders to insulate the back of the speaker pods. Sound deadening should be great and acoustics so much better.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slbaker232 View Post
The only stereo diff between RG and RGS is the head unit. Speakers are the same. 6.5 speakers are an upgrade.
Is 6.5 upgrade part of their boom stage 1 kit ?

2010 FLTRX , Stage 1, 13" Madstad, Mono tubes, SuperShox, Heritage style bars. Alpine CDE-HD149BT,Soundstream Picasso Nano Series PN4.520 , 5X7 and 6.5 Infinity Kappa speakers
If I have to explain ,you wouldn't under stand anyway.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-15-2015, 08:14 PM
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so your saying you only replaced the fairing speakers, not the head unit, and your happy with the results? the speakers alone made that much difference?
I ask as I am looking for options to upgrade for better sound. not installing an amp either. any opinions on replacing the stock tour pack speakers?


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2011 RG ULTRA.
I RIDE. I FISH. HENCE THE THE ROD HOLDERS MOUNTED.
NOTHING LIKE DOING BOTH WHAT I ENJOY IN THE SAME DAY.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-18-2015, 07:34 AM
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The 2015 rg standard comes with 5.25 speakers on a 6.5 frame so u can change to 6.5 with no adapters and all 2015 rg come with black plastic pods thats what the speaker bolts to
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-18-2015, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CPY84 View Post
so your saying you only replaced the fairing speakers, not the head unit, and your happy with the results? the speakers alone made that much difference?
I ask as I am looking for options to upgrade for better sound. not installing an amp either. any opinions on replacing the stock tour pack speakers?
Yes, all I did was a speaker swap. Don't expect miracles at highway speeds though. When I was test riding bikes one of the things that struck me the most was how much louder and clearer the audio sounded on the Street Glide when compared to the Road Glide. Even at highway speeds the audio on the Street Glide came through loud and clear. My guess is speaker positioning and fairing design account for those differences.

Once you hit 50+ MPH on the Road Glide the audio starts to wash away and for the most part is pretty worthless. It's is probably a combination of things, but once you pull the grills and speakers from the Road Glide you can see a multitude of issues with the enclosure and surrounding features of the inner fairing.

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Originally Posted by Smarty View Post
First thing that came to mind was using old pot holders to insulate the back of the speaker pods. Sound deadening should be great and acoustics so much better.
The used oven mitts is a genius idea

Last edited by wevsspot; 05-18-2015 at 12:10 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-18-2015, 12:16 PM
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You're on the right track: use sheets of polyfil, usually 2-3 layers, to line the speaker enclosures. Sheets of polyfil are available @ your local WallyMart.

BTW: If you drop a speaker screw into the abyss you can get it to drop by unscrewing the turn signals and pulling the fairing apart slightly. You may have to unscrew the wind deflectors as well. Ask me how I know.

Scoots

Last edited by scooterroid; 05-18-2015 at 12:19 PM.
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