LV, I am ready to plunk down the coin for front speakers & amp, I have also been planning to include lower fairing speakers as well. You seem to have prior experience chasing what I am after (perfect sound). based on your previous build, would you recommend lower fairing speakers or just stick with the fronts?
I know you weren’t asking me, but I have lower fairings with speakers in my current setup (signature lists all components). They definitely add sound and depth to the system, but having run a few different setups on a few different Road Glides I don’t know that I would suggest jumping right to them, unless you already plan to add lowers for other reasons too. You might consider buying an amp that will give you room to grow and start with upper fairing speakers, then add lowers if you feel you want a little more.
That said, here’s what I’ve learned personally from different setups:
Plug and Play Systems
- Biketronics are great! The products are solid and the people are even better. You call and Donna will walk you through options and give you real information. She won’t BS you, and she isn’t trying to get you to spend more $ when you don’t need to. I had a BT2250 amp, line leveler and Hertz Mille Pro Legends from her and I could feel it in my chest up to about 40 MPH and hear it clear as day at 100 MPH on the highway. Not trying to “sell” you, but I actually have that amp and line leveler for sale, and have a brand new set of Hertz Mille Pro Legend speakers that Donna somehow covered under warranty (I didn’t think they would cover them but they did). The BT2250 and I know BikeTronics has a new bigger amp out now, would allow you to add lower fairing speakers too if you wanted (immediately or later).
- J&M Rocker systems are very solid. Ran them in two different RGs. Forum members will tell you that they are expensive and you can get similar results building your own. I can attest that they are expensive, but I was never unhappy with the money I spent.
Pieced Together Components
- You can piece together a system like my current setup (signature line) and others here can share their full setups and the sky will be the limit, but as LV has said, at the end of the day you are chasing something that you may never find. You have to accept that sound is essentially air waves. In a car those sound waves are trapped in an enclosed space... on a motorcycle you are blasting through the wind and sound waves are quickly left behind. Add to that your exhaust is right in your ear, and your helmet will play a factor in wind noise as well as insulation covering your ears. Having spent thousands on sound systems that make my home system sound like a boom box in the 80s when sitting still, I can tell you that you will lose a lot of the sound to the wind we love so much.
Real Sound at Speed vs Parking Lot Bragging Rights
- I’ve had four 8” woofers in my saddlebags before and they sound AMAZING when stopped, but over 50mph they are pretty much washed out. Be cautious of anyone advising on 8”s or 10”s in your bags. You won’t hear them when riding.
- Saddlebag lid speakers are mostly for your passenger. I can hear my current lid speakers pretty well around town (the tweeters are the real deal), but on the highway only my wife hears them. Lid speakers are cool, but anyone that tells you that you will hear them in the front at speed is trying to “sell” you something.
I hope this helps brother!