Can I upgrade my stereo myself? - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Can I upgrade my stereo myself?

I bought a 2019 RG Ultra and I need to upgrade the sound system. I typically ride pretty fast and can barely hear the audio at highway speeds. I have an amp from my totaled 2010 Electraglide Limited, can I just connect this and have it power the speakers? I've read about needed to flash to the Boom GTS. What if I also change the speakers, do I need to flash it? If I add the XM module?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 12:20 PM
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You need to be more specific on what you are looking to do. Are you wanting to replace all 4 speakers and add an amp? Are you asking if you can add an amp to power the stock speakers? What amp do you have on hand?

Give us a little more info to work with and a budget and we can give you better advice.

MMats fanboy
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eggwhite93 View Post
You need to be more specific on what you are looking to do. Are you wanting to replace all 4 speakers and add an amp? Are you asking if you can add an amp to power the stock speakers? What amp do you have on hand?

Give us a little more info to work with and a budget and we can give you better advice.
Whatever I need to do to have more volume and have it sound good. I would expect that to mean an amp and four speakers, but maybe just an amp will be enough.

Here's the amp that I have. It's a Rockford Fosgate R1-HD4.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 09:09 PM
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That amp is very light on power at only 40w RMS x 4 @ 2 ohms.

A good, proven, not super expensive system for your bike would look something like this:

4 MMats PA601.4CX speakers
Stinger 700-4 or MMats 4110 amp
Biketronics BTBOC
VTwin Audio adaptors for the tour pack
Misc wiring

Should be able to get this done for around $1000, give or take.

MMats fanboy
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 09:41 PM
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The need to have your radio flashed by the dealer is generally to flatten out the EQ. The stock Harley radio configuration is heavy on Bass in some ill conceived attempt to make the crappy base system sound remotely close to okay. The problem when you send a poorly equalized signal to an amp for amplification is that it can damage the amp and speakers.

You generally address the poor EQ curve in one (or many) of three ways:

1) Radio flash
2) Line leveler
3) Digital Sound Processor

Beyond that, adding an amp to the stock HD speakers doesn’t generally yield anything more than blown HD speakers. They really are not very good and can’t handle much more power. There are TONS of different speakers out there and while I haven’t had personal experience with them the MMats @eggwhite93 referenced seem very popular on this forum and for the price I will certainly try them on my next bike.

The biggest driving factor for your stereo will be your budget. If you can post your budget and what your sound goals are there are a LOT of very good audiophiles here that can help point you in the right direction.

The one thing we will all tell you is to not waste your money on any of the HD Boom amps or speakers.

Hope this helps!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Games View Post
I bought a 2019 RG Ultra and I need to upgrade the sound system. I typically ride pretty fast and can barely hear the audio at highway speeds. I have an amp from my totaled 2010 Electraglide Limited, can I just connect this and have it power the speakers? I've read about needed to flash to the Boom GTS. What if I also change the speakers, do I need to flash it? If I add the XM module?
I went with a Biketronics Amp and speaker kit. It was plug and play with no flash needed. I only have 2 front speakers. I wired my lowers for a future speaker install and never bothered. I hear mine fine at speed. I tried chasing perfect sound on my last bike. I spent a lot more money for not a whole lot more sound at speed. Don't even think of putting an amp in and not changing those garbage stock speakers.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-22-2019, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Vader View Post
I went with a Biketronics Amp and speaker kit. It was plug and play with no flash needed. I only have 2 front speakers. I wired my lowers for a future speaker install and never bothered. I hear mine fine at speed. I tried chasing perfect sound on my last bike. I spent a lot more money for not a whole lot more sound at speed. Don't even think of putting an amp in and not changing those garbage stock speakers.
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?
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 08:24 AM
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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!


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by WA Bull View Post
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?
If you go with the Biketronics kit you can pre-wire for lower speakers then decide if you need them like I did. Some subs in the lowers would give a fuller sound. I just didn't want to spend the extra cash. Deep bass is like chasing a unicorn on a bike. The open space and wind noise kill it. Forget speaker lids unless you want them for a passenger. I put them on my last bike and didn't really hear them. I went with BT because of their quality and it's plug and play with no flash needed with the boom radioIf you think your going to do the lowers you can run 4 4 ohm speakers in parallel with the BT 2180 even though it's 180 watts x 2 but you can't fade between the fairing and lowers. If you get the 4180 you get 180 watts x 4. There are lots of ways you can go and sound is subjective. For me I'm good with clarity at 80 mph but if I find a good deal on lower speakers I may install them.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 01:05 PM
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Well, I have a different take on lid speakers. I lost mine 2 years ago due to the remote wire coming off the amp coming back from Georgia. I knew the exact moment I lost them, and that was at interstate speed.

With my new lid speakers, I turned my fairing speakers off on the DSP and took it out. I dam sure could hear them, vocals, drums, guitar, at speed. Depends on how much clean power is going to them, the tune, and the speakers themselves.
As for 8s and 10s, no experience with them.

As for the company with the initials, my riding partner has that setup in his bike. I wouldn't pay $100 for it. Extremely over priced for what you get. Sound is subjective and I am subjectively saying not good at all.

OP, Figure out your budget, the sound you want, and go from there. Research on here and the other forum. Wealth of knowledge over there for audio
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2009 Road Glide. 16 in Vindikta Wild Cats. Aquatic AV, Stinger 700X4 to MMats PA 601, Audiopipe horns.
Ground Zero 7X10 in the lids w/ sspn.4 1000d, tuned with DD Audio DSI-2. S&S 106, lifters, push rods and AC. Drago 2. CycleRama 575. Progressive monotones -1in. 12in. HD adjustable rear shocks. Painted inner fairing. Tuned with TTS. Blacked out!
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