2018 Road glide audio upgrade
I have a 2018 Road Glide Special, and would like to upgrade the fairing speakers and add an amp. I’m not really looking for top of the line, but not super entry level either. Just something to be able to hear a little bit clearer and better.
I have done a ton of reading posts and I think I’m even more confused now than I was in the beginning because there’s so many options. Each speaker choice seems to present a unique fitment challenge.
I currently have in my cart:
Infiniti Kappa 62.11i
Focal access 165a1
Hertz hcx 165
Soundstream (multiple sizes)
Cerwin Vega B52
So aside from hopefully hearing what is good pairing of speaker and amp, what modifications might be necessary (don’t really want to cut, drill, etc). Im fine with a trim or something small. If things are all within a very small margin of benefit I would likely go with the most budget friendly install friendly option.
I appreciate any feedback.
Welcome from Mass!!!
Lots of good stereo info here, I am sure smarter people than I will give you some suggestions.
Put up some pics when you get a chance!
Welcome To The Shark Tank
Everyone that has done an audio upgrade will have a different opinion.
I personally went with a J&M XXR Rokker 330 watt 2 channel amp along with a good set of 6.25" speakers that can handle the power.
I am very please with my current setup and I can hear my tunes without any issues at 70+ mph.
Plenty of threads on this forum for audio upgrades and plenty of people willing to help answer question you might have.
By looking at your list, it looks like your well on your way.
Good Luck And Once Again,Welcome
Welcome from NY,I went with Infinity Kappas,Got on E-Bay for $90 great speakers for the money,Fit with no problem in my 18RGS an used stock grills,Went with CV B52,you will need a Biketronics Line Leveler also.Good setup that dose not Break the Bank an sounds Dam Good!
Thanks for the help so far. I appreciate it. It seems like the kappa and Cerwin amp is like the fail safe system and you can’t go wrong with it. My biggest worry is buying that and finding out if I spent a little more money on one of those other speakers the results would be a big difference.
So I've been pouring over the dimensional specs on the speakers you've got in your cart;
Focal Access 165 A1 / 2.6" mounting depth - may not fit without a tapered spacer or pod modification
Peak power handling capacity is a little on low side at 120W, but good sensitivity @ 92dB. And we all know that many really good speakers can handle a lot more power than they are rated for :) I know that they fit in a batwing, just not sure if they fit in a shark.
Focal 165ca1 / 2.5" mounting depth - may not fit without a tapered spacer or pod modification
Same power handling and sensitivity as the 165 A1 component set
Hertz esk-165L.5 / 2.56" mounting depth. This is actually a little shallower than the HCX 165 and we know that the HCX 165 speakers will fit using the BT tapered speaker spacer. So there's no reason that these wouldn't fit.
Very good peak power handling capacity at 300W with good sensitivity @ 92dB
Hertz hcx 165 / 2.72". These are a confirmed fit in the Road Glide speaker fairing using the BT tapered speaker spacer.
Good peak power handling capacity at 200W and good sensitivity @ 92dB
Selfishly speaking I'd love for you to try out any of the Focal or Hertz speakers that you've got in your cart. Without guinea pigs we just never know what will fit without spacers or cutting the pods. Of all the speakers you're considering, the Hertz ESK-165L speakers are the ones that really catch my eye. Looks like you could put tons of clean power to them, they have a good sensitivity rating, they are components and of course they are Hertz (albeit the lower tier manufactured in China). Please please please give those a try :)
Since you're not locked in to a budget build you've got some options. Based on your initial post it looks like you're sticking to a 2 speaker setup so they've got to be good. The hertz HCX are a pretty good choice if you like the hertz sound (I'm a big fan). The 165.3 mille pros are a popular choice as well. I haven't owned any Focal speakers but have heard them. They can get real bright real fast but some tuning with the right amp really helps as long as you understand that the highs may be overpowering at high volumes. Very clear and crisp, but IMO lacking the depth of the hertz. This would be so much easier if sound wasn't so subjective.
Take a look at the diamond audio micro 4V2 amp. Diamond and Cerwin Vega are owned by the same company and the amps look pretty much identical, but the diamond version has better components in it. They have a warmer sound, great power bridged for a fairing only setup, and fit between the radio and headlight like they were made to go there. I'm running the 4V2 in my 16 and don't even use velcro or tape, it sits between the headlight tabs and radio bracket perfectly and just clears the big honkin main radio connector with a little daylight to spare.
The JL audio amps are also very popular. Their specs are way underrated and nice warm sound with clean power. The RF TM400 series is good stuff also. Stay away from their low end PBR stuff but the TM line is nice. Not a fan of their speakers, but it's a very nice amp.
If you want a once and done setup go for the 4V2 or JL 280/4 bridged and a set of Hertz ML 1650.3 with a decent tweeter and you'll never regret it. Loud, clear, and good mid bass. I've got the 1650.3 in both bikes and can feel a strong kick drum beat hitting me in the chest at 70 mph. The running joke in our group is whoever rides behind me is stuck listening to whatever I'm listening to, they put in requests at gas stops.
This audio crap can get expensive. My approach is to get the best amp you can afford with plenty of clean power to spare and a warm output and do a little homework on tuning. It's not rocket science and can make a huge difference in how your speakers perform. Speakers are easy to change and until you find the one your ears like you may go through a few sets, but the amp will be consistent and you won't grow out of it in a 2 speaker setup. Remember that a lot of amps also kill FM reception. I don't use FM so not an issue for me, but if that's your main music source your choices are very limited.
I had a Soundstream PN4.520D in a fairing only setup. I recently changed it out for a Diamond micro4v2. Both were bridged. IMO the Diamond is noticeably cleaner and able to operate at higher volume without distortion.
Thanks so much for the options. With the choices I put out if I’m going to need to up the money in the amp selection I may need to downgrade in the speaker selection. I was hoping to fit a good choice of speakers and worst case be in with an amp that I can upgrade later if I choose to. Since the speakers are going to be the bigger issue with fitment. Would suck to chop up the fairing for a speaker I don’t plan on keeping vs being out $118 for that soundstream amp and at least get by in the meantime. It’s not necessarily a budget but I don’t really wanna be into this with $500 speakers and a $500 amp, maybe more so $500ish total.
With that said do you think the hertz esk 165L.5 with say the JL HX280/4 (or MX?) or preferably the soundstream pn4.520D would be a decent choice.
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