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FLTRX Audio Odyssey….. Pt I

My intention was to do an audio upgrade to my new 2013 Denim Black Roadglide in stages so as to spread the cost over a period of time. Well, that what I intended…. This is my story…
My name is FLTpilot, and I am an audiohaulic….

*** Warning…. I “work” lots of midnight shifts so I have lots of time to tell a boring story! This installment is mostly the backstory… You have been warned***

Along the road to my perfect motorcycle I stumbled onto Mutazu http://www.mutazu.com/products.php?cat_id=119&menu=Harley Davidson Parts&s=prod.php and the ‘reasonably’ priced lower fairings. This led to a plan for audio upgrades on a cost justifiable scale not entirely sanctioned by the crib keeper….

After researching audio on this board and several others I came across 2 posters who impressed my with their systems and knowledge so I wrote some posts and sent some pm’s and broke out the creditcard(s)… H-Donut from roadglide.org and UltraNutZ from HDForums were my main protagonists in my journey. There were many others who provided inspiration/direction/food for thought and I thank everyone for this. I also visited just about every vendors site and read all I could find on each product. The only thing I did not have was friends/acquaintances who had systems I could listen to so I went into this deaf as to what the outcome might be….!
I promised UltraNutz I would do a write-up so here is my first installment.

I decided on Iron Cross Audio’s HDPDPLUS2 iPod Interface http://www.ironcrossaudio.com/ipod-harleydavidsonradio.html for my first install and this was done hastily before my Ky trip (no pix!!) so it will not be part of this write-up except to say I thought a lot about how I wanted each component of the system to operate and where I wanted parts to be placed. The idea was to place the iPod Interface on top of the radio (like the HD interface as the HDPDPLUS2 has the correct mount for this) and run the cable into the left glovebox from inside the fairing where the iPod would be kept for easy access, and an extension cable would run from the glovebox to a mount for an iPhone based GPS planned for the future. Switching between the two involves unplugging the iPod and plugging the extension cable into the end of the HDPDPLUS2’s cable. The final install and plan will be covered in a future installment, but in the meantime the cable was run through the inner fairing tunnel, in front of the gauge cluster, through the glovebox lid. This turned out to not be such a good temporary cable routing as the cable rubbed on the inner fairing where it entered the glovebox and made some history marks on the inner fairing.

My planned system (phase 1) was J&M fairing speakers and lower fairing speakers http://www.jmcorp.com/SeeProducts.asp?PF=45 (I am of the mentality that bigger IS better so I chose J&M, which may or may not have been the best choice. Just bear with me to see why) , Rockford Fosgate (RF) PBR300x2 amp http://www.rockfordfosgate.com/products/selector/motorsport amplifiers/punch®-amplifiers wired in a 4 speaker config in series to show a 4ohm load to the amp, HDPDPLUS2 iPod
Interface, and the stock HD-HK Headunit (STILL not ready to part with it!). I would add another amp and speaker lids to the saddlebags at a future date. Meantime I would wire a 4-gauge power wire into a distribution block under the fairing and leave one leg un-tapped. Using 8-gauge from the block to the amp(s). Of course, there would be a fuse under the left side cover next to the cycles fusebox of the 30 amp variety until I installed the other amp.

My reasons were these… I did not want to spend the higher entry cost of the J&M amp selections. Likewise for Hogtunes and other “pre-built kits”. I do have some talent for mechanics/electrical/stereo installations. I am a jack(***) of all trades and master of none AND I like to “do it yourself!” I considered amps from Arc and Clarion and others but saw H-Donut and UltraNutz’ posts and after being thoroughly exhausted by the possibilities, decided to rely on their opinions and others who had similar setups.
The rate of new packages arriving at my door was about to become adversely proportional to the rate of ‘homework’ I was doing on the various boards so things developed quickly here!

So I ordered the J&M Rokker fairing speaker kit and the Rokker Lower fairing kit. I also ordered the RF 300x2 and sat back to wait. As I waited I saw posts from UltraNutZ about the Soundstream Picasso PN4.520D Nano Amp http://soundstream.com/store/car-audio/amplifiers/picasso-nano/pn4-520d.html and found it on BestBuy on-line for sale through an authorized retailer so I thought, what the heck… I will order that and hook all up, changing my speaker ‘plan’ to using the 4 channel Picasso amp for the fairing and lower fairing speakers and just leave the RF for the future rear channel speakers…. (ahhh, Phase 2 going out the window here!)
But wait, theres more!

As this was coming together I was also getting together the ‘kits’ needed to wire it all up… Speaker wire, power and ground wire, distribution block, dielectric grease, polyfill (recommended by UltraNutZ), crimp connectors, iPod/iPhone 30 pin to mini (new) pin extension cable, etc.

I also decided on the Iron Aces Speed Shop GPS/iPod-phone mount http://www.ironacesspeedshop.com/products/harley-davidson/audio-and-electronics/road-glide-iphone-android-garmin-zumo-gps-mount.cfm and asked my wife for it for my July B-day. Side-note—It is such a handsome piece I have decided to make a clear plastic removable mount rather than cover it up with an ugly and permanent iPhone mount. The number of trips I go on is limited as I can barely get a day off from work and when I do it is for family reasons at this time so I can remove the mount and store it in a glovebox (locks to be installed when RoadGlideGoodies.com sends them)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And the lower fairing Rokker speakers used and the Iron Aces GPS/iPod-phone mount
 

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FLTRX Audio Odyssey - Part II

FLTRX Audio Odyssey – Part II

Well the plot was not yet fully developed but I DID see I could install the lower fairing speakers and and stuff the wires into the fairing along the frame.

I was worried about the Lower Fairing J&M Speaker Pods not fitting the Mutazu fairing but all the holes lined up! The only caveat was the mating surface of the speaker pods to the surface of the Mutazu fairing was not as straight as the OEM lower fairings. This was a Mutazu mold or finish issue and I have documented it elsewhere in my posts. Also, the vent doors were tighter with the J&M speaker pods and rub against the lower fairing bottom arc but I did not see that as a problem. I would have sanded the lower fairing to make a better fit for the aforementioned but I had already painted them.
The J&M instructions were good and the placement of the hole I had to drill for the speaker wire to pass through worked well. The speaker wire runs behind the lower fairing cap, behind the engine crashbar, up the frame and into the wire channel then into the fairing. Zipties tidy up the whole operation and there are quick disconnects (provided) hiding up near the wire channel.
I also took some polyfill and lined the speaker cavities on the recommendation of UltraNutZ and some car audio boards I was learning off of.
 

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Part II - continued

Some more pics of the Lower Fairing and J&M speaker combo.... You can somewhat see the uneven joint between the lower fairing and the speaker pod. To most it is fine and only I (and you now) know it is there. I may fix it in the furute if it starts to bug me....!
 

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Part II - continued

This pic shows the polyfill and the finished lower fairing with speaker pods. Just need to put some juice to 'em! But I would have to wait for almost 3 week!

Stay tuned for Part III... Fairing speaker install and Iron Aces GPS mount...
 

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FLTRX Audio Odyssey - Part III

Now...where was I ??...

Fairing speaker install.. There is a sticky somewhere where it is advised to take the headlights off so re-installation of the fairing is easier.... It is... But watch for the black nipple cover over the top middle screw (if you have one) on the headlight assembly. When re-installing the fairing, screwing all the screws and bolts loosely to hold it on and check fit, I decided to push the headlights back in. Well, I figured the nipple was there to protect the wiring behind from the inward protruding bolt so I left it on. Click went both bottom snap-in holders on the headlight mount...but the top one will not seat all the way because the nipple is slightly larger than the hole in the back of the fairing cavity where the snap clip SHOULD have snapped in! This causes the headlights to point down at a wrong angle and the fairing needs to come back off to get it right. Also, I think that nipple somewhat holds the light assembly as like a second "security blanket" to keep the snap connector from popping out. When I removed the fairing (after the next days ride as there was no time during final assembly) the nipple was stuck in the hole so tight I had to cut it out! So I am nipple-less and the top clip does not seem too secure. But it has not come off yet!?? We shall see.... Just an observation...probably without merit..

So...again the directions from J&M were very good and detailed. The speaker grill/midrange-tweeter sticks on the OEM backing plate from the original grill. You peel off the OEM grill and use the backing plate. The area where the speaker wires come out has a narrow/small channel there for them but seemed a little tight to me so I used a throat cutter and file to make it a tad larger so the wires were still pinched but without the death grip. The rest is pretty self explanatory, you take the J&M grill/tweeter and OEM backing plate and push them through the speaker hole from inside the fairing and bolt them in (there is also a metal nut threaded onto a plastic fairing post you need to loosen a bit and then re-tighten. Then use the J&M adaptor to get to 7 1/4in, put the speaker up to the adaptor and tighten her up! Not TOO tight!! Pay attention to the little wire ID tags for the midrange and tweeter and plug them into the speaker crossover connector that matches the label. You CAN get them mixed up! I plugged the OEM wires into the speakers and tested it... Works....Phew....

I thought the sketch of the outter fairing vibration dampening foam placement was not very specific...see the picture to see what I came up with. It works...

I also received the Iron Aces mount so I removed the speedo/Tach cluster and went to work mounting the mount. It was an easy install. Just be careful (as the Iron Aces instructions warn) when drilling the plastic bezel because a drill bit will grab the plastic as it breaks through the other side and tend to rip the rest of the hole which might damage the plastic. So go slow as you get through to the other side and use light pressure or none at all. Let the bit do the work. Also, when I removed the HD logo plate I wanted to keep it so our local post office was kind enough to donate a piece of the backing that you get when you buy stamps...for the cost of the stamps, of course! I suppose waxed paper would work too... or the backing from labels, stickers, etc. Also (again)... I did not use the cut out templet from the directions as the mount has a metal spacer plate that fits right in the hole vacated by the HD logo. Sets the holes up perfectly for the drill bit!

This was all pretty straight forward... The REAL juicy stuff is about to begin! Stay tuned for Part IV !
 

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Part III - continued

More pix to show what is going on...
 

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Part III - continued

The inner fairing foam and the Iron Aces mount
 

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Part III - continued

And the mounted Iron Aces mount. I like the look of this mount soo much I am going to make a clear plastic "shoe" that will mount on this mount and use a Pro-Clips plate on the iPhone case so I can remove the iPhone when not in use and store it in the glove box. We'll see if it works!

I just realized I am writing this up for both HDForums and Roadglide.org..... I think I will just post a link to the other tipic so I can cut my work in half. If this seems better to you guys let me know and thats what I will do... If you would prefer, I will keep duplicating entries....

Part IV is where things get interesting as I have to make modifications to the amp mounts I got from H-Donut and get into the meat of the wiring and set-up (not to mention my going overboard and throwing in the speaker lids to complete the system!
 

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Looking good. The Kickers you put in the speaker lids are they water proof?
I posted most of the rest of the install over at HDforums but have not got to the bag speaker part since I have been on the road (NOT riding!!:-(
The kicker speakers are not waterproof but I purchased some hydro cloth from another vendor of lids (I'll have to check my notes when I FINALLY get home) and I used black silicon caulk to 'glue' the cut cloth over the speakers. The Hog Tunes lid speaker grills hide my lousy glue job. I have not put them to the rain test but am pretty comfortable they will survive everything but a full
Monsoon.... They were purchased years ago when Circuit City went out of business and sat in their box unused until now so any use I get is bonus. They sound pretty good and full so I will miss them when they go!
 

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