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Discussion Starter #1
so I have an idea for putting some tunes on the bike. here's my thought... get an amp (not sure where to mount it yet), and hook it up to a 5 inch speaker (obviously marine grade). where would the speaker go you ask? I want to put it where the speedometer is. the issue now is finding a speedo I like to mount on the bar, figuring out all the wires to hook up the speedo/indicators. I also need to find an amp/speaker combination that isn't going to break the bank, but will be loud as hell (that's why im thinking going to a 5" may work). right now im running shark (junk) 650 watt system with 2 3" speakers (also junk). I can hear it pretty well going down the road, but it distorts. any opinions/advice is welcome.
 

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The lion's share of the effort and expense in that modification is going to be fabricating some method to remount all your indicators. Seems to me like the very best possible outcome will be a poorly performing speaker that only plays one side.

You can't get stereo through a single driver without buying a dual-voice coil speaker, and there are very few available in that size. You're still going to be disappointed though, because of the short cone excursion. The distortion you're hearing is from the bass, and a 5" in-tank speaker isn't going to have any bass either.

I see only two real possibilities that will give decent performance without spending a ton of money on a new fairing. The simplest would be some marine-grade enclosed speakers. They come in rectangle boxes around 6x8 and have threaded mounts. You could fabricate a bracket to mount them on your highway bars, or perhaps mount the bracket directly to the top of some hard bags if you have any.

Also, you get what you pay for. $20 Pyle speakers will sound like $20 speakers. These Kicker enclosures are pretty nice. Your Shark amp would still sound terrible paired with those speakers. You'd need something better like the Soundstream Nano. They're affordable and perform well.

Actually, that's pretty much the only method that's truly affordable. The next thing that came to mind was modifying one of those DMY trunks. Mine has 2-4" marine speakers mounted in it. If no one was sitting behind me I could also mount a front-firing 6.5" or 8" woofer in there, and then separate sub-enclosures for the small speakers to reduce distortion. That would require a pretty powerful amp though.

Bottom line, if you want big sound you're going to have to put some money into it. I do think the external enclosures with amp would work pretty good, but you're still going to have on the order of $300 into that when you're done.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
im not opposed to spending $300 or more... just not $1000 etc. im putting everything together to chop the bike up eventually. im not a big fan of going piece by piece, so I want to have everything in order before I start. don't want to have a "if I only knew" moment... as I so often have had lol.

as far as the stereo vs mono sound, if you bridge the wires, you'll still get all the sound out of one speaker.

the indicators shouldn't be much of a problem, as one of the aftermarket speedos im looking at has all the indicators in it (granted, its about $400 lol).

the whole point of this mod is to have a "hidden" stereo (I know, the speaker will be seen, but the grille will hide it some). by the way, the amp I plan to hide in the stock air cleaner enclosure (I gutted it when I put the pods on)
 

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You're planning on bridging both channels to one set of speaker connections? Have you ever wired both channels of your amplifier directly to one another? That's what you'll be doing. I hope you have spare fuses.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First off, if I wanted to run ear buds, I wouldn't be doing this project. Secondly, about bridging the channels on the amp... Have you never seen a 2 channel amp with a single subwoofer? Same exact theory. Trust me, it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not trying to sound rude or anything :). Remember, this is going to be a custom bike by the time I'm done
 

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Drfaser, your plan is destined to produce more audio junk. Poor enclosure, insufficient speaker size, no stereo sound and very questionable execution, especially the wiring proposed all will combine to produce inferior results at best.

I suggest you bench test your setup before you disassemble your bike.

You said any opinions or advice are welcome. I expect mine to be as welcome as those above.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bench test = VERY good idea
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also, any other suggestions (excluding ear buds etc) are also welcome. Keep in mind I want them "hidden" as much as possible. I will not have saddle bags or a windshield when I'm done.
 

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Would the speedometer off a 1300 work on your 1100 would get it up between the bars.
I sure love the look on my 1300.
Was one of the selling point for the bike for me, gets the speedo off the tank.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not a big fan of that one. I'd like to stick to something with a needle, but I REALLY like this one http://www.jpcycles.com/product/560-342

If nothing else, maybe a cheap aftermarket and make an indicator light block. I won't put a non electric one on though. I don't want any cables going to the front wheel (after I rake it out, I won't even have front brakes). I'm having a hard time finding new chrome wheels, so I may have to stick with the spoke wheel in the back (I don't think you can convert from shaft to belt/chain drive).

However, I'm digressing too much from the initial topic now lol
 

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which do you want more? something that produces better quality and clearer sound, or just the loudest thing you can fit? you'll probably have to make a compromise somewhere, especially if you're watching the dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The more I think about it, the less money is a deciding factor. I want the loudest and clearest thing I can hide is what it boils down to
 

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then, not to force an issue, why be adverse to the idea of using earbuds? i've heard a lot of bike speakers and have never heard anything that i thought sounded that good while on the road, or wasn't just noise at highway speeds. they don't drown out the wind noise. the only time i think they sound decent is at very low speeds. maybe i just haven't heard any good ones. but some people get bike speakers because they want everyone around them to hear it. in which case, yeah earbuds wouldn't do the job.

but if you really want the best and loudest, you're probably looking at getting a fairing, with at least a 6" on each side, and at least 6x9's on each side in the rear in hardbags, or 8" woofers. you probably aren't going to be satisfied at all with just a single speaker in the front. as far as which brand, don't get cheap. the more expensive ones use rubber surrounds instead of foam so they don't distort as much at higher volumes. but there are dozens of decent brands out there to choose from that are good. infinity, rockford fosgate, jl audio, diamond audio, polk, infinity, pioneer, kicker, etc. in the case of speakers, the more you pay is generally the better sounding they will be. and i don't know about waterproofing, but i don't really see guys putting marine speakers on their rides. there are probably ways to waterproof ordinary speakers. maybe check out this site as a kicking off point:

http://www.crutchfield.com/g_307350/Motorcycle-Audio-More.html?tp=139
 

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Discussion Starter #16
1. I don't like ear buds. They hurt my ears after about 15 minutes, and when I where a helmet, they tend to fall out a lot.

2. Custom/chopped bikes look HORRIBLE with fairings (though I DID think about that option)

3. I won't have hard bags when I'm done either (also thought about that option)

I don't HAVE to put a speaker in the speedo location, I just can't think of any other place to hide speakers at. I even thought about a bag that I could strap to the back seat (getting a day tripper or something of the sort) with a stereo that would make it look like I'm traveling with an overnight bag, or even build up the back seat area into speakers and have a solo seat. I can't picture that looking good at all lol
 

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I wonder if you could use a surface transducer to turn something you already have on your bike into a speaker.

Something like this


You place it on a solid surface and it turns it into a speaker through vibrations. Maybe something like this can be used??? I don't know just trying to think outside of the box...no pun intended.


Stick it a couple to the inside of a windshield???

They aren't expensive so it's worth a shot I guess. Here is another one

This one is a little better looking and can handle 80 watts
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm gonna have to study on that one. Never even HEARD of them before, but that's neat as hell! Granted, I won't have a windshield when I'm done, but maybe stick it to something else? You know anything about price, loudness, or waterproofing? Or where to pick them up for that matter?
 

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That top one is about 12 bucks but it won't be very loud. The one in the bottom link is 20 bucks and water proof and it handles more power. I doubt they have been tested with so much possible wind noise. But they are so cheap that I am tempted to buy a couple and see what they sound like on a windscreen. Could be the next big thing lol.

Apparently McClaren experimented with using them instead of windshield wipers.
 

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The OP is trying to combine two diametrically opposed ideas.....a custom minimalist bike with a kicka$$ sound system. There will be compromises dependent upon the priority goal.

Is the goal a bike that is ridden with a usable sound system or is this a show bike?

I don't see how the goals are compatible. It may just be me.
 
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