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What Are My Options for Motorcycle Audio?


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Learn About All the Ways to Upgrade Your Motorcycle Audio System


Every time you hear impressively clear, blaring music coming from a motorcycle sound system, it’s highly likely that the biker has installed an aftermarket upgrade stereo. Why? Because while many motorcycle manufacturers do offer factory sound systems, upgrades are where you find greater performance and incredible power all at once.


In this article, learn all about your basic original equipment manufacturer (OEM) motorcycle audio models, as well as upgrades that turn your bike into a building-shaking force on the streets of San Diego and US Route 101. Further on, discover how to navigate the entire ecosystem of motorcycle audio systems and motorcycle audio installers that offer aftermarket add-ons beyond what factories provide.


What Factory-Built Motorcycle Audio Systems Have to Offer


Take a classic motorcycle model from Harley-Davidson, the Fat Boy. Despite all the bells and whistles, a 2023 Fat Boy 114 isn’t outfitted with speakers. If the consumer wishes to add on to their bike with Harley-Davidson products, it is important to know that Harley has an exclusive deal with a single stereo speaker manufacturer. Unfortunately, this limits options for consumers. If you want to follow the accessory route with Harley, the consumer is beholden to their manufacturer’s partnerships.


Other well-known motorcycle brands such as Honda do offer motorcycles that include stereo systems on their vehicle, but the consumer should consider two factors. First, a single factory model stereo is available on Honda’s premier motorcycle, the Gold Wing. Some of Honda’s most iconic models - the Fury and the Rebel - are not equipped with motorcycle sound systems. Even advanced models, such as the Rebel 1100T DCT, don’t include audio at all. This leads consumers to consider motorcycle audio installers instead.


The Options Available for Aftermarket Motorcycle Audio Systems


When compared with what the major motorcycle manufacturers have to offer, aftermarket upgrades come in a wide variety. For example, consider a professional motorcycle audio installer. While Honda offers a single stereo model, Harley-Davidson only offers products from their audio partnership. On the other hand, a car audio installation team is willing to carry a wider range of products to provide consumers with options.


Here are two premier brands for motorcycle audio systems and mounts that local motorcycle stereo shops stock regularly:


  • Rockford Fosgate

  • Soschse


Further, motorcycle audio installers can also afford to stock amplifiers, harnesses, mounts, and more from a wide variety of manufacturers. You can even purchase a phone mount (as opposed to installing a full stereo receiver) to turn your smartphone into the main control panel for your speakers.


Additional motorcycle audio options include:


  • Helmet-installed speakers connected to your smartphone:

With helmet speakers, you can take your audio system with you when you park your

bike. The installation is simple, and the unit can be controlled by the phone in your

pocket.


  • Windscreen-mounted speakers:

Imagine a cylindrical speaker mounted right behind your windscreen. This mounting option protects speakers from dust, debris, and wind, playing music directly toward the rider.


  • Handlebar-mounted speakers:

A classic option, these speakers clip securely onto your handlebars.


Professional installation is another benefit to working with a local motorcycle audio shop. These businesses not only sell the systems, but expertly install them in your vehicle. Virtually every aftermarket car audio expert recommends leaving complicated car installs to a professional to mitigate potential equipment issues. The same applies to motorcycle audio. You can often order your audio system and have it installed in the same location without having to worry about a DIY install via video tutorial.


Where to Learn More About Motorcycle Audio Installers and Motorcycle Sound Systems


It is up to the consumer to choose a bike that includes a basic model OEM motorcycle audio system they’re content with or they can buy a bike without a stereo and make a superior aftermarket upgrade.


The following is a checklist that can help a consumer decide on how to approach getting the ideal motorcycle sound system:


  1. Do research on how many bikes your chosen manufacturer outfits with motorcycle audio.

  2. Test drive the bike and see if you like the factory-built system with no further upgrades or optimizations.

  3. If you like a bike with no stereo system - or you want to make upgrades on a bike that comes with an OEM system, visit your local motorcycle audio installers.

  4. See if an aftermarket upgrade motorcycle audio system will work for you. Listen to a system in the store and experience its quality.

  5. Review the additional accessories available to you, including mounting options and amplifiers.

  6. Get your aftermarket motorcycle audio system installed by a professional motorcycle audio installer.


Want to take a deeper dive into your options for stereos and accessories from an aftermarket installation team? Learn more about motorcycle audio, including recommendations and descriptions of systems and accessories.


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