A client from King George, Virginia, came to Extreme Audio in search of a 2016 Harley-Davidson Street Glide speaker upgrade solution. We spent some time talking with the client about what he liked about the factory audio system and his goals and expectations. The client wanted to upgrade the speakers in hopes of making the system louder and sounding better. Based on his feedback, we suggested that upgrading the speakers, adding an amplifier and reprogramming the factory radio would meet his expectations.
Radio Flash for Equalization Curve Removal
The factory radio in 2014 and newer Harley-Davidson cruisers has a strange equalization curve as part of the Boom! Audio system. There is a massive bump in the bass response around 80 Hz, another bump at 450 Hz that makes everything sound unnatural, and a dip at 4 kHz that removes the sizzle and detail from the listener’s music. Frankly, the factory audio systems just don’t sound very good.
To help resolve the issue, we have invested in a Technoresearch programmer to change the programming on these radios. Our Technoresearch Vehicle Communication Module plugs into the diagnostic port on your bike and connects to our computer. We can tell the radio to use a different, much flatter equalization curve. The new curve is flat within a 5dB window from 6.3 kHz and down.
What do all these specifications mean to you? Bass, midrange and high frequencies will be reproduced with equal volume, making your music sound natural and realistic, instead of hollow and bloated. The flashing process is quick and easy, and doesn’t cause any error codes with the system.
Arc Audio Street Glide Speaker Upgrade
We removed the factory speakers and installed a set of Arc Audio Moto602 coaxial replacement drivers. These 6.5-inch speakers are designed specifically for motorcycle applications and include weather- and UV-resistant materials. Unlike many speakers that are supposedly intended for outdoor use, the Moto602 include a secondary seal around the tweeter post to prevent water from being able to get into the magnet and cause corrosion.
The Moto602 speakers are a direct bolt-in replacement for the factory speakers. They feature a 28 mm composite metal film tweeter for excellent high-frequency response. The woofer cone uses a Rohacell expanded foam cone core to offer a fantastic balance of damping and low mass for great performance, even when being pushed hard.
JL Audio Marine Power Amplifier
To be able to enjoy his music at the volume levels required to drown out road and exhaust noise, we installed a JL Audio MX500/4 amplifier on this client’s Harley. We mounted the amp above the factory radio. After soldering all the electrical connections, we wrapped them in Tesa automotive tape. Audio signal connections between the source unit and amplifier are protected with premium vinyl electrical tape so no moisture can infiltrate and cause corrosion. We finished by securing all the wiring with zip ties to ensure the system would be reliable. The MX500/4 is water-resistant, so it can handle any challenge that the rider will encounter.
We configured the MX500/4 amplifier as a two-channel amplifier. In this mode, the amp will produce up to 250 watts per channel. While that is a little more than the speakers can handle, the available extra power ensures the music is clear, detailed and distortion-free at intense volume levels.
We finished the installation using our oscilloscope to set the sensitivity adjustments on the amplifier. Proper configuration ensures that the system will sound great, even when the volume on the factory radio is cranked up.
Another Happy Harley-Davidson Owner
When the client returned to Extreme Audio to check out his new audio system, he climbed on the bike and cranked up the system. Right away, he knew that he had the sound and performance he wanted. Our system design was more involved than the Street Glide speaker upgrade that he had asked for, but the performance now exceeded his expectations in every way.
If you are looking for an audio system upgrade for your Harley-Davidson, drop by our Midlothian or Mechanicsville location, or e-mail us using our online contact FORM. Our team of experts would be more than happy to design a system for you.