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Biketronics Inc

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  • Biketronics Inc

    I was gonna wait until I was done installing this system to do a write up but....
    A little background.
    My wife is a little hard of hearing and can't hear the music when riding on the back of her 09 FLHTC.
    We take that bike when riding 2 up because it's way more comfy than my shovel and I drive because she doesn't want to 2 up.
    She wears hearing aids that are bluetooth and hook up to a lot of stuff at work and around the home like the TV, phone, etc.
    This allows her to adjust the vol of that stuff so that she can hear it without blasting me out.
    So..... I decided to find a stereo system that could hook to her bluetooth hearing aids.
    Guess what? Nobody makes one. The stereo companies that replied said that would be a good thing to look at in the future.......
    I probably won't get paid for my idea :-)
    So, Being a "Guy". I'm pretty sure this issue can be cured with more speakers and more power. and since it's her bike, I have an almost unlimited budget.
    I find this one online that has some good reviews and better speakers in the pods than hogtunes, (the only other aftermarket pods I can find) The reviews on the Hogtune pods were pretty bad.
    And it's sporting a class D power amp. So, My only previous experience with class D amps is from running sound for one of my best friends sons band. the bass player had this little bitty amp that he said was 600 rms and was about the size of a direct box, and weighed about as much as a pack of smokes. It sounded awesome!
    So I ordered this system thinking I could upgrade the radio at a later date when bluetooth gets enabled for hearing aids. And I don't get paid any thing for my idea. :-)
    First impressions are really good. A rep calls me up to verify my address. My address is weird. She's really nice and it gets figured out. (If has my name, and my zip code, I'll get it)
    I get the stuff and stick in in the garage and go traveling for a few weeks.
    when I get home I install the system. I can't get the amp to work.
    I call them and get the main man on the phone, he walks me through everything he can think of and tells me to send it back. So I do.
    On my dime.
    I get the new amp a week or so later and plug it in...... And it dosen't work either.
    I'm an electrician.
    He said he would personally test this amp before it went out.
    I Believe him.
    It don't work.
    What didn't get changed was the wiring harness for the 12 v dc from the battery to the amp. the positive goes from the battery term to the amp connector with an inline fuse. Less than 1 ohm on that one. Battery neg to connector, 187 ohms. The connector was wired to the recommended location "Ground screw on left side of triple tree." Checked from battery to triple tree screw. Less than 1. Removed connector that came with amp. 187 ohms from fork connector to amp connector. snipped off fork, replaced with top quality ring connector. less than 1 ohm. Amp works.
    187 ohms is not a great deal of resistance. but it looks like it is enough to make a class d amp to not work at all.
    I sent the defective fork back with the original amp. I have no idea why it had so much impedance. It looked like a good quality piece.
    So now the amp works, and one of the pods only works on the high side. I send it back. (On my dime) and the warrentee period has expired.
    Anyhoo.. The pod is in the mail.... it cost me 20 bucks to get it back even tho it ran for less than 120 secs.
    I hope I can post that this was the best thing I ever did. :-)

    Official HERD Member #00187

  • #2
    morning Keith, sounds like a PITA to me. Frank has some of the others have added amps and speakers so maybe they will chime in with some suggestions
    1986 FXR 2015 Road Glide

    Member #00014


    • #3
      well now that's a miserable experience. I did my stereo last year and had the help of a guy at 77 Customs in the Pittsburg area. He's busy but smart.

      The information that came with my Arc Moto class D amp stated to ground it to the battery as the motorcycle frame is generally not conducive for grounding due to it's limited size. The biggest change in sound will come from your front speakers. I'm running 150 watts to 4 speakers and the two in my bag lids disappear for me at 30 mph, my wife says she can still hear them but most of my sound comes out of the front speakers.

      Biketronics gets a lot of good reviews and I'm not bashing their stuff but I'm running 6 1/2" Focal front speakers and have never turned my stereo above halfway because it's too loud for me at that point.
      Joe the One Antlered Moose
      Herd member number 00098
      Combat Vets Motorcycle Association # 19938


      • #4
        The only challenge that I got was finding speakers with the right frequency specs similar to an old school home speakers with a large woofer. I wanted and looked for ever for 20Hz (very low bass tones) through 20Khz (highest treble). And I FINALLY did find them for a price. I had to get an adaptor to increase the size to 6.5" and that would fit inside the fairing. The magnet alone was HUGE but I made them work.

        The AMP was small and it carried a PUNCH. No pun intended since the name of the AMP was also called "punch". 300 watt rating (150 front and 150 rear). The sound was impressively LOUD, crisp/clear and thumping instead of listening to a loud distorted radio with a cracker jack sound. I had monster cables running to ALL four speakers and applied a sound shield inside the fairing.

        I didn't have any problems with the installation and grounded the unit onto the frame of the bike. The only problem that I had was finding the replacement speakers after 2 years of rain and wear. They discontinued them and I can't find anything with the same frequency response. So....MY SOLUTION.....DISCONNECT everything and live off the headset. They are built into the half helmet and are always on. I even removed the wires that attach to the speakers because...I don't use them anymore.

        For you wife, why doesn't she just use her cell phone for music since she has a Bluetooth earpiece? That way she can listen to her soprano while you listen to some good old country.
        2010 FLHX - Street Glide
        HERD MEMBER #00003


        • #5
          I've only ever bought one thing from Biketronics, and that was the converter box for my Sony deck, so I could retain the use of my factory hand controls. After about two months, I developed an intermittent problem (sometimes the volume wouldn't increase/decrease), so I called and spoke to a nice lady, named Donna. She told me it had a lifetime warranty so it wouldn't be an issue to send it back. But she also suggested that before I do that, I pull off the outer fairing, unplug the converter, and plug it back in. Can't remember exactly why she said that solved most issues, but it sure did. That was over three and-a-half years ago, and I haven't had any issues at all with the converter since then.

          I installed that component back when I did my whole system. Previously, I had the factory deck and some Hogtunes stuff. Yep. It's junk.
          So I swapped that stuff out and installed the J&M Rokker system, with the factory deck. Which was one of their newest systems at the time. Yep. It's junk too.
          So I got tired of this repetitive routine and said screw it, I'm going rogue. Did a ton of research, read up on some custom forums, bugged and pestered a couple different custom bike shops, and ordered a bunch of stuff. A BUNCH. A set of Cycle Sounds speaker lids, a JL 600w amp, a set of Hertz 6.5" speakers and adapters, a set of Hertz 6x9 speakers, the Biketronics converter, and a Sony deck. I chose this particular deck because it had a tray (instead of a CD tray) that you can lay your phone or ipod in, with a cable-connector. I had to fab a set of custom brackets to mate the amp to the top of the deck, and lots of other install work, to get everything into the fairing nice and neat. Sent the lids to my painter, got them back and installed and made up some weatherpak connectors for them, so I could remove the bags for washing and maintenance.

          Everything has worked fine with no issues. Well, just one, but it was no fault of the custom work... I upgraded the Sony deck last year when I swapped out my gauge faces and added LEDs to them, and get my inner fairing repainted. So while I had it all torn apart, I figured it was a good time to upgrade the deck to a Bluetooth unit. Well, as luck would have it, I had procrastinated installing it for about a year, and that deck only worked for about a week. And since I had bought it just over a year earlier, of course it was out of warranty. Soooo... had to buy a new deck, again.

          Anyways, I haven't had any other issues with the entire system, at all. And I don't cut it any slack either. Pretty much everywhere I go, that system is cranking. and I have to admit, it sounds great. In hindsight, the whole project was pretty easy, just time consuming the first time around, because there's just a lot to do to make a clean installation. for anyone that wants good sound, I'd highly recommend swapping out the factory deck and spending some coin on good speakers and a quality amp. I have no regrets,
          Official HERD Member #00231

          "Blue skies hanging over my head, I got five hundred miles to ride" - RVZ


          • #6
            Ok. So... I got the right rear pod back today. It works perfectly and that chapter is closed. But , when I was testing that the right front fairing speaker was cracking like input garbage.
            So... I went to a BBQ. Got drunk. Came home and showed it to the wife. It worked perfectly. Not a snap, crackle or pop.
            Gonna road test this weekend a bit.
            Official HERD Member #00187


            • #7
              Originally posted by TheBoss View Post
              For you wife, why doesn't she just use her cell phone for music since she has a Bluetooth earpiece? That way she can listen to her soprano while you listen to some good old country.
              She does that, listens to books when she can't hear the stereo. And she's an Old 97's fan.

              Official HERD Member #00187


              • #8
                Originally posted by Spiny Norman View Post
                Ok. So... I got the right rear pod back today. It works perfectly and that chapter is closed. But , when I was testing that the right front fairing speaker was cracking like input garbage.
                So... I went to a BBQ. Got drunk. Came home and showed it to the wife. It worked perfectly. Not a snap, crackle or pop.
                Gonna road test this weekend a bit.
                Well....Oh wait! It's not the weekend yet.

                2010 FLHX - Street Glide
                HERD MEMBER #00003


                • #9
                  Tried it again after work. Sounds great! Buttoned everything up and it's ready to ride.But..... I don't have much faith in problems that fix themselves. :-(
                  But here are my garage observations:
                  The sound is "Not Bad considering" I bought the 7.1" speakers all around because I'm a bass ho. (My home system has 18" subs )
                  The rear pods seem to put out better bass than the fairing. even tho they are not ported and the boxes are too small to get much even if they were.
                  I guess the closed back must be helping there.
                  All the speaker put out nice crisp mids and highs.
                  I'm using the stock radio as the imput device, usually with a mp3 player plugged in to the aux jack because there are no radio stations around here. It has never played cd's well, and I gave up after a couple discs. it may, or may not be eq'd to limit bass. It probably is, or at least should have been due to the limitations of the stock speakers.
                  I plan on upgrading the radio, if and when someone makes one that suits my needs.
                  Official HERD Member #00187


                  • #10
                    So... Weather finally cleared up enuff to ride last weekend. This amp and speaker package sounds really good. Haven't turned it up past 50% for more than a few secs at a time. It can get VERY LOUD! The amp is advertised to be 720 watts rms at 4 ohms into 4- 4ohm speakers. I have neither the means or desire to measure this. :-)
                    So... Drivers position: Around town (35 mph) I can hear all 4 speakers very well. The rear speakers have better bass and for that reason sound better to me.
                    Out on the highway at 65-80 mph: I can only hear the front (Faring) speakers unless I turn my head. I do not have front /rear fader control because my bike didn't come with rear speakers. From what I've read on the interwebz I could get my radio "Flashed" to get this feature. I may, or may not get this done in the future. I'll probably just wait for a better aftermarket radio that suits my needs.
                    The wife's "Good" hearing aids were in the shop getting upgrades so she was using her old "dumb" hearing aids. She could hear the front speakers just fine at highway speeds, but could only feel the rear speakers. She said she liked it. :-)
                    If I ever get a little time to kill I might take the fairing apart and shape some insulation around the front speakers. I think some of the problem there could be phase cancellation from sharing the same box in an unorthodox form. And funneling 7 inch speakers to a 4 inch hole is probably not the best way to get great sound. :-)
                    Official HERD Member #00187