Boom! Audio Stage Kits
There’s nothing like hitting the open road on you Harley Davidson for the long haul. Cross country trips are one of the most rewarding things you can do on your motorcycle. For the touring bikes you get all of the amenities you’d want on those long days including navigation, cruise control, traction control, and one of our favorites, audio to jam your favorite tunes as you ride through the wind. Can you hear the freedom yet?
For the long haul enthusiasts or the light to light hot rod riders Harley Davidson has an audio system to accomplish what you need at any speed. Loud pipes save lives, so you need loud speakers! Harley’s solution for the past few years is the Boom! Audio system. Boom! Audio has tons of different options and configurations from replacement speakers to full blown audio systems to push your Harley Davidson motorcycle’s audio to new levels.
In this article I will highlight everything there is to know about the Boom! Audio options available for your Harley Davidson motorcycle. All of the items in Harley’s Boom! Audio kits are available separately. For the sake of this article we will be talking about the kits as a single item.
If you choose to go a custom route you can buy the pieces individually. Like Harley Davidson perfectly puts it in their accessories catalog, “From a single pair of fairing-mounted speakers and a 300w amp to a full bore 8-speaker, 4-amp, 1200w system, we’ve got you covered.” Visit your local Harley Davidson dealership to learn more and to help you configure your setup. There’s a lot of configurations so let’s dive in and go through it all.
Both kits come with the same 4-channel 300W Boom! Audio amplifier. Harley Davidson offers a fairing mounted amp or a tour pack mounted amp. The tour pack amp is of course used only if you have a tour pack and rear speakers. This amp bypasses and replaces the radio’s internal amp unlike most after market amps. This is done to create a cleaner sound. It is also a marine grade amp to keep your stereo safe in the event of bad weather.
Both Stage I and II Boom! Audio kits discussed below do include this same amp, or you can purchase the amp separately to upgrade the sound on your stock Harley Davidson speakers. If you are adding more than two additional speakers you can add an additional amp to the tour pack of any Electra Glide or Ultra models.
Boom! Audio Stage I Motorcycle Audio System
For a stepped up kit above and beyond what a stock configuration gets you, check out the stage I Boom! Audio kit. The Boom! Audio stage I speakers are upgraded 6.5” speakers with built in 1” tweeters. They include larger woofers for more base and the tweeter built in for a balanced and high quality sound. The kit includes either one or two sets of speakers depending on your Harley Davidson model. The Electra Glides and Road Glide Ultras with rear speaker pods come with all four speakers where as the Road Glides and Street Glides only come with fairing speakers.
In addition to the amp and stock speaker upgrade, you can also add additional speakers to your bike. You can add up to 4 additional speakers for a total of eight if you have an Electra Glide or Ultra with a maximum of six if you don’t have a tour pack! The most common places are the saddlebag lid speakers or, if you have lower fairings, a set of speakers mounted upfront on your lower fairings.
The saddlebag lid speakers are waterproof 5x7s that fit seamlessly on the lid of the your saddlebags. You do have to get color matched lids when you purchase this kit. The fairing lowers are 6.5” waterproof speakers and also require color matched boxes that fit the lower fairings like a glove. An expansion kit specific to the stage I speakers is also needed to be able to run additional sets of speakers. Harley Davidson has done the research for you, all you have to do is configure it to your liking. Boom! Audio speakers also come with a 2 year factory warranty.
For configuration tips or tricks and to figure out exactly what you need to get you jamming up and down the highway visit your local Harley Davidson dealership for advice and installation.
Boom! Audio Stage II Motorcycle Audio System
The Boom! Audio Stage II system will deliver the very best motorcycle audio experience that Harley Davidson directly offers. The Stage II 150w speakers are bi-amplified two channel, 3-way speakers and are designed to increase volume, sound quality, and increase durability. This is to accommodate the fact that each speaker has a separate woofer, midrange, and tweeter element. You also get power from two separate channels. One channel powers the woofer and the other powers both the mid and tweeters. This results in a better base response and a clean mid to high sound. You can jam out even louder with less distortion than other motorcycle audio systems.
These speakers are built with metal grills and are of course weather and shock resistant. You can be sure that you’ll be rocking out for awhile after these are installed on your bike.
Just like the Stage I kit, you can add up to 4 additional speaker depending on the model bike you have. The only difference is you get the stage II speakers instead of the stage I for the best and most crisp sound quality possible. Visibly, you will notice the external tweeter pod on the grill of these speakers unlike the stage I kit. All Boom! Audio speakers come with a 2 year factory warranty.
If you want to add additional speakers the first location is of course the saddlebag lids. The Boom! Audio Stage II Speaker Kit specifically designed for the saddlebags is the way to go. The speakers are “directionally optimized” to point towards the rider to deliver the most sound that way. Similar to the speakers mentioned above, the Stage II saddlebag lid speakers were designed for higher volume, crisper sound, and added durability.
The second location where you can add two additional speakers is in the fairing lowers. The fairing lowers use the same speakers as the fairing speakers but come with a backing plate and molded tray so that installation is seamless and the look is factory. Harley Davidson has developed two kits depending on if you have a twin cooled model or a regular touring model. Keep in mind, you will need fairing lowers to mount these speakers inside of. See your local Harley Davidson dealer for more details on these speakers and on ordering a set of color matched fairing lowers if your bike doesn’t come with them.
For communication with either passengers or other riders in your group look no further. You can now do this wirelessly with Boom! Audio’s bluetooth headset options available for 2014 and later touring models. With a Wireless Headset Interface Module (WHIM for short) you are now able to connect wirelessly to your infotainment system, which then allows you to communicate through the CB radio, turn by turn GPS navigation, and listen to your music.
The Boom!™ Audio 30K Bluetooth® Headset is Harley-Davidson®'s top wireless headset developed to simplify and extend wireless communication. The 30K Headset comes with 2 modules (1 Bluetooth® and 1 Mesh). When paired with the Harley Davidson WHIM module this setup offers an extraordinary consolidated experience. When paired with the WHIM, you can enjoy full stereo sound, use the bike's infotainment screen to configure your headset, and utilize the existing hand controls to navigate through the music, phone, GPS and push-to-talk intercom conversations and features safely. This headset will also enable the use of Apple CarPlay hen equipped with the Boom!™ Box GTS Radio. Without the WHIM, you can control your 30K through available hands-free voice commands or the glove friendly jog dial menu navigation. There is also an available earbud port in the base if you prefer to use earbuds.
The Boom!™ Audio 20S EVO headset is next up on the lineup from Harley Davidson. This headset is a state-of-the-art Bluetooth® 4.1 communication system. You will be able to call hands-free, listen to stereo music or voice instructions of GPS navigation by Bluetooth® wirelessly, and have intercom conversations with a passenger and/or other riders. The Boom! Audio 20S EVO headset features Audio Multitasking technology. Audio Multitasking enables simultaneous intercom conversation while listening to the built-in FM radio or Bluetooth®-sourced music or GPS navigation instructions. Think of Audio Multitasking as seamless integration of incoming and outgoing audio. It eliminates the interruption-based audio functions of many existing Bluetooth® communication devices.
Like the top of the line Boom!™ Audio 30K Bluetooth® Headset, the Boom!™ Audio 10S Bluetooth® Motorcycle Helmet Headset offers an extraordinary consolidated experience. When paired to your bike's Boom!™ Box infotainment system via the Wireless Headset Interface Module (WHIM), you can enjoy full stereo sound, use the bike's infotainment screen to configure your headset, and leverage the existing hand controls to ensure safe and controlled riding while navigating through the music, phone, GPS and push-to-talk intercom conversations and features. This headset will also enable the use of Apple CarPlay hen equipped with the Boom!™ Box GTS Radio. Without the WHIM, you can control your 10S through available hands-free voice commands or the glove friendly navigation menu. The 10S Headset comes with 1 Bluetooth® module. There is an available earbud port in the base if you prefer to use earbuds.
No full face? No problem. The Boom! Audio Expand Half-Helmet Headset, coupled the Boom! Box GTS Radio or with the Harley-Davidson Wireless Interface Module (WHIM) (both sold separately) provides the best hands-free experience. When coupled with the WHIM, you go completely wireless but still maintain long range bluetooth while keeping your music, gps navigation, and hand free available on your motorcycle.
For a charted breakdown of these headsets check out the chart above directly from Harley Davidson. For more application specific questions contact your local Harley Davidson dealership for more information on how to upgrade your motorcycle audio.
5 Steps to Buying a New or Used Motorcycle
1. Getting your motorcycle License aka “Endorsement”
Various states have various licensing requirements for riding a motorcycle on the road. For the state of Louisiana it is not required to have a separate license to operate a motorcycle BUT, a person must receive an endorsement to go along with his/her driver’s license to operate a motorcycle on any public roadway.
There are a couple of methods in obtaining an endorsement.
- The first is to pass two tests, an operations skills test, which is done on a motorcycle in front of an instructor, and a knowledge test.
- The second is if an applicant successfully completes the DMV approved Motorcycle SAO program. This is short of “Safety, Awareness, and Operation Training”.
The first option can be done anywhere a state certified riding academy is present and is the recommended method to receiving a comprehensive education in regards to safely riding and navigating a motorcycle on a public roadway. You are with other riders, whom you can learn from directly, as well as coaches who are typically motorcycle riders themselves.
Obtaining your license is the natural first step and will help you in step 2. Once you have a license you begin to get some riding experience, which will help you to figure out what kind of motorcycle you will eventually buy.
For more information about a riding academy near you contact Steven at Cajun Harley-Davidson at (337)289-3030.
For more general information about obtaining a motorcycle license in Louisiana visit https://www.permit.bike/louisiana-motorcycle-license/.
2. Deciding What Bike is Best for You.
Perhaps you know what and how to buy a motorcycle already and just need to get your endorsement and you’re on your way. If so, you can skip this section.
The flip side of this scenario is you aren’t sure what type and how to buy a motorcycle or even what style of riding you will enjoy the most. There are different bikes for different purposes. For riders just starting out, this decision can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Remember, this is supposed to be fun! Enjoy the process.
Some key factors to think about are engine displacement or size usually expressed in Cubic Centimeters (cc’s) or Cubic Inches, motorcycle weight, motorcycle height, riding position or “style” of bike, and of course your motorcycle budget.
Like most things, starting small is the best advice to give a beginner here. Small bikes are forgiving and easy to manage and manipulate. The riding academy classes mentioned above use 500cc Harley Davidson Street models because they are short, lightweight, have low displacement, and have an upright posture that is relatively unaggressive and easy to ride.
The “style” of bike will usually indicate the ride height and weight and even the engine size and price to an extent. The styles include cruisers, sport bikes, enduro bikes, dual sport, and a few others. What style you want is really up to your preference, your size, and your comfort level/ability. Ask yourself what type of riding appeals to you and research the types of bikes people are using for those purposes. Nothing beats getting out on the road on a motorcycle to really feel it. With an endorsement, most dealers will allow you to test ride various motorcycles so you can dial in your preferences to make the best decision.
Ride height depends on the length of your legs of course and is discretionary to an extent. You don’t want to be on your tippy toes if you can help it, but some people don’t mind this set up as a taller bike usually allows for more aggressive maneuvering. Bikes deemed “sport bikes” tend to have a higher center of gravity and the rider is positioned more aggressively to accommodate harder lean angles. Cruiser bikes tend to be shorter, where the rider sits “in” the motorcycle instead of “on” the motorcycle, allowing for a more comfortable and less aggressive posture. There is no science to this step. It’s all about you. Have fun with it.
One of the least exciting topics in regards to buying a new or used motorcycle is your budget. This will often times indicate the age, brand, and model of the motorcycle.
When you think “motorcycle” you likely think Harley Davidson and if you think Harley Davidson you likely think that the price is high. While that isn’t wrong necessarily, it is relative.
A used Harley Davidson for sale often costs much less than a brand new one. The same dialogue can be had of most make and models. To find a new or used Harley Davidson for sale near you contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer.
After digging in and figuring out what style of riding and therefore bike you decide to pursue it’s time to start shopping. Since we mentioned Harley Davidson already we’ll use that brand as an example. To find a new or used Harley Davidson for sale near you contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer. Visit the dealership that sells that particular motorcycle. Cajun Harley-Davidson services the Lafayette and surrounding areas. You can even get your cajun seasoning next door at Don’s.
With online sources it’s relatively easy today to locate what you are looking for given you aren’t looking for a rarity. Just look up Harley-Davidson for sale and browse around. Facebook, craigslist, bike forums etc all have places where people can post their used Harley Davidson’s for sale. The information age we live in today makes this more convenient than ever. As stated, with an endorsement most dealerships will allow you on a short ride on a bike of your choice to get a feel for it.
Stay fluid in your decision. Often times someone goes to a Harley Davidson dealership to buy a specific bike and for whatever reason they end up riding a few different ones. The result is they end up buying another bike that they end up enjoying way more. Seeing the bike and riding it can impact your decision more than doing an infinite amount of online searches.
Use the knowledge of the sales team at the Harley Davidson dealership to hone in on the right motorcycle for you. Explain the process you are taking to locate your dream bike and allow them to be a part of that process. They’re there to sell bikes, but they have experience with people like you and are there to guide you through this stage of the process. They can help you get approved for a new or used Harley Davidson motorcycle or switch you from a model to another model that you end up enjoying a lot more.
On that note, don’t be pushed into buying a bike you don’t really want. Establish guidelines and remain firm in them. You don’t have to buy the bike the first time to the Harley Davidson dealership. You’re there searching first, then buying once you’ve found what you are looking for.
4. The Purchase
As mentioned earlier, a huge part in such a large purchase is price. It will determine what you can buy realistically, so it is important to be realistic about what you are wanting vs. what you can purchase. If your dream bike is out of reach due to financial constraints your salesman can assist in a lower cost option.
A huge aid in the purchasing process is the advancement of motorcycle financing. Often times dealerships have in house financing that make this part of the transaction seamless and straightforward. Harley Davidson dealerships utilize HDFS to finance a large portion of their motorcycle sales. HDFS stands for Harley Davidson Financial Services and is an in-house source of financing for new or used Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Next, when purchasing a motorcycle it is important to shop insurance carriers for the best rate and coverage you can find. If you want to ride the motorcycle home you must have proof of insurance before the dealership will allow you to leave on it. For more details on motorcycle insurance start with your vehicles insurance carrier and ask if they offer insurance for motorcycles and get a quote.
5. Gear, Storage, and Accessories
For gear it is important to stay safe. Use DOT approved helmets and jackets and always wear long pants or jeans to protect your legs not only from a potential crash but from a hot engine or exhaust pipe. It is legally required in Louisiana to have a helmet AND eyewear.
For securing your motorcycle A little more diligence is required. Bikes are relatively easy to steal compared to vehicles. It is important to keep it out of sight. You can store it preferably in a garage or in the back yard or under a bike cover. They also make wheel or rotor locks and chains and some bikes have fork locks and security.
Remember, have fun, enjoy the process, and stay safe!
This has been a lot of information in a short write up so it is important to always remember that this is supposed to be fun. You may feel overwhelmed at times but just bring yourself back to the fact that this is FUN!!
First, you obtain you MOTORCYCLE ENDORSEMENT from taking a Riding Academy course at a Harley Davidson dealership or taking the state SAO program. We recommend the Riding Academy because it is a peer group setting with trained instructors who are experienced motorcycle riders themselves.
Second, you begin to make DECISIONS as to the riding style that you are drawn to and the style of bike you want to ride. After making a style decision you need to analyze your budget and decide if a new or used motorcycle will be right for you, as well as make and model.
Third, you start SHOPPING! Call on your local Harley Davidson dealership and see what they have in store and schedule a time to go and visit with a sales guy to go over your goals with your motorcycle journey.
Fourth, is when you decide on a bike you make the PURCHASE based on your budget. Harley Davidson dealerships use HDFS to help finance these types of purchases.
Lastly, get the right dot approved GEAR, stay safe, and have fun!