Motorcycle Speaker System

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Posted in WorkshopMotorcycles

Introduction: Motorcycle Speaker System

Why pay over $300 for a sound system for your motocycle? This instructable show you how to build speaker system from a few common parts for about $75!

Step 1: Parts Needed

You will need:
2x Clamps to fit your handle bars (mine were 1 1/4" availiable on line for ~$10 from ebay)
1x Optronics QH-87CD 2 1/2" high performance Halogen driving light kit ($15 at Walmart)
2x 2" mid to full range speakers. Highter the RMS wattage the better.
(Partsexpress Tang Band W2-803SM $32.64)
4x 1" metal washers (Home Depot or Lows ~$2
Small peace of screen door
Wire and switch (can use parts from Halogen kit)
Also you may want
Mini amplifier (Ebay 500w for $18 shipped)
1/8" male phono to stereo rca type cable to plug audio source in to amp.


Step 2: Prepair the Speaker Housing

Open the Halogen lights and remove the light bulb and assembly. Remove the metal bulb support structure with a pair of plyers. Twisting on them with a little force will break them away. Thread the speaker wire in the opening.

Step 3: Prepare Speakers

Using the front cover from the light assemble, trace on the back of the speaker with awl. Use this as a guide so you will know where to cut. Using a rotery cutting tool trim the square speaker to the round shape. Be careful not to cut the speaker itself, just the plastic body. Leave about 3/8" of plastic around the speaker so that it will fit into the light cover.

Step 4: Finish the Speaker

With a 2" square peice of screen from a screen window, cut to fit in the light cover. Use a hot glue gun around the edges to hold the screen in.

Step 5: Assemble the Speaker

While the Hot Glue is still warm, place the speaker inside the light cover. Connect the speaker wire to the speaker. Insert the speaker, screen, and light cover into the light housing.

Step 6: Mount the Speaker

Mount the speakers to the handle bars using the clamps. Use the washers on the top and botton of the clamps to allow the speakers to be positioned. Run your wire under the tank to the location of your amp. The amp may be placed in several locations depending on your bike. You may want to place it in a tank bag, saddle bag, under head light tool bag or if there is room, under the seat. You may also want to get an optional in-line fuse for the amp power.
Connect the amp to your audio source. You can use an mp3 player, AM/FM radio, Cd etc.

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    49 Comments

    Impressive and beatiful. I noticed the speakers are made mostly of plastics and rubbers but are not listed as water proof, do you get much rain where you are at?

    1 reply

    Speakers are not water proof but are still holding up to date. We get rain here but I try not to get the bike wet if possible. No problems when washing either. If there is concern, you can always place ziploc bags over and hold in place with rubber bands.

    i had similar idea instead i used pvc end caps. i might do this on lowrider. since it fits the chrome styling

    I'm having trouble. The speakers have this terrible hissing noise. Then I open them up and it goes away but then it starts again. Do you think the metal is touching the casing? I never soldered before but I got sound so I guess I did it right but the space is tight betwen the leads from the speakers and the casing. Any suggestions?

    2 replies

    This could be from several things. Your soldering could have a cold short. You might not have heated the solder all the way or hot enough. Also you might have swapped the positive and negative sides of the speaker wires. Also you might be shorting out the wires on the light cases since they are metal. You could cover the joints in heat shrink tubing before you solder them or you can apply a liquid electrical tape over them to make sure they are not grounding out. There should be enough room for all this to fit.

    I'm going to desolder and try again. What guage do you recommend?

    Any suggestions of how to make the speakers detachable? I have no where I can find to put the amp so I'll put it in my tank bag. Can I use SAE connectors for the speakers or what about a earphone type jack and plug? I'm considerering that it might rain also. Thanks.

    2 replies

    The problem with making them detachable is that it also makes them easier to steal. Radio shack sells all kinds of connectors that should work. Mouser.com has more. As far as the clamps go, you may be able to use thumb screws and a t-nut? Home depot sells those. With a fine screen cover, water doesn't get in the speakers. The ones I chose are also not made of paper so the can withstand a little water. You could also put a plastic zip lock bag with a rubber band over them if they are going to be in the rain for a long time.

    I just want the wires to be detachable not the speakers, That would definitely invite theft. I found 3.5 ml plugs and jacks that look like they will work. The jacks are mounted so when the wires are diconnected it'll just be the speakers which I'm going to glue on (Blue strength) I'll post pictures if it works. Thanks for the fast reply. Now I have to wait for the mailman. Bummer.

    The mini amps on ebay say the dimesntions are 102X78X31 mm. Is that about 20 inches long? is that for real? I odn't think that would fit under my seat.

    2 replies

    102mm is only about 4 inches long. the measurements you posted convert to 4.02x3.07x1.22 inches. I have no problem fitting that under the seat of my Victory Hammer or Yamaha FZR.

    Other UPDATES:
    My local Walmart has the QH-87CD lights back in stock but raised the price to $20. They are getting harder to find as the move to LED lighting becomes more popular. The LED replacements are not as deep as the QH-87CD and might not fit the speakers.
    I am still riding with mine in place now and it's been aver TWO YEARS!!! They have been in the rain and bright Florida sun. Ride to work almost every day and have no problems with the speakers.

    Thanks for the clarification. I'm definitely going to try and make them. Great ible!

    Hey...really sweet instructable...I am in the process of creating this system...is there anyway you can make a video of how loud the speakers are?

    1 reply

    They are fairly loud when you are directly behind them. I can hear them while riding without a problem and even better with a full face helmet or windshield. A video wouldn't show much because it is dependent on the quality of the mic on the camcorder and the amp used.

    What kind of motorcycle? What type of stereo? You could wire a small head unit and put it in a tank bag or saddle bag with a steering wheel remote to control it. Sony makes a small marine head unit that would fit a small bag. As I said eariler, get a mp3 player with FM and a bike cell phone holder. Attach the cell phone holder to the handlebars and run wire to an amp under the seat.

    ok i found a suitable sound system im going to use a zune that i picked up for $20 it has fm radio and 30 GB of hard drive now i just need help mounting it on my handle bars any ideas

    Search ebay or amazon for a bicycle or motorcycle cell phone or satellite radio holder. It clamps on the handlebars and holds mp3 players just as well. Usually made of black plastic you can spend a little more for chrome. You could also get the black one and paint it chrome.

    ARKON-SM327-LG.jpg

    i bought myself a cb650 finally and after some creative toying with sketchup i came up with this

    bike cluster 2.jpg

    Well I don't have one yet but I'm looking at a 1982 Yamaha Maxim XJ550 that they are asking $600 usd