A client came to Audio Designs & Custom Graphics for a serious Harley Davidson audio upgrade. His 2007 Ultra Classic needed a complete makeover. He had heard good things about our custom fabrication work and scheduled a time for an audio consultation. From our first conversation with him, we knew he wanted something special. On the day of our meeting, our team spent significant time on walking around the motorcycle and listening as he explained his goals to us. We asked him several questions so we could confirm we were on the same page. Once our meeting was finished, we worked up a proposal for him that he loved and set an installation appointment.
The design and fabrication team here at Audio Designs & Custom Graphics loves a good challenge, and this one was surely going to test all of our abilities. Our client wanted an audio system that would give him concert-level output while driving up the road, low-end bass performance and an iPad Air2 flushed in the fairing. He also wanted fabrication work that would make his bike stand out from the competition, as he was leaving for Sturgis when the build was completed.
Rebuilt Fairing Becomes A Highlight Of This Harley Davidson Audio Upgrade
We knew right from the start that the fairing would have to be rebuilt. We chose to leave the outer fairing intact and rebuild the inner fairing that faced the rider. We started by laying out all of the equipment that had to go into the fairing and then looked at the available space we had to work with. Once we our drawings were complete, we installed a Pioneer AVIC8000NEX in-dash navigation radio in the bottom center of the fairing. It became the hub for the whole audio system. It gives the client turn-by-turn navigation that does not need Internet access to work, so it will still work perfectly when driving on those great country roads. It also gives him Bluetooth for music streaming, hands-free calling, and control over USB devices for musical content and for charging. SiriusXM satellite radio was integrated into the Pioneer unit to give him hours of uninterrupted content.
The centerpiece of the fairing was going to be the Apple Ipad Air2, so we place it high up in the fairing where it is easy for the rider to see and operate. Our team made a custom mount that holds it securely in place while allowing for quick removal whenever needed. It is connected by a lightning cable to the Pioneer unit, so it stays charged and allows seamless communication between the two devices.
We placed six Dakota digital gauges strategically around the outside of the Pioneer and Apple units in locations that were easily visible, yet not blocked by the custom handlebars when driving up the road.
Hertz Hi-Energy Speakers, Loud And Clear Enough To Overcome The Road Noise
Since the client wanted great sound coupled with incredible output, we chose Hertz speakers for the fairing, using two different models from their Hi-Energy line. We used the HCX165 6.5” coax in the inner location and the HCX130 5.25” coax in the outer location. Putting the smaller speaker in the outer spot allows the fairing to keep its sleek, winglike look. The Hi-Energy line of speakers has some of the greatest output we have ever heard, coupled with accuracy that leaves you thinking you are in a studio.
Rear Bags Offer Additional Space For Speakers And Equipment
Once we had the front fairing completed, we set our sights on the rear bags. If the challenge was big on the fairing, it was going to get even more intense in the rear of the bike. You see, the client didn’t want speakers flushed into the bag lids because he had his eyes set on custom graphics. If you remember his goals in the build, he also wanted bass. And did we mention that the bike had an air-ride suspension, so there an air tank was already installed in one of the bags? After considerable design time, we decided that the left bag was going to hold the amplifier and rear speakers, and the right bag was going to hold the subwoofer and air tank.
Hertz Amplifier And Speakers In Left Bag
In the left rear bag, we began by drilling what seemed like a million holes in the side of the bag that faced the rear wheel. We made a pattern on our in-house CNC machine to facilitate the hole pattern perfectly. We mounted a pair of Hertz Hi-Energy HCX690, 6×9” triaxial speakers on custom baffles, giving the bike the same quality of sound that would now come from the front fairing. Above the speakers, we fabricated a custom amp rack to hold a Hertz HDP5 amplifier. We really love the HDP line of amplifiers from Hertz. They combine great power in a small footprint and are very efficient, meaning they make life easier on the Harley’s small charging system. In the configuration on this bike, the amplifier is sending 200 watts of power to the front speakers, 140 watts to the rear speakers and 550 watts to the subwoofer. In simple terms, this thing jams!
Audiomobile Subwoofer In Right Bag
In the right bag, we made a custom baffle for an Audiomobile GTS2110 10” subwoofer. Just like we did on the left bag, we used our CNC machine to make a template to drill the perfect amount of holes in the side of the bag facing the wheel. This allowed us to keep the outside of both bags looking stock and gave us a perfect spot for the wild graphics. The right bag also held the air tank and was covered in the same material as our custom baffles, giving it a clean, classy look.
Modified Touring Pack And Gas Tank
We re-engineered the rear touring pack to mount it on a slider, and moved out the bags to accommodate the pack. We also installed a new gas tank to give the bike a more aggressive look.
To finish off the look, we machined custom pieces for the bike and hydro-dipped them in-house with a “Day of the Dead” pattern. That pattern even extends to the mount behind the iPad, so when it is removed, the bike looks just as good as when it is installed.
Project Deadline And Goals Met
When the client came to pick up the bike, he was speechless. He loved the fit and finish, and the attention to detail. Our team spent more than 160 hours of blood, sweat, tears and overtime on this project, so he could be ready to leave in time for Sturgis. But to the team at Audio Designs & Custom Graphics, the magic happens when you turn the key and all of the electronics fire up. Now this Harley will surely stand out from the crowd, and everyone will know he is coming from blocks away. The sound is crystal-clear, with stunning clarity from the guitars and vocals, while the low end now has the authority that only a subwoofer can provide.
Check out our video on the finished bike:
When you are ready to upgrade the audio system on your motorcycle, whether you are looking for some basic upgrades or an over-the-top installation that will wow your friends, we are here to help. We invite you to stop by our state-of-the-art facility in Jacksonville, Florida, and let us show you why we have been voted one of the Top 12 Retailers in the Nation by Mobile Electronics magazine.
You can also contact us here for more information about any of our products and services.