Radios on a motorcycle are not something unheard of. It might come as a surprise, but radios were always present on motorcycles in Italy and some other countries.
The trend was introduced in 1921 by Harley Davidson when they launched their tourist motorcycles and very fondly advertised it.
After WW2, radios were easily available for the middle class separately as well before that. They were always provided fitted in motorcycles.
So if you are wondering, do motorcycles have radios? Not all motorcycles have this luxury, but the Touring bikes have radios installed in them. After 1921 it was a very innovative idea to have a radio on your motorcycle travels and forever be updated.
The journey from 1921, 1930, 1950, 1960, and 1970 we stand here in the present day of 2022, where radio has become a much older technology and much improved and more customized technology has taken over.
The Radio features in motorcycles come in different varieties. The manufacturer also has an option to install a radio. It is the style and choice of the rider.
Some like the sound of the hustling winds and the engine, while others enjoy music. But to have a radio installed knows you will always have a quick update on the weather.
Are There Specific Types Of Motorcycles That Have Radios?
Radios can indeed be installed in motorcycles, but very few models come with already installed radios. The Harley Davidson and Honda have touring bikes launched with radios fitted to them.
The most wanted motorcycles that have radios installed are:
- Honda NM4.
- Yamaha V Star 1300 Tourer.
- Suzuki Hayabusa.
- Yamaha FJR1300.
- Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Voyager ABS.
Over the years, radio has been taken over and even upgraded with Bluetooth headsets, earplugs, and even iPods. But even today, it is mandatory in Italy to have radios installed on motorcycles.
Types Of Radios Available For Motorcycles
When radios were first introduced, they had no headsets or customized technology. There were only one or two channels and the choice of adjusting the volume.
Over the years, for the convenience of the riders, radios were upgraded according. Today, we have plenty of options to choose from.
1. Helmet Speakers
For the ease of the rider, now manufacturers have upgraded the speakers for the radio transmission or even the customized playlist to be heard directly in the helmet.
These speakers are either Bluetooth supported or have an aux cable plugged in. It is like having a personal bubble of music.
The good thing about this helmet speaker is that it does not drown the surrounding. You can hear what is happening around you while you ride and still be focused on the road.
2. Radio Speakers
Have you ever heard a beat from far away, and you can feel the bass vibrate in your air? That is the gift of radio speakers. Many touring bikes have upgraded speaker systems and radios fitted like they are in cars and trucks.
These motorcycles also have ports for CDs and iPods. But the issue comes when they have to use higher volume for their music and even radio transmission because the hustling of wind and traffic can drown the sounds.
Motorcycles that have intercoms as a radios feature can communicate with each other and even with the passenger.
It comes as a wired or Bluetooth set, which has always been a popular way of communicating and makes it easier for the rider to focus on the road while communicating with other riders.
It is usually used in emergencies or for safety concerns.
4. Two-Way Radio
Another interesting invention similar to the intercom is the Two-way radio. It helps keep a safety dib on fellow riders. It has a Bluetooth-connected handset, which can be used at all times for radio transmission as well.
It also has a Bluetooth connection and a helmet speaker for further convenience. It can connect with other riders in over a radius of 10-15 km.
Uses Of Motorcycle Radio
It might seem like an unnecessary luxury, but a radio installed on a motorcycle is very useful.
Here are some reasons why many riders prefer to have a radio installed on their bike:
- Ease of communication in case of emergency. Stopping and using a smartphone is not a reliable communication technique.
- Music can be heard on long routes as a tactic to make time move faster.
- Having a radio set on the motorcycle is a trend and has become a fashion statement.
- It looks quite attractive and high-tech.
- The installed radio on a motorcycle is a trademark of quality, and it is, for a fact, a well-known company.
- Riders can use Bluetooth and even play their personal music list.
- Riders are updated with the weather beforehand and can easily inform others about it.
- Many radio sets have GPS installed as well. This depends on the company and the model of the motorcycle.
It always comes down to the personal preference of the rider, some might contradict the points above, but it does not apply to everyone.
How To Install A Radio Set On A Motorcycle
If you have a simple bike that has no music or radio features, do not worry about it. This is a time for a good DIY project for you. The installation process is not tricky but needs to be done with finesse.
- Firstly get the radio you want to. Once you have the type of radio, make sure what feature needs to be highlighted. I would suggest Bluetooth.
- Locate the area where you want to fit your radio, do not damage the motorcycle, and use bolts and holders for the securing of the radio.
- Now wire the radio properly with speakers. Make use to secure all the wiring and not leave any wire loose.
- But a helmet speaker and connect it with your radio. This will take time the set up.
- Now test your radio.
The installation of a radio is not a tough task but needs correct placement and good quality parts for securing the radio set in its place.
How To Maintain A Motorcycle Radio
Even though the radio is dustproof, the radio still needs to be maintained. Such as every part of the motor vehicle needs to be maintained from time to time, similarly does the radio.
Here are a few points to add to your maintenance checklist:
- Teak all the wires of the radio a little lightly for better connections.
- Check what batteries are being used in the radio. Usually, it is the AA or the AAA. You should always have a few sets extra for regular changing.
- Even though the radio is dustproof, it is better to open and clean the inner of the speakers for better sound.
- Play music or radio transmission on a medium volume because high volume can tear the speaker fabric making the voice crash.
It is a smile task that will only add more life and quality to the sound system and the radio transmission.
Companies such as Harley Davidson and Honda have maintenance schedules that service the radio sets as well.
But if you have installed a radio set on your own, then it will require dustproof and waterproof services regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Which Motorcycles Have Stereos?
Not the ordinary or low-quality motorcycles, but posh and reputable companies have options for installing radios.
Usually, the touring bikes have radios already installed. The most profound companies that have radios installed in the motorcycles are Harley Davidson and Honda, such as the:
- Harley Davidson Street Glide
- Honda Goldwing
Q2. Do Motorcycles Have Bluetooth Radios?
Not all models and bikes, but upgraded and premium quality motorcycles have the option of Bluetooth connections for radio transmission and even other music playing options. Bluetooth connections are either by helmet speakers or wireless earbuds.
Q3. Do Dirt Bikes Have Radios?
Yes, dirt bikes have installed radios which are usually intercoms and connected to helmet speakers. In modern models, there are ports for USBs and even iPods that can be used as a personal music list.
Motorcycles were an amazing innovation for the 19th century when physical excursion was at its peak, minimizing the loss of energy and even time.
Motorcycles have been a better and more practical mode of transport. Similarly, the installation of a radio on a motorcycle was another popular innovation that has still being maintained.
Over the years, with high-tech options, radios have many alternatives and modes for convenient use, such as Bluetooth and wired speakers.
But the question still stands, do motorcycles have radios? The answer is yes. The touring bikes have installed radios, while radio sets can be installed on other motorcycles.