Good horns

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by Cherryriver, Aug 4, 2021.

  1. Cherryriver

    Cherryriver New Member

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    Not seeing anything great on a search...
    The horn on my VFR made my wife laugh out loud when we were riding and I check-beeped it.
    Has anyone done a tidy improved horn installation?
     
  2. vfrgiving

    vfrgiving New Member

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    I installed a compact dual tone on one of my VFRs last year. There's numerous brands that make the style and you can find generics all over eBay, but popular ones are the Denali SoundBomb and Stebel Nautilus. There is plenty of room on the side of the bike, under the front fairing. Take the left side panel off, and look up at the space provided near the left front ignition coil mounted to the frame. Any one of the dual tone style should fit up there. How you mount it is up to you, I chose to use cable ties around the shared coil,bodywork bracket and wiring harness. I recommend the left side because the horn wiring is there. Once you pull the two wires from the stock horn, fish them through a gap in the bodywork into that void. Those two wires will then go to the relay (coil side) included with whatever horn you buy. I cable tied the relay nearby, I think just around the main wiring harness of the bike. You'll need to run wiring of appropriate gauge, from the battery positive, through a fuse holder with a fuse of rated capacity specified by the horn manufacturer. From the fuse to a relay contact, wire from other side relay contact out to horn +. And then wire from horn negative to a ground point.

    Revzilla has a recent video showing off the SoundBomb. Don't waste your time going with smaller single tone horns. If you want to scare awake even the most inattentive driver, go straight for the dual tone.
     
  3. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    the stock horn is very good IF IT'S WORKING RIGHT. wonky horns can be fixed back to original amplitude if you know how.
     
  4. raYzerman

    raYzerman Member

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    PIAA has small format sport horns, dual or single. I think my 5th Gen horn is fine.... got good connections, etc.??
     
  5. vfrgiving

    vfrgiving New Member

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    The stock horn is an average motorcycle horn. 20 years ago when cars from the early 90's and 80's were plentiful on the road it might have been very good. Today's 2-ton crossovers with roll over protection are extremely good at isolating the driver as they Facetime friends or record TikTok videos while driving. I completely understand wanting a louder horn.

    I have a VFR with the stock horn, and a VFR with a compact dual tone. I can do a comparison between the two recorded the same distance away. I'll upload some small sound clips later in the week.
     
  6. fink

    fink Member

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    Denali sound bomb.
     
  7. Cherryriver

    Cherryriver New Member

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    Some good ideas here.
    I should start by pointing out that I install hotter horns on pretty much every bike that falls into my clutches and I do indeed put together a relay circuit fed from an added fuse block I also almost invariably add.
    My wife accuses me of being an electrics geek. There might be some truth to that. While I was supposedly a carpenter my whole life, I did a lot of residential electric work in the course of things and even worked as an electrician from time to time.
    I believe my stock VFR horn is operating at its peak and have not given thought to adjustment.
    As to horns: having formerly commuted into Chicago every day I came to appreciate more effective ones. In all my years, nothing on a bike has come close to the Gold Wing GL18 setup. My ZRX wears a pair of Wing horns mounted in the stock position adjacent to the radiator and the Missus' SV650 has a set on the (remarkably ugly) 401-brand crash bars. Those things are seemingly capable of physically moving an automobile aside. At least, they've done so for her, and for me as well.
    But the VFR probably won't have room for a tidy setup where the horn bells face outward to any degree. Horns that dump into the interior of the bodywork only sound loud to the rider, not to the motorists nearby.
    I was thinking the PIAA compacts would be the best solution. I have a pair on the FJR, which is a very densely-packed machine with practically no place to leave a stick of chewing gum, much less horns. I find their sound performance to be adequate and the best to be hoped for on that bike, but nowhere near the Wing tooters.
    I have a Denali two-piece on my beater V-Strom 650. With the enormous amount of empty space in the bodywork, there's lots of room to easily mount the compressor, and the Givi crash bars so common on these bikes made for a very good mounting point for the horn unit on the left side, with the trumpet facing forward.
    But I have been disappointed with the sound level of this device. Compared to what the ZRX's outfit does, it's kind of second-rate. A single horn probably is never going to equal a matched pair.
    I have another Denali on the shelf that was intended for the Missus' Versys, but the bike got traded off before I got around to installing it. Still, for the VFR anyway, I think I will revert to the PIAAs and hope that I can somehow shoehorn in a pair where the OEM peeper is.
    Thank you all for your suggestions.
     
  8. raYzerman

    raYzerman Member

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    Agree with you Cherryriver, the PIAA's adequate, better than the single, don't take up a lot of room. Had them on both FJR's. Wing horns, oh yeah, they were great on my GL. Anyway, carry on, you probably have the best compromise idea and what I'd do.
     
  9. vfrgiving

    vfrgiving New Member

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    Not at all. With the dual tone mounted compressor towards the rider, the air outlets point away from the rider towards the left turn signal. There's openings in the fairing in the vicinity for the radiator. The horn is plenty loud, even to the right side of the bike.

    dualtone - Copy.jpg
     
  10. vfrgiving

    vfrgiving New Member

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    I actually own a cheap sound level meter, and confirmed the dual tone is louder despite the fact it's behind the bodywork. With both VFRs parked next to each other, I set the meter up in front of them about 10 feet away. The meter was set to MAX function, so it would hold the highest recorded value. The stock horn peaked at 101.5 dBa. The dual tone peaked at 108.5.
     
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