Shark Stereo System for Vulcan 900 Classic LT - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
USAF Retired
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Default Shark Stereo System for Vulcan 900 Classic LT

I am looking for a stereo system for the bike. All I want is to listen to my MP3 player on long rides. I have seen good reviews on the Shark system. I see there are several different ways to go; 100 Watt, 250 Watt, internal amp, etc. Suggestions from anyone who has installed one on their bike? How much of a pain is it?
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
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It's cheap, just throwing that heads up out there. When mine worked, it sounded decent, did what it needed to do. BUT, my wife stuck HER iPhone on there and blared the music while it was parked at an event and blew both speakers Moral of the story, remember to keep the bass as low as possible on whatever your audio source is.

Installation is straightforward. Speakers mount to mirrors, if you remove the toolbox the amp will fit on top of the battery (I used a small thin scrap of wood, screwed it down using the toolbox screws, and velcro'ed it to the amp). I removed the bolts for the fuel tank and had a helper lift and lean the tank a bit, just enough to fit the wires underneath it. Then I ran an AUX cable up through a tank bib for my iPhone. I found the FM radio to be worthless, wouldn't pick anything up.

It's a decent system, it gets the job done. To be honest, it sounds just as good as the other, higher dollar systems I've heard (though others disagree). The big thing is though, there are NO bass blockers, meaning you can EASILY destroy the speakers. Make sure your audio source isn't pushing too much bass.

FWIW I'll be mounting a fairing with speakers this winter. Guess I decided I really did want more audio. IMO, if I'm gonna spend $600 for handlebar mounted speakers or a memphis shades batwing and cheap-o speaker thingy, I might as well just go all in and get a fairing, 6x9 marine speakers and a head unit for around the same investment! In this persons humble opinion, the shark is the only way to go for a handlebar mounted setup, because the cost of the others is so astronomically high you are better off getting a fairing mounted or hard-saddlebag mounted stereo setup. (The exception being if you just absolutely didn't want a fairing or wanted the cleaner look of handlebar speakers)
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2011 Honda Shadow Aero 750 (Wife's)
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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I see you have the 600 watt. Is that an issue with your battery?
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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If you want music on the cheap, Shark will do it. I paid ~$60 for mine and sold it later on craigslist for $30. I started with the speakers on the handlebars and later tucked them inside the fairing. Mine was a 100W system and if I cranked the music I could hear it pretty clearly even on the interstate. There was distortion in the sound with the volume way up but since I wear earplugs for long rides they filtered out the distortion. I kept my amp in a fairing pouch but those things get hot. I didn't really have any complaints except that twice I had to crack open one of the speakers to resolder wires. The second time it happened was when I removed the stereo and sold it.

After that I tried a couple of different things. For a while when I wanted music I stuffed earbuds in my ears under my helmet and plugged them in to an ipod. That worked well enough but if the wires shifted around and pressed into my ears they would hurt. Now I have a Scala Rider Q2 Pro. I like it and I now have the option of removing my fairing in a few seconds and still having music but without needing to move/remove stereo components or have handlebar mounted speakers.

Advantages and disadvantages to every setup. Like I said, I didn't pay much for my Shark stereo and I made a 5 day riding trip with it so I was certainly glad to have it for that. Installation was pretty easy. Speakers are kind of big and gawdy and I had the black ones, but they do the trick. I don't think I'd buy one again, though.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAF Retired View Post
I see you have the 600 watt. Is that an issue with your battery?
No. It's nowhere near 600 watts of actual power. Whenever you buy audio equipment, it's rated for PMPO (Peak Music Power Output). Usually that 'peak' is so fast the human ear can't discern it. The actual power output is closer to about 100 watts, driving speakers in the 6-8 watt range. There is no reason to be concerned about what this would draw from your electrical system.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:58 PM   #6
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I'm using the Cycle Sounds handle bar speakers on my 800 classic. Sound is decent,but like above, no bass. with windsheild and 1/2 helmet, good to about 80 mph. 1 speaker and the amp went out about 3 months after the warranty did, that was a bummer. Replaced both speakers at 160 a set and te amp with a Phonics Digital PD-2010 I got atthe local mall stereo shop for $50. Mounted in the right side cover and ran cable through tank bib for my I-pod and I-phone.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:01 PM   #7
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I should clarify that it was only three or four months after I got my system that it stopped working for the second time and I removed it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:28 PM   #8
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USAF Retired,

IMO, you can't go wrong. Very easy install. I have had the 600 Watt (75W RMS) on my bike for about a year. No issues. Before that I had a 250 Watt. It ran about 1.5 years. The speakers suck, so I installed some 4" Polk Audio speakers. Easy, easy, easy install, and really inexpensive. Did I say easy and inexpensive? I load most my music on an SD card so I can take advantage of the equalizer setting. Here is a sample. Fast forward to 2:00 mark to listen.

I got my speakers from here. http://www.motorcycletunes.com/
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:01 AM   #9
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One question is are the systems water proof. I just brought the 250 watt one. But the cooling slots are open and if they are mounted on my bars what is protected from the elements,like the speaker wires,SD slot,or even buttons. Do I have to fab a cover for it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:05 AM   #10
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I also was woundering about an external antenna,setup ,to help with signal pick up.I think mine had a plug for it. How do you recall info on an ext ant purchase?
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