Aftermarket radio - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Aftermarket radio

Has anyone changed their radio and found How to use the handlebar controls with a aftermarket radio.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 04:38 PM
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The biggest issue is that nobody makes a handlebar control adapter. You could always mount an aftermarket remote on the handlebars. Or, if you're more electronically inclined; you might purchase a Harley-Davidson or Goldwing handlebar control retention kit and figure out how to splice the wires to make it compatible with the Vaq. No guarantees that would work though.

Are you wanting better sound or just more features? If the former, several have had excellent results with an in-line amp and better speakers.

Might be worth a trip to a good audio shop and asking them if they can figure anything out. Some of them are pretty talented. I know a buddy of mine had an older Electra-Glide (90's) and there apparently wasn't a kit available for his handlebar controls, and a shop near him was able to wire one up using an adapter for a newer model bike. Honestly, that would probably be your best bet. Just take the bike to a professional willing to tackle the job.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 07:57 PM
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There have been a couple in here that changed the radio out with I guess a better one, but no one has got the handlebar controls to work.

To me the radio is OK I guess. but I do not use it all the time and could actually live without it and save a few hundred bucks on a new motorcycle. If it was a $600 option I would not get it....

The handlebar controls I would assume work similar to Honda and Yamaha's systems. I know you can interchange Honda and Yamaha components. I have done it.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 08:58 PM
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I just put an after market XM receiver on my VV. Got it at Best Buy for $40. I had to make an adapter so I could plug it into the AUX connector in the L/pocket. I had the iPhone/iPod connector that I was using when I had an iPhone 4. I have an iPhone 6+ now and of course it has the smaller connector besides it wouldn't fit it the pocket anyway. So, I got a 3.5mm head phone extension and cut off the male end. Cut off the AUX connection from the adapter and soldered then together. There is no way to tell which of the three wires on the AUX connector was ground. Wiring diagram just shows them going into the radio or Audio Unit as they put it. So it was trial and error. I got lucky and had music from one speaker so I knew all I had to do was swap the other two wires (right or left channel was irrelevant to me) and presto. 50's on 5, 60's on 6 and Willy's Roadhouse. I was able to mount it on the dash with the holder attached to the windshield. The antenna is magnetic mount and of course there's no metal so it sits on the screw on the right side. I had put that LED headlight bulb in that is mentioned in another thread. I really like it but the RFI from it rendered the radio (AM/FM) useless. Pretty much only listened to local talk radio around here anyway and music on the iPhone when on a ride. Now I can listen to the ball game anywhere. Not bothered by RFI either. I would have liked to have put in the OEM XM unit but didn't want to spend $400+ and find out that it wouldn't work because of RFI. Maybe I'll keep an eye out for an OEM XM unit if I can get a real good price on it and put that in. IDK.

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