Torque Tech Tips & Hop-Ups
Bagger Audio Gone Wild
Article And Photos By: Dream Rides Tennessee www.tndreamrides.com
Originally Published In Torque Performance Volume 1 Issue 2 – Winter 2021
Read The Whole Article On The Torque Performance Web Site
In the world of performance Harleys, having more power is never bad. In fact, sometimes it’s necessary. At Dream Rides of Tennessee, we’ve become quite good at arguing the case for the necessity of power. That way a customer can go home and confidently say, “Honey, it would be irresponsible NOT to build this engine.” Its not different with the audio system on your bagger since most factory audio systems will benefit from help to get those tunes to your ears at highway speeds.
Our featured 2017 Road Glide was in desperate need of a power increase. The owner had previously installed a set of coaxial speakers, but he was disappointed with the overall volume level and lack of “punch.” Unfortunately, a speaker upgrade is only as good as the wattage behind it, and this customer was still living with the anemic stock stereo’s internal amp, which was providing less than ¼ of the wattage his new speakers needed. There are so many options on the market, however, we settled on the Wild Boar Audio WBA 400.2R. two-channel amplifier.
This plug-and-play amp is built for ‘14+ non-CVO touring models. It not only offers a substantial power increase (200 watts RMS), but also cuts down on labor time for installation. It comes with all of the necessary wiring and brackets and instructions. It is also scalable, meaning the whole package is designed to allow for additional amplifiers, should they be desired down the road.
Once the bike was secured to the lift, our tech Dusty got started to work. When you are doing any audio or 12v work, it’s always a good idea to disconnect the battery. With that out of the way, you can loosen and remove the front of the fairing. Now is a great time to take a look at everything that comes with the WBA 400.2R.
Power and ground wires are run through the wiring portal in the fairing and back toward the battery for dedicated amplifier power. The instructions say that you can run this wire over the tank (UNDER the dash/console), but with just a few more minutes effort, we recommend removing the tank and running under the tank along the backbone of the frame. Using the provided bracket, mounting the amp in a Road Glide is a cinch. You will want to pull it back out to make all of the wiring connections (pic 12), and leave it out until it has been tested and tuned.
The instructions are well written and the well-engineered harnesses and plug connections make wiring very simple. Some of the plugs look similar, so take your time and double check the colors. Make sure each connection seats in with a positive “click.” When all of the connections are made at the amp, reconnect the battery and the ring terminals of the newly run power/ground wire.
Now it’s time to do a software flash so the stereo plays at the correct volume. Wild Boar is careful in their instructions to warn the buyer/installer from the beginning, that the audio will not be satisfactory unless this is done using Techno Research software. This will [likely] require a trip to your local shop for the flash. With the flash done, it’s time to permanently bolt the amp bracket into its home, reassemble the fairing, cue up your favorite test tracks and enjoy!
If you have a modern touring bike with the stock entry-level audio system, and you’re considering replacing or adding speakers, don’t forget the power! It’s the responsible thing, really.