GL1100 Horns


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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zvacman
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 2:40 pm
Location: Petoskey, MI
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Interstate

GL1100 Horns

Postby zvacman » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:54 am



Is it just mine or are the stock horns supposed to sound like a VW Bug? I'm sure many of you have ditched the factory horns for something louder or at least deeper toned. What horns are you using and where can they be purchased.

Thanks, Z



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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:06 pm

Yep, the original horns on my bike sounded horrible, and were anemic. The day I tried to alert the idiot next to me that he was attempting to occupy my lane at the same time I was, by leaning on the horn continously - and he never heard me - I decided to do something about it.

I put on a pair of FIAMM Freeway Blasters, and the cheapest place I found for them was Amazon.com. I put one high and one low note horn in. I originally had them in the factory position, but after I cut those tabs off to facilitate getting the radiator in and out easier, I moved the horns inside the lower fairings (there is a mounting point there for them as well). The FIAMMs draw considerably more current than the factory horns, so I had to wire in a fused wire directly from the battery, with a relay controlled by the original horn wiring. They are EXTREMELY loud, and hurt my ears when I hit them. I never fail to get noticed anymore!

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lhelber
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:01 am
Location: Webster, NY
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800 Navi
1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby lhelber » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:24 pm

Where are those alternate mounting tabs? I picked up a pair of the Fiam Freeway blaster at less than $15 for both. Check out http://tinyurl.com/3y4zju9 . The problem is they are a little bigger tan the stock pancake style horn and they get hit by the front tire during slow speed maneuvering. This causes the horn to honk or shorts out a fuse. I need to move them somewhere else. BTW I found that I didn't to run a separate relay for these horns.

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:35 pm

lhelber wrote:Where are those alternate mounting tabs? I picked up a pair of the Fiam Freeway blaster at less than $15 for both. Check out http://tinyurl.com/3y4zju9 . The problem is they are a little bigger tan the stock pancake style horn and they get hit by the front tire during slow speed maneuvering. This causes the horn to honk or shorts out a fuse. I need to move them somewhere else. BTW I found that I didn't to run a separate relay for these horns.


You will need to run a separate relay for both...because they draw enough current that eventually the horn button will fail from arcing. It's not rated for the current the horns demand.

The mount I used can be seen in this picture: It's the threaded holes on either side of the ground wire you see on the spade lug:

Image

On the right side of the picture you can see one of the FIAMM horns I installed, when it was still on the original horn tab in front of the radiator.

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lhelber
Posts: 138
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Location: Webster, NY
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800 Navi
1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby lhelber » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:00 pm

I will take a look for it in the morning. I have a relay that I was going to install. I was waiting to do this with the rest of my "rewiring job" when I add an additional junction box.

emt613
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:46 pm
Location: Archbold, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby emt613 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am

Is there a diagram or " how to" instructions to install these horns? I am not an electician, and the word "relay" is not one I totally understand.

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:36 pm

Relays are fairly simple - think of them as a switch that is operated using an electrically powered magnet. The main purpose of a relay is to operate a higher amperage circuit, or to isolate a circuit.

Automotive relays look like this:

Automotive Relays
Automotive Relays


They have pins on the bottom, which fit into relay sockets/pigtails like this:

Relay Pigtail
Relay Pigtail


This allows you to wire the relay into your circuit, and be able to unplug & replace it should it fail sometime in the future.

The connectors on the bottom of the relay look like this:

Relay Connectors
Relay Connectors


And these connect internally to something like this:

Relay Schematic
Relay Schematic


The coil of the magnet is connected to pins 85 and 86. When no power is applied to the coil, pins 30 and 87a are connected together using the force of an internal spring. When power is applied to the coil, the internal electromagnet overcomes the force of the spring: pins 30 and 87a are disconnected, and instead pin 30 is connected to pin 87.

The horn switch on the motorcycle is designed to be able to switch a limited amount of current, to operate the factory-supplied horns (and no more). The wiring as well, is able to handle only this limited amount of current. If you replace the horns with larger, louder units that require more current, the existing factory wiring and switch either won't be able to handle it (and the horns won't work), or they will work for a short while until the excess current demand burns out either the switch or the wiring. We don't want either of these things to happen.

So instead, we install a relay. The wiring that used to go to the factory horns, instead goes to pins 85 and 86 (the magnetic coil) on the relay. When the horn button is pressed, instead of activating the horns, it energizes the relay. The relay "clicks" and in doing so, connects together pins 30 and 87. Technically, there is only one wire coming from the horn button - it can be connected to either pin 85 or 86 (it doesn't matter which). The remaining pin is connected to ground (i.e. to a green wire, or bolted to the chassis).

The relay itself is capable of handling large amounts of current: 15 or 20 amps. That's more than enough for our new horns. So all we do now is install new, heavy-duty wiring (14 gauge is good) for the new horns.

A wire is installed directly to the battery's positive (+) post. As close to the battery as possible, a fuse, say 15 amps, is spliced into this wire. This fuse is important - should the wiring or one of the horns inadvertently short out, it will blow this fuse, instead of melting the wire and potentially setting your motorcycle on fire (yes, this happens). It is important that the fuse be as close to the battery as possible, so that the amount of unfused wire (wire in between the fuse and the battery) is kept to a minimum.

The other end of this wire connects to the "87" terminal on the relay.

The next step is to run two wires from the "30" terminal on the relay to each of the new horns. The horns will also need a ground - sometimes they just use the bike's frame for this, sometimes they have a separate ground wire, in which case you will need to attach this wire to the bike's frame yourself. Don't connect this to a green ground wire you find in the bike's circuitry - remember, there is a ton of current flowing through these horns, and the existing green ground wires likely won't be able to handle it.

Now, when you press your horn button, it will energize the relay, connecting terminals 87 and 30, which allows high-current power to flow directly from the battery into your horns, giving you the biggest, loudest sounding horns possible! And because the current requirements of the relay's coil are extremely small, your existing factory horn button and wiring will not be damaged.

emt613
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:46 pm
Location: Archbold, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby emt613 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:46 pm

Thanks SO much. This is a project that I am going to attempt in the very near future. One question though,,, is it okay to print these articles? It's much easier to read of a paper while doing the work, instead of finding your place on a web site. Thanks again and wish me luck.

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lhelber
Posts: 138
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Location: Webster, NY
Motorcycle: 2012 GL1800 Navi
1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby lhelber » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:44 pm

Where do you find the relay pigtails? I didn't see those and was getting ready to just use spade connectors.

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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:45 pm

I just typed "relay pigtails" into Google and the first few results contained them.

Personally I just crimped spade connectors onto my own wires, but for novices, though the pigtail socket would be easier.

taatich
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A aspencade

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby taatich » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:27 am

WingAdmin,
Great site! A few questions about the relay. (1) Is there a particular type or part number or rating that we should buy? (2) Where do you mount the relay, I assume it is mounted with the bracket on the relay, and is there any protection needed to keep it dry or covered minimizing potential corrosion? (3) The positive wire that needs to be fused close to the battery - what type of in-line 15 amp fuse do you use (part #)? Surely some are easier to access for fuse replacement…just wondering which would be more appropriate. Thanks.
I really do appreciate your service here.

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:58 pm

taatich wrote:WingAdmin,
Great site! A few questions about the relay. (1) Is there a particular type or part number or rating that we should buy? (2) Where do you mount the relay, I assume it is mounted with the bracket on the relay, and is there any protection needed to keep it dry or covered minimizing potential corrosion? (3) The positive wire that needs to be fused close to the battery - what type of in-line 15 amp fuse do you use (part #)? Surely some are easier to access for fuse replacement…just wondering which would be more appropriate. Thanks.
I really do appreciate your service here.


1) I buy electronic parts regularly from Digi-Key. I bought a bunch of 30-amp automotive style relays from them a while back, you can see them here: PB686-ND RELAY AUTO SPDT 30A 12VDC. They're $5 apiece, which is a third or less than the price you'll pay for the same item at an automotive store. I use these relays for any kind of automotive wiring project that requires a relay. They're SPDT, so you can switch stuff on or off as you wish, and the contacts are rated for 30 amps - far more than you'll ever need to switch on your bike.

2) The relays above have small, metal mounting brackets. I mount them wherever I find a convenient spot. :) My horn relay is mounted to the frame of the bike underneath the left lower cowl cover. I use female tab connectors that slide right onto the relay tabs.

3) For in-line fuse holders, I go to Radio Shack and use this item: 270-1237 30-Amp Inline Mini Blade-Type Fuse Holder:

Inline fuse holder
Inline fuse holder

It has a waterproof cap that goes over the fuse once it's installed, and is relatively small. I crimp a ring terminal on one end, which goes right on the battery positive terminal, and the other end is soldered to the wire running to whatever it is I'm wiring in.

taatich
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A aspencade

Re: GL1100 Horns

Postby taatich » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:29 pm

Excellent! Thank you very much!




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