XM Radio Reception


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-Present)
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jwshome
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:57 pm
Location: Humble, TX
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800

XM Radio Reception

Postby jwshome » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:31 pm



I traded a 2004 GL1800 for a new 2010 with GPS/XM last week. I didn't really need the new bike but was pleased to be adding the factory XM and GPS instead of my previous "bolt on" systems. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that Honda has adequately tested the XM radio reception...it is horrible!!!

Last night, I went for my first "out of town" little ride which took me through some tree-lined roads. Not trees over the road mind you, only fenceline trees. I live near Houston which is fairly south. Generally, the further south you go, the more directly overhead the satellites will be, minimizing disruptions. To my disappointment, when traveling east or west, any line of trees over about 200 feet long caused the XM radio to interrupt.

In reading posts on other forums, this appears to be a common issue with XM/Goldwing. And it sounds like Honda is not offering any solutions and typically says that this is the first time they have heard of any problems. That figures, right? So my question is: Has anyone found a workaround such as relocating the antenna or adding an external antenna? I would hate to think that I will have to go back to my add-on unit to have enjoyable satellite radio. I have XM in two other 4-wheel vehicles from the factory and NEVER have unexpected interruptions...



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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
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: XM Radio Reception

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:13 am

When I put XM on my 1100, I put the antenna on the inside of the top of the trunk, figuring it would get a good view of the sky, and not be sitting out looking horrible. Unfortunately, I learned that every time I was riding 2-up, and was riding to the south, my passenger would block out the satellite signal.

The next year (during winter maintenance) I experimented and moved it around. The best place I found was on top of one of the front speakers. It was out of the way and nearly un-noticeable, and got excellent reception no matter which way we were headed. Heavy tree cover will still block it, but not even as much as it does in my truck, which has the antenna on the roof.

I don't know what type of antenna the Honda OEM unit uses, but I'd be very surprised if it's not compatible with every other satellite radio receiver out there - they are all interchangeable (even Sirius antennas will work on XM radios, and vice versa).

joe c
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:37 am
Location: Plymouth, Vt.
Motorcycle: 2002 GL1800

Re: XM Radio Reception

Postby joe c » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:33 am

I have an XM sportscaster in my left fairing pocket hooked to a 12V outlet and the AUX input. The small antenna is velcro'd with double sided velcro stick on's. I find this location to be as close to ideal as can be. It's unobtrusive and works quite well. I do agree that there are issues with reception, as trees, hills, tall buildings and steel roofs do block out the signal. I expect this is inherent to satellite reception, and the same issue is applicable to my Dish TV. A clear line of sight is needed to the sky for my dish to work. Living here in Vermont, the satellite is positioned at 8 o'clock (looking north),and relatively low in the sky so anything close by and of any height will "kill" the signal. This causes spotty reception along our curvy wooded roads, but not so much a problem on our main routes or interstates. Not having listened to the "stock" Honda unit, I really can't make a fair comparison.....But I do enjoy XM. I just purchased a J&M unit that fits into the CD unit on the Wing, but haven't hooked it up yet.....That'll be another subject in the future.

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Orpheus75
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 9:39 am
Location: Yakima, WA
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: XM Radio Reception

Postby Orpheus75 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:45 pm

I put mine on the faring dash and so far works great! It's not the factory unit as my bike is a 82 aspencade 1100. I retrofitted mine to include a GPS/MP3/XM radio, put the antenna where I mentioned. Works just fine. I don't know where they put the new [factory included] ones at.

jwshome
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:57 pm
Location: Humble, TX
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800

Re: XM Radio Reception

Postby jwshome » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:34 pm

This is all great talk. However, you missed the original question...I have a stock XM, provided by Honda that has poor reception. I'm looking for anyone that has had success with alternative antenna locations or success with Honda addressing the poor reception. If I were adding a bolt-on system, all of your comments are valid and good. I'm trying to resolve a factory install however...




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