New Sound System for my GL1100 Aspencade

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:17 am
Location: Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Aspencade

New Sound System for my GL1100 Aspencade

Post by profneilwalker »

I bought this bike from the original owner three years ago. Everything was original and well maintained. But the radio reception was pretty bad. I read you could have it restored to new by replacing all the capacitors, but that sounded daunting and expensive and anyway what I really wanted was to stream iPhone audio to my speakers. I replaced the original Clarion 4 inch speakers in the dash with new Polk Audio DB401 marine speakers, and added a cheap crappy amp from eBay to drive the front speakers, from a USB-powered Bluetooth receiver. The DB401 speakers have a protruding tweeter, and took a bit of modification to fit in the factory dash speaker pods. The newer DB402 speakers should be a direct replacement for the original Clarions. Then I added a Boss Audio ( ... ingdocs-20 ) set of speakers mounted on the trunk, and that's what I've been using for two years. Not great but not bad, and pretty cheap.

However, this summer I rode from Hamilton Ontario to Tofino, BC and back, about 10,000 km, and somewhere along the way my sound system crapped out. Might have been the rain and seriously rough roads in Saskatchewan that killed my little amp. So I set about looking into an improved but similar system. I completely removed the old radio system, a surprisingly complicated job because it's in about 4 separate parts strung together by a vast network of wires in the fairing. (It's still basically complete; anyone who wants it can have it)

I mostly just wanted an amp that could receive Bluetooth streaming audio and send it to all four speakers. I also wanted some audio controls, especially a fader to control the front and rear speaker volume. Couldn't find anything that did that.

What I did find was the Boss Audio MGR350B marine stereo head unit ( ... ingdocs-20 ) basically a weatherproof round car stereo with no cd or cassette, in fact no mechanical parts. It mounts in a 3 inch round hole. It streams Bluetooth, has four channels, am fm weather bands. Very small and compact, 60 W per channel. Ideal for a motorcycle I thought.

I have access to a 3D printer at work, and Autodesk Inventor design software. (I teach mechanical engineering at Niagara College.) So I designed a faceplate with the round hole to replace the original Honda radio control unit, and installed the stereo in that. I painted the faceplate with Trmeclad hammered finish black, mostly to seal it because the 3d print job is slightly porous, not waterproof. The stereo has a USB connector to power my iPhone, which is mounted in a Ram Mount X-Grip ( ... ingdocs-20 ) on my left handlebar. It's my tunes and gps unit.

The system works great, sounds great. I recommend it for anyone looking for a reasonable cost alternative to the factory stereo system.

NOTE: I couldn't attach the 3d print file (*.STL file) to this post, but anyone can PM me and I'll share it. If you have access to a 3D printer at a library or maker space, you should be able to make one cheap and easy.
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Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:56 am
Location: Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: New Sound System for my GL1100 Aspencade

Post by mikeusa0513 »

Was it difficult to swap out the amp? It looks like there is a strange round connector cord with six wires. I am trying to keep the outside of the bike as original looking as possible. It was my dad's bike and I had the bike rebuilt a couple of years ago.
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 3:23 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 83 gl 1100 interstate

Re: New Sound System for my GL1100 Aspencade

Post by Tommywing83 »

Looks great I'm thinking doing something like that to 83 I have a kenwood deck how did u get them motorcycle speakers on the luggage rack to hook to the head unit ..rcas? Thanks for any info you throw my way :)
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Posts: 2393
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm
Location: Milford NH summer/fall & Oceanside, CA winters(N San Diego) with lots of miles riden between
Motorcycle: 2008 Cabernet Red. Level 4

1983 GL1100A Wineberry 36,000 miles

1975 CB750 K5 Planet Blue 7,800 miles

1976 CB750 K6 Anterris Red 25,000 miles

Past rides
1999A Restored from PO neglect & sold at 19,000 miles

1999SE Totaled by cager at 105,000 miles

Re: New Sound System for my GL1100 Aspencade

Post by newday777 »

Welcome to the forum Tommywing83 and mikeusa0513

The original poster hasn't been back on here since 2018 so he may have turned off his notifications. Some members just drop off out of sight without a goodbye. You could try a personal message if you want answers to your questions from him.

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