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Distorted Horn Sound


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My RT is just back from a dealer service. The horn worked fine before the service. Now the horn has half the volume and sounds like Miles Davis using a mute. I am wondering if the recall work somehow damaged the horn.

Any thoughts?


Anyway if the horn needs to be replaced is it an easy job?


All help is most sincerely appreciated as I am as mechanically inclined as a grape.

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The likely cause of the problem is water in the horn. The easiest remedy is to remove and drain them. It's a reasonably common complaint.

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Haynes has it right.....Water in the horn. Did they wash the bike?

It may be possible to take care of this with compressed air.

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Stan Compton


My horns (there are two of them on the RT) recently started doing exactly the same thing. When I had the bike in to the dealer for the fuel line quick disconnect O-ring problem I had them check the horns. They ended up replacing both horns under warranty. I asked what caused the problem and they said they didn’t know. However, I believe Keith is right, I’m pretty sure I got water in them while washing the bike. I don't think they really needed to be replaced.


I don’t think removing the horns presents a problem. If you go in above the front fender between the forks you will have pretty good access to the horns. The following picture is taken looking up from the top of the front fender. The nut that the arrow is pointing to secures the horn.


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I have to agree with the water bit in the horns. My truck has the identical horns grin.gifgrin.gif and the right one gets water in it when going thru the mud or water. I relocated the new(3rd) one and hope it doesn't happen again.

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I've not had a water problem yet so I cant comment on that. What I do know is that when I installed duel horns on my wife's GT, I used one of the provided mounting bars for one unit & fabricated my own for the other. I found that the horn mounted with the non stock bar was muted installed yet OK tested on the work bench. Long story short, the mounting bracket needs to flex/vibrate so check to see that nothing is preventing this. Good luck.

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As Eric replied, sounds like the bracket is to tight for the horn to vibrate. I too mounted two horns and found out why BMW uses three thin mounting brackets instead of the thicker one I tried to use. The horns need to vibrate and the thick bracket didn't allow it like the BMW bracket did. After installing the BMW bracket onto my horns, they performed as designed...nice and loud!

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Same for me. I have a relatively new 2004 RT and the horns started sounding like an anemic Kia was trying to get my attention. Had my scoot in for wiring/fuel recall work and dealer replaced horns under warranty. I asked the "whadya think caused it" question and they said..."dunno."


Okay..I am off to do my first valve adj. and TB sync. Oh Boy!!! blush.gif

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Many thanks to all that have replied. I will attempt the proposed fixes and hope for the best. The water problem makes alot of sense.


Stan thank you for the great photo and associated detail.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi All,


I had my bike serviced on Thursday. Yesterday I gave it a quick wash and then went for a long (very enjoyable) ride.


On the ride I noticed the horn sounded very strange.


Came to this board this morning, read this thread, removed the horn and sure enough -- water poured out.


Now it sounds like it used to.


Just wanted to say THANKS!! You guys rock!!


Happy Holiday!!

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