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Horn upgrade


Rob Nowell

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I just bought a new '16 RT and would like to upgrade the horn. There are ample online reviews, for which almost every product has mixed. I need something visibly indiscreet yet audibly annoying; something EASY to install; something reasonably priced.

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I am going air horn, like I did on my 99 RT. LTFO! intensity.

 

Stebel Nautilus Compact or Denali Sound Bomb (virtually identical). You will need a custom bracket which makes this horn a bit more of a deal to install than the recommendations already offered. The additional bracket can be a DYI piece of flat steel of a certain length and two bends with two holes drilled on the end tabs. Or, you can buy one at nominal cost from Twisted Throttle, which is the same folks that offer the Sound Bomb.

 

Here is nice install video.

 

 

You can use a simple relay harness, as shown in the video, but I also went with a Hex ezCAN dongle which integrates some additional features into the RT CANbus while providing a high current horn circuit .

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The stock horns on my 04RT were nearly as loud as the Stebel Nautilus I have on my 14RT , this could be an option for you or perhaps the new horn advertised in the Jan. issue of ON magazine the Screaming Banshee Shockwave Horn ( pg.26). The stock horn on my 14RT was replaced before it left the dealer , easy install and only $49.00 the Banshee lists for $89.99 ,not really a bad price for either one.

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I accidentally hit the horn button when trying to use or cancel the turn signals occasionally when I first rode the bike. It hasn't happened lately. Other than that I wouldn't know what the horn sounds like. I don't use it very often if ever.

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I swapped mine with a BMW OEM low horn from the 2006-era R1200RT factory dual horn pair (also BMW car horn), which is a vast improvement -- $15.

https://www.amazon.com/528i-540i-Wagon-Tone-Horn/dp/B009GIAUZW

 

Another solution is the Denali horn from Twisted Throttle that's featured in this video:

 

The OEM dual horns work great.

 

Went PIAA on my GT, big upgrade from meep meep stock.

 

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All of the single horns compatible w/ the load requirements for your CANbus system are limited by the max amperage on that circuit which I haven't tested but conjecture to be around 5-6 Amps which feeds the OEM meeper. At least the 5Amp Denali Mini Sound Bomb which is rated at 5A creates not CANbus faults, and that is what I replaced the disc horn with. Though better, I wasn't satisfied w/ the 112dB rated Denali, so I put two FIAMM blasters after finding an easy spot to mount them on a '16 RT. So now have 3 horns and combined they're very loud. And bonus, the two new horns are completely unobstructed by fairing, so the sound gets out which seems like a good thing.

 

Be sure you bench test them sometime outside in riding conditions to see what you can truly expect out of them. All horns even your oem meeper will sound loud in confined spaces like a garage.

 

I read later the FIAMMs Freeway Blasters while claiming 132dB are really closer to 89dB from one article I read, so I might swap in the PIAAs now that the hard part of mount/wire is done, but don't know what their true rating is.

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I swapped mine with a BMW OEM low horn from the 2006-era R1200RT factory dual horn pair (also BMW car horn), which is a vast improvement

 

I'd like to see how you mounted it.

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I figure if I need to use my horn for anything besides prompting someone to go at a light, I've failed to be properly observant. And if that's the case, it's more important to deal with the situation I allowed to develop than to find the seldom-used horn button. And if I'm just using it to vent frustration, I need to ride longer so I can chill.

 

Installing a loud horn I won't use is a waste of time and money.

 

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I consider myself observant and defensive, but sometimes when the car comes into your lane during a pass in rush hour traffic and your escape options have vanished, then the horn may be the only thing that saves your ass. And this has been the case for me a few times over the past 25 years.

 

99% of the time all the other options are better choices.

 

It's just one other weapon in the arsenal.

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....

 

99% of the time all the other options are better choices.

 

It's just one other weapon in the arsenal.

 

+1

 

And when it is the right decision to use the horn, I'd much rather have a horn that says LTFO, rather than a wimpy meep that signals the cager to please ignore my warning and come squish me.

 

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I figure if I need to use my horn for anything besides prompting someone to go at a light, I've failed to be properly observant. And if that's the case, it's more important to deal with the situation I allowed to develop than to find the seldom-used horn button. And if I'm just using it to vent frustration, I need to ride longer so I can chill.

 

Installing a loud horn I won't use is a waste of time and money.

 

Having taken/passed both UK advance riding organisation's training and tests (RSoPA & IAM) I can tell you they both advise testing your brakes within the first few hundred yards of moving off and to use the horn whenever appropriate. E.G. when starting to overtake a parked HGV when you do not have a 100% vision around it. This scenario actually occurred on one of my 3 yearly reassessments, where the HGV was parked on a corner on an industrial estate. I was advised that had I not used my horn I would not have gained the Gold pass but would have been award Silver instead.

 

You should be able to use your horn without thinking, just like your brakes, clutch etc. It should be a well practiced part of your skill set. The idea that you would only need to use a horn is because of a lack forward observation and planning sounds a bit smug to me and after all we all make mistakes. The best way to deal with the situation might to use the horn, it might be only way that could work!

 

You could just as well say, "I only use my rear brake when I've failed to be properly observant and anticipate when smooth application of the front brakes would be enough"!

 

Oh yes and never use the horn to vent, that is illegal!!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
I figure if I need to use my horn for anything besides prompting someone to go at a light, I've failed to be properly observant. And if that's the case, it's more important to deal with the situation I allowed to develop than to find the seldom-used horn button. And if I'm just using it to vent frustration, I need to ride longer so I can chill.

 

Installing a loud horn I won't use is a waste of time and money.

 

Having taken/passed both UK advance riding organisation's training and tests (RSoPA & IAM) I can tell you they both advise testing your brakes within the first few hundred yards of moving off and to use the horn whenever appropriate. E.G. when starting to overtake a parked HGV when you do not have a 100% vision around it. This scenario actually occurred on one of my 3 yearly reassessments, where the HGV was parked on a corner on an industrial estate. I was advised that had I not used my horn I would not have gained the Gold pass but would have been award Silver instead.

 

You should be able to use your horn without thinking, just like your brakes, clutch etc. It should be a well practiced part of your skill set. The idea that you would only need to use a horn is because of a lack forward observation and planning sounds a bit smug to me and after all we all make mistakes. The best way to deal with the situation might to use the horn, it might be only way that could work!

 

You could just as well say, "I only use my rear brake when I've failed to be properly observant and anticipate when smooth application of the front brakes would be enough"!

 

Oh yes and never use the horn to vent, that is illegal!!

 

I never use my front brake, it'll throw me over the handlebars! :D

 

Thanks for inviting me to reassess my position.

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I never use my front brake, it'll throw me over the handlebars! :D

 

 

Hahaha! Except it is so sad that some of the old time cruiser riders (read HD riders) that live in my area still hold that view. That and mototrcycles with green paint are unlucky and more likely to be in a crash. Heard that a lot from some HD riders when I rode my Boston Green RT.

 

The reality is that the low center of gravity on most cruisers should allow the rider to really make use of the front brake...Can't imaging a Low Rider, Road King, or an Electra Glide Ultra doing a stoppie (I might pay money to see a pro rider make it do it though)

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I just bought a new '16 RT and would like to upgrade the horn. There are ample online reviews, for which almost every product has mixed. I need something visibly indiscreet yet audibly annoying; something EASY to install; something reasonably priced.

 

I've put these on the last few BMW bikes I've owned: http://www.nippynormans.com/r1200rt-lc-2014-on/fiamm-mini-blaster-black-115db-with-spade-connectors. Though they are across the pond the shipping cost and lead time have these to me in a similar time frame as ordering within the U.S. Ordering from these folks gets you the simple wire harness needed for plug and play. Cost about $20-25 with shipping.

 

It always surprises the guys who do the annual state safety inspection when they do the horn check.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I figure if I need to use my horn for anything besides prompting someone to go at a light, I've failed to be properly observant. And if that's the case, it's more important to deal with the situation I allowed to develop than to find the seldom-used horn button. And if I'm just using it to vent frustration, I need to ride longer so I can chill.

 

Installing a loud horn I won't use is a waste of time and money.

 

I agree, it would be a waste and time and money, for you.

Edited by Bud
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Is the BMW oem low horn a simple replacement? I have 2016 rt. Is this an easy install/replacement? Any complicated wiring or canbus issues?

Thanks,

Alan

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Is the BMW oem low horn a simple replacement? I have 2016 rt. Is this an easy install/replacement? Any complicated wiring or canbus issues?

Thanks,

Alan

 

There are various 3rd party snail and disk horns you can substitute into the same mounting location with just a little fiddling and they will be compatible w/ the CANbus expected load for that circuit. This being said, they're really only marginally better because the circuit itself is limited--I believe to 5 or 6 amps--so unless you're going to rewire (use the CANbus connected trigger lead to fire the new horn(s)) you're stuck w/ those type of horns. Stebel Nautilus is sometimes mounted where the OEM horn lives, but it needs fused power again using the OEM trigger wire to initiate the activation of the horn I assume. I swapped in the Denali Mini Sound Bomb which was marginally better. I wasn't satisfied so I had the wiring done for addition of 2 new snail horns, and kept the Denali Mini in place so now have 3 quite loud horns, and together they are very loud.

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  • 5 years later...
GoldenWest
On 1/31/2017 at 6:51 AM, tallman said:

The OEM dual horns work great.

 

Went PIAA on my GT, big upgrade from meep meep stock.

 

 

Hi,

I realize this thread is a somewhat older, but I’m hoping to know which PIAA horn model you installed. Looking for bolder options on my ‘18 RT’s “meep meep”. My ‘06 RT has dual fanfare horns, but research has indicated I cannot install both those horns on the 2018.

Thanks

 

 

  • Like 1
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Rinkydink

Clarton makes a horn that uses the same plug as on your ‘18. Truly plug and play. They have gone up in price since I bought mine but hasn’t everything? It’s not air horn loud but it’s low frequency and is more than ample.  No splicing or relays needed. The old dual horns from the 1150 will not work on the wetheads. 
 

https://www.carparts.com/horn/clarton/crn99763520504

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  On 1/31/2017 at 9:51 AM, tallman said:

The OEM dual horns work great.

 

Went PIAA on my GT, big upgrade from meep meep stock.

 

 

Hi,

I realize this thread is a somewhat older, but I’m hoping to know which PIAA horn model you installed. Looking for bolder options on my ‘18 RT’s “meep meep”. My ‘06 RT has dual fanfare horns, but research has indicated I cannot install both those horns on the 2018.

Thanks

 

don't recall specific PIAA model. Think it was the "low" pitch from a Hi/low pair they made back then.

There are a lot of options available. Best wishes.

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GoldenWest

Hi,

 Thanks again for your reply. I ended up ordering the Denali sound bomb with bracket and oem plug connection adapter from Max BMW, due to arrive soon. They highly recommended it. Comes with 5 year warranty, so despite some users having longevity issues, I’ll keep my purchase info and receipt, should the unit fail or develop problems.

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