Changing the Stereo on a 81 Goldwing ? - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Callender Iowa
Model: 1981 GL1100 Interstate
Posts: 4
Changing the Stereo on a 81 Goldwing ?

I recently purchased a 1981 GL1100 Goldwing Interstate. I would like to change out the factory AM/FM cassette stereo with a new Sony Xplode AM/FM CD player I have laying around. I am electronically inclined as I am a retired engineer. Is it as simple as say changing out a car stereo and and using a DVM to indentify speaker wires, power, accessory power etc. and making my own adapter harness or does Honda make it somehow tricky on a 1981 ? I see people selling a variety of stock harnesses, factory Clarion decks and amplifiers ? I really do not see the need for a amplifier using a more modern CD deck the Sony Xplode CD player mentioned above. I have seen several posts where changing out the stereo on a Goldwing is not a simple task so was just curious what the issues are ? Or does it get more complex on the later model Wings ? Remember mine is a 1981 Interstate with factory speakers and deck in the fairing. I would also like to add a pair of rear speakers. I just bought the bike a week ago but have been very sick and have not had time to pull the stereo and look at the harness. I Can't wait to get better and work on the Wing ! I have all winter as I live in Iowa. Thanks for your help in advance!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 11:29 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winchester, Kentucky, USA
Model: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade with sidecar
Posts: 38
I have installed or modded stereos on pretty much every vehicle or bike I have owned since 1976. It has been my experience on a lot of the older vehicles, it's just better to run new wires, (especially speaker wires). It's not really that difficult and when you run new wires, you KNOW where your connections are, instead of relying on modular connectors that may be heavily oxidized/corroded.
Case in point, I recently had 2 different occasions where I had to re-take the front shelter off completely on my GL1500 when I relied on the original plugs.
One of the plugs, I had salvaged from my old GL1200 because it gave me the proper number of conductors. The plug worked fine for about 2 months, and then it didn't.
So, since you seem to be handy and also electronically knowledgeable, do yourself a favor and run new speaker wires. On my GL1500, I added a new fuse panel fed from a 40Amp relay, triggered by voltage from the auxiliary terminals on the bike fuse box. It works great and I don't have to worry about overloading the bikes original 1993 wiring. I tend to over build everything I do... I have six gauge wire running to my fuse panel on the power connections and also from my new 95Amp Lactrical alternator that I installed.
I have lots of spare power for any new add-ons, (like my heated grips, and seat heaters on bike and side car).
Let me encourage you to plan ahead and think past this one project.
Where do you want to go with this bike? Do you want to do cross-country with all the bells and whistles or just have a go-to-work bike?
When I had my 1986 GL1200 I did a lot of custom stuff to that bike, including making rear 6 1/2" speaker pods out of Sintra. That was a lot of fun.
Best wishes in your project.
Keep us posted...
DW

dwitgoldwing-Feeding my GL1500 Obsession Everyday!

Double Darkside and loving it!!! Wish I had done it sooner! Wonderful combination for my 1500/sidecar rig.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winchester, Kentucky, USA
Model: 1993 GL1500 Aspencade with sidecar
Posts: 38
One more comment... the after market head unit may be enough for you; it just depends on how much sound you require.
I put a Clarion CMS1 marine stereo unit on my 1993 Aspencade and it worked O.K. I put up with the marginal sound for 6 months, but then decided, I really needed a sub and amp. My sidecar gives me much more options for space, so I added a 4 channel amp, ran the front and rear speakers on the front channel of the amp, and the 8" sub on the back channels. NOW I HAVE SOUND!!!
You can feel the sound on and around the bike... Finally, the Harley riders don't have me totally blown away with their Rokker setups...my bike has full sound...
And the 8" sub even gives my fiance a back massage.

Again, it's all in how much sound you require. Both my last 2 bikes only had the standard 16 watt per channel head unit and they were decent but just not quite right.

Best wishes in your journey.
DW

dwitgoldwing-Feeding my GL1500 Obsession Everyday!

Double Darkside and loving it!!! Wish I had done it sooner! Wonderful combination for my 1500/sidecar rig.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 01:15 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Silo'd in SD, USA
Posts: 12,287
I've a '81 too.

I wonder if someone at Sierra knows of a *upgrade* to the amplifier section of the factory unit installed behind the control-head?

Maybe a simple IC swap for twice the output with little-to-no additional noise injection in doing it ...with todays better and more efficient amps? ...

...seems they know these radios better than most.
...I'm thinking they would either know or be able to do it if requested.
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