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Installing aftermarket radio

10436 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Bike...and Dennis
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When installing an aftermarket radio, how should I wire it? I know the radio has 3 wires: power, remote, and ground. Should theremote go directly to the battery, with an inline fuse (5a) and maybe run thepower to the ignition switch?

I've installed in cars, but never on a motorcycle.This install will be on a GL1100. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also post any pictures you may have. Thanks.
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I recall that member , Mr. Magic Fingers did a fantastic job of installing an aftermarket radio in his 82 1100. He posted all the instructions along with pictures on this site and it was impressive. See if you can backtrack to that. It would certainly give you some ideas.......GM
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The power will go to a switched 12v, and of course the ground will go to ground but the remote wire is for a power antenna or as a turn on for an amp.
If it is a digital it probably has this wire setup:

Red- 12v switched
Yellow- 12v constant (for memory)
Black- Ground
Blue- Remote


Gray - Front Right Positive
Gray Black - Front Right Negative
Green - Front Left Positive
Green Black - Front Left Negative

Gray Red - Right Rear Positive
Black Gray - Right Rear Negative
Green red - Left Rear Positive
Black Green - Left Rear Negative

Hope that this helps.
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I just installed an Alpine in my GL1200 and Rob the hillbilly is correct. :cooldj:
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Hey guys,

GM… thanks for the compliment. Here is the link to the thread that shows the completed stereo install.

This is what I did. Read through the article and look for my Avatar. It may give you some ideas.

Just for future reference, here are the color pin-outs for Car Stereo wires. These should apply for just about any stereo. They are typically an industry standard. It does not matter if it is an older or newer stereo, these colors hold true.



Front Left:

- is white/black

+ is white

Front Right:

- is grey/black

+ is grey

Rear Left:

- is green/back

+ is green

Rear Right:

- is purple/black

+ is purple

Power Supply

Red – This wire goes to the ignition (power when your key is on).

Yellow – Goes to battery. Always on (keeps your stereo presets etc alive).

Black – Goes to Chassis ground (direct wire to the battery preferred).

Control Wires

Blue – Power antenna control.

Blue/White – Aux power control that signals external devices to power up.

Orange/White – Dimmer control wire from your dash lights to control device backlights.


The one real comment I would say here is that if it is a higher wattage system (which almost all head units are today (greater than 15 watts RMS)), then you should run a heavy gauge wire directly from the battery to the stereo. Run a heavy gauge wire for BOTH the Positive and Negative. DON”T rely on the bikes “ground” to do its job. A few feet of good wire is only going to cost a couple of bucks. Make sure you fuse this wire at the batteries Positive end.

This type of setup will supply good, relatively clean power to the stereo with out having to go through the bikes “Spaghetti” wiring which was not even good enough for what it was designed for.

Use a relay from one of the existing wires in the fairing to switch the new stereos “red” wire to your newly run power line. I forget what the existing wire color was. I will see if I can find it for you. It will have power going through it in all ignition key setting except “off”.

I know that this may sound overkill but it really is not. You will probably have problems (a lot of people do) if you just wire it to the current fuse block under the tank or use the “Spaghetti” wiring in the fairing. The old wiring is just not meant to provide the clean power and the amount of current that the new stereos require.

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Thanks Magic for the heads-up. I sent you a PM concerning the fuse. Again thanks to all who replied. BTW I'm leaning towards installing the Pyle PLR25MPF. The low bid is about 50 bucks on Ebay. I'll keep the board updated. Ride safe.


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Hey Bozack0,

The size of the fuseall depends on the size of the lines you run down to the battery and the current draw from the stereo. You may even want to install a new AUX Fuse Panel in the fairing so that you can add other options (lights, GPS etc) and not have to wire things over and over. It is really not that expensive.

When I did my stereo I just wired for the stereo. I did not really think ahead at that time. I ran a 20 amp fuse which was suitable for the gauge of wire I used.

That was last spring. This spring I wanted to add driving lights and I decided to make an AUX Fuse Panel so I could add things as I need to. I am soooo glad I did. Here is the link to that thread…

I kept my stereo on it’s own circuit even after I added the AUX panel… it was already there and so why start cutting?

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Hi Boz,

Before you buy a unit, decide where you want to put it and make sure it will fit. Forget about CDs, they are passe and a pain. Plus, they are very deep and most bikes don't have room for them. SD card readers work so much better.

I don't know about the elevens but the twelves are pre-wired for radio and you can use that harnessfor the aftermarket unit by simply re-doing the plugs. It gives a constant for the radio's memory and clock plus a switched and ground lead. Very clean and the fuses are built in.
I have a 1986 Interstate Goldwing. When I bought it there wasn't a radio or speakers. I want to put an aftermarket radio in, but I cant seem to find the original harness where the radio was. There is a wire under the glove box that is hooked to a cigarette lighter that isn't hooked up to anything. Can someone help me to figure out how I can hook up the radio I want to put in.
DL, radio wires are under the left pocket.
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