Do Motorcycles Have Radios?
Don’t laugh at the title of this article, as the answer may just surprise you.
Yes, some motorcycles do in fact have radios, however these are still the exception rather than the rule when talking generally about road going motorcycles. The radios are usually also a bit different to those that you would find elsewhere. A radio on a motorcycle is something that many would not have counted on, read our list of other disadvantages of motorcycles in “A Disadvantage Of Driving A Motorcycle Is“.
Which styles of motorcycles have radios
Although technically you could fit a radio to any motorcycle at all, the key is that you will want to be able to clearly hear the radio while you’re riding. What this means is that you’ll need to choose a motorcycle which has significant protection from the wind, as the wind is your greatest challenge when attempting to listen to the radio while riding.
If you’re buying a motorcycle straight from the factory and want it to have a radio, then your options for factory fitted radios are going to be limited to the large touring style motorcycles, which often have large windscreens as well as fairings. These factory fitted radios will have many of the common features found in other radio systems, including the ability to play CD’s.
Do motorcycles have radios with speakers like cars?
The radio setups on motorcycles often have many of the same features as car radios, however there are some differences too.
There are two types of radio setups on motorcycles:
- Intercom style setup – This involves putting a headset into an audio jack which will be somewhere on your dash area. The main advantage of this setup is that the noise from the audio is coming straight from your helmet, so wind noise is extremely limited. These setups can often also cater for your pillion passenger and for other audio options such as for cell phones and communication systems if the rider wants to speak with the pillion passenger, which is only an advantage some of the time!
- Traditional radio speakers – This is very much like your car stereo system, with the difference that any of the speakers are also going to be made taking into account that they will be exposed to the elements. These will only be useful on motorcycles which have significant protection from the wind for the rider. These are similar to marine speakers that can be found on the decks of cruiser boats.
Some motorcycles which have radios
Harley-Davidson Street Glide
Alternatives to motorcycles which have radios
- Helmets with built in speakers / intercom
- iPod / iPhone / mp3 player
Does a radio ruin motorcycle riding
In many cases the answer is yes. However, this all depends on the style of riding that you wish to do. If you are spending considerable time on the road then you may have a genuine need to be able to stay in touch, or keep yourself occupied with music along long straights.
However, if you are a weekend rider and there is only an hour between stops then I am sure that you can manage without having a radio on your motorcycle.
You will now be able to answer your friends when they ask you the question ”Do motorcycles have radios?”, hopefully they will also be surprised with your answer.
What are your experiences with motorcycle radios, do you love them or hate them? We would love to hear from you so please leave a comment in the section below.
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