‘14 & Up Harley Plug & Play Speaker to RCA Kit with Load Resistor Packs

Warning!

The RCA output from this harness is high level (speaker level). Only use with an amplifier that has RCA type inputs that are designed for high level input. Using this harness with an amplifier that is not designed for high level input will cause a direct short at the radio’s rear speaker outputs and can cause damage to the radio. If you are not sure, give us a call and we can help you determine this before you make your connections.


Signal Input 

Disconnect the two speaker pods inside the front fairing. Connect the harnesses that you removed from the speaker pods to the plug & play harness.

Speaker Pod connectors

Your kit will also come with connectors that should be used to connect
your front speaker pods to your aftermarket amplifier outputs. These may
have to be lengthened to reach your amplifier depending on where your
amplifier is located. These connectors will have female pins with speaker
wire on the opposite end.

Adjusting the Signal Level

Turn the gain levels on your amplifiers all the way down. Now play your
radio with a good quality recording. Listen for distortion. At about 3⁄4
volume you will usually hear the music distort on heavy bass notes. This
is the radio reaching its limits. The amplifier and speakers should not at
this point be anywhere near their limitations. Different radio flashes will
give different results. Once you reach the level of distortion, make a note
of what volume level that was at. Never play your system at or above this
level. Doing so can quickly destroy your speakers.

Now turn up the amplifier levels until the speakers reach their limits.
Once your levels are all set, never run the radio volume up high enough
to cause distortion by the radio, the amplifier, or the speakers. Any of those circumstances will eventually cause equipment failure.

Gains set too high at the amplifier will cause excessive hiss when the volume is at a low level. However gains that are set too low increases the probability of over driving the radio and consequently burning up speakers and amplifiers. It is safer to set gains higher rather than lower.
Optional Rear Speaker Output

You have two options here. You can opt to only use the front outputs from your factory radio. If you are also using one of the DSP units we sell, the DSP will generate front and rear outputs from just the front inputs of your radio. If your bike is an Ultra model, you will need an additional harness. Call for more details (916) 823-5256. If your bike did not ship from the factory with rear speakers
your bike will need to be flashed by the dealer in order to enable the rear speaker outputs, if you would like to use the rear speaker outputs. A rear speaker output harness can be purchased at AmericanHardBag.com. If you purchased a rear speaker signal harness, you can find directions for that harness below.

Load Resistor Packs
This kit comes with load resistor packs that mimic the resistive load of a factory speaker. Late model Harley radios require a resistive load (like a speaker) in order to perform correctly. When connecting the factory radio’s speaker outputs to an aftermarket amplifier, the resistive load is shifted from 2-4 ohms of resistance (factory speaker) to 10K - 20K ohms of resistance that the aftermarket amplifier presents. This causes the factory radio to distort at even low volumes. Compounding this distortion issue is the fact that most Harley baggers ship with an equalization curve that boosts the low frequencies by a large amount. This causes even more distortion from the speaker outputs of the radio when load resistors are not used. Typically speed controlled volume will also be problematic. The cure to this problem is 1st to use the supplied load resistor packs in parallel with each speaker output.
Secondly it is advisable to add a stand alone digital sound processor (available at AmericanHardBag.com). A digital sound processor will be able to counter any factory equalization that the factory radio has been programed with and will also allow you to customize the systems equalization curve to your systems needs and potential.
Rear Plug & Play Signal Harness for ‘14 & Up
Locate the rear speaker output harness behind the radio. This will be an
unpopulated 4 pin connector with a rubber plug in it. This part needs to be plugged in even if you will not be using the rear speaker outputs of the radio, if your radio has been flashed for 4 speaker output. If the radio does not see the proper resistance on both the front and rear channels, the radio will have excessive distortion.

Harley Radio Flash
A flash may or may not be necessary. Having your radio flashed simply
loads another equalization curve onto your radio and can turn on or off
the rear speaker outputs. Harley does not disclose what these equalization curves are. Most Harley flashes have the bass turned up way too high.

You have two choices.
  1. Do not flash your radio if your bike originally came with speakers in the fairing only and add a Rockford Fosgate DSR1 sound processor between your radio and your aftermarket amplifiers. With the two factory speaker configuration flash on your radio you can use a Rockford DSR1 sound processor to counter the wild EQ curve that Harley has loaded on your radio. We offer counter EQ files free of charge for the Rockford DSR1 and we even pre-load the file for you if you buy your DSR1 from us. We always recommend using a DSR1 whether you have your bike flashed or not if you expect to get maximum performance from your audio system. With a DSR1 in your system you gain almost unlimited tuning abilities. Without a DSR1 you are stuck with just the bass and treble controls on your radio for tuning. You can find lots more information about the DSR1 sound processor here.

  2. Have your bike flashed. If your bike came with any other speaker configuration other than either two speakers in the front only, or an Ultra model with no factory amp (two speakers in the front and two speakers back at the tour pack, you need to have your bike flashed. Period. We do not recommend flashing your bike with the system that Harley supplies their dealerships with. We recommend using the Techno Research brand flash tool and loading the Rockford Fosgate flash. Many Harley dealerships have this tool in addition to their factory supplied system. Most independent bike shops and car audio shops that do Harley audio systems will have this tool as well. Rockford Fosgate even has a dealer locator on their website so that you can find a shop near you with a Techno Research flash tool. If you do have your radio flashed it is recommended that you have your radio flashed for 2 speaker and no amp for a two channel system or have it flashed for 4 Speakers / No Amp/ Upper Fairing/ and Tour Pack Pods for a four channel system.