All Harley Radios Require Either a Radio Flash or a Device to Compensate for Not Having a Flash.

Harley Radio Flash

Is a flash the correct choice for your bike? The answer depends on what equipment you have and what your expectations for your new audio system are. If you opt not to have your radio flashed you will need a good DSP like the Rockford Fosgate DSR1 in order to straighten things out.

For more technical information about why a radio flash is such a big deal click here.

What is a Radio Flash?

A radio flash is a program that a service tech loads into the radio with a computer connection. This program dictates how the radio operates and has a profound effect on the performance of any aftermarket audio system. Big or small.

What is a DSP?

A DSP is a Digital Sound Processor. Basically this is an audio equalizer. Using a DSP you can skip the radio flash and get better/more reliable results. Rockford Fosgate makes the most popular unit by far. It is called the DSR1.

Radio Flash Pros

  • Simplest connections with the lowest cost

Radio Flash Cons

  • Very limited tuning and system flexibility. 
  • The factory Harley radio flashing system is not capable of the flash you need for an aftermarket system, so you will often times have to locate an independent bike shop with the correct equipment and training to do the flash for you. 
  • Every time your bike is serviced you risk an unwitting service tech undoing the flash and messing things up.

DSP (Rockford DSR1) with No Radio Flash Pros

  • Plug & Play Sound
  • No need to find and pay for a radio flash
  • Tunable sound with touch screen interface via your smartphone. Lots of options to play with.
  • Much more friendly for larger scale systems (more than 2 speakers) 
  • Definitely the way to go if you have especially high expectations of your new audio system. Maximum tuning abilities.

DSP with No Radio Flash Cons

  • Another device to install in the fairing. Small and plug and play but it is another item to install.
  • Learning curve. The basics are all setup for you for the most part but to get maximum performance you will have to have an understanding of how DSP works and read our articles. 

So Whats American Hard Bags Opinion About It?

Using a DSP like the Rockford DSR1 is always our go to solution. Its not the cheapest and it's not the simplest but it is by far the most flexible and highest performance option every time. By using a DSR1 in your system you are ensuring that you are not cutting any performance corners when it comes to setting the equipment up.  

You Can Find Your dsr1 Here

But keep it simple. For a basic 2 or even 4 speaker system or for someone who just doesn't want any unnecessary complexities a radio flash and no DSP is the way to go.