Ultimate Harley Radio Flash Guide for Aftermarket Speakers and Amplifiers

A complete guide to performing your own radio flash and getting all of the performance you ever wanted out of your factory Harley Davidson 2014 or newer radio when setting it up for aftermarket speakers and amplifiers. This guide assumes that you already know what a radio flash is and have some idea of why you need to get one done, but I will explain the details of what options you should program for and why.

There is a ton of misinformation out there about what flash you should get and who should do it. This article sets the record straight. Be careful of the blind leading the blind on forums and Facebook. 

Note: Always use the proper Harley radio signal harnesses with load compensation networks from American Hard Bag with or without a radio flash so that the radio is properly loaded and balanced. Skipping the correct interface harness will result in high frequency distortion that takes out tweeters. You can find all of our factory radio integration harnesses here.

Factory Harley Radio Flash

Radio Flashing Equipment

You can buy your own flash tool here. Or you can buy a flash tool and DSP combo here. The first thing you need to do is decide if you will have your bike taken to a shop to have the flash done for you or if you will be doing the flash yourself. In either case the same software will be used and in either case you should be aware of all your options. 

TechnoResearch Alaris Harley radio flash tool techno research


TechnoResearch Flash Tool

Let’s clear something up right away! The factory system that Harley dealers use to flash a radio is not what you should be using. All factory Harley flashes are intended to be used for factory Harley speakers and amplifiers and not aftermarket equipment. 


There is only one flash tool to use. It’s made by a company called TechnoResearch. Fortunately Virtually all non-Harley bike shops that have a flash tool, have a Technoresearch tool. This tool has become so popular that many factory Harley dealerships now also have this tool that they use as well as their factory supplied equipment. So in this article I will only be referring to the Technoresearch tool and software. 


Having a Flash Done by a Shop▼


Pros

Cons

Costs Less

You don’t have to buy a flash tool and software

One Shot Deal

You only get one shot. Then you will have to pay again if you don’t get the result you are looking for or if you decide to change anything in the future. 

Involving Yet More Hands

You are relying on someone else to get it right. You never really know if you got the right setup.


Performing a Flash Yourself ▼


Pros

Cons

Ownership

You own the flash tool when you are done. You can now make as many changes as you like whenever you like. 

Cost

You have to purchase the flash tool that you may or may not ever need to use again. The cost of the flash tool is approximately what two trips to your local dealer would cost you. 

Peace of Mind

You know what settings you changed and what options you chose. So there is no wondering if the tech knew what he was doing or cared to get it right. 

Future Updates and Changes

You can make as many changes as you like for life. The flash tool has many options that change over time as new features come out and manufacturers make changes to the tunes available.

 

Flash Software Guide

If you have questions about installing the Technoresearch software or registering your software so that you can use it, give Technoresearch support a call 1(248)-658-1800. Their support is great.  

When you first open The Technoresearch software you will be presented with this screen. Choose "Centurion". 

TechnoResearch Harley Radio splash screen

Next you will be presented with the Audio language selection. 

Technoresearch Language and Country Harley Radio Flash

Now you are presented with your radio flash options. Notice that in big read letters in the center of the screen it states not to flash Boom Audio Stage 2 systems. This Waring is for factory equipment only and does not concern aftermarket systems that have amplifiers with gain controls. So don't let this warning throw you for a loop. If however you ever do want to go back to a stock configuration, you could have problems. Once the output is reduced for amplifiers (that's what you want) it might not be reversible. 

Harley Radio Flash Options

Notice that on the upper right side you have a manufacturer selection. The default selection is all factory Harley options. You don't want to select any of these. Factory options are no good for aftermarket audio systems. Among the other manufacturers listed we only recommend the Rockford flash at this time. The Rockford flash gets you a very friendly EQ curve, enables all four speaker outputs, functional fader control, bass & treble controls, and speed dependent volume control.

Rockford Fosgate Harley Radio Flash

 Notice that once you select Rockford as the manufacturer there will only be one radio flash to choose from. This is because this is the best configuration. There is no need to choose from a jillion configurations. Now hit the flash button. You will be prompted to cycle your ignition switch to reset the radio and the flash tool will then test the system to make sure everything went as planned. 

That's it! Unplug the programmer and enjoy the new radio flash.

So What's Next?

That depends on the scale of your audio system and what you expect to get out of it. If you have a simple 2 or even 4 speaker system with speakers that don't need a lot of tuning, you might be just fine with just the flash. 

If however you expect to get the most out of a more complex aftermarket Harley sound system you not only need the flash that fixes the factory radio but you will also want to get a Rockford Fosgate DSR1 digital EQ so that you can make your own equalization adjustments with your smartphone and never have to take your bike apart or plug into a computer again. 

Harley Davidson Radio Interface Rockford Fosgate DSR1

 The DSR1 is a product designed as a go between for factory radios and aftermarket amplifiers. When used with the proper plug and play harnesses it will plug directly into your bike and give you 8 channels of RCA output for external amplifiers. It gives you separate equalization for up to 8 individual speakers, digital crossovers, gain control, and more. There are no buttons or knobs on the thing. All adjustments are done through an easy to use app on your phone. 

What About Using a DSP Like the dsr1 and Not Doing a Flash?

That is an option, but it may or may not be the option you want. ONCE AGAIN; if you have a relatively simple speaker system that does not require a lot of tuning you can opt to skip the flash and just use one of the factory radio DSR1 tunes we provide our customers for free. We do not however recommend this for more complex systems. This is because the DSP is now both compensating for the radio as well as the speakers and your tuning can quickly become overly complex for no good reason. Which will inevitably result in some compromises in the final result. And isn't the whole point of a powerful audio system to not be a compromise of performance?