How many times have you noticed when carrying a passenger on the back of your FLH with rear speakers that you can no longer hear them? The passenger simply blocks the sound from reaching your ears. To top it all off, with the wind in your ears, the factory stereo can sometimes be hard to hear.
The innovative guys at Hogtunes, a well-known supplier of high quality sound from your stock Harley-Davidson stereo, have once again come to the rescue with their new ‘3-Way for the Freeway’ system. The 3-Way for the Freeway kit is a complete 6-speaker system with an amplifier for use on 2006 and newer Ultra Classics with a factory stereo.
Don’t think for a minute that you can only use a Hogtunes system for an Ultra Classic though. Hogtunes has many high-performance audio kits, and variations available, for most Harley-Davidson stock stereo systems that can deliver 2, 4 or 6-speaker systems to the FLH and FLT line of motorcycles in conjunction with the factory stereo.
The new 3-Way for the Freeway system uses the fairing lowers on the Ultra Classic to mount the third set of speakers by utilizing the storage compartments. Hogtunes has thought this installation out very well by optimizing the angle of the third set of speakers directly toward the rider and the passenger for maximum sound clarity and volume. They even went to great lengths to ensure the speaker grills fit into the mix and that they look natural on the lower fairings.
The engineers at Hogtunes have made installation as easy and painless as possible. The included wire harness has all the wires at the proper length and with the proper plugs so there is no confusion of which connector goes where. While the installation manual covers these steps in more detail, the following is a brief description of just how quick and easy installation of the 3-Way for the Freeway is on a 2008 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic.
1. Remove the seat and unhook the battery, then move to the front of the bike to remove the outer fairing.
2. Once the outer fairing is removed, simply unhook the speaker wires, unscrew the stock speakers from their mounts, and install the Hogtunes speakers and speaker grills back onto the bike. Re-attach the speaker wires.
3. Next stop is to mount the Hogtunes amplifier on top of the factory CB using the supplied hook and loop material. This hook and loop material is strong so no worries about the amplifier coming loose.
4. Plug the wires into their respective spots as explained in the manual. Remember that the wires are the correct length and the plugs will only go on one way so the wires cannot be connected wrong.
5. Following the wire routing instructions in the manual will ensure proper wire lengths when con-necting the supplied wire harness to the battery. (Note: Some models run the wiring harness under the fuel tank and some models run the harness under the dash console, depending on year and models with ABS. For up-to-date information and tech tips see hogtunes.com)
6. Time to move on to the fairing lowers. After removing the storage compartment covers, use a pair of side cutters to cut off the inner portions of the snaps. These suckers fly hard when cut so it’s best to wear some eye protection. The front of the snaps will then come out leaving four holes that will be used for mounting the speakers.
7. Removing the two nuts inside each compart-ment will allow the painted lower fairing cap to come off.
8. Just to the inside of the lower bolt hole is a flat area, drill a 1/8 inch hole as a pilot hole and follow with a 5/16 hole for the speaker wires to be fed through. The speaker wires are labeled ‘clutch side’ and ‘brake side’ so there is no confusion. Seal the hole with the supplied black putty.
9. Locate the angled speaker holders for the side you are working on (they too are marked ‘clutch side’ and ‘brake side’) and mount the speaker holders onto the fairing lowers using the screws and nuts provided through the holes that were created when the side cutters cut out the plugs.
10. Plug the wires onto the speakers, mount the speakers into the speaker holders, and tighten. Push on the Hogtunes speaker grills. (In case the fairing lowers or the engine guard has to come off, there are quick disconnect plugs in the wire harness so you don’t have to get into the speaker compartments to undo wires. Nice.)
11. Moving to the back now. Remove the speaker grills from the rear pods on the Tour-Pak and undo the four screws per speaker. Simply replace each stock speaker with the supplied Hogtunes speaker and reassemble.
12. Turn the stereo on to make sure all six speakers work.
13. Re-install the outer fairing and the seat.
14. Go for a ride to hear how good the 3-Way for the Freeway sounds.
The whole system is virtually invisible, but sounds amazing and having the lower speakers pointing up at the rider really does make a difference.
The 3-Way for the Freeway system comes with everything needed for the installation. The whole job should take about 2 1/2 – 3 hours if you are at all experienced at removing the outer fairing.
The cost of the 3-Way for the Freeway system is $649 Canadian and is available through Drag Specialties retailers. To make the deal even sweeter, all Hogtunes speakers are guaranteed for twenty years and the amplifier comes with a one-year guarantee.
For more information visit the web site hogtunes.com, email info@hogtunes or call 705-719-6361.
Hogtunes also offers high-performance speakers for 2001-2005 Goldwings through a subsidiary company called Metrix Audio. For more info on Metrix Audio please visit www.metrixaudio.com.