Stereo Amplifier and Speaker Installation Upgrade Page

Digital Tachometer Installation Upgrade Page

Service Lighting Upgrade Page

 

Just as the titles say, here are pictures and instructions of where we installed the amplifier and speakers on my HD200. Installation wasn't exactly easy and we did have to get the creative juices flowing for this one with mounting the speakers. Everything was included with the kit except for the two aluminum brackets I had to make. On any other scooter, especially an air-cooled one, this wouldn't be a problem, but as you guys and gals know, behind the panels is not exactly roomy and spaces are tight so flush mounted speakers are not an option unless you use small cheesy ones. The speakers are totally waterproof and are of marine grade so I didn't have to worry about their location or them getting wet. On the other hand, the amp isn't waterproof but water resistant, so we mounted it in a place where there just shouldn't be any water. (Unless heaven forbid a radiator hose blows up.) 

I decided to combine a few other upgrades into this page since it was a bit moot to make separate pages for them and we did them all at the same time anyway. Other than the stereo installation, we also installed a digital tach and built-in service lights.

Stereo Installation

I purchased the set on eBay for about $85.00 shipped. It doesn't include a radio, but I don't even know where you would put one anyway. Unless you wanted to hog up little of what there is under the seat, it's not too probable to have an AM/FM CD player for sure. So that's where I came up with the amp, speakers and mp3 player idea. The amp has regular L and R RCA inputs and also has a CD/aux in. The kit included the regular 1/8th inch male to male cord too so I didn't have to buy one either. It's perfect for anything with a headphone jack like walkmans, iPods et al... The amp has a volume control and three separate filters; with a high, normal or low setting. It really doesn't matter which setting I keep it on since I can adjust the EQ on my mp3 player. Low is too low, high is too high and normal is bland so I keep on normal and pre-adjust the player. Since the amp will be behind a panel and inaccessible, I adjusted the volume to the max and will regulate it with the player volume control. It is a 100 watt amp which is 50 watts per channel, and it does crank for sure with good sound. The draw on the battery was measured at .6 amps at power on and at .11 running power, in other words about 1/10th of an amp. The HD has the best stator style available, being 11 poles, and it is a minimal draw on it. The regular tail light/brake light will use more juice than the amp and since I've switched over to full LED's, I don't even have to worry. In fact, even with the stock bulbs, you'll be fine with this amp.

The aluminum mounts I made, and the screws, nuts and bolts are only temporary and will be nicely painted and finished before I'm done fully. We'll be using stainless steel fasteners for the end product to help prevent rusting. Let's just call this the working rough draft.

 

Click on any of the below pictures to enlarge them. They will each open up in a new window

Here's the amp and speakers. Sorry I chopped the top off, but other pictures will show them. The speakers are a bit heavy and aren't designed to be flush mounted, but surface mounted much like the way they are sitting in the photo.

Here's a picture of the amp with the connections taped together and enclosed in wire loom. You see the power cord and L/R speaker cords on the left. The CD in, audio RCA in are on the right.

Here's the brackets that came with the kit. They're designed to bolt under the mirrors on the top, but I didn't like the look, so Lynn and I mounted them on the slug eye brackets. The two holes are for the actual speakers themselves. I had to make the one hole bigger so we could mount the bracket I made for this mount. The HD200 slug eye mounts are a heavy gauge metal and you can actually pick the scooter up by them so this method may not work on other brands with thin metal or especially cheap plastic. P.S. I wouldn't pick your scooter up by them, I was just trying to make a point of their strength. 

 Here's the under side of the mount. We unscrewed the forward screw from the turn signal mounts (faces to the front) and put it under and tightened it down. You can't see the second screw under the cable, but it won't work on those the way we did it and you'll interfere with the body and especially with the throttle cable on this side. Because of the cable, the two mounts I made had to be different drill patterns and slightly different bends in the metal.

Step one finished and here's a view of both of the mounts ready to go. Again, these are the ones that came with the speaker kit and are the where the speakers are supposed to mount on between the mirrors and the column. It's almost as if they were meant to go where we put them and are a perfect fit. They are also semi-adjustable and that helped immensely with the positioning of the second brackets and speakers.. 

Here's the "S" shaped bracket I had to make for each side (silver). It was a bit of a PITA getting the size and angles for each side since I couldn't just copy the pattern. I used simple aluminum stock left over from my boat rehab project that I got from the local Ace Hardware store. We don't have a brake, but a bench vise, a pair of crescent wrenches and a dead blow hammer worked nicely.  We did have to file/round a few corners on the "S" brackets so they wouldn't contact the body panels when the wheel turns.

Here's a picture of the bottom of the left speaker. I drilled a second hole in the speaker case (chicken Lynn again :) so I could have double the strength with holding them on. There's nothing on the inside that interferes with the second hole I drilled.  Notice the unused hole on the speaker that the other bracket is supposed to go in? The brass screw hole won't let water get in, but I filled it with silicone to be sure. I also had to drill a small hole between the halves of the panels so I could route the speaker wire and the input cable through since it'll be on this side.

 

Here's the one on the throttle side. I didn't have to drill a hole for this one and it went in with the cable. This side was the most difficult because of the throttle cable. I moved the throttle cable as much as I could without binding it up and there was nothing (yet) that I could do about it. We've gone over every angle and routing and came up with the best solution we could.

Here's where the amp is mounted . The red circle is spare wire from the  6' auxiliary out cable that is strapped together. The blue circle is where the amp is grounded . That particular wire goes to the on/off switch and the ground from the amp itself goes to the switch also. The positive wire is run through the floorboard and directly hooked to the battery. It has a fuse holder and it's located in the battery box.

Here's another view of the amp and it's location. I did have to drill two screws to mount the amp there and they poke through behind the front wheel. I will file them down and camouflage the tips even though you really won't see them anyway. The screws aren't holding the amp in, but are preventing it from moving. The tension of the body panel is what is really holding it in.

To answer a few questions I've gotten on how we've done all this rewiring without removing the floorboard, this is how we've fished the wires through on our projects. Lynn used a sturdy, but flexible wire and taped the wires to the end, pushing them through along the dotted line area to a access port that I made in the battery compartment. 

 

Here's another view of the fished wire. No the blue box isn't another amp, it's the MRP CDI I installed and fits right above where the wires are coming through. Once she fished the wire through, she removed the tape and it's routed. At this point another wire could be taped on and fished through, etc... We were thinking on leaving one permanently in place, but decided against it at this time.

Once again, here's a picture of the hole for the LED/reflector and the easy access to the pain in the arse screw that has to come out to get  the inner panel off. Obviously there's one on each side. Without this access point, you might have to take off the front lower fairing unless you reach up and under with a "thumbie" driver. A ľ" ratchet with a #2 Phillips will be needed the first time you crack that one loose. In fact, they use "Godzilla Locks It Tight" on all the fasteners I swear. One of them I had to finally drill out because no mechanical device short of it would remove that one screw.

Right below the overflow exit tube you can see where the two screws went through the body panel for the amp. I will be filing them down and touching up the holes. This is quite easy to do on the SYM scooters because of the panel thickness. Where the screws poke through at that point is almost 4mm thick and again, they aren't holding the amp on, just keeping it from moving. They did not skimp on quality for sure with the body panels. Out of the dozens of them I've removed dozens of times, only two have stripped and I fixed them with a plastic resin and re-screwed them in. Unless you get down on your hands and knees, you wouldn't see the screws poking out, but I'm going to fix them anyway.

Here's a view of the mounted speakers, tachometer and mp3 player. The mp3 player is mounted with heavy duty Dual-Hook Velcro. If you notice the right one is a bit turned in a little bit more than the left one, you're right. I really had no choice. It is an optical illusion that makes it seem to be mounted further out on the bar though; They are both mounted the same distance from center. You may also notice that the ignition cover is missing. That's because the little black monster you see on the left under the table decided to hide it somewhere on me. I have a new one on order from SYM/Carter. The two switches on the column are weatherproof and are supposed to be lit, but the instructions on the switch contacts were freakin' backwards and I blew out both LED's in them hooking them up like they stated. Rat Bastards... I'll be getting new switches soon enough and want them to be lit because I have them wired to be hot with or without the key even in the ignition. The one on the right controls the amplifier and the one on the left isn't hooked to anything yet but is wired and ready. I installed them both just to keep it symmetrical. 

Lynn and I picked up the front of The Fire Drake off the ground by holding only the speakers. Trust me, they aren't going to just fall off or get knocked loose without seriously trying. They are tight and strong.

Here's a front view of the speakers as mounted. I'm not sure how much more wind drag is involved since it isn't noticeable, but I do feel less wind on me and the radiator exhaust vents kind of suck in towards me more. BONUS:)

I like the below picture so I put in in for kicks.

 

 
 

 

Service Lighting

I bought 2 flexible LED strips on eBay that have 24 white LEDís on them each. We mounted them with Velcro strips under the seat bucket and wired them into a switch that is directly connected to the battery, separately fused of course. The leads are about 6' long so I can unlatch them and move them around if needed. The one I mounted on the inside of the side panel doesn't shine much without removing the seat bucket since it's between the bucket and the body. The second one  Lynn coiled up and mounted on the underside of the round carb access port. This one lights up the whole engine compartment without removing the bucket for quick spotting of a problem or I could remove it for a potent spotlight, again without removing the seat. I used plastic garbage ties to keep the excess wire wrapped together until I need them to be moved for usage.

Here is the body mounted LED strip. The photos were taken in full darkness. The photo on the left is with a flash and the one on the right without.

Here is the bottom of the seat bucket. The round access panel is where the round one is mounted on the underside. It too is is attached with Velcro so I may pull it off if needed. I made the strip round by using a zip tie. Even if the zip tie breaks, the Velcro will keep it into place. All of the Velcro I used is a double latch design and not fuzzy on one side and rough on the other.

This picture was taken in pitch black darkness. The lights you see are the trouble lights hanging over the handle bars. The long one on the right is a few feet longer than the coiled one on the left. If I mounted a round one on each side, I would be seen more than the head light itself by other drivers at night. Don't be fooled by the brightness though, because LED lights have a different wavelength and can't project the light needed for your needed long range visibility.

The left photo is a picture of inside the seat tub and it the actual fuse box that I relocated. The long strip is what lights that one up with the seat bucket in. The right photo is a picture from underneath and shows how much the round one lights up the underside. both photos were taken in total darkness.

 

In a room lit view, here are the lights on and off. The switch is on the upper right and attached to my horn relay that I installed.

This is the covered access point that really goes nowhere on a stock HD200. I have the fuse for my horns, horn relay and the service light switch installed under it. Unless I try to spray water from underneath on it, it won't get wet. Nonetheless, all my connections are weather/water resistant snapping connectors and are sealed with rubberized electrical tape.

   
   

Digital Tachometer Upgrade

The tach is from ENM industries and is quite similar to the ones offered by Tiny-Tach but is way better in my opinion and cheaper than the basic T.T. The Tiny Tach has a coaxial cable that can't be cut or altered and must be ordered at the length you need. If it's too short, then you have a problem. The ENM one has two separate wires and can be lengthened or shortened to suit your needs.  Unlike the T.T., The black wire goes to chassis ground and like the T.T., the red wire wraps around the plug wire 5-6 times for inductive pickup of the signal. It has a pretty decent refresh time of about 1 second compared to 2Ĺ seconds on the basic T.T. and according to the manufacturer, a max of 24,000-RPM's. When it is not detecting a spark signal, it displays the total elapsed time. Like the T.T., is has a permanent lithium battery that can't be changed. It is weather and shock proof and perfect for our scooters. Tiny Tach claims their battery will last up to 5+ years, while ENM claims up to 8 years. I guess we will see. The HD200, like most other small engines, sparks twice per engine revolution. I goofed and bought the wrong one, I thought. This unit is calibrated for one spark per revolution and I honestly don't know why it doesn't show double the actual RPM's. There's no adjustment for it and it is as it is. On a two spark per revolution engine like most GY6 motors, the reading on the gauge should be doubled the actual RPM the engine is rotating at unless I am wrong and the HD200 motor doesn't fire on the exhaust stroke too. The unit was 32.00 shipped which is $5.00 less than the basic T.T. price less shipping. You can also go directly to the ENM website and order there for a bit more money.

This is where I mounted the tach temporarily. It would be nice if the wires were on the back and wouldn't show, but they are epoxied to mount that way. I say this is temporarily mounted because I'm going to make a bezel to go around it and have the wires tucked underneath so they don't show. The tach is accurate and matches the old school analog Sears engine analyzer I was using for testing purposes.

Here's a picture of the pickup wire wrapped around the coil wire. I wrapped it about 6 times, then taped it to prevent it from uncoiling. I used the unused length of the black wire and spliced it into the red wire as it was about one foot too short.

   

Phew, that was a lot of information and that sums it up for review part nine. Riding is coming soon and I have to change the belt real soon. You can bet that I'll show how it's done on our SYM Scooters.

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Revised: July 06, 2010