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Author Topic: Harbor Freight Horn Upgrade  (Read 6153 times)

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azcatfan

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on: June 11, 2014, 10:34:14 pm
So commuting in Tucson (recently ranked 15th on worst cities to drive in) on a motorcycle, even with my conservative riding, I have to use the horn from time to time.  The stock horn wasn't cutting it.  It worked as it should, but was a very meager 'meep'.  :P

I picked up a set of these after seeing some videos on Youtube about them.  I found them on sale for $7.99 at Harbor Freight.
 


The wiring was pretty straight forward, the relay mounted right to a mounting bolt in the left side toolbox.  I used a 10A in-line fuse for the direct power.



Painted the brackets black to make them less noticeable.  Not sure I'm crazy about the mounting location I chose.  I wanted to go either high or low, I didn't want to obstruct air flow over the iron barrel.



And the finished product...



Not too bad from a distance...



And of course a video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OcAgZSacf8

The sound comparison starts about 45 seconds in.  It is a huge difference, I mean huge!  In fact, I'm holding the camera when my son hits the new horn for the recording and it startled me even though I was expecting it.  Cagers will be looking for a Cadillac when they hear these horns...  8)


« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 10:48:46 pm by azcatfan »
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i.candide

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Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 08:38:45 am
Love it!!! Gotta do it to mine. :)
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In Southern California


boggy

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Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 02:57:51 pm
I always hesitated on those bc I didn't think they'd look good, but that looks great!
2007 AVL
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Arizoni

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Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 05:27:09 pm
I guess I'll have to make a trip to my local Harbor Freight tomorrow. :)
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary


azcatfan

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Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 07:34:37 pm
I think they'd look great on a UCE, I have that big starter hump down low and up front, if it wasn't there, that's where I would have mounted them...
-2002 Bullet ES Up-Jetted with Ace Air Canister and punched HD Exhaust.

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wingsfan3019

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Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 10:59:53 am
Awesome
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High On Octane

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Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 03:01:11 pm
Those sound damn good for HF!  Don't look bad either.  :)
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Hondo

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Reply #7 on: June 18, 2014, 09:24:18 pm
I looked at those last weekend but left them on the shelf.  I'll be going back.  Thanks for the video.


Arizoni

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Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 12:03:01 am
I bought a pair of them for about $10 but after getting home and studying the situation on my G5 an obvious place to mount them wasn't obvious.

I'm still studying things.
I'm not really in a big hurry.  I think in 3 years of ownership I've honked my bikes horn about 3 times.
It would have been 4 times but I use the thing so little, when I wanted to honk at the guy ahead of me for not moving on the green left turn arrow I poked the turn signal button.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary


azcatfan

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Reply #9 on: June 19, 2014, 08:36:39 am
If I didn't have an early ES model with the hump in the front, I would have used a Ubolt and mounted them low on the front, I've seen other models with the horns located there...
-2002 Bullet ES Up-Jetted with Ace Air Canister and punched HD Exhaust.

My MotoVlog Channel:  http://tinyurl.com/nnso3av


tooseevee

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Reply #10 on: August 13, 2014, 02:42:54 pm
      The stock AVL's horn doesn't doesn't have a relay in its circuit, does it?  If it does, it's pretty well hidden.

       How does just a single horn sound, Azcatfan?

       I moved my horn during the first year. I never use it. It's too embarrassing   :-[  I don't want anyone to hear it IF they could hear it.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 02:54:16 pm by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


azcatfan

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Reply #11 on: August 16, 2014, 09:46:33 pm
      The stock AVL's horn doesn't doesn't have a relay in its circuit, does it?  If it does, it's pretty well hidden.

       How does just a single horn sound, Azcatfan?

       I moved my horn during the first year. I never use it. It's too embarrassing   :-[  I don't want anyone to hear it IF they could hear it.

I did a quick test when I was hooking these up.  Neither the high nor low tone would sound right without the relay or without going directly to the battery.  So even running a single of these you'd still need a relay, which wasn't terribly difficult.

As for how a single actually sounds, either of these running by themselves is an upgrade to the stock horn, and of the two the high pitched one is more penetrating on its own.
-2002 Bullet ES Up-Jetted with Ace Air Canister and punched HD Exhaust.

My MotoVlog Channel:  http://tinyurl.com/nnso3av


tooseevee

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Reply #12 on: August 18, 2014, 10:14:47 am
I did a quick test when I was hooking these up.  Neither the high nor low tone would sound right without the relay or without going directly to the battery.  So even running a single of these you'd still need a relay, which wasn't terribly difficult.

As for how a single actually sounds, either of these running by themselves is an upgrade to the stock horn, and of the two the high pitched one is more penetrating on its own.

             I ordered a set of these yesterday & I'll wire them both up with a relay & fuse. I have to think out my wiring well because I spent a lot of hours cleaning up all the wiring under the seat & unwrapping all the wires going forward (30), cleaned everything up & rewrapped the whole thing using '50s style cloth harness wrap.

              Did you plug your bike's original hot horn wire into 86 on the relay & mount it up forward? Then run a new 12V+ wire from the battery forward to the relay's 30/51 input?

               Or did you mount the relay under the seat? I guess under the seat is best
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 10:17:06 am by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


azcatfan

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Reply #13 on: August 18, 2014, 03:03:29 pm
I used the stock horn wires to go into the relay.  Once I unwound the harness, the stock wires reached and allowed me to hook up the relay in the left side triangle tool box next to the main fuse.  Then I ran the wires out of the relay back up front and into the horns.  I used a bullet splitter and bullet connectors under the tank.

I'm at work right now, but I can take some pictures when I get home.
-2002 Bullet ES Up-Jetted with Ace Air Canister and punched HD Exhaust.

My MotoVlog Channel:  http://tinyurl.com/nnso3av


tooseevee

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Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 05:58:07 pm
I used the stock horn wires to go into the relay.  Once I unwound the harness, the stock wires reached and allowed me to hook up the relay in the left side triangle tool box next to the main fuse.  Then I ran the wires out of the relay back up front and into the horns.  I used a bullet splitter and bullet connectors under the tank.

I'm at work right now, but I can take some pictures when I get home.

            I can see what you did in my head. I just don't really want to unharness that harness again. I spent Sooo much time on it before.

             I think I'll remove the tank, find a safe place for the relay up forward & plug the OE hot horn wire into it. Then run a NEW fused wire from the relay back to the battery. Then arrange it all well, Ty-Wrap it to the harness, finish the wires from the relay to the horns & I'm in shitcity with a set of 100db horns. Can't wait to blow them at some idiot  :) ;)
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


azcatfan

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Reply #15 on: August 18, 2014, 10:22:15 pm
HAHA!  They do get people's attention, and that is no joke.

Ya know, if you aren't using that starter, I bet you could hook them to those leads without having to run any new wires.... 
-2002 Bullet ES Up-Jetted with Ace Air Canister and punched HD Exhaust.

My MotoVlog Channel:  http://tinyurl.com/nnso3av


tooseevee

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Reply #16 on: August 19, 2014, 07:16:06 am
HAHA!  They do get people's attention, and that is no joke.

Ya know, if you aren't using that starter, I bet you could hook them to those leads without having to run any new wires....

           No, I have to keep my starter enabled for the rare time when it might die at a stoplight & I need an immediate start to avoid being flattened out like a frog by the lunatics who now populate my small twin towns where the traffic has turned to total lunacy since the '50s, '60s & early '70s when it used to actually be a pleasure to ride a bike around with like-minded people.
It's a challenge now to leave my own driveway & get home again without at least one near-death experience; and it usually happens at the first 4-way stop I come to which is 3 minutes from my house. The next comes at the 4-way stoplights where 6 lanes now converge from both E/W & N/S where it used to be Two-Lane Blacktop, Huck Meader's gas station (it had a lift & a pit) & a laundromat. Now it's a huge, horrible commercial center. It's a deathwish just waiting to come true. 

       Plus I'd have to get used to a new switch  :) ;)

        I've decided to do this horn thing over the Winter. I already have enuff things goin' on.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 07:20:00 am by tooseevee »
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


Arizoni

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Reply #17 on: July 19, 2015, 12:31:22 pm
After letting my Harbor Freight horns rest on the shelf in my back room for 13 months, I finally got around to installing one of them.

I really didn't have room for two so I chose the low pitched horn and mounted it.

Pushing the horn button resulted in a nice sounding honk.  In fact, just to make sure everything was fine, I honked it 4 more times.  :)

Later in the day, I rode down to the end of my street, turned the corner onto a major street and rode about 1/4 mile.  That's when I decided to test my horn again.  HONK. :)

I poked the button again and....nothing.  Not a pip.  >:(

Figuring one of the wires might have become dislodged, I rode over to the Hot Rod/Antique car/Motorcycle get together and checked the wiring.
Everything was fine but still no honk from the horn.
I figured a brand new horn should be working but maybe I fried my horn button.

This morning, I checked the horn button.  Full power going to the horn.
I checked the horn for resistance and found no continuity at all.  Absolutely no power was going thru the horn.
In other words, in less than 1/4 mile of being shook by a big thumper, it died so, I put the OEM horn back on my bike.  Beep...Beep. :)

You folks who have installed these horns might want to try them out from time to time.
If your horns lasted as long as mine did, all you will hear is the thump of your engine when you poke the horn button. :(
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary


heloego

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Reply #18 on: July 19, 2015, 08:39:58 pm
I shelled out the $$ for a WOLO Bad Boy.
Never been happier.
When I tested it by direct hookup to my battery I nearly came unglued.  :o
5000 miles on it and hasn't failed me yet.
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tooseevee

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Reply #19 on: July 21, 2015, 10:58:46 am
After letting my Harbor Freight horns rest on the shelf in my back room for 13 months, I finally got around to installing one of them.
I really didn't have room for two so I chose the low pitched horn and mounted it.
Pushing the horn button resulted in a nice sounding honk.  In fact, just to make sure everything was fine, I honked it 4 more times.  :)
Later in the day, I rode down to the end of my street, turned the corner onto a major street and rode about 1/4 mile.  That's when I decided to test my horn again.  HONK. :)
I poked the button again and....nothing.  Not a pip.  >:(

            I mounted mine where the picture shows. I ran bulletproof wiring with a fuse and relay (I cannot stand wiring problems). They still blow fine and are incredibly LOUD!! 8) I have not blown them on the road AT anyone yet. No one has attracted my anger enough yet. I don't bother with a horn for just "normal" traffic idiots. Never have.

             I've got to fab up some stronger brackets some day. The ones that come with the horns are useless thin sheet metal, but they've been OK so far  :-[  (I don't ride thousands of miles a month).
2008 AVL Classic.Extensive head work by Ace.Ace canister/TM32/Ace manifold.Small open bottle/hot tube removed.Pertronix Coil.Bobber seat.Fed mandates removed.Battery in right side case.Decomp&all doodads removed.'30s Lucas taillight/7" headlight.


azcatfan

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Reply #20 on: September 09, 2015, 03:22:05 pm
After letting my Harbor Freight horns rest on the shelf in my back room for 13 months, I finally got around to installing one of them.

I really didn't have room for two so I chose the low pitched horn and mounted it.

Pushing the horn button resulted in a nice sounding honk.  In fact, just to make sure everything was fine, I honked it 4 more times.  :)

Later in the day, I rode down to the end of my street, turned the corner onto a major street and rode about 1/4 mile.  That's when I decided to test my horn again.  HONK. :)

I poked the button again and....nothing.  Not a pip.  >:(

Figuring one of the wires might have become dislodged, I rode over to the Hot Rod/Antique car/Motorcycle get together and checked the wiring.
Everything was fine but still no honk from the horn.
I figured a brand new horn should be working but maybe I fried my horn button.

This morning, I checked the horn button.  Full power going to the horn.
I checked the horn for resistance and found no continuity at all.  Absolutely no power was going thru the horn.
In other words, in less than 1/4 mile of being shook by a big thumper, it died so, I put the OEM horn back on my bike.  Beep...Beep. :)

You folks who have installed these horns might want to try them out from time to time.
If your horns lasted as long as mine did, all you will hear is the thump of your engine when you poke the horn button. :(

Wow! Mine are still going strong after thousands of miles.  Perhaps the quality control at Harbor Freight is on par with some of the Enfields  :o
-2002 Bullet ES Up-Jetted with Ace Air Canister and punched HD Exhaust.

My MotoVlog Channel:  http://tinyurl.com/nnso3av