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Discussion Starter #1
The stock horn is lame! I've had a couple close calls lately with lane-changers and when I give 'em some horn it's pretty inconsequential. I was looking at Fiamm horns on the SafeRider site. The one that puts out 134 db sounds good, but does anyone have any experience upgrading the stock horn? I'm looking for something loud but also with simple installation. Thanks for any info.
 

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When I had my Honda Rebel, I replaced the factory horn with a dual horn from JCWhitney. It was sweet and loud. Installation was simple - just two wires per horn. But I can definitely see my headlight dims when I use the horn. You might want to put a power relay in place, just in case the current exceed the horn switch rating.
 

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Personally, i'm not a big fan of making the horn a different pitch and loudness. I have nothing to back up why, but here's my reasoning behind my stand:

Big Vehicle, loud Horn. small vehicle, meep meep horn. when you hear it, you're expecting to see something resembling the sound. if you hear a car horn, you're looking for a car. it can become a little confusing for listeners if you give mixed signals like that.

Again, i've got nothing to back it up but my own thoughts. yours may differ.
 

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NinjaTwist said:
You might want to put a power relay in place, just in case the current exceed the horn switch rating.
Good idea on the relay. 8)

With the utmost of caution and respect, consider the need as you described it. Make sure you reduce the situations where you might be contributing to the other driver's error. Lane placement that keeps you in sight of the car's mirrors as you're overtaking, not parking on the corner or in the blindspot of the vehicle (especially box trucks/trailers), high beam on during daylight for additional visibility, not tailgating or running too close, etc.

By the time you're hitting the horn, all you're really doing is telling the other vehicle that they just made an error. If it was really so close to be an issue, you're already in trouble. Long term rider survival includes recognizing bad situations and avoiding them. That's your GREATEST tool for your own safety.

Also, make sure you consider the wisdom of using of a good loud horn. If the other vehicle TRULY didn't see you and you ARE that close to a collision, you MAY startle them to a point that they do something really unpredictable, like jam their brakes, and actually CAUSE what you're concerned about to actually happen.

It's never cool to have a car pull something on you that's scary BUT, remember, we are actually the vehicle that's a bit different in the driving situation. It doesn't make their errors OK but to try to match wits with them is a losing battle, regardless of how right we are.

That said, there are more than a few times I've wanted to just THROTTLE someone for the move they made in traffic. :eek: ;D
 

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nothing to add except this reminded me of the time, about 10 years ago, maybe 11, my first bike, a Suzuki GSX 850 cruiser. the horn button broke. I got a replacement with contacts adn spring.
I opened up the control assembly....and immediately my turn signal assembly burst to life, launching 3 tiny springs out into the grass.

Cost for entire new turn signal/horn control box, plus install (cuz I wasn't gonna eff up twice) was $170. :'(

won't ever do THAT again /lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Knightslugger, I follow ya on that- but I see now some models offered with high OR low tone- so maybe high tone ( for little vehicle ), but still one louder than stock. Eh?
Dad thanks for your thoughtful analysis. Actually I've easily avoided the impending mishap and it's only afterward that I hit the horn, like you said to let them know of their mistake. I realize there are times when the position and movement of the bike relative to the car can contribute.
But here's the one that burns me the most, and it happens even when I'm driving my truck: On a particular freeway exit ramp you arrive at a traffic signal where the ramp intersects a divided roadway, which has 3 lanes EB and 3 lane WB. The exit ramp itself has 2 "left turn" lanes (which merge into the WB roadway) and are controlled by the signal, plus one "right turn" lane which curves east and only has a yield sign. The law is that the vehicle in the left lane must turn into the "left-most" lane. So we're side-by-side at the light, they're on the left, me on the right, both waiting to go westbound. They HAVE to see that there's another vehicle sitting right there next to them! Doesn't matter what vehicle I'm operating either, these clowns ROUTINELY drift wide into my lane as we're both turning left, so that they cut me off or almost hit me, and then they stay in my lane in front of me. So now I just stay in the "left" left-turn lane to eliminate the whole problem, but it still makes ya want to smack somebody...
 

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Stebel Compact Air Horn

Best upgrade I made to my C50. I'll be putting one on the wife's EX in pretty short order as well. To hear what it sounds like, go to http://www.stebel.it, skip the intro, select Horns, Products, Electropneumatic, and Nautilus Compact Series.

Compact, easy to install, comes with the relay, and really gets the immediate attention of the plethora of inattentive cagers out on the roads. It's particularly helpful early in the season when drivers aren't used to seeing bikes on the road.

Good luck!

Darren

BTW - The situation you describe is EXACTLY the reason I upgraded the horn on my bike. I routinely hit an offramp with two right-turn lanes. I'm in the leftmost right turn lane because I need to make a left at the next intersection (around 100yd). I can't count the number of times the person in the right-most turn lane immediately drifts left into my lane. The Stebel really lets them know somebody is there. If they think it's a dump truck, so be it...they're much more likely to get back into their own lane with the mental image of a dump truck bearing down on their ass.
 

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Red-Leg said:
Stebel Compact Air Horn

Best upgrade I made to my C50. I'll be putting one on the wife's EX in pretty short order as well. To hear what it sounds like, go to http://www.stebel.it, skip the intro, select Horns, Products, Electropneumatic, and Nautilus Compact Series.

Compact, easy to install, comes with the relay, and really gets the immediate attention of the plethora of inattentive cagers out on the roads. It's particularly helpful early in the season when drivers aren't used to seeing bikes on the road.

Good luck!

Darren

BTW - The situation you describe is EXACTLY the reason I upgraded the horn on my bike. I routinely hit an offramp with two right-turn lanes. I'm in the leftmost right turn lane because I need to make a left at the next intersection (around 100yd). I can't count the number of times the person in the right-most turn lane immediately drifts left into my lane. The Stebel really lets them know somebody is there. If they think it's a dump truck, so be it...they're much more likely to get back into their own lane with the mental image of a dump truck bearing down on their a$$.
Sorry to revive an old thread, but it's better than getting an earful for starting a new one.

Anyway, I received this horn from Santa and I was wondering if I have to use the relay that was supplied? Also, is there anything I should know about mounting or hooking it up?

Thank You
 

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Sorry to revive an old thread, but it's better than getting an earful for starting a new one.

Anyway, I received this horn from Santa and I was wondering if I have to use the relay that was supplied? Also, is there anything I should know about mounting or hooking it up?

Thank You
Yes you really do need to use the relay ,it may work a while with out it but you run the risk of blowing the fuse when you need the horn or burning out the horn button all together , I had a hard time finally finding a place for mine , ended up putting under gas tank where the PAIR valve used to be ,sounds great and keeps the water out.
 

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As far as the the Stebel Nautilus horn goes, could you just use clamps to stick that sucker between the forks? I mean, as long as it's pointing downward and the forks aren't more than 15*, there shouldn't be a problem...right? ???

I've got a FIAMM high tone on my bike right now, and it's miles above the stock horn (which BTW, makes cagers look for a VW bug, not a bike: *meep meep* "Is that you, Herby?") :D

Still got my eye on this Stebel though. A FIAMM puts out 130 db vs Stebel's 139 db. Sounds like a small diff, but here's an enlightener...

"Keep this in mind: sound energy doubles for every 3 points you go up in the decibel scale. It means that the Stebel Nautilus horn, which produces 139 dB of sound, puts out a LOT more sound than these popular horns-- 800% of the sound energy of the more expensive 130dB FIAMM Freeway Blaster"
 

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I too have a FIAMM horn on my bike. It's the Fiamm AM-80, 128-dB high-tone horn. It cost me $18 at pepboys, and is a tremendous improvement over stock. Later I might put on something nicer, but this horn was nice because there was no relay required.

I don't really agree with the notion that the horn is only useful for letting people know that they've made a mistake, or that in general honking at someone who's made a mistake might cause them to further endanger you. I ride a lot in the city, and I use my horn all the time, and I firmly believe that it helps to keep me safe. Sometimes I use it when I get caught in a car's blindspot by city traffic, and I get the impression that they might want to turn or occupy the space where I am riding. Other times I'll be rolling down the road and I'll see a car but suspect that they don't see me, either because of a lightpost or a car obstructing the view, or just the fact that their wheels are slowly rolling as they inch forward. I beep at them a few times, and they back off.

I do a lot of extraneous honking, but I also almost never have close calls despite all the big city riding I do.
 

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I bought a Stebel Magnum horn for $9 on ebay.
It is so loud in the garage, I actually jumped!
It also fits in the stock placement and no relay needed.
 

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Go for a compact air horn. Hahah that'll teach those cagers.
 
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