Audio system for your scooter
by Ron Goldwyn
(Milford, CT, USA)
Scooter with Radio installation
Well now I ask the question -- who of you have added an audio system to your scooter? I know some of you are lucky to have one installed as standard equipment, but most of us are not so fortunate.
I would like to hear from you as I don't like the idea of being the first to be a pioneer on this site.
Going to You-Tube I saw a number of videos of systems built into the underseat compartment that I assume only can be properly heard with the seat up. I also saw one that the submitter said cost him only $40 and included two waterproof speakers. The amplifier had an AM-FM Radio and an audio input for an external MP3 player (Ipod) Well I went on Ebay under Ebay Motors and searched for motorcycle radios and found that unit and bought it for only $30.
The picture above shows my installation with the two speakers and the radio mounted to two interlocking aluminum channel stock to contain the wires and fuses. The whole assembly is secured to the wind screen by the same 2 small bolts and nuts that secure my compass on the front of my wind screen. I must recompensate the compass settings due to the magnets in the nearby speakers.
Testing the unit on my desk at home all worked fine, but on the scooter, that is another thing. The AM radio is not worth using as reception is very poor, but the FM radio works fine with
the telescoping antenna that I added at the left side shown above the speaker. While this unit does have a digital readout for finding the stations, (and the time) on a moving scooter is no place to go turning the knob to tune them in.
The amp section has only two six watt amps going to two 2" tweeter type speakers so don't expect to get any base response or to be distortion free at a volume that is louder than the street noise or your scooters exhaust.
I decided to buy a MP4 player that handles everything and includes an FM radio that has the ability to have preset stations with the push of a single button. With a 4GB memory it hold all the music I need. So now I use the input jack of the radio and let my MP4 player do its job.
The player also has the ability to add mini 2GB SD boards so I can keep plenty of music available for a trip. For $30 you get what you pay for.
But I'm not happy.I expect to relocate this system to my electric three wheel scooter and install better quality speakers and either a high wattage stereo amp with my MP4 player supplying the input or buying another radio that has a built in SD card player for adding music from my computer to use directly so that I don't have to employ the MP4 player.
NOW THAT i HAVE SPILLED MY BEANS, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
A battery tender like the Battery Tender Jr. can make all the difference in whether your scooter will start right up each spring, after being stored for months.
Just about every scooter owner needs to have a battery tender, sometimes called a trickle charger. Unless you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can ride all year long, chances are your scooter will be put on ice, figuratively-speaking, for at least a couple months every winter.
One of the key steps in winterizing a scooter is to protect your battery from draining during its "rest" period. This can – and will – happen if you leave your battery sitting untended in your cold scooter over the winter, even if it's in a garage or shed.