Did you know you can listen to music while riding a motorcycle? It’s something most new riders don’t know when they first get into biking.
Having a motorcycle radio can help you enjoy your favorite music while riding. Regardless of whether you’re commuting or going across the country, you’ll appreciate having a good radio setup.
Still, choosing a quality radio tends to be overwhelming if you’re new to biking or don’t have much experience in radio systems.
For this reason, you should continue reading as we discuss good motorcycle radios and their pros and cons. Below, you’ll also find a useful Buyer’s Guide, so stay tuned.
10 Top-Rated Radios for Motorcycles Reviewed
Boss Audio Systems (Waterproof)
Boss Audio MC470B Speakers is one of the brand’s best-selling setups suitable for bikes. It features an elegant design and an expected quality of sound. Its features and specifications make this one an excellent choice for all passionate riders who love blasting their music on the road.
These feature Bluetooth technology for streaming music or radio via your smartphone or Bluetooth headphones. Whatever you use, you’ll find high-quality sound and convenience thanks to the two pairs of Chrome 3’’ speakers. You also get a Maximum Amplifier of 1000 watts along with wired remote volume control.
The speakers come with 3.5mm Aux Input that’s compatible with smartphones and MP3 players. Its adjustable brackets fit handlebars ranging from .75’’ to 1.25’’. They’re suitable for 12-volt applications such as motorcycles, scooters, ATV’s and UTV’s.
Jensen JHD910 Heavy Duty Mini Waterproof
If you’re looking for something easy to install, you should consider the Jensen JHD910. It has 12V DC power and a front panel AUX for iPods, portable CD players, and MP3 players.
This one has a 7-channel NOAA Weatherband tuner with an automatic switch to WB mode as soon as it receives an NOAA warning.
It has a 2-wire connection which allows you to keep the 30 programmable stations presets. The radio also comes with a job site work timer, electronic controls for volume, treble, bass, and balance. It has a 12/24 hour clock as well.
Another thing worth mentioning is the daylight display with a wide viewing angle. You also get a 3.5mm jack pigtail, two-channel stereo speaker output, and a two-channel amplified audio output. Its controls are backlit, and it features a one-touch audio mute option.
Kenwood Marine Radio Stereo Bluetooth Receiver Bundle
If talking on the phone is important to you even as you ride your motorcycle (see best phone mounts), you should definitely check out the Kenwood Marine Bundle. It’s a useful and convenient package including the Bluetooth receiver, Harley Davidson installation kit, antenna -40’’ and a Metra Steering Wheel Interface.
The receiver delivers quality audio regardless of whether you’re talking on a phone or streaming music. Its Drive EQ technology, you’ll get a clear sound that’s not affected by surrounding noise or wind and waves.
The front panel USB input allows you to use an iPhone or iPod.
On top of that, the handlebar control interface makes it simple to use while still having a hold of the wheel controls. It’s a 7-wire connection that’s easy to install with front speakers.
These perform as sleek as they look and will surely attract the attention of your fellow bikers. They feature a bullet-shaped bar mount and are quite loud which makes them suitable for road trips.
The system is waterproof so that you can leave it on regardless of the weather. However, its best specification is the quality of sound it delivers. Most bikers like it because it’s not only waterproof, but it’s also super loud. The speakers have a metallic housing with polished chrome finish.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you won’t need a stereo system to enjoy the music on your motorcycle. The speakers have a 3.5mm AUX Input and Bluetooth connectivity for Smartphones and MP3 players.
They come with mounting holes, so the “plug and play” installation is pretty simple.
Golden Hawk Waterproof
These are among the best 180W mid-range speakers. The device features a built-in amplifier and a speaker clamp that’s universal for different bikes. It can connect with Bluetooth at 15 meters distance.
The unit features a 3.5mm AUX Input and supports USB and microSD. Apart from working as an FM radio, you can also use it as a USB charger which adds to its overall convenience.
It’s compatible with iPhones, iPods, and pretty much all Smartphones as well. It’s easy to install and comes with a mini wired remote control and LED backlit buttons.
Although the speakers are waterproof, you should note that the amplifier isn’t. For this reason, you shouldn’t leave it outside even if you do leave the speakers mounted on the handles.
GoHawk 4 Channel All-in-One
This amplifier and speakers combination is easy to set up as it comes with everything you’ll need to enjoy music on your bike. It features high-performance bass, and because it already comes with a built-in amplifier, you won’t need an additional one.
The amplifier has 3.5mm AUX Input and fully functional wired control. It comes with mounting clamps compatible with different bikes such as Harleys, cruisers, marine boats, scooters, etc.
The system features Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity allowing you to use your iPhone, Smartphone, or iPod to stream your favorite music. It supports wireless connection up to 30 meters.
This one is among the most favorite models due to the crystal sound quality and waterproof design. The device comes with all the wiring and necessary hardware you might need.
GoldenHawk RE9-X Handlebar Mount
Do you want an innovative and attractive sound system? If so, you should consider the RE9-X for its ease of use and modern design.
The ball stub design and mounting clamp allow 360-degree swivel for a more adjustable installation. The system also comes with a 59’’ battery cable harness with a ring terminal connector. It’s compatible with different bikes, ATV’s, UTV’s, golf kart, Go-Kart, scooters, 4-wheelers, etc.
It comes with a 24-LEDs strip and a one-click turn on/off. Another thing worth mentioning is its waterproof construction. The dual speakers and aluminum main unit are weather-resistant and suitable for all kinds of outdoor use thanks to the 30 meters of wireless connectivity.
This one is compatible with pretty much any Smartphone and iPhone as well as several other devices. It has a satin finish and is made of aluminum for durability and light weight.
GoldenHawk TJ4-Q 1000W
GoldenHawk has some of the best-selling models on the market, one of them being the TJ4-Q. This one comes with a 1000W amplifier and full range speakers. It features X-Large mounting clams and is compatible with different bikes and 4-wheelers.
It has 3.5mm AUX Input and supports USB, SD card and MP3 files. The LCD and wireless/wired remote control make this one easy to use even in bright daylight. Plus, it’s made of high-quality aluminum which is resistant to different weather elements.
The radio comes with chrome speaker housing and is loud enough for Harleys and other such vehicles. It allows you to stream music from your iPhone, Smartphone, iPod, and other similar devices. Its connectivity works up to 15 meters.
Keep in mind that only the speaker is rated as IP56 waterproof.
Innoglow is always a good choice if you’re looking for a reliable and durable product. Its Bluetooth motorcycle radio system delivers superb sound quality and ease of use.
It features a 3.5mm AUX Input along and is compatible with iPhones, Smartphones, and other such devices. The stereo system allows you to listen to quality audio even at high speeds. It features an easy-to-read LED display.
Most bikers who opt for it like its durability and resistance to weather elements. Both radio and speakers are waterproof and shockproof as well which allows you to use them in different weather conditions.
Much like all models on our list, this one comes with all the necessary wiring and hardware which makes it easy to install.
The last but not least is the AN3-A by GoHawk that’s been among the most popular brands recently. It’s well-known for delivering quality radios that look quite modern allowing them to stand out on the market.
This one, in particular, has an external antenna for better reception. It’s a set up including 3’’ full-body aluminum housing and a built-in amplifier that fits most bikes. It supports connection up to 15 meters.
Because it’s made of high-quality materials, the system is suitable for different bikes and riding styles. The chrome finish looks stylish and sleek on all vehicles.
The unit is compatible with most Smartphones and iPhones allowing you to stream music with ease. It also supports USB Drive Reading and phone charging. Plus, the wiring and hardware it comes with help make the installation quite simple even for rookies.
Reasons to Consider a Motorcycle Radio
If you’re often making calls while riding, you should consider a motorcycle radio for your safety. You can talk on the phone in a hands-free manner which means better control of the wheels. You won’t have to go through your pockets looking for your phone anymore.
Also, it’s much safer to listen to music this way as opposed to using earphones or headphones. With headphones and earphones, you might not hear the traffic and sirens you should otherwise pay attention to.
Plus, listening to loud music on them can severely damage your hearing after some time. However, listening to music via motorcycle radio is a much safer way to enjoy it especially in the long run.
A vast majority of systems are waterproof and easy to install which means durability and convenience you should always look for.
Buyer’s Guide – Qualities to Look For
Sound quality is crucial for all speakers including those you’ll use on your motorcycle. Look for the ones that are loud enough for you to hear through the noise your bike is making. Essentially, this means that if you have a Harley, you’ll probably need something louder than if you have a scooter.
Many people look for waterproof radio since those can be left on the motorcycle regardless of the weather. This is especially useful if you’re using it each time you ride, and you live in an area with a different climate.
You can find all-waterproof setups, as well as a radio where only the speakers are waterproof.
Waterproof vs. Water Resistant
Water resistance means occasional droplets of rain shouldn’t bother it. However, such a system shouldn’t be left in pouring rain and other situations where there’s a lot of water.
Contrary to popular belief, the two specifications don’t stand for the same thing so be careful when you’re choosing a radio.
This usually only matters if you’re riding a dirt bike or any other vehicle in dusty conditions. You shouldn’t care about it as much if you’re riding on the road.
Compatibility, in this case, means you can easily mount the radio on your bike. With that in mind, you should remember that not all units are compatible with all the bikes. In most cases, manufacturers state this information clearly, allowing you to choose based on the bike you own.
Look for the one with a mounting system that fits the handle of your motorcycle. If you get this wrong, you might end up with a system you cannot use because it’s not compatible with what you’re riding.
Ease of Installation
In most cases, motorcycle radios are relatively easy to use. Most quality units come with all the wiring and hardware you need for the installation which makes the process much easier.
Still, even if you don’t receive these pieces, you shouldn’t have problems with installation if the unit came with some instructions. If you think you don’t know how to set this up, you can always opt for one of the many “plug and play” radios.
Look for the one that’s made of aluminum and avoid those made of plastic. As always, sturdy and durable materials are long-lasting as opposed to soft ones that break easily. Some are even shockproof which means an occasional drop to the ground won’t hurt them.
Still, another thing that adds to the durability is corrosion-resistance. Make sure to opt for a unit that won’t rust if left in the rain a few times.
Power is another critical thing to consider since it’s what allows your radio system to perform the best way possible. Speakers have the optimal power they can receive which should match the amplifier.
Only then will the subwoofer perform at its best, producing quality sound and optimal volume. Many units on the market feature different power specifications, meaning there’s something for everyone out there.
Consider what’s your music source and the preferred way in which you’d like to connect it to the system. This is an important thing to think about when looking for a radio although most units come with several input options.
In most cases, motorcycle radio comes with AUX input. Other options allow you to insert an SD card or connect your phone via USB cable. Most of these work with plenty of different devices such as iPods, iPhones, Smartphones, MP3 players, etc.
Controls and Visuals
You want something that’s easy to control which means all its buttons and switches should be visible and easily accessible. Ideally, it should have one-touch backlit controls for ultimate convenience.
Also, keep in mind that not many models have displays, but if you do opt for the one that has, make sure it’s easy to read in direct sunlight.
Bluetooth connectivity is crucial since it allows hands-free use that’s key to the overall convenience. This will enable you to take calls and listen to music without the hassle of wires and cables. Different units have different Bluetooth connectivity distance that usually ranges from 15 to 30 meters.
As always, there are high-end products and those on a more affordable side. In most cases, high-end radios offer supreme performance and unmatched audio quality, but they also cost a bit more. If you’re on a budget, consider more affordable ones that still perform well enough.
Two-way Radio Considerations
Two-way radios are a great way of keeping in touch with friends and family while also listening to your favorite radio station. This allows you to talk to other people as well as listen to the news and the latest NOAA alerts.
Such a device is different, and for this reason, there are a few other things you should consider when looking to buy one. Though the quality of sound is crucial, several other factors are equally as important to deliver the overall performance.
Here are a few of the things you should consider when buying a two-way radio for your motorcycle:
Using a motorcycle radio will affect the bike’s battery more so when you’re not moving. This means that using it when you’re camping or at a festival will most definitely drain the battery.
Though this sounds like it could never happen to you, it most likely will if you’re not careful. Ending up with an empty battery is a horrible thing to happen unless you have a battery charger or a motorcycle jump starter.
For this reason, we recommend you opt for the one with a separate battery. This allows you to use the device without risking to end up stuck with an empty battery on your bike.
Radios are often exposed to weather elements, which is why you should consider a waterproof one. If for some reason that’s not an option, at least get a water-resistant model.
Make sure it features a sturdy case that’s resistant to weather elements, bumpy rounds, and dust particles.
Luckily, many newer models are either fully waterproof or water-resistant. This allows you to expose them to rain and humid conditions if you’re forced to leave the bike out in such weather. Make sure you opt for at least one of the two even if you live in a relatively dry climate.
You should consider a two-way radio with a short to medium operating range depending on how far you ride each day. If you’re a commuter, a range of a few miles is probably enough to keep contact with your family, friends, and colleagues.
If you’re traveling quite far each day, you should get a long-range radio. Typically, these models have a range of 10 to 30 miles although some go as high as up to 50 miles.
It depends on what you need and how far you go on your rides.
Although they usually don’t require headsets, it’s recommended you get one if you’re using a two-way radio. A headset with a microphone is crucial to enable hands-free communication allowing you to keep your hands on the handlebar.
Luckily, these headsets come in many shapes and forms for you to chose from. This means you probably won’t have any issues finding a model to fit in your helmet depending on the type you’re wearing. Of course, make sure the headset is actually compatible with the radio. Otherwise, you could just waste your money.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Install a Motorcycle Radio?
The first thing you should do is check the user manual you got with the radio you purchased. If it’s any good, the user manual should provide sufficient information on how to properly install the particular model.
Still, you shouldn’t worry if you got no instructions or you did, but they didn’t help you. Installation is usually simple especially if you received some wiring and hardware in the package.
Use the provided hardware to mount the amplifier and the speakers. Next, connect the radio to the positive circuit bus on the console using the red power wire.
Once you’ve done that, connect the black wire to the negative circuit bus. Proceed to connect the speakers to the power socket after which you should connect the yellow wire to the speaker input on the amplifier.
Having a motorcycle radio is a great way to add some fun and convenience to your rides. It allows you to stream your favorite tunes as well as answer phone calls without letting go of the handlebar.
It can make your rides more enjoyable in many ways if you opt for a quality radio with good sound and simple controls. Luckily, the market is packed with such units, some of which we’ve reviewed on our list above.
Before you opt for one of these, make sure to consider all the critical factors from our Buyer’s Guide to find the best for your bike.