1903, the year William H. and Walter D. gave us the iconic Harley Davidson. The name says it all, even after a century. The legendary sound system, booming through the streets of Wisconsin, has provided H.D. its charm; who wouldn’t put their money on that!
A revamp to your bike, just the Harley style, is what your bike needs now, but how do you amp it up even when you’re low on knowledge and budget?
Harley Davidson replacement radios are the perfect solution for anyone looking to give their bike a new look and feel. Whether your bike is old or new, we can provide you with a radio that will fit any taste and budget. Check out our selection and get your bike rolling today!
No motorcycle is complete without the proper sound system. A new Harley Davidson replacement radio will allow you to play all of your favorite tunes while cruising down the open road.
Best Harley Davidson Replacement Radio
Motorcycle enthusiasts know all too well the problem of a good bike with a bad radio.
Harley Davidson is the most popular motorcycle company in the world, but its iconic sound systems can be expensive to maintain and often break down on long trips.
Even worse, replacement aftermarket radios are difficult to install. With all of these factors in mind, it’s time to find a good replacement radio for Harley Davidson radio.
Here are some of our picks for the best aftermarket radio systems you can buy now or soon (estimated year). We will also show you exactly how to install them yourself!
Let’s face it: Motorcycle riders want something that looks cool, sounds great, and doesn’t require extra work or cost after installing it.
But this is no easy task, as the average Harley Davidson radio kit is $400 for just a head unit and speakers, not to mention all of the extra work it takes to install them.
That’s where aftermarket motorcycle radios come in—they’re designed for rideability (which can be tested on our two-hour test drive) with superior sound quality at affordable prices.
They’re also made by reputable companies who stand behind their products with warranties, which means less time stuck on your back under your handlebars fixing things.
We’ve done extensive research on the top brands available now (tested them ourselves), so keep reading to find out what you should buy next time you upgrade! We do need to note that not all Harley Davidson models have a plug-and-play system available.
We’ve also put together a deal on one of the best-selling units that’s not only easy to install but sounds fantastic!
1. Aquatic AV MP5 Replacement Radio for Harley-Davidson
The brand you trust your bike with any day. This Aquatic AV MP5 supports Bluetooth, USB, and MP3 devices; basically all standard devices you have. This will ensure everything is working to the best.
When it comes to your installation and charging issue here, this device comes with an easy plug & play installation plus USB charging. Aquatic models make it feel like a breeze here!
Portability isn’t also quite a problem here. Being extremely lightweight (10 ounces), Aquatic AV MP5 is a brilliant choice for many.
The handlebar controls are the most straightforward kind available, yet the best to get your hands on. Not only does it have wireless support, but you can also opt-in for manual buttons to browse all along.
It comes with a decent clock display that comes through every 30 seconds; Aquatic has got you covered here too. You can ditch your watch while you ride! You can also easily pair it up with external speakers of your choice.
This model comes with a display that is non-reflective, meaning it won’t be a pain for you to read in the broad sunlight. This tiny little point is going to make your traveling music sessions very convenient.
Along with its powerful sound system and a great storage compartment, this is the famous choice because of its great hand controls. Easy to browse and Bluetooth, this will indeed ensure you many rides having no technical complaints!
PROs & CONs
- Very portable
- Being lightweight ensures less bulk, ensuring better handling control and maneuvering
- Cheap for the price, but not on the features
- Non-reflective display
- No advanced equalizer tuners
2. Alpine CDE-172BT Bluetooth Receiver
Another good brand in the market, covering almost everything the Aquatic AV MP5 replacement radio could do, the Alpine CDE also provides you with great Bluetooth and USB support, plus giving you the ease of hands-free calling.
This recent model comes with a built-in iPod for all your demands and is compatible with all kinds of Apple and Android devices. So connectivity and compatibility will never be an issue here!
It also comes with an AUX and USB input if you are not a fan of automatic Bluetooth playback. You can charge your device AND stream music simultaneously, with almost no interference, something the older models couldn’t cope up with.
The promising anti-reflective display with notable contrast variable color illumination is a significant feature, technically slightly better than the Aquatic AV MP5 model. It also has a wide range of customizable color schemes to choose from.
Now, with the sound quality, Alpine would not disappoint you in this arena. Fitted in with three-band equalizers powered with a subwoofer level control system to assist you in customizing better sound output, apt for your needs, every single time!
This model has an entirely hassle-free browsing experience, something you would put your money on.
It also comes with a great radio tuner and CD receiver. In case you want to hit the road with those good-old CDs, there will always be room for them!
PROs & CONs
- Three-band E.Q. system
- Variable color illumination technology incorporated
- This stereo provides a CD receiver, a choice preferred by some
- Better compatibility experience than models by Aquatic
- No advanced eThe service support network needs expansionqualizer tuners
3. Aquatic AV AQ-MP-5UBT-H Harley Davidson Replacement AM/FM Radio
Another beauty by Aquatic, the AV AQ-MP, promises the same brand trust to you, yet again. This time, Aquatic excited the display, providing a much better and durable 3-inch color LCD to add that vibrancy to your machine.
For protection, this radio has a lot in store for you as this is not just wholly waterproofed but also has got you covered from the scorching summers to foggy winters with its great U.V. and mist protection technology.
This also has incorporated an excellent internal storage feature with its modern design, so you may not have to worry every time you feel like adding up more to your travel solos.
Well compatible with your 2013 models, this has almost all the new features. It allows easy connection, especially with your Apple devices.
The display is big enough so that you don’t miss the album art along with the album & artist’s name while you listen all the way!
The features won’t stop adding up as this radio model provides you with a very easy hardware installation so that you’re ready, always.
A great Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity ensures you no worries regarding your connectivity issues even during your longest rides.
This has been a choice of many because of its unparalleled selection of hardware quality. It comes with easily removable face-plates and handlebars.
And finally, just in case you like to add that oomph to your music and traveling experience, this also has support for external amplifiers along with its massive 288 peak watts built-in amplifier to suit all your bass demands!
PROs & CONs
- Easy to install, relatively hassle-free
- Highly durable
- The best sound system, hands down
- Not SiriusXM compatible
4. Sony DSX-M55BT Single Din Marine Radio
This one by Sony is a literal masterpiece. Everything is what Sony promises you here, and this model won’t fail you.
The browsing has been a cakewalk here. This will be a better choice for all techy folks, considering almost everything is controlled by Bluetooth here.
Also provides connectivity and charging (up to 1 amp output!) to almost all devices, be it your iPod, iPhone, Android device, Walkman, Blackberry, or any other USB supported device.
This comes with a hassle-free USB input to stream easily. Your music file is in a different format and not MP4? No worries, the Sony DSX has a multi-format playback which allows MP3, WMA, FLAC, and many other formats!
Being completely hands-free, expanding scope, and based on wireless tech provides a convenient song, artist, and album navigating experience.
Made for all those bad weathers you may encounter, this sturdy model comes with excellent weather protection. From your anti-dust covers to being tightly waterproof, along with the good quality build, this will indeed ensure you many years.
Although it lacks a CD player, this is a major deal, slightly pricey but easy installation, and much easier inputs clubbed with so many features to ask for, it’s all for you to decide!
PROs & CONs
- Very high on features
- Seamless software browsing experience
- Good compatibility
- Well built and excellent protection
- No built-in CD receiver
5. Aquatic AV AQ-MP-5UBT-HS Harley Davidson Replacement AM/FM Radio Satellite Ready
When it comes to Replacement Radios, there’s no brand beating the Aquatic. The third radio from Aquatic on our list is a major bestseller.
People have been trusting the brand for many years now. Not to forget how the popularization of replacement radios is credited to Aquatic.
The flawless Aquatic AV AQ supports almost all devices, be it Apple or Android. It ensures great Bluetooth connectivity too.
For all those times you needed to charge your phone, this also comes with a USB surface mount power charger, the new player in the charging scenario for the plain old basic USB chargers in the budget models.
Being SiriusXM ready, you can trust the built-in stereo system to be able to access over 170 stereo stations, effortless streaming everywhere!
Biking enthusiasts will know how this well-built model has a decent name in the market because of its durability. This certified radio provides an impeccable music experience.
To cover all your worries regarding weather protection systems. We have the face-plate, dust-plate, and anti-theft covers, ensuring complete, all-round protection.
Honestly, this is the best radio to get your hand on in case you’re just starting with all this. You do not need to overthink about this brand. This model is simple, steady, and trusted by many.
PROs & CONs
- New mount charging support
- A Beginner radio you can trust to revamp your bike for the very first time
- Comes with high compatibility with all devices
- Slightly overpriced being a beginner model
6. Jensen HD1BT AM/FM/WB/USB/SiriusXM Ready/Bluetooth Heavy-Duty Radio
This affordable Jensen radio comes with an exceptionally sturdy waterproof unit covering all your weather-related woos. Incorporated in this system is the very new weather alert and preset band system too.
Coming to the charging part, this baby supports USB charging and other Bluetooth connectivities for most of the controls you need.
This also comes with a new SiriusXM optional tuner. All music enthusiasts who never thought they could ever tune their radios to perfection have been given the best technology to fine-tune every single band they wish for.
The all-new factory handlebar provides a massive power output. Now, this is a major deal compared with its other contemporaries. Compatible with all your Apple devices, from your iPhone, iPad, to iPod, you name it.
You can trust this model to deliver you the best quality. The PCB is well coated and insulated. Also, just in case you want a different light for your mood, this allows back-light change too, be it rocking red or calming blue; the choice is yours!
It provides you with the room to deliver a spotless sound, when tuned well. An amazingly new weather band possesses weather alert presets to make sure everything is accessible to you for all your plans so that you miss nothing!
PROs & CONs
- The best budget radio, which is SiriusXM ready
- Certified optional tuner
- Comes with a good quality weather protection system
- Powerful sound system
- Frequent complaints of screen blackouts or disconnecting automatically
7. Rockford Fosgate PMX-HD9813 Harley-Davidson Replacement Radio
A little high on price and features is our infamous Rockford Fosgate, a classic. This durable model is famous all around the globe, just for how magical it is!
The Rockford Fosgate PMX works great with all your models, ranging from 1988 all the way to 2013.
They have selectively packed this in with all features you can ever ask for. It comes with a robust seven-band graphic EQ+PEQ so that you don’t miss a thing in improving your quality.
The installation will not be a hassle for you here. It is effortless to understand. The plug-and-play way is something the general public is entirely comfortable with!
The display is a win-win here, the best you could ever think of. Being a 3-inch ultra-bright, anti-reflective TFT display with day/night controls, this can beat any regular LCD display, any day.
You can also club it with your existing amplifier to boost the sound output as per your demands. This model has proved quite compatible with most of the sound-changing devices in the market.
Just in case you thought the list ended, you were wrong. This rocking radio also has an adjustable display dimmer, customizable clock displays, and whatnot!
Easy browsing with large buttons, SiriusXM ready. This has you covered everywhere. This beast is a major classic for a reason!
PROs & CONs
- Good brand value
- Better after-sales service
- Large buttons for better assistance
- A great seven-band equalizer
- Better display than most competitors in the market
- Not compatible with recent models (2013 onwards)
Although the wide range is pleasing to the lot, still the affordable brand for the masses is, of course, Aquatic. It comes in with the best of the features and provides a plethora of models to choose from, suiting your pocket.
For me, overall, nothing beats the build and brand value of Sony and Rockford being a close competitor here. If you talk about the features or the service provided, you can count them all in.
It would be best if you looked out for features you want and a brand known for its quality. Go through all the features you need or maybe you want them worth upgrading for, and then decide accordingly.
And, of course, choose something that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket but still makes your biking experience one of a kind!
Why should you upgrade your Harley Davidson Radio?
Motorcycles are all about the freedom of the open road. The sound of a Harley engine is unmistakable and it’s different from any other type of motorcycle out there. But one thing that might not be as noticeable is the size and quality of your radio system.
Upgrading to a new Harley Davidson radio could help give you the sound quality you’ve always craved, while also leaving you with more room for storage space in your saddlebags!
The biggest problem with many factory-installed stereos systems on Harleys is actually very simple: they’re just too small to deliver big sound.
And if you try to add additional speakers, it can get even worse since there’s no place for them to go except on top of the gas tank or by your feet, which makes it hard to ride and also means you’ll have to take them with you when you park the bike.
The answer is a new Harley Davidson radio that’s custom-designed for each model of motorcycle.
The new radios are IP66 waterproof and come standard on some 2017 models like the Road King Special or Street Glide Special (and also available as an accessory for previous years).
They’re easy to install and measure in at just 1/2″ taller than stock models, while still giving you 5 watts per channel instead of 4 watts.
So they definitely produce more sound — but we haven’t sacrificed durability either by adding a protective steel plate around the LCD screen and buttons.
And because there’s no bulky antenna on these radios, they fit perfectly in the storage compartments where you’d otherwise find the antenna.
One thing to remember if you upgrade your radio is that these new models will not work with factory-installed CBs anymore since the port has been removed from the back of the radio and relocated to a different location on the body.
So if you upgraded your original stereo and then decided later to add a CB, you would definitely need to do some soldering and rewiring in order to get that working — but we think it’s well worth it!
It’s no secret that Harley Davidson motorcycles are not only stylish but also extremely powerful. When you think about it though, what is the point of having a powerful engine without anything to power?
So if your ride came with an old stereo system, you can make it much better by installing aftermarket radio.
You’ll instantly be able to feel the difference when listening to music on your ride – you won’t believe how loud and clear these speakers are! And because they were made specifically for Harleys, you don’t have to worry about sizing or compatibility either.
Another problem owners of Harley Davison motorcycles face with their current stereo systems is having to deal with a tangle of wires.
You won’t have to worry about that with an aftermarket radio either – they are really easy to install, and you will barely see them!
When choosing an aftermarket radio, just keep in mind that there are many different kinds of radios out there.
Make sure the one you buy has all the features you need, like auxiliary input jacks for your mp3 player or smartphone, USB ports for charging your phone on the go, and so on.
All said and done though – if you want to stand out from the crowd when riding your Harley Davidson motorcycle, what better way than by installing a new aftermarket radio and having the tunes to go with it?
The possibilities are endless. Why spend hours riding your bike and enjoying the scenery when you could be blasting music and having a great time with friends? With an aftermarket radio, you can do both – and more!
What are the steps of replacing the company fitted radio with a new one?
The first thing that needs to be done before proceeding is dismantling the old one. The next step would be to locate an appropriate place where the new will be housed. One then has to attach the antenna wire and solder any loose connections.
After this is done, one can tighten all screws by following a pattern so as not to damage any of them. An appropriate place where the new will be housed is behind the fairing panel, as the old one was.
After disassembling and dismantling it, I locate a perfect spot for the new radio (behind the fairing panel) and then screw it into that place firmly.
Then I attach the wire to the antenna and solder all loose connections. Finally, I tighten all screws following a pattern to avoid damaging them.
Important things to keep in mind before buying an Aftermarket Radio for Harley Davidson Motorcycle
Before you buy an aftermarket radio for your Harley Davidson motorcycle, there are a few things to consider.
The type of radio that is installed in the bike by the manufacturer is specifically designed for that motorcycle.
For example, if you have a 2015 Harley Softail Breakout with custom paint and wheels, then these modifications may negatively impact how well the new radio works.
Expect to spend anywhere from $250-$2000 for an aftermarket radio that will fit in your bike.
It may be necessary to hire a professional installer who can snake their way through all of the wires and customize the system to work with this specific bike, but it may be well worth the investment if you are looking for improved sound quality and an aftermarket stereo system that allows you to use your phone as a source (and not just satellite radio).
When shopping for an aftermarket Harley Davidson motorcycle radio, first decide how many speakers you want. The basic systems come with two speakers that are often mounted on the inner fender or at the handlebar controls.
If you think it is necessary, you can purchase additional speakers to improve sound quality (such as four tweeters), but keep in mind they will require extra wiring.
Decide how many speakers you want (if any). Decide if they will be mounted inside the handlebars or fenders of the motorcycle.
Decide based on whatever factors are important to you – whether it is sound quality, price, ease-of-use, etc.
The type of radio that is installed in the bike by the manufacturer is specifically designed for that motorcycle. Expect to spend anywhere from $250-$2000 for an aftermarket radio that will fit in your bike.
It may be necessary to hire a professional installer who can snake their way through all of the wires and customize the system to work with this specific bike, but it may be worth it if you’re looking for improved sound quality and features like Bluetooth compatibility and quiet ride technology (which eliminates engine noise).