Because the Music Matters Too!
If you own a Goldwing GL1800 and need help with your audio system, you have come to the right place.
If you own a Goldwing GL1800 and need help with your audio system, you have come to the right place.
WingConnect was started back in 2007 on the simple premise that I wanted to share the improvements I made to my own 2002 Goldwing with the rest of the Goldwing community. Upgrades and fixes are available for most 2001-2005 Goldwings, and also for the Honda/Clarion CB
Despite being fairly reliable, anything man made can break. It was just natural as my upgrade business grew to eventually branch out into repairs. WingConnect not only does repairs to 2001-2010 Goldwings, but also handles the Honda/Clarion CB as well.
You can't ride when your radio is out of the bike. That is why I designed a no nonsense flat rate system that gives you the fastest turntime possible with no hassles. Repairs and upgrades are usually on their way back to you within 2 days.
Increase the power output and drastically improve the sound quality of your GL1800 Stereo without installing an external power amp
If you own a 2001-2005 Goldwing GL1800, you are probably very disappointed in the sound quality of the stereo Honda gave us. The internal amplifier is low on power, and high in distortion. Wind and road noise is annoying, and other riders have trouble hearing you when transmitting on your CB.
I love music, but frankly, I rarely even turned on the stereo for the first few years that I owned my 2002 GL1800. The stock Goldwing stereo is so bad that I simply couldn’t enjoy the music. I would rather have silence. I didn’t want to do an external amp. Storage is already at the premium on a motorcycle, and I use every square inch of it on a trip. And my CB and tools are in the rear cubby hole. All the options out there would have had an affect on the primary purpose of my bike, which is TOURING! This is not to mention that an external amp would not solve the distortion problem. The amp would just make the audio and the distortion louder.
As an audio technician, I knew that the stereo could sound better, so I put it on the bench and tried to figure out why it sounded so bad. My only intent was to improve my own radio. But the results of my mod far exceeded anything I expected. After years of reading all the complaints about the stereo that were similar to my own complaint, I decided that this might be something others would be interested in. The response has been phenomenal, and the result is this website.
This may sound like snake oil. But if you read through this site, you will realize that it isn't. There is nothing magical about the upgrade. No smoke and mirrors. All I do is modify the amp circuitry to accept a higher quality, higher power amplifier IC with much lower distortion, the same amp that is used in thousands of high end aftermarket car stereos. I merely enable the radio to sound the best it can sound.
When you are ready to send your radio in for upgrade, you can reach the online store with the tab at the top of every page, or just click here.
Please be aware that not all 2001 and 2002 bikes are eligible for the amp upgrade. Some of them already have high power amps in them. For owners of these model years, please take a look at this page to see if your radio qualifies. All 2003-2005 bikes qualify for the upgrades.
Larry's bike ready for a trip to the Smoky Mountains.
This was what started it all. If you have read the Home page introduction, you know how this one came about. The power amp upgrade involves removing and replacing 10-13 components on the main circuit board, depending on what year bike you have. The main component is a new higher quality, higher power, and lower distortion Power amp IC.
The power amp upgrade will not transform your bike into a rolling concert hall. After all, it is still a motorcycle with small speakers. But as my customers have found, the upgrade makes a major improvement in sound quality. They can now enjoy their music just as much as the ride. A high quality motorcycle deserves high quality music.
The amp upgrade really isn't about volume, although there is certainly some of that. It is about clarity. Feedback from customers overwhelmingly states how amazed they are at how much cleaner the audio sounds. And when you have clean undistorted sound, you will find you no longer have to push the volume to its limits.
Note: If you own a 2001 or 2002 model, please read the page devoted to these bikes before ordering the amp upgrade. Some bikes from these two years do not need the upgrade.
Of course, the electronics are only one part of a great sound system. The speakers are of equal importance.
This problem causes the entire motorcycle to act like a microphone when the Intercom is on. Not only does vibration from everything you touch on the bike get transmitted to the headset, but fairing vibrations from wind and road noise also gets transmitted to the headset. The problem is worse for those who set their intercom volume to higher levels.
You can test this for yourself to see how bad the problem is.
1. Put your helmet on.
2. Turn ignition to accessory.
3. Turn on Intercom
4. Press the left knob and turn the Intercom volume up to about 15 to exaggerate the problem.
5. Tap on the radio or anywhere on the top shelter. The sound in the headsets will sound like you are tapping on the microphone.
When this fix is installed, the microphonics will be completely gone. This is NOT a filter being installed to mask the problem. I identified the design problem and engineered a fix for it. I actually replace the components that are causing the problem. These components should never have been installed in a sensitive mike pre-amp circuit to begin with.
All 2001-2010 Wings except for the airbag model are eligible for radio repair. All repairs are a simple flat rate. The only exception is for physical damage or if a microprocessor or keyboard membrane has failed. These parts are too expensive to include in the flat rate. (those failures are rare.)
My workbench is equipped to fully test every function on these radios. I have designed a custom test fixture. that tests the display and handlebar controls as well as Driver and Passenger headsets, Aux, CD and CB inputs.
I cannot accept the Airbag models for repair because I can't test them. They have different hookups that require a separate harness and hardware for my test fixture. At this time, I can't justify the cost of building the harness due to the low number of these models on the market.
For those with 2012 and later bikes, it doesn't appear I will ever be able to handle these products. Now that everything is manufactured in Japan, coupled with the lack of US repair facilities, service information is not available.
Note: This fix requires that the CB module in the trunk be sent, not the radio.
The GL1800 CB has always had a reputation for poor transmit range. However, there is really nothing wrong with the design of the Honda CB. (other than the CB being too expensive.) The major problem is that Clarion has the modulation levels set too low. To make matters worse, some headsets have low output microphones. Very few GL1800 CB's ever transmit anywhere near 100% modulation. In fact, they barely hit 50% on most bikes. It doesn't matter how far the CB can transmit if the audio level is too low for anyone to hear it.
Note that if you have the CB feedback squeal problem, the problem must be repaired before getting the CB re-aligned. This fix will only aggravate the problem. I will be posting tips on how to fix the problem.
For awhile I could not repair these units because most of the parts are now obsolete. But I was able to find a supplier for the power output transistor and can now accept them for repair again.
I cannot repair the later units that are made by Radio Sound Inc. This company has refused to allow service info to leave their premises. As a result, those units are factory service only.
People have been asking for this for a long time. I will have this upgrade available soon and will post it on the store as soon as testing is done and I have inventory in stock.
The last thing you need is for a repair to cut into your riding season. WingConnect understands that, and works to minimize the disruption.
After working for over 30 years in consumer electronics as an audio technician and supervisor for many companies, I have seen first hand what works and what doesn't work. And I know what customers care about.
I was determined right from the start NOT to make the same mistakes other companies make. I developed a flat rate system that doen't have any hidden fees or gimmicks. There aren't even any added shipping charges.
Estimates slow down the repair process, so there aren't any. You know ahead of time what the cost is, because you pick the service you want from the online store.
No system is perfect. In rare cases, I do have to re-estimate for things like physical damage, or for replacement of a couple of very expensive parts that can't be included in the flat rate. I also contact customers when the need arises for unusual situations just to keep them informed.
The key to speed is simplicity. You pick the service, pay for it, and ship your radio. Before you know it, your radio is back on your doorstep ready to be installed.
Enjoying a break in Pomeroy Ohio on an Ohio River scenic trip
Repairing and upgrading radios is the easy part. Great customer service is hard, and requires a lot of work and dedication, which is why some companies fall flat in this area. Forget what you know about service experiences in your past. WingConnect sets the bar higher than what other companies shoot for.
As a Wing owner myself, I know that there are two things that are very important to Goldwing owners. They want it to work right the first time, and they want it fast. I know the anxiety that is created when you have to do something all over again. And I know what it is like to have to wait for a delivery while you are missing valuable riding time. I would not want that to happen to me, so I don't want to be the cause for it to happen to you.
That is why I have spared no expense in making sure that both of those goals are met. My turntime goal is a stingy 1-2 days, a goal that I consistently meet, not just once in awhile. And Priority Mail to me is just a no brainer. You won't see that from other servicers. My customers repeatedly tell me how amazed they are at how fast they got their radio back.
If something goes wrong, it doesn't just create rework costs for me. It creates problems for you too. For that reason, my workbench is equipped with a custom built test fixture that duplicates every function on your bike. Everything is tested. No radio goes out the door unless it is 100% functional. My test equipment and rework equipment are all modern professional quality equipment, and I ensure that current industry rework standards and procedures are always followed. Full ESD protection is also used to eliminate the risk of static damage to sensitive semiconductors. This is something that many shops ignore.
If something does go wrong, such as a problem with the bike, I provide free tech support. My job isn't done until your job is done.
My pledge is that as long as I am in business, you can be assured that I will always strive to meet these goals. When the day comes that I can no longer meet that, I will hang up my soldering iron.