As most of you know, I've been constantly trying to figure out how to get a decent sound system on my MP3 500. My first attempt was to put a computer stereo inside the front leg shield. It works, but it's a bit finicky sometimes. I've spent quite a bit of time and effort working on it, but I never got it quite working perfectly. So over the winter, I decided to try a manufactured system.

First, I tried out something from Boss Audio. I got a set of their MC 300 self-amplified speakers. Long story short, they didn't work. At idle, they sounded fine. When you get above about 15 MPH, they started to distort horribly. At about 45 they stopped distorting, but they started cutting out randomly. And above 65, it was pretty hard to hear them.

They're advertised as 400 Watts, but they're not. There's a 5 Amp fuse on the line. Now, my math may not be perfect, but I'm pretty sure that 12V x 5A = 60 Watts. I don't know how they can claim 400...

I don't know if it was just the set I got that was defective, if it's my bike that was the problem or if it's just a poorly manufactured product. Whatever the cause, I can't recommend them.

So, I got those RMA'd and bought a stereo from Shark Motorcycle Audio off of eBay. The set I got was the model "Shkcycklekit B-K".

Since I put them on the bike, I've only been able to take a short test ride. They sounded REALLY good, though. No distortion problems like with the Boss ones. They were loud enough that I could hear them perfectly over 70MPH, and I didn't even have them turned all the way up. These are advertised as a 100 Watt kit, though that's also a lie. In the paperwork that came with the stereo, they say that they're an RMS of 8Wx2 speakers and a, Max of 17Wx2. Again, where they get 100 from that, I don't have the foggiest idea.

The speakers are a LOT bigger than I expected. They come with a set of mounts that go on the handlebar mirror stems. Since I don't have handlebar mirrors anymore, I opened up the enclosure of one of them to see if they might go in the holes I already had in the dash. No, they wouldn't, because these are a lot bigger than what I have now. They have a huge magnet on them. The speakers say that they're 8W rated, so that pretty much matches the amp. These also come with a power wire with a 5A fuse.

While the speakers are quite large, the amp is tiny. Significantly smaller than the speakers, in fact. It comes with a mounting plate. I took that and... persuaded... the plate (with a vice) so that with the amp mounted, it would fit in the space under the Piaggio logo on the steering tube cover.

Now, what I'm sure everyone wants: The pictures!

View from the driver's seat. I had to angle the speakers a little bit both on the bracket and on the bike to keep them from blocking the speedometer/tachometer.

The controls on the amp. The volume's a bit hard to adjust with gloves on where I have it mounted, but I think I can live with that. I may just go back to mostly using the in-line volume control I used with the previous stereo...

Side view. The 3 wires coming out of the back of the amp are for power and the L and R speakers. You can see my M10-1.25 thread bolts I used in place of the mirror stems to hold the speakers in place.