The Bikers Den

Spyder F3S Stereo Install

I really wanted a stereo on my F3.  Options were pretty limited- BRP does not offer a system for the F3 and if they did it would likely be expensive.  I looked at the Shark 1400w system with 4 speakers and really did not like the look of the speakers and the quality of the system is pretty lack luster.  The Shark system claims 1400 watts of power but even at peak I am certain it is extremely exaggerated.  The speakers claim to be rated at 300 watts each but when disassembled the speakers are stamped with a rating of 15 watts.  So if this is the RMS rating the peak power is actually 2X that at 30 watts.

I wanted something with a controller I could bar mount and bluetooth for input.  I found and bought a Kenwood 400 watt amp.  It has 4 speaker output, bluetooth and an all weather controller.  For speakers I went with Kicker 4″ speakers and matched enclosures.  I paid just under $140 for the amp and $180 for the speakers and enclosures.  I test wired everything before mounting it and paired it with my phone.  Power must be fed to the positive and negative amp feeds and the blue “remote” line.  I chose to mount the amp in the front trunk of F3 and wire it to the aux power feed found near the battery.  This keeps the amp switched to the power of the bile and does not put a strain on the battery when the bile is not running.  The first time I cranked the sound level to an extreme I ended up blowing the 10amp fuse on the accessories power.  I replace the fuse with a 15amp and it has been fine since.

My speakers are Kicker Marine 4″ 2 way speakers rated at 50 rms (a bit below the 75 rms of the amp output).  Since the peak ratings on the amp and speaker ended up in the same area I figured it would be OK and have seen no problems.  The speakers are mounted in 4″ Kicker Marine Enclosures.  I was not happy with the color of the speaker grills or the arms of the enclosures so I hit them with Rustoleum 2X Plastic Spray so they matched the enclosures and the bike closely.  Even though the speakers and enclosures are from the same manufacture pairing them together is not as seamless as it should be.  The real issue is getting the speaker wiring through the gasket and wall of the enclosure.  You can not get the encased wiring or the ends with the wire connectors through the enclosure wall and the instructions offer little information.

I made it work by removing the connectors and stripping of 4-6″ of the outer wiring insulation.  This left the two speaker wires with their red and black casing which easily slipped through the hole in the enclosure and the gasket that keeps the enclosure sealed.  Once through I looped the wires into a knot to prevent them from pulling back through.  I then crimped the new connectors (provided with the speakers) onto the wires and started to mount the speakers.  The enclosures come with wadding to help increase the output of the speaker out from the speaker can (I don’t fully understand the science behind it but trust what has been done by speaker makers for years).

Continue reading Spyder F3S Stereo Install

X-Creen Sport Windshield Deflector Added to F3 BlueRidge Shield



When I purchased my Spyder F3-S I knew I wanted a windshield based on my experience with my 09 RS.  I opted for the Blueridge windshield offered by CanAm.  After the first few 100 miles I realized it was not quite enough to keep the wind from throwing my helmet around.  Rather than replacing the entire shield with something ugly I tried the X-creen Sport Windshield Extender and am pleased with the result.  It eliminated the wind issues completely and looks like it was made for the Spyder.

Where I am unhappy with the shield are 2 areas-
1. The shield is made of an easily scratched polycarbonate material.  It wont crack or shatter but it easily scratches as you can see in the last picture below.

2. The adjustability mechanism is messed up on one side of my X-Screen to the point it is so difficult to twist it seems like it may break before it moves.  This is the mechanism that came pre-assembled and taking it apart and trying to free it up does nothing.  Thankfully I have it adjusted to where I want and I don’t need to adjust it anymore.  Still, this and the scratching are really disappointing for a $120 product.


xcreen3 xscreen2

Increasing the Spyder F3 Storage Capabilities for $75

In my Spyder F3 writeup I was very critical of the limited storage of the Spyder.  I found a cheap, good quality and versatile storage add-on for my Spyder F3 in the Dowco Rally Pack Luggage System for only $75.  Do not get confused by the “4 piece” description- it is really just 2 pieces and accessories such as an inner liner for the roll bag, plenty of straps and a cargo net.  The bags are sizable at 17″ x 14.5″ x 10″ for the jumbo pack and the roll bag 9.5″ round and 14.5″ long.  Both fit nicely on the passenger seat and between backrests if you have them.  There are many different secure points to tie down the bags depending on your seat configuration.  If you are pure stock in your setup everything can be secured to the passenger grab rails.  With a passenger backrest in place the main bag easily secures to it.

Dowco rally pack bagsThe roll bag velcros to the jumbo pack and has a waterproof liner that velcros to the inside of the bag.  The bags are not waterproof but I plan no spraying them with a sealer to give them a bit of protection.  The jumbo bag itself sticks up just a bit higher than the driver backrest and is even with the passenger backrest.  With the roll bag secured on the top it is over the backrest but does not obstruct any of the views from the mirrors or turning back to look.  I am really pleased with the bag capacities and can put a good 4-5 days worth of clothes, shoes and toiletries in the bags with no problems.  I plan a trip using the bags in a few weeks and am not concerned with storage any longer.



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