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).
The speakers are mounted using the bolt closest to the driver on either console rail. I needed to get a slightly longer bolt, a washer and used a rubber spacer between the enclosure arm and the rail to create a grip/compression spot to hold everything in place. I drilled a hole in the console just large enough to fit the speaker wire to bring it down under the plastics. I pulled the right side over to the left, across the top and snaked them both down to the frunk. I connected everything using PosiLocks so they can be disconnected if I need to pull the frunk liner and amp completely out.
Pairing my phone to the amp was simple and quick- press the center button on the controller until it blinks and open pairing on the phone. Done! The amp, speakers and enclosures rock! You can adjust the volume direct from the phone but it does not adjust the output of the amp, only the output form the phone. Its best to raise the volume slider on the phone all the way and just use the amp controller for routine controls. I had no idea how loud and clear this setup would be. Even with my straight shot muffler, catalytic converter removed, full face helmet and highway speeds its loud and crisp. The system has little bass but that is to be expected with 4″ speakers. I don’t think I could have done better without spending considerably more.