I did not buy the BMW radio or speakers. What's a good alternative for a stereo on my RT?

Markus Fant <phantom@pcez.com>  found out that you can get a part from BMW that will allow you to mount a DIN radio in the Glove box.  "I bought one piece from BMW. That is called the "Radio Carrier," part number 65 14 2 306 597. It is a metal and rubber insert that fits into the glove compartment. It will hold a DIN detachable face stereo. I didn't buy anything else from BMW. 

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There are two pieces at the bottom of the radio carrier that are not needed and get in the way. I assume they are for BMW's radio. They simply unscrew. They are a bent piece of metal with a rubber insert. Obvious when you see them. I discovered that the BMW radio is made by Clarion, but at over $400, it isn't worth it. It was suggested to me that I put in a Marine stereo. I contacted Clarion Marine at 1-800-754-9876. A technician there named Scott was a lot of help. Through his recommendation I bought the marine cassette deck #M5470 for $250.  

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This deck has full logic controls, operates a cassette, radio, and a remote CD player. It can also be operated by a remote control. I bought the remote control from Clarion, part #M101RC, price $90.00. 

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This is, probably, the slickest part of the system. I went to a local automotive store that sold lots of gauge mounts, and I found a 2-1/8" chrome gauge holder that came with a mount that clamped to the inside of the left handlebar with a stainless steel hose clamp. This remote is intended to be mounted on the transom of a boat, so it can get wet. It comes with 24 feet of cord, so I removed one of the connectors and cut the wire. I then stripped the wire back and re-soldered the wire to the connector so that I had a 3 foot cord. I can adjust on/off, volume, function (cassette, radio, or CD), search (song, station, or disk), mute, and pause all from the handlebars without opening the glove box. This is the only part of the system that is visible when looking at the bike.

To install the radio, take the left side of the fairing off. There are two 4mm allen bolts (side and front), two 3mm allen bolts (side and back), and one black plastic nut (inside) that hold the glove box on. After removing the glove box, take the black friction tape off that seals the top of the glove box to the bottom of the glove box. Set the tape aside to re-use. Then remove the three small screws and plastic expansion keepers that holds the top and bottom of the box together. I drilled a " hole into the front of the glove box on the sloped part in order to feed the wiring harness into the radio. 

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You will discover power wires tucked away right behind the glove box. There are also speaker wires there in the same wiring harness. There is one white plastic connection that has a violet/black switched power wire, and a red/white constant power wire. I had to cut the connector off and crimp on bullet connectors to attach my stereo wires. There is an extra violet/black switched wire in the harness, but it isn't used. There is a brown wire that is a ground. There is a blue/brown wire and a blue wire that connect to the right speaker. There is a yellow/brown and a yellow wire that connect to the left speaker. The radio slides into the radio carrier easily after removing the angled brackets on the bottom of the carrier. The power harness, speaker wires, antenna wire, and any other wires (intercom audio input, remote control, CD player) get fed through the hole drilled into glove box and connected to stereo. The radio carrier has two rectangular pieces cut out on the top. I have no idea what BMW intended them for, but they fit a three-way switch perfectly. I installed a three-way in one of the holes. I connected the stereo to two of the blades on the bottom of the switch. I connected two speaker wires to two of the blades. And I connected two Autocom wires to the last two switch blades. (The other wire for the speakers and the intercom were connected to the stereo output common wire.) The three-way switch selects between speakers (front position), off (middle position), and intercom (back position). Radio carrier, radio, and all wires get slid back into glove box. Then put the top back on, insert thee white plastic expansion keepers and screws, and re-taped the top and bottom together. Set back in place and re-attach with allen bolts and nut. Fairing panel is put on. 

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I added Clarion's 6-disk CD changer, part # CDC635, price $250. It sits in my right saddlebag, it is very small and takes up very little storage space. Wire is routed out a hole I drilled in the side of the bag. It routes along the bike frame and to the stereo. It does skip sometimes on really rough roads or hard acceleration. I generally listen to my stereo through my Autocom intercom. However, I did put speakers in the dash because it was easy to do, inexpensive, it gives me a way to listen to music when I'm not riding the bike, and it give me a way to turn on music outside my helmet if I want it. (Laws differ from state to state regarding music in a helmet.) 

I have been told that the BMW speakers have tiny little magnets, and that is why you cannot hear them. The speakers I bought have fairly large magnets, but they don't go back so far that they hit the hot air duct coming off the oil cooler. I bought Polk Audio 4", 2-way speakers for around $60. The part number is EX402A.

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To install the speakers, I had to take the upper fairing inner panel off. After knocking off the mirrors, remove the 12 allen-head bolts and carefully pull dash away. There are four wiring harness connectors on the left, and one connector on the right. Separate the wires at the connectors. Finish taking panel off and set aside. This piece is fairly fragile since it bridges in the middle where there isn't a lot of material. When installing the speakers, I was able to line up two of the holes in the speaker with two of the holes in the fairing frame. I inserted small bolts through those holes and used nylock nuts on the back. Then I drilled a third hole through the fairing frame that lined up with another speaker hole. I inserted a final bolt through there. I didn't worry about a fourth bolt because they already seemed to be held very firmly. BMW has wires already in place for the speakers. I used them and plugged my speakers in. The other end, which terminates by the glove box, has very weird connectors that I cut off and crimped on appropriate connectors for my stereo. I bought the antenna at Radio Shack. 

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It is a small rubber whip antenna 16" long with an adjustable mounting base. It is Radio Shack part #12-1327, price $7.99, labeled Flexible Universal Radio Antenna. The way I mounted it was I went to a local hardware store and bought a piece of galvanized steel 1" wide, 3/16" thick, and a couple feet long. I took a hacksaw and I cut it to be 10" long. I lifted the license plate (on the bottom) and I inserted the metal. I marked and subsequently drilled two holes. I then drilled a third hole at the end of the metal overhang to mount the antenna. I used a grinder to round the four corners. I then painted it black. Then I mounted it with two bolts that also hold down the bottom of my license plate. The metal piece sticks off the left side of my bike, and I installed the antenna there. The antenna wire goes up and snakes through a hole already in the taillight section of the bike. It feeds along the left side of the frame to the stereo in front. It was all inexpensive, and easily done. It looks really nice. 

Once you get it all put back together, then all you need is a Stevie Ray Vaughn cassette, a full tank of gas, and the afternoon off!  In summary, total cost for my system was about $500 (not including the Autocom  Intercom). I can remotely adjust my stereo. I can play it through my helmet or through speakers. And the only part of the system that is visible is the small, round remote control on my handlebars. So far, I have no complaints."