Horn?

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krankshaft
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Horn?

Postby krankshaft » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:23 am

Hi, folks
I want to replace the horn on my R80. It's an RT but with an 'S' cockpit, so basically an unfaired bike.
The question is frequency. My current horn is about 435 hertz and does not get enough attention.
This is actually dangerous as almost every morning I have to use my horn at the first large
roundabout (the car drivers don't look left).
I am looking at Bosch Starkton horns and was wondering if 300 hertz is too low and I would sound like a truck
(Maybe not a bad thing!) and 500 hertz is even higher than the horn I have.
I don't really want to go for 2-tone set up as 2 horns would be a bit much.
I would be curious to hear your thoughts.
Thanks
Ride safe
Jim

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Re: Horn?

Postby vmx1200 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:12 am

Obviously would not suit your bike but I find a pair of these seen to get attention \:D/
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Rob Frankhamr
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Re: Horn?

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:30 am

The BMW solution for a louder presence was the pair of Hella horns at two frequencies. I realise that you are not keen on the idea of twin tone horns but they do have advantages. The horn frquencies are chosen so that they interact and the resultant harmonic frequencies increase the penetrative qualities of the sound without increasing the volume. If you get the chance, listen to the horns seperately and together, you'll see what I mean.

Twin horns visually similar to the Hella units are now sold under the 'Ring' trade name. Of course, one of the benefits is that they don't look out of place on an unfaired airhead.

On the frequencies of individual horns, the lesson from emergency vehicle horns and sirens is that there is a trade off. Lower frequencies tend to be easier to locate but not so good at penetrating while higher frequencies penetrate but are difficult to locate. This is why a lot of emergency sirens, these days, have a setting with a low frequency component as well as high frequency sections. High frequency to say 'I'm coming through!' and low frequency to say 'Here I am!'

As to which is more important, well both are. You need to draw the attention of the other driver but you really don't need him looking around trying to work out where the noise is coming from.

As to recommendations, I think it's obvious that I favour a twin tone setup, other than that, you pays yer money and takes your choice. The only thing I would say is that, if you decide to fit twin tones, or for that matter a louder single horn consider fitting a horn relay (assuming your bike hasn't already got one). Two reasons 1) If you rely on the horn button contacts, you may well lose some of the advantage to contact loss and voltage drop in the stock wiring and 2) The increased current is likely to burn out the horn button contacts.

Sorry I haven't come up with a definitive answer buthopefully some food for thought...

Rob

Edit: I meant 'a pair Fiamm horns', not 'a pair of Hella horns'

Rob :oops:
Last edited by Rob Frankhamr on Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Horn?

Postby nmag » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:17 pm

My R100RT (now with S fairing) came with 2 tone horns and I definitely wouldn't say its too much. In fact its more than adequate to wake up car drivers approaching roundabouts.

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Re: Horn?

Postby Mjolinor » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:35 pm

Mine came with two Fiamms of different frequencies and I decided they looked ridiculous and searched for the proper single horn that it should have. Once fitted I decided that having to stop and listen to see if it was working meant that it probably wasn't loud enough and went back to the twin Fiamms.

Having said all that I cannot ever remember a horn on any vehicle I have ridden or driven, to do anything useful in terms of avoiding accidents or increasing safety. They just seem to increase people's tendency to get crabby.

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Re: Horn?

Postby DEEP DIVER » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:43 pm

This is what I have fitted and works well.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/139dB-12-vol ... SwUvheAcOV
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Re: Horn?

Postby Mjolinor » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:36 pm

That's a monster. Trail of heart attack victims behind you with that bugger. :)

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Re: Horn?

Postby CharlieVictor » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:59 pm

Mine came with two Fiamms of different frequencies and I decided they looked ridiculous and searched for the proper single horn that it should have. Once fitted I decided that having to stop and listen to see if it was working meant that it probably wasn't loud enough and went back to the twin Fiamms.

Having said all that I cannot ever remember a horn on any vehicle I have ridden or driven, to do anything useful in terms of avoiding accidents or increasing safety. They just seem to increase people's tendency to get crabby.
Same here. 2 Fiamms do the job perfectly.
Actually use them mainly to waive at friends and neighbors. In city traffic I favor concentration and defensive riding techniques, rather than honking the horn, which A) loosens the grip on the left handle and B) won't stop the usual driver-texter to hit you anyway. :wink:
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Re: Horn?

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:01 pm

This is what I have fitted and works well.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/139dB-12-vol ... SwUvheAcOV
My only issue with air horns in general is that, especially on bikes where they are often in the open air, they tend to ingest water and anything else that might be around, to the eventual destruction of the pump.

Rob
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Re: Horn?

Postby Jojje » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:28 pm

When my Fiamms got tired I fitted these India-made Hellas, very good value for their price - colouring is a bit loud too, black paint is under consideration.
https://tinyurl.com/ve6bet5

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Re: Horn?

Postby Roy Gavin » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:15 pm

Just fitted a pair of Stebel's to the G/S, less than 20 quid the pair including a fused relay harness.
Certainly seem to get peoples attention better than the weak OEM thing ,and the tone seems intimidating!
Like other posters I try to rely on defensive driving, but if you have to have a horn you may as well have one which works!

https://www.onlineautoparts.com.au/prod ... PN-00773ll
Last edited by Roy Gavin on Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Horn?

Postby DEEP DIVER » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:14 am

This is what I have fitted and works well.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/139dB-12-vol ... SwUvheAcOV
My only issue with air horns in general is that, especially on bikes where they are often in the open air, they tend to ingest water and anything else that might be around, to the eventual destruction of the pump.

Rob
I have the outlet part facing to the rear.
I tried to be normal once, worst two minutes of my life.
Blue belt in Serious tea drinking.

Barry the old goat!!!!
1985 R80ST being rebuilt #-o
1985 R80RT Touring dream :smile:
2 Harley sportsters being rebuilt #-o
And a VW trike so I don't fall off :shock:

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Re: Horn?

Postby Mjolinor » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:45 pm

This is what I have fitted and works well.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/139dB-12-vol ... SwUvheAcOV
My only issue with air horns in general is that, especially on bikes where they are often in the open air, they tend to ingest water and anything else that might be around, to the eventual destruction of the pump.

Rob
I have the outlet part facing to the rear.
Is your 0 - 60 time improved?

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Re: Horn?

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:51 pm

This is what I have fitted and works well.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/139dB-12-vol ... SwUvheAcOV
My only issue with air horns in general is that, especially on bikes where they are often in the open air, they tend to ingest water and anything else that might be around, to the eventual destruction of the pump.

Rob
I have the outlet part facing to the rear.
It wasn't so much 'stuff' that camew in through the mouth, rather through the intake...

Rob
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Re: Horn?

Postby Tincan3 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:35 pm

A while ago a friend gave me a Stebel Nautilus compact twin air horn. It was an amazing transformation and great for clearing the cattle out of the way (the cattle tend to be unlit and wander across my local roads).
However, as Rob says, ingestion of damp air leads to corrosion in the pump chamber that causes the pump to fail and a strangled squeak to come out instead of the forty ton articulated truck that it should sound like. Currently my Stebel is in bits to repair and I hope to get it running again. If I do, I shall fit some kind of air filter to the intake and attempt lubrication with graphite (can't be oil). The pump chamber is circular and the impellor head mounted off centre. The vanes are flat sheets of some kind of plastic, loosely fitted in slots and these vanes get flung out under centrifugal force to capture air then compress it for the horn chambers as they rotate into the narrow part of the pump chamber. If I get it working I shall take some photos and make a post about it.

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Re: Horn?

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:00 pm

A while ago a friend gave me a Stebel Nautilus compact twin air horn. It was an amazing transformation and great for clearing the cattle out of the way (the cattle tend to be unlit and wander across my local roads).
However, as Rob says, ingestion of damp air leads to corrosion in the pump chamber that causes the pump to fail and a strangled squeak to come out instead of the forty ton articulated truck that it should sound like. Currently my Stebel is in bits to repair and I hope to get it running again. If I do, I shall fit some kind of air filter to the intake and attempt lubrication with graphite (can't be oil). The pump chamber is circular and the impellor head mounted off centre. The vanes are flat sheets of some kind of plastic, loosely fitted in slots and these vanes get flung out under centrifugal force to capture air then compress it for the horn chambers as they rotate into the narrow part of the pump chamber. If I get it working I shall take some photos and make a post about it.
From the sound of it, they haven't changed in 40 years...

Rob
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Re: Horn?

Postby krankshaft » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:25 pm

Hi,
Thanks for all the replies and sorry I haven't acknowledged them til now. I had some issues with my other
bikes that were a bit more urgent and I've been using the K100 to commute to work so haven't been riding the
R80 for a while.
I was keeping m eye on the auction sites and found a cafe racer builder selling some R100 parts and picked up
a pair of Fiamms (yes, your advice on twin horns was taken) for about 20 quid.
When I got them home and tested them, the high frequency one was working very well but the low one
was only making a clicking sound. I took it apart and cleaned the contct breaker and now it works but the sound is not
clean like the other one, more of a croak than anything, a bit rattly. I made sure the screws that hold the body together
were torqued down, but it's still a bit croaky no matter what I do with the tuning screw.
The horns themselves were quite clean and looked like they came from a dry bike.
Anybody know any issues with the Fiamms that can cause this?
Thanks
Ride safe
Jim
P.S. I also rely on defensive riding which is why I'm still alive after 36 years of uninterrupted riding,
I use the horn for educational reasons, hoping (against hope) that if I give them a toot they might
remember to look left next time they come to a roundabout.

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Re: Horn?

Postby R90S » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:38 pm

Tried the adjuster screw? I bought a job lot off eBay for a tenner. All working after a fettle.
Mike
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Re: Horn?

Postby krankshaft » Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:17 am

Hi, guys
Just a quick update. Installed those twim Fiamms through a relay. Look and sound great.
Thanks for the input.
Just to add that I had my first spin on my r80 and it was wonderful. I love my K100 and have been riding it
nearly everyday through the winter (snow permitting), and the K is more comfortable,smoother, more powerful
and faster but there is something about the airhead that gives a more 'real' riding experience.
Ride safe
Jim

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Re: Horn?

Postby Mjolinor » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:00 pm


P.S. I also rely on defensive riding which is why I'm still alive after 36 years of uninterrupted riding,
I use the horn for educational reasons, hoping (against hope) that if I give them a toot they might
remember to look left next time they come to a roundabout.
Under what circumstance do you need to look left at a roundabout?

Edit: Ah, you're driving on the wrong side of the road.

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Re: Horn?

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:32 pm

Yes, he's driving on the right side of the road which is the wrong side... we drive on the right side of the road which is the left side... #-o :lol:

Rob
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Re: Horn?

Postby krankshaft » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:45 pm

Yes, I have tried riding on the left here, once or twice...it's dangerous!
It never ceases to amaze me how badly they cope with roundabouts here, unless you are almost directly
in front of someone who is entering the roundabout, they pull out without looking left, at least I'm always expecting it
and ready with the brakes and the horns, of course.
Ride safe
Jim


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