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Old 08-12-2014, 06:35 PM   #1
wadenelson OP
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Upcoming Horn Test -- Stebel, FIAMM, air horns

I just put in a bid on a Radio Shack 33-099 digital sound meter on eBay.

I'm gonna MEASURE and publish the ACTUAL volume of 5 popular horns ---

The Stebel Nautilus, Wolo Badboy, FIAMM Highway blasters, some PIAA horns, and a set of plastic trumpet style air horns.

I'm gonna measure them six feet diagonally from the front of the bike, where a car drifting into your lane is likely to be - and where it's CRUCIAL that a horn really work!

They'll be wired with 10AWG wire so there'll be next to zero voltage drop in the circuit.

I'm pretty sure any mfr claims of 130+dB are just marketing hype, with the sound meter shoved up the trumpet of the horn.

Gonna hold the engine at 2000 rpm so it's generating full voltage for the test. Average the volume over a 3 second blast.

Even with the reviews on Amazon it seems impossible to make an educated decision about horns.... reliability seems a major issue for many.

Results to follow....

wadenelson screwed with this post 08-14-2014 at 03:30 PM
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
Baroquenride
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I'll be looking forward to your test! Are you getting a Wolo horn? I totally understand if you're not, due to it being a knock-off of the Stebel....just curious.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #3
Penderic
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I got a cheap set that I like a lot!

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ighlight=horns
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:59 PM   #4
Contevita
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Don't forget to add the Hella horn. I installed on the two horns in my kit and it was loud. Upgraded to a Stebel and it's louder. I'd like to see the results of your tests.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:06 AM   #5
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penderic View Post
that's good to know .. how long have you had em?

I've had seibel and wolo which are both super loud. but both share one problem .. the least little bit of dirt that gets into air intake will kill it.

if you keep air horn clean .. it last a long time .. one trip off road will kill it.

I'd like to find a set of non air horns that's close to loudness of sebel/wolo air horns and be way more reliable.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:43 AM   #6
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Seibel...

Sebel...

Stebel!!!
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
wadenelson OP
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Adding Wolo's to the test?

Anybody work at a bike retailer or shop want to contribute a pair of Wolo's, or the Harbor Freight knock-off's for the test?

Or got a pair you took OFF your bike cause you were disappointed in 'em? (Got to be new, can't be 6,000 miles and full of dirt and water....)

Or pitch in $35 for me to buy a pair? I"m already in for over $150 on horns and the meter... gotta stop somewhere...

Which Hella's??? Supertones? I'm not getting paid to do this, ya know....

W
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:00 PM   #8
DJacobsen5116
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Webbikeword.com has done some horn tests over the years. Results have generally matched your suspicions - there is a fair amount of exaggeration or just plain guessing at how loud horns are.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-horns/
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:57 PM   #9
wadenelson OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJacobsen5116 View Post
Webbikeword.com has done some horn tests over the years.
Here's a better link: http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...comparison.htm

They've got .mp3's of the actual horn sounds if you scroll down far enough:

The Stebel Nautilus predictably sounds European... but failed during testing
The FIAMMs sound like an old GM land yacht
The Hella supertones sound like a futuristic biohazard building alarm or an eagle getting electrocuted between two 440kv powerlines, I can't decide... hear, take a listen...

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...-supertone.mp3
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:59 PM   #10
Baroquenride
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I just remembered that I have a pair of PIAA horns that I could loan you for testing. They're the 500/600 combo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acYUq-Rn6VQ I can't seem to find a good way to mount them on either bike and the Wolo has been the go-to horn for my bikes. I break the horn from the compressor so it's easier to work with.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:31 PM   #11
wadenelson OP
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Adding horns to the test...

A set of PIAA 500/600 horns and a Wolo Bad Boy, contributed by J&P Cycles are being added to the test.

http://www.jpcycles.com/product/360-102



Video: Dual Wolo's on a mustang:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ygVu16zSdw

He didn't start the engine, probably a LOT louder at 13.8 rather than 12.6 Volts...

Video: Harbor Freight chrome snails:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYYTPZlmGB4

Neighbors gonna love me.... ;)

wadenelson screwed with this post 08-14-2014 at 03:37 PM
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:58 PM   #12
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Decibel level isn't the only factor in being heard. Tone, noise, and carry also contribute.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:15 PM   #13
Chad05gsa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
if you keep air horn clean .. it last a long time .. one trip off road will kill it.
Is there any way to make a filter for a stebel air horn? I've been looking at them and read this is a problem for most. So it seems like a no go for any adventure riding?
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:41 AM   #14
KingOfFleece
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MCN did a test like this in last month's issue.
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:18 AM   #15
Navy Chief
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadenelson;24840778
[snip
The Hella supertones sound like a futuristic biohazard building alarm or an eagle getting electrocuted between two 440kv powerlines, I can't decide... hear, take a listen...

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...-supertone.mp3
I don't have speakers or headphones at work, but I like the description; it sounds very attention grabbing. I may have to look into these, the stock beep beep horn on the KLR is not cutting it when I really need it to.
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