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Old 01-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Replacing antennas on Ultra Classic

Hey Everyone,

I have an 08 Ultra Classic. I am tired of the long whip antennas. I read somewhere I can replace the antenna with a commercial off the shelf antenna, such as GM antenna from an Autoparts Store. I bought one from Advance Auto for 10 buck (sure beats what the HD shop sells them for).

Here are my questions:

1. Does this work?
2. If so, will it work if I replace the CB and Radio Antennas with teh same type off the shelf antennas?
3. Looking at the bike from the back, which antenna is the CB and which is the radio?
4. Has anyone done this? If so, do you instructions on how to properly remove the stock Antennas?

Thanks all,

We are supposed to have record high temps in NC (mid 70s) . I am looking forward to getting some riding in. Take care..
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Any antenna probably will work. I bought shorties from J&L in Az. they work. Right side. I have to remove ant when I cover the bike, loosen set screw and unscrew the ant. I mix and match and it doesn't seem to make any difference on reception. I never put the set screw back in, ant stay put.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The am fm may work fine. But if you actually use your cb then you need to get a cb antenna made for your bike. If you use an off the shelf am fm antenna it is not designed to broadcast cb frequencies. And if the standing wave is off, which it will, you can burn the transmit circuits out on you cb side. If memory serves me correct its the right side is cb. If you just doing it for show then get what ever. But if you use cb get a set from dealer or something made for cb and radio.

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I also think the CB antenna is on the right side when facing the rear.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you buy the shorty H-D antennas, there is one for the AM/FM radio and one for the CB.
CB is on the right. You can verify it with the load coil in the Tour-Pak.

Don't put them on the wrong side. You can blow out the CB with the wrong antenna.

The replacement Harley antenna ($30) is marked at the antenna base (CB or AM/FM).
They screw on, don't have a set screw.

I had the long whips on my '07 Ultra but took them off.

When staying at a motel, I unscrew the antennas and place in the Tour-Pak. Too easy for someone to otherwise get your antennas.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I used these from
Amazon Amazon
.

I can't tell a single thing different in them but I do know the transmit is drastically reduced. But they don't whip around like factory and I only use the CB to talk to the wife on her Spyder.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I just did the SWR on a friends 08 with the shorty J&M antennas. it was 2.0. The OEM whips were 1.6. 2.0 is too high and may affect your range. Any higher and may damage your CB.. I would not use off the shelf antennas. You could probably get by with the Shorty's sold but I would have the SWR checked...
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1L243 View Post
I just did the SWR on a friends 08 with the shorty J&M antennas. it was 2.0. The OEM whips were 1.6. 2.0 is too high and may affect your range. Any higher and may damage your CB.. I would not use off the shelf antennas. You could probably get by with the Shorty's sold but I would have the SWR checked...
1L243,
What's involved in checking the SWR and if it's in need of adjustment, how do you do it?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm lovin this thread. I have tried to callout to truckers I see as I'm riding, through full face intercom helmet, and PTT button. I've only get increased static back.. These are trucks that are approaching oncoming and less than a 1/2 mile distance. I'm looking to get it tune So I can talk to my other ultra riding friends while we are riding. I'll be watching this thread.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think if you stay with the OEM CB antenna from the Manufacturer you won't have to worry about the SWR. The radio and the antennae are designed for each other. If your getting static or poor performance on a HD system you could be having another problem or a bad CB..

You can get an cheap SWR meter from Radio Shack. The problem your going to have is connecting the SWR meter to the HD CB. The industry standard screw on CB connector is much bigger than the one on the HD CB. Technically your supposed to connect the SWR meter as close to the CB as possible. However the CB antenna connection under the Tour Pak liner (right side) is more like a standard AM/FM car antenna connector. What I did was I had the two cables that came with the SWR meter made with a male and female AM/FM connector so I could plug into the HD CB connection under the Tour Pak liner.
PS

If your getting static make sure your running the right resistor type spark plugs for your bike.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1L243 View Post
I think if you stay with the OEM CB antenna from the Manufacturer you won't have to worry about the SWR. The radio and the antennae are designed for each other. If your getting static or poor performance on a HD system you could be having another problem or a bad CB..

You can get an cheap SWR meter from Radio Shack. The problem your going to have is connecting the SWR meter to the HD CB. The industry standard screw on CB connector is much bigger than the one on the HD CB. Technically your supposed to connect the SWR meter as close to the CB as possible. However the CB antenna connection under the Tour Pak liner (right side) is more like a standard AM/FM car antenna connector. What I did was I had the two cables that came with the SWR meter made with a male and female AM/FM connector so I could plug into the HD CB connection under the Tour Pak liner.
PS

If your getting static make sure your running the right resistor type spark plugs for your bike.
When I bought the bike used it has short antenna, that both look Identical. I am unsure of the plugs, Did buy a set of stock OEM HD Plugs. I will change them and check for a difference... I am sure they are OEM. I don't want the whips, So I may purchase a set of the HD OEM short flexible antenna and see what happens as well. SO to be certain, the CB is the antenna that is on the right, as you are standing behind and looking at the back of the tour pack?
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If you got the bike used it would be good idea to check your spark plugs to make sure you have the right resistor type.

If you go with shorty antennas I would go with the ones sold by HD for your specific year as it will make a difference. http://www.harley-davidson.com/gma/g...bmLocale=en_US

Standing at the rear of the bike the CB antenna is the one on the right side.

The antennae on my 2009 are marked at the bottom on each antenna for AM/FM or CB. If you get the shorty check them out and see if they are marked. I don't know if they are or not.

If your having real problems with static, squealing and low performance you could have a bad CB.. The reason I got my SWR in the first place was for my 2006 Ultra. From day one the bike had poor CB performance with alot of static. Finally got HD to replace it and fixed the problem. But not until I had eliminated everything else.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Found the cb to be pretty useless (for me), put an antenna in the faring and got rid of those on the tour pak altogether. Love the look.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That would work. Just turn the CB off so you don't transmit without an antenna... For me I ride with other guys who have Ultras and somebody is always saying something, which could be a bad or good thing...
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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yep, if I replace the antennas and the plugs and it don't work, I will take it to HD, and have them fix it. I have the extended warranty..
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