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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

Quick question...I am thinking of buying a set of Rivco Air Horns or a set of Howard Air Horns, but I'd like to powercoat them black to match the rest of my Road Glide.

Does anyone know if this can be done?? Will the powdercoat "clog" up something that will muffle the sound??

Let me know.

Thanks.

Danny
 

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I bought the Howards Horn for my Ultra and had it painted wrikle black to match the motor. It works fine. I like their set up, it was very easy to install.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, the Rivco horn trumpets have a plastic end cap that has been chrome-plated (I could be wrong, so don't flame me if I am). If that's the case, then powder-coating is out of the question.

However, the Howards horns are all metal (including the internal diaphragm) with removeable end caps that allow internal cleaning of the trumpets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmmm..

Think you are right about the Rivco having plastic parts.

I actually called Rivco and asked them and they said they "do not suggest it." I asked why, and the person really did not know. She did say that it would void the warranty.

I called BJ Specialties who also make bike air horns and she specifically said that I "can not powder coat." She did say that she gets this question all the time and it's still the same answer....no.

Reason? Because she said the insides of the case and horn has plastic parts that will melt in the curing stage of the powder coating (the 400 degree oven).

So, what to do. Not sure. I like the Howards, but really do not like that the compressor is mounted under the cow bell.
 

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Time to customize!

The Howard's Dynamic Duo comes with it's own bracket that replaces the stock horn bracket. Then what you're supposed to do is mount the air compressor in the stock cowbell which in turn mounts to this bracket. The trumpets also mount to this bracket as well. All in all, it's a pretty good design, that is, if your motor is hard-mounted. If you have a rubber-mounted motor, the whole bracket assembly including the horn and compressor tend to rock with the motor, and I just didn't like that. Plus I've heard that this rocking and vibration places additional stress on the horn, resulting in cracks and breaks later.

My goal was to (1) hide the compressor, and (2) get the horn off the motor. All I needed was a frame clamp and a piece of bar stock. The frame clamp is just your ordinary frame clamp, nothing special about it. Although it is chrome, I’ll probably paint it this winter so that it blends in better with the frame. The bar stock I picked up at my local Home Depot for 5 or 6 dollars. It’s a piece about 14 inches in length, 1.5 inches wide, and 1/16” inch thick. All I did was bend it in sort of a ‘Z’ shape, mounting one end on the frame clamp and mounting the horn at the other end. I took frequent measurements and made numerous trial fits until I had the horns where I wanted them. After I had the bracket fabricated, I cleaned it up really well with some emery cloth and shot it with good ‘ol gloss black Rustoleum. Maybe one of these days, I’ll get it powder coated just for better durability but so far the paint has held up flawlessly. Finally, the mounting hardware is just ordinary stainless steel bolts and acorn nuts, again purchased at the local hardware store.

I didn’t want to clutter up the left side of the motor with the twin air horns AND the cowbell. Instead, I decided to make use of the empty compartment forward of the battery box on my 2003 Road King Classic. Having a bagger has its advantages!

In the battery compartment on the right side of the "forward bulkhead" (looking forward), you should see a single unused hole (I seem to recall it was a threaded hole but was not being used for anything). What I did was take my Dremel tool and enlarge the hole enough to accommodate the bolt needed to mount the compressor. If you look at the top of the compressor, you should notice a square slot sized to accommodate a 1/2" bolt head. What you do is first insert the bolt through the bulkhead with the head of the bolt in the forward cavity and start a nylon locking nut on the other end in the battery compartment. You then insert your compressor into the forward cavity and slip the head of the bolt into the square slot on the compressor. Hold the compressor in place and tighten up the nut in the battery compartment. Snug it up good but don't over-tighten. Also, this job goes a lot easier if you have everything else wired up and installed ready to go. This way, you just plug the positive/negative wires into the bottom of your compressor, slip it into the forward compartment, and then bolt it in place. In the picture below, you can just make out the compressor and the clear vinyl air tube going to it.

The end result is a nice clean installation.



 

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JohnC said:
However, the Howards horns are all metal (including the internal diaphragm) with removeable end caps that allow internal cleaning of the trumpets.
This is true, however, the inlet nipple to the horn diaphragm is nylon. Further, if you remove that nipple, Howards Horns will voild the warranty on the horn.

I had the Howards Horns and liked them until the diaphrapm disintegrated while I was riding and dented my chrome cover.

Howards would not warranty that either. Finally had to dispute my purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmm...

John C has a great design, but I'm unfortunately am not that mechanically inclined and do not have a Dremel Tool.

Maybe I'll bag the idea of the Rivco's, and go with one of the other Air Horns some of the guys have.

Thanks for your help.
 

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You guys need to check out 8-Balls gallery and look under Horn Mod.This is a great and cheap way to have a horn and not cover the motor or anything!
 

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I like the Howards, but really do not like that the compressor is mounted under the cow bell.
I hid my compressor under the seat(laying flat). I then run a fancy braided fuel line to the horns.
This is true, however, the inlet nipple to the horn diaphragm is nylon. Further, if you remove that nipple, Howards Horns will voild the warranty on the horn.
I replaced this with a brass fitting the first day(that could be powdercoated). It unscrews easily with a wrench and is simply coated with pipe dope and tape. I would just screw the original back in if I needed warrenty work, but the things easily come apart and any needed part could be fabricated at home. On the other end, the small Italian compressors sell on Ebay for $8 at times.

I just like having something on the "dead side" of the engine. You know, the right side gets the exhaust and the S&S carb/cleaner. All that's on the left side is that ugly primary assembly. The horns help balance things out.
 

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Although there is nothing wrong with 8-Ball's installation of his air horn, I did not want to hide mine. I have a Road King Classic and really like the nostalgic appearance of the bike. Not only are the dual trumpets of the Howard's VERY loud, they also add to that 'classic' appearance. I personally like having the horn in full-view. There is nothing to muffle the sound whatsoever and it attracts a lot of attention and compliments.
 
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