Want to listen to Sirius XM Radio on your motorcycle? There are three things to take care of. Where to put it, how to power it, how to hear it. This overview is applicable to most SiriusXM radios made over the past ten years so there is a good chance that what you have will apply.
For power, a universal hardwire kit such as the Eklipse Charging System is what you need. These universal adapters have an ending that is a receptacle shaped like your car accessory lighter. It has an end cap that can be closed when not in use and will attach directly to your bike’s battery. On a scale of difficulty, we rate this project a 7 out of 10. Many will use a mechanic. For some good information about hardwires, take a few minutes to read our article on this topic. Although it’s primarily about GPS hardwires, the content is applicable for a satellite radio too. Like a GPS, be certain to check the needed amperage and voltage output. Be sure to purchase a hardwire that will fit those specifications. I do not remember seeing a hardwire specifically made for a satellite radio, but a quick Google search may uncover something useful. You will likely use a universal accessory port in conjunction with your current car charger.
Since you are installing a radio, I assume you would also like to hear it. I have seen riders simply crank up the volume on factory installed speakers. Granted you could hear it a mile away, but so can all the other motorists on the road. Most radios have an audio out port which allows you to deploy a Bluetooth kit such as the Sena Bluetooth 4.1 Communication System. The kit normally has a Bluetooth transmitter and you will wear a Bluetooth earpiece or have a Bluetooth enabled helmet. Needless to say be aware of your surrounding environment and be sure not to let this radio interfere with your safety.
Mounting can be a simple operation. There are plenty of mounts out there for your handlebar, clutch or a variety of other places. The cradle that comes with your car kit has a 4-hole mounting pattern on the back known as the AMPS pattern. Most AMPS mounts will support the cradle that came with your car kit and will attach to it just like your car suction mount. This is the easy part and is a 2 out of 10 on the difficulty scale as it will depend upon the location of the mount. It is recommend to tether your radio for added safety as most radio cradles do not have a locking feature for the radio.
The RAM Clutch and Handlebar AMPS Mount is a solid choice for motorcycle use. It’s made of metal and can attach to a handlebar up to 1.25 inches in diameter. Mounting hardware for most clutches is also included. Clutch attachments are especially popular on many Honda and Harley-Davidson models. These mounts come with a lifetime manufacturer warranty. This mount fits most Sirius models. Older XM Radio models made prior to the Sirius XM merge may not fit because they may not have the 4-hole pattern on the back of the cradle so be sure to check prior to purchase.
Another mounting option that is worth consideration is the Arkon Sirius / XM Handlebar Mount. Unlike the prior mount, this one will support virtually all Sirius or XM Radios as it includes the mounting pattern for both the older XM radios as well all of the Sirius cradles that have the 4-hole AMPS pattern. These fit handlebars up to 1.25 inches diameter and come with a 2-year warranty. These mounts are made of plastic.
Also put some thought to the antenna. While mounting a radio is a simply matter of usually installing a handlebar mount, the antenna will likely be another story. They key to using an antenna is that it needs to see the sky. Some riders will attach it using the magnetic underside to their gas tank while others find a different flat metal location to adhere it. There are some antenna mounts out there which consist of a mount and small metal 2 x 2 inch tray which the antenna will adhere to. For the antenna, try to purchase one that has a short cable (I have seen them as short as 8 inches). Most antennas made for a car come with a 25 foot long cable and figuring out where to stash that length of cable might be a bit of problem.
Another option for the antenna would be to purchase one specifically made for the purpose of mounting on a motorcycle. The Sirius XM Satellite Radio Motorcycle Antenna mounts to a handlebar or any flat surface. It’s from a company called Pixel Technologies. The antenna comes with a handlebar attachment and if you have the real estate on the handlebar available, this might be a good option. The antenna should give very clear reception given the location and size.