CD Changer Install

Alpine CHM-S655RF

After spending years trying to use portable CD Players strapped in some fashion to the bike and after hearing, to my surprise, the RF systems/technology out there I decided to venture forth and attempt to install on one my own 98SE.

I felt that for maximum comfort and usability I should use a hard wired type of controller since a Wireless type remote would normally require line of site operation and would hinder the mounting locations available. After shopping around I chose the Alpine CHM-S655RF. It is a 6 CD Radio Frequency changer system with hard-wired controller and an optional (but included) wireless remote. The unit is small and measures 10"x6-3/8"x2-1/2" and the remote display controller measuring 4-7/16"x1-9/16"x25/36" and the FM Modulator unit measuring 5-1/8"x1-3/8"x2-15/16". One of the biggest concerns with people that I have seen is the loss of space when a CD Changer is mounted. I was able to mount this unit in my trunk and am still able to put in 2 full face helmets and a heavy leather jacket with no trouble. The unit is frequency-modulated meaning it actually transmits on a FM station on your existing stereo. No more is the need to wire in switches and buttons and splice into speakers (those of you from the 8 Track and even Cassette days know what I mean). You simply set your existing radio on whatever frequency you set on the changer unit and it broadcasts through your stereo.

So. On with the installation.

I won't be showing pictures of the bike in its torn down state since 1. It's already put together and 2. If you need additional help in pulling off seats, side covers, etc. then you may want to enlist the help of a knowledgeable fellow Goldwinger.

I removed both side covers, seat, fairing pockets unbolted the trunk and unbolted the center console. I also removed the center steering trim stuff.

I mounted the Changer unit in the center of the trunk against the back wall (Pic1) I did have to raise 1 bolt on the left side of the changer (Pic2) because of a unit right under the trunk getting in the way. I should also note here that when I first installed this I had used Velcro to attach it in the trunk but I found that when the trunk was empty I would get skipping over rough roads but when it was full, say with my laptop inside those same rough roads would not produce any skipping so I would recommend you bolt the unit to the trunk for the best performance.

There is 1 and only 1 cable that comes off the changer itself. It is a 8-pin DIN plug. The 98SE Goldwing has a plug hole already in the trunk (Pic3) that I popped out, ran the 1 single cable through, cut a small slit in the plug and re-installed it.

I ran the cable under the trunk, under the seat, under the center radio console and up to the fairing pocket. This is where I mounted the FM Modulator unit. This unit will have 2 antenna leads, a plug connection for the changer, a plug connection for the Display Controller unit and 3 wires a yellow, red, and black. The yellow connects to the positive of the battery, the red to the switched ignition on and the black to the ground. I routed the wires in reverse of the path from the Changer until cable and hooked the yellow direct to the battery. The red lead I hooked to the accessory terminal and the black direct to the ground of the battery.

There is a optional attenna lead connection. I say optional because even if you don't plug this in you still get the CD to play through your radio, however, plugging it in allows a better frequency lock. You actually, on a 98SE anyway, have an option of where to plug this in. You can go direct to the back of the radio or to the back of the bike under the seat. I chose the back of the bike because under the radio would have made it crowded and would also, in my opinion, compromised the integrity of the waterproof shield on the radio connections. I routed 2 attenna lead cables, I purchased these separate, from the modulator unit. Under the seat there is the attenna connections. Hook one lead to each connection.

For the Display controller I routed the cable for it up through the fairing pocket. Honda actually has a lip already there for your intercom connection lead and the CD Display Lead fit right in it along with the intercom cable (Pic4)

For the display unit (see below Note # 1) I purchased some heavy polished aluminum and cut it to the size of the display panel adding some for bolt holes and mounted it under the fairing pocket using the existing screws (Pic5) and I attached the display panel with Velcro. This will allow me to put the display unit in the fairing pocket when I wash the bike or in the event of rain. It also allows for easy access for changing CD's and tracks. The finished unit (Pic6) looks pretty clean (Pic7 and is easy to read and operate.

The unit, as mentioned before, allows 2 full faced helmets in the trunk (Pic8) and I can put in groceries, heavy jackets, etc. I have not felt the loss in space. It is also noteworthy to mention that I have put about 2,000 miles on the bike using the CD Player exclusively and aside from a couple of very severe potholes I have not experienced any skipping or problems.

The unit came with a wireless remote control. It requires line of site with the Display Controller and is very small. Since I would not try and use this while driving I have reserved it for the passenger. I used Velcro and attached it to the inside rear passenger pocket door. I also attached a spring loaded string that prevents it from being lost with a butter finger passenger. The Wireless Remote unit has additional functions like CD Shuffle, Random Play, etc. that is not on the main display controller. A mistake, in my opinion, Alpine made on this otherwise nice unit.

This was by far the easiest electronic piece of equipment I have ever installed on a motorcycle and I will state that my 84 Aspencade had extra lights, Cellular phone, TV, Radar Detector, and a cigarette lighter.

If you plan to install one of these and want some extra detailed photos or want some help just drop me a e-mail.

NOTE # 1: Since the original install and writing of this I was out of town on my bike and had it parked in a motel parking lot. During the night a very heavy rain came down. I had not put the display unit in the fairing pocket beforhand so in the morning when I got on the bike and fired it up I did not realize water had puddled inside the display unit. As soon as I turned on the bike the display unit came on and fried. I found out the only way to get replacement display units is to purchase a kit that contains a new display, a new remote and a new RF unit. The kit costs about $130.00. I have since fabricated a cover from vinyl and clear plastic to keep the unit waterproof (Pic8 (Updated View) .