Why Nova Scotia?

Why not Nova Scotia might be the better question. It's one of those exotic sounding places that I've never been to and that's reason enough for me. I plan on leaving around the 8th of May and spending several weeks on the ride. Along the way I'll be camping out, visiting unsuspecting friends , and maybe getting to ride along with them for awhile. Let me know if you're up to either!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Apr 8, Part 2 – Ninja gets Whoop-ass Horns!

I expect the above title may seem a bit indelicate to some but in truth that’s how I’ve come to regard the Ninja’s new Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns. Here’s why:

As much as I love Kawasaki’s bikes when it comes to their horns they’re just like so many other manufacturers, go with the el-cheapo model and call it good. I read somewhere there seems to be a strange correlation between the size of the vehicle and the loudness of its horn, i.e., the smaller the vehicle the wimpier the horn. This appears to be backwards from what it should be for if any vehicle needs to be noticed it’s the smaller ones.

Considering that horns are an integral part of a vehicle’s safety equipment you’d think this would be of concern to manufacturers but for some reason it isn’t. Perhaps it’s because a better quality horn would add a couple more dollars to the manufacturing cost? Someone makes these decisions and you can tell it’s not to our benefit.

As a result we bikers end up with very feeble little squeakers for horns that no one and I mean NO ONE can hear, especially those folks with a cell phone stuck in their ear. We’ve all seen them suddenly change lanes without so much as a glance to see if there’s anyone else occupying that same space, especially someone on a bike. If you’ve ever been caught in that situation you know what I’m talking about.

Until recently I’ve been a rider who couldn’t begin to tell you where the horn button is located on my bike; I’ve generally considered the use of one as symptomatic of inattentive riding. That all seems to have changed with the advent of so many cell phones. In the past when a driver was weaving badly or changing speeds inconsistently you might think he was inebriated, but now he’s probably just chatting with someone. The net result is the same, overtaking one of these people can be highly dangerous as they’re oblivious of their surroundings and other traffic. This is where a quality horn comes into play; a light tap on the button that activates a pair of Freeway Blasters will notify even the most brain dead driver of your presence. That’s something next to impossible using one of the factory pipsqueaks.

Please note I’m not advocating the use of extremely loud horns as a substitute for defensive riding, nothing could be further from the truth. However as one of the members of the Ninja forum recently wrote, “As long as you’re going to have a horn on your bike you may as well have one that serves it’s purpose.” I couldn’t agree more.

Acquired from Aerostich.com at $30 per pair plus $4 for an isolation relay and reasonable shipping the horns arrived promptly. Installation took longer than anticipated due to deciding on a suitable mounting location. I knew right off I wanted them behind the front fairing but things being a bit tight made it challenging. I ended up removing the old horn and it’s mounting bracket, then installing the new horns in the same area but modifying the new brackets. The ones supplied with the Freeway Blasters consisted of a single strap which after drilling a new locating hole allowed them to be mounted higher up out of the way of direct moisture, or so I hope.

The isolation relay was needed to carry the higher current required by two horns as opposed to the single factory unit’s lower demands. Location of it was fairly easy, after running the required wiring I used a zip lock strap to secure it to a frame member under the front fairing. The original horn button now activates the relay which in turn operates the pair of horns. The final component was an in-line 20 amp fuse which I located under the saddle just above the battery compartment.

Operational performance test results proved favorable: Both dogs went into their full barking mode the first time I tried the horns. Around here it doesn't get much better than that.


  1. Larry:Those appear to be bolted to the frame or a support member.
    Did wiring instructions come with the units?
    I can only imagine Chance and Daisy woofin' it up !

  2. The new horns are bolted to a cast bracket that's part of the upper fork assy. The original single horn was centrally mounted on a steel strap that utilized the same points. A wiring diagram came with the horns and the relay although it's a pretty straight forward hook up. Those damn dogs...