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Can you hear me now ?

Written by Mike Vandenburgh   
Wednesday, 10 August 2005

I can't remember how many times I've blown my horn at a cager occupied on a cell phone and could hardly hear the horn myself. The OEM horns are weak at best and forget about it at freeway speeds with aftermarket pipes. So I set out to find a good horn that not only I could hear but those cagers could definately hear too at freeway speeds.

I liked the idea of air horns, but could not find a decent location where they wouldn't be obtrusive. Then I found the Nautilus Compact Air horns made by Stebel.


The horn fits nicely where the stock front horn was and was fairly easy to install.


The wiring directions were hidden in the package so my first attempt was a direct connection which resulted in a pathetically weak sound. The air horns draw about 18 amps and the oem wiring just could not handle it. I started searching the net and found a wiring suggestion that I used. Viola! Thar she blows! All it took was to wire in a relay which came with the horn.


I used 12 gauge wire and used a 25 amp in-line fuse. For the bracket, I used a 1 1/2" piece of aluminum stock.

The wiring on the relay is as follows:

  • Terminal 30- Fusible link direct to + battery.
  • Terminal 87- Positive terminal of horn. Connect negative horn terminal to a good ground.
  • Terminal 86- Positive side of horn switch wire.
  • Terminal 85- Negative side of horn switch wire.


Now this horn really gets the attention of those cagers, especially while they are on those cell phones and their radio's blasting away. These horns are rated at 139db!  I found mine at http://adventurersworkshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=STEBEL_COMPACT_AIRHORN&Category_Code=Stebel_Air_Horns


Questions should be asked in our forum (Use discuss link below). The forum is very active and you stand a good chance of getting your questions answered there. If you would like to leave feedback for the author, or have additional information you think will benefit others, please use the comment section at the bottom of this page.

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DISCLAIMER: This information and procedure is provided as a courtesy and is for informational purposes only.  Neither the publishers nor the authors accept any responsibility for the accuracy, applicability, or suitability of this procedure.  You assume all risks associated with the use of this information.  NEITHER THE PUBLISHERs NOR THE AUTHORs SHALL IN ANY EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY NATURE ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR MISUSE OF THIS INFORMATION OR LACK OF INFORMATION.  Any type of modification or service work on your motorcycle should always be performed by a professional mechanic. If performed incorrectly, this procedure may endanger the safety of you and others on your motorcycle and possibly invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty.

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  Comments (10)
Stebel Air horn Wiring Harness
Written by Starkruzen, on 08-20-2010 20:53
If you go to www.ventureriders.com, and search for Stebel wiring. There is a guy who makes a plug and play wiring harnes just for this application.
Air h
Written by Starkruzen, on 08-20-2010 20:50
I have done this same modification...
Written by ahamay, on 04-25-2010 15:28
All of the bikes I have had since 1985 have had the anemic stock horns replaced with various air horn kits with the relays through the years. Harbor Freight has the WOLO BadBoys horn for around 45.99, Three trumpet for 19.99, two trumpet for 9.99, and the AAHOOGAH for9.99. My other bike has the WOLO BADBOY and it really hurt someones feelings that I would honk at them for sitting through a green light. Oh well.
Wirre harness
Written by Dragoon, on 04-03-2010 19:53
Its a given that all the amperage (14 in case of the stebil) will go through the start switch hence them including several pieces to offload the current. however, the very same is tru for other load such as the driving lights. Thus I sourced the gonzo harness. This is a premaid and prelengthed harness that is specific to a fucntion, be it a horn or a light bar. These are hand made and tested and are truly plug and play agian. For more info on these (remebr, yamaha is wired reverse to the instructions you get) contact me and i will direct you to the source.  
Safe riding
Best Location (for me)
Written by Randysgym, on 12-09-2009 12:56
I have never liked the bulk (and vulnerability) of ANY horn stuck next to my left big toe on the floorboards. And for those with 'forward controls', the horn must be relocated anyway. So I found a great place by removing the rear fender's plastic 'mud-guard', and riveting a curved, homemade bracket to the non-wheel-well side of the mud-guard. This puts the horn just behind the rear fender, under the tool-kit area (way under). With the horn pointing down, I get loud sound in all directions (left/right/ahead/behind). Plus, it is totally out of sight. Post a message to me on this website, and I can email you photos, if desired.
Loud Horn
Written by Freeze, on 11-21-2009 21:35
This horn is very loud and works great. I followed the instructions that came with the horn and this article. The hardest part was making a bracket. I used a 1" wide galvanized shelving bracket I bought at Lowes and cut it down to the size I needed. I took me about 15 minutes and I had a mounting bracket.  
Pros: easy to install and loud.  
Cons: My kids say it sounds like a clown car.  
Now every time I hit the horn button, I feel like I should be in a circus.  
Overall, it is a great horn that is very loud and will get the attention of the dumb cages.
terminals 65 and 86
Written by jetjky, on 06-18-2008 22:02
Hey folks, I made a nice bracket for the stebel horn and I got the therminal 30 and 87 hooked up correctly but the two wires from the front horn (pink and brown) would not work right no matter if atached to terminal 85 or 86. The directions here call for terminal 86 to the positive side of horn switch wire and therminal 85 to the negative side of horn switch wire. 
So, WHERE are these wires?
Great horn
Written by Lakecharles, on 03-10-2008 09:24
This thing is great. I fabricated a metal bar from Lowe's and mounted the horn to the front horn mounting area. My horn is in the same place but vertical. It sets upright and faces the proper way both of which is critical for the life of the horn. the relay is mounted under the saddle and the horn is wired with separate wires which run along the frame to the battery. I simply unhooked and removed the stock horns and taped the leads out of sight. I can unbolt the Stebel, the mount, and rebolt and replug the stock horns in the future if I sell the bike. 
this thing really gets attention!
Written by Doccuke, on 12-07-2007 15:03
I loved my airhorn too!! However I found after about 4000 miles and some rough roads it was cracked in 5 places and barely audible!! It would be more useful made of metal!!
Wiring Problems!!!!
Written by timduross, on 10-06-2007 15:33
:eek Greetings from Boston. I picked up this horn at the parts store on the way home last night. Rather than spend the $300. ebay wanted. Bolted it up to the left front footrest bracket. Tried to wire the horn direct to the old plug (+ and -) connecting wires and it worked but the lights dimmed and the horn seemed to strain. So I figured I'd better read the directions. I wired the horn to the front horn plug, and had all kinds of trouble. Blown fuses ect. This system works with constant power and gets a ground from the horn switch. I want to save everyone alot of time by saying "you must wire the horn to the rear plug and leave the front one unpluged". It's the best $40 I ever spent. Nice and loud. I have not painted it black yet, the one I got has chrome on the ends. That will wait for another day. Today I'm goin out to make some noise.

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