On my old Fazer, I had installed a Stebel Nautilus air horn, a super loud horn that saved my bacon on a number of occasions on my daily commute into London. As such, I was keen to install similar on my new FZ6, but with the Stebel horns less readily available in the UK I came across the Denali SoundBomb. On first glance, it appears to be a spitting image of the Stebel horn and is priced similarly at £40.
With the horn being such a large lump, mounting needed some thought as the FZ6 stock horn is mounted between the forks and there are no handy mounting points on the sides under the fairing. Denali sells a number of specific bike and generic crash bar mounting brackets, but unfortunately nowt suitable for the FZ6. That’s when I found the Denali SoundBomb Split version which separates the two halves of the air horn, thus allowing the compressor and horn elements to be mounted individually. A supplied thick heat-resistant hose then connects the two halves. As with other large horns, the compressor should be wired to the stock horn via a relay due to its 20A power draw. i.e. the stock horn wire triggers the compressor via a relay, to power it directly from the battery on its own fused line.
- Size (Compressor): 11.4 x 7.4 x 3.6 cm
- Size (Acoustic Unit): 10.4 x 9.4 x 8.6 cm
- Power draw: 20A
- Output: 120db at 1m
In theory, the installation should be straightforward, however, locating suitable mounting points is always a bit of a faff. On my FZ6 I finally opted to cable tie the compressor in the free space under the tank, then mount the horn in the stock horn location. The thin air hose was then fed along the inside of the frame and out through the frame hole near the yoke. This needed some stripping down of the air and battery boxes to gain access. With the horn mounted on the forks, I needed to take special care to ensure they still moved freely lock to lock and on full fork compression the horn didn’t hit the front fender. With some careful angling, it all fits, just!
If you’re really stuck for space on your bike, there is the Denali SoundBomb Mini which still puts out a fair bit of noise at 113dB. It also comes in a spot cheaper at around £25.
Wiring-wise, things were fairly straightforward. I ran a wire with a spade from the original stock horn connection (to leave the original wiring intact) back to a relay hidden by the compressor. Then it was just running live and earth lines from the battery. Thankfully, included instructions explained everything clearly. All in I spent an afternoon on this job, taking my time to solder quality spaded connections, arrange wiring and consume several cups of tea. Note BMW wiring adaptor kits are also available from Denali and it is CANBUS compatible.
your horn is supposed to alert others of your presence. It’s not supposed to be used to retaliate when others anger you
By gum, was all the effort worth it, damn it is loud! It’s easy to forget the decibel scale is logarithmic i.e. doubling of volume every 10dB. Definitely makes a difference on the road to get you noticed, the loud and distinct noise it makes really stands out and gives the impression of something much larger than a small motorcycle on the road. It is perfect to alert someone you spot trying to nose out of a blind junction, a headphone-wearing pedestrian about to step out or a twitchy car in a traffic jam about to swap lanes as you filter; it really helps to alert others of your presence. And let’s clarify that, contrary to popular belief your horn is supposed to be for exactly that, alerting others of your presence. It’s not supposed to be used to retaliate when others anger you. And as an alert for other to pre-empt trouble. However, do be careful to not rely upon it, you can make all the noise in the world, but they’ll always be some dumbasses who will continue to cut you up regardless.
After having had the Denali SoundBomb fitted for several months, I’ve only hit a couple of minor issues. I had to tweak the angling of the horn slightly to avoid some fowling on the front mudguard when the forks fully compress. Secondly, I found the air hose connection on the horn loosened and popped off a couple of times. Probably not helped by the horn under constant movement on the forks and the hose needs to flex accordingly. A spot of Gorilla glue sorted that though.
Overall, for not a lot of cash, the Denali SoundBomb is a lifesaver and one I highly recommend. It’s easily as good as the Stebel Nautilus and is a great motorcycle air horn. I use it all the time in the big city, but it can also prove its worth when bombing along B-Roads and you spot someone about to pull out of a side road. It also raises a smile amongst mates and MOT testers too. Definitely, an upgrade I’ll be installing on any bike I get in the future too.