Stebel Nautilus Compact Horn
WHY? Noise--lots of it. A good (loud) horn is the first line of defense against unobservant cagers, but unfortunately most OEM motorcycle horns are woefully inadequate. The stock horn on the V-Strom is particularly weak--I've heard stronger bleating from a newborn lamb. I've had good results with Stebel horns in the past, so I decided to try the Nautilus Compact on my Wee-Strom. I saw one while browsing through the Twisted Throttle web site and decided to place the order with them. Their web site is clean, easy to navigate, and placing an order is simple; I paid via credit card, about $36 plus shipping.
SERVICE. Pretty darned good. Immediately after placing the order I received an email confirmation; I received a shipping notification the next day, the shipment arrived at my door via UPS a week after placing the order. Since most of that time was spent in shipping transit I consider that to be good service. The horn was packed very well and arrived with all hardware and instructions included.
INSTALLATION. The tiny stock horn is tucked in behind the left side of the radiator:
The Stebel horn is too large to fit in that space so I had to find another location for mounting. Many owners locate the new horn inside the front cowl but I decided to mount it between the crash bars and the cowl on the left side of the bike. It should be noted here that this is not a plug-and play installation; additional wiring and a relay (supplied with the horn) are required. Instructions and a wiring diagram are easy to find on the V-Strom forums, but I opted for a very nice horn wiring kit from a small company called Eastern Beaver. They produce high-quality wiring products, and the horn wiring kit includes a relay, battery leads, a fuse holder, horn leads and trigger leads with spade connectors that plug directly into the stock horn leads. It costs only $39.45 and makes horn installation a snap. Here 'tis:
Since I couldn't use the stock horn mounting location I simply unplugged the leads and left it in place. I plugged the spade trigger leads from the wiring kit into the stock horn leads then routed the new harness back to the battery, where I connected the two battery leads. I drilled a 5/16' hole through the vertical bar on the left crash bar and mounted the Stebel horn to it. I routed the horn leads from the kit to the base of the horn--installation complete.
RESULTS. Wow! A note of warning here--this horn puts out 139 decibels. Don't test it in a closed garage unless you have ear plugs (don't ask me how I know this). It's a clean-looking installation and it makes lots o' racket.
WORTH THE MONEY? Absolutely. For only $36 (or $40 more for the wiring kit) you get a great weapon in the battle for traffic self-defense. One of the best additions you can make to your V-Strom!