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Review: Screaming Banshee - Super Loud Motorcycle Horn

26
July
2012
  Posted at 06:00:00 PM
  File under  Product Review Safety Video Feeds
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Sometime ago we mentioned this Kickstart project involving the Banshee motorcycle horn (link Open link in a new window). It was the idea of an enterprising person in the USA that wanted to make a proper and safe horn for motorcycles. Motorcycle horns are notorious for being lame; sounding like a duck with a severe cold.

The Screaming Banshee horn, when pressed normally, would still sound like a duck, but when pressed a bit longer, it would blow the socks off that truck driver moving into your lane because he is busy watching TV while sending a SMS to his girlfriend. The horn also will flash your high beams, so people will also know where the danger is coming from. Great idea. In fact, the horn is almost as loud as a Boeing 747 taking off, namely 139 dB!

Well, the good new is that the Kickstarter project got fully funded, and the horn is being manufactured and sold. To mark the occasion, Screaming Banshee Open Screaming Banshee in a new window LLC, the company founded to manufacture this horn, sent me a version of their horn to test out.

The horn was going to be installed on my Ducati Multistrada, and as you know by know, there's no way I can do it, unless I want the engine to fall off. So I went to the local Ducati dealer (Desmo Rouen Open link in a new window), and asked them to install it. By know they know the ropes with me, and armed with cameras, lenses and flashes, I captured the install.

Below you'll find the installation photos and test, followed by a short video I made of the install and test. When you get your box, this is what you'll find:

Click for bigger version of Screaming Banshee 01
Open image in a new window

Figure #1

1 - Compressor, for the split horn system
2 - 2 1/2 feet flexible tubing to connect compressor (#1) to trumpet/horn (#11)
3 - Control Unit
4 - Wiring to connect Control Unit (#3) to motorcycle
5 - Headlight modulator control unit
6 - Connector to connect headlight modulator (#5) to bike's headlight plug
7 - Connector to connect headlight modulator (#5) to bike's headlight bulb
8 - Connector to connect Screaming Banshee to headlight modulator
9 - Light Sensor (causes headlight modulating to turn off at night)
10 - Kit to install the Screaming Banshee
11 - 139 Decibel Trumpet/Horn

The Ducati was brought to the Ducati shop:

Screaming Banshee

There the chief mechanic started looking for a place to install the horn. The horn needs to be placed in an area where in will not get water, but where you can still hear it. It's probably the trickiest part of the installation.

Screaming Banshee

Finally, he decided to place the Banshee horn next to the stock horn.

Screaming Banshee

He removed the stock horn, and placed the Screaming Banshee horn on the same metal plate.

Screaming Banshee

Both got put back in the same bolt that held the stock horn. (1) is the stock horn, (2) is the Screaming Banshee.

Screaming Banshee

Here's the bottom view of both horns.

Screaming Banshee

Next, he removed the windscreen and dash enclosure.

Screaming Banshee

Then he removed the high beam bulb.

Screaming Banshee

We first did some tests to see if things would work. Then it became a question of placing the horn compressor.

Screaming Banshee

He found a nice hiding spot above the horn, inside the fairing.

Screaming Banshee

Next, the controller was placed alongside the battery, easy access if you want to change the parameters (you can specify how long the delay before the Banshee kicks in, flashing or steady high beams, and combinations thereof).

Screaming Banshee

Finally, the relays were installed next to the instrument panel, since you require no access to it after it is installed.

Screaming Banshee

And finally, the Ducati was closed up.

Screaming Banshee

After that, I went home and made a short video of the horn in operation.

Below is a video of the installation followed by the short test. The test bit was more difficult to film, since it was in my garage, and the sound is anything but perfect, but you'll get the picture. The engine was running, so a bit of background noise, but I tried to filter it out in the video.

Summary
: The extra horn is very good, maybe not as loud as I had thought, but very loud. When you press the horn button, initially only the stock horn is heard. The setting for the Screaming Banshee was to kick in after 0.25 seconds, meaning you can tap the stock horn, without the Banshee being heard. Press it a little bit longer, and the Banshee kicks in and the high beam starts flashing. It's a perfect set up... if you want to attract someone's attention without waking up the neighborhood, just tap the horn. If you want to wake up the SUV driving soccer-mom, just press it a bit longer.

The Screaming Banshee does its job. Two horns blaring is enough to be heard on the road, and with the added high beam flashing, you'll be seen and heard. And that is after all what it's all about.

Afterwards, I tried the horn while riding, and there is a definite difference. The extra electrical power that is generated while riding makes the Banshee horn louder. The fact that the high beam flashes is also a great idea, since cagers will not only hear, but see you.

A real interesting safety feature for your motorcycle, that considering the low enough price, should go on your shopping list.

Prices start at US$99.99 for the horn set.

Click here to access the Screaming Banshee web site Open Screaming-Banshee link in a new window.

Screaming Banshee On A Ducati Multistrada 1100 (2 minutes 51 seconds)

     
Click to see the Video clip






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