XM SATELLITE RADIO
Satellite radio is gaining popularity every day, and the major contender right now is XM. There's also Sirius, but I don't have that, and
I can't really speak to how good it is. As for XM, the concept is awesome. Radio that is broadcast not over the airwaves, but beamed down
from satellites. This means that you can drive all over the country and you won't have to worry about losing a signal. It's really great
as there's a whole range of channels available, most of them specific to XM alone. There's pretty much every genre available too. News,
sports, talk, comedy, all kinds of specialty channels and every style of music you could hope for. Some have commercials, and some don't.
Besides the cost of the equipment, there's a $10/month subscription fee, so unfortunately it's not free.
Below you can see the Delphi SkyFi system. It consists of two parts. The first is the unit itself, which is the silver box with the
screen, dial and buttons. The other part is the "auto mounting kit" which consists of the base (which the SkyFi unit slides into), the
power wires (cigarette lighter plug) and the satellite antenna. There are other systems you can take the SkyFi unit around to and use in
your home and other places. This is great because you only need one subscription (which is tied to the SkyFi unit) to use the XM radio all
over the place. Also, it allows you to slide the unit out when you park the bike so nobody runs off with your radio.
The output from this system is a direct line-out. That means you need to have it input into a separate amplification system to be able to
hear it properly, and be able to adjust the volume. This can be one of the many third party sysmtems on the market today. I route mine
into the Starcom1 system.
Installing this wasn't that difficult, and I chose to attach it to the left glove box cover as you can see below. I drilled a hole for the
threaded plate on the mounting base. Then I applied some JB Weld to hold it securely. All JB Weld, what would we do without you? You are
waterproof, heat proof, cold proof and probably more permanent than the parts you are affixing. You can pick up this 2-part epoxy at any
And the underside.
Remember, this is a 6V input, not 12, so when you hook it up to the bike's power supply, do what I did. Don't cut any wires from the XM
system, just install a 12v standard plug, hidden if you like, and plug the system into that. The XM's plug is an integrated 12-to-6
voltage reducer, and is fused.
Below are a couple views of the antenna mounting just behind the windshield. I threaded the wires down through the fairing and then up
into the glove box. The antennal is magnetic, and if you have a metal surface you need no glue or anything to hold it. Unfortunately, the
only really available metal on the ST is the tank, and that wasn't an option. What I ended up using was a disc of 3M dual-lock to hold the
antenna in place. Give it a day to cure and it will hold perfectly. In fact, the disc was leftover from my Aerflow headlight guard, so
I didn't even have to buy it.
Additionally, an issue to remember is that the SkyFi system is NOT waterproof, nor is it even water resistant. As such, you need to keep it
protected with some kind of cover when there's a chance it could get wet. I found the almost-perfect cover for $10 from the sporting giant
Cabela's. It's called their Eagle Small sonar screen cover. It fits over the
SkyFi unit like it was made for it. Now, remember I said it was almost-perfect. This is because the cover is not actually
waterproof. To effect that, spray a couple applications
of 3M Scotch-Guard and then just pop it on whenever it's raining. It works great. I didn't really care for the Cabela's logo,
so I just took a black Sharpie to cover it up (it was white).