Having had three CD players fail in my Wing, I’d given up the idea of having any use for the factory controls designed for the CD player until now. The Soundgate iPod interface distributed by Küryakyn is a multipurpose unit designed to integrate with many motorcycles, and it has terrific capabilities. One is being able to use the factory wiring on a Gold Wing to operate iPods or iPhones. The full integration equipment is not there on the motorcycle, but an easy plug-and-play installation allows you to toggle through your preselected playlist, both forward and back, using the factory handlebar and radio buttons. It will charge your iPod and when you change to other audio functions; it will pause your iPod, so that upon returning it picks up where you left off.
I followed the clear instructions, with the most difficult part being taking off the seat. In less than 15 minutes, I was ready to give it a try. The connection is easily found under the seat, and the Küryakyn /Soundgate unit can be placed on top of the rear fender. The wire to hook to my iPod snaked to the CD area, up into the trunk. This location is secure and easy to access to plug in and remove the iPod.
You’ll need to have your iPod set on the playlist you desire, since changing it with the bike controls is not possible. I have the iPod volume set to at least 50 percent, but not a full 100 percent, to ensure ample available volume when I ride. I’ve ridden well over 8,000 miles using the Soundgate unit with second and third generation Nano iPods without a single problem. This product is a joy to use on my Gold Wing, as I can now take advantage of those factory controls with the assured security of the iPod locked in the trunk. —Peter Szulewski
Originally printed in RoadBike, March, 2011
Hard Data: Küryakyn, iPod Interface For GL1800, $170, 866/277-9598, www.Kuryakyn.com