When it comes to motorcycles, there are many features that riders might consider essential. From engines to brakes, suspension to speedometers, each component plays an important role in the overall riding experience.

One feature that many riders wonder about, though, is whether or not motorcycles have radios.

The History of Motorcycle Radios

Motorcycle radios have been around for nearly as long as motorcycles themselves. In fact, some of the earliest motorcycle radios were built by riders themselves, who would attach a portable radio to their bike’s handlebars or even wear headphones while they rode.

In the 1960s and 70s, manufacturers began to offer more advanced audio systems built directly into motorcycles, but these were often expensive and not very popular.

Modern Motorcycle Radios

Today, there are a wide variety of motorcycle radios available on the market, from basic handlebar-mounted units to high-tech Bluetooth systems that connect to your smartphone.

Many modern motorcycles come with audio systems built in, and there are even helmet-mounted radios that allow you to listen to music without taking your hands off the handlebars.

Types of Motorcycle Radios

There are three main types of motorcycle radios: handlebar-mounted radios, helmet-mounted radios, and audio systems built into the motorcycle itself.

Each type has its own pros and cons, and the best option for you will depend on your personal preferences and riding style.

Handlebar-Mounted Radios

Handlebar-mounted radios are the most common type of motorcycle radio. These units attach directly to the handlebars of your motorcycle and are typically powered by the bike’s battery.

They can play music from a variety of sources, including FM radio, MP3 players, and even smartphones. Handlebar-mounted radios are usually the most affordable option, and they’re relatively easy to install and use.

Helmet-Mounted Radios

Helmet-mounted radios, as the name suggests, attach directly to your helmet and allow you to listen to music without taking your hands off the handlebars.

These radios are typically powered by batteries and use Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or other audio devices.

Helmet-mounted radios are ideal for riders who don’t want to deal with the hassle of wires and cables, but they can be more expensive than handlebar-mounted units.

Audio Systems Built into the Motorcycle

Some motorcycles come with audio systems built directly into the bike. These systems can include everything from basic AM/FM radios to high-end Bluetooth units with GPS navigation and other advanced features.

Audio systems built into the motorcycle are often the most expensive option, but they’re also the most integrated and seamless.

How to Choose a Motorcycle Radio

Choosing the right motorcycle radio can be a daunting task, but there are a few key factors to consider that can make the process easier. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a motorcycle radio:


One of the most important things to consider when choosing a motorcycle radio is compatibility. Make sure the radio you choose is compatible with your motorcycle’s make and model, as well as any other accessories or devices you might want to use with it.

Sound Quality

Another important factor to consider is sound quality. Look for radio with clear, high-quality sound that won’t be drowned out by wind noise or engine vibrations.

You may also want to consider a radio with adjustable volume levels so you can adjust the sound to your liking.

Ease of Use

Finally, make sure the radio you choose is easy to use while you’re riding. Look for a radio with large, easy-to-press buttons that you can operate with gloves on, and make sure the display is easy to read in different lighting conditions.

Installing a Motorcycle Radio

Once you’ve chosen a motorcycle radio, the next step is to install it on your bike. Installation procedures can vary depending on the type of radio you have and the make and model of your motorcycle, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

If you’re not comfortable installing the radio yourself, consider taking your bike to a professional mechanic or audio technician.

Riding with a Motorcycle Radio

Riding with a motorcycle radio can be a great way to enhance your riding experience, but it’s important to use the radio safely and responsibly. Here are some tips for riding with a motorcycle radio:

  • Always keep your attention on the road and other vehicles around you, and never let the radio distract you from your surroundings.
  • Use headphones or earbuds that allow you to hear ambient noise while still enjoying your music.
  • Keep the volume at a safe level so you can hear traffic and other important sounds.
  • Avoid adjusting the radio while you’re riding, and use voice commands or hands-free controls whenever possible.

Safety Considerations

In addition to using your motorcycle radio safely while you ride, there are also some safety considerations to keep in mind when installing and maintaining your radio. Here are some tips to help ensure your radio doesn’t pose a safety hazard:

  • Make sure the radio is securely mounted and won’t interfere with any of the motorcycle’s other components or controls.
  • Check the wiring and connections regularly to make sure everything is secure and in good working order.
  • Avoid using the radio in inclement weather or other conditions where it could be damaged or pose a safety risk.

Maintenance and Care

Like any other component on your motorcycle, your radio will require some maintenance and care to keep it working properly. Here are some tips to help you maintain your motorcycle radio:

  • Keep the radio clean and free of dirt and debris.
  • Check the battery regularly and replace it as needed.
  • Store the radio in a dry, secure location when not in use.


In conclusion, motorcycles do have radios, and there are a variety of options available for riders who want to enjoy music or other audio while they ride.

From basic handlebar-mounted units to high-tech Bluetooth systems, there’s a radio out there for every rider.

Just remember to use your radio safely and responsibly, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance.


  1. Are motorcycle radios legal?

Yes, as long as they don’t interfere with the rider’s ability to operate the motorcycle safely.

  1. Can I install a motorcycle radio myself?

Yes, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and make sure the radio is securely mounted and doesn’t interfere with any other components or controls.

  1. How much do motorcycle radios cost?

The cost of a motorcycle radio can vary widely depending on the type and features you’re looking for. Basic handlebar-mounted units can cost as little as $50, while high-end audio systems built into the motorcycle can cost thousands of dollars.

  1. Can I listen to music on a motorcycle without a radio?

Yes, there are a variety of options for listening to music on a motorcycle, including portable speakers, helmet-mounted speakers, and even bone-conduction headphones.

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