Soundz Customz, located in relatively remote South Dakota, might not seem like a leading motorcycle audio shop, but it’s now raking in over $1.2 million a year in motorcycle audio exclusively.
The shop, in Sioux Falls, has teamed with Hybrid Audio to produce a competition grade speaker with a plug and play fit in many Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Starting this April, Hybrid and Soundz will release a 6.5 inch speaker, called the Carbon 65. It fits in 1998-2017 Harley-Davidson touring bikes such as Road Glide, Street Glide and Ultra models. Soundz owner Peter Jensen says the speaker is comparable to a Hybrid Legatia Stage VI car audio speaker.
Jensen said of the deal with Hybrid Audio, led by Scott Buwalda, “Scott added for us some know how in manufacturing. We designed the speaker together.” The goal of Carbon, at $999/pair, was to create a speaker for high end customers that fit well in the bike as well as sounding good. And because it was made to fit, it would cut down on installation time to keep the install profitable.
“No one is selling this,” said Jensen. “There are a lot of options at $200 to $400, but for us, the majority of our clients are very high end customers….We’ve averaged it out for Harley-Davidson’s top end speaker/amplifier solutions [offered through Harley dealers] it works out to $1000 per amplified speaker. So for two speakers with amps that’s $2,000. If you do 8 speakers on a bike, that’s $8,000,” he added.
Hybrid and Soundz are also working on amplifiers, wiring harnesses and additional speakers in 6 x 9, 5 x 7 and 5.25 inch sizes. Subwoofers add too much weight to the bike and are difficult to bring to market in universal form, said Jensen.
Specs on the new Carbon 65 such as power handling have not yet been released.
As for Soundz, it made the switch from car audio to strictly motorcycle audio in 2011, partly because it’s in the same state as the large annual Sturgis Bike Rally. With encouragement from Focal and Arc Audio, it outfitted a bike and brought it to Sturgis. Interest was so great, it entered the category and eventually focused solely on motorcycle audio.
Soundz began creating its own plug and play systems for Focal and Arc Audio speakers in motorcycles and sold them to other dealers. It now has a network of 20 solid, active dealers, it said.
Because of its remote location, Soundz travels to different motorcycle shows around the country. At first, it displayed out of a 20 by 40 foot trailer. Now it’s upgraded to a 100 foot by 30 foot semi trailer, which it takes to about 20 shows a year. Local walk-in traffic in South Dakota during bike season, March to September is only about 10 percent of Soundz’ business.
The Carbon 65 will be available through Hybrid Audio distribution as well as Soundz’ distribution, which tends to include more motorcycle shops.
Note: We’ve just been provided Carbon 65 specs here.