How do I install speakers inside my helmet?

For many of us, the idea of tearing apart such a vital piece of safety equipment is a pretty scary thought. On the other hand, its nice to have a comfy fit and be able to listen to music, radar detector, intercom or bike to bike communication.

The very first thing you must do is read the following article on the Aerostich Website:

http://www.aerostich.com/isroot/riderwearhouse/DirectPages/musicsystems.html 

Rider Wearhouse also sells helmet speakers, although there are other vendors. Autocom's new helmet speakers are getting rave reviews.

In order to help you see what the process is like for a Shoei helmet, I documented it. I hope this will give you confidence to do it yourself. All the usual disclaimers apply here. Your helmet is very important and you monkey with it at your own risk.

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First release the clips on the outer edge of the helmet and pull out the toothed retainers for the rear of chin piece.

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Next, gently move the sides of the chin piece towards the middle. Be careful not to bend it too much. As soon as you can fit your fingers in, pull the straps out from the outside. Carefully twist the chin piece back and forth, up and down and pull it out of the helmet. This is the most dangerous part of the operation, as you are most likely to break the chin piece if you are not gentle. Take heart, if you ruin it, you can replace this part!

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This is what the helmet looks like with the chin piece removed.

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Cut the retaining tape, and you will find that the liner is also glued to the Styrofoam. Gently peel the liner back while cutting the glue layer. Do this from near the front vent area, all the way back to the base of the helmet strap hole

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This is the helmet with one side of the liner removed.

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And both sides. Now its time to figure the placement of the speakers.

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Once you have determined the proper location, cut away the thick foam lining and expose the Styrofoam. You can use a rotary tool, but I find that a soldering iron works best. Work slowly and use the heat to melt out a hole for the speaker. The heat tends to melt  nothing, and then a lot all at once, so move carefully - you do not want to burn a hole through the chin piece.

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Once the hole is burned out continually check the fit of the speaker and adjust as needed. After burning, I used the rotary tool to clean it up a bit. Be sure to cut a channel for the speaker wires. I then put some velcro in the hole to ensure that the speaker does not move around.

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Here is the helmet with both speakers installed.

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Re-stretch the lining and use glue or tape to secure it. Reassemble the helmet. You can use rubber cement (bad fumes for days) or double sided tape, or velcro to re-secure the chin piece back in the helmet. Again, be very careful when reinserting the chin piece and don't forget to put the straps back through.