Take me home, El Capitan
Nautilus Air Horn Install on Ducati 1098

Yea yea... we all know that less weight on a motorcycle is the way to go, but.. there is at least one exception. An exception that could save your life. Have you actually tried your Ducati 1098 horn? It is the most pathetic horn I've ever heard on ANY motorcycle. Last week I was riding through the mountains and hit my horn to warn off a wandering ground hog. I didn't hear anything..!? I slowed down and hit it again and only then could I hear it... Unbelievable. Note: You can tell that your stock horn is a worthless piece of shit when even the rider can't hear it... So what to do?

FYI.. we've been selling the 139 decibel Nautilus Air Horn to BMW guys for quite a while as well as a plug-n-play wiring harness that includes a necessary relay. As fate would have it, I had all my 1098 plastic off being painted so I though I'd take a look to see if there would be some way to install one on the mighty Duc.. Amazingly... not only was there a perfect place, but it was one of the easiest installs I've done and the plug-n-play wiring kit worked better on the Ducati than the BMW's.. Aint dat da shizzel? Here's how I did it..

Parts/Materials Needed:
(1) Stebel Nautilus Air Horn from Pirates' Lair @ $50.US
(1) Plug-N-Play Wiring Harness from Pirates' Lair @ $35.US
(1) 1.5" x 1.5" L-Bracket (Home Depot/Lowes) for $1.US a pair
(1) 6x15mm stainless bolt @ nut
(2) Imported beers

Step #1: Removing Factory 1098 Horn / Getting Started

Remove both the left and right side body panels. Don't forget the 2 screws up underneath the headlight area. Unlike some bikes, there are no secrets to getting the body panels off. Just remove the screws and it lifts off. The factory horn is under the right side fairing panel.. Your battery, where you'll be tapping in to the power, is under the left panel. Locate the factory horn. Pull the 2 connectors off, then using a 13mm wrench ...remove the (1) 8mm screw holding the horn on...
Remove the horn..or not. It'll make a nice Christmas present for a relative with dementia. FYI.. you could just leave it hanging but it's just excess weight once disconnected.


Step #2: Before Your Install

As I mentioned up front.. you should have procured a 1.5" x 1.5" L-Bracket from your local hardware store. The top hole will NOT be large enough so you'll need to go borrow your neighbors drill and a few bits and drill out the top hole. These brackets are soft metal so drilling is a breeze.. I then cut off 3/4 of one side (with a Dremel tool and a cut-off wheel) to look like this (pic at right) and then drilled a bole in it to accommodate the 6mm screw I used to secure it to the new Nautilus horn.

I used a 6x15mm bolt to attach the L-bracket to the actual horn but I'm sure you'll find something that will work. I suggest you use RED Loctite. Go ahead and attach the L-shaped bracket to the horn..

Note for the anal: ..As your horn will be slightly visible when looking through your right side fairing vent I suggest you take the time now to grab a can of black spray paint and spray the silver parts of your air horn prior to install. You'll be glad you did later. I taped off the black plastic and painted the silver parts only on mine.


Step #3: Horn Install

OK.. you're paint is dry. Go ahead and install the Nautilus to the bike. So where are we going to install the horn? We're gonna use the TOP bolt that holds the evap-can in place to install our bracket. That top bolt goes through a factory bracket which has a welded on sleeve. You'll see what I mean when you remove the bolt and pull the bracket back..The hole on your custom made bracket will need to be large enough that this sleeve will slide through it.

I suggest you use BLUE Loctite here. OK.. this is pretty easy.. Loosen both the top and bottom bolt of the evap-can (pic below right) . Remove the top bolt. I used some washers I found around my shop as spacers to make everything fit OK then slid the custom bracket over the sleeve of the factory bracket. Replace the top bolt and snug it down. Tighten the lower bolt, too. Other than plugging your hot and ground wires into the horn.. you're done.

Note from Manufacturer: This horn should be mounted so that the cylinder is vertical (with the horn facing down). There should be no more than a 15 degree variance from the vertical position. If it is not mounted per these specifications, then the horn may cease to function after a period of time.


Step #4: Plug-N-Play Wiring on the Ducati 1098

Our Plug-N-Play wiring harness (with relay) is chimp easy to understand and install. No wires need to be cut or spliced. Why do you need a relay? Because the Nautilus (or any air-horn) requires a lot more power than the factory horn. The relay handles that.

Basically.. the Plug-N-Play harness plugs into the relay and the relay plugs into the horn.
The RED harness wire goes to the hot post on the battery.
The Yellow harness wire plugs into the hot post on the horn.
The Black harness wire plugs into the stock horn ground wire.
The Blue harness wire plugs into the stock horn hot wire (the stock horn hot is purple)
A separate furnished ground wire (about 10" long) plugs into the bottom of the horn and then runs to any ground on the bike.

I suggest you run all your wires and make sure the horn actually works before the final install and re-assembly of the body panels. Once you are done put the body panel back on and check the horn position to make sure it's not gonna bang up against the panel. You should have at least 1/2" clearance to be safe.


Final Step #5: Does This Make You Horny, Baby.. Yea!!!

OK. you're done. Sit back and revel in your magnificense.You have now replaced the most pathetic excuse for a horn with possibly the loudest motorcycle horn option on the market and sooner or later.. it may just save your life.. Now when some cell phone wielding soccer mom in her 8,0000lb SUV tries to take your lane .... don't get mad... get LOUD.

Follow-Up Note from Pirate: A few weeks after this install, I got around to removing my useless Evap can. Once I got it off, I repositioned my Nautilus horn exactly where the Evap can had been. Makes for a slightly cleaner look.