When choosing a motorcycle radio system, it’s important to keep in mind the aesthetics of your bike as well as the quality of the product you’re installing on it. You’ve spent a great deal of time, effort, and money making the bike of your dreams, and it’d be unfortunate to mar the look of it with a poorly mounted motorcycle radio. Sometimes it’s best to take this into consideration as you design the bike so you won’t have any problems later.
Some people like the look of a fairing on their motorcycle, while others don’t. Aside from it’s look it also provides a great windshield to reduce noise and exhaustion from being pounded by the wind on longer road trips. Some bikes are conducive to the mounting of a fairing; it fits right in. If you have a fairing on your motorcycle, it’s going to be a little easier to install a motorcycle radio system. This is because fairings provide a great mounting base for everything needed for your radio. You can install a car stereo, or more often, a marine radio (because they’re waterproof or resistant), amp, speakers, and controls all within the housing of the fairing. The radio will blend right in with the other controls and indicators, and you’ll actually be able to hear the system better due to reduced wind noise.
Your barebones chopper is not going to look particularly great with a big plastic fairing on the front though. In this case, you’re going to have to opt for one of the handlebar mounted motorcycle radio systems. These will consist of a smaller receiver that can be inconspicuously mounted somewhere on the handlebars, bullet speakers that are styled to match your bike (either chrome, or painted a matching color), and a hidden amplifier (if you need more power than your radio can put out). Depending on the system, these can usually be incorporated into the look of your bike with minimal disruption to the flow of the lines and design. As mentioned above, it might be wise to consider this when building your bike. Keep in mind that a handlebar mounted radio system is going to be open to every element you are, so if you get stuck out in the rain, your radio is right there with you. You definitely want to have a weather resistant or weather proof motorcycle radio for situations like this.
In the end, the radio you choose should depend mostly on quality, but you want it to fit into the look of your bike as well. If you can’t find the motorcycle radio system to meet your needs, you could always just throw an iPod in your jacket pocket, and use headphones. Consult your local laws regarding the operation of a motorcycle with headphones before doing so though.