In late August 2018 Harley-Davidson released a new version of their Infotainment System they're calling the Harley Boom Box GTS. This system was preceded by the old Boom Box 4.3 and 6.5 systems, which have been around since their release in 2014 on project Rushmore models. (see my very popular review video at the bottom of this article)
I tested the new Harley Boom Box GTS Infotainment System thoroughly so that I could relate to you what it can and can’t do. The new Boom Box GTS has Apple Car Play, but not Android Auto. The only way to get Apple Car Play to appear on the system is to purchase and install a Harley Wireless Headset Interface Module (WHIM), which will allow you to pair a Harley branded Sena 20s EVO wireless Bluetooth headset with the Boom Box GTS. You’ll need to purchase and pair the Harley branded 20s headset and then make sure your iPhone is plugged into the Boom Box and then Apple CarPlay will appear and function.
The entire screen on the new Harley Boom Box GTS is now touchscreen and all physical buttons are gone. Everything on the new Harley Boom Box operates like you’d expect on a smartphone, such as pinch to zoom and scrolling with your fingers. And yes, this includes the GPS maps and navigation.
Harley says that the touchscreen is just as responsive even while using it with motorcycle riding gloves. It also has a more detailed screen and better contrast for viewing on those bright days.
Although the new 2019 Harley Boom Box GTS has many improvements over its predecessor, it still has many nuances and has a definite learning curve. There are some things that are a bit hidden and not obvious to a standard user. There were also bugs when we were trying to pair a Harley Sena 20s headset to the Boom Box GTS and it kept failing, but after four tries it finally worked. Bugs and issues are the legacies of the older Boom Box 4.3 and 6.5 versions, so I really hope this is not a clue on what’s to come.
Mentioned in Video:
- 2019 HARLEY LINE-UP AND OVERVIEW VIDEO
- 2014-2018 BOOM BOX TUTORIAL VIDEOS
- CHECK OUT IMC WIRED HEADSETS FOR HARLEY
- INSTALL A WHIM ON A HARLEY VIDEO
- INSTALL A 7 PIN DIN COMS PORT ON HARLEY VIDEO
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HARLEY BOOM BOX GTS
I love the new look and feel of the Boom Box GTS. It is definitely an upgrade to the older clunky 6.5 Boom Box that is on 14-18 Harley's. I love that it is all touchscreen and all the physical buttons are now gone. I love that it operates like a smartphone or tablet with touch to scroll and pinch to zoom. It is very responsive and doesn't lag much. The menus are much easier to use and understand, but it still has a learning curve and there are hidden and ambiguous things that won't be obvious to many regular users.
Yes, it has Apple Car Play. However, it won't appear or function unless you purchase and install a Harley Wireless Headset Interface Module (WHIM). You must also purchase a Harley branded Sena 20s EVO Wireless Bluetooth Headset and pair it with the Harley Boom Box GTS before Apple Car Play will appear. You can, of course, use a wired headset solution and Apple Car Play will work. You'll need to install a 7-pin DIN communications port if you don't have one. There is no Android Auto available.
I am very disappointed that you cannot retrofit and replace your old Boom Box 6.5 version with the new Harley Boom Box GTS as it's not compatible with older bikes. Also, the new Harley Boom Box GTS had some bugs when we were trying to pair a Harley branded Sena 20s EVO headset with the system. It took us 4 tries to pair while at the dealership with a 2019 CVO on the showroom floor. All software was up to date in the headset and Harley Boom Box GTS.