Motorcycles

Screaming Banshee horn ensures that motorcycles get noticed

Screaming Banshee horn ensures...
The Screaming Banshee is an add-on 139-decibel motorcycle horn, that allows riders to still use their regular horn as needed
The Screaming Banshee is an add-on 139-decibel motorcycle horn, that allows riders to still use their regular horn as needed
View 2 Images
The Screaming Banshee is an add-on 139-decibel motorcycle horn, that allows riders to still use their regular horn as needed
1/2
The Screaming Banshee is an add-on 139-decibel motorcycle horn, that allows riders to still use their regular horn as needed
The Screaming Banshee air horn (right) and its sealed control unit
2/2
The Screaming Banshee air horn (right) and its sealed control unit

As Gizmag’s Loz Blain will tell you from personal experience, one of the biggest dangers faced by motorcyclists involves not being noticed by drivers of larger vehicles. The small-car-like horns that come as standard equipment on most bikes do little to address that situation, which is why electrical engineer Peter Olt invented the Screaming Banshee. It’s an aftermarket motorcycle horn that blares at a sure-to-be-noticed 139 decibels – but only when the situation calls for it.

Olt came up with the idea last year, after a car suddenly entered his lane while he was riding in Florida. He decided that while a very loud horn would be useful in such situations, it would be inappropriate for everyday “Yoo-hoo, the light’s turned green”-type scenarios. Therefore, the Banshee doesn’t actually replace the bike’s existing horn. That horn is left in place, and can be activated with a simple tap of the horn button.

However, when the user urgently needs to alert another driver to their presence, they just hold that same button down for a quarter to half a second – depending on the chosen setting. This will activate the sonic assault, along with causing the high beam headlight to pulsate. Its volume level might not be quite up there with The Hornster, but it can apparently be heard from up to three blocks away.

The Screaming Banshee air horn (right) and its sealed control unit
The Screaming Banshee air horn (right) and its sealed control unit

The system consists of the air horn itself, and a matchbox-sized sealed control unit. It draws power directly from the bike’s battery as opposed to the factory horn wiring, which is typically not set up to handle the approximately 18 amps required by the Banshee. It can reportedly be easily user-installed.

Although it was designed primarily for motorcycles, the system can also be installed in cars.

It can be purchased via the company website, with prices starting at US$99.99. More information is available in the video below.

Source: Screaming Banshee via Gear Patrol

Banshee Horn - Warning System for Motorcycles, Cars and Boats

28 comments
Tyrone Curry
cool idea. I also like the bike version of the amazing autobahn mirror on my motorcycle. great safety miror.
Gadgeteer
As if this isn't going to be abused. I already have to put up with idiots who put air horns from tractor trailers on their SUVs just because they can. Motorcyclists are even worse, since it seems very few of them can wait at a stoplight without gunning the engine every few seconds.
Slowburn
horns need to be tone specific to type of vehicle. a motorcycle with a truck's air-horn is no more likely to be seen when its horn is blaring than when its not because people will be looking for the truck.
The Hoff
I've been driving a car for more then 30 years and plenty of people have pulled out in front of me too, but I'm just too quick for them and don't need a big horn, I just go around. Slowburn is right, this will only confuse drivers and that's the worst thing you can do. It sounds like a second vehicle. I'm always tempted to pull out in front of motorcycles that have blinding highbeams on during the day, could you come up with a solution for that?
MacBandit
Really he came up with the idea all on his own a year ago? I've been installing the exact same horn on customers bikes for nearly 10 years they first came to market from a company called Stebel. They call it the Nautilus horn. There a dozen knock offs on the market including one you can buy a Harbor Freight. http://www.stebel.it/stebel2009/products.asp?IDserie=6 &; http://www.harborfreight.com/bad-boy-air-horn-94117.html
pointyup
Very useful when a motorcyclist makes up a third lane when the road is marked for 2 lanes. It should scare about 3 years off the life of an old driver that does not know the motor bike is making up new laws while he drives along. Personally I have not used a horn for more than 10 years, and find that careful driving negates its use.
Gaëtan Schurrer
A louder horn on any bike is a great idea, but for a fraction of the cost you can get a car's twin-horn setup and that's just as good and noticeable, and adding a fused and relayed connection straight from the battery will make any horn much more efficient!
mrhuckfin
At The Hoff High-beams bother you in the day light? I've been riding motorcycles for well over 30 years and I ALWAYS keep my high-beam on in the day time, it's the only thing that keeps me seen by most cage drivers and even then they still manage to pull out on top of me when I'm going by them! A high-beam headlight is WAY dimmer then the sun I don't see how it could possibly bother you? As for the loud horn they work, I have a car type of horn on my M/C and it gets used! :-)
Gotcha
I no longer ride a motorcycle ('69' Triumph 650 Daytona fitted with Sifton cams), but found in the past 40 years of riding in the SF Bay Area that the bark of my very loud, very noticeable, ported barrel V-10 Springfield Armory .45 automatic pistol usually got the errant drivers attention and reduced the possibility of having to engage in a non-productive road rage incident. Grizzly Bear spray (30' range) through the drivers side window also alerted them to my presence, and works well to dampen the errant drivers enthusiasm for beginning a situation only he/she will lose!
Rubber_Ducky
It is amazing the opinions expressed, by those who don't read the entire article. I ride, I have installed a Banshee Horn, and it works! The key concept that seems to have been missed by the majority of "complainers" is the delay. In general use, to wake up the driver with the cell phone stuck in ear at intersection, or texting, or makeup, or - you get the idea, you have a short, mild, "factory" beep. But, when needed, when the normal action is a hard stab at the horn button you go from a the mild wake-up call to a loud "watch out" horn and flashing light. This is particularly useful when a car driver opens the driver side door when you are 20 or so feet away. Wouldn't be needed if drivers would pay attention to what is gouing on around the car, use turn signals, etc. And to MACBandit, don't know where you live but in many states splitting a lane is perfectly legal. And BTW, I have been able to avoid at least two accidents by alerting a driver that was intent on turning left directly in front of my Ultra, that I had the right of way.