I often get asked about powering motorcycle gadgets while riding.
With so much motorcycle tech on offer these days keeping everything charged up during your ride can be a challenge. Most touring bikes have power outlets and my BMW K1600GT comes equipped with two cigarette plug style power outlets and a USB outlet in a lockable iPhone/iPod dock.
Not all motorcycles cater this well to tech enthusiasts and most have no power outlets incorporated as standard equipment.
Luckily there are aftermarket power socket/outlet solutions available, so there are no excuses for not taking your favourite tech and gadgets with you on your next ride. Some of these are sold as DIY kits if you’re a bit handy, but if you are technically challenged like me, you may prefer to engage a suitably qualified specialist to take care of the installation.
My suggestion is to get two or even three power outlets installed and possibly even modify your tank bag or saddle bag/pannier/top box so that power can be passed through the luggage wall to your gadgets which can safely stored inside protected from the elements . The main types of sockets/connectors are: SAE, Powerlet, USB, Coax and Baryl. There is also a wide variety of adaptor cables and mounting options so you can easily and simultaneously charge your smartphone, GPS, GoPro, radar detector, heated clothing and anything else that needs power as you ride without getting into a tangle.
If you want to research further the options available then webBikeWorld has two excellent reviews, complete with photos, which are definitely worth taking a look at:
For suppliers websites and more detailed product specs, installation guides and good advice, check out the following websites:
So no excuses now for not getting out on the road on two wheels with all your tech!
Please drop us a note or leave a comment if you have any suggestions for powering motorcycle gadgets so we can benefit from your experiences.