Couple of days back I did two things on my bike:
1. Installed a GPS mount for my Garmin Nuvi 550
2. Installed two hard wired BMW style (powerlet) power outlets to power accessories like GPS, iPOD, heated clothing, etc.
Lots of people have since asked me how to do this and what are the best ways/recommendations. So here is a write up on how to get this done. Disclaimer- I am not affiliated to Garmin, Powerlet or RAM mount.
Those who choose to use a motorcycle GPS like Garmin Zumo, might not need to purchase the mounting hardware mentioned below. People who are looking to buy a GPS, should consider Garmin Nuvi 550. It is waterproof, works really well on a motorcycle and costs much less than a Zumo.
Tools you need
1. T25 screw driver. You can use a T20 too.
2. Electric Drill
3. 11/16" Hole Saw for BMW style outlet or 1 7/8” hole saw for cigarette lighter.
4. Electrical tape
5. Cable ties
6. Heat shrink tube (about 2 feet)
Mount hardware to buy:
1. Stem mount
2. Socket Arm
3. Diamond plate
4. GPS cradle for Nuvi 500/550
. If you wish to use some other GPS, you would need to get a cradle designed for that model.
Electrical components to buy:
1. Low Profile Powerlet Socket Kit (24")
or a Powerlet cigarette lighter socket (24”)
: Both these sockets come with a wiring harness that includes wires, 15A fuse, rubber boot, connectors and cable ties.
2. If you choose to get a Powerlet socket, then you’ll need Mini USB powerlet cable
to power your Garmin Nuvi. If you install a cigarette lighter socket, then your existing car charger would work. To power other accessories from a Powerlet socket, look for a compatible cable on the Powerlet cable page
Power outlet installation instructions
1. Remove the key from the ignition.
2. Remove the side plastic fairing screws using the T20/T25 screw driver. There are about eight screws. After the screws are removed, carefully remove the turn signal wire from its socket.
3. Remove the lower tank plastic fairing screws using the T20/T25 screw driver. There are four screws.
4. Remove the seat using the T20/T25 screw driver. There are two screws.
5. Carefully disconnect the wires connected to the battery.
6. Take the wired fuse from the socket kit and put heat shrink tube around the wire.
7. Keeping the fuse near the battery, run the wire (with the heat shrink tube) behind the frame upto the middle of the side fairing. Pull the end of the wire until there is no excess wire left behind the frame.
8. Use cable ties to secure the wire in place.
9. Attach the wire terminals to the white male T-connector.
10. Use the drill with holesaw to make a hole in the black textured plastic piece of side fairing.
11. Fit the power socket in this hole and put the rubber boot below. The rubber boot prevents short circuits and insulates the socket from engine heat.
12. Put heat shrink tube on the wire and use cable ties to secure the wire in place.