Thursday, May 19, 2011

The incision

Picture from
I'm not big into customizing things for the sake of customizing, and when I do, I tend to lean toward subtle customizations. I like simple lines. Less is more. This is why I don't like stickers on my car or my motorcycle. Why I don't have a case on my iPhone. I love to cycle, but don't care much for bicycling clothing - all flashy with a multitude of different colors and logos.

What does this all have to do with installing a power outlet on my motorcycle? Well, figuring out where I was going to install this outlet took longer that I expected. Since I chose to go with a cigarette lighter socket rather than a low-profile powerlet, I was a bit limited when it came to finding an inconspicuous yet reachable location. What also made it difficult is that just to be on the safe side I chose a panel mount socket. This was more of a self-contained sealed outlet with a rubber cover which eased my concerns about rain and having the socket get wet.

At first I wanted to mount the socket on the top panel on the right side of the gas tank. After doing some reading, I found that a lot of heated gear are set up on the left side of the jacket or pants. I don't currently own any heated gear, but I figured I'd mount it on the left side in case I later find myself buying some.

When I finally settled on the right spot on the left side of the tank, it became apparent that if the socket wasn't low profile enough it would stick out like a sore thumb (there goes my streamline simple lines), this just wont do. Plan B.

I took measurements of how much of the socket would stick out after installation, and looked all around the left side of the bike until I settled on a final location. I also took into account how the iPhone cable would look sticking out of the USB adapter that would need to be inserted into the cigarette lighter socket. It seemed that the best location would be in the well where the front fork connects to the handlebar. I calculated an area where there would be no chance of interference with turning and felt that this would be the most inconspicuous yet easily reachable location.

Using a hole saw drill bit, I proceeded to make the incision for installation of the cigarette lighter socket. When all was said and done, I felt that this was the best possible location for this modification.

The USB adapter that I chose was equipped  with dual USB outlets. This made possible for me to power my iPhone as well as simultaneously charge my bleutooth receiver if I need to. But that's a story for another post.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Power up

  Having easy access to maps and navigation right there on my handle bar when I need it is great. What's best, is that I don't even have to remove my gloves. If there was one thing that could make the experience even better is not having worry about draining my phone's battery. 

One way around my mobile phone power consumption worries is to install a power outlet on the bike. One of the most prominent power sockets company out there is powerlet. They carry a wide variety of power outlet to fit what seems to be just about anything. Their powerelet proprietary system is quite versatile, however, I opted for a full cigarette lighter socket for more flexibility.