Long distance motorcycle riders often rely on electronics and what more convenient way to keep those electronics powered or charged than with a 12 volt power port on your motorcycle. There are 2 styles of 12 volt ports that you can choose from; an automotive cigarette lighter port or the smaller, less common motorcycle style included from the factory on many BMW and Victory motorcycles.
The advantage of the more common automotive style 12 volt port is that your standard cell phone and GPS chargers will plug directly into them. If you have multiple electronic devices that you want to use at different times with the same port an automotive cigarette lighter port is the most economical. There are many options for installing a cigarette lighter port on your motorcycle. These options range from a $20 made in China socket found on eBay to the high quality made in the USA Powerlet brand products. Powerlet’s top of the line cigarette style port (AKT 005 & 6 available in black or chrome, $130) mount to the handle bars and include a heavy duty fused battery lead, lighter element and attached weather cap. It also includes a threaded hole for a Ram Mount ball, a great place to mount your GPS, phone, or radar detector cleanly. These handle bar mount models are great for cruisers with space on the handle bars and relatively no Powerlet also has other options like a simple cable mounted socket (PKT-101, $29) that can be strapped to a frame member, bar mount models and flush panel mount kits. The panel mount kits are great for sport bikes and sport touring bikes who have plastic area but not much handle bar space.
The other design, sometimes referred to as Powerlet style ports other times as BMW style ports, has some advantages of its own. The biggest advantage is that the connection between the port and the device charging cable is held much tighter than a cigarette style port. This is especially helpful for cruisers and dual sport motorcycles which often have higher vibrations and great for anybody that wants a more secure connection. Having a charging cable come loose while riding can mean more than just a dead battery for your electronics, it could create a distraction or safety hazard. The BMW style power port is available from Powerlet in all of the applications mentioned above as well as bike specific kits which have been designed by Powerlet to have just the right wire length and bracket positions for many different bikes. From the great looking horn mount kit for Harley Davidson to the dual rear set kit for the FJR1300 Powerlet probably has a kit to fit your 12 volt power needs. If they don’t, you can buy ports, adapters, cables and brackets and make up your own custom installation to bring power to where you want it.
The disadvantage of the Powerlet or BMW style 12 volt port is that your standard cell phone, GPS or other device charging cables won’t work since they are designed for the cigarette lighter sized port. But Powerlet has you covered with 12″ straight and 36″ coiled charging cords for most devices such as mini USB, micro USB, iPod/ iPhone and Escort radar detectors. If Powerlet does not have a cable to fit your device you could buy a do it yourself plug, cut off the cigarette lighter end and attach the BMW style plug to your device charging cable. vape