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Rick Ward

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I have yet to take an extended ride but have one planned in the next few weeks. What Powerlet or other manufacturer's accessory have you found most useful? USB capability, cigarette socket etc.?

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I would charge my phone.

And run the air compressor if needed.

Everything else was directly wired to Centech fuse block, or direct to battery, like our Gerbings.

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The plug on the side of the engine can be used to charge the battery from a AC battery charger. I would suggest using this same plug for an air compressor--not the plug on the dash.

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The plug on the side of the engine


What plug? are you talking about a SOCKET on the R1150R (not the RT which is under the lefthand trim panel?


to charge the battery from a AC battery charger.


What is this AC battery charger you talk of?

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A trickle charger, to use an old term. Today w/smart tech to not fry the battery.

battery tender

I didn't mention becasue I don't think of it as an accessory as mine are always connected if not on the road.

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I am speaking of the 12v socket on the left side of the dash. I have done some research and a company named Powerlet produces different devices supporting accessories for the R1100RT and I was looking for advice of what models were most useful.

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I put a cigarette socket inside my glove box. It is wired to a relay that is tripped by an accessory circuit (or the parking light). In it I have a USB plug and leave my iPhone in the box when it needs a charge...It's always stayed dry.


That ciggy socket also powers a tiny airpump I carry with on longer rides. Sometimes, it powers a little LED light on a long flexible stalk when needed.


Pretty useful...the Hella-syle sockets on the bike near the left leg are relegated to charging and a passenger vest. I put another switched Hella socket up near the dash for my vest, so I can turn it on and off with a thumb switch--a poor man's electronic "rheostat".

Edited by Sam Taylor
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If it is BMW, a BMW to cigarette style converter is handy in case you need to use a car style charger. That is how I charge cell phone, use air pump.

If it is cigarette type, the opposite.

Powerlet and others sell both.

Check your model bike for how much juice u can run through it and carry spare fuses for it.

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I don’t want to derail your question too far off the socket on the dash, but I kind of look at power solutions for the whole bike.


You can probably power all the "light" electronic gadgetry you want on the dash or frame mounted Powerlets (and adapters). Or pull power almost anywhere and splice in some USB ports. Phones, GPS, radar detectors, whatever, you’re probably covered.


But, it's the air compressor, heated cloths, and the amps that are the problem for me. Even the smallest compressors are drawing more than 5 amps (that I know of. not sure about the aerostich mini). The heated cloths varies, but a full jacket is more than 5 (as I remember).


So, the Gerbings stuff starts cutting out or blowing fuses. And the Powerlet to cigarette adapter to power the compressor works great until it pops the fuse. YMMV and it certainly depends on your model/year bike, CANbus, etc.


My solution is to hardwire a SAE connector to the battery and zip tie that little sucker down on the frame. That's where I plug in the battery tender (regardless of CANbus). Also, I carry a female cigarette adapter to SAE connector under the seat with/for the compressor ($10 on ebay). Finally, I hardwire into the battery a Gerbings connector for the heated clothing.


On the dash, I only have one USB port for charging the phone. But, the GPS is hardwired. A cigarette adapter might be useful if you want the occasional use of a radar detector (w/o hardwiring). I have no use for a Powerlet up front (or anywhere for that matter). The first thing I would do is to stick some kind of adapter in there.


A Powerlet to USB adapter works great off the rear frame if your passenger wants to charge their phone.


My $.02. Everyone’s need for power is different.


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Mike, that makes a lot of sense. I have not given a lot of thought to the heated clothing and the air compressor but each of those need to be addressed. Thanks.



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Gerbings used to be the only game in town but more options out there.

Even though there are outer garments available, most use the "liners".

We both used the jacket liners, and heated gloves.

Moshe did some reviews on heated gear, try a search, a couple other options wrt gear and types of controllers.

We had no issues w/our Gerbings and they were/are by far the most seen ones (anecdotal) at the BMWST events.


If you aren't using heated gear it will be a revelation, IMO.

Yes, you can "acclimate".

But your body is working differently to keep core warm.

Yes, great jackets out there w/liners.

Used them for decades.

But once you go electric it will be :dopeslap:

Best wishes.

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Gerbings WAS the absolute best once. Then they fell prey to some kind of sale/takeover, a cheapening of the product in quality, off-shoreing, and so forth. Now apparently a family member is trying to re-create the name: http://gordonsheated.com/.


I've been a happy consumer for almost 25 years but am now so confused I'll probably look elsewhere next time.


As The Orange Man would say, Sad!

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