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Discussion Starter #1
I’d like to add a USB port to the handlebars. My phone sits up there in the center and I’m wondering what people are using. I’d prefer something small and unobtrusive. I have the battery tender lead and the usb plug in for it. I suppose I could run a standard usb cable along the bike when needed. But it rather just use a 1’ cable to plug it into a usb mounted up front. Thanks for the assist!
 

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I bought this one-
Cliff-Top Motorcycle 4 Amp Magnetic Switch USB Power Charger - Prevent Battery Drain


A note about USB's in general: Without a switch- they will suck your battery down like a frat boy with a case of Natty Lites. If you get one with no switch- do NOT hook it up to the battery. Take a test light and find/ tap into a wire that is hot only w/ ignition switch. This one has a switch in the cover- so you can just hook it up right to the battery - no problem. Just don't forget to close the cover. (bright green LED when power hot should help you remember)

I don't know about I-phones, but if you own a reasonably modern phone with "fast charging" I can tell you that you will want something rated at >= 4 amps. 3A at the absolute worst. (not recommended) Anything less is probably not going to charge your phone at all. You may get error messages and light off some thermal or other self preservation protocol on your phone.

Modern fast charging phone chargers seem to be rated at 2.1 or 2.2 amps or something like that but that is a plug for your 120V double digit amp house. On 12 volt motorcycles- you'll need more.

can you see these? (cover on, cover off, close up)

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice! That’s perfect and small. So directly to the battery with this? That’s easy!. I wonder if I can hook it up to the unused connector in the headlight for the parking light since I installed an LED headlamp?
 

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Yes when I did a road trip i connected it to the headlight, that small parking bulb wire, so your battery will not drain when parked

Andre using TaPaTaLk
 

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Nice! That’s perfect and small. So directly to the battery with this? That’s easy!. I wonder if I can hook it up to the unused connector in the headlight for the parking light since I installed an LED headlamp?
Like BP said- sure you can, but this unit comes with a loop lead for easy direct to battery install. (at least mine did) You'll need to snip it and then tap it in. I suspect all that crap crammed into that headlight housing is "ignition hot" only, but I never assume without checking it with a test light.

I would say the main benefit of a front side tap-in is not having to remove the gas tank. I'm accustomed to this process, so I don't think it's too big a deal personally. That said- if you're new to that chore- you will need to be VERY careful. The main danger is the snapping of a plastic nipple on your fuel pump. There's also an electrical connection that I would characterize as somewhat delicate. You'd have to be quite a klutz to damage it, but it's possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I like the idea of installing it on the parking light connector. Then I know that when the key is off it won’t be running. Also I like the idea of not pulling a tank because I don’t want to mess with anything. I’m wondering where I would find a connector suitable to put on the end of the wiring so it’s simply snaps into where the old parking lamp was.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So I discovered that a few years ago I bought the USB adapter from Battery Tender. Plug it into the tender leads and POWER!
I ran the cable under the seat, along the tank on the right and up to the center of the bars. Works like a charm and I think I paid less than $10 for it.
My question- is there a problem with leaving the usb cable plugged in with no phone attached? I don’t think it should be an issue but I also don’t think it turns off with the bike.
 

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I could be wrong but I am pretty sure that a USB outlet connected directly to the battery is constantly drawing a small amount of power even when nothing is inserted into the USB outlet. Hence, given enough time, an unswitched USB outlet will draw down the battery.
 
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It's constantly drawing some amount of power but probably fine if you are riding regularly with a good battery. Long periods not riding unplug it.
 

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They sell usb plugs that are made to be hardwired. I have several, one for each usb device I might want to use, They all wire to a terminal block which is powered from a relay, which is powered from a switched source. I have a ton of crap coming off of that terminal block. Extra lights, GPS, XM, phone, lighted mirrors, probably a few other things too. No problems.
 

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I would position it so that I could unplug it.. Obviously not all of these are created equal, but I learned this lesson the hard way. The USB port drained my original OEM battery down to nothing in short order. This was the 2 amp predecessor to the unit i have now on a reasonably new bike at the time.

This newer one has the switch built into the cover, but- it also appears that either:
They have found a way to slow the draw. It's there, but I have been known to forget about closing the cover for a couple hours. No ill effects at all.
or
My Duracell battery is really that much better than the OEM Yuasa. (I think I lean a little bit more on this theory)
 
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