Minimalists may cringe, but the options for electrical gear that an owner of today’s traveling motorcycle might take along are enormous. Heated clothing and a GPS—very likely. What about bike-to-bike communicators, an action camera, radar detector and maybe a satellite radio? Don’t forget an outlet for charging that cell phone. Just how are you going to hang and power all that gear?
Most of these gadgets were already on our BMW 1200 GS Adventure test bike, where a cheapo power outlet was rapidly giving up the ghost. For a permanent solution, we decided to go to the folks at Coliant Corporation.
You may not recognize the name Coliant, but no doubt you know about its Powerlet brand of motorcycle electrical products, which have been the market leader for more than a decade. Powerlet’s website contains a huge amount of information about its various products (now including heated riding gear) and how to choose and install the right ones for your needs. We decided to replace the Adventure’s faltering outlet with Powerlet’s Powerbar Plus. This is a handlebar-mounted powered hub that also includes a RAM ball mount. Gadget and gadget power in one place, how neat! We chose a chrome finish, but it’s also offered in anodized black. We preferred the Powerlet style connector, but a cigarette lighter socket is available, too. Also, sizes for normal or thicker handlebars insure a snug fit.
Unbox the Powerbar Plus and its quality is evident, and it is a complete kit. The outlet takes up just a couple of inches on your handlebar. The waterproof socket is then connected by a 54-inch fused harness to your bike’s battery. With all its installed gadgets, the Adventure already had an accessory hub in place, so we wired into that and secured everything with the included zips. All accomplished within 45 minutes and it powered right up!
The Powerlet Powerbar Plus is available online direct and from a wide array of motorcycle product suppliers. It carries a MSRP of $144.95. That is no small change, but as the old timers say, “Buy good tools and you only have to do it once.” Add Powerlet’s weatherproof Dual USB Adapter for $49.95 and you can power up all of your gadgets.
For more information: call (877) 752-7835 or visit powerlet.com.