WhyBike Motorcycle Blog

Installing a Cigarette Lighter Accessory Outlet on a Motorcycle

By James - 4/29/2006

I decided to get an accessory outlet for my bike. I am sick of going through batteries in my GPS and need to carry less batteries for my video camera. It needed to be interchangeable with both my V-Star and my ZR-7S (ZR750H) and be weather resistant, I do a lot of riding in the rain.

Here is how I did it, from beginning to end . . .

I searched on eBay and got this one for $14.99. I like it because it has a rubber cover for when I am not using it. It also comes with a cigarette lighter, the kind you push in and it heats up. I don’t smoke but you never know it could come in handy. Three days later it showed up at my work.
accessory outlet

It is a pretty easy installation, my ZR-7S has accessory leads coming from the junction box while my V-Star does not. I will explain how to hook up the outlet on both systems. First the ZR-7S. . .

Since the ZR-7S has accessory leads coming from the junction box, there was no need to access the battery terminals. All you have to do is remove the seat and find the two leads coming from the junction box not hooked to anything. One will be white and blue, that is the positive lead. The shorter black and yellow lead is the negative lead. Since my electrical connectors do not fit the stock Kawasaki ones, I snipped them off and replaced them with my own by crimping the quick-disconnect terminals to the wires. This way I can easily remove the outlet and move it to my other bike. I used blue terminals and black wire for negative polarity and red terminals and red wire for positive. I also made sure that even color blind people wouldn’t reverse the wires. I used a male connector on the positive lead from the junction box and a female for the negative lead.

Once done with the leads from the junction box I snipped the ends off of the supplied wires and fitted the quick-disconnect terminals onto them and crimped them to keep the wire secure. I wound the wires along the frame to under the pillion seat. You can use ties but I need to be able to remove it quickly so I did not. Before hooking up the outlet to the battery, I covered the exposed metal of the accessory outlet with elecrtical tape to minimize the chance of shorts. Hook up the red wire to the center fitting and the black negative/ground to the fitting on the outer shell. The supplied positive wire has an inline 10 amp fuse, which will burn out to keep your expensive elctronics alive. The ZR-7S also has a 15 amp fuse for the accessory circut. In this case we have a redundant fuse, which is fine since the V-Star does not have an accessory circut and needs the inline fuse. I plugged in the GPS cord and the LED in the plug came on. I was a bit perplexed since I expected the circut to be dead when the key was in the “OFF” position but the accessory circut is always on. Something to remember before leaving your bike overnight, shut down your gadgets, or better yet, unplug them.
motorcycle accessory outlet

OK, now the hard part. How to get the power from the rear of the motorcycle to the handlebars? My GPS power cord is about 6-7 feet long. I wound it along the frame to the main wiring harness that supplies power to the lights, meters, and everything else up front. The best way would be to remove the tank, but I found you can stick your hand in enough to wrap the wire around the harness to give it enough clearence from the heat eminating from the engine. Once to the front of the tank I followed the clutch cable and turn signal wires through the bracket and up to the GPS held to the handlebars by a RAM mount.
motorcycle GPS RAM mount
motorcycle garmin GPS eMap

My V-Star was not set up with accessory leads so you have to connect the outlet directly to the battery. You will need to remove the both seats, the left side battery cover, and the lockable compartment cover. Once those are out of the way you can unhook the rubber retaining band around the battery. This will allow you to access both battery terminals. I crimped two “spade” connectors onto two wires, a red one for the positive lead and a black one for the negative/ground and attached them to the battery leads.
V-Star accessory outlet

I taped the two wires together and wound them under and in front of the rear shock. I attached the quick-disconnect terminals to the ends of these wires to hook up with the accessory outlet. I chose to put the outlet in the lockable compartment to give it some protection and so I didn’t have to mount it where it would be hard to remove.
V-Star accessory outlet lockable compartment

From this point on it is the same as the installation for the ZR-7S, wind the power cord under the tank with the main wiring harness up to the handlebars and the RAM mounted GPS. Now you can go wherever without worrying about batteries. The 10 amp fuse is fine for just about all electronics, but you might have a problem with electric items like a blender or iron. I know, wrinkle-free shirts and margaritas are something you will just have to go without while on your motorcycle trips but sacrafice is good for you.

All the materials, including the outlet, the connectors, and wire stripper/crimper, cost me less than $30. If you have any comments or tricks to make this project better, let me know.

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