Top tips on fit­ting a sat­nav to your bike

Find your way when fit­ting a bike-friendly routefinder with this step-by-step guide

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents -

1 Got ev­ery­thing you need?

Open your sat­nav fit­ting kit and make sure all the re­quired com­po­nents are there. You should also check that the cra­dle it­self is com­pat­i­ble with your par­tic­u­lar sat­nav and that you have ad­e­quate space to fit it on your bike. Lay out the power ca­ble and run it along the out­side of the log­i­cal route it will take to con­nect to the bike’s bat­tery, mak­ing sure that it is long enough to reach with­out snag­ging.

2 Find the best place to put it

Assem­ble the mount­ing bracket and of­fer it up to where you are plan­ning to fit it. Try do­ing this as you’re sit­ting on the bike so you get a rider’s eye view. Ideally you don’t want the sat­nav ob­scur­ing any­thing on the dash, es­pe­cially your warn­ing lights. Turn the bars full lock on both sides to check for in­ter­fer­ence against fair­ings and brack­ets, ad­just if nec­es­sary and then tighten up the bolts.

3 Ac­cess the power

Gain ac­cess to your bike’s bat­tery by re­mov­ing the nec­es­sary pan­els, seat and any­thing else that you need in or­der to reach the ter­mi­nals. Our Yamaha XT660R needed only the seat and left-hand side/tank pan­els re­mov­ing, and the tank bolts loos­ened to al­low the tank to be slightly raised. This process will vary de­pend­ing on your model, so check with your man­ual if you’re un­sure.

4 Pick your route

Start to route the wires along­side your bike’s loom, this will keep things look­ing neat and will also pre­vent dam­age to the wiring. Pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the way in which the orig­i­nal wiring routes from the head­stock area and up and over the top yoke. If done in­cor­rectly the wire can snag or bind when the steer­ing is on full lock.

5 Tidy the wires

Once you have fi­nalised the route of the power ca­ble, run any ex­cess wire to the bat­tery where it can be gath­ered up and short­ened. Ca­ble tie the power lead along­side the orig­i­nal loom. Look out for any OE ca­ble ties that are al­ready fit­ted and are re­us­able, as us­ing th­ese will help keep the job look­ing tidy and pro­fes­sional.

6 Don’t get crossed wires

Be­fore you con­nect the bat­tery check that the colour of the wires cor­re­sponds to the cor­rect po­lar­ity. In this case it’s easy: red equals pos­i­tive, and black equals neg­a­tive, but some kits from the far east don’t have the same colour cod­ing. You should also check that any in­line fuse is cor­rectly in­serted and un­dam­aged.

7 Start to re­build

Re­fit the seat and side­pan­els, check­ing as you go that none of the orig­i­nal wiring route has been dis­turbed, and tak­ing care not to trap any part of the wiring be­tween the pan­els. Turn the han­dle­bars to full lock both sides to make sure the power lead doesn’t pull tight at any point.

8 Fine tune the po­si­tion

While sit­ting on your mo­tor­cy­cle do a fi­nal check to make sure that you’re com­pletely happy with the sat­nav’s lo­ca­tion. Look again to see that there is clear­ance be­tween any fair­ing or brack­ets with the bars turned at full lock. Switch the sat­nav on; it should now be tak­ing power di­rectly from your bike’s bat­tery. Do a fi­nal check of mount­ing bolts and fas­ten­ers to make sure they are se­cure.

9 Test ride and tweak

Keep the sat­nav pow­ered up and take the bike out on a road test. It’s wise to pack a cou­ple of tools just in case you need to tweak the po­si­tion out on the road. Keep an eye on the sat­nav’s power or charge icon while you ride to en­sure that the power is con­stant and not in­ter­mit­tent. Re­mem­ber to tighten up fas­ten­ers prop­erly once you’ve fi­nalised the in­stal­la­tion – and don’t for­get to read the in­struc­tions!

Find new roads for your #ride5000miles ex­ploits

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