Accessory Plug using stuff you already have
Based on an original design by Scott (Chickenwhisper) Wertz
Here's a question that seems to come up quite a bit on motorcycle forums/lists. "Where can I mount an accessory connection on my bike and what should I use?"
Well, here's one simple solution that doesn't leave an ugly cigarette lighter hanging out in the air and it won't cost you more than a couple of bucks for the accessory socket. Does the picture above look kind of familar?
- 1- Old handlebar grip (you saved yours when you put those aftermarket grips on the bike right?)
- 1- Weather resistant accessory connector. The one shown above is Casco #216481C from Wal-Mart, about $3. It's heavy duty and includes a very nice chromed mounting bracket.
- 1- 1" tube. If you have some 1" thin wall PVC pipe laying around use that. You might have to ream the inside diameter out just a hair. I used something we all have, a plain old toilet paper roll. The objective is to stiffen the assembly a bit. You can probably just slide the accessory connection into the grip.
- 1-Grip end cap (shown above). If you don't have an end cap you can probably use a hole plug like the one shown at left available at most any hardware store. Lowes has them (chrome) in a drawer in the hardware (nuts n' bolts) department
- 2- Female spade connectors
- Wire, your choice of size depending on the load you expect the plug to see. Example: If you never intend to pull more than 10 amps through the socket you can use small 20 gauge wiring. If you'll be using a tire pump or other accessory that pulls a lot of power (or an unknown amount) play it safe and use 16 gauge which will be good for up to 22 amps.
- 1- Fuse if you'll be connecting to an unfused circuit (direct to battery)
How To Do It
- 1. If you're using the TP tube, cut a slit along one side and fold the tube in on itself until it's the same diameter as the socket outside diameter. Secure the tube with tape. If you're using plastic pipe or something else just make the connector a tight fit. The OD of the connector is just a hair over 1 inch so you'll have to ream out PVC pipe a bit.
- Slip the tube into the foam grip
- Place your accessory socket next to the assembly and use a piece of chalk or piece of string to mark the shortest possible length. You don't want the connectors hanging out the bottom
- Hold the tube in the location it'll be mounted and determine how long you ultimately want it to be. I ended up cutting 2" off the grip.
- Cut your grip and tube leaving the tube just a little longer than the grip. The tube is going to fit down into a slot in the grip end while the foam sits on the edge.
- Again place your accessory connection next to the tube and mark where you want the wiring to exit. This will face the rear when mounted.; Make the hole as small as you can while still fitting your wiring through.
- Insert wiring and attach spade connectors. The photo shows the chrome end on the tube already but we're a couple of steps ahead of ourselves there so don't attach it yet (no sense both of us screwing it up).
- Attach wires to the accessory connector. I'd suggest some shrink tubing on the positive connector but you can use electrical tape. You just don't want the positive and negative coming together inside the tube today or ever. Be sure and keep track of which wire is positive, which is negative.
- Make sure your accessory plug is assembled tightly. Put a bit of silicone or other household glue on the connector, orient it so the mounting bracket is aligned with the wire coming out the back of the tube and press the assembly together. You'll be pulling the wire back out through the grip as you push the assembly together.
- Use the same glue to attach the grip end to the grip. Just a little bit along the edge of your cardboard or plastic tube that fits down into the cap slot will be great, there's no need to get any glue on the end of the foam. It'll just squeeze out and make a mess.
- The finished product
- Mount it to your windshield bracket or wherever you've chosen, run the wire to your bikes accessory connectors, battery (don't forget to use a fuse if you go straight to the battery) or a switched circuit if you'll be using the plug for something you might forget to turn off.
Note: If you ride in the rain you should probably invert the grip or mount it in a protected area. The plug is rain and moisture resistant with the cap on but with an accessory connection plugged in you could get water inside. It wouldn't short anything out but could cause some corrosion inside the socket.