Tank bag power on the road


Senior member
Jan 11, 2011
Chiang Mai, Thailand
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Mulit day trips on big bikes, its a nice luxury to be able to have everything charging while you're moving. These days a typical list of things rider's carry that suck electricity are:

1. GPS


2. Smartphone


3. Back up USB charging pack/ juice box


4. Bluetooth helmet communications (charging wire shown)


5. Icom 2-way radio with headset. For long trips with support vehicle very useful with big range

I had a 2 USB ports on me old Versys which i was able to charge all the items that i needed to charge while i was on the road, I would keep my phone connected as i used it to listen to music and if need i could charge my bluetooth for my helmet.

My GPS was hard wired to the bike so never had any problem with the charging of that.

I would never charge any thing while the bike was not running in fear of flattening the battery and not being able to start the bike. but never had any problems
BMW use a smaller connector than a standard 12 Volt cigarette lighter plug, so an adapter cable is needed to connect male, 12V, chargers.


The standard power cable adapter looks like this

P_20150718_120609.jpg by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr

Using an Amps mount for the Garmin GPS, you can wire the GPS power straight to the battery but that still leaves several devices that need charging at the same time while your moving.

Bring the power cable inside the tank bag gives you a good spot to organize charging your electrical devices. Tank bag has a rain cover.

P_20150718_115413.jpg by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr

A simple cheap solution is to cut the supply power cable and put a connector on the end so that it can accept various pigtail cable for different devices that need charging. Below a cheap pigtail connector with 3x 12V cigarette power connectors and a 5.5V USB charger


Find an electrician to solder the spade connectors to the wires before making the plastic connectors

P_20150718_102453.jpg by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr

P_20150718_115321.jpg by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr

Another pigtail with 2x USB power out from cigarette 12v style connector


Second ball Ram mount on the handlebars for the phone (the other for GPS)

P_20150718_115342.jpg by Triangle Golden 007, on Flickr
The Montana charging cradles are a god send. I'm not that way inclined so wired mine directly to the battery, no issues so far. I even have a new, unboxed one sitting in the cupboard in case my current one fails (heard wet conditions can cause death).

I don't use a tank bag so run a cigarette lighter, again directly from the battery, to the rear of the bike. Into that I insert a dual USB charger when charging camera batteries in my rear luggage, using a long USB cable. When not in use I close the cover.

848ed16649db0695888e8fd477ffb345_zpsxzx1u5so.jpg d91cd3a0e7b2a841fd930b3da691b522_zpsbnt4sspd.jpg

I previously connected a dual port USB charger directly to the battery but it constantly drained power (not that much) and internal parts came loose from riding over rocky ground causing it to fail. I find the 12v cigarette lighter much more reliable as there are no parts inside to work loose.
As you can see from the below picture i had mine mounted on the handle bars and would run the USB cable into my tank bag and just connect what i needed

Grant, what about heavy rain getting into the USB connections? No problem?

Sent from my ASUS_Z00AD using Tapatalk
The USB charger had a rubber cover that if it was raining I would cover. Never had any problem with water getting side and I used it on the bike for 2 years and have not long sold the bike and I left it mounted for the new owner.
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