If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Triumph Auxiliary Power Socket

I really like having a aux power socket on a bike. It lets you use a satnav (robbed from the car and suitably encased and mounted) for one thing, and on a longer trip it is nice to be able to charge the phone (iPhone app Ride Logger eats the battery in a few hours) and even run a small compressor for blowing up the air bed if you are camping.

And lazy.

Until now, I have relied on a jury-rigged arrangement consisting of a double fag-lighter socket from Halford's wired direct to the battery via an inline fuse. Together with the connector for the battery charger and associated wiring, this made a bit of a mess of the underseat space, and I was keen to tidy it all up.

Last week, I bit the bullet and bought the 'official' Triumph accessory outlet. It was about £22 from Jack Lilley, and I am delighted with it. Fitting it took less than half an hour, including removing and remounting the tank, and checking and weatherproofing all the electrics while I was in there. There is a redundant connector underneath the tank, taped to the main wiring loom and leading back to the official fuse-box, and all you have to do it slit the tape, pull out the cable, and plug it into the back of the socket. The socket fits with one bolt to the rear engine steady. In place, it all looks very tidy and proper.

Slight problem: the outlet is of the Powerlet type. This is the universal DIN standard for power outlets on bikes (BMWs have been fitting them for years), snowmobiles, and so on, as it is unaffected by vibration and can handle high power loads. However, it is not compatible with the standard cigarette-lighter plug found on most car accessories.

Two choices, then: one, I alter every single accessory I own to mate with the Powerlet socket (expensive and tedious, and furthermore I won't be able to use them in the car) or two, I get an adapter lead so that I can use all my accessories with the Powerlet socket.

Option Two it is, then. Story continues in another post.

On a different note, the Ride of Respect stickers are showing signs of getting damp, despite being under a bike cover.

I hope they last until the end of Sunday, at least.


  1. I have just fitted a socket like this to my F650 - BMW actually provide a kit with socket, bracket and fused wiring loom (and multilingual incomprehensible IKEA style instruction booklet for less than £30....but only if you buy it from Motorworks - the BMW dealer could only price it as separate parts and that came to £70!

  2. The Triumph kit is just socket and bracket - all the wiring is already there. I know BMWs have had these for years, and the rest of us are just catching up :) Of course, now I am thinking of heated clothing for next winter ...


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