Have you ever considered a power hub for your accessories? Well, I have, and I ended up installing a motorcycle fuse box to take care of that!
Let's face it, everyone wants to do their own adventure bike build in one way or the other. Some, like myself, go a bit more overboard with "down to the bone" modifications and alterations, others, more conservative for many different reasons, go down other paths, but from the most hardcore mods to a simple decal set, we are all building our personal adventure bikes.
However, in all kinds of bike builds, there is one thing that tends to cross borders and touches almost all kinds of motorcycles, from hogs to dust eating dual sports, and that is, accessories. GPS's, heated grips, power sockets, intercoms, you name it, the list is endless. But once we decide what goodies we want to pack our ride with, where and how do we actually make them work on our bike?
Most accessories manufacturers will sell their products with inline fuses and a harness that we can attach directly to our battery, and for most cases, that actually works perfectly, especially if you are not going to use more than one or two add-ons. No need to splice anything into the bikes wiring - something I always advise you to avoid if you are not an expert - and its an installation that even the least crafty of us can do, after all, is just taking the 2 battery screws, putting the accessory harness in place, screws back on, and we are good to go.
But what if you have more than one accessory to install? Will the battery screw even be big enough?
And what if you are installing something that you don't want to be receiving power unless the bike is running?
Enters fuse boxes! There are many on the market and for many different tastes. I personally choose the one that was in stock, had the characteristics I wanted and the price wouldn't break the bank.
TOP TIP: make sure you do a bit of research before choosing your fuse box or making one yourself, some bikes, like BMW's, will not work with all kinds of boxes, as the electrical system of the bike will generate an error.
But what exactly will the box do and how will it make our lives better? Some fuse boxes, and the ones I would advise, will draw 3 things off your bike, a positive and negative signal from the battery, and a signal that will tell the box when the bike is running, thus, turning it on for all intended purposes.
Personally, I pulled that signal out of the lights. Most bikes will power down the lights at startup to protect the bike and turn them back up once the engine is running, that makes it the perfect signal for the box as it will "power down" the box during startup. In order to pull that "on" signal to the box, I would advise you to contract that part of the installation to a professional in case you are not 100% sure of what you are doing.
Now that we have our box powered, we never again need to go onto the battery. That is great news because now it will be easier to play around with our accessories, but also because on some bikes, everytime you disconnect the battery, the bike resets and the "service" light comes on, forcing many of us to go to the shop just to reset that.
The other extremely positive feature of the box is how your wiring will now be neatly arranged. You can mark what is what on the box, and in case something stops working or you want to remove or replace it, you can now go straight to it, instead of having to remove all 15 million accessories from your oversized battery screws.
All in all, the fuse box will make your life easier, faster, and it will protect you from having a malfunctioning power socket frying your bikes electrical system, and in my book, that makes it a mod worth doing.
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