When I purchased my new 2013 Can-Am Spyder STS SE-5 earlier this year I knew that I would need to install 12 volt outlets for my GPS, HD Video Camera and heated clothing. A total of four outlets would be needed, two for the GPS and Camera, and two for the heated clothing connections.
Deciding on the Locations
The decision as to where to locate the outlets was the first challenge. The two heated clothing outlets, panel mounted female coax adapters of the FirstGear variety, needed to be as close to the front of the seat as possible since the clothing connectors are available at the waist of the rider. The GPS and HD Camera outlets are Car Adapters, female, that are much larger than the coax adapters, and need to be near the handlebars where the devices are mounted.
An extenuating circumstance for both sets of connectors is that I have modified a small bag to use as a ‘tank’ bag that is positioned on top of the center panel (no tank here!), and extends from just behind the handlebars to just in front of the seat. Both sets of connectors must be clear of this bag during their use. (See ‘Spyder Tank Bag’ on this Blog for that installation.)
CoaxDC Panel Mounts
The picture below shows the positioning of the Coax DC Panel Mounts on the rear of the center panel. Masking tape is used to provide visual alignment horizontally, with measured centering from side to side, with a marked center. Note that there MUST be clearance below the panel and above a wide metal brace that is positioned under the panel for both the Coax DC adapters AND the wires that extend from the bottom of those adapters!
The picture below shows the center panel with both holes drilled. I recommend drilling a centering pilot hole, and then using either a hole saw (bit) or a paddle bit with ‘wings’. I strongly recommend drilling a test hole through similar material to be 100% sure of the correct hole size. (Replacement panels for this bike are VERY expensive!) I used the plastic lid of a peanut butter jar to test my bit size choice.
To the right in the picture below is the actual CoaxDC panel mounting adapter. Note how far the electrical wires extend below the metal body. Bending both wires slightly to one side will allow an easier clearing of that annoying center metal brace. The water proof cap did have a spring to keep the cap shut when the outlet was not being used. That spring was too strong when opened, likely bending or breaking the plug from my heated clothing over time so I carefully punched out the rivet, removed the spring, and replaced to rivet. Now the cap opens easily, doesn’t put breaking pressure on the plug from the heated clothing and stays in place even without the spring.
The picture below shows the center panel, off the bike, with the two CoaxDC outlets installed.
12 Volt Car Adapter Sockets
Like the Coax DC adapters the 12 Volt Car Adapter Sockets will extend well under the panel, and with the addition of the female blade connectors attaching the electrical wire, need significant clearance below the panel where they are located.
The picture below shows the location I chose for the Sockets, Note the position low on the top side panel onto that portion of the panel that is somewhat flat, and provides necessary clearance behind / under the panel, with easy access to the lower panel where the wire to the battery connection wiring will be located. Masking tape is used again, for marking and measuring to be able to replicate the corresponding location on the opposite side of the bike for the second socket.
The picture below shows two male pigtails cut from one of the additional adapters that came with my heated clothing. The male connectors plug into the battery wiring loom that also came with the clothing. The bare wire was soldered prior to crimping each end into the female ¼” blade connectors for a stronger connection. Note that the ground and hot wires of these two pigtails MUST be correctly connected to the hot and ground male blades on the back of each socket. i.e. keep your polarity straight!
The picture below shows the sockets with the pigtails installed ready for installation into the holes drilled into the top side panels of the bike.
The picture below shows the socket installed (on the right side) with waterproof cap in place.
Reference the “Heated Clothing Battery Connector – Spyder Roadster” article in this blog for details on connecting the battery wires for both the heated clothing and the sockets to the battery, and then their positioning under the left-side middle panel of the bike.
The picture below shows the two sets of battery connecting cables inside the plastic corrugated tubing (for protection, and looks!) with the battery connection to the left and the sockets and Coax DC adapters to the right, above the upper center panel.
Replacing the top, center panel is a bit tricky, and must be accomplished in a specific sequence. The 12 volt side sockets should have already been connected to the battery cable, with the cables positioned into their final positions.
Position the top, center panel so that the tabs on the end closest to the windshield are close, if not in their final positions. The four plugs must then, each, be connected to the underside connecting male plugs that are installed in the top panel. My bike had only one toggle switch, the emergency brake, as an active plug, but the other three were equipped with plugs that held each of the other three wiring loom end plugs with a ‘click’ tab..
The picture below shows the four female plugs that will be connected to the corresponding male adapters on the underside of the top panel. Note the female CoaxDC connectors to the right (dimly shown) that are temporarily taped to the side panels so that they can be easily connected to the male connectors from the top panel mounted CoaxDC adapters.
Once all of the connections have been made (be very sure to securely connect the brightly colored loom end plugs to the underside connections of the top panel, CLICKING the securing tab of each one!) the top panel can be moved into its secure position with front and middle tabs sliding into place, and the plastic, push pins securing the lower end that is hidden under the seat.
The (final) picture below shows all four newly installed 12 Volt connectors. Anyone familiar with the bike will know these are after-market items but their positioning and clean appearance will not diminish the look of the bike. NOTE that all four are HOT all the time so don’t leave any electrical device connected overnight if you hope to start the engine the next day!
In the upper part of the picture the Ram Mount connectors are installed on the handlebars, with a GPS on the left (out of frame) and a HD Video Camera (out of frame) on the right. The mini-usb to car adapter plugs for each device has a coiled lead to allow handlebar movement without dangling, loose wire blowing in the wind.