Running a GPS unit on an XR400

Discussion in 'GPS Use, Tracks & Maps Discussion' started by Pikey, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    I'm toying with the idea of getting a GPS unit so that I can plot/swap/follow offroad tracks but before I take the plunge I need a little info about suitability. I'd be looking for a unit that can run off the bike's power supply. Normally this would be a hardwired to the battery (DC) but my XR does not have a battery so my question is does anyone categorically know whether I can tap into the bikes wiring and run it of an AC connection without damaging the unit?

    If yes, does anyone have a suitable secondhand unit for sale?


  2. Loading...

  3. Lightemup

    Lightemup Ol'Timer

    I only have experience with using Garmins and there are hardwire options for battery connections available for all the most popular models for motorcycling like 60Csx or Zumos.

    I currently have and use the Zumo 550 and a Vista C (And Foretrex 101 and Garmin 12 and 40)
    I like the big screen on the Zumo for riding. Vista for dismounted tasks (.mil and work)

    For purely offroading, Id probably advise getting the 60Csx, although the Zumo plots tracks too. As I found out recently (Who reads the manual anyway?)

    The new Colorado T unit looks promising though with 3D view of the terrain.
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the info Lightmeup but you need to reread my post. I understand that most GPS units come with a connection for the vehicle battery BUT my XR does not have a battery (XR400R - enduro spec) which is why I am asking if I can tap into the wiring loom (the lighting circuit for example) to get power without damaging the GPS unit.


  5. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Pikey I'm speculating here but I'm guessing you would have to convert the AC to dc which would require all the usual suspects (regulater,rectifier, etc.). For what you are intending I would just rely on the AA batteries for simplicity. i run them on the YZF without issues and Happy feet runs all his rides/tours with AA's in his GPS. They run all day without a problem. I know Mark has run his for two days full riding with no issues.

    Good luck
  6. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    I have the Garmin 60CX and run off standard AA's which last a good 12 hours. Unit will run off rechargeables as well. Some small chargers available, not too heavy to carry, so could recharge every night.
  7. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    B&T, John,

    Thanks for the info. I was aware that a lot of units run off dry cell batteries but thought that the battery life was a lot lower than you guys quote from real life experiences. That gives me confidence and yes, like you say Justin, is the way to go for simplicity's sake.

    Thanks again chaps & ride safe.

  8. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    I run an older Garmin on my XR it chews thru the batteries. Buy a small 12V sealed gel battery from any Thai PC store and use that , mine is about 50 X 50 X 100mm. It lasts a couple of days before needing a charge. I stick in behind the headlight shroud.

    The lights cct is only enough for about 35W and it is AC on the XRs, if you have blinkers(indicators) and a horn then you have DC there as the horn only works on DC. That maybe an option but my indicators don't flash if I use this source.
  9. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

    Thanks Harri - I assumed that a unit would need DC power but in this day and age with all the high tech stuff, I thought maybe they could accept an AC input. If/when I get a unit, I'll just run it with batteries and the PC battery sounds like a great idea.

    Thanks to all for the advice.


  10. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer


    You might remember that the reason I first became involved with you bunch of misfits was when I was researching routes for a cycle tour... I had GPS on my bicycle, and DC wasn't an option, unless you want one of those generators that we all remember, which run off the front wheel and need Lance Armstrong to power them.

    Alkaline Batteries pack the most punch for their size. I had a (smallish) 1A/h-12V Gel Cell (as recommended above) in a handlebar bag to run the GPS. I was surprised to find that despite it's larger size, (approx 5x5x9) I could get about twice the life out of a set of AAs. The only reason I went with a gel cell was because I was worried about access to AAs in Cambodia, and didn't want to carry a months supply with me, but that is played off against access to AC power at night to charge it...

    Rule of thumb for charging 12v Gel Cells is may 1/4 of capacity for 5 hours, so 1 Ah Cell should be charged at 1/4A for 5 hours... a 2Ah, with 1/2A for 5 hours...

    I guess one alternative is to have a smaller 12V and keep the GPS full of AAs as a backup...

  11. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Hi All!

    Can you tell me if the Garmin Zumo is water proof, or at least water resistant?

    Anyone have any recommendations for a tough GPS that can be used during the rainy season?

    I've decided I definitely need a GPS, but I'd hate to kill it by riding in the rain. What do you do to protect your GPS from the elements?

    Thanks for your help!
  12. siinthai

    siinthai Ol'Timer

    check this out mate: ... html#23805
  13. Hua Hin

    Hua Hin Ol'Timer

    I have a Zumo 550 wired into my XR400 Super Motard. The bike has a battery and electric start. I took the seat and plastics off and found a unused plug that has DC switched on by the bikes ignition key. Tied into that and it works great and turns off when I shut the bike off. I realy like the big touch screen on the Zumo. Great for a motorbike or car.
  14. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer


    Zumo is waterproof and oil proof, it's made for bikes thats why there is Left hand buttons as well.
    if you get one from US get one for me as well,, it's cost now around 500USD, same in thailand it's almost 40K

    zūmo 550: The navigator that's born to ride.

    Major Features:
    Glove-friendly touchscreen with left-handed controls makes it easy to operate

    High brightness, sunlight-readable, UV-resistant display makes it easy to view your screen

    Motorcycle console for trip information, including fuel gauge to warn you when it's time to fill up

    Motorcycle mount with universal mounting hardware so you can mount it anywhere

    Included motorcycle and automotive mount (with integrated speaker) for riding or driving

    Custom caps available in a variety of colors to reflect your style

    Vibration-tested, waterproof and built with fuel-resistant plastics to withstand the elements
  15. pseacraft

    pseacraft Ol'Timer

    I have the Zumo 450 hardwired on my KLX250. Not as expensive as the 550 and all the same except it doesn't have all the extra BS that you don't need anyway. Absolutely love this unit on the KLX, comes complete with mounting kit and wiring. Got mine from amazon, had to ship via a third party (parents) as they would not ship overseas directly. Paid just under $400 USD at the time. Accepts SD card so can load your Thai map or any others.


Share This Page