Fitting a Sat-Nav on our Motorcycle

Motorcycle sat-navs are becoming clever all the time, and if you tie one in with a Bluetooth headset and your phone, you can use it as a communication/entertainment/info center. But isn't fitting difficult? No! Here's our easy guide to fitting a sat-nav quickly.

As always, read the instructions for your gizmo. There may be some special instructions specific to it. Our model is the Garmin Zumo 220, but it uses pretty conventional fitting procedures.

First is the mechanical mounting of the unit. Most setups use the 'RAM mount' hardware, which uses two spherical mounts joined by a thumbscrew clamp. It's a pretty flexible, but secure system. One mount attaches to the handlebars, the other to the GPS mounting bracket. The handlebar-mount can ne attached in two ways, either with a 'U' bolt that simply goes round the handlebar and tightens with two locknuts, or it can be mounted onto the brake or clutch lever bracketry. We're using the 'U' bolt here, because the mirrors on our motorcycle interfere with the bracket when used on the lever clamps.
Position the bracket roughly where you want it, and tighten the two locknuts. Sit on the motorcycle, and fine-tune the GPS position so you can see it clearly. Try to avoid blocking your view of the dash, especially low-fuel lights, oil lights or the speedo. Tighten the locknuts to the recommended torque.

Now the wiring. On the Garmin Zumo 220, there's only a 12-volt feed required. In an ideal world, you'll fit the 12v+ wire to a switched feed, so the GPS is only charged/powered when the ignition is on. Some motorcycles now have dedicated accessory supplies which can be used, or you can tap into any power socket feeds. The unit will only draw a small amount of current, so you could use a brake light connection or parking light. Scotchlok connectors are a bit unreliable, and offer poor weatherproofing, but are quick and easy. Cutting, soldering and heat-shrinking is the gold standard, but we'll understand if you go for an easy option.

We're being a bit lazy here, and since the Garmin Zumo 220 wiring has its own fuse. It's Okay to just connect the wires straight to the battery. Double laziness simply puts the bare wires under the main battery terminals and tightens up, but a more conscientious fitter would use ring or forked terminals crimped or soldered on.

Feed the wires under the fuel tank, through the headstock and up to the bracket. Use cable-ties to secure the wiring away from hot engine parts, exhaust and moving parts. Refit the fuel tank and any panels you removed, connect the GPS, and you're away.
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