Cars usually come equipped with cigarette lighter receptacles. Initially these receptacles were created to power electrically heated cigarette lighters. Nowadays, these receptacles serve mostly as a connector to supply power to different devices used in cars.
Most motorcycles do not have cigarette lighters installed from the factory, but there are attachments available on the market that, just like car cigarette sockets, can be used for a number of purposes: charging an mp3 player, operating a GPS or a smartphone.
However, there are a few major differences between car outlets and motorcycle outlets. In a car you can place a GPS in a number of spots, from on top of a passenger seat to a space near the gearshift.
These spaces do not exist on a motorcycle. The only space to place a gadget and have it visible at the same time is on or near the handlebars. This is where motorcycle handlebar outlets come in handy.
When picking a handlebar outlet, here are the things you need to pay attention to:
1. What is the mounting hole size? Some handlebar outlets can be attached to handlebars of different sizes, while some have a hole of a certain size and would work only with certain brands and models of motorcycles.
2. Handlebar outlet construction. Is the handlebar outlet you are about to buy weather and shock resistant or is it made of the cheapest possible plastic? Do not forget that car chargers and wires are used in a space protected from rain, wind and cold weather, which is not the case with motorcycle equipment. Therefore, materials with shock-protection and durability play a very important role here.
3. Length of a wire that comes with an outlet. Does the handlebar outlet come with a cord long enough to go safely all the way from the handlebar to the battery of your motorcycle?
4. Are there protective fuses? Will the outlet use energy and drain your battery when not in use or does it go into the off mode automatically when it’s not connected to any external devices?