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Hard wiring TomTom Rider 2 GPS into VTR 250

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by dazza139, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. I bought a TomTom Rider 2 about 2 months and it's great but it's battery life is only 4-5 hours max. It came with a cable to wire into the bike's electrics. This allows it to charge of the bike's battery.

    This isn't something I've done before but I reckon I could give it a go. Is there anyone who knows the bike who could give me some tips. What circuit should I wire into? What sort of in-line fuse do I need to get?

    if this is going to be too hard I might take it to an auto electrician but I'd love some advice.

  2. You could just cut it in to the ignition "on" wire. That way you only provide power when the key is on. Better still, to reduce the load on the rest of the ignition "on" circuit, you could cut it in to one of the instrument lamps. They are always on.

    Whenever you use a crimp connector you reduce the current flow capacity compared to the uncrimped (or before-it-was crimped) wire. By choosing a low current flow circuit such as described, you are not going to contribute much voltage/current loss to the rest of that circuit.

    Always include a fuse in the line. You can buy inline fuses from any auto accessory joint. ;-)


    Trevor G

    PS What is the current draw of the GPS? THat will be given in a,ps, with an upper case A.
  3. Thanks. I haven't been able to locate my original manuals to check the current draw of the device. Your suggestion about wiring it to one of the lights on the instrument panel seems like a good one. Still not sure if I'm game to do it myself. I might leave this one to the professionals! Normally I'm keen to give anything a try but I don't fancy burning out my bike's electrics by doing something stupid
  4. Just connect the supplied cable direct to the battery. The users manual should tell you what rating fuse to use for the GPS. There is really no need to be able to isolate the power supply to the GPS as you normally take it off the bike when you are not using it or switch it off -so youre going to be hard pressed to flatten the bike battery.
  5. That's a bit hard with the battery under the seat, if he wants to mount the GPS on the handlebars...

    Unless the wiring is correctly done you could easily have a frayed cable burning out with full battery power applied to a short. Plus having to remove the tank as well to install the cable...

    We wouldn't want him to do a rough job now, would we? :)


    Trevor G
  6. Hard wiring directly to the battery does sound appealing to me. I don't imagine I will have my VTR250 for more than a year and so the job doesn't need to be perfect and it also needs to be easy for me to dismantle when the time comes to transfer it to another bike. Do you think using the above method I would be able to thread the wire under the seat and then hide it between the frame and fuel tank as I brought it round to the front?

    As for the fuse, the owner's manual is no help at all. Doesn't say anything about what type of inline fuse to use. I found an internet forum for the Tomtom Rider (1) which suggested a 2 amp fuse. Any ideas?
  7. A 2 amp fuse is fine for it. You want the fuse as close to the power source as possible so it covers the wiring too, thats its purpose to protect all that comes after it. BUT if you do go direct to battery remember that when the GPS is not there you may well get water across the contacts and set up a nice hydrogen generator (see other thread on water powered motor :wink: ), the main problem being that the negative terminal will become sacrificial and the GPS wont charge anymore.
  8. Alternatively, you could run it off the tail light circuit. It is very simple to do. I use this set up with my autocomm, which while it isn't a GPS, can have a GPS plugged in to it and can charge the GPS, so power shouldn't be an issue.

    The tail light circuit runs power continuously in most modern bikes. Simply take the seat off and look under the tail. There will be wires going in to the lights, black or black/white is earth, you want to splice it into one of the other colours. It's easy enought to figure out which is which. Usually there will be two different colours going into the indicators, so don't use these. The other two colours will be power to brake lights and tail lights. You can test them with a multimeter. Then run the power lead up to your GPS :)
  9. Thanks Bandit. I will have a look. So my TOMTOM cable has a black wire and a red wire. Hook black to the corresponding taillight wire (earth) and red to other "coloured wire"? Put the inline fuse in the red wire side? Does this sound right? I don't have a multimeter. Do I splice them into the circuit using those little junction boxes which you insert the wires into and screw down? Hey - do I sound like a complete novice or what?


    PS: No TOMTOM's were harmed in the making of this forum post (So far!) :grin:

  10. What has me puzzled is why you would want to get power from the back of the bike if you are mounting the GPS at the front???

    It's such a short trip (no pun intended) from the instrument lighting wiring to the GPS.

    Yes, red is for power and black is for earth, normally. Use any sort of terminal, even the crimp ones which fold over and cut into the wiring. It should draw such a small amount of current - no more than 1-2 amps at the most, that any decent connection will cover it. (Oops, there's another one accidentally slipping in.)

    The only thing you really need is a 12v test light from any auto accessory shop.. These have a sharp point which will penetrate the insulation of any wire - connect the alligator clip to a good earth point (not a painted area) and the lamp will light when you have a powered cable. They cost maybe $5.


    Trevor G
  12. Hey bloke -don't start hacking into your wiring loom to power up your GPS. As I said earlier, much less trouble & effort to hook straight onto the battery. Put the fuse right at the battery & run the wire along side some existing wiring loom to where you want it. If my girlfriend can manage to run the GPS wiring on her bike I'm sure you should be able to manage it.
    To get the tank off (if you really have to) is one bolt. Woo Hoo. Big deal.
    Red wire goes to + terminal Black to - Job done
  13. The only problem with running power directly off the battery (I've done it a few times) is that it can slowly drain the battery, even when the bike and gps is turned off. Not a huge problem if you use the bike everyday, but if you park it for a week or two, be prepared to have to roll start it.

    With the wires coming out of the Tomtom, you don't actually need to wire both black and red into the wiring harness or battery. All you need is power to the red, and the black one needs to be earthed, which can be done by attaching it to any metal part of the bike (bolt heads work well).

    Good on you for tackling it !!!
  14. The saga continues...

    Decided to give it a go this morning. Bought all the stuff I needed including a circuit tester. Found a live circuit on the bike when the ignition was on and wired in. (Using the rear light as someone else had suggested because it's always on)

    I've almost finished the job - I just need to find an earth point on the bike near the rear to hook my black wire. I had to finish part way through to go to work. Only problem was that I managed to flatten the battery.

    So then I decided to jump start the bike. It went very well the first time and I got it going but stalled it accidentally.

    The second time is like something you soon on funniest home videos.

    The bike lurched down the road with me holding on before mounting the pavement and coming to rest on a grassy patch with me underneath. No damage to me or the bike. Just my ego!

    Anyway after that I couldn't get it to jump start at all (presumably flooded). I've wheeled it back home and I'm going out to buy a battery charger.

    I hope that's all it is. There wasn't even so much as a cough from the starter motor which I guess is because the battery is very very flat.

    Will keep you posted
  15. OK didn't get a battery charger but attempted another few jump starts
    Unable to get the engine to turn over in any gear. I just get a compression lock up of the back wheel every time. Any suggestions from anyone?
  16. When you tip a VTR250 over (and it happens to plenty of other bikes) enough oil runs out the engine breather into the carb intakes and then into the cylinders to cause a hydraulic lockup.

    Remove both spark plugs and crank the bike over. Stand clear as you do so. To fully clear the oil from the cylinders you then need to place a finger or thumb lightly over the plug hole(s) one at a time and crank some more. This reduced outlet is more effective at clearing out the remains of the oil.

    Make sure the plugs are clean and dry before inserting them again. Screw them in finger tight - you will most probably have to remove them again to clean/dry them off if the bike won't start. Attempt a start in the usual way. Expect clouds of blue smoke also.

    The only quick cure for the smoking is to remove the tank and airfilter box top cover and then clean out the remains of the engine oil which will be sitting in there.


    Trevor G

    PS Don't ask me how I know all this...but I haven't dropped our VTR.
  17. Trevor

    When you say "crank" over do you mean that I should take the spark plugs out and then do as I would for a jump start i.e. roll down the road, put it in second, and release the clutch How can I crank it any other way? It doesn't have a kick start?
  18. Using the starter motor.

    Buy a cheap charger from supercheap that will charge at around 4 amps. A 20amp car charger is unsuitable - it will cook the battery. Look carefully for a small/low current charger.

    Don't try to rush things.


    Trevor G
  19. Thanks Trevor for your advice

    I have done as you suggested. I bought a charger. Pulled the spark plugs and then had a go at expelling the oil which went everywhere. I flattened the battery in the process (I hadn't fully charged it). Attempted a push start this time with the engine turning over but not catching. Took the spark plugs out, cleaned them again. Recharged the battery (again not fully) and this time managed to get the clouds of blue smoke but still not able to to get it to catch. Unfortunately the battery is flat again. I will charge it overnight and then I reckon tommorow she will start. I know..I know... I should have charged the battery completely the first time. I'm just so eager to get the bike going.

  20. Except that I forgot to say: only run the starter for maybe 10 secs at a time. Let it rest for 20, then try again. If it doesn't fire straight away, pull the plugs and clean them again. Running the starter continually flattens the battery and can burn out the starter itself.

    Did you pull the tank and empty the oil out of the airbox? If not, you are just adding more oil all the time...it can take quite a few km to clear the blue smoke from burning oil sucked into the inlet.


    Trevor G