CMA HeartBeat March 2021 - Page 21

GEAR REVIEW

GEAR REVIEW

By MARK Heid
SAE CONNECTOR you are like me , you are

IF always on the lookout for products that make your motorcycle trips safer , easier , more comfortable , or more enjoyable . Well , I think I have found just the item . It is the humble SAE connector . Many of you will be wondering what an SAE connector is , and why you haven ’ t heard about it before .

An SAE connector is a two-conductor DC connector used with solar and automotive systems , and more importantly for us , commonly used for motorcycle applications . It is the small twopin connector you often see sticking out from under a motorcycle seat . From the connector there are two wires , one hot and one grounded , that run through a fuse holder to connect to the positive and negative battery terminals .
The beauty of the SAE connector is not so much in what it does , but in the adapters and accessories that can be connected to it . The most common and useful adapters I have found include an automotive auxiliary power outlet ( also known as a cigarette lighter socket ), a USB port , and a COAX adapter .
The auxiliary power outlet has long been the 12-volt power source on touring and adventure motorcycles . Since it is also used in automotive applications , there is a whole line of products available having this style plug . These accessories can be purchased rather inexpensively and used with your motorcycle . If your particular ride is not equipped with a permanent auxiliary socket , the SAE to socket adapter allows you to run a GPS unit , radar detector , compact air compressor , airbed pump , or a 12-volt flashlight / lantern . Any of these accessories , and many more , can be purchased at a big-box store , making them much more attractively priced than purchasing specialty motorcycle gear .
Most riders travel with some form of electronic equipment , and these typically have USB charging cables . With the SAE to USB adapter , it is possible to charge your cell phones , tablets , laptops , and portable power packs while you ride . If you are camping , you might also want to consider a USB chargeable flashlight , lantern , or fan .
Since we live in the north country , the COAX adapter is a great addition to power heated riding gear through the existing SAE connector . Doing this eliminates the need to add a COAX power pigtail from the battery . Depending how early or late in the season you ride , there is a wide variety of heated riding gear available including jackets , jacket liners , gloves , glove liners , pants liners , and socks . If you use multi-
Two SAE to USB adapters ( bottom ), SAE to COAX adapter ( top right ) SAE connector set up ( bottom ), SAE to auxiliary power outlet adapter ( top ) ( continue on page 28 )
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