Preparing the Garmin Zumo 595 for the H2!

Sheldon: “But once you open the box, you’ve voided the warranty. The warranty is a sacred covenant we’ve entered into with the manufacturer. He offers to stand by his equipment, and we in return agree not to violate the integrity of the internal hardware. This little orange sticker is all that stands between us and anarchy.”

Leonard: “Okay, then we won’t touch the hard drive. We’ll just erase the first season of Battlestar.”

Sheldon (ripping off sticker): “There. We’re outlaws.”

I’ve been using my trusty Garmin Zumo 595 GPS for a while now, first on my Kawasaki Ninja 650L, and more recently on my Honda CBR650F (the CBR replaced the Ninja). The GPS is great, and it has a nice cradle/mount that uses the RAM system for attachment. However, the cradle expects to be hardwired to the motorcycle which is a little frustrating. It’s only frustrating, as if you want to take the cradle out to put something else on the RAM mount, like a GoPro perhaps, you can’t as the wires are routed through the body of the bike back to the battery/fuse area.

I’ve got a Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE on the way (very excited), which has an accessory socket in the cockpit. I had also ordered a RAM mount for the fork nut which has just arrived. The trick was now to modify the cradle so that I could attach it to the fork nut RAM mount and plug it into the 12V accessory socket – and then remove it just as simply if I wished to use something else there.

I first cut the cable coming from the cradle to an appropriate length (to give room for the handlebars to turn).

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I then stripped back the outer layer to make room for me to get to the red/black power wires (in their own little shield). The other wires I just needed to clean up. I didn’t need to worry about isolating them from each other, as I was going to disconnect the other end (the cradle end). Those wires are still inside the cable, but neither end has connectivity to anything.

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I opened the cradle (which needs a T5 torx driver to open – thanks Bunnings). From there, I disconnected the plug that handled the USB and fixed audio wires, and then removed the plug (so that there was room to reassemble the cradle). The red/black wires with their own plug are what I will connect to the 12V accessory/cigarette plug.

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I bought a 12V accessory/cigarette plug from Jaycar, but one with a fuse in the plug body. I had them swap the included 10A fuse with a 3A fuse (which matched the fuse in the original cables of the cradle that I had since removed – the excess cable length), and then soldered the cable to the plug (red for centre).

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I tested the unit with the 12V accessory socket on one of the bikes, and it behaved correctly.

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Edit: I’ve crimped the cable down a bit tighter inside the plug, so the small gap in the plug seal has since been fixed!

The good news is, I can now use the cradle on either of the two bikes, as the incoming bike and the Honda Rebel (CMX500) both have accessory sockets, and somewhere to place a RAM mount.

It really would have been good if there was an option with the cradle for the 12V accessory plug, but I appreciate that many (probably most) don’t have a 12V accessory socket.

From the research I’ve done, it looks like other people have taken a similar approach. These guys have done pretty much exactly same with their GPS.

~ Mike

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