- Install Eastern Beaver PC-8 Auxiliary Fuse Box
- Install Auxiliary LED Running Lights
- Install Garmin Powered GPS Cradle
- Install Heated Grips With 1988+ Switch And Harness
- Install Auxiliary SAE And USB Power Sockets
The word “farkles” refers to add-ons and upgrades. I’m adding the following to the electrical system.
- Eastern Beaver PC-8 Auxiliary Fuse Box And Circuits. I installed the Eastern Beaver PC-8 Auxiliary Fuse Box. This provides eight independent circuits, six fused and two non-fused direct to the battery. This eliminates a nest of wires, fuses and relays when I add the various electrical accessories. All the fuses are in one box and one relay switches power on to the six fused circuits.
- Heated Grips With 1988+ Wiring. I have the pre-1988 heated grips. The switch for them is no longer available so I will install the later (1988+) two position switch and new wiring between the switch and the heated grip pigtails. The wiring sub-harness contains a resistor inside that provides LOW/HIGH heating in the grips.
61 31 1 459 234 SWITCH, HEATED HANDLEBAR GRIPS L=700MM 61 12 1 459 263 WIRING HEATED HANDLES (Sub-harness)
The switch is smaller than the rectangular holes in the dashboard so I fabricated an adapter to hold the switch out of the plug used to fill the empty hole (part# 32 71 1 236 886).
- Auxiliary LED Lights. To increase my visibility I add two spot bean 900 lumen LED auxiliary lights from Super Bright LEDs. I got the 10 degree beam for the left and the 30 degree beam for the right so at night it will help illuminate the side of the road. I mount them to the rearview mirror brackets and wire them into the headlight power so they are on with the low and high beam.
- Garmin GPS Handlebar Mount With Power. I have a Garmin zūmo® 396 LMT-S GPS. I ordered a cradle, handlebar mount and electrical harness to power it from Garmin. I will use one of the two non-switch circuits to power the GPS so the it stays on when the engine is off. I like that option so I can select and change routes with the engine off.
- SAE & USB Power Sockets. I add an SAE plug and a dual USB port so I can charge my cell phone, or power any other accessory. I put the SAE on the other non-switched, direct to battery circuit and the USB on a switched circuit of the Eastern Beaver PC-8 auxiliary fuse box.
These are the parts I bought. I included links to many of them.
- The Eastern Beaver PC-8 Fuse Block
- Super Bright LEDs Spot Bean 900 Lumen LED Auxiliary Lights
- Radio Shack 2-Pin Male Plug (Part# 2740151)
- Radio Shack 2-Pin Female Plug (Part# 2740154)
- Garmin zūmo® 396 LMT-S GPS:
- BMW 1988+ Heated Grip High-Off-Low Switch (part# 61 31 1 459 234)
- BMW 1088+ Heated Grip Sub-Harness (part# 61 12 1 459 263)
- 2.8 mm (0.110 inch) Female Spade Terminals: TE Connectivity
Install Eastern Beaver PC-8 Auxiliary Fuse Box
Eastern Beaver provides several auxiliary wiring options to add circuits. I opted to “Go Big Or Go Home” and got the eight circuit option as I doubt I’ll ever outgrow that. The PC-8 includes a wiring harness with two main fuses (Green 30 amp and Yellow 20 amp), one for the six switched and one for the two non-switched circuits and a relay that turns on power to the six powered circuits when the ignition is on.
The fuse box has eight fused circuits. Power from the wiring harness comes in on the short side of the box and the auxiliary power and ground wires attach on either of the long sides of the box. I also got the extra strong Velcro to attach box, but it also comes with screws.
Before ordering the PC-8 I had to decide where to put the fuse box. I decided to mount it with Velcro on the left side of the headlight on the top center panel. That way all the fuses, except the ones for the fuse box harness are accessed by removing the headlight cover in the front of the faring and the auxiliary fuse box is pretty protected from water. This requires the 48 inch long harness. I also opted for the same length (+) and (-) battery terminals because I route the fuse box harness along the left side of the spine tube which means the cable is close to the center line between the battery terminals.
Install Main Harness
I mount the relay using the existing relay bracket on the left rear bolt that secures the dual port coils to the bracket.
This puts the main fuses in between the air intake cover and the battery. The main fuse holders have a slot to store a spare fuse which comes with the PC-8. I use the 30 amp for the six switched circuits (white fuse holder) and the 20 amp for the two non-switched circuits (black fuse holder). The fuse holder has a cover to protect the fuses and keep water away from them. The two fuse holders fit between the battery and the air cleaner cover.
The harness harness for the auxiliary fuse box attaches to the battery terminals. This is the pay off: one relay controls six circuits and one pair of wires powers eight circuits keeping the wiring at the battery terminals sanitary and straight forward. I route the harness on the left side of the spine tube with the three power leads to the fuse box on the left side of the fairing.
Connect Harness To Fuse Box
There are three wires that fit inside the fuse box. The long RED one provides power to the two non-switched circuits. The short RED one provides power to the six switched circuits and the BLACK one is the ground for all eight circuits. Each of the wires has a ring terminal that is secured with a lock nut.
Install Switched Circuit Trigger Wire And Test
The relay that sends power to the six switched circuits has to get power when the ignition goes on. GREEN-Black wires are after the fuse in the headlight shell and get power when the ignition is on. But, the GREEN–Blue wire that powers the coils also gets power when the ignition is on and is turned off when the Kill switch is off. Since the relay is right next to the coils, I connect the BLUE wire from the relay to the right side coil terminal with the GREEN–Blue coil power wire. I install an 18 gauge spade terminal on the wire and connect it to the spare male spade on the coil terminal.
I test the auxiliary fuse box. I turn on the ignition and measure the voltage across one of the switched circuits. There is 12.6 volts when the ignition is on and 0 volts when it is off. The two non-switched circuits show 12.6 volts all the time.
It looks like the auxiliary fuse box is ready for connecting the accessories.
Install Auxiliary LED Running Lights
For improved daytime visibility I install two spot beam 900 lumen LED auxiliary lights from Super Bright LEDs. Each one draws 10 watts and provides 900 lumens of light. At 14.3 volts, the current draw for each is about 0.7 amps. For comparison the stock H4 bulb in the front headlight consumes 55 watts to deliver 1100 lumens on low and 60 watts to deliver 1500 lumens on high beam. That means on high, the headlight draws about 4.2 amps. Adding the two LED spot beams adds 1800 lumens and only draws an additional 1.4 amps.
The lights I bought come in various beam widths. I choose the 10 degree for the left light and the 30 degree for the right. Since I plan to have these on all the time regardless of if I am using low or high beams, at night the wider angle on the right will help me see what’s on the right side of the road. That helps me see better see signs and critters at night.
I mount the LED lights on the rearview mirror brackets so they are up high. In combination with the headlight, they create a triangle of lights which has been shown to get attention and improve visibility. Via trial and error, I find that installing the brackets so the outside edge of the bracket is 1-3/4 inches from the end of the rearview mirror bracket lets the mirror clear the LED light housing without the hole for the M6 mounting bolt getting too close to the edge of the fairing and windscreen. The M6 hex bolt supplied with the light is too short for the thickness of the rearview mirror bracket. I used a 35 mm long hex bolt, the supplied flat washer and supplied lock nut.
Fabricate and Install Wiring
The lights come with a harness that connects to the watertight socket on the end of the pigtail attached to the light. The harness has a RED lead that gets power from the battery (+) and a BLACK lead that goes to the (-) battery ground. Of course, I don’t wire them directly to the battery.
The pigtail attached to the light has a tag that states if the tag is missing or the pigtail is modified in any way, that voids the warranty on the light.
Since I want these lights on whenever the low or high beam are on, I want to connect the RED power lead for the two lights to the YELLOW–White wire that goes to the headlight relay that is inside the headlight shell. The YELLOW–White wire supplies power from the headlight relay to the left handlebar switch. The handlebar switch selects the H4 bulb low beam filament sending power to the H4 bulb on the YELLOW wire or the high beam filament sending power to the H4 bulb on the WHITE wire.
On this year bike, the headlight comes on as soon as the ignition key is turned to the ON position (but not when turned to the “P”arking light position). When the starter engages, the headlight automatically goes out to reduce the load on the battery since the starter motor draws a lot of current. Therefore, using the YELLOW–White wire to send power to the LED lamps means they too will go off when starting the motor and the LED lamps will be on regardless if the handlebar switch has selected low or high beam.
To simplify the wiring changes inside the headlight shell, I fabricate a short harness to go from the headlight shell to the Super Bright LEDs harness. I picked up some two prong terminals, male and female, from Radio Shack. One prong of one socket combines the two RED wires and the other prong combines the two BLACK wires from both LED harnesses.
The other socket has only two wires, one that will go to the YELLOW–White terminal of the headlight relay and the other to the BROWN ground wire section of the headlight connection board plug between the headlight shell and the LED harness. The female and male sockets are keyed so you can’t reverse the prongs. I used GREEN and BLACK wires for my harness due to a lack of 18 gauge RED wire in my inventory. I make sure the GREEN wire on one socket prong mates with the RED wires in the corresponding prong of the other socket.
I thread the wires from my fabricated harness through one of the grommets in the headlight shell. I pull the grommet out, use a drill bit to put a hole in the center, thread the wires through the grommet and reinstall the grommet in the headlight shell.
I removed the female spade terminal on the YELLOW–White wire on the headlight relay. I install the GREEN wire from the harness I made and the YELLOW–White wire in a new spade terminal, solder them and use some shrink tubing to insulate the spade terminal. Then I put another female spade terminal on the BLACK ground wire and attached it to one of the open ground terminals on section (30) in the BROWN colored section of the connection block.
I install the modified sub-harness that attaches to the two Super Bright LED lamps to the lamp pigtails.
I tie wrapped the Super Bright LED socket to the upper fairing brace to keep it out of the way. I tuck the Radio Shack plug in the gap between the headlight and the bracket to get it out of the way.
Later I rotated the Super Bright LED sockets 180 degrees so they were on the other side of the upper fairing brace.
I test the Super Bright LED lamps by turning the ignition switch on. They come on when the headlight comes on and go out when I push the starter button.
Install Garmin Powered GPS Cradle
I picked up a GPS power cradle, handlebar mount and motorcycle power cable from Garmin.
The power cable for the Garmin zūmo® 396 LMT-S GPS came with an inline mini-fuse holder on the RED (+) lead that goes to the battery. Since I already have an inline fuse via the Eastern Beaver PC-8 auxiliary fuse block, I remove the fuse holder. It was soldered to the lead that goes to the GPS, so I unsoldered it and put the fuse holder and pigtail in my electrical supply inventory.
I used a piece of the strong Velcro I got from Eastern Beaver to secure the transformer to the inside of the top center panel on the right side. I install the RED and BLACK pigtails from the transformer to the terminals of one of the non-switched circuits of the PC-8 fuse block. The GPS harness came with a 2 amp mini-fuse that I installed in the PC-8.
After I assembled and mounted the GPS cradle, I used my volt meter to confirm that the contacts had voltage. The meter showed 5.3 volts, so the GPS cradle is ready to power my GPS. I install the GPS in the cradle and it’s working fine.
Install Heated Grips With 1988+ Switch And Harness
The earlier handlebar heated grips used a different switch and wiring harness that are no longer available. So I picked up the later (1988+) High/Off/Low switch and the sub-harness that goes between it and the handlebar heated grip pigtails.
|61 31 1 459 234||SWITCH, HEATED HANDLEBAR GRIPS L=700MM|
|61 12 1 459 263||WIRING HEATED HANDLES (Sub-harness)|
Making The Switch Fit The Dashboard
Unfortunately, the later dashboard switch (part# 61 31 1 459 234) is smaller than the hole in the older dashboard. But, I came up with a way to make it fit nicely. There is a plug (part# 32 71 1 236 886) that is installed to cover the rectangular hole in the dashboard when a switch is not installed. The plug can be modified so the new switch fits inside it.
I cut the top out of the plug using a Dremel tool and removed the tabs on the side that hold the plug in the dashboard. I also had to remove a bit of plastic on the inside of the plug so the switch would fit loose enough that the rocker moves smoothly. Then I insert the switch inside the plug so the valley in the middle of it is even with the peak of the plug and the tabs on the switch stick through the holes in the side of the plug where its tabs used to be.
I apply 5 minute plastic epoxy between the switch body and the plug to hold the switch inside the plug. Now the later switch fits the hole in the dashboard perfectly.
Modifications For Electrical Harness
The older heated grips have pigtails with no connector on the ends. The were inserted into a block with screw terminals. But the new electrical sub-harness (part# 61 12 1 459 263) has a white plastic socket and small male spade terminals. The heated grip pigtails have small female spade terminals on them that plug into the socket. The spade terminals on the pigtails are small so the pigtails can be threaded through the inside of the handlebars.
I got some 2.8 mm (0.110 inch) female spade terminals from a friend. But, you can get them from TE Connectivity. I crimped them on the bare wire pigtails of the heated grips and then soldered them. Then I put shrink tubing over the spades to protect them from shorting out and corrosion.
The power terminals of the white plug are on one side and have BLACK wires and the ground terminals are on the other side of the plug and have BROWN wires. I mark the side of the plug so I can be sure I get the correct pigtail on the correct terminal.
Power to the grips comes from a “T” connector with female terminals on the heated grip sub-harness. I have a male “T” connector on the short wiring harness that goes to the rear brake light switch which I replaced. The wires on the grip sub-harness are GREEN-Black, which is power, and BROWN, which is ground.
However the rear brake sub-harness “T” has GREEN–Red and GREEN-Black wires. The rear brake GREEN–Red mates with heated grip GREEN-Black and both are power (+) wires. So I put a Red (+) on the side of the rear brake “T” to help me know which terminal is power. Therefore the rear brake GREEN-Black mates with the heated grip BROWN.
Add Heated Grips Power To Eastern Beaver PC-8 Fuse Block
When I trim the length of the rear brake sub-harness before attaching the wires to the Eastern Beaver PC-8 fuse box, I put RED shrink tubing on the GREEN–Red pigtail of the rear brake sub-harness and BLACK shrink tubing on the GREEN-Black pigtail. That way when I attach them I’ll know to connect the RED to power and the BLACK to ground and whoever comes after me won’t have to solve a wiring mystery. I also tinned the ends of the wires with solder so the set screw won’t cut through the strands of wire.
I want to prevent stress on the small heated grip pigtails inside the white plug when the handlebars move. I decided to zip tie the white plug to the handlebar between the risers and zip tie the sub-harness plug that goes to the High-Off-Low switch to the right upper fairing bracket. When I move the handlebars there is no movement of the handlebar pigtails.
Install Auxiliary SAE And USB Power Sockets
This bike has the auxiliary BMW “cigarette lighter” style plug socket under the seat that is directly wired to the battery with an inline fuse. That is convenient for plugging in a heated vest.
But, it’s nice to have SAE and USB sockets up front for plugging in a cell phone, laptop charger, radar detector, etc. I found a USB dual socket plug from SwitchTec that will fit in the rectangular hole in the dashboard.
That seems like a nice way to supply cell phone power, etc. And while I’m at it, I install an SAE connector that is direct to the battery. I’ll put both of these auxiliary sockets on different Eastern Beaver PC-8 circuits: the USB on a switched circuit and the SAE on the remaining non-switched, direct to the battery circuit. There are LED “flashlights” that plug into a 12 volt SAE connector. I can put that in my tank bag so I will always have a “trouble” light I can use even with the ignition off.
Install USB Socket In Rectangular Dashboard Hole
The SwitchTec USB socket fits into the rectangular hole in the dashboard. But, the dashboard has a raised “V” edge around the hole that prevents the socket from fitting flush into the dash. The picture below shows a standard 20 mm x 37 mm switch I had to illustrate the issue when you try to install a standard switch in the dashboard hole.
A solution is to remove the “V” edges on the long side of the hole in the dashboard, but that means the dashboard won’t work with a standard BMW switch. So I remove the edge on the long sides of the USB socket socket using my Dremel tool so it will slide past the “V”.
You can use a sanding drum to remove the edge.
I also have to remove the rubber gasket so the switch can slide past the “V”. I silicone seal the bottom of the gasket, which includes the water proof rubber plug that seals the USB ports, to the body of the socket.
The pins on the back of the USB socket are marked (+) and (-). I use some RED and BLACK 18 gauge wire and some female spade terminals to make a sub-harness that goes from the USB socket to the Eastern Beaver PC-8 fuse block. The RED goes to (+) and the BLACK, or ground, goes to the (-) terminal. I cut some short pieces of shrink tube to hold the two wires together in a bundle. I tin the ends of the wires before inserting them into the screw clamp terminals on the sides of the PC-8 fuse block and install a 5 amp fuse.
I turn the key to the ignition position and the volt meter built into the USB socket lights up with the battery voltage. I plug in the USB cable on my iPhone into each USB port and it shows the phone taking a charge, so the USB socket is working properly.
There is a difference in the voltage indicated on the USB socket and the stock BMW volt meter. The volt meter is known to be “approximate”.
Install SAE Connector
The SAE connector has a bare terminal which is ground, or battery (-), and an insulated terminal that is power, or battery (+).
I attach the SAE cable to the Eastern Beaver PC-8 using the other non-switched terminals so it still has power if the ignition is off. I install a 15 Amp fuse in the circuit so I can connect a fairly large load if I need to.
2021-02-22 Edit typos.
2021-03-04 Edit typos.
2022-02-15 Edit typos.