I am the king of sloppy about charging my phone.
- I forgot to plug it before going to bed. Check ✅
- Going on a motorcycle ride that I need my phone for map navigation with 13% battery left. Check. ✅
- I want to take an awesome picture with my cell while at a rest stop, but the battery died. Check ✅
Anyways, having a way to charge devices for all riders is plain convenient.
And borderline mandatory for me to pick up my slaking.
One of the most straightforward solutions is to install a USB charger on your set of wheels.
They work like your standard USB ports included in most cars today.
This is my charger. Side note, for some reason, it looks like a Sci-fi spaceship to me 😄.
Sadly it is starting to malfunction.
After five years of loyal service and the occasional glitches, it is ready for a well-earned ‘’Rest in peace’’.
I had to do some digging for a proper replacement and a possible upgrade.
First Reaction while browsing other chargers – There is a @#$%Storm of them to choose from!! (Free headache included).
But after some filtering, here are the top motorcycle USB chargers for 2021 I found.
Electronic device charging technology has changed over the last five years.
The transition from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 port on many newer phones is a prime example.
I needed a USB Charger compatible with USB 3.0 to enable my phone’s ‘’Fast Charge’’ feature. A slow recharge from a USB 2.0. would not cut it anymore.
This situation was a problem with my previous charger.
Spoiler! It was 💩!
It demanded a lot of power from my phone to keep up with the motorcycle situation.
Using Google Map as a navigation GPS is energy demanding.
Add the heat and full backlit brightness to see anything on your phone screen; it takes a toll on your battery.
The phone did register it was ‘’being charged,’’ but the slow charge could not maintain the battery level. The power percentage was still going down. Only more slowly.
I was also looking for a motorcycle waterproof power socket.
Every time I saw black clouds over the horizon was annoying. I had to take off my charger to put it in my saddlebag to protect it from the rain.
With my list of needs my new charger needed to cover, I did the browsing for you.
Best Phone charger for your Motorcycle.
iMESTOU Motorcycle Dual USB Phone Charger Adapter Kit 5V 3.1A
The best charger I found is this Charger from iMESTOU.
It takes first place for its overall features, performance, and convenience.
Pros and Features:
- 5 V 3.1 A compatible with fast charging
- Dual USB Ports
- ON / OFF switch with indicator light
- Include a removable mounting bracket for motorcycle handlebars
- Compact design
- SAE outlets
- USB Ports cover to prevent water and dust damage
- Replaceable 10 Amp fuse
- Long Extension electrical cable
- ‘’Ring’’ Terminal Connector
- Cheap plastic construction
- Reported Short life spam by some buyers
- Possible water infiltration by the power button
First thing I was looking forward to:
This charger actually gives my phone a fast charge with its 3.1A USB 3.0.
Bonus! It includes two USB ports. Mighty convenient for supplying power to multiples devices at the same time.
In my case, it keeps my phone alive and my handlebar GoPro rolling the film all day. Very pleased with that.
The cap cover for the USB port sure is welcome for water and dust-proof capabilities.
Yet, while an excellent addition, the on-off switch can be a little bit of a problem.
It can be an entrance point for water infiltration by rain.
I am not convinced it will ride through a hard rainstorm. Even if classified as ‘’waterproof’’ by its manufacturer.
(that a lie by the way; it is more like rainproof – for instance, don’t drop it in the sink to prove a point; It will die)
That said, it is generalized misinformation of many chargers on the market today. So I don’t hold it against the manufacturer in this case.
Keep in mind ”rain-resistant” instead.
If you must install it on your handlebar, here a tip. With the included mounting bracket, try to install it with the USB ports facing downward. ON / OFF button facing toward the tail of the motorcycle.
This will reduce the impact of raindrops and water and dust infiltration.
I instead use the compact design of the device to my advantage.
It is tucked between some fairing or other parts of my motorcycle. I used some excellent 3m Double tape to secure it in place. This location gives the charger extra protection from the elements.
Onto the electrical features!
The long cable can be a ‘’swear word saver’’. It depends on the distance to run from your battery to your chosen mounting point.
You know… actually ‘’make it there’’ rather than running out of wire.
Length does matter. 🙂
But, it can also be too much cable.
Use a zip tie to wrap the excessive length or cut and solder a shorter cable if you are comfortable doing so.
The end wire ‘’ring’’ design is better than the fork or ‘’U’’ metal connector for linking to a battery. It adds that extra feeling of ‘’don’t worry about it anymore”. It won’t come off.
Some users of this charger reported a short lifespan of the item.
I still have to field test this thing in the ‘’time will tell’’ testing about this possible problem.
Otherwise, I am delighted with this USB charger for my motorcycle.
Best Reliable and Budget Friendly Motorcycle Phone Charger
MOTOPOWER MP0609A 3.1Amp Motorcycle USB Charger Kit
Features and Pros :
- 3.1 Amps Output (can fast charge)
- SAE Connector
- 7.5 Amps replaceable fuse
- Well established company and Reliable product
- Waterproof Cap for USB port
- Minimalist and compact design
- Low price
- Red positive wire (esthetical reason)
- Only one USB port
- No On/Off button
This charger’s main feature is its reliability both by performance output and durability.
I have a friend who got two older versions of this charger on his Kawasaki Ninja. They still work like a charm after all these years.
This minimalist unit comes with everything you need in your modern phone charger. It will keep you riding all day long. No worrying about your phone power.
The main complaint I got is the lack of visual discretion of the red electrical wire. It can look out of place if the color doesn’t match up with your bike’s visual style.
I guess It can be worked around with a black sharpie and a little bit of time.
Best Runner Up For Motorcycle Phone Charger
YONHAN 4.8A Motorcycle USB Charger SAE to USB Adapter with Voltmeter
Features and Pros :
- Two USB Ports
- SAE Connector With included SAE cable
- ON / OFF switch
- Voltmeter reader
- Included mounting mirror bracket
- Reliable and rugged
- Irreplaceable Fuse
- Visually indiscrete
- Misleading 4.8 Amps (2.4 Amps for each USB port Time two)
Again a very reliable and robust product
Sadly it cannot fast charge modern phone.
Yet it got decent power output and dual USB ports to keep up with your charging needs.
The SAE connector is, in my book, at an optimal location along the wire length; Right at the end.
For instance, it is easily accessible for plugging a charger for battery maintenance.
You won’t have to reach in hard to get places to connect or disconnect the SAE.
Best Waterproof Motorcycle USB Charger Power Socket
MOTOPOWER MP0609C 3.1Amp Waterproof Motorcycle Dual USB Charger Kit
Feature and Pros:
- No bullshit and really Waterproof (submergible)
- Dual USB port 3.1 Amps
- Compact Desing
- No power consumption when not in use
- Discrete and compact visual
- No metal connector for linking to a battery. Need to be bought separately
- No replaceable fuse
- Reported short circuit and electrical malfunction by some users
This one is a wonderful last-minute unexpected find. That thing is actually really waterproof, unlike many other chargers claiming to be.
It is also of a minimalist and compact design, which I really like. It also claims to leave your battery charge alone when not in use.
Sadly it got no replaceable fuse in case of malfunction witch seem to happen to some user.
Since you need to buy a SEA metal connectors wire to use this item, here a tip. Buy an SAE cable, including a fuse box, for extra electrical protection. This should take care of this potential problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you attach a USB charger to a motorcycle?
Locate your bike battery and attach the wire rings or hooks to the battery terminals. Other than running and securing the wire along your motorcycle, That is it. Project done!
The optional thing that makes it difficult is running the electrical wire under the gas tank.
Look for a tutorial regarding how to remove the tank for your bike model.
Or, if you are uncomfortable doing it, ask your preferred motorcycle mechanic to do it for you.
Tips: plug the charger into the battery for a quick test. Make sure everything works BEFORE the gas tank removal.
Installing a faulty charger and not knowing about it after everything is back in place… You are gonna be pissed.
Do USB Charger Drain Motorcycle Battery?
No by itself. But yes, for some situations…
Some features depending on the chargers, require power even if the motorcycle is not in use. It can take a sneaky toll on your battery.
Especially during a long storage period.
These features include, for example.
- Indicators lights to confirm the USB charger is turned on and you forgot to turn off the charger.
- Digital Voltmeter reader. (especially those you cannot turn off).
- Leaving a USB device like a tablet or a camera plugged into the charger.
In long storage situations for your bike, take these extra precautions.
- If the charger fuse can be removed, do so. Then store it in a dry, cool place.
- Disconnect the electrical wire linked with your battery terminals.
Can a motorcycle USB charger kill you?
By speaking of electrocution, the answer is a big flat No.
The electrical power going through the charger is barely enough to give you a weak zap.
It may surprise you but will not harm you.
In another case of killing you or causing damage, there is a danger, though.
The Motorcycle battery that you need to link to your charger is a potential risk, not the charger itself.
And again, no electrocution danger.
The hazard here is fire.
When attaching the electrical wire to the terminals, make sure there is no flammable material nearby.
Ensure nothing metallic could touch both positive and negative terminals at the same time by accident.
This could cause sparks and ignite a fire.
The same rules apply when putting everything back in place after working with the battery.
Make sure that nothing could move around in there and end up touching both battery terminals at the exact moment.
Alternative on how to charge your phone on a motorcycle
There is another solution for keeping your electronic devices at top level.
Portables power banks.
And big plus they don’t need any installation. Make sure it is charged, plug in your phone, and voila!
The big drawback is the limited quantity of power it can restore to your devices.
You need to recharge the power bank too from time to time for it to be viable.
Get a bigger model that can carry more mAh (power quantity) if you think you need to rely on it many times.
Bonus some power bank double as a battery jump starter for your motorcycle.
Helpful in case you or one of your riding buddies end up with a drained battery.
I do carry one myself in my saddlebags for these very reasons.
And it did get me out of trouble about my phone charge from time to time.
I hope this post helped you find what you were looking for.
Keep these electronic devices of your at full charge and ride safe, my friends.