Ever thought how nice it would be to have a lighted map at night, or a radar detector that was protected from the weather, out of sight, and easily moved from bike to bike? Or maybe you’re tired of Mickey Mouse hookups for your electric vest? I’d been thinking along these lines for quite some time, and when a second motorcycle brought these issues into sharp focus, I came up with a way of electrifying a standard Eclipse tankbag, using parts available from the local auto store and Radio Shack. A single two prong electrical connector hooks to the bike, which simplifies tankbag removal and installation, and facilitates moving around between multiple bikes. It also makes it easy to get replacement parts out on the road should something give up the ghost.
The image above shows the tankbag with the usually present map removed. Most of the components pictured are related to the Valentine 1 radar detector that lives in the tankbag, but you can see the Power Distribution Box and, just below that, the Switch Box that manage 12 volt power in the bag.
An electrical connector (a commonly available trailer connector) powers the Switch Box through a two wire lead that runs to the saddle/fuel tank junction. Another lead carrying 12 volts, preferably switched with the ignition, meets this lead at the saddle/fuel tank junction at the rear of the tankbag.