K1600GT - Part 1: Autocom & Aux Power Project Overview
Over the year-end holidays I got the itch. Not the bike buying itch we all know and love. The other itch. The one that drives us to dismantle perfectly good motorcycles and tweak something, anything.
Now in my defense, if you own a K1600 you know the communication and audio system, while a step in the right direction, still leaves a bit to be desired. Yes, the controller on the left handle bar is cool, but start looking for non-BMW-proprietary wireless helmet solutions or for all your personal electronic toys to be integrated and the trade-offs and frustration begin.
So, it was game on. As the project began to take shape it had three specific goals:
1.) A two-up communication system that fully integrated with the K1600 audio system, BMW Navigator IV GPS, Valentine One (V1) radar, iPhone and iPod. I didn’t want to have to push buttons on helmets or handle bars to switch between talking to a passenger or listening to any of the electronics.
2.) The set-up had to be mobile and capable of being used on multiple motorcycles without having to invest in a lot of permanent hardware for each bike. Maybe a power socket or two, but not much more.
3.) Any wiring with additional power sockets and the various electronics had be as neat and out of the way as possible so we’d have “tangle free” two-up riding. Yes, if you go “wired’ it will never be as neat and simple as “wireless”, but it can be a pretty hassle-free experience with a little forethought.
The decision was to go with a set-up structured around Autocom’s Super Pro Automatic 2 (SPA-2) unit. There were two reasons for this. It had the flexibility to handle the requirements mentioned above, and I knew the quality of the components and audio performance having had positive experience with other Autocom systems over the years. The desire to move the set-up from bike to bike meant a lot of the Autocom gear, electronics and associated power adapters would have to be mounted in a tank bag rather than more common permanent installation under the rear seat of the bike. It looked like the Autocom system was up to the challenge.
Figuring out how to come at this meant reading lots of posts on various forums and eventually working with a gent by the name of Adam at RocketMoto. Adam was very helpful. So helpful in fact I purchased all of the Autocom, Powerlet and Techmount components from RocketMoto. If you have concerns tackling a project like this or just need some help I recommend you reach out to Adam at RocketMoto.com. The man has answers.
And lest we forget what a K1600GT looks like, here was the project bike:
In the ‘pay it forward’ spirit I decided to write a few threads about the installation and share some photos. The complete project write-up is posted in six threads as follows: (link to each thread)
Part 1: Autocom & Aux Power Project Overview (you just read it!)
Part 2: Auxiliary Power Set-Up (viewtopic.php?f=50&t=17900
Part 3: Tank Bag Set-Up (viewtopic.php?f=50&t=17901
Part 4: Headset Extension Lead Installation (viewtopic.php?f=50&t=17902
Part 5: Audio System Integration (viewtopic.php?f=50&t=17903
Part 6: Radar Mount & Wiring (viewtopic.php?f=50&t=17904
So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and read on if you’re on the hunt for a similar set-up ...