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Tales from the Hamshack

Motorcycle Mobile

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On my list of things to do since I started riding my motorcycle was find a way to attach a radio to the bike.  If I rode one of the big touring bikes this would have been a trivial process.  Half of those bikes come with antennas, and radio mounts built into them from the factory.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I ride a Kawasaki Ninja 500r Sport Bike.  This means space in general is at a premium, and locations for mounting radio bits are hard, if not impossible to come by.  I managed to come up with a workable solution though.

It started by buying a spare top tail fairing.  This was $12 from someone on the Ninja 500 forums.  Next I took a sma window clip antenna mount apart to steal both the coax, and the bulkhead connector.  I drilled a hole in the spare fairing, and mounted the bulkhead.

Diamond HT Antenna MountedNext I had to find a good way to mount the HT on the bike.  I decided that my Yaesu VX-7R was the perfect radio for the job as it’s water resistant to 3 meters.  This means if it rains I’m unlikely to destroy an expensive piece of hardware.  I also already owned a throat vibration mic for this radio which should eliminate any wind or engine noise while riding.  I settled on replacing the swivel belt clip with a 2″ square piece of plastic that is screwed into the back of the radio.  I then attached six ½″ Neodymium magnets to the plastic square.  This holds the radio quite firmly to the steel tank.

The final piece of the puzzle was powering the VX-7R.  I have one of the filtered Yaesu E-DC-5B Power Adapters for the car.  The motorcycle doesn’t have an accessory outlet, however I do have a battery tender connection.  A quick trip to the auto parts store, lead me to one of these Battery Tender to Female Cigarette Adapters.   With the bike running I have plenty of power to keep the VX-7R fully charged.

I took the bike for a short ride, intending to head all the way into work, but high winds sent me back home for the car.  No problems at all with the installation.  The radio stayed exactly where I put it, and I couldn’t be happier with the overall performance.

If any of you are Motorcycle Mobile, I’d love to see your installations as well!  Drop me a line via the comment link at the top of this post.

73!