As we become ever more dependent on our portable electronic devices, the problems of power are something we must constantly consider. In the past, I’ve written about how to install accessory power on your motorcycle (here) and how to make it switch on with your ignition (here). Suppose you just want a quick, non-permanent means of charging your smartphone? Well, if your have an electric vest or a trickle-charger that you use, you probably have all the wiring you need for USB power installed on your bike, already.

Portable Power: How To Install Powerlet Electrical Sockets

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Most electric vests attach to your motorcycle’s electrical system via a fused cable ending in a SAE plug. So, all you really need is a small adapter to convert your bike’s 12 volt electrical system to a USB-compatible 5 V. While surfing around looking for adapters for another electrical project I’m working on, I stumbled onto a clever USB connector.

Lightningfast produces a SAE To USB Adapter that is essentially a SAE connector with a switch and a covered USB port. The entire device looks to be about 1.5-inches long. (Note: I have not personally used this device. I just found it and thought I should share it with my fellow MOrons.) Its specs, which show a 2.1 amp output, mean it will charge just about every USB-powered device you can throw at it – all the way up to a tablet. It has a weather-resistant cap to go over the USB port to keep rain out if you leave it on your bike. The on/off switch will prevent you from killing your battery if the adapter is connected to unswitched power. It even has internal polarity connection to keep it from shorting out should the SAE connector be wired with its polarity reversed.

Lightningfast SAE To USB Adapter

The key to the Lightningfast USB adapter’s utility is in the almost ubiquitous SAE adapter.

With a retail price of about $15, the Lightningfast SAE To USB Adapter isn’t a huge expense and could be the answer to a question you’ve been asking. Find out more at Lightningfast’s product page. If you don’t have a fused SAE connector already on your bike, start your search at your local auto parts store or here.

  • 12er

    Much less space than my SAE to Cig adapter to usb converter. May have to check it out.

  • Born to Ride

    Welp, better get started rerouting my trickle charge cable to my fairing compartment so I can actually use it for something.

  • Tod Rafferty

    Neat. On the other hand, the embedded video ads are certainly annoying. Everybody on the staff get a raise?

    • Born to Ride

      Use Adblock and allow non-intrusive ads like the ones at the end of the articles and in side bars.

    • Evans Brasfield


      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      • spiff

        Sarcasm? You guys are millionaires right?

  • Allison Sullivan

    These are great. I have a BatteryTender one, and wired up a longer cable from my battery box to the handlebar. USB and cable cost about $30, took ten minutes to install, powers the Garmin perfectly.

  • DoctorNine

    Great idea. Need to put one near my fairing for my phone.