Best Motorcycle USB Chargers: Power Up When On the Road
Keep your devices at peak power with these top three motorcycle USB chargers
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BY Suzana Mijatovic / LAST UPDATED ON March 20, 2020
Some bikers rely on two to three electronic devices while on the road. It’s inconvenient to have your phone or GPS tracker power down in the middle of a ride. To prevent this from happening, you need a high-quality charging system and a reliable USB charger that will keep your devices at peak power. We came up with several options in our buying guide below.
A motorcycle USB charger that fits right onto your handlebars, provides two charging ports, and is durable enough to survive the outdoor elements, thanks to its tough housing
- Features a dual USB charging socket, which allows you to connect two devices simultaneously
- Includes a digital display so you can see the voltage in real time
- Clamps right onto any set of handlebars for easy installation
- Some chargers may arrive defective right out of the box
A quick-charging, high-powered motorcycle USB charger with the latest technology and dual charging capability for an affordable price.
- Allows two devices to charge via USB simultaneously
- Supports PD and QC 3.0 fast charging from either USB port
- Offers three different installation method options for increased versatility and convenience
- Some chargers may fail soon after purchase or arrive defective
This is an efficient USB charger that works at the 12-24-volt range. That makes it suitable for almost all motorcycle types. The charger is very powerful and quickly recharges phones, tablets, GPS units, and other USB devices.
- Unit has an output of 2.1 amps
- Made of high-quality materials and is very durable
- Sturdy housing is waterproof and heat- and corrosion- resistant
- Installation is rather simple
- Might charge slower than some other options, especially when it comes to Android phones
- Drains the motorcycle battery faster
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Benefits of Motorcycle USB Chargers
- Compact design. USB chargers are compact and take up less storage space than standard chargers. Wall chargers have bulky adaptors on one side and the cable on the other. USB chargers, on the other hand, have small connectors on both sides of the wire. This design makes them compact and easy to store.
- Convenience. When you have a USB charger, you don't have to look for power outlets. You can move around and ride freely without having to stop and stay in one place and wait for your devices to power up.
- Quick charging. USB chargers are very powerful and able to charge tech gadgets quickly. Although not all models are super efficient, most of the newly designed ones are highly reliable and ensure fast recharges.
Types of Motorcycle USB Chargers
A large number of USB chargers connect directly to the motorcycle. They can be mounted on the handlebars, and they plug directly into the battery of your bike. The benefit of this type is it’s easy to install. All you need to do is to run the wires from the charger and connect them to the battery. Just make sure that everything is connected properly.
The DIN type of charger fits into an existing power port on your motorcycle. It's very similar to a car’s cigarette lighter socket, and it can be used on many motorcycle models (mainly BMWs, Triumphs, and KTMs). The main benefit of this type is the ability to handle a larger electrical current, which means it's more powerful and offers overall better performance. The connection is also fairly safe and more stable under vibration.
Another popular charger is the one that uses an SAE adapter. This type of charger attaches directly to the battery, but it requires an SAE lead. The good thing is that you can install a permanent SAE lead on your motorcycle quite easily and use it to charge the battery and other electronic devices. This connection type prevents short circuits and is very safe. It's also easy to install, although you need to be extra careful and make sure you connect the right polarities. An SAE USB charger has two ring terminals, a positive and a negative, that should be connected to the battery's positive and negative connections.
Eklipes was founded in 2008 and is located in Roseville, California. The company focuses on motorcycle USB chargers and other accessories, such as mounts and power sockets. One of its most popular products is the Eklipes Cobra Chrome USB Charging System.
Battery Tender is a brand owned by Deltran, a company that started as a small family business and evolved into a leading manufacturer of battery chargers. It was founded back in 1964 and is located in DeLand, Florida. One of the company's most popular and best-rated products is the Battery Tender USB Charger.
Mic Tuning focuses on a variety of automotive products, such as car chargers, lighting systems, and other accessories and gear parts. It's popular among customers and continues to grow and expand. It's located in Alhambra, California. One of the best products from Mic Tuning is the Mictuning USB Charger for Motorcycles.
Motorcycle USB Chargers Pricing
- Under $20: At this price range, you can find decent and quite powerful USB chargers. They might lack some extra features such as power switches and locking mechanisms, but they are reliable and efficient.
- Over $20: For a few more dollars, you can find motorcycle USB chargers with more installation and mounting options. They are also more powerful and versatile, fitting different models and tech gadgets.
The most important thing to consider when choosing a USB charger is safety. Although most newly designed chargers come with over-current protection, some of them still might be prone to short circuits and other damage. Double check the safety features and look for extra ones, such as weather resistance. This is especially important if you're planning to spend a lot of time outside. You might need to protect the unit from water, dust, dirt, debris, and other harmful elements.
Not all chargers are compatible with all devices, which mostly depends on technical specifications. If you connect a phone that requires fast charging to a slower USB adapter, you probably won't be able to recharge it quickly. Also, connecting two units with different technical specifications might be dangerous and cause short circuits.
Another important thing to consider when choosing a USB charger is the mounting option. Some devices can be mounted directly on the motorcycle handlebars, while others can be placed in areas that are more hidden. Consider which option works the best, depending on the bike and overall convenience. If you want to use a particular device during rides, you'll need to mount the charger within hand's reach.
- Number of Ports: It's also good to consider the number of USB ports before making a purchase. Some chargers offer only one charging port, while others come equipped with two or more. If you need a charger that can charge several devices at the same time, you'll have to look for the one that has at least a dual port.
- Power Switch: Check whether the USB charger has a power switch feature. The power switch allows you to turn off the charger when not in use. It's a useful feature that ensures more safety. Most of the newly designed ones come with it, but some units stay on all the time.
- Installation: Check whether a charger is compatible with your motorcycle. Not all chargers are the same, and you want to find the one that can connect to your motorcycle battery or available ports. Then consider the installation type and which one is the easiest based on your bike’s model.
Best Motorcycle USB Chargers Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Most people use USB chargers to power up their smartphones and GPS devices, but the unit is also great for charging music players, cameras, and other motorcycle accessories.
- Some motorcycle USB chargers come with covers that offer extra protection from dirt, dust, and water. The most durable types also have fire-resistant materials. Consider getting a weatherproof charger with these extra features if you're going to use it daily and in various weather conditions. .
- In case you get a motorcycle USB charger without weather protection, be careful when using it. The internal parts might get soaked in water and cause short circuits that can damage the motorcycle battery and your device. Make sure to use a cable that is dry and whole without tears and wires coming out of it.
Q: What installation options do I have when it comes to motorcycle USB chargers?
A: A USB charger can be connected directly to the motorcycle battery or by using separate slots such as DIN or SAE. Which option is best largely depends on the power options on your bike as well as your personal preferences.
Q: Will a motorcycle USB charger still work if water enters the port?
A: Only if you have a water-resistant charger. Keep in mind, however, that not all chargers have the same level of protection. Some of them have lower IPX ratings and might get damaged by water. If you need extra protection, look for the chargers that have higher IPX ratings and are completely waterproof.
Q: Will a USB charger drain the motorcycle battery when not in use?
A: A USB charger might draw a small amount of current even when nothing is plugged into it, but that won't drain the battery. It would take a lot of time for this to happen.