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Fatboy – A Quick GPS Upgrade

MotorcycleThe motorcycle trip to Florida in April was one of the biggest adventures of all time for me (see the full story). We decided to take a week from our time at the Lake to go down to Florida to check on some things. Normally it would be considered unbearably hot in Florida in July but this year it was cooler than up north. At least on the day we departed for Flagler County Airport. Turned out to get even hotter than the north but we have still been having a good time. While here I decided to upgrade the GPS on the Fatboy. It was a simple plan but took two days! Riding the Harley-Davidson 2003 (Anniversary Year) Fatboy for 1,194 miles from Connecticut to Palm Coast, Florida back in April turned out to be the easy part.
I had purchased a cover for the Fatboy to protect it from salty air in the garage. When I got here Wednesday there was no salt on the bike but it was covered with mold and a frog was happily living under the engine. The cover was supposed to be “breathable” but seems instead it created an inviting environment for things to grow. I rode the bike down to Ormond Beach to Dino’s Detailing and they did an incredible job making the Fatboy look like new. While they had the bike I rented a 2008 Harley-Davidson Street Glide. The six speed 105 cubic inch touring bike was a joy to ride but it was great to get the Fatboy back again the next morning and then ride the long straight and flat back roads of Florida to Crescent Beach for lunch at Three Bananas. The total ride for the day was a very hot 150 miles.
The Garmin StreetPilot GPS was a great aid for the Fatboy for some years but it had outlived it’s usefulness. The $1,000 device was advanced five years ago but is a dinosaur now. BestBuy had an Insignia brand GPS for $69 that has more than sufficient functionality for motorcycling and I was able to get a nice handlebar mounting bracket that — with some Velcro in the right place — will be just fine. The only problem was that the electrical cable that I had installed for the Garmin is incompatible with the USB cable used by the Insignia. I could make the changes myself but figured that the Harley dealer in Daytona could do it much more quickly. They said “come on down” and they would do it right away. I rode down to Daytona Destination — the world’s largest Harley dealer — and right into the service entrance. (See photo gallery).
What I thought would be a 15 minute job turned out to be an hour and a half and in trying it out before paying the bill I noticed immediately that the GPS unit was very hot. To make a long story short the technician had not included the Insignia’s power adapter in the wiring. In other words he wired it so that the 12 volts from the bike battery was connected to the 5 volt USB cable to the GPS. Fried. It was now past 5 pm and the dealer closes at 6 PM. On the Fatboy, down I95 to International Speedway Blvd to Best Buy. To my amazement they took the fried unit back even though I had no receipt or packaging. Then on to Radio Shack to get a cigarette lighter adapter to connect the power adapter to the bike. Back to Daytona Destination at 5:45. The technician stayed and got the wiring finished by 6:30. Nice ride back up to Palm Coast in the balmy weather but with a nice breeze along A1A by the ocean and home just in time to join up with friends for dinner. See the gallery links below for pictures┬árelated to this story.

  • Gallery of Fatboy pictures (and Garmin StreetPilot)
  • Gallery of Daytona Destination (largest motorcycle dealer in the world)
  • Rental bike from Ormond Beach – Photo Gallery