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Thread: BMW style accessory plug, Why?

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    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    BMW style accessory plug, Why?

    Why is the BMW style plug better than the normal 'American' style outlet. Or is it? I need to either buy BMW style male ends for my stuff or put different outlets on the bike.
    Mike Davis
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    Jeff Wilson life member
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    I do not know if they are better but the North American style power outlet is more versatile as you can plug in a gps or a cell phone charger or other items. And it costs less. If you feel like it you could install both. On my scooter there is a north American style outlet in the glove box but it is not accessible to use while riding unless you are charging a phone. I am installing an additional outlet on the dash somewhere soon that can be used all the time.
    Jeff
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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    The "BMW" style plug has been in use in Europe since at least the 1950s. It isn't just a BMW thing.

    I happen to prefer it. The connections are more secure. A European plug wiggling loose is much less common than the same thing with the US style cigarette lighter plug. The old fashioned lighter sockets were far better than the cheap substitutes we no find too.

    On many applications I also prefer the SAE two-pole trailer connectors. I have more than one of these on each bike - use them for GPS and other connections. I use them for my heated jacket too, and all of my several battery chargers have two pole plugs.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 11-08-2012 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Typos
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    I believe their called DIN plugs very common in other parts of the world, as Paul says they are a more secure plug

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    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslow View Post
    I need to either buy BMW style male ends for my stuff or put different outlets on the bike.
    Or buy an adapter.

    http://www.powerlet.com/shop-by-prod...-cables/PWRCBL
    Kent Christensen
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    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t6pilot View Post
    I believe their called DIN plugs very common in other parts of the world, as Paul says they are a more secure plug
    John Deere has used them for years.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    I got this BMW->battery charger plug from Battery Mart when I purchased my latest battery: http://batteries.batterymart.com/sea...rcycle+adapter

    Very easy to hook up my bike to a battery tender charger.

  9. #9
    Registered User cehlbeck's Avatar
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    Mike,
    There's a similar discussion going on over at bmwlt.com too! It seems it's a more reliable connection than our cigarette lighter style, are pretty much the standard in Europe where we all know our bikes are made, are also used in Australia. Blah...blah. They're also used on John Deere tractors!

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  10. #10
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    You have to look at the history of the things. In Europe the DIN socket was designed to be used as an electrical connection. In the U.S. cars had cigarette lighters used for lighting cigarettes and cigars, and for burning fingers of inquisitive little kids.

    Somewhere along the line somebody decided that the unused lighter could be tossed in the glove box, and the socket could be used to power things like really bright torch lights and little air pumps. Soon lots of 12v applications evolved for the lowly lighter socket.

    Later, sockets with just a little metal center and without the grabber contacts for a lighter became pretty common.

    Through all of this nobody really made the U.S. style socket as secure and slip-proof as the European DIN connectors. The US sockets rely on the center pin staying in contact, while the DIN connectors have two parallel contacts that grab and hold the center contact.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  11. #11
    Registered User easy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslow View Post
    Why is the BMW style plug better than the normal 'American' style outlet. Or is it? I need to either buy BMW style male ends for my stuff or put different outlets on the bike.
    Es ist mir egal, or as they say in France Vive la diff?®rence.

    The difference does not start there, it begins there. The use of metric measurements is another difference, something the rest of the civilized world does (including the American scientific community - and interestingly enough the gangland dudes that use 9 mms.)

    The plug is widely used in Europe.

    E.
    Last edited by Easy; 11-09-2012 at 04:24 AM.

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    I have never had a "BMW" plug fail. I can't say the same for the cigarette lighter type plugs. I have also never had an SAE connector fail.
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

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    The BMW DIN socket does fail (corrosion and lack of contact).
    JWMcDonald
    2003 R1150RS (current) / 1978 R80/7 (prior)
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  14. #14
    Registered User moot's Avatar
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    The Powerlet (BMW style) plug is designed and manufactured to specific standards and tolerances published by the International Standards Organization (ISO). As I understand it, there is no controlling standard for the US cigar lighter power outlet and while they are all close to one another, there are actually variations in design and size. Due to the ISO uniformity and design, Powerlet plugs stay tighter, make better connections, have less tendency to vibrate loose and are more water resistant. And that is the answer to "Why".

  15. #15
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moot View Post
    The Powerlet (BMW style) plug is designed and manufactured to specific standards and tolerances published by the International Standards Organization (ISO). As I understand it, there is no controlling standard for the US cigar lighter power outlet and while they are all close to one another, there are actually variations in design and size. Due to the ISO uniformity and design, Powerlet plugs stay tighter, make better connections, have less tendency to vibrate loose and are more water resistant. And that is the answer to "Why".
    In addition, the Powerlet style plug has become a motorcycle industry standard due to the weather and vibration resistance. Triumph, Ducati, and Victory use them among others.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

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