XM antenna installation complete

I finally finished mounting the GXM30 XM antenna/receeiver for my garmin 2730 gps. I wanted it to be out of sight, and yet in a position where I would get a minimum of signal dropouts.

I picked the trunk. For a trial run, I used blue painters tape to cover the center top of the trunk and then taped the antenna there. Rode around a bit to be sure that location was going to work and it worked fine. 3 full bars and no dropouts – that’s the place.

I got some industrial strength velcro and put the fuzzy part on the inner trunk lid. I cut a circle out of the sticky part and put it on top of the gxm30 “puck”. Pushed it together and twisted a bit, but decided the wire needed to exit to the side rather than the front. Pulling it loose was not easy – this won’t come loose any time soon. Now the wire exits towards the right side of the bike.

Drilled a hole through the trunk in the front center, about 3/4 inch down from the top. In that location the lip of the lid will cover the hole and should prevent water entering the trunk. Because of the lid’s proximity, I used the flutes of a drill bit to make an “angled” hole so the I could route the wire from right to left and by doing that prevent a sharp bend. Once in place I covered both sides of the hole with closed cell foam weatherstripping to seal it back up.

My garmin 2730 came with an extension for the antenna, so I wrapped the connection with vinyl tape to keep water out and ran it along the left side of the frame. because the plug is larger than the cable, I wound up running it down by the alternator under the left side cover. There is a cable tie I loosened to get the connector through and then retightened it. The wire then runs up, behind the wiring harness, up past the left glovebox, and out by the triple tree. I removed the top shelter to get this wire routed properly.

There are three wires to the gps – power in, xm antenna in, and audio out. The audio out is a special unit I had Electrical Connection make for me, it is a ground loop isolator with the 3.5mm plug on a 36″ wire and the other end plugs into the aux input under the left glovebox. The factory wire is only 12″ long and really only works inside the glovebox. With the longer wire I can reach the gps and not worry about pulling it too tight during full-lock turns. I could have used a headphone extension cable but since this will get wet if it rains I decided the fewer connections the better.

I need to cover the three wires with spiral loom to make it neater, but the install is clean.

Front fender extension version 2

Well, my neoprene front fender extension on the Goldwing didn’t work so well – somehow it rubbed the front tire and that pulled it up between the fender and the tire. I heard the squealing and felt the odd vibration in the handlebars and stopped quickly. It was obvious that it was going to have to be removed, so I got out the tools and did just that. Crap.

When I got home from the ride, I emailed cyclemed from the GL1800 forums and ordered a fender extension from him. He shipped it out on Monday and I got it on Thursday. I removed the rear section of the front fender and matched up the extension so that I could rough up the mating areas for the ABS cement. Since I had already drilled holes for the neoprene extension, I covered them with blue tape so that the ABS cement didn’t get on the outside of the fender. Grabbed a couple of clamps and put the ABS cement on boths parts and pressed them together. Checked the alignment (quickly, as you don’t have much time) and then clamped the sides to hold it all in place. Let it sit for a few hours and then took the clamps off and drilled out the holes. I re-used the bolts, washers, and nuts but I cut the bolts down to the minimum necessary length before tightening them up. I reinstalled it and it looks nice, fits closely to the tire but not too closely.

I certainly hope this extension works better than my attempt.

UPDATE 17 July: It does work better. I just got back from a 1000+ mile ride and it worked great. Unfortunately I can attest that it works well in a deluge although I had no intention of testing it in those conditions. I guess that’s just part of biking.

QD gps mount

I received a QD gps mount from Mounting Innovations and it works very well. One of the annoyances with the RAM mount system is that to remove the gps you must loosen the clamp. When you do that you lose the positioning that you so carefully adjusted last time. I’ve wired power and audio to be easily unhooked when I need to remove the gps, but I was still having to readjust the gps after remounting it each time.

I found the QD bracket and ordered one with a universal bracket. The bracket moves the RAM ball to the bottom which does allow for more flexibility in positioning and once it is set you’re ready to go. Now, when you remove the gps you simply flip the safety catch and open the lever. The gps comes off and the mount itself stays in position. When it’s time to go, just hook the back part of the mount and rotate down a bit, that releases the lever back to the “secured” position. Flip the safety catch and you’re ready to go. No more readjusting after every stop.

UPDATE 17 July: I’ve gone back to the center RAM mount after installing the QD bracket. Since it relocates the RAM ball to the bottom of the gps instead of the back, the short arm works well and seems to cut down on vibration. In my line of sight, the gps now pretty much covers up the lcd, which is OK, as you typically don’t really need it a lot. The gps has a clock and I don’t look too much at the odometer or tripmeters except when stopped. Now I have to work out the routing for the 3 wires (power, XM antenna, and stereo audio out) so it is neater.

On the 1000+ mile trip, the QD mount worked flawlessly, making it simple to put the gps away and out of sight. When saddling up again, there was no need to fiddle with the mount, just click, flip the safety, plug in, and go.

Traxxion fork brace for the GW

I received a fork brace from Traxxion Dynamics. The Goldwing front suspension is in need of some help, especially if you are a rider that pushes the envelope and demands sure-footed handling. The brace is very well made and finished, and fits perfectly around the top of the sliders. It is straight across between the forks, and does not interfere with the front section of the front fender. The factory fork cover does not fit over the brace, and I used a dremel tool on mine to cut the factory one into two pieces to make it fit. When I’m satisfied with the fit, I will have them painted black and that will be that.


That’s an odd collection of characters, but the meaning is perhaps equally odd in the motorcycle world. When it seems like every motorcycle owner wants to add more chrome goodies to their bikes, LIMNCS members are moving in the opposite direction.

Less Is More No Chrome Society members are dedicated to erasing the chrome fetish that some bikers have and that accessory manufacturers are only too happy to satisfy. I’ve painted the caliper covers on the Goldwing black, and will do the same to the engine maintenance covers and the lower front cowling as well. Take a look in the Goldwing photo gallery, especially the first picture and the last one. There you will see a LIMNCS member at work.