Adding a 12 volt power outlet to the Helix

There are three questions that have to be answered: (1) what kind of outlet to use; (2) where to put the outlet; (3) where to connect the wiring?

If you think the Helix Shop Manual is going to be much help -- think again! The wiring diagrams are nearly impossible to read, and tracing a wire's path across the page will drive you nutty in short order. It's easier to just look over the actual wiring, seeking a connector that can be 'pirated' or that is left over from some previous incarnation of this very long-lived scooter.

However, the wiring diagram does give a hint; heavy gauge red wires are "hot primary" wires in nearly every case, so those are a good bet for a source of power for accessories.

The second question is partly esthetics and partly practicality; the outlet, when in use, has to be located where the wiring to the accessory is not in the way of steering or other essential operations. Locating the outlet so that it opens upward will invite rain infiltration, even if it is said to be "weatherproof."

You can't really answer the 3rd question until you get into the guts of the scooter, then it's a matter of keeping the wiring as short and secure as feasible.

Automobile accessory power outlet (Left) There's a typical "cigarette lighter" power outlet. The outer shell should unscrew easily (this one did NOT!) and the mounting bracket can be used or left in place as a washer if the outlet is mounted in a panel, as I did here.

(Right) I decided to mount the outlet in the face of the "maintenance panel." Theoretically, this panel is easy to remove (see page 13-4.) HA! Removing the 3 screws is easy; releasing the "tabs" (which you cannot see) and "raising" this panel while clearing the handlebars and the parking brake release (the rectangular hole) is VERY frustrating - - - and wait until you try to put it back together!

 

Helix maintenance panel
Tapered reamer Since I did not have a 7/8" boring bit (required for sliding the body of the outlet in place) I drilled a small hole and used this "all-sixteenths" reamer (left) to enlarge it - - slowly and carefully!
(Right) The power outlet installed easily; but be absolutely certain that it will fit in the space behind the panel -- before you drill the first hole! Accessory power outlet
Power outlet back side (Left) Measure, and actually put the device in place. To be certain that there is plenty of clearance for everything. Do this BEFORE drilling or cutting anything!

(Right) Here you see why this is called a "maintenance" panel. That's the radiator coolant cap! And the side light bulbs can only be replaced by removing this panel.

Leave some slack in the power outlet wiring so that you can remove this panel if necessary, without disconnecting the outlet's wires.

Also, swing the handlebars from lock-to-lock to be sure that the new wiring is not going to be pinched or interfere in any way. Uuummmm - you DO have the scoot on the center stand?

Power ooutlet installation location
Unused wiring socket in Helix harness

(Left) Unless your Helix has the rarely-installed radio and amp., this socket will be unused. You may be able to find a plug somewhere (try your local Honda powersports dealer) or you can make a "cheater" as I did.

 

This socket is powered from the "Accessory" fuse in the panel, which is only 5 amperes -- I'd think a 7.5 amp or even 10 amp fuse would be safe, if you mean to use the power outlet for other accessories, perhaps only for short-term uses however.

Plug

Ground terminal

This spade lug (above) was clipped and used as a "cheater" plug into the vacant accessory socket above. It is a perfect fit.
The ring terminal above was cut open to allow installation without completely removing the bolt. This prevents losing a hard-to-reach nut below the bracket.
(Right) The new wiring is routed safely away from the steering (the black ground wire final position is to the right of the radiator filling cap.) The ground wire is clamped under the bolt holding the support bracket for the radiator filler; it was checked for continuity to ground before making the connection; with these plastic fairing scooters, you can't assume that things are integral with the metal frame.

The Maintenance Cover is ready to re-install. This turned out to be the worst part of the project!
Wires -- routing
Testing later showed that the installation was satisfactory. The GPS's power plug does not extend far enough to cause a problem with the driver's right knee. Even when getting on and off the scooter, this is no problem.

More than 200 miles later: The cheater plug is still in place and working OK -- but my little air compressor DID blow the 5 amp fuse; I haven't tried it with the 7.5 amp in place as yet. I do suggest that you seek a "high quality" power socket rather than relying on the cheap stuff.
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