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Installation and equipment list for "Casper"

KD6FHN, 2004 Honda Gold Wing Modifications and Auxiliary Equipment For Iron Butt Rides.
Submitted Jan 27th, 2004, updated March 2010

This is what I have on Casper now, as such, Casper is set up to do multiple days of 1000 miles each. I am an Iron Butt Rider. Last summer (2004) in 4 1/2 months, I put 42,000 miles on Casper. 

Equipment List;

Honda CB
Honda Antenna Kit
Muth signal mirrors
Honda fog/driving lights for the lower cowling. You might want to check the newer ones from The Electrical Connection.
55Watt PIAA bulbs for the lower driving/fog lights, from The Electrical Connection.
Bushtec Long Front Fender Extension
Baker Built foot protectors, to keep water off your feet in the rain.
Baker Built leg protectors, to keep the wind and rain off your legs.
Stock Honda windshield on the 1800 Gold Wing
3"convex mirrors for the seeing right next to you. 
Kuryakyn ISO Handlebar grips.
PIAA Model 910-110 Watt driving lights ordered from < >
Ron Smith brackets for the PIAA 910 driving lights. Lights mount directly right under the mirrors.
Hopnel tank bag with map holder, top box and side bags. For holding snacks and the side bags hold 2-26 oz water bottles. 
Utopia backrest
1/2 inch tubular trunk rack, be sure to get the Stainless Steel plates to put under the rear legs of the trunk rack, from Ray
Rear Spoiler for trunk
Back off lights for rear spoiler "Flashers"
Honda 8.5 inch (short) turn down exhaust extensions
Bushtec GW 1800 "Deluxe" trailer hitch with mud flap built in. This trailer hitch has the long extension straps that connect the back of the trailer hitch to the upper frame under the seat, so the upper frame carries all the weight on the trailer hitch. 
Coolant reserve tank cover, this is an absolute must
Motorola Car Kit and Motorola Cell Phone
Garmin Street Pilot 2650 and Garmin Nuvi 660
Valentine One Radar Detector with volume control
Kenwood TM742A Tri-Band, 2m/220/440 ham radio
Kenwood TM-D700A Dual-Band, 2m/440 to be used in conjunction with the Garmin SP lll for APRS. (Automatic Position Reporting System)
2 home made buss bars under the seat, one switched, one hot all the time, so that I can attach all the electronics without having to put all those connectors on the battery poles. 
Passenger Intercom control unit
The motorcycle is pure white and we can it Casper. 
Casper has the MARC Logos on both side saddle bag covers.
Casper and all the Gold Wings (5) I have ever owned all had nearly 200,000 miles on them and none of them have ever had other then a stock seat on them. 

If you have any questions or need advise about what or how to install some of your options, please Contact Ray.   

Ham Radio Installation for "Casper"

Kenwood TM-700A Mounted in trunk

Picture 1:  This is the picture of the Kenwood TM-700A mounted on the right inside of the trunk that is used only on 2 meters for APRS. This picture is to show you how you can mount the radio up on the inside of the trunk and keep it out of the way and it gets plenty of air up there to stay cool. The control head is mounted there on the right inside of the trunk out of the way because we never have to touch it for any reason. It  just beacons the APRS signal every 2 minutes on 10 watts of power any time the key is on. The picture shows how we use a very thin aluminum strap to hold it in place with to small self taping metal screws, one at the top and one at the bottom. What you don't see is the Radio Shack Supper Hook & Loop (industrial velcro) that holds it in place against the inside of the trunk while we put the aluminum strap on. We tried to use the Velcro / hook and loop alone, but when the weather got real hot going through AZ it came unstuck and the radio fell into the trunk bottom. That KW TM-700A has been in that position for about 4 years without any problems. At first the detachable control head was up on the right handlebar, but after about 1 year the circuit board inside of the control head disintegrated and had to be replaced. That is why the control head is now mounted in the trunk where it doesn't get all the vibration that it did on the handlebars.


Kenwood TM-742A in Compartment of GL1800

Picture 2:  This picture shows the Kenwood TM-742A Tri Bander 2m/220/440 in the compartment in the bottom of the Gold Wing 1800 trunk. The 742 sits on top of the stock Honda Gold Wing CB radio with a sheet of plastic between them. The false bottom closes easily right over the ham radio so that both the CB and the Kenwood are down under the trunk floor mat and out of sight. There are no holes drilled into that compartment for cooling. There is however 2 holes drilled forward into the area under the passenger seat to run the power wires, coax and control head wires through. We used a 1 inch hole saw to go through that front area of the trunk. When drilling from the trunk into the area under the passenger seat with the hole saw we had to put a block of wood in the area where the hole saw was going to come through because of the large roll of cables that are right were the hole saw comes through. That Kenwood 742 has been in that hole in the bottom of the trunk from the week we brought Casper home in Jan. 2004 with no problems what so ever. That's for 180,000 miles. 


Ground Strap

Ground Strap

Picture 3 and 4:  These 2 pictures show how we run the braided copper ground strap from the tubular rack on top of the trunk to the frame. The strap is bolted to the right front leg bolt of the trunk rack first and then run down behind the passenger back rest and seat to the big bolt on the right side of the frame under the passenger seat. To make the installation look a little cleaner we also put shrink rap over it. If you run the copper grounding strap this way, be sure the trunk is open when you are cutting the strap to length. Once cut to length, we then put the proper sized ring tongue terminals on each end of the strap and then crimp and solder them. I don't know how many times guys have bolted the strap to the frame and then opened the trunk to find out it wouldn't open all the way because they had cut the copper strap too short. It is better to leave 6 inches of slack in that braided copper strap then to cut it short because the trunk can't open if the copper strap is too short. Ask me how we know this.


Rider view of installations

Picture 5:  This picture is taken from the riders seat and what you see is all the electronic equipment that is mounted on the handlebars and on the fairing to the rear of the ignition key. From left to right you are looking at the Garmin 660 GPS, under that is the control buttons for the cell phone. Up on the dash is the Garmin 2650 that has the NMEA program in it for APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System). That GPS sends the location to the Kenwood TM-700A in the trunk and that radio sends the location out over the antenna on the right side of the trunk rack to digipeaters in the area. Then to the right of that GPS on the right handlebar is the cell phone that is paired to the Motorola H-1000 blue tooth car kit under the rider seat. You can see that in another picture with this group. Next to the cell phone is the VholdR Camcorder (they are actually designed to be mounted on the side of helmets for sky divers, skiers and motorcyclists, but works just fine mounted there on the right handlebar. It has a self contained battery with a 2 hour recording time and has stabilization built in. Really makes for good videos while moving and the sound is outstanding. I can describe what I am seeing and the Camcorder can hear my voice even with the face shield down. To the right and down from the Camcorder is the Valentine One Radar detector. Then down in front of the tank bag is the control head for the Kenwood TM-742A Tri bander, 2m/220/440 ham radio. The Kenwood TM-742 unit itself sets in the bottom hole in the trunk, on top of the stock Honda CB.

The Garmin 2650 on the dash, the cell phone, the Valentine One, the CB, Kenwood Tri band ham radio and AM/FM all feed into the helmet and are prioritized by the Kennedy Cell set. It is a plug and play set up. I have it set up for the cell phone to cancel out everything else when it rings, the radar detector has second priority, then the 2650 GPS and so on down the line. The CB and AM/FM are never used anyway, so they are at the bottom of the priority list of audio input.

Under seat connection

Picture 6:  This picture is looking from front to back of the Gold Wing with the seat and the passenger back rest removed.

It shows how we coil the Comet 3D4M coax behind the passenger seat. We clean the area with alcohol and then stick the little square things that you can run plastic wire ties through to hold the coax in place. That way we never get any feed back from any of the other electronic devices on the motorcycle or from the CB, which once was a problem years ago. We once were told that we could cut down that coax so that we wouldn't have to have so much of it coiled behind the passenger seat. So we cut it down and the very first time we tried to use the CB it knocked out all of the memories on the ham radios on the motorcycle. We tried a little longer coax and it still happened again. After that we just bought all new Comet 3D4M coax and left it like you see it. It has been on the 2004 Gold Wing (Casper) like that for at least 5 years now with no further problems.

 If you look closely on the left side of the picture you can see the flat braided copper strap that is covered with black shrink tubing that is coming down from the right front corner bolt on the trunk rack and anchored to the frame. You can see the red ring tongue terminal that is bolted to the rear frame section bolt on the right side of the frame. (it is on the left side of the picture next to the right side little compartment under the passenger arm rest) We get questions about whether a ham radio antenna needs to be anchored to the frame of the motorcycle. The answer is a definite yes, no matter what the antenna salesmen will tell you. They will work with out being grounded, but they are probably 100% more efficient when they are grounded, even on a car, but especially on a motorcycle. I have been testing antennas for Comet for more then 10 years and get asked that question a lot.

Under seat connections

Picture 7:  This picture is taken from above that area under both the passenger seat and the riders seat. To the far left are 2 of my home made electrical power bars. One is hot all the time and is wired directly to the battery on the positive side. The second one on the left side of the motorcycle and the one you can actually see is the one that comes on when the key is in either the ignition position or turned all the way to the right for the auxiliary position. All of the electronic equipment is grounded to the center cross bar you see between the side rails of the frame just behind the black box in the center of the motorcycle. Just ahead of the black box is the Motorola Car Kit that is rapped in a plastic bag and makes it possible to hear the cell phone in the helmet. All of the wiring is run through spiral plastic conduit to protect the wires. All wires are also labeled at both ends where they come out of the spiral rap. You can't see most of the wiring that runs to all the electronic gear up front because all the wiring is in that plastic spiral wrap and either under or along the side the frame members. Unlike some of the wiring jobs we see when they come to us for help, using the spiral rap and labeling all of the wires where they come out on both ends of the spiral wrap, makes for a very clean and professional installation. Using the spiral wrap also adds the benefit of not having to worry about the wires getting crushed or shorted out. Ask us how we know about that too.

PTT button

Picture 8:  This picture is of the ham radio Waterproof Press To Talk (PTT) Button and the PTT bracket under the left handlebar that we sell and install on all of the installations we do on any Honda Gold Wing. 

Trunk Rack

Picture 9:  This is the picture of the trunk rack on Casper. On the far right in the picture is the Comet CA2X4SR 2m/440 antenna. Just to the right of that is the stock CB antenna (the one slanting back) but it looks like if is coming out of the plastic cap on that antenna mount and ham radio coax fitting. To the right of that is the 1/4 wave 220 antenna that I use around town for the Condor system. In front of that is the Predator 2 dual amber flashing police light that we can legally use while on charity events. Almost every MARC member working charity events out here runs this light. It is unsurpassed at keeping traffic off our backs while protecting bicycles on narrow roads. Cars are afraid to pass until we wave them around us. To the right of the Predator 2 is the Maldol EX-107. Maldol is out of business and was bought by NCG Comet and the antenna is now called the Comet EX-107RB. I use it around the local area for APRS only and because it is short enough to go in and out of the garage safely with out taking it off. It is not a fold over antenna. However most of the Comet antennas are fold over antennas so that you can fold them over to go in and out of the garage or to put a cover on the motorcycle.  

The antenna brackets for both the 1/2 inch tubular and flat racks are available from Ray KD6FHN <> or (949-300-9669). Current paid up MARC members can also order anything that is in the Comet Catalog <> thru Ray and get a discount because he works for Comet at the Dayton HamVention once in awhile and tests some of there proto type antennas for them as well.    

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