Nomad Mod's

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BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

BackOFF XP Brake Light Modulator by Signal Dynamics

When I installed my BackOFF XP brake light modulator, my goal was to install this unit without cutting a single wire on the bike. Because the Nomad has both bullet connectors and hot accessory leads under the seat, I was able to create a 100% plug and play unit. I also changed one aspect of the BackOFF XP. This unit's directions asks you to select a flash pattern and wire it up to fit that bill. I found this to be unacceptable and wanted the choice, so integrating a DPST toggle switch has now given me the option of being able to change my brake light flash pattern with the flick of a switch. The unit has been on the bike for over a year now and is working better then I hoped. I also took advantage of the emergency flasher option that is available on the BackOFF XP unit. 

Unfortunately, the Nomad does not have 4-way flashers like my VN750 does... So, the BackOFF XP gives me that option for the rear brake lights which is better then nothing. I attached a simple SPST toggle switch to the yellow wire and then ran it to a male bullet connector which plugged into a always hot accessory plug I found under the seat.  It works like a champ!!!

I used a strip of double sided tape and attached the BO-XP module to a wall in my toolbox compartment.  The control switch is also located in the tool compartment and can be switched between modes with little fuss.  But with this unit on the bike for over a year now, I've found I like the 5-quick flash mode the best.

Because I used stock bullet connectors, which I removed the plastic shielding and crimped and then soldered, this unit plugs right into my harness without having to cut a single wire and can be removed in under 5 minutes from the bike with no lasting effects.


The BackOFF XP mounted to the inside of the tool box case.  I cut two holes in the cover.  One for the BackOFF module and one for the wiring for the power distribution box.

The wiring for the BackOFF XP as it exits the toolbox case.  The toggle to the right is the control switch for flashing modes.  This switch will loop back into the toolbox.  The yellow wire is leading to a toggle switch which is located on the handlebars.  This switch will control the emergency brake light flasher feature that the BackOFF XP offers.

Not a single cut wire in the BackOFF XP installation.

The BackOFF XP module mounted and functional.

BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

Relay activated Accessory Power Block

I created a relay activated fused accessory panel so that I could add accessories to the bike without having to tap into anything.  This panel is activated by the ignition system and only is powered up when the bikes ignition key is turned into the on position.  Now, when I want to add an accessory to the bike, all I have to do is solder on some female blade connectors and figure out what size fuse I want to use.  Plug the accessory into the panel and activate the positive tap with the fuse and I'm ready to go.  I chose to have this box activated by the ignition system so that I would not leave an accessory on when not needed and drain my battery.

I used a simple positive / negative fused relay panel and a 30A automotive DC relay and soldered the wire I needed.  I used 10 gauge wire for the battery and ground wires.  The relay is attached to the distribution panel.

There are companies that offer something similar to what I created here, but they were either too expensive or they were lacking.  Electrical Connections has a one, but they want $49.99 for it and it doesn't even come with a ground block.  Rivco has something similar, but theirs is not relay activated.  Mine does everything I want it to do and it didn't cost me anywhere near as much as what is out there premade.

Every connection is crimped and then soldered with a layer of electrical protector to prevent corrosion.  This puppy is built to last...  The battery cables are 12" long, so I have room in the future if I want to move the unit and the switch wire for the relay has a male and female bullet connector so I can leap-frog it into the bikes power system without cutting any wires.  On my 2002 Kawasaki NomadFI, I will be tapping into the rear running lights.

I've bench tested this unit and it passes all tests.  It activates when the switch wire is energized and has absolutely no parasitic drain.  It can carry up to 30 amps, which is more then I need and because a fuse will be used to activate the positive terminals that are needed, I can run different accessories and not have to worry about burning anything out or overloading a new toy.

Switch Wire

10 gauge battery wires

The power distribution box in place. 

The power distribution box is installed in the toolbox under the left side-cover.  It is bolted directly to the removable tool case housing and still is 100% functional.  The actual Kawasaki OEM tools are in place and can be accessed just as easily as before.

 I've made most of the accessory wires a little longer in case I get a new bike in the future.  The positive main cable is fused at the battery with a 30A ATO fuse in a weather-proof fuse-holder.  

The toolbox might look like it is a rat's nest of wires, but there is a logic in the layout.  By having everything running to a central power distribution box, I've avoided having to hack into the wiring harness to get power and have the ability to add electrical accessories with little or no fuss. 

I even have my Battery Tender hook-up housed out of the way in the tool-box.

BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

Handlebar Mounted Switch Box

I needed a switch box that could house the controls for my Signal Dynamics Diamond Star headlight Modulator, the switch for the emergency flasher option on the BackOFF XP module and the panel mounted LED for the Signal Dynamics Heads Up Voltage Monitor.  

JC Whitney sold just the creature

The right switch is for the DSHM.  The left switch (yellow) is for the emergency brake light flasher and the LED is my voltage monitor.  The whole set-up is hidden by my Hoppe Industries Radio King stereo but is still visible and accessible to the rider.

A little chrome wire-loom hides the wiring to the switch quite nicely.

BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

Diamond Star Headlight Monitor by Signal Dynamics

I'm a big believer in safety.  Cars don't see motorcycles and with the invention of the daylight running lamps that so many new cars come equipped with, some drivers now tune the single headlamp of a motorcycle out of their field of vision.  A modulating headlamp catches their attention.  There are a few companies out there that make headlight modulators.  My favorite is Signal Dynamics.  Here is how I installed my Diamond Star Headlight Modulator, p/n: 1014

Instead of cutting into the wiring harness in the headlight bucket, I chose to find a H4 "Plug-n-Play" extension plug that I cut and soldered the DSHM into.  I found mine on eBay.

An added bonus to this is that the H4 plug I used is for high-temperature applications which mean that my 130w high beam will not damage the plug.

By following the directions provided with the DSHM and identifying the correct wires on the extension, I had the DSHM and the extension plug wired up in under 30 minutes.

I routed the sensor and tucked it under the light-bar pointing down with a wire-tie securing it in place.

The DSHM module is located behind the headlight under the triple-tree attached to the inside of the chrome backplate cover.

The DSHM installed and threaded through.  Not a single wire has been cut for this installation

A wire tie to keep the wires under control and we are ready to put the headlight back on the bike.

The switch on the left is the on/off switch for the DSHM

Signal Dynamics has a new Diamond Star Headlight Modulator model out.  The p/n# 1013.  I'm thinking about if I want to purchase this one for my Nomad.


I was at a motorcycle shop open house and they had a PIAA H4 GT-X (60/55W=135/125W) bulb at a silent auction table.  From what I can gather, this bulb retails at $49.99 on the PIAA website (See the bulb on the PIAA website here). I won it for $2.00 (yes - two dollars) and figured that for $2, I want to try it.

I had heard I've heard real good things about PIAA products and the current 80/120W set-up that I was running with the rainbow strobe filter was causing cars to pull over thinking I'm a cop. The rainbow strobe filter gives the bulb a red/yellow/blue glow and the bulb is flashing with the headlight modulator, so some of the less intelligent or guilty-of-something drivers were pulling over. I went with running the new PIAA bulb without the rainbow strobe filter.

Well, I took the 100/80W bulb out of the Nomad along with the rainbow strobe filter and replaced them with the PIAA bulb. Took it for a ride at 9pm and here are my impressions...


I'm impressed. The light is clear and crisp. The claim that this 60/55W bulb is as bright as a 135/125W is pretty close to accurate. The whole road is lit up by a bright white light when the high beam is on and the low beam is a light purple color in the housing but still shows up pretty good at night. During the day, the modulator makes this bulb a good attention getter.
As I said, I'm impressed. But this uber-white light sure makes my spots look dingy yellow. I'll have to look into finding whiter light bulbs for the spots.


For a amperage challenged bike like the VN750, I would recommend this PIAA bulb rather then upping the wattage with a higher watt bulb. For a bike with a clear plastic headlight lens like my Nomad, the bulb is nothing short of awesome.

I was skeptical on the claims on this bulb's package and website, but right now I'm a believer... I'll have to figure out how to get another one for my VN750 without paying the huge retail price...

BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

Heads Up Voltage Monitor by Signal Dynamics

I like to know what is going on with my electrical system.  I have the Kury Akyn Voltage monitor on my VN750 and like it, but found it to be a little distracting at night.  I decided to try the Heads Up Voltage Monitor by Signal Dynamics.  The SD unit cost less then the KA unit and I would be able to hide it easer.

I drilled a 1/4" hole in the switch box that I mounted on my handlebars and mounted the LED in the switch box.  This makes the LED visible but not obnoxious.

At a glance, I can see the condition of my charging system from a single LED.

From personal experience with a stator failure on my VN750, the heads up warning can be the difference between having the bike die at a gas station or on the side of the road.  

BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

Tunes on the Nomad

I love having my tunes on my motorcycle.  For the Nomad, I wanted something more then the simple amplified speakers I had on the VN750.  For the RedDog, I went with a Hoppe Industries Radio King made for the Nomad 1500 series.  I also created a mount for my Sirius Satellite Radio and ran power from my relay box.


100 Watt weatherproof heavy duty Audiovox radio.  10 FM presets and 5 AM presets, also includes all six weather band channels.


Clock function and AA battery backup for memory, saves clock time and station presets when bike ignition is turned off.


Durable fiberglass case with attractive satin black painted finish.


Hidden soft antenna runs down along the front brake cable for a clean appearance.

The Sirius radio on it's mount.  This is a Sirius Starmate-3 mounted on a universal dock.

The radio is attached to the bike using parts from a universal motorcycle mount that I purchased for the radio.  I was not satisfied with the plastic mounting arm, so I fabricated an aluminum mount that is slightly longer and puts the radio higher then the original mount.  The mount is attached to the clutch reservoir mounts.

I have the 5VDC power supply plugged into the power distribution box I made with a 6' extension wire running to the handlebars.  I split off this plug to supply power to the Mio C230 GPS that is installed on the bike.

The Sirius Starmate-3 satellite radio transmits to the Audiovox radio through the built-in FM transmitter.

If we are on a ride together and you want to hear what I'm listening to, tune your radio to 88.5FM

This is the SIRPMK1 Motorcycle mount kit that I purchased.  TSS-Radio sells it for $69.99 but it can be found on eBay for less money from time to time. 

Make sure it includes the universal docking cradle as you don't want to be switching your original cradle back and forth

The satellite radio mount is quite simple.  I did not like the plastic mounting arm as I felt it was flimsy, so I made one out of 1/8" aluminum and made it a little longer and higher then the original one.  The nice thing about this kit is it comes with a new universal mounting cradle, a short wired antenna, two different antenna shelves, a 5/12vdc power supply and pretty much everything you will need to attach a Sirius radio to your motorcycle.  It is a pretty good deal...

BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

Mio C230 GPS on my Nomad

Being a tech-geek, I love gadgets.  Being able to add gadgets to my Nomad is one of my passions.  So, my getting a GPS was only a matter of time.  Last January, I found a neat little GPS by Mio.  The Mio C230 is a bargain basement GPS but it has Text-To-Speech, which means that it will say the actual street names.  That is COOL!!!  I purchased this unit for $150 from Radio Shack and started going online to find out how to hack it's programming to make it better.

One thing to keep in mind if you are thinking of getting a Mio C230.  It is NOT a Garmin...  If you want the features that the Garmin's have, then don't get this unit as it is a low end unit that can be made to act like a Garmin but will never be an actual Garmin GPS.



My Mio C230 mounted on the motorcycle

Now, if you do your research and find that this unit is for you, then I highly recommend checking out the C230 Wordpress Blog as it has some great hack-programs in it to make this unit more user friendly.  If you find it as useful as I have, please make a donation to Dan's Coffee Fund as he has spent a lot of time improving the programming of the Mio C230.

I have my Mio C230 unlocked (hacked) with the Mio 3.3Lite "upgrade".  This allows me to switch off the GPS receiver while still planning a route, save routes, export track logs, save rides and access the route management tools.  IMHO, this is the best upgrade as it leaves out the junk that I don't want.  Since then, I have added two more Text-To-Speech voices and upgraded my maps with new ones that have a greater number of Points of Interests (POI's) including every Kawasaki dealer in the Midwest from Tennessee to Canada.

When modifying your GPS, read the instructions and be 100% confident in your abilities.  Failure to follow the instructions could result in your "bricking" your unit.

Since nobody makes a motorcycle GPS mount for the Mio C230 (or any other Mio for that matter), I took my GPS to the motorcycle show last February and spoke with the guys at the Cycle Gadgets booth.  The young man I dealt with looked at what I wanted to do and recommended the Ram PD-2 Universal PDA mount.  This mount comes with three different size mounting claws and is spring loaded to hold the PDA or GPS in place.  It looked like the best bet and the price was right.  He hooked me up with the mount and all the accessories to fit it to the bike for under $50. 

I was totally impressed by the Cycle Gadgets crew and would recommend them to anyone...

Ram PD-2 Universal PDA mount.

The only thing that I didn't like about this mount was there was nothing stopping the GPS from coming out the sides.

I ended up taking some L shaped aluminum, cutting two pieces to the right size, drilling them  and powder-coating them satin black. 

I bolted the side brackets to the Ram PD-2 and the GPS fits perfectly with no movement whatsoever.

I tapped into the power for the Sirius radio to power the GPS.  Both units require 5vdc and the Sirius power supply can handle the amperage draw for both devices with power to spare.  I took a mini-USB cable, cut the big USB plug off, identified the Red and Black power wires and soldered them on to a pig-tail to plug into the universal adapter-plug set-up that I have for the Sirius unit.

Close-up of the Ram mounting system I'm using.  This unit is solid and secure.  It will not vibrate out of place and is strong enough to handle the stress of the road. 

I strongly recommend Ram mounts for these types of applications.

The Sirius sat radio and the Mio GPS mounted and powered up on the bike.  Ready for that road trip now...

BackOFF XP  Dist Panel  Switchbox  DSH Modulator  PIAA Headlight  Volt Meter  Bike Tunes  Mio C230 GPS

This page is always under construction and it will be added to as I get the parts installed on the Nomad.

Nomad Mod's LED Tail Lights VN750 Tank Bib V&H Dual Baggers VN750 Facelift Fork Seals RR Relo VN750 Air Horns DSHL Mod KA Volt Meter LED Brake Light Radiator Cover Luggage Rack VN750 Tunes


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Page created and maintained by Evan "The Bulldog" Breyn
Last update: 10/07/2012

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Evan Breyn