Nuvi 650 and 12V power options


I've got a Nuvi 650 that has served me well enough in my truck for several cross country and many local excursions, all using the OEM suction mount and 12V cable.

I have recently rekindled my interest in motorcycles and have been doing some trips. I may get either a 500 or a Zumo in the future, but would rather just use this one for now. I've made a "dash" and plan to order a secure mount from "Ram Mounts". But I'm still left with figuring out how to provide power to the unit on long trips.

I've already gathered most of the stuff to run a dedicated power circuit to the new "dash" to supply the GPS, my cell phone (BT), and com systems. But to get power to the (current) GPS, it seems I have 2 options. Buying/using a Garmin mount like I use in my truck and modifying it to fit (no suction cup), or a USB power supply. The latter seems better since I don't really trust the Garmin unit on a bike.

So, in looking for options, I run across this forum (and others) where I see mention of problems with using a generic 12V/USB power supply adapter. It seems that some just put the unit into "data" mode with no charging?

Is this true, and if so, where can I find one that will work for decent money? Ideally, I would prefer a "pig tail" unit as I don't want 6' of coiled wire and a big fit plug down in the fairings.

Are there better ideas that I am missing?

And, now to figure out how to get some of these POIs loaded, sounds like a nice site!

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer...

Good morning, It would be

Good morning,

It would be nice if the 12 volt to 5 volt transformer was located inside the GPS itself, so you could use a simple pigtail, but it's not. It's in the fat plug. I'd like to be able to power my 660 from a location other than the cigarette lighter, but I haven't figured it out yet.

As for your POI's, make sure to download Garmin's POI loader, if you haven't already done so. The link's below:

Welcome to the site!


Power socket

BadDog wrote:

But I'm still left with figuring out how to provide power to the unit on long trips.

Install a 12 V. cigarette lighter style power jack and use the original cord. You may find the power jack useful for other low power things in the future too.

Be careful of too many "dashboard" distractions while riding. While your GPS might plot a route the the nearest hospital, it won't actually GET you there !!!

I take mine along but it stays in my pocket or bag, turned off most of the time. The battery is more than adequate for getting me "found" again......not that I would ever get "lost" mind you !!

Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

Gilsson Cable


Here's a solution for you. Get the RAM mount system for your current GPS. In the future all you'll have to get is the cradle portion to fit another make/model. Buy the Gilsson power cable ( )

That cable can be connected to any power source inside your headlight bucket or an accessory connection on your bike. The cable steps battery power down to the 5V your Nuvi needs.

I've done the above with several generations of Garmin units from a GPSIII to StreetPilot to Nuvi. The biggest decision you'll have to make is whether you want to connect to switched or unswitched power.


Nuvi 760 & 660, Streetpilot, GPS III, GPS 10X

Miki: Thanks. I found the

Miki: Thanks. I found the POI downloader, and a selection of AZ based files, but haven't used it yet.

ka1167: I plan to install *1* cig adapter "just in case". But didn't want to run everything off of a row of them. And I agree on the distractions. But the main reason I want the GPS is not (just) for "getting lost", but so that I can KEEP my attention on the road. Too many times I've had to keep my attention trying to find the road sign, or see around some mini-van, or came up on it too soon and find myself 3 lanes away. Missing a turn and having to make a loop or u-turn is just that many more exposures to "cagers" distracted by their own cell phones, so accurate navigation while keeping my head down is a plus. Likewise on the cell phone. With my com system "paired" in, I can take or reject calls without having to lift a finger. And just like in the car, I never carry on conversations, but it's nice to take a quick call (ended ASAP) once in a while. And the MP3 is for my wife, I *never* listen on the bike, I need to hear what's going on around me. And so on.

But you are VERY right! Distractions on a bike are to be avoided, but even though this initially seems contradictory, my aim is to *reduce* distractions and opportunities for catastrophic events.

Gadgetjq: That's EXACTLY what I was looking for, and how I plan to proceed. Thanks! Sounds like you've been here before...

Data mode

Oh, and I did find/try a 110V to USB charger from a cell phone. And, I did confirm that it put the GPS into "data mode". In fact, I couldn't get it OUT of data mode until I actually plugged it into the computer on a regular USB cable. Putting it on the Garmin power supply didn't do anything, and I couldn't even turn it off! I was starting to get a bit worried. Anyway, good to have confirmation that the Gilsson works correctly as a power supply.

Just wanted to confirm that some power supplies won't work at all if you also need to use it for navigation, and may even leave it stranded in data mode! Not good if you have no available computer to plug it into.