I’ve had GPS systems on bikes for many years now, and wouldn’t dream of touring without one. It happens I was due for a new one about the time I bought the Multistrada, and I decided to go with the Ducati-branded SatNav unit, which is a Garmin Zumo 390 with a few minor enhancements.
The Ducati-branded unit is about $100 more than buying the Zumo 390 directly from an online retailer. For the extra $100 you get
- The sexy and valuable Ducati name on the plate, and a Ducati startup logo on the power-on splash screen.
- GPS pre-loaded with locations of Ducati dealers.
- A custom power cable with an installed connector that directly plugs into the GPS power connector in the Multistrada.
I know, it’s probably not worth the price premium, but the sexy Ducati logo is important. Also I had some Ducati dealer rebate credits crying out to be spent.
The GPS comes with hardware to mount using a RAM-style gimbal mount on the handlebars. I’ve had RAM mounts on other bikes and they work well, although they are a bit bulky and unsightly. For this bike, I decided, instead, to use a GadgetGuy GPS mount that I had seen on a friend’s bike. This is a very clever design, compact and stable, that mounts onto the clamp holding the handlebars in place.
Here’s the install process:
I am not a mechanic or a representative of Ducati or anything else official. This page is only my notes on doing this procedure myself. Although I believe what I have documented here is correct, I make no promises and you do this at your own risk.
- 4 mm Hex Wrench to remove the body panel covering the power connector.
- 6 mm Hex Wrench for the socket screws tightening the handlebar clamps.
- 3/16″ imperial-sized Hex key that came with the GadgetGuy mount, for the GadgetGuy clamp screws. Be sure to add this key to your tool pouch when done, since the metric keys that came with your bike won’t work for making adjustments.
- #2 Phillips screwdriver for the screws holding the Garmin shoe to the mounting plate.
- Zip ties
Difficulties & Warnings
Easy, only basic tools, no soldering or cutting of wires.
The GadgetGuy mount mounts two right-angle holders (circled in Yellow here) over the handlebar clamp (using longer handlebar mount screws, supplied), and a horizontal rod suspended between those holders. Then, custom mounting plates, specifically made for a wide range of GPS holders, clamp onto the horizontal rod. Finally, the GPS’s own mounting shoe is bolted to the custom mounting plate. Here the Garmin Zumo shoe is bolted to the GadgetGuy mounting plate (circled in Green).
For the Multistrada and the Garmin Zumo 390, my GadgetGuy order was
- Kit-II anodized black, with M8 x 70mm mounting screws
- Base Plate I (anodized black)
- In “notes to vendor” field, ask to have Base Plate modified for the Garmin Zumo 390 (adds 4 threaded mounting holes, no charge for this)
and just pull back the black panel. You don’t have to remove it completely. Underneath you’ll find the white connector for GPS power. The connector presently has a male plug plugged in that goes nowhere – it is connected to a short 4-inch length of cable, just to keep the connector filled and clean. The Ducati-branded Garmin has the correct connector to plug directly into this. For other GPSs, you can use bare the wires on the goes-nowhere cable to work out your connection.
Like all power points on the bike, this connector supplies 12 volts. If your GPS requires less than 12 (5V is very common for GPS designed to be powered by USB connections) then you’ll need to step-down the voltage.