The MotoBatt SAE to DIN Adapter Cable With "Flex-Fit" Outlet Adapter
wBW Quick Look
by Rick K. for webBikeWorld.com
This SAE to DIN adapter cable converts a Battery Tender type SAE plug to a DIN or "Euro" style (aka Powerlet) accessory outlet.
It's made by MotoBatt, one of the lesser-known motorcycle battery and battery accessory manufacturers.
This one has at least two good points in its favor: first, with a $7.49 list price, it's way cheaper than the $23.95 Powerlet-branded version.
Second, it comes with a twist-on adapter that allows it to work with a U.S. style "cigarette lighter" accessory outlet, like the type in cars and some motorcycles (e.g., 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS (Blog)).
You may never need the U.S. style adapter, but you never know -- you might need to trickle-charge your car's battery someday.
And the MotoBatt plug with the U.S. adapter collar actually fits tighter in the larger U.S. accessory port than many standard U.S. style male plugs found on USB chargers and other car accessories.
This may seem like an awful lot of text for a motorcycle accessory that costs less than 8 bucks, but the MotoBatt adapter I found is pretty interesting, with more features than any of the others.
In the end, you buy an adapter, connect your Battery Tender and plug it into your Euro-style outlet on the bike. It works and that's it.
But since the MotoBatt MB-MAP adapter is a relatively obscure product (it's not even listed on their website, only in their full catalog) and since it does have a couple of extra features...and since it's cheaper than the rest, I figured I'd give it the webBikeWorld "Quick Look" treatment.
MotoBatt may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think "motorcycle batteries", but the Chinese manufacturer offers a huge number of powersports batteries and accessories like chargers, adapters and more.
The MotoBatt USA headquarters are in Jacksonville, Florida and the company sells batteries in 48 countries.
MotoBatt also claims to be the number one selling brand in Australia and New Zealand.
I've seen the MotoBatt booth at the many motorcycle dealer shows I've attended over the years, but other than a casual look-see, I haven't talked to anyone nor do I know anything about the company other than what I've read in their dealer sales brochures.
As an aside, here's an interesting "secret": MotoBatt claims to the the first and only battery manufacturer that makes motorcycle batteries (AGM type) with 4 terminals.
I didn't know this until recently when I was perusing the MotoBatt catalog (.pdf). But thinking about it, four terminals sounds like a great idea for a motorcycle battery.
You could connect the bike's power and ground to one set of terminals, then use the other set to connect all your accessories. I may just have to try one next time I'm in need of a battery.
I'll also have to try one of the many MotoBatt battery maintenance chargers someday also...
But in the meantime, I was searching recently for an SAE to DIN adapter -- the type that converts from the Battery Tender SAE connector to a BMW-style (Euro) accessory outlet, commonly found on motorcycles.
These are known as the BMW-type outlet or Powerlet or Hella, Merit, etc. The accessory plugs and outlets meet the ISO 4165:2001 standard and you can find the female outlet with fuse for at little as $5.95 (plus shipping).
We have a Powerlet brand SAE to DIN adapter in the garage, but it has a list price of $23.95 for the 6" (15 cm) version. Although the Powerlet type has a different-looking tip, I wanted to see if there was a cheaper replacement.
Searching around, I discovered these adapters are sometimes known as "SAE to DIN adapters" and sometimes they're called "Battery Tender to BMW outlet adapters" or variations thereof.
The "BMW type" accessory outlet is actually the DIN outlet used in Europe since the 1950's, as far as I can tell. It not only has a DIN standard, it's claimed to provide a tighter connection to anything that's plugged in. Based on many years experience with both the DIN type and the larger U.S. type, I agree.
The problem is usually the plugs that are attached to accessories for the U.S. style accessory outlets (is there an official name for these things?). The plugs have metal spring-like grounding bars on the side and this usually gives a loose connection.
That is a no-go on motorcycles, where a tight connection is needed due to the vibrations, bumping and overall stiffer suspension. This is probably why the DIN style outlet became popular on motorcycles.
Although some of the manufacturers, like Suzuki and Kawasaki, still give us the old-style U.S. outlets on their American imported bikes.
I ran into that problem with the 2014 V-Strom 1000 and the latest webBikeWorld Project Bike, the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 LT (Blog), also has the U.S. style accessory outlet from Kawasaki as an option, rather than the DIN type.
Even though there's a pop-out on the Versys dash for the larger outlet, I'm going to install a DIN type because that's what all my accessories use.
Fortunately, the Versys comes pre-wired for the outlet, so installing a DIN type should be pretty easy. Stay tuned on that one...
OK, all that said, there's not much more to consider with the MotoBatt MB-MAP (that's their SKU descriptor).
It has a list price of $7.49, which is about 70% less than the Powerlet adapter, so that's the first thing to attract my attention; compare that to the Optimate, Powerlet and other DIN-to-SAE adapter cables that cost much more.
The MotoBatt adapter also comes with a red doughnut-shaped adapter tip. Push the tip on and give it a twist until you hear it click and the adapter can be used in any U.S. style "cigarette lighter" accessory outlet, like the type used in automobiles and trucks.
I tried it; it works and it actually feels like a tighter connection than standard U.S. style adapters, like those that come on a cell phone charger or GPS.
Note that there are two plastic spring push tabs on either side of the black plastic body (see photo) that act as friction anchors to hold the DIN connector firmly in place in a U.S. style outlet.
I have noticed that on some U.S. outlets, I need to push these spring tabs to get the body of the DIN connector to enter the U.S. socket.
One other nice feature of the MotoBatt MB-MAP is its 21" long (53 cm) cable, compared to the 6" cable that comes on other SAE to DIN adapters.
I've been using the MotoBatt adapter since last Fall with zero problems. It's one of those simple-yet-necessary accessories that's expected to last virtually forever.
There's a Powerlet outlet on the BMW F800S (Blog), and since I lost one Battery Tender after about 14 years of continuous use, I switch out the Battery Tender cable from the BMW to the Versys.
The Versys has a Battery Tender SAE adapter harness (review) attached to the battery (I asked for it to be installed when I bought the Versys).
I knew virtually nothing about MotoBatt and their products until I discovered this handy little adapter while searching for a cheaper alternative.
The $7.95 adapter works perfectly, although I have to admit it's not built to the Powerlet tank-like standards. The MotoBatt version has more plastic and you can easily see the mold lines, but so what? It works fine and it's 1/3 the cost.
The DIN to U.S. style collar adapter is also handy -- just be sure you don't lose it. You could zip-tie it to the MotoBatt cable just to make sure you have it nearby when needed.
If you have a Battery Tender, Optimate charger or anything else that uses the simple but effective SAE connector and if you have a DIN outlet on your BMW or other bike, get a couple of these MotoBatt SAE to DIN adapters and they'll probably last a lifetime.
From "S.S." (February 2016): "I also installed a MotoBatt battery in each of my bikes, and as the previous owner mentioned, the extra set of terminals makes connecting accessories a breeze.
One other advantage not previously mentioned is that with the terminals duplicated on both sides of the battery, orientation issues are eliminated: if you need the terminals reversed for your installation, simply rotate the battery 180 degrees and you’re all set.
Build quality is excellent, and I was able to purchase them through my local motorcycle shop."
From "A.B." (February 2016): "I noticed your review of the adapters, while I haven't used one of them yet. I have used their 4-post AGM batteries. Wonderful batteries, last a long time, plus if needed they have an excellent 2 year warranty and customer support.
(Regarding the 4 terminal MotoBatt battery): I installed my heated grips, heated vest, and battery tender pigtail to the other set of terminals. I thought it was a great idea having the extra set of terminals and it made installing accessories a lot easier.
The supplied hex head bolts and hex tool also made it easier and more reliable vs. the bolts that come with the other battery vendors."