2023 SCBR – Scooter Prep – The Nav Bar

The best place to start with preparing a scooter for a navigational marathon is… well… the GPS.

What type of GPS? What features? How will I program it? Does it have to be waterproof?

Much of the stress riders feel around the SCBR is the fear of getting lost. Long days, terrible weather, rough roads, and a competitive nudge suggests a significant amount of time is spent crafting the perfect navigation system.

For me, my highest priority is always redundancy. I don’t want to rely on simply one method. I instead prefer three GPS based navigation systems.

Traditionally, riders will mount all of their electronics and add-ons to a motorcycle’s handlebars. It’s a great place to mount! Not only for stability but also compatibility. There is no shortage of mounts, grips, and widgets you can purchase to support anything from a smart phone to a thermos. Many scooters have openly accessible handlebars, however the Buddy Kick does not. Completely shielded by thick plastics, the Kick’s handlebars are a no-go unless I wanted to start drilling, cutting, and making some fairly excessive modifications.

Thinking outside the box, I purchased a PVC pipe, cut it to size, and used a heat gun to bend it into a “V” shape. The PVC pipe is anchored in four locations that directly stem from the handlebars. This uninterrupted and strong surface allows for a seemingly unending amount of mounted gadgetry.

I started with the main focal point: The big 8″ Garmin GPS that will be my primary communication and navigation system. This GPS supports a medley of different smartphone communication functions as well as live traffic, fresh map updates, and of course a HUGE screen. The 8″ Garmin isn’t a first choice for motorcycle or scooter use. It’s not waterproof, it uses a vibration sensitive USB-C port for power, etc. To address these issues, I used hot glue and a variety of other chemicals and adhesives to button up every bit of plastic on the GPS so it could handle the rough ride.

I added some foam to cushion the GPS against the windscreen which helped a bit. The first few variations of GPS mounting did not address cable management and power. That would come next.