Gadgets & Gear

Review – BOLT – mobile charger

Compact all-weather-resistant mobile-charger to charge a mobile phone on the motorcycle. It provides a 5V, 2A output capable of charging safely and rather fast indeed. Must for those travelling distances and remote places. A quick run-down of what it’s about and how.

Bolt
The main unit consists of the detachable charger which is a 45 x 45 mm black coloured square unit that weighs less than 50gms. A red LED indicator embedded on it lights up when its in action (ready to charge/charging a device). The BOLT’s entire set up is such that there is no extra load on the bike’s battery when the phone is not connected. However, it’s best to use when the bike’s engine is on/running lest it drains out the battery completely. The main unit is made from impact resistant material and so is able to take on vibrations from the bike.

The bracket that holds this detachable charger is bolted onto the bike’s handle bar and acts like a socket where you plug in the charger for use. This bracket comes attached with a 1.5m long concealed wire which directly connects to your bike’s battery or in this case (on the KTM Duke 390) to the accessory connector which is inside the headlight unit assembly.

Installation
Was a bit apprehensive about dismantling the headlight assembly on the bike but went ahead anyway. Installing is fairly simple actually. Bolt the bracket on the handle bar, run the wires along the length of the bike securing it safely along the bike frame with zip ties provided. Connect the wire ends to the bike’s battery terminals.

On the Duke, will need to remove the 2 plastic rivets on each side of the headlight unit and then the 2 Allen bolts on top (ones that are partially hidden under the brake/gear cables). Removing these are inconvenient but needs to be done. Thereafter, split open and hang down the head unit to access the inside. The accessory connector is in white and its cable will likely have the tag stating – Accessories. Hard to miss.

Bolt the provided bracket onto any side on the handle bar. Preferred it on the left. Let the wire to go along the direction of the brake/gear cables leaving a bit extra near the bracket (for extra play). Connect the BOLT unit wires to the accessory connector and wrap with a short loop of electrical tape. Make sure the colors on the wires match though. Black-Black and Red-Red. Simple yeah. Now, loop the extra length of wire and zip tie it in place. Slide and click in the BOLT charger onto the point on the bracket that was bolted to the handle bar. Switch on the bike and the red LED on the main unit should glow.

  • Red LED does NOT glow:
    • Check the wire color codes match.
    • Check the connection to assembly connector.
  • Red LED glows:
    • Connect the mobile phone with the USB cable provided to the BOLT charger to check if the mobile is being charged.
  • Mobile is NOT charging:
    • Gaaddammit!
    • Recheck that the wire color codes match and the connection isn’t loose.
    • Try using other USB cable/s (ones that came along with the mobile phones).
    • If still doesn’t work, check back with the store purchased from and/or call / email the BOLT team for a quick reply to help sort the issue.
  • Mobile is charging:
    • Hurray! Lift up headlight assembly back in place to put the bolts back in. It’s done.

Bolt Riders App
A mobile installable application with which one can track the ride & share the ride with friends. The application helps you curate your ride which you can share with your friends on Facebook. It can track riding details in real-time and also captures ride parameters like the route on the map, total distance covered and average speed and blah blah blah. Once the application is installed on the rider’s phone, the unique activation code (printed on back of the instruction manual provided) needs to be entered for the app to be activated.

In my case, the BOLT charger unit turned out to be a faulty one and after checking in with the store of purchase and the BOLT team, had the faulty unit replaced with a working one. The code from the unit (which was faulty) that was earlier entered on the phone now didn’t match with the unit replaced with. Emailed the BOLT team, and was told to email them both the old code and the current one. Having done that, got no further response. Gave up and uninstalled the app. Not much use anyway for the primary objective to charge the phone is accomplished.

Bolt Pocket
‘Keep your phone safe and water-proof, while you ride’ is what is claimed. Could be water-resistant, but unlikely waterproof. Tried it on the bike. Place the pocket on the bike’s tank area and secure it with a clip fastener provided on the top ends of the belt loop that goes around and below the neck of the bike. The other and bottom ends of the belt loop goes on either sides and fastened to the bike’s frame with a knot. There should have been a double D loop provided instead.

Slide in the mobile phone of maximum size of 5.5″. The touch display is accessible over the plastic see-through of this pocket although not convenient and smooth. Problem in my case, the phone has the charging port at the bottom and this pocket doesn’t have an opening at the bottom to insert the usb charging cable through which is a downside. So had to connect the USB charging cable to the phone and then insert the phone with the cable along side into the pocket. Grrr!! Frustrating…no?

The audio cable for headphones however can be connected to the phone (usually on the top) and run the wire through the side opening of the pocket’s Velcro enclosure which secures the phone. Not very efficient by design – this Pocket.

Click on the link check out their website for more information.

Conclusion
The BOLT charger does what it is meant to do – charge a mobile phone and does so fast. The Bolt Riders app and the Bolt Pocket can be put aside/ignored. As against Resonate ChargePLUS that costs Rs.2799/- and the likes of the (not so secure) universal charger at Rs.799/-, the BOLT at Rs.1699/- is most definitely worth the price.

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