Adding 12v auxiliary accessories to your Tenere 700 (or any ADV bike, for that matter) can be fraught with danger and frustration if you’re not an experienced auto electrician or don’t FULLY know exactly what you’re doing. Just ask the many home mechanics who have fried their £1k T700 ECU after trying to tap into the yellow high beam wire..
Then there’s the question of whether an accessory should be wired straight to the battery or tapped into an existing wire that only activates when the ignition is on. Many choose to connect straight to the battery but you’re then leaving yourself open to battery seepage or accidentally leaving accessories switched on that will then proceed to completely drain your battery. Finally, once you have more than 3 accessories wired directly to the battery, you now have the start of an unsightly (and potentially dangerous) “crows nest” or “spaghetti junction” of wires snaking around your under seat compartment.. Not ideal! Here’s how mine looked one day after testing several new accessories, all wired straight to the battery:
Fortunately, there is a great bit of kit which solves all the above problems and can be easily installed with virtually zero auto electrical knowledge! Enter the HealTech ThunderBox!
This tiny, matchbox size unit can be installed in 10 minutes and in a few minutes more you’ll have all your accessories running neatly to it.
Once ordered, what you’ll receive is shown above. There are two versions: 16 amp and 32 amp. The latter simply allows you to add more accessories and will take a higher total electrical load. I went for the 32 amp TB-U02, as I have 7 auxiliary accessories that require 12v power.
So what exactly does the ThunderBox do?
In short: you connect the unit to the battery via it’s 2 lollipop terminated red and black wires, connect all your accessories directly to the ThunderBox instead of your battery, and as well as tidying up the wiring and relieving the battery of multiple lollipop terminals, it automatically detects when your engine is running and charging and switches power on to your accessories, then switches them all off when the engine is stopped. No more tapping wires, no more worries about connecting directly to the battery and everything in a tiny, not overly expensive package!
Compare the video at the start of this review to the video below; no comparison!
My battery compartment is now how it should be; easy to access and most importantly, it’s safe!
One thing to note before installing your ThunderBox
Charging leads for heated gloves and clothing and (in my case) a power lead for a micro, under seat tyre inflator, can all be run successfully via the ThunderBox as those will generally only be in use when the bike is running. However.. do NOT try to run your trickle charger via the ThunderBox as it only switches on when the bike starts and that, of course, is of no use for charging your battery during the night. That, however, is the only thing I have that is still wired direct to the battery. Everything else runs via the ThunderBox.
This is one of the niftiest products on the market and a no-brainer for anyone wanting to easily, professionally and safely run 12v auxiliary accessories on their T700 or any other motorcycle. I wish I’d known about this product before as it would undoubtedly have saved me a lot of work, time, money and head scratching!
1. My first caveat with this product would be recommending it to overland riders on long trips in the middle of no-where. If your ThunderBox fails you’ve suddenly lost power to all your auxiliaries. It’s not that I still wouldn’t recommend using the ThunderBox on such a trip, nor have I heard of any failing in the several years they’ve been available, but I would certainly want to have a back up plan in place, just in case the worse happened. They’re small and light, so maybe a spare ThunderBox..
2. My second caveat would be if the bike is submerged. The connectors on this unit are not waterproof and that could cause a problem. The manufacturer’s description states:
“We use only the best components and technology to create products that can withstand the harshest environments. The TB has no moving parts, no relays and no fuses. Inside the rugged plastic case the circuitry is encased in epoxy resin, which makes it fully oil and water-resistant, shock and vibration proof.”
That, of course, refers to the box and not the connectors. I plan on making a small waterproof container that the ThunderBox and all connections will sit within. The TB is tiny, anyways, so the final “waterproof” product will still be very small.
In the UK these sell for £60 and £85 respectively (16 amp/32 amp) plus postage. The link below will help you find dealers worldwide.
Where To Buy
ThunderBox TB-U01 & TB-U02