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MountGuys
Most products mentioned on this site as well as those sold by us in the past are available at Amazon.



Amazon's Most Popular Phone Mounts      Amazon's Most Popular GPS Mounts

What Happened to the MountGuys Site?

Our site looks a lot different, doesn’t it?  After spending 70 hours a week on running our online business, we realized we needed to change things.  Working these long hours once in a while is ok, but after doing it steadily for over ten years, it began to affect our health and quality of life.  We decided to shift our focus.  We have retained a subset of our business to serve our prior customers and continue to offer our most popular products on Amazon.  Mounts we have sold in the past can be purchased on Amazon and may be accessed here or you may use the banner at the top of the page.

For several years, we had a blog attached to our site that many of you found useful.  We added articles as time allowed.  We decided to expand our blog and write with far more frequency.  We will continue to explain how to mount new stuff and use what you already have in ways you may not have thought about before.

Waze Beyond the Basics

Readers of our site know that I am a big fan of Waze.  I professed my fondness for this terrific application in a prior article which you can read here.  If you have not downloaded Waze yet, do it.  It is a free application, now owned by Google that provides one of the most powerful GPS experiences available including live traffic routing.

I called this article Waze Beyond the Basics because it sounded better than Waze Part Two.  After using Waze for over six months, I have become aware of features that were not intuitive upon initial use.  Some of the features are pretty useful and some are pretty annoying.

A really useful feature is to “Share My Drive”.  A little bit of a stalker feature that only you can invoke.  This is useful when driving home in bad weather when someone is worried about you.  It’s also useful when someone is expecting you and wants to know about when you will arrive.  To activate this feature, go to the friends bubble within the active map and select “Share My Drive” under the Get in Touch section.  Sect your friend or friends and share your drive.  This feature only works when you are actively navigating.  If you are simply driving without a selected destination, this feature will not work.  Activate this feature after you have selected your destination.

I became aware of the next feature when I was driving down the New Jersey Parkway and heard an antique horn beeping at me.  My wife who was with me asked me what the sound was.  We looked around nut everyone was driving at a pretty fast speed and nothing that looked like an antique car.  I looked up at my phone which was mounted on the windshield and saw that a friend honked at me.  This is a feature that I probably will put into the annoying category.  To annoy your friends, simply click on the friend bubble within the map view, select the friend you want to annoy and press the “Beep Beep” button under the Get in Touch section.

I also discovered that Waze can be controlled by voice commands.  Waze has the ability to accept user contributions such as reporting heavy traffic, potholes or road kill (to name a few).  It’s dangerous to key this in while driving so Waze now permits voice commands for this type of activity and many other commands.  To activate voice command you can tape the screen with three fingers or set it up to activate with a wave of your hand.  Waze will then ask you for a command and you can say things such as “report traffic” or “drive home”.  Waze then reacts the same way as if you had typed in the commands manually.

The last feature to discuss is the off button.  I became aware of this feature the hard way and now always use it.  Sometime, when navigating, Waze may not think you are there yet even though you really are.  Waze keeps staying active and still sucks significant battery resources.  You can and should deactivate Waze when not in use by pressing the off button which is found on the main menu which is activated by pressing the button on the left bottom corner.  I became aware of this feature painfully when attending a funeral.  I walked into the church, approached the casket and had Waze tell me “you have reached your destination”.  Fortunately it added some levity to a sad situation but I still wish that didn’t happen.

Garmin Car Chargers


Garmin has made many different GPS units over the years.  While you might think that one charger fits them all, that’s not even close to being the case.  Most older GPS units used 1AMP cables.  As the technology progressed, Garmin introduced high definition screens and along with that improvement came the 2AMP chargers.  But wait, there’s more.  None of the regular everyday chargers have traffic capability because Garmin decided to integrate the traffic receiver into the power cable.  Confused?  Don’t be.  This article will hopefully clear up any confusion.

The most basic cable that Garmin makes is the 2AMP car charger with mini USB ending.  This cable will fit almost (note I said almost) every Garmin Nuvi GPS made to date.  It has a straight cable with a barrel that contains the fuse among other things.  The mini USB ending has pin settings especially made for a Garmin Nuvi.  If you need a similar cable but in a hardwire format for hooking up to a motorcycle, do not simply cut off the adapter but instead consider the Garmin hardwire kit.  Cutting off the end of a car charger will result in shorting out the GPS or potentially damage your vehicle.  By snipping off the ending, you are removing all power regulation capability.

If your GPS has the traffic feature the cables we just discussed are only going to provide power, no traffic.  That’s because the traffic antenna is built into the cable itself.  A good rule to follow is if the cable costs less than $50, it is power only.

There are several different traffic cables made by Garmin.  Each cable includes a lifetime subscription to the traffic network.  If you need a new cable because the other is lost or no longer working, you have lost your traffic subscription as it is actually tied into the cable itself.  The most common Garmin traffic cable is the GTM 36 which pulls a signal from FM radio.  It plugs into the USB port of your GPS just like the one you received with your GPS.  This is a combination traffic receiver and car charger for powering your GPS.

The second type of traffic cable is the Garmin GTM 60 which pulls the traffic signal off of HD radio.  Like the GTM 36, this is also a combination car charger for power and receiving traffic updates.  This is a superior cable to the GTM 36 in that it receives traffic updates up to ten times faster.  It is about the same price as the GTM 36 and if your GPS supports HD traffic, I suggest opting for this cable.  Not every GPS will accept these cables, I would say those made late 2013 forward should work well with these cables, but check your manual to ensure that is the case.

The last cable we will discuss is an old one that primarily fits some GPS units made at the beginning of the Nuvi series.  If your Nuvi GPS is of the 600, 700 or 800 series and is powered from the cradle versus the USB port on the GPS, you will need a cable that has a flat adapter.  Garmin still makes these cables.  They are available with the flat ending that will fit your cradle (so be sure you still have a working cradle).

Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

GarminGarmin Nuvi 2AMP car chargerGarmin Nuvi Vehicle Power Cable

GarminGarmin hardwire cable with mini USBGarmin Serial Data / Power Cable

GarminGarmin standard traffic cableGarmin GTM 36 Traffic Receiver (North America)

GarminGarmin HD traffic cableGarmin 010-01031-00 GTM 60 HD Digital Traffic Receiver

GarminGarmin car charger for Nuvi 600, 700, 800 seriesGarmin 12-Volt Adapter Cable

Mounts for Suzuki Burgman Motorcycles


The Suzuki Burgman was introduced in 1999 and is a popular motorcycle in North America and Europe.  Today we discuss mounts for Suzuki Burgman motorcycles.

The Suzuki Burgman line is not an easy bike to put a mount on.  The choices are limited due to the unique style.  It does not have a traditional handlebar similar to a Harley-Davidson, so handlebar mounts are out.  The clutch does not have any exposed points for mounting either.  Similar to a Honda Goldwing, I have read many a post and seen a few riders that have used adhesive or bungee cords.  There are certain adhesives that will hold quite tightly and not compromise from the vibrations of a motorcycle, but there are also many adhesives that will fail.  Unless you are a chemist or manufacturer specializing in adhesives and know it will withstand extreme vibrations, I don’t recommend using them on motorcycles (but if you do decide to do it, be sure you are using 3M VHB adhesive).  The issue with a bungee is that they wrap around the device and block part of the display.  I suppose that doesn’t matter greatly for an Apple iPod, but if it’s a GPS, that isn’t going to work well.

I have also heard of riders using a suction cup mount.  While there are certainly some well made suction cup mounts out there, they aren’t made to withstand the constant vibrations of a motorcycles, so I don’t recommend using them in this environment.  Save the suction cups for the car.

The only location that we are aware of is the master cylinder reservoir cover.  There are several options available and they all fit similarly.  The mounts are attached to the cover.  They do not replace the cover but will screw to the top of the reservoir cover.

The largest manufacturer that we know of makes a reservoir cover base mount and they are called RAM Mounts.  This base is made of metal and comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.  The base fits cleanly over your existing brake/clutch reservoir cover.  Constructed of aluminum with a one-inch rubber ball molded to it.  The mounting kit includes a few sets of bolts, washers and rubber grommets for installation.  included instructions are very detailed and you don’t need to be a motorcycle mechanic to get this on.  As already mentioned, the mount is not an additional reservoir cover, but instead a plate shaped like the existing cover and attaches above the cover using the covers existing screw holes.  Longer screws are included which may replace the existing set.

Most RAM Mount owners need an arm and mounting diamond to complete the setup.  The previously mentioned base mount can be purchased as a reservoir mount kit ready for a custom cradle.  RAM makes a variety of custom GPS cradles to fit this kit.  Want to mount a camera?  Add a tripod ball.  For phone use, we always recommend the RAM X-Grip line.  For a good overview of this extensive line of cradles, read our detailed article here.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

RAMReservoir cover base mountRAM Mounts (RAM-B-346U) Motorcycle Brake/Clutch Reservoir Cover Base with 1" Ball Offset

RAMReservoir cover mounting kitRam Mount RAM-B-183U Double Ball Motorcycle Offset Reservoir Cover Mount

RAMTripod post with ball for camerasRAM Mounting Systems RAM-B-202AU 1-Inch Rubber Ball Base with 1/4-Inch 20 Stud For Camera

Bicycle Phone Mounts

Arkon SM632 ActionIt’s difficult to ride a bike with a smartphone in your pocket.  That’s assuming you have a pocket.  A smartphone is a pretty useful device to take along for a ride.  Besides the obvious advantage of making sure you do not miss a call, a phone is useful on a bicycle for at least a few of the widely used apps.  First, you will find your phone makes a pretty useful GPS when used with one of the many applications for this purpose.  You can read our article on Waze, which we recommend highly for a GPS.  There are also a number of bicycle apps that are useful for mapping your ride.  These apps combine a GPS and odometer into a single application.  Riders of mountain bikes will likely ride off road and in undocumented paths, so knowing where you came from might be helpful.  There are several good bicycle applications and I like Map My Ride for ease of use and features.

Assuming you are like me and think that having your phone along for the ride is a good idea, you will need to mount it somewhere on your bike.  The two most popular places for mounting your phone is the handlebar and stem.  Regardless of the location, select a mount that has a universal cradle that will clamp securely to your phone.  I suggest using a good rugged case on your phone when in use on your bike so select a cradle that will open wide enough to accept your case.  Secondly, you will likely want to use your phone in landscape, so finding a mount that swivels into any orientation is important.  Lastly, put some thought into the type of riding you will do.  If there are plans to go off a paved road, be sure to buy a mount that includes a cradle that is going to grip your device from all four sides and not just the sides.  There is a good chance that your phone is worth more than your bike, so you do not want it to come loose during your ride.

The majority of bicycle mounts will be placed on the handlebar.  Measure the diameter of your handlebar and check to ensure the mount purchased will fit properly.  You don’t want to take apart your bike to install or remove the mount so buy a mount that will separate sufficiently to be placed around your handlebar.  While some mounts made for motorcycles may work well, remember that a motorcycle handlebar has a larger diameter than most bicycles.

We have been a big fan of the Arkon Megagrip universal cradle which opens to 3.4 inches.  The Arkon handlebar mount combines this with a safety strap for added security along with a good quality handlebar mount that fits up to 1.25 inch diameter bars.  The mount includes a rubber strip that will enable the mount to be used for smaller diameter handlebars.  For larger phones, Arkon bundles a larger cradle in their Slim Grip Ultra handlebar mount.  This mount bundle includes the same base and safety strap but unlike the Megagrip cradle, this bundle includes a mount that opens to over 7 inches and grabs your phone from the top and bottom versus the sides.

Another good handlebar option includes a weatherproof case.  If you plan to use your phone in inclement weather, putting your phone inside a case that will interact with your touch screen is a good idea that offers the added benefit of additional protection.  The iKross Pouch Handlebar Mount includes a case that will hold phones up to 5.5 inches tall.  The pouch zippers shut and has a slit to permit the use of earbuds,  The case features a clear front which will accommodate your touch screen.

As mentioned earlier, the stem is another popular place to mount your phone.  Typically, stems have a smaller diameter and most use mounts that will tie to the stem portion of your bike.  The zip ties that are used with these types of mounts are easy to install but once in place, the mount is there to stay and removal will require you to cut the ties.  Fortunately these zip ties are available in bulk if you need to purchase more.  An excellent smartphone mount which uses the zip tie system is the RAM X-Grip EZ-On EZ-Off Mount.  This mount features RAM’s popular X-Grip system which we wrote a detailed article which can be read here.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

ArkonHandlebar mount with universal cradle and safety strapArkon iPhone Bike Mount Smartphone Handlebar Mount for Apple iPhone 6 Plus 6 5 5S 5C Samsung Galaxy Note 4 3 S5 S4 HTC One M8

ArkonHandlebar mount for large phones which includes a safety strapArkon iPhone Bike Mount Smartphone Handlebar Mount for Apple iPhone 6 Plus 6 5 5S 5C Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 4 3 2 S5 S4 S3

RAMZip tie universal cradle mount that fits stemsRam Mounting Systems - Ram Mount Ez-On/Off Bicycle Mount W/ Universal X-Grip

iKrossHandlebar mount with protective caseiKross Universal WaterProof Pouch Bicycle Bike Mount Holder for iPhone 6 4.7" / Samsung Galaxy Note 4 / Galaxy Alpha / LG G3 / Motorola Moto E / HTC One Android Window Mobile Cell Phone / GPS and MP3 Player

 

 

Mounts for Can-Am Spyder

RAM RAM-B-149Z-2-GOP1UToday, we focus on mounts for Can-Am Spyder.  These specialty vehicles present unique challenges in finding the proper mounts for cameras, cell phones or GPS units.  Depending upon which model from Can-Am you may have, traditional motorcycle mounts may not work.  The reason for traditional motorcycle mounts not working is that the vast majority of bikes deploy a handlebar mount that fits up to 1.25 inches in diameter.  A Can-Am Spyder, for example, does not have a traditional handlebar.  This necessitates some creative thinking on the part of the owners as well as the manufacturers of mounting solutions.  In fact, it knocks many of the popular mount manufacturers out of contention.  Fortunately we know of a few options which we will discuss within this article.

The first manufacturer which we will discuss is a United States based company called TechMount.  This company makes high-grade mounts for motorcycles and specialty vehicles.  We have discussed some of their options in several previous articles.  TechMount went out of their way to design a series of specialty mounts made specifically for the Can-Am Spyder.  These mounts will attach to the center fairing of your Can-Am Spyder.  The base mounts have a standard 17mm ball on the end and this matches perfectly with the open socket on the back of the cradle on most Garmin Nuvi GPS units so if the mount is for a Garmin Nuvi, this is all you need to purchase (see note below regarding tethering).  These mounts can be purchased with adapters for a variety of purposes including for use with a Garmin Zumo or camera.  We even see these packaged with weatherproof cases for use with a smartphone.

The second manufacturer that we will discuss is RAM Mount which is also based in the United States.  Like Techmount, RAM makes high quality mounts and they back it with a lifetime warranty.  RAM makes a terrific option for those with extremely wide handlebars.  Their U-bolt strap base will fir diameters up to 3.15 inches.  This mounting base features a strap similar to a pipe clamp.  The mount base comes with a rubber strip to protect marring your handlebar.  This mount attaches by fitting the it around any circular surface then tightening the bolt for a firm hold.  RAM packages these bases with a variety of cradles but most will start with the RAM universal mount.  The universal mounting diamond on the end of this mount will fit most RAM cradles.  You can also find this mount packaged with a wide variety of GPS cradles.  They also make some excellent camera mounts with this option.

I have seen some other options deployed on a Can-Am that involve adhesive but not a fan of these types of mounts in rugged environments.  Lots of extreme vibration can compromise adhesive mounts so avoid them if going offroad.

We recommend tethering your devices to your vehicle, even with a secure mount.  The mounts mentioned within this article are well made, but most riders are taking their Can-Am ATVs offroad and this isn’t a typical environment.  Some extra care is necessary in these environments to secure your devices.  You can easily do this with a small bungee cord.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

TechMountCenter mount for Can-Am SpyderTechmount Can-Am Spyder RT Center AMPS Plate Mount

TechMountCenter mount with AMPS adapterTechmount Center Mount - Silver 4-80007

RAMWide diameter handlebar baseRAM Rail Base with Zinc Coated U-Bolt, ATV/UTV Strap & 1"" Ball for Rails to 3.15"" in Diameter

RAMBase mount with mounting diamond for most RAM cradlesRam Mount Combination Strap, Handlebar, Rail Mount with Double Socket Arm and Adapter Base for UTVs and ATVs

RAMStrap mount with GoPro adapterGoPro Hero ATV/UTV Strap Clamp Roll Bar Mount

TomTom Rider Mounts

TomTom first introduced a GPS made specifically for a motorcycle called the TomTom Rider roughly ten years ago.  It was then followed up with a refresh known as the TomTom Rider v2.  The problem with the older TomTom Rider generations is that a few years after they introduced the GPS in the United States, they stopped selling accessories.  This left the TomTom Rider owner who potentially spent hundreds of dollars on a GPS in a real bind when it came to replacing a mount or cradle.  Fortunately there are options that aren’t always made by TomTom that may work as well as what you received when you purchased your GPS.

Now to keep things interesting, TomTom then introduced an additional version of the TomTom Rider in early 2013 which I will call the TomTom Rider 3.  Fortunately parts are still available for this generation of Rider.

The TomTom Rider comes equipped with a powered motorcycle cradle that has four threaded holes on the back.  The holes form what is called the AMPS pattern which is an industry standard mounting pattern.  That pattern is common to many mounts but for motorcycle use, you will want this attached to a good quality mount for your bike.

First, we’ll discuss motorcycle mounts.  TomTom discontinued the availability of their motorcycle cradle a few years after the Rider and Rider 2 was introduced so hopefully your cradle is fully functional and you just need a mount to attach to the back of that cradle.  If your cradle has failed, there are no good options that I know of for replacing that part.  The discussion that follows makes the assumption that your cradle is in good shape and still in use.  Fortunately for owners of the most recent Rider, the powered cradle is still available.

For handlebars with a diameter of up to 1.25 inches, which is most motorcycles, a good AMPS handlebar mount is manufactured by RAM.  This mount will line up well with the back of your powered cradle and will use the same screws that came with your GPS cradle.  The mount is made of metal and comes with a lifetime warranty.  A similar setup is available as an AMPS clutch mount.  Like the handlebar option, this mount is made of metal and carries a lifetime warranty.  The clutch mount comes with bolts which will replace the ones that came with your motorcycle.  The installation is not difficult and comes well documented by RAM.

If you would care to use your TomTom Rider in the car, this is also possible thanks to RAM.  An excellent suction cup mount complete with the 4-hole AMPS pattern is available.  This mount will screw to the back of your motorcycle cradle.  The mount is mostly metal and comes with a lifetime warranty.  While TomTom made a car kit for the Rider, they discontinued distribution of these in the United States many years ago so unless you were lucky enough to score one of these TomTom mounts shortly after your purchased the GPS, you are out of luck in the United States.  While there is a chance that you might be able to pick one up from a UK motorcycle dealer, you are going to find the TomTom windshield mount will cost well in excess of $100.  The RAM option is a fraction of this price and in my opinion better made.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

TomTomLatest generation powered motorcycle cradle for TomTom RiderTomTom Replacement Dock and Cable for RIDER Motorcycle Navigation 9UGB.052.01

RAM MountHandlebar mount with AMPS patternRAM RAIL MOUNT WITH RECTANGULAR AMPS

RAM MountClutch mount with AMPS patternRAM Mounts (RAM-B-178U) U-Bolt with Arm and Adaptor for Garmin Zumo 400 Garmin Zumo 450 Garmin Zumo 500 Garmin Zumo 550 Garmin Zumo 660 (U)

RAM MountSuction cup mount with AMPS patternRAM Mounts (RAM-B-166-347U) Suction Mount Amps Base

Mounts for Honda Goldwing Motorcycles

Honda Goldwings have been manufactured for roughly 40 years.  Over 600,00 have been sold mostly in the United States.  A very popular model, but challenging to mount your GPS, smartphone, or whatever gadget you have to your bike.  Earlier versions had a handlebar.  Today, we discuss mounts for Honda Goldwing motorcycles. A Honda Goldwing has some unique mounting challenges due to a lack of the traditional handlebar.  Therefore most mounting solutions will use a different location.

Roughly 20 years Honda’s design change removed the majority of real estate away from the handlebar on the Honda Goldwing.  While it looks better, it diminished the ability to mount your stuff (not that Honda really cares about that point).  Mounts in other places are needed.  I have read many a post and spoken to several Goldwing riders that have used adhesive or bungee cords.  There are certain adhesives that will hold quite tightly and not compromise from the vibrations of a motorcycle, but there are also many adhesives that will fail.  Unless you are a chemist or manufacturer specializing in adhesives and know it will withstand extreme vibrations, I don’t recommend using them on motorcycles (but if you do decide to do it, be sure you are using 3M VHB adhesive).  The issue with a bungee is that they wrap around the device and block part of the display.  I suppose that doesn’t matter greatly for an Apple iPod, but if it’s a GPS, that isn’t going to work well.

Fortunately there are a few companies that figured out some good locations for mount points on a Honda Goldwing.  The clutch/brake reservoir is an excellent location.  The bolts can be used to hold mounting solutions specifically designed to fit a Goldwing (turns out most Harley Davidson models have similar dimensions so most of what we talk about applies there as well).

We are familiar with two proven manufacturers of mounts to fit the Goldwing.

Techmount, based in the United States, manufactures a well made metal mount that features a 17mm ball.  Ironically (or maybe not ironically) that’s the same size ball that Garmin uses for the back of their GPS cradles.  This part comes with stainless steel bolts that will replace the current manufacturer bolts.  These bolts are somewhat similar to the manufacturer set with the exception they are longer to accommodate the added depth of the mount.  You can then add your Garmin cradle to the 17mm ball.  If you would like to mount a phone, you can add the Techmount cradle to the mount.   There are also several inexpensive adapters that permit the installation of cameras or even specialized adapters for the ever popular GoPro series.

RAM Mount, also based in the United States, has an extensive array of mounts that fit the brake/clutch reservoir.  All made of metal, most mounts will feature the clutch mounting base.  This part is somewhat similar to the Techmount entry in that it will attach using some newly supplied bolts that take the place of the manufacturer set.  The one inch ball at the end of the mount will then connect to various arm sizes and lastly a custom or universal cradle.  The clutch mounting base can also be purchased as part of a mounting kit that includes an arm and adapter which is called the.  There are a variety of custom configurations that can be purchased from RAM and this article would be become a book if we went through all of them.  Suffice it to say though, if you purchase the clutch mounting kit, you will have the beginnings of the mount that is made to fit your Goldwing.  RAM manufactures a variety of custom GPS cradles to fit this kit.  For phone use, we always recommend the RAM X-Grip line.  For a good overview of this extensive line of cradles, read our detailed article here.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

TechMountMetal clutch GPS mountMotorcycle Control Mounting Kit - Harley-Davidson and Metric - Techmount Gen 4 | Securely Install Your Cell Phone, Radar Detector, GPS Holder, Cameras, Garage Door Opener, Or Other Personal Electronics - Interfaces with our Other Gen 4 Tech Mount Products

TechMountCradle adapter for 17mm ballsTechGripper Cell Phone, GPS and MP3 Holder - the TechGripper - 18 Pound Per Inch Gripping Power with 4.3" Gripping Range Will Securely Hold All Smartphones While Even In Its Case and Many Other Personal Devices Such as GPS Navigation Systems and MP3 Players to Your Motorcycle. Lifetime Warranty

RAMMetal clutch baseRAM Mounts (RAM-B-309-7U) Motorcycle Handlebar Combination Base for Brake/Clutch Reservoir

RAMMetal clutch mount with diamond adapterRam Mount RAM-B-174U Double Ball Brake/Clutch Reservoir Mount

Motorcycle Stem Mounts

A motorcycle stem mount (also known as a fork stem) typically fits the steering stem hole in the top triple clamp assembly.  By adding custom or universal cradles, the stem makes a nice location for mounting small devices such as cell phones, radar detectors and GPS units.

Typical instructions involves inserting a stem accessory which is manufactured by mounting companies specifically for this purpose.  Some stem mounts are made of multiple parts and are fastened with machine screws into the stem.  Other stem mounts are manufactured of a thick rubber component and the mount is twisted tightly into the stem hole.  Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully prior and during installation to ensure that the mount is installed properly and securely.

There are only a few manufacturers that we know of that manufacture a stem mount and the two companies are RAM Mount and TechMount.  Both companies are known to be good manufacturers that back their products up with a warranty.  Be sure to first get a measurement of your stem diameter to ensure that your new mount will fit.  You will need that measurement to customize the mount prior to installation.

Let’s look at these mounts a little closer.

TechMount manufactures a stem mount kit.  The universal stem mount system comes equipped with six stem shafts with varying diameters, each being a different diameter to fit virtually all-steering stem holes.  Select the right size for your stem and slide it down into the top of the fork steering stem. The stem adapter includes an O-ring, which progressively gets tighter as you slide it slides it into the stem shaft, keeping your device attached securely to your motorcycle.

The TechMount kit has a 17mm ball at the end which ironically is the same size used by a Garmin Nuvi GPS cradle.  So for many GPS units, this might be all that is required.  If you would like to add a universal phone cradle to this mount, there are many options.  The TechMount cradle kit with included safety bungee has a 17mm adapter that will fit over the ball on the stem mount.  The resulting cradle installation sits roughly an inch off the stem.

RAM Mount also makes a motorcycle stem mount base.  Unlike TechMount these mounts come with a single ball assembly and you will need to do some trimming to customize the fit to your stem diameter.  The mount includes the one inch ball that is universal to most RAM Mount systems.  You will find this base bundled with a variety of cradles.  Most popular is the stem base bundled with RAM’s X-Grip phone cradle.  We wrote a very detailed article on the X-Grip series and you can read it here.

RAM also offers a variety of custom GPS cradles for Garmin units.  These cradles provide a secure fit for use on a motorcycle.  Coupling the RAM stem base with an arm and mounting diamond in a single stem mount kit is all that you would need to add to the RAM custom cradle for a complete solution.  The RAM mount can also be coupled with the Power Plate for radar detectors.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

TechMountStem mount kitUniversal Motorcycle Fork Stem Mount Kit - Techmount Gen 4 - Securely Mount Your Smartphone, Radar Detector, GPS, Camera, Garage Door Opener, Or Other Personal Electronic Devices (Cradles and Platforms Sold Separately in Our Amazon Store)

TechMountUniversal phone cradle with the 17mm pattern needed for the Techmount seriesUniversal Phone Cradle for Techmount Gen 4 Mounting Systems - Your Universal Smartphone Mount Will Enable You to Securely Mount your iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Other Smartphones to Your Motorcycle and/or ATV.

RAMStem mount baseRam Mount Motorcycle Fork Stem Base with 1-Inch Ball (Black)

RAMStem mount coupled with universal phone cradle.RAM Mounts (RAM-B-176-A-UN7) Fork Stem Mount with Short Double Socket Arm and Universal X-Grip Cell/Iphone Holder
RAMStem mount kit for custom cradle useRam Mount RAM-B-176U Double Ball Motorcycle Mount with Cycle Stem Base

 

 

Mounts for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

RAM RAM-B-149Z-NUVI200Each year I attend a large motorcycle event held in Northern New Jersey called Gooch’s Garlic Run.  It’s for a good cause and each year a few thousand bikers show up for the annual ride to downtown Newark.  You can read more about this worthwhile cause by checking their Facebook page.  Anyway, I always show up about an hour before the start so that I can get a good look all the bikes and take special interest in what mounts are in use.  I also noticed that the largest brand presence by far is Harley Davidson.

Motorcycle owners like to mount things on their bikes.  The most popular items mounted are cell phones and GPS units.  I also see some that mount cameras, satellite radios and even drinks.  The most popular locations are the handlebar followed by the clutch but I have also seen some adhesive used to mount devices to the gas tank.  I receive a few questions each year regarding the potential use of a suction cup on a motorcycle which I do not recommend as the vibrations can easily compromise the effectiveness of the hold of a suction cup.

Let’s discuss some mounts that are popular with Harley Davidson motorcycle owners.  The majority of Harley handlebars are 1.25 inch in diameter.  Be wary of inexpensive plastic mounts made for bicycles.  While some plastic bicycle mounts will work well, there are others that are too brittle for motorcycle vibrations.  A good rule is that if it costs $5 and ships from Asia, it’s not a good choice for your motorcycle.

Most GPS mounts will deploy a 17mm ball at the end that will mate with the cradle that came with the car mount that Garmin uses for the windshield mount.  Some of the better (but more expensive) mounts are made of metal and come with a custom cradle which your GPS will snap into.  We recommend tethering the GPS to your handlebar if possible for added safety.  A good entry-level mount with that 17mm ball that is marketed for motorcycle use is the Arkon handlebar mount.  A higher priced but better made handlebar mount from RAM and can be supplemented with a custom cradle to fit your GPS.  Both of the mounts mentioned fit handlebars up to 1.25 inches in diameter.  I like the RAM entry for the metal construction of the mount plus the lifetime warranty but if you don’t feel like spending about $40 on a complete RAM kit, the Arkon entry has a 2-year warranty and for a plastic mount is well made.

A phone handlebar mount has some other requirements versus the GPS.  I always recommend using a case on your phone so purchase a mount that deploys a well made universal cradle that will grip your phone very firmly and can optionally be tethered to your handlebar.  Select a mount that can swivel into portrait or landscape.  If using your phone as a GPS, you will likely use it in landscape but if using it for other applications, there’s a good chance portrait mode will be needed.  My favorite mount for a Harley handlebar continues to be the RAM X-Grip mount.  We wrote a very detailed article on the X-Grip series which you can read here.  These fit a 1.25 inch handlebar and carry RAM’s lifetime warranty.

I mentioned the second most popular location on a Harley as being the clutch.  Techmount manufactures a well made metal clutch mount for Harley-Davidson that features a 17mm ball.  As previously mentioned that’s the same size ball that Garmin uses for the back of their GPS cradles.  This part comes with stainless steel bolts that will replace the current manufacturer bolts.  These bolts are somewhat similar to the manufacturer set with the exception they are longer to accommodate the added depth of the mount.  You can then add your Garmin cradle to the 17mm ball.  If you would like to mount a phone, you can add the Techmount cradle to the mount.   There are also several inexpensive adapters that permit the installation of cameras or even specialized adapters for the ever popular GoPro series.

I mentioned earlier that there are a lot of riders opting to mount a camera on their motorcycle.  There are many camera mounts available for your handlebar but they aren’t all well suited for camera use.  A camera has a unique requirement to minimize vibration.  Some higher end cameras have technology embedded into the software to minimize this affect.  Most do not.  Buying a plastic mount with a tripod screw embedded is likely to yield a very shaky video so you will want to find a mount that has vibration dampening technology.  The RAM handlebar camera mount has been proven over many years to be the best out there for this purpose.  These fit handlebar up to 1.25 inches and facilitates very steady videos.  There are quite a few videos on YouTube that use a RAM Mount.  Here is a random video that I found and you can see the steadiness of the video.  Using a plastic mount without dampening features will likely result in a very dizzy viewer.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

ArkonEntry level handlebar mount for Garmin GPSArkon Bike or Motorcycle Handlebar Mount for Garmin nuvi 40 50 200 2013 24x5 25x5 GPS

RAMHigh end GPS handlebar mountRAM Mounting Systems RAM-B-149ZU Handlebar Mount

RAMHandlebar mount with universal cradleRAM Handlebar Rail Mount with Zinc Coated U-Bolt Base and Universal X-Grip(TM) Cell Phone Holder

TechMountMetal clutch GPS mountMotorcycle Control Mounting Kit - Harley-Davidson and Metric - Techmount Gen 4 | Securely Install Your Cell Phone, Radar Detector, GPS Holder, Cameras, Garage Door Opener, Or Other Personal Electronics - Interfaces with our Other Gen 4 Tech Mount Products

TechMountCradle adapter for 17mm ballsTechGripper Cell Phone, GPS and MP3 Holder - the TechGripper - 18 Pound Per Inch Gripping Power with 4.3" Gripping Range Will Securely Hold All Smartphones While Even In Its Case and Many Other Personal Devices Such as GPS Navigation Systems and MP3 Players to Your Motorcycle. Lifetime Warranty

RAMVideo camera handlebar mount with vibration dampening featuresRAM Mount Handlebar U-Bolt Base w/Round 1/4"-20 Threaded Stud

 

Car and Motorcycle Mounts for the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Arkon SM423-G with iPhoneiPhone bigger and better.  At least that’s what Apple calls it.  Recently made available, this is the most popular release to date of a new iPhone.  It’s understandable, especially for those not already owning a more current phone.  The performance and functionality improvements introduced with the new phone as well as the new operating system (IOS release 8) are significant.  This is a site that focuses on the stuff needed to make your devices mobile, so if you want to read about some of the enhancements, take a few minutes to view it at Apple.

We would be remiss without mentioning one very important sets of features on the new iPhone 6 which is called iSight and Auto Image Stabilization.  This combines some new hardware and software enhancements that will permit you to shoot photos and videos that aren’t as prone to a shaky hand nor as susceptible to a vibrating vehicle.  This expands the potential of using your iPhone 6 for use as a dash camera or possibly for use on a motorcycle.  If you choose to do this, make sure the mount that you purchase leave the rear camera lens uncovered.

When it comes to mounting this phone, it’s important to know the dimensions of these devices.  The iPhone 6 is larger than any model announced to date.  With a 4.7 inch diagonal screen this phone is 5.44 inches tall by 2.64 inches wide by .27 inches deep.  The larger iPhone 6 Plus is even larger.  Sporting a 5.5 inch diagonal screen, this iPhone is 6.22 inches tall, 3.06 inches wide and .28 inches deep.  These are important measurements to keep in mind when selecting your mount.  For those with any custom iPhone mount which features a cradle specifically made for your iPhone, they aren’t going to fit and you will need to purchase a new mount, or at least a new cradle.  For those that have purchased a universal mount to hold your older phone, hopefully it opens wide enough to hold your new iPhone 6 series without a problem.  Most universal mounts offer options to upgrade your cradle to a larger one.  From experience, I suspect you will be able to reuse your existing universal mount for an iPhone 6, but not for the iPhone 6 Plus.  The iPhone 6 Plus is a really big phone.  It was made to compete with the larger models from Samsung such as the Mega and Galaxy Note.

Readers of our site already know that we favor the universal mounts because of the reasons just mentioned.  So for those that never had a phone mount before, avoid the custom solutions and purchase a solid universal mount.

There are a lot of companies that offer some excellent mounting solutions for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Arkon, based in California, offers three inexpensive lines that fit all iPhone 6 models with or without a case.  The Mobile-Grip 2 cradles were recently introduced.  Mobile-Grip 2 features an expandable cradle that grips your phone from the sides.  The cradle opens to 3.6 inches wide so should be large enough for almost all cases although you might struggle a bit with a thick case on an iPhone 6 Plus.  Arkon also offers an older line called Slim-Grip Ultra which opens to over 7 inches.  The Slim-Grip Ultra will hold your phone from the top and bottom and features support legs that can move from side to side.  Lastly, the Megagrip cradle opens to 3.4 inches.  The Megagrip has been around for many years and is extremely reliable.  The Megagrip features one hand operation and opens with the push of a button.  Arkon does not offer a custom cradle for any of the iphone 6 models.

iOttie, based in New York, provides some inexpensive mounts that feature the Easy One Touch 2 universal cradle which opens to 3.2 inches and will fit the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus without a case or skin.  When adding a thick case, this line may not fit well.  This cradle is spring loaded and sold with a variety of mounts for the handlebar, windshield and dash.  iOttie is somewhat new to us and we plan to look closer at their offerings in the near future.

RAM Mount, out of Washington, features two custom cradles.  The RAM-HOL-AP18U is made to fit the iPhone 6 and the RAM-HOL-AP19U will fit the iPhone 6 Plus.  Since it’s a custom cradle, these will not fit your device with a case or skin.  You can couple these with one of RAM’s mounting pedestals for the windshield, cup holder, dash or motorcycle.  RAM also makes their ever popular X-Grip cradle, the RAM-HOL-UN7BU for the 6 and RAM-HOL-UN10BU for the 6 Plus.  These universal cradles will open to grip your phone from the sides with or without a case or skin in use.  Although the custom cradles are well made, we prefer the X-Grip universal cradles.  It’s likely you will have a case or skin on your phone so go with the universal cradles.  We do a deep dive on the X-Grip series which is worth reading here.

As for recommendations, I have used and really like the Arkon MegaGrip SM415 Mount for universal car use.  This line is inexpensive and proven.  You can use it reliably on your car dash or windshield and it fits your iPhone 6 with or without a case.   The mount features a vacuum locked suction assembly attached to a pivoting arm.  The cradle opens and closes at a push of a button and expands up to 3.4 inches so it will git the iPhone 6 even with a case and an iPhone 6 Plus without a case or with a very thin skin.  The phone can swivel into any orientation.  The mount also comes with an adhesive disk that you can stick to the dash to turn the mount into a console mount.  The suction assembly can adhere tot he adhesive disk just like it would on a windshield.  I have used these for a long time and can vouch for the ease of use and durability.  Might be the best phone mount you can get for the price.

If you are looking to use your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus on a motorcycle, consider the RAM X-Grip line.  These are heavy duty mounts that are mostly constructed of metal.  The mount has gone through some rigorous shake tests and holds up well on a motorcycle.  We wrote about X-Grips extensively on this site and you can view that article here.  The mount that you would use for the iPhone 6 is the RAM-B-149Z-UN7U.  The iPhone 6 Plus needs a larger cradle so you would select the RAM-B-149Z-UN10U.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

iOttieSuction cup windshield mount with expandable cradle and telescoping armiOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount Holder for iPhone 6 (4.7)/Plus (5.5) /5s/5c, Samsung Galaxy S5/S4/S3/Note 4/3, Google Nexus 5/4, LG G3 - Retail Packaging - Black

RAM MountCustom iPhone 6 holder for RAM mounting systemsRAM Mount Cradle f/Apple iPhone 6

RAM MountCustom iPhone 6 plus holder for RAM mounting systemsRAM Mount Cradle f/Apple iPhone 6 Plus

ArkonWindshield suction cup mount with universal cradleArkon Windshield and Dashboard Smartphone Car Mount Holder for Apple iPhone 6 Plus 6 5 5S 5C Samsung Galaxy Note 4 3 S5 S4 S3

RAM MountMotorcycle mount with X-Grip IV cradle to fit an iPhone 6 plusRAM Mounts (RAM-B-149Z-UN10U) Handlebar Rail Mount with Zinc Coated U-Bolt Base and Universal X-Grip Iv Large Phone/Phablet Holder

RAM MountMotorcycle mount with X-Grip cradle for iPhone 6RAM Handlebar Rail Mount with Zinc Coated U-Bolt Base and Universal X-Grip(TM) Cell Phone Holder