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



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

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 where you can always find a huge selection of Arkon Mounts and RAM Mounts.

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.

Eklipes Cobra Motorcycle Hardwire USB Charging System

The Eklipes Cobra Motorcycle Hardwire USB Charging System is an excellent addition for most motorcycles. It includes everything needed to enable  a power outlet onto your bike.

This hardwire solution is one of the most cost-effective and functional that I have seen.  If you are looking to power your device on your bike, this is what you need.  Most hardwire kits have a pair of bare wires, a fuse in the middle then either a 12-volt DC outlet or a mini-USB at the end without an on/off switch.  This power outlet includes not only a DC outlet but also a USB port and an on/off switch.  This means you can potentially plug your GPS charging or traffic cable as well as charge your cell phone at the same time.

This power kit includes a handlebar mount and has a chrome finish.  Most hardwires I have seen do not come with the ability to mount to a handlebar.  The Eklipes Cobra Charging System kit comes with the ability to mount to most handlebars and fits bars up to 1.25 inches diameter.  There is a 5 1/2 foot cable to attach the adapter to your battery and that should be long enough to make the trip from the battery to the handlebar.

The cable is in two parts.  The part that connects to your battery has two round leads attached to the red and black cables.  There is a connection at the end that will attach to the handlebar attachment.  The handlebar attachment has a short cable and the 12-volt DC outlet, USB port and on/off switch.  The ports have a waterproof cap that is another unique and very useful feature of this hardwire kit.  There is a 15 AMP fuse integrated into the kit.  The handlebar mount also has a locking plate mechanism which is a theft deterrent feature which I haven’t seen before in other hardwires.  Another nice feature.

The Eklipes Cobra cable includes the ability to attach to a standard motorcycle battery charger.  The included EZ Jump-Start battery harness is a 12 gauge female BMW jumper plug capable of handling over 2000 cranking AMPS.  Using the cable that connect to the battery enables the addition of the Eklipes Bike to Bike Charging Kit to enable battery charging from another motorcycle.  You can also attach the cable to a standard battery charger.  Just be sure this is a battery charger made to handle smaller motorcycle batteries, not one that’s made for a large car battery unless it has a step down feature.

I have been used to using the small hardwire kits that have a fuse box in the middle and a dangling cable at the end which is typically a mini-USB that fits a GPS like a Garmin Nuvi.  The Eklipes Cobra gives me the same functionality as my SUV.  I can charge an Apple iPhone directly using my Lightning Cable plugged into the USB port.  If I want to use a Garmin GPS with the traffic cable built into the charger, I can use that cable and plug it into the DC port that’s now mounted right on the handlebar.

The Eklipes Cobra Motorcycle Hardwire USB Charging System is a great addition for a motorcycle that doesn’t have any utility power sources already built-in at the factory.  This chrome kit is also available in a black finish.

Arkon RoadVise Smartphone Holder

Arkon RV127 with iPhone 5sThe Arkon RoadVise Smartphone Holder is a cradle that’s designed to use in rugged environments such as a motorcycle.

This is a good multi-purpose cradle as it can be used for smartphones as well as a GPS.  This isn’t one of those cradles made to operate with one hand.  You will need two hands to open and close due to the fact that the grip is purposely made to form a firm grip around your device.  The sides of the grips are padded to prevent marring and opens to 4 inches.  That’s a fairly sizable opening for a cradle.  To put it into perspective, an Apple iPhone 6 Plus is 3.06 inches wide, a Samsung Note 5 is 3.00 inches wide and a Garmin Nuvi 65LM is 3.7 inches wide (and that is a 6″ diagonal screen GPS).  So we are looking at a cradle that has the potential to grip the largest smartphone and even a decent sized GPS.

Unlike many other cradles, this one doesn’t get in the way of your camera.  The cradle grips your phone from the sides so the camera lens will not be obstructed making it easier to record a video of your ride.  Just set it up prior to your ride, make any mount adjustments and off you go.

Many of Arkon’s latest mounts are designed around the 17mm ball and socket pattern so it’s no surprise that the RoadVise follows this trend.  The RoadVise includes a locking nut to tighten the grip around the 17mm ball tightly.  Arkon has chosen to bundle the RoadVise with a variety of their mounts including several handlebar and car  mounts.

The photo that accompanies this article is the Arkon RoadVise Motorcycle Mount with my Apple iPhone 5s encased in an Otterbox Defender Case.  It comfortably fits within the RoadVise grip.  The included handlebar mount is constructed of plastic and fits bars up to a 1.25 inch diameter and includes rubber strips to prevent marring of chrome surfaces.  The ball and socket design allows full swivel for your device to be used in landscape or portrait mode.  The mount uses two bolts to secure to your handlebar.  A screwdriver is needed for installation.  Once it’s on your handlebar, it’s generally not removed but your RoadVise cradle can easily be removed from the mount if necessary.

The Arkon Chrome RoadVise Handlebar Mount is an upgraded version of the previously mentioned model.  This mount is constructed of chrome plated aluminum and fits handlebars up to 1.5 inches.  The mount attaches to your handlebars using an included hex key.  The mounting base features the 17mm ball so it can double as a good Garmin Nuvi GPS mount using the cradle that came with your unit when not using it for a smartphone.

For the car, consider the Arkon RoadVise Suction Cup Mount.  The included mount is the Arkon Robust Mount which was introduced about a year back.  This suction cup mount is a heavier duty mount than most suction cup varieties.  It includes a ball and socket design with adjustment points at the base and the tip.  This is done by turning the flywheel at the center of the mounting arm, placing the mount in the desired position, then re-tightening the flywheel.  Your device can swivel 360 degrees for use in portrait and landscape.  The included suction base features a vacuum lock to ensure a reliable grip to your windshield.  The mount has a weight limit of two pounds and that’s enough to handle almost all smartphones and GPS units.

The Arkon RoadVise Sticky Dash and Windshield Mount is a good choice for use on a textured dashboard.  The sticky suction car mount bonds to smooth and slightly textured surfaces.  The sticky bottom can be recharged by simply washing it in some warm soapy water.  Like the other mounts, this can also be rotated 360 degrees for landscape or portrait use.  There is an adjustment point at the base allow manipulation of the height.  The mount comes with an adhesive disk that can be paired with this mount if you would prefer to use that instead of the sticky base.

One handy note:  The 17mm socket on the back of the RoadVise grip is common to several other company’s mounts including a Garmin Nuvi GPS.  This allows the Arkon cradle to be used with the very popular Garmin Bean Bag Dash Mount which we have written about many times before.  Given the emergence of smartphone applications such as Waze many GPS owners are migrating to applications on their phone.  The RoadVise grip is a good addition to the Garmin mount you may already have sitting on your dash and will enable it to hold your smartphone.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

ArkonRoadVise holder for smartphones and GPSARKON Road Vise Car Cell Phone Holder or iPhone Holder for Apple iPhone 6, Plus 6, 5S, 5C, 4S, Samsung Galaxy S6, S5, Note 4 - Retail Packaging - Black

ArkonRoadVise holder with handlebar mountARKON RoadVise Motorcycle Phone Mount Cell Phone Holder for Smartphones - Retail Packaging - Black

ArkonRoadVise holder with chrome handlebar mountARKON RoadVise Motorcycle Mount Cell Phone Holder for Smartphones - Retail Packaging - Chrome/Black

ArkonRoadVise with suction cup mountARKON RoadVise iPhone Car Mount Holder for Apple iPhone 6 Plus 6 5S 5C 4S Samsung Galaxy Note 4 S6 S5 and GPS Mount - Retail Packaging - Black

ArkonRoadVise with sticky dash mountARKON RoadVise iPhone Car Mount Holder or Dash Car Mount for Apple iPhone 6 Plus 6 5S 5C Samsung Galaxy S6 Note 4 or GPS - Retail Packaging - Black

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 Apple 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

Garmin dezl 570LMT Truck and Car Mounts

The Garmin dezl 570LMT is Garmin’s annual truck GPS refresh of their 5″ screen model. This GPS includes many features including lifetime traffic, bluetooth and voice recognition. This upgraded model includes extra-loud, enhanced speakers to deliver clearly spoken, turn-by-turn directions that are loud enough to be heard over road noise.  The GPS has features that are useful for truckers such as routes customized towards the weight of the vehicle, truck stops and other information (such as bridge heights).  The GPS includes features to permit the driver to enter their hours of service and related information such as number of miles driven in a state and fuel mileage.  A nice device for truckers at a reasonable price.

Whenever we discuss a Garmin GPS with traffic, I always deliver the cable advice.  Don’t lose it.  Your traffic subscription is tied to the actual cable.  If you lose your cable, you will need to replace with a very expensive (about $60) traffic charger.  A plain car charger will not provide you with traffic, you need to buy the HD traffic cable with traffic incorporated into it.

Now for the mounts.  This GPS is similar to the other dezl models before it in using a ball and socket design.  The default mount that is provided with the GPS is the typical Garmin suction cup except the neck is a little longer than a smaller 5″ screen model.  This is the same mounting suction cup base that Garmin has used for roughly the past ten years (they changed the cradle, not the base mount).  Garmin also includes an adhesive disk for those that wish to use it on the dashboard.  This adhesive dash disk is especially useful if you are planning to drive in a state like California where windshield mounting might not be legal.  If your suction cup has failed, read our article on reviving it here.

If after reading that article, it’s still failing, but the cradle is still good, replace the mount with a good quality model like the Arkon suction mount.  These Arkon mounts come with a 2-year warranty and these stick real well.  Like the Garmin mount, the Arkon brand comes with an adhesive dashboard disk as well.  The cradle is easy to remove from the old mount, but if you need a tutorial, we have that here.

As previously mentioned, the dezl 570LMT is the model that is used for trucks.  A truck has an extremely long reach to the windshield and I find it surprising that Garmin does not provide an extra long mount.  Fortunately the people at Arkon provide a nicely constructed extra long mount that will fit this line.  The mount included a 17mm ball adapter that is made to fit the socket on the back of your power cradle.  It extends from 14-18 inches and has a metal arm that withstands vibrations reasonably well.

If you would rather not put adhesive on your dash, you could use this cradle with Garmin’s highly regarded bean bag mount which we discussed in a prior article.  This is great for an easy to install and remove mounting solution.  When you’re done, just drop it in your glove box or under your seat.  This mount has the standard 17mm ball to fit your cradle.

If the bean bag mount is a bit too heavy for your liking, Garmin offers a lighter weight dash mount.  This mount weighs less than 8 ounces.  Like the bean bag version, the mount features a 17mm ball that will fit the cradle that came with your GPS.  It has a non skid bottom as well.  The next attached to the 17mm ball can fold down for storage.  Both Garmin mounts are well made.  I prefer the bean bag as I like the fact that it’s a heavier duty mount than the lightweight version.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

ArkonSuction and dash GPS replacement mountArkon Replacement Upgrade or Additional Windshield Dashboard Suction Mounting Pedestal for Garmin nuvi 40 50 1450 1200 GPS

GarminBean bag mount for Garmin dezlCamGarmin Portable Friction Mount - Frustration Free Packaging

GarminDashboard mount for Garmin dezlCamGarmin Friction Mount

ArkonExtra long extension mount for Garmin dezlCamArkon GPSCM117 14.5 to 18.5-Inch Extension Windshield Mount for Garmin Nuvi and TomTom GPS Trucks and Rigs

Car and Motorcycle Mounts for Garmin GPSMAP 64, 64s, 64st

This line of handheld GPS is the latest upgrade to their longtime GPSMAP 60 series line of devices.  For those familiar with prior generations, these look a lot like the GPSMAP 62 series which was the predecessor to this series.  All three entries of the 64 series have a transflective, 65-K color TFT display that measures 1.43″ x 2.15″.  They run on 2 AA batteries with a 16 hour predicted battery life.  You will want to use NiMH or Lithium batteries and recharge them if possible.  All models are perfect for the geocaching enthusiast or for that matter, any outdoors activity.  All three GPSMAP 64 models are the same size and the mounts that we will discuss will fit all models.

GPSMAP 64 – this is the base model.  It includes 4GB of internal storage as well as an external microSD slot.  The GPS can hold up to 5000 waypoints and 200 routes.

GPSMAP 64s – this includes all of the features of the base model and adds an electronic compass and barometric altimeter.

GPSMAP 64st – includes all the features of the 64s with boosted internal memory of 8GB as well as pre-loaded topographic maps.

Loading maps to your GPS can be a real pain, especially if you hike in a different location each time you will use the GPS so consider the 64st to avoid the loading.  To me, the basic GPSMAP 64 is just a little too basic.  The 64s is a good choice if you plan on using it in the same area of your state all the time.

The selection of mounts won’t be as difficult as the GPS.  That’s because the same mount fit all three models of the GPSMAP 64 line.  There are a lot of choices for mounts.  The GPSMAP 64 series shares their mounts as some other Garmin GPS units such as the GPSMAP 62 and in some cases the Rino 650.  So you may see models listed other than the GPSMAP 64 series in various titles and descriptions.  The purpose of this article is to highlight mounts that will fit your GPS so if it’s listed here, they should fit your GPSMAP 64 just fine.

The Garmin GPSMAP series used to come with your basic belt clip.  I never liked these very much as the GPS isn’t really usable while it’s hanging on your belt.  So now Garmin includes their carabiner clip with these.  That’s a clip that can be used to attach your GPS to a backpack of something that’s hanging from your neck.

If taking this GPS in a car or truck, the carabiner clip isn’t going to be very useful.  You will need to consider a different solution such as the Garmin Friction Mount.  This mount is placed on your dashboard and has a non-skid bottom.  It includes a clip that your GPSMAP will insert into.  These fit a lot of Garmin handheld models including the older GPSMAP 62 series so if you are upgrading from this older model, you can likely use that mount.

This series can also be used for marine purposes and the Garmin Marine Flat Surface Mount is an excellent choice.  Like the above mount, this one can be used for several different Garmin lines and the GPSMAP 64 series will slide into the mounting plate.  The bottom has pre-drilled holes to screw down to your flat surface.

I find it surprising that Garmin does not offer a suction mount option for this line (nor do they offer one for the majority of handheld units) or one that can be used on an ATV or motorcycle.  Fortunately the folks at RAM offer a Handlebar Mount for the Garmin GPSMAP 62 and 64.  This is a well made mount.  Constructed of metal with a custom plastic cradle, this comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.  It fits handlebars up to a 1.25 inch diameter which is most motorcycle handlebars.  There is a 3″ arm in the middle and you can adjust the mount from the base and the cradle as it is built on a ball and socket design.

As just stated, it’s also a mystery as to why Garmin would not offer a suction cup option on the mount.  Fortunately RAM has a Suction Cup Mount for the GPSMAP 64.  This includes a plastic mount and custom cradle with the typical adjustment points found on most RAM mounts at the base and cradle.  These are great for use in your car or SUV.  I’m not too keen on using these in high vibration environments such as a motorcycle or ATV.  That’s just my opinion.

Lastly, Garmin offers a stem mount.  It’s an inexpensive mount that uses twist-ties to fasten it to your stem or handlebar.  Since the mount is permanent, be sure you like where you put it or you will need to cut the ties and buy new ones.  This mount is good for a bicycle, not a motorcycle.  A motorcycle has too much vibration and I don’t trust twist ties on anything other than a bicycle.

On a related note, I have seen some dealers offering screen protectors for the GPSMAP 64, 64s and 64st models.  Please save your money and do not buy these.  Most GPS units made over the past five years use an anti-scratch lens and under most normal use will not show any scratches.  You will find a screen protector is unnecessary.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

GarminFriction mount for Garmin GPSMAP 64 seriesGarmin 010-11602-00 Rino 600 Series Friction Mount

GarminScrew down flat surface mount for Garmin GPSMAP 64 seriesGarmin 010-11031-00 Colorado Series Marine Mount

RAM MountRAM handlebar mount for the GPSMAP 64 seriesRAM Handlebar Rail Mount with Zinc Coated U-Bolt Base for the Garmin Astro 320, GPSMAP 62, 62s, 62sc, 62st & 62stc, 64, 64s, 64st

RAM MountRAM suction cup mount for the GPSMAP 64 seriesRAM Composite Twist Lock Suction Cup Mount for the Garmin Astro 320, GPSMAP 62, 62s, 62sc, 62st, 64, 64s, 64st

GarminBicycle mount for Garmin GPSMAP 64 seriesGarmin 010-11023-00 Colorado/Oregon/GPSMAP Series Bike Mount

Waze: It’s not Perfect

Waze RoyaltyAs readers of our site know, I have become a big fan of Waze over the past year.  I originally wrote an article on Waze pronouncing this to be one of the greatest applications ever.  I still think it’s a great application but it isn’t perfect.  In this article, we discuss some opportunities for improvement.

I use Waze a lot.  A real lot.  So much that I have achieved a level of Royalty Wazer.  That means that when people I don’t know see me on their map, I am wearing a crown.  I wish I could turn that off.  It’s amazing the things application developers do to get people to use their product.Simply put out a good product and let that be the reason why people use it over and over again.  In the case of Waze, they did just that.  The silly promotional stuff isn’t necessary.

So I mentioned that I use Waze a lot.  Unlike a traditional GPS device, I use Waze even when I know where I am going.  That’s because of the integrated traffic and hazards feature.  Waze will plan the fastest route to wherever I am headed with the traffic delays known up front.  This is superior to almost all of the GPS devices out there.  Yes, there are GPS units with traffic built-in but that only works in large metropolitan areas.  I live in Northwest New Jersey.  Apparently that’s not considered a large metropolitan area so traffic integration is unreliable and sometimes not available.  Waze, however, works perfectly.

When Waze is aware that I am on a well-traveled road, it works perfectly.  However when in some more obscure parts of the state, it sort of loses common sense.  I was driving in the sticks a few weeks ago and looking to go home from wherever I was.  Instead of telling me to make a right out of the driveway which is the way I was expecting, it had me make a left.  It then took me over a mile down the road, had me turn onto a side street, then make a u-turn to come back the other way right past the driveway I just turned out of.  Apparently Waze must have thought the road had a divider in the middle.

The next area of improvement is Bluetooth integration.  Waze runs on your phone, so Bluetooth is already present and you would think that Waze would integrate perfectly but it doesn’t.  When using Waze on an active route and a call comes in, Waze disappears to the background and the telephone application takes over.  Your map is off the screen.  You can get the map back by closing the phone app and opening Waze again but that’s not safe while driving.  Additionally, while speaking to your party that just called, Waze will interrupt and override the speaking party.  This one is kind of surprising but that’s how it works on my iPhone.  Android users might be able to benefit from an application called Waze Up but sorry IOS users, you’re out of luck.  I can’t be the only one to complain about this because it’s really annoying.

The last area for improvement is the whole user interaction.  We are all familiar with the risks of texting while driving.  While I am a big fan of using the Waze application, I’m not a fan of the way it handles reporting of traffic and hazards.  Waze encourages someone in the car to report these incidents.  Unfortunately there is no easy way that I know of to do this via voice command.  You need to press several buttons within the application to do this.  I suppose if you have a bored passenger, it gives them something to do but I’m betting a lot of these reports come from the drivers themselves.  Yes, you get six Waze points for doing this but it’s really dangerous and I think the developers need to come up with a safer way to report traffic or hazards.

As I said at the beginning of the article, I am a big Waze fan, and will continue to use it on a daily basis wherever I go.  Fix these annoyances and you have a near perfect application!

If you would like to read a good article on smartphone car mounts which are useful with GPS applications such as Waze, you may view it here.  If you aren’t a fan of Waze and instead like the traditional GPS units read our Guide to Buying a Garmin Nuvi.

Mounts for Izzo Swami 4000 and 4000+ Golf GPS

The Izzo Swami 4000 GPS and Izzo Swami 4000+ GPS for golfers has been available for a few years.  It has a lot going for it at a reasonable price.  It’s pre-loaded with over 30,000 golf courses so there is a reasonable chance your neighborhood course will be covered.  The purpose of this GPS is simple.  Based upon where you are standing it will provide accurate distances to front, center and back of the green.  The Izzo Swami 4000+ incorporates distances to hazards like traps.  It has a digital scorekeeper and shot distance measurement.  The device is a small handheld model measuring 3.8 inches high x 2.1 inches wide.

The Izzo Swami 4000 comes with a charger, USB cable, case and a belt clip.  Ever try to swing a golf club with a GPS hanging from a belt clip?  It’s really annoying and another reason why my shot will hook dramatically to the left into the lake.  Do yourself a favor and put somewhere else.  The most popular locations to mount a golf GPS has always been the cup holder or windshield of an electric golf cart or the handlebar of a pull cart or the golf bag itself.  We will discuss all of these options in detail.

We always like universal mounts when possible.  The first advantage is ease in inserting your GPS and removing it regardless of if you use a protective case or not.  The second and probably most important advantage is the ability to use the mount for future GPS upgrades so if you buy another new GPS several years from now, there is a possibility you may not need to purchase another mount.

The most popular location for mounting any golf GPS is the cup holder of your golf cart.  The Bracketron Golf Cart Cup Holder Mount offers an expandable cradle that opens to approximately four inches wide so it will grab the Izzo Swami 4000 from the sides.  The cradle has movable side grips so that you can move them up or down and avoid pressing of any side controls.  The bottom has an expandable base that can be made wider to contour to the size of the cup holder by twisting the top of the base.

If you would prefer not to use the cup holder, a suction cup mount for any smooth flat surface is available.  These are perfect for adhering the mount to the golf cart’s windshield.  An expandable cradle to fit your GPS is included.

For pull carts, the best place to mount your GPS is the handlebar.  Most handlebars on a pull cart are an inch in diameter.  Bracketron also make an excellent pull cart handlebar mount.  This mount shares the same cradle as the cup holder variety.  It also includes an adjustable strap mount that is easy to install and remove.  It fits diameters much larger than an inch and is tightened by pulling on the strap and removed by pulling up on the tab and loosening the strap.

You can also attach your Izzo Swami 4000 to the golf bag itself.  This is accomplished by borrowing on the design that is normally used to mount a GPS or cell phone to a sun visor of a car.  The Bracketron golf bag mount is what you need.  It also borrows the same cradle from the previously mentioned mounts and slips over the top of your golf bag.

Although there might be some custom cradle mounts. my personal take on this is to stick with the universal mounts made by Bracketron.  The ability to reuse it when you upgrade (or change manufacturers) will save you some money plus the options available with this lineup are ones that are not available from Izzo Golf.  I prefer the cup holder to other locations as it’s out of the way and in a safe location within the golf cart.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

BracketronCup holder mount for electric cartsBracketron RWA-202-BL Golf Cart Cup Holder Mount with Grip-iT for GPS

BracketronPull cart mountBracketron XV1-620-2 Universal Caddy Strap Mount

BracketronGolf bag mountUniversal Golf GPS Bag Mount

BracketronSuction cup golf mountBracketron XV1-684-2 Universal Caddy Cart Mount

Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector Car Mounts

The Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector was introduced a few years ago and continues to be very popular.  This is a radar detector owner’s dream.  It will detect all bands of speed enforcement radar (X, K, Ka, and Ku) from both front and rear.  But there’s a lot of radar detectors that can do this.  One of the best and most unique features in the GPS integration and on-board database of red light and speed camera locations. This detector also has an autolearn feature that integrates the GPS position so that once it you tell the detector of the false alert, it will not warn you about it again.  Between the GPS, the historical database or cameras and the autolearn feature, it’s like the Waze of radar detectors.  It is also compatible with Escort Live which is their flagship smartphone application.

The mount that is provided with the 9500ix is a double suction cup with a tab which fits into the slot at the top of the radar detector.  Be sure to clean your windshield well prior to adhesion.  The mount is ok in low vibration environments and in moderate climates should work well for several years.  If your suction mount stops working, be sure to read our article on failing suction cups because you may potentially be able to save it.  You might also be able to simply replace the suction cups on the mount if you can find them.

If you can’t save it, or are simply unhappy with the stock mount, the Escort StickyCup is what I wish the company would provide versus the one they do.  Like the stock mount, this one has the tab that slides into the slot at the top of the 9500ix.  Unlike the stock mount, this one has a single larger suction cup that will likely hold up better.  The mount has a vacuum feature to drastically improve the suction functionality.

Who says that a radar detector has to be attached to your windshield?  Certainly not California or Minnesota where,  as outlined in our article, mounting to your windshield is against the law.  Let’s take a look at what is out there for places other than your windshield.

Your car dash is a great place to mount to mount your radar detector.  This Car Dash Mount marries your 9500ix to a flat platform using included Velcro strips.  The bottom of the mount has a suction cup and the kit includes an adhesive disk to stick to your dash.  The suction cup sticks to the round disk just like a windshield.  Keeps the radar detector in a great spot for viewing.

The rear view mirror is another location that’s becoming a more popular spot to mount devices.  The PerformancePackage Rear View Mirror Mount for the 9500ix includes an attachment that will fit your rear view mirror.  The mount uses a clamp to attach to the rear view mirror.  Also included is a tab attachment that slides into the slot at the top of the 9500ix.  You have adjustment points att he base and the tip.

Although not my favorite location for a radar detector, the passenger’s sun visor is another place to mount your 9500ix.  This Visor Mount is ok to use as long as looking at the message screen on the 9500ix is unimportant to you.  Fortunately the 9500ix has voice capabilities, so potentially this may not be important to you.  I would also mention that interfacing with the radar detector is very difficult so this location is best after you have the device customized with false reading locations.

Actually, as I finish the article, I realize there’s a lot more locations to put this radar detector than I thought.  Select the location that’s not going to interfere with your driving, is legal to use in your state and is easy to remove.  This is one of the more expensive radar detectors on the market so you don’t want to leave it in the car.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

EscortLarge suction cup mount for Escort Passport 9500ixEscort StickyCup Windshield Mount (Black)

PerformancePackageRear view mirror mount for Escort 9500ixPerformancePackage Mirror Mount Radar Detector Bracket - Escort 9500ix, 8500x50, Solo S3, Redline

EscortSun visor clip for Escort 9500ixEscort Visor Clip Mount for Radar and Laser Detectors

Garmin Nuvi 2798LMT Car and Truck Mounts

The Garmin Nuvi 2798LMT is the first of the company’s GPS line to have a backup camera.  It looks like Garmin might be trying to introduce some new value added features to their aging Nuvi line.  We have seen backup cameras on a few models in Europe but this is a first for Garmin.  While certainly not a substitute for turning your head to check for oncoming vehicles, a backup camera is useful for backing into spaces to ensure you will not hit the object behind you.  The 2798LMT sports a lot of nice features including a big 7″ screen, lifetime map updates, integrated traffic, voice activated navigation and Bluetooth integration.

A note on the traffic.  I always mention the all important traffic subscription and how it’s tied into your car charger.  So don’t lose it.  You cannot replace it with a basic car charger because while it may power your device, the traffic will not work.  You will need to buy a Garmin traffic cable with a brand new subscription.  Don’t leave this in your next car rental!

The first mount that we can discuss is the one you will use for the backup camera.  This is one of those tasks where you will be making some holes in your car so be extra sure you have it in the right place.  The right place means that the angle of sight is good but also that your GPS is receiving a clear signal from the camera location.  You don’t want to mount the camera only to find out you aren’t seeing the right video.  The camera will attach to a transmitter.  If you are finding that a signal to your GPS is hard to get, consider installing a Transmitter Extension Cable.  This 50-foot cable will hopefully get the transmitter closer to your GPS unit to deliver a clear signal.  Be sure to follow all instructions in the Garmin Manual and as I mentioned, be extremely sure the angle of the camera is right before bolting the camera mount to your car.

Now on to vehicle mounts for the GPS itself.  The default mount that is provided with the 2798LMT is the typical Garmin suction cup except the neck is a little longer than a smaller 5″ screen model.  On the 2798LMT, you will need to use the included cradle in order to use the camera.  If your suction cup has failed, read our article on reviving it here.  If after reading the article, it’s still failing but the cradle is still good, replace it with a good quality mount like the Arkon suction mount.  These Arkon mounts come with a 2-year warranty and these stick real well.  Like the Garmin mount, the Arkon brand comes with an adhesive dashboard disk as well.

If using this in a truck or an RV, the windshield can be a far reach to the driver so a longer suction mount might be called for.  Fortunately the people at Arkon provide a nicely constructed extra long mount that will fit this line.  The mount included a 17mm ball adapter that is made to fit the socket on the back of your power cradle.  It extends from 14-18 inches and has a metal arm that withstands vibrations reasonably well.

If you would prefer not to mount this GPS on the windshield, that’s ok, there are a lot of other mounts that permit alternative locations within your vehicle.  The dashboard is a very popular place to put your GPS.  For many years, the Garmin Bean Bag Dashboard Mount has been the answer to customers that prefer a different location.  It’s a heavy mount with a non skid bottom and has that 17mm ball built-in to fit the socket on the back of your cradle.  If you would like to read more on this mount, we did a detailed article on this mount awhile back.

Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:

PhotoManufacturerDescriptionAmazon Link

GarminGarmin bean bag mount with standard 17mm ball to fit the socket on the back of the cradleGarmin Portable Friction Mount - Frustration Free Packaging

GarminGarmin backup camera extension cableGarmin 010-12043-10 Wireless Backup Camera Extention

ArkonExtra long suction cup mount for dezl and NuviArkon GPSCM117 14.5 to 18.5-Inch Extension Windshield Mount for Garmin Nuvi and TomTom GPS Trucks and Rigs

ArkonSuction cup mount for Garmin Nuvi cradlesArkon Replacement Upgrade or Additional Windshield Dashboard Suction Mounting Pedestal for Garmin nuvi 40 50 1450 1200 GPS

Mounts for Aprilia Motorcycles

Today we are discussing mounts available for Aprilia motorcycles.  Aprilia makes a large array of bikes that range from small-capacity motorcycles and scooters to large sport bikes such as the V4 RSV4.  Their popularity has been increasing partly because of considerable success on the racing circuit.  Here in New Jersey, you don’t see many people using scooters as you will likely get blown off the highway but we do see an occasional Aprilia full-sized motorcycle.

Like many motorcycle owners, Aprilia 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 will work well for Aprilia motorcycle owners.  The majority of Aprilia owners will use their handlebar as the mounting point for their devices.  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 Aprilia bike.

First, let’s discuss GPS mounts.  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 quite 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 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.

Some Aprilia motorcycles such as more recent RSV4 models can use a fork stem option.  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 includes a safety bungee and a 17mm adapter that will fit over the ball on the stem mount.  The resulting cradle installation sits roughly an inch off the stem.

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

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.

ArkonHandlebar GPS mountArkon Bike or Motorcycle Handlebar Mount for Garmin nuvi 40 50 200 2013 24x5 25x5 GPS

RAMHandlebar smartphone mountRam Mounts RAM-B-149Z-UN7U Handlebar Rail Mount with U-Bolt Base and Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder, Zinc Coated

RAMHandlebar camera montRAM Mount Handlebar U-Bolt Base w/Round 1/4"-20 Threaded Stud