You may have noticed that we typically suggest using a tether when mounting a smartphone or GPS on a motorcycle. While most well made motorcycle mounts will give you a secure hold on your device, it’s always good to have a fallback. A tether is an additional accessory that typically attaches to the mount or the handlebar as an added measure of stability. It adds stability to the mount and is especially useful if using your phone to record video of your ride.
We have seen a lot of homegrown tethers. Some have involved a drop of silicone on the back of a GPS with a small cable attached. Others have used small bungee cables. Can’t comment on the effectiveness but have noticed that the bungee cables can block the display area.
A few mount manufacturers have introduced tethers which work with their motorcycle and bike mounts. The intent of these tethers to keep your device from accidentally separating from the mount. When riding in extreme environments, it’s especially useful to have a tether in place.
This site often recommends the RAM X-Grip cradles with accompanying mounts for smartphones on motorcycles and ATVs. We wrote a rather extensive article on the X-Grip line which you can read here. The X-Grip line is a universal cradle that can hold anything from a small smartphone all the way up to a full size iPad Pro. While we don’t recommend mounting an iPad Pro on a motorcycle, smartphones make a nice addition for GPS purposes and, when integrated with a solid Bluetooth solution, used for listening to music.
RAM has recently introduced the RAM X-Grip Tether. This is a great idea and works very effectively with the design of the X-Grip cradles as it gasps your device at all four corners without blocking a significant portion of the display. This is now included in current and future smartphone X-Grip cradle purchases and can be purchased as an add-on if you already have an X-Grip cradle or need an additional tether. This is recommended where excessive wind or vibration can move your phone within the X-Grip. It’s also useful for added stability when recording video with your phone. These tethers fit around the X-Grip cradle and are available to fit RAM’s three X-Grip models for smartphones and small tablets.
Arkon Mounts has been integrating their tether strap into their handlebar mounts for several years. The Arkon Handlebar Mount for Smartphones with Safety Strap is an example. The strap is attached to a plate that goes between the dual T mount and the dual slotted cradle. The strap wraps around the phone and the cradle for added security. While it can block a small part of the display, you get used to it fairly quickly.
Not many mount manufacturers are integrating tethers into their products. There’s lots of homegrown solutions, but these two are well integrated into the existing mounting system so if you have these mounts, use what the manufacturer provides and follow their instructions on how to most effectively deploy it.