Even older Garmin Zumo motorcycle GPS units are still relevant for everyday use. However, phones have become even more useful as a motorcycle GPS. Apps like Waze are as functional as most GPS units and easily portable. For those interested in using their Garmin Zumo motorcycle mount for a phone, we offer some advice on how to do that.
Use What You Have
Many manufacturers provide a cheap mount with their GPS. That includes Garmin on some of their automotive GPS units. However, when it came to most of their motorcycle units, that wasn’t the case. Garmin includes a metal mount with a 4-hole AMPS connection pattern. The 4-hole adapter typically screwed to the back of the GPS cradle. It’s an excellent mount.
The stock mount is actually made by a company called RAM Mounts. That company makes a wide array of accessories that fit the universal 1-inch ball that is featured on this mount. That includes cradles for using a Garmin Zumo motorcycle mount for a phone.
Additions for Using a Garmin Zumo Motorcycle Mount for a Phone
So for those with the standard RAM Mount, let’s look at a few options for using your Garmin Zumo motorcycle mount for a phone. These recommendations assume that you already have the handlebar attachment, connector arm and 4-hole metal AMPS adapter that is likely attached to the Garmin Zumo cradle.
First thing to do is unscrew the flywheel in the middle of the arm sufficiently enough to remove the AMPS adapter and cradle. That space is going to be taken up by the new phone accessory.
The most typical way to use your Garmin Zumo motorcycle mount for a phone is to replace the current adapter with the RAM X-Grip IV Phone Cradle. This is a well made expandable phone mount that fits most phones with or without a case. The mount opens to 4.5 inches which is large enough for most phones. These cradles come with a tether which we suggest deploying for added safety. We took a deeper dive into the RAM X-Grip series awhile back which is worth a read if needing more information.
Another option for consideration is the RAM-HOL-UN4U Finger Grip Holder with 1-Inch Ball Adapter. Similar to the previously described mount, this features an expandable grip to surround your phone. These cradles open up to 3.5 inches wide. Not quite as much as the X-Grip just discussed, but still large enough for most phones. These cradles hold onto your phone extremely tight.
Powering a Phone on a Motorcycle
Depending upon the model of Garmin Zumo you may have, it’s likely you will not be able to use the power adapter for your phone. Most Garmin Zumo cradles had a hardwire attached to the motorcycle power source. That would be replaced by a universal adapter.
There are plenty of hardwire DC adapter marketed for motorcycles. We wrote a detailed article on this topic here but we continue to like the Eklipes Cobra which facilitates use of a car phone charger. This accessory also supports a USB power attachment for smartphones so you could potentially forego the cigar lighter part altogether. We wrote a detailed spotlight on this product awhile back which worth perusing if more information is desired.