When we first got involved with GPS mounts over ten years ago, we never dreamed of the market that existed for motorcycle mounts. You would be amazed at the number of motorcycle mounts available and this category has been one that has not seen a decline. Car GPS mounts are a declining market thanks to mobile phone apps and factory installed GPS systems which I think is a huge waste of money.
There are many options available for putting a Nuvi on your bike. Today we discuss the many options available for putting a Garmin Nuvi on your motorcycle.
Before diving into the subject, note there are roughly 100 models of Garmin Nuvi. These model lines range from the lower priced Nuvi 30/40/50 line to the premium Nuvi Advanced series which finally starts to integrate social media into their software. Throw into the mess, the Zumo line, made specifically for a motorcycle as these are weatherproof and the screen is made to be used with gloves, the Nuvi dezl line for trucks and the new ultra-thin 3000 lines of Nuvi. Many of the latest models have traffic built-in which works well in urban settings. The first Nuvi mount we ever sold was the Nuvi 350 which is still very much in use today, and in fact if you want a bargain, hit eBay for a deal on a used Nuvi 350 for around $25. It’s still a very solid GPS!
We covered weatherproof mounts for your GPS in a prior article, but today we discuss other types of motorcycle mounts.
Before selecting the mounting spot, put some thought into how you will power the GPS. The Garmin USB Power Cable is available to power your unit from your bike’s battery. Consider how you will run the power cable and where you will tuck and secure it. We wrote about hardwire kits in another article and you can read it here.
The type of mount needed is a matter of motorcycle model and preference. The majority of motorcycle mounts sold are made to fit the handlebar. The majority of motorcycle handlebars are 1 – 1.25 inch in diameter. The majority of Harley models fit this category. 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 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.
What do you do if you do not have any handlebar space? Honda Goldwings are an example of a bike that doesn’t have a handlebar to mount your GPS and will select the clutch mount as a good location. Clutch mounts have screws which takes the place of those in use from the factory to attach your clutch.
Many BMW owners like to use a mount that can fit between the mirror stem and handlebar. Others will use a fork stem mount and yet others use an adhesive mount to attach the unit to the gas tank. Be sure to use 3M VHB tape if you choose the last method of adhesive.
Hopefully this helps in providing the basics of mounting your Nuvi. Be sure to write us with any questions.