Indian motorcycles were first produced in 1901. At one point in the early 1900’s, Indian was the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. A lot of things changed in the motorcycle world over the next 50 years and the Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company went bankrupt in 1953. A number of companies tried to revive the brand over the years with little success until 2011 when a major manufacturer took it over. In 2011, Polaris Industries resurrected the brand. Comparing the new Indian motorcycles to their older counterparts, I would say that Polaris has done a great job at continuing the style that made Indian famous.
Today, we are going to discuss mounts for this iconic brand of motorcycle. The current lineup of Indian motorcycles are probably the easiest to mount your mobile devices to. This is because there is an abundant amount of handlebar space on almost every model in the lineup. When installing, be sure to use the included protectors to prevent any marring of your chrome handlebar. All the mounts that we will discuss fit the handlebar and they are good quality mounts. Be wary of inexpensive plastic mounts made for bicycles. While some plastic bicycle mounts may work fine, 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.
Let’s talk about the mounts. 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. 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.
Most GPS mounts (especially for a Garmin Nuvi) 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. The RAM Mount comes with a lifetime warranty.
If you would like to consider a GPS made specifically for a motorcycle, try the Garmin Zumo 660LM. This is weatherproof unit which has a lot of features that a motorcyclist would appreciate such as a glove-friendly display. Most car GPS units will not work well with a glove, it needs a bare hand, but the Zumo 660LM will work well. Another important feature is the Bluetooth interface. You won’t be able to hear the commands from the GPS without a Bluetooth connection to an enabled helmet or headset and the Zumo 660LM has that feature. The mount that is furnished with the Zumo 660LM is made by RAM and will fit handlebars.
Waze has enabled a whole new market for smartphones. A phone handlebar mount has some different requirements versus a GPS. I always recommend using a case on your phone so purchase a mount that includes 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.
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. Watch this 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.
For those wanting to carry a refreshing beverage on their Indian motorcycle, the RAM Handlebar Drink Holder is what you are after. The mount fits a handlebar up to 1.25 inches and includes a self-leveling cup holder that keeps your drink stable. I don’t recommend drinking your beverage while driving but this is nice to use when stopped. The mount is mostly constructed of metal and includes a lifetime warranty.