I recently walked around a Harley dealership showroom here in Northern New Jersey and stumbled upon a model that caught my eye. The Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra is what you get when you cross Can-Am Spyder with a Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide. It’s a motorcycle that has two wheels on the back and one on the front. If you’re reading this article to check on mounts, then you already knew that.
The photo that accompanies this article is of a Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra cockpit. Not as many places as I would expect to mount a device, but there are a few good ones that we’ll discuss. Namely the handlebar and clutch.
The diameter of the Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra handlebar is the same as most others. It comes in at a standard 1.25 inches in diameter. There isn’t as much real estate on either side of the handlebar for mounting. However, there is sufficient space on either side to mount a GPS or phone.
I used to open motorcycle mount articles with a discussion about GPS devices. With the advent of excellent GPS apps for smartphones, these devices now outnumber GPS units so I’ll start the mount discussion with those for smartphones. By the way, if you haven’t tried it, check out our Waze review. I think that’s the best GPS app out there.
Be sure to use a good case like an Otterbox Defender or LifeProof case to protect your phone against road debris. The small investment will help to protect against potential damage to your expensive phone and it’s worth the small investment.
For motorcycle use, it’s important to select a mount with a well constructed cradle that is going to hold your phone tightly. It needs to stay secure in high vibration environments like a motorcycle. The RAM X-Grip line of mounts continues to a be a favorite for motorcycle use. Most smartphones, especially with a case or skin, can use the RAM X-Grip IV Handlebar Mount. These are heavy duty mounts that are mostly made of metal. These mounts feature the expandable X-Grip IV cradle which can open to 4.5 inches which is large enough for almost any phone. These mounts attach to your handlebar and allow complete 360 degree rotation of your phone. The manufacturer now includes a safety tether with these mounts which is a nice added touch. These come with a lifetime warranty from RAM. We wrote a very detailed article on the X-Grip series which you can read here. The mount has gone through some rigorous shake tests and holds up well on a motorcycle.
A similar mount which will fit the clutch on a Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra is the RAM Brake/Clutch Reservoir Mount with Universal X-Grip IV Phone Cradle. These come with a set of bolts that will replace the factory bolts that came with your Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra. They are a little longer than the original bolts to accommodate the added length of the mounting post. These are more difficult to install than your basic handlebar mount so be sure to follow the directions and use a mechanic if not comfortable working on your motorcycle. This mount has the same cradle as the handlebar model opening to 4.5 inches.
Most GPS owners are using a Garmin GPS. Either a Garmin Zumo or one of the car models like a Garmin Nuvi or Garmin Drive. The Zumo includes a RAM motorcycle mount that will attach to your handlebar or clutch. The Garmin Nuvi or Garmin Drive use a cradle that has a 17mm socket on the back. You will use a mount that has a 17mm ball on it. We recommend tethering the GPS to your handlebar if possible for added safety.
A good handlebar mount is the Arkon Premium Aluminum Motorcycle Garmin GPS Motorcycle Mount. These will fit your Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra handlebar just fine. It has a 17mm ball on the end that fits a Garmin Nuvi or Garmin Drive’s socket on the back of the cradle. It’s made of metal and installs with an included hex wrench. Keep the wrench in the saddlebag when finished because you will lose it if thrown into your garage toolbox. This mount has a 2-year warranty.
I mentioned the clutch on a Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra as a good location for mounting. Techmount manufactures a well made Harley-Davidson and Metric Control Mount Kit that features a 17mm ball. As previously mentioned that’s the same size ball that Garmin uses for the back of their GPS cradles. This part comes with stainless steel bolts that will replace the current manufacturer bolts. If you would like to mount a phone, you can add the Techmount TechGripper Cradle to the mount. This makes this particular mount a dual purpose mount. Add the cradle when you want to use it for your phone. Remove the cradle when it’s time for a GPS. There are even several inexpensive adapters that permit the installation of cameras or even specialized adapters for the ever popular GoPro series.
I always try to extend these mounts for camera use if possible. Due to the placement of the dash and windscreen, I don’t think there is a good place to mount a camera on the Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra. For those that absolutely need a camera, such as a GoPro, mount it on top of your helmet. I know that might seem unconventional but I just don’t see a good place on the bike itself to mount a camera.