Choosing a Phone Mount That’s Right for You
In a past article I listed seven things you might want to consider about how you use your phone while riding. My intention is to help you utilize your phone in the safest way possible.
In that article, I said you want to:
- mount your phone securely (you don't want to be worrying about it falling off!)
- in a location (handlebar, brake/clutch, mirror, windshield, etc) that
- doesn't interfere with driving - and where you can easily glance at it
In this article I’m going to focus on (1), or what we often refer to as the “gripper” portion of a motorcycle phone mount.
Just like you may use a holster or case to protect and carry your phone on your body, you need something that "holds" (or "grips") the phone that can be attached to the motorcycle.
This is important, since it can be a "weak point" and cause your phone to fall from your bike. (We've road tested many a product, and most are not made with motorcycle vibration and the condition of today's road surfaces in mind.)
Although many motorcycle phone mounts are labelled "universal," the sheer volume of phones and phone sizes (not to mention cases and covers for them) means that what works for one will not necessarily work for another. Personal style or preference also plays a part. That's why we make mounts with different "grippers," each of which excels at different things:
- Some are better for today’s larger phones, and/or if you want to mount the phone horizontally (example: SLIDE mounts)
- Some are better if you need to plug your phone into power while you ride (example: X-Grip Adaptor mounts)
- Some are specific to the iPhones
- And some are waterproof (examples: Hydra & Caddy Buddy)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth 10,000!
To help you decide which works best for your phone and case, check out this video, which shows you the pros and cons of different "grippers" and what type/model phone each is most ideal for. All in under three minutes!
- Tracey Cramer
HUGE Harley-Davidson Mount Sale
If you’ve got a Harley -
And you've been thinking about getting a new PHONE mount, GPS mount or CAMERA mount -
Now’s the time!
ALL our eCaddy-style Harley-specific Brake/Clutch mounts are
with this code:
Shown L-R: X-Grip Adaptor Mount; Swivel-CAM Camera Mount; eCaddy Ball Mount; SLIDE mount (also available in vertical orientation)
Sale applies to eCaddy only. Harley Brake/Clutch only.
- Tracey Cramer
Navigation: Three Reasons a GPS May be Better than Your Phone
- If you ride back roads, out-of-the way places or in mountainous areas (and isn’t that the point of a motorcycle?), your phone may not always have coverage. If you’re not 100 percent sure your smart phone will have coverage everywhere you ride, you may want to consider a GPS unit.
- It takes a lot of extra power for your phone to run a GPS app. Do you have a way to keep your phone charged while riding? If not, your phone’s battery could go kaput in a most inconvenient place.
- Maybe I’m superstitious but I don’t like having all my eggs in one basket. If something goes wrong with my phone (or worse, it gets lost or broken), I still want to be able to find my way home.
- Tracey Cramer
Six Ways the Swivel-CAM is Better Than a HelmetCAMWe’re aware that Helmet CAMs are all the rage. We even own a GoPro ourselves, and there are times when it’s the appropriate choice. That said, we’re not fans of the helmet-mounted camera for most motorcycle uses, and here’s why.
- You can't change the angle of the shot. Wherever you’re looking, that's what you're getting. If you look down at your gauges, so does your video. If you look behind you to check traffic, guess where the HelmetCam goes?
- You can’t easily adjust the camera. I once lost an entire sequence because I thought it was powered on when it wasn’t (I couldn’t see it up on my head!)
- Depending on the camera you may not have a good zoom function; you might find your target turned into a speck on the horizon.
Apparently we’re not the only ones who feel this way:
“Mounting a video camera on a motorcycle helmet is difficult. Modern helmets have all sorts of wacky curves, put there for either styling or aerodynamic purposes. The larger the camera the more difficult it is to mount on a helmet.” ~ WebBikeWorld Review
Our Solution? The Swivel-CAM Motorcycle Camera MountThe Swivel-CAM motorcycle camera mount solves some key problems that Helmet Cameras don't:
- Flexible mounting options. The Swivel-CAM is not limited to one location (helmet); it can be mounted on a handlebar, brake/clutch assembly, mirror stem, windshield and more (you can get extra base brackets if you want to shoot from several different angles/places).
- Get almost any angle you want/need. The Swivel-CAM features multiple joints (which we call Ultra-Swivels) as well as 360-degree rotational ability at the tip. This is our ‘third generation’ design, arrived at after our own trial and error with other mounts; there are very few angles you can’t get with the Swivel-CAM!
- Different height options. The Swivel-CAM is available in three different heights, so no matter what you’re riding or where you mount the camera, you can shoot over or around windshields or other parts of the motorcycle.
- Classy look. Let’s face it; a lot of motorcycle camera mounts are ugly. The Swivel-CAM’s slim rod and base look like they belong on the motorcycle.
- Anti-Vibration & Heavy-Duty Construction. We’ve done everything we can to minimize vibration, such as the anti-vibration ‘cushion’ found on each and every Swivel-CAM. Stainless steel and aluminum components also help minimize vibration and won’t rust or wear out (rubber or plastic is much more susceptible to vibration and wear).
- Works with almost any camera. The Swivel-CAM works with any camera that is tripod compatible (that is, has the industry-standard ¼-20 stud hole on it, or has a “tripod adaptor” in your kit). If you have more than one camera, or you change cameras, you won’t need another mounting system.
Can't picture it? Let us SHOW you the difference!
- Tracey Cramer
'Extreme' Winter Motorcycle Riding
I’ve lived in MinneSNOWta all my life, 30 years as a biker. Winter motorcycling isn’t particularly fun for me, even with crazy PMS (“Parked Motorcycle Syndrome”) right about now. But if you simply MUST ride a motorcycle in the winter, here are our top tips for doing so.
Layer. Start with a long-sleeve base (such as Under Armor) that wicks moisture away from your body. Add an insulating layer (like fleece) and/or a heated vest with controller.
Your jacket is no place to skimp; get the best. Gore-Tex is popular for its breathability and waterproof features. Same with boots and gloves; add a neck warmer and a full-face helmet. Think like a snowmobiler but buy like a biker!
A motorcycle windshield goes without saying here, and extras like the Desert Dawgs Rain/Wind Guards and motorcycle hand guards or muffs are a huge help as well. If you’re able to install heated grips, they’ll go a long way toward keeping your hands warmer.
If your bike is water-cooled, make sure the antifreeze is fresh and mixed properly and that all hoses are in good shape.
Tires: make sure you have awesome tread if you plan to ride in snow. Check your tire pressure, as it can change with temperature swings. Also, be aware that cold motorcycle tires offer less traction.
First, the obvious: if it even remotely looks like ice, stay away! If you live in an area that uses salt on the roads (like we do), be very cautious; it can cause you to lose traction (just like snow can).
Also remember that snow, salt, fluctuating temps and equipment like plows can really do a number on road surfaces. I swear some of the cracks and pot holes around here are big enough to swallow a motorcycle!
Visibility and Following Distance
During winter riding, look further down the road so you can recognize hazards before they occur, and/or react to a potential problem more quickly. And give the vehicle in front of you plenty of space. You might not have the same space available for stopping (or avoiding) due to less traction.
Keep an eye on the forecast; if the weather folks are calling for multiple inches of snow, leave the motorcycle at home. And if you’re out riding and it starts snowing, get home. The white stuff can accumulate quickly and make for some seriously slippery conditions (even in a car).
If you’re really into winter riding, consider a snowmobile. Just kidding! (But you can buy studded snow tire kits here in the northland.) Riding a motorcycle in the winter can be challenging, but it can be done with the right attitude!
- Tracey Cramer
Overstock Sale: 30% off Mirror Mounts
Mount your Phone, GPS, Camera or other device to any brand/model motorcycle with a mirror stem (3/8” to ½”).
Easy to see yet out of the way! Mount toward front/back or to the left/right – it’s totally up to you!
All mirror mounts 30% off!
Use code: MIRRORUP
(minimum order $59)
Option: URBAN (Black)
We call these “Stealth Mounts” because they’re so unobtrusive; the bracket measures less than 2 inches square! Check out this video to see how easy it is! Click here to see URBAN Mirror Mounts
Option: eCaddy (Chrome)
The eCaddy’s u-shaped slot-and-lug design has been proven over and over again – for 16 years! Click here to see eCaddy Mirror Mounts.
All Leader Mounts are manufactured in the USA from aluminum and stainless steel – no rust, no wear!
- Tracey Cramer