Navigation: Three Reasons a GPS May be Better than Your Phone
Should you use the navigation app on your phone while riding, or get a GPS unit?
That's up to you, of course. But I still use a GPS when I ride, and here's why:
- A decent GPS can be purchased for under $100 these days, while a phone can cost upward of $600. If I'm going to lose a device, have it stolen, rained on or otherwise broken, I'd rather it be the $100 GPS than my $600+ phone (not to mention I've also then lost access to all the personal information I store in my phone).
- I like to ride in mountainous areas and out-of-the-way places. Even though cell coverage is getting better all the time, there's no guarantee I'll always have coverage via my phone.
- My phone sucks power way faster than a GPS does. I don't really want to have to wire for power (I like the clean, simple look, no wires). With my luck, I'd run out of power in a very inconvenient place
Having GPS easily accessible on your motorcycle can make you a safer, more relaxed driver. Just be sure to have a high-quality GPS Mount so you'll never lose your phone (My favorite? The SLIDE Mount.)
To see all our GPS mounts, click here.
- 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
Six Tips to Get the Most from Your Phone
Having a smart phone on your motorcycle can be extremely helpful, but as with any technology, you can experience glitches. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of using your phone while riding a motorcycle.
Make it easier to read:Go to phone settings -> screen brightness. Turn off “auto” and adjust the brightness as high as it will go.
- Reduce sun glare: When phone is in the mount, angle it so that reflects toward your chest; this will reduce glare from the sky (all our phone mounts have adjustable angle features)
- Touch screen function: If you need to use the touch screen function, go to phone settings -> screen sensitivity and turn it all the way up. This makes the touch screen more responsive when you are wearing gloves
- Font: You may want to change your font to a larger size
- Color: Similarly, you could change background colors (the more plain the better)
- Organize: Set up your initial screen with the apps you need the most when riding to minimize the number of swipes required
For help with mounting your phone, check out Tracey's other recent articles: Choosing a Phone Mount that's Right for YOU and Location, Location, Location: WHERE to Mount your Phone.
- 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
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)
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
New & Shipping! Dawgs for Harley “Milwaukee Eight” Softail Models!
The wait is over.
Riders who’ve made the move to the new 2018+ Harley-Davidson Softail Models can now get the protection and comfort of the Desert Dawgs Rain Guards/Wind Deflectors!
Keep the rain off your feet and reduce those annoying updrafts and helmet buffeting. And there’s more:
- repel road spray from front wheel and flared front fender
- keep bug juice off motorcycle chrome (and legs!)
- allow engine cooling - NO temperature restriction!
- does not affect bike handling
- accommodates all standard foot peg settings (does not apply to Mustache fitment)
- Ultra-Pockets on both sides for extra carrying capacity (garage door opener, sunglasses, camera case, etc.)
Unlike competitive products, the Desert Dawgs are easy-on, easy-off. They require NO special tools or maintenance, and can be rolled/folded and stored in a saddlebag when not in use. Choose from Original or Bling It Out with chrome studs!
They will fit the following models: Fat Bob, Fat Boy, Heritage Classic, Low Rider, Deluxe, Breakout, Softail Slim, Street Bob & Sport Glide.
- Tracey Cramer