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Test Riding the Can-Am Spyder

Our customers are always telling me how much they like the Can-Am Spyder. So when I stopped into a large multi-line dealer recently, I decided to take a test ride on one (wish I’d gotten a selfie!).

The salesperson emphasized that riding the Spyder is NOT like riding a motorcycle (which, thanks to our customers, I already knew).

But I still thought: how different can it be? After all, just like any other motorcycle, there are quite a few ways you can be injured or killed than if you’re in a car LOL!

But… It isn’t like riding a motorcycle. At all.

With over 30 years riding on two wheels, I immediately felt what I can only describe as a “lack of oneness” with the Spyder.

A motorcycle moves with you, and you with it; you lean into turns, your hands and feet are both in play when you brake, and you feel the engine beneath you. In short: The bike is a part of you.

Not so with the Spyder. At least not for me, in that short test ride. The sensation I had in turns was that of being pulled (and holding on for dear life). The ‘jiggly’ feeling was reminiscent of my last snowmobile trip in Yellowstone! Another test rider referred to driving the Can-Am Spyder as “operating” it rather than “riding” it. Maybe he’s onto something.

Whether it’s the wisdom of age or my motorcycle crash a couple years ago, I really like the idea of three wheels (and with a brain overcome with other things, maybe the mental part of riding won’t seem so tiring). Perhaps if I could rent a Spyder for a day I’d come to feel more like I’m working with the machine rather than against it.

What do you think? Drop me a note at zoom@leadermotorcycle.com with your thoughts!

  • Tracey Cramer

It's Easy to Plug your Phone in with the SLIDE Mount

Need to keep your phone plugged in while riding? The SLIDE “Plus” Phone Mount make that easy to do – and might just be the most secure motorcycle phone mount around!

The SLIDE’s flexible design accommodates a variety of devices (with and without case/cover) and makes it safer and more convenient to use a phone or other device on a motorcycle.

Medium/Vertical size fits Min width 2-3/8" / Max width 3-5/8" 
Long/Horizontal size fits Min width 4-3/4" / Max width 7-3/8"

The Slide Mount is adjustable in THREE ways:

  1. Side arms are available in three depths
  2. Side arms "Slide" along the base bar then lock in place
  3. Ultra-Swivel provides left/right or up/down options

The “Plus” feature can be found on all URBAN Vertical Slide Mounts.

More info about Leader phone mounts can be found here.

 

  • Tracey Cramer

Motorcycle Mounting Options for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Did you know the Diamond Mount now works with iPhone 7 and 7 Plus?

The Diamond Mount is a very clean-looking and secure way to mount an iPhone on a motorcycle.

The Form-Fitted Cradle is specifically designed for iPhones. That means your iPhone will never fall out. Cut-outs for buttons and plug-ins make this mount super convenient.

And Leader’s patented Ultra-Swivel connection system provides unlimited positioning ability but is so slim and unobtrusive, you’ll hardly know it’s there.

The Diamond Mount is available in chrome and black. Stainless steel and aluminum parts are rust-proof and machined in the USA! Pick from our extensive line of mounting locations: handlebar, brake/clutch, mirror stem, windshield and more.

Prices start at $44.99. See all Diamond Mounts here.

Not right for you? Check out these other options for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:
  • The SLIDE Mount features a support at the base of the phone. Its flexible design accommodates iPhones with and without case/cover.
  • The X-Grip Adaptor Mount has a secure four-finger design that allows you to easily plug into power.
More info here!
  • Tracey Cramer

New to Riding: Choosing a Bike & Gear

In my previous post, I talked about learning to ride safe, right from the beginning. You’ll enjoy yourself so much more, too! Let’s pick up from there.

Step three: Choosing the right bike for you.

Everyone has that dream bike. The one they picture in their mind’s eye riding down the road.

However, your dream bike may not be the best choice for your first bike. Why, you ask? I can think of a couple reasons:
  • You may drop it. Everyone does when they are first learning. Wouldn’t you rather drop a bike that you are less emotionally and financially attached to?
  • What you think you want now may not be what you want later. You’ll get a better idea of what you really want only after you’ve ridden a while and gotten some experience. No reason to fork out a ton of money only to find out a year later it doesn’t really suit your needs.
One more note: don’t go too big right away (especially women). A big motorcycle can intimidate a new rider and make you uncomfortable, and soon you’ll find yourself less enthusiastic about riding. And we don’t want that!

Get the smaller bike, and just know that at some point, you’ll want to ‘step up’ to a bigger machine. Trust me - you’ll know when the time is right.

Step Four: The gear.

It’s not just about the motorcycle; you need the right gear.

A helmet and gloves are a good start (and in my opinion, absolutely required). I have personally found a good set of boots to be crucial - you don’t want to find your feet slipping when you’re trying to stop or move the bike. Also, think about getting a jacket and pants specifically made for riding.

Gearing up right doesn't have to be expensive. You should always buy a helmet NEW, because crash damage to the interior can be undetectable to anyone but an expert. But it’s easy to find gently used riding pants, boots, gloves and jackets. Many retailers and online mail-order houses offer discounts on sell-outs and non-current styles.

Step five: Find like minded people to ride with.

Motorcycling is a social activity. There are tons of groups out there. You can always find people on Internet Message Boards. Just do a search by the brand or type of motorcycle that interests you and see what you find.

Meeting other riders will introduce you to a level of camaraderie that's uncommon these days. Riding with responsible, experienced riders can help you improve your own skills - and it’s the icing on the cake! 

 

  • Tracey Cramer

Phone Mounts: Recommendations for YOUR Phone

What’s the best motorcycle mount for YOUR specific phone? Well, that depends on a few factors - and your personal taste. Here are some ‘quick and dirty’ guidelines and tools to help you decide.

First consideration: Size of Phone

In case you haven’t noticed, phones have gotten bigger. If you’re using one of the “monster-size” phones, there are two mounts you should look at:

a) the SLIDE motorcycle phone mounts and

b) the X-Grip motorcycle phone mounts

The SLIDE and the X-Grip Adaptor mounts are very different (stylistically speaking), so they appeal to people for different reasons.

The X-Grip Adaptor has open sides so you can access buttons/plug-ins (if you need to run power while riding, for example).

On the other hand, if you’re not crazy about all that “open” space, the SLIDE mount has a support bar underneath your phone. (Both mounts offer ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ mount options.)

"Regular" Sized Phones

If you have a ‘smaller’ phone (think iPhone 5 and similar), the Standard Phone Mount is a simple but effective mount that has a long track record of happy customers.

“Regular” sized phones will also work in the SLIDE (thanks to its adjustable side arms), as well as the X-Grip Adaptor IF it has a case/cover on it - just be sure to check the dimensions of your phone against our listed ones.

Try this: view our Phone Mount Size Chart (shows min & max sizes all our mounts can accommodate)

Second consideration: Case/Cover

It can be a pain to remove your phone from its case/cover every time you want to ride, so most of our mounts accommodate a case/cover.

But give the case/cover a close look. If it’s hard-sided and slippery, you’d do best to gravitate toward the X-Grip Adaptor Phone Mount or the SLIDE Phone Mount (or get a different case, because I’ll bet you’ve dropped it once or twice as well LOL).

Cases/covers that are more rubbery can also be mounted with the Standard Phone Mount.

“Naked” Phone Mount

We have ONE mount that fits a “naked” phone, and it’s specific to the iPhone. The Diamond Phone Mount is our all-time favorite because it is the cleanest, most streamlined look.

I should point out here that iPhones can be mounted using ANY our mounts (depending on size constraints).

Third consideration: Waterproof?

If you want waterproofing, we have two styles of mounts:

The Caddy Buddy is an essentially flat case that you can operate your phone screen through.

The Hydra phone mount offers different size waterproof cases that zipper up. Again, this comes down to personal preference.

Try this: Watch the Video!

To help you decide which works best for your phone and case, check out the video below, which shows you the pros and cons of different "grippers" and what type/model phone each is most ideal for. All in about 2.5 minutes!

  • Tracey Cramer

Location, Location, Location: WHERE to Mount your Phone

For various reasons (such as when I’m on call for my firefighting job) some of us have to take our phones with us when we ride. Others just choose to. To do it safely, the goal should be:

  1. to mount your phone securely (you don't want to be worrying about it falling off!)
  2. in a location (handlebar, brake/clutch, mirror, windshield, etc) that
  3. doesn't interfere with driving, and
  4. where you can easily glance at it

In my last article I focused on (1). In this article, I address (2), because it’s just as much a contributor to (3) and (4).

Because we have customers riding everything from scooters to sportbikes to cruisers (and even Spyders), the answer to the question “where should I mount my phone” is going to be different for each rider. But here are some location options (with pros and cons).

 

Handlebar

This is a great choice for cruisers, most of which tend to have standard (i.e. round) handlebars. You don’t have to mount in the center area if you don’t have the space (although it does look nice there!) - at least not with Leader mounts. Thanks to the way we designed our mounting bracket, you can even mount completely vertical if that’s what works for you!

The thing to be aware of (like many things related to motorcycles) is space. Sometimes the handlebar is ‘tight’ to the tank, or has cables running all along it, or has other obstacles to getting your phone in a good position.

Thanks to our super-slim URBAN Handlebar Bracket, even motorcycles with very little room in the “cockpit” area can mount a phone on the handlebar.


Another thing to consider is whether mounting on the handlebar will pull your attention down too far; you want to be looking out as much as possible. Not like this guy!

Brake or Clutch

I like the URBAN Brake/Clutch Brackets because they work on so many kinds of motorcycles. Simply put: if you have two bolts that hold your brake or clutch assembly together - even if they point up rather than out - you can use them to mount your phone!

There’s no chance the windshield or the gas tank will be in the way which is good. And the bracket is slim and unobtrusive. However, depending on how wide your handlebars go, some riders may find this puts the phone too far to one side or the other.

Mirror

My personal favorite is mounting to the mirror stem. Why? Because it’s up a little higher (i.e., closer to my eyeballs) and more in line with where I want to be looking as I ride. Our URBAN Mirror Stem Bracket is also very low-profile; when my phone is not on the bike, all you see is a 1.25-inch square.

Windshield

What can I say about this? There isn’t any other location that puts your phone more front-and-center than mounting to your windshield.

There are, of course, windshields where this isn’t practical (such as on sportbikes) or where the curve of the windshield isn’t conducive to what you’re trying to do (which is to easily see the phone screen while riding). But for those who have a windshield with the brace across it, this is a great option.


If you’re considering a Windshield Mount, take a quick test ride on your motorcycle and pay special attention to how much vibration is generated from the street, through the bike and into your windshield. Some bikes (yes I’m thinking of Harleys here!) have so much vibration it can scramble your phone’s brains (although it won’t affect our mounts, which are solid stainless steel!).
  • Tracey Cramer