Every once in a while, my uncle and I catch up over a bottle of Maker’s Mark. And every time this happens, he never fails to bring up how much better nightclubs were when he was my age.
The man spent his yuppie years during the 70s when disco was all the rage- and the right combination of Bourbon and Boney M. always made him nostalgic.
And according to him, the main reason why the way we club pales in comparison to the way he did is because “everyone has a damn phone on them”.
I thought this was an article about phone mounts. What does your drunk uncle have to do with this?
Glad you asked.
Now, I don’t know how much smart phones have to do with the apparent decline of nightclubs. But every time I watch a movie or TV show from the last century, this thought always strikes my head- it’s crazy how much smartphones have become a part of our lives.
And this ties into today’s article.
Because when you get the chance, ask your older biker friends and relatives about how much time they wasted when they got lost on long rides and were SOL for directions. That’ll tell you how lucky you are to be living in the age of Google Maps and Waze.
Because the alternatives consist of signboards, making small talk with strangers, or-ew– an actual, physical map. Alternatives that we get to skip.
And all of the credit for this goes to our phones. The same phones that seem to piss my uncle off so much.
Despite this, I’ve been shocked by the number of bikers who simply store their phones in their pants or saddlebags. Don’t do that.
As riders, we should make our duty to not take these tech miracles for granted. Take care of your phone and your phone will take care of you.
Repeat after me: Take care of your phone and your phone will take care of you.
Good. Because in this article, we’re going to tell you about one of the best ways you can take care of your phone while you ride. Hint: it’s in the title.
Using a phone mount is the most convenient way to access your phone mid-riding. It’s incredibly safe too. But a sentence or two isn’t going to do these bad boys justice, which is why we’re going to use this opportunity to tell you everything you need to know about phone mounts. And about 5 of the best phone mounts.
So keep reading.
Why You Should Get Phone Mounts
1. They keep your phone safe
Probably the most Duh! point on this list. Of course you’re getting a phone mount to keep your phone safe. So why mention it separately?
Because you know where your phone is at all times.
Think of all the places you can keep your phone in. Your pant pockets. Inserts of your jacket if you’re wearing one. Some of you would keep it inside a saddlebag.
Now imagine an unexpected emergency happening in the middle of your ride. A bad one. The type that turns most of your blood into adrenaline. And you need to call your phone to get to someone- quick.
In this situation, would you rather have a phone in a mount right in front of you, or risk another minute fumbling around with trembling fingers?
As bikers, unexpected emergencies happen all the time. And they’re dealt with much better when you always have a phone within your field of vision. Which a phone mount allows you to have.
2. It’s easy as hell to manage tasks on your phone
Before you read the rest of the paragraph: texting and riding is ALWAYS a dangerous and selfish thing to do. Dangerous because of the damage that can be done to yourself, selfish because of the damage that can be done to others.
That being said, there are going to be times during your commute where you have an extra couple minutes to yourself- just enough time to get minor tasks done. Like when you’re waiting for the signal to turn green at a busy intersection. Or when you’re driving on empty roads where you can ride with just one hand.
In such situations, you’d be much better off with a mount- because you can answer calls, change the music and send voice-to-text messages much, much faster.
Especially if your phone is hooked up to your intercom unit inside your helmet.
3. Google Maps/ Waze/ other tracking maps at your (literal) fingertips
The second most Duh! point on this list, and the reason why most bikers get phone mounts (much to my uncle’s chagrin).
Because when you have phone-sized software at your (literal) fingertips that tells you where you are and where to go at all times, it doesn’t just let you get to your destination faster. It also makes the constant, lingering anxiety of “Wait, did I just miss that turn?” goes away.
Leaving you with a lot more headspace to enjoy your ride.
4. You can record footage
This is one of the most underlooked parts of motorcycle mounts.
Sure, you can always record stuff with dash cams and a GoPro- but if the camera on your phone has decent enough video-recording quality (which it probably does), when combined with a 360-degree phone mount, you have the tools to record some rad amateur video montage.
And by the time you reach your destination, you’ll have videographic evidence of your entire journey stored across millions of microchips that you can access on your phone at any time.
All due to your (360-degree) phone mount.
Types Of Motorcycle Phone Mounts
Phone Mounts That Clamp To Your Handlebars
Clamp motorcycle phone mounts are the most popular due to their security and safety. They’re made of the following components:
- A“holder” made of an extremely strong clamp (usually hard plastic or metal)- this attaches to your motorcycle handlebars
- An elastic, high-grip material (usually rubber) that makes sure that all 4 corners of your phone are secured as tight as possible.
- A “netting” for your phone to rest against
Phone Mounts That Strap To Your Motorcycle’s Handlebars
The design of a motorcycle strap mount is very similar to that of a motorcycle clamp mount.
The main difference being- you guessed it- they use a strap to attach your phone to the handlebars on your motorcycle.
Strap mounts tend to be more affordable and easy to use due to the material (usually silicone). However, for the same reason, strap mounts don’t offer as much protection as clamp mounts do.
Phone Mounts That Attach To Your Motorcycle’s Windscreen
As the title says, these mounts attach to the windscreen of your motorcycle. From that description alone, you can tell that these types of mounts- while useful- fall under a certain niche that only a certain subsection of riders can make use of. Mainly touring motorcycles.
5 Of The Best Motorcycle Phone Mounts
- High-strength composite
- 4 Steel spring-loaded arms
- Maximum exposure of the phone screen and camera for best convenience
- 1-inch mounting ball
- Easy insert and removal (just squeeze the spring-loaded steel arms with your fingers)
*Note: You need to buy a separate mount to attach to your handlebars, which you can look up here.
- Holder has 6 points of grip
- Silicone netting for the phone
- Secure plastic grip
- Fits handlebars ranging from 7/8″ 1 1/4″ inches in diameter
- Mount is shaped like a phone holder- as opposed to the spring loading arms of the RAM X or the strap-around phone mounts
- Adjustable width (5-10 cm)
- Very easy to mount- just have to tighten a screw
- Fits handlebars sized 7/8″, 1″ and 1.25″ inches
- Made of Heavy-Duty Metal
- Rubberized clip with silicone belt grips for extra shock absorption
- Adjustable Grip
- Fits all handlebars ranging from 0.6″ to 1.3″ in diameter.
- Very easy to mount- just have to tighten a screw
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- 4 wear-resisting claws
- Claws are made of silicone
- Pad is made of non-slip Polyurethane
- Ranges from 0.8” to 1.6” in diameter
What To Look For In Phone Mounts
Now, before you decide on a mount, you have to consider the following:
What part of your motorcycle the mount attaches to, and how it attaches to it
This is the main criteria you’re going to be using, and the one from which the rest of the points in this section derive their reasoning from.
As we mentioned earlier, there are three types of motorcycle phone mounts when you go by how they attach to your handlebars.
Clamp motorcycle mounts, strap motorcycle mounts, and windscreen motorcycle mounts.
How stable your motorcycle ride is going to be
Does the majority of your commute happen on asphalt located within city limits? You don’t need mounts with the highest of stability, because your handlebar isn’t going to be rattling around so much.
And you can make do with a well-priced (but well-researched) strap motorcycle mount made of silicone.
But do you plan on shooting a RedBull Extreme-type adventure video while you ride through jagged terrain on the side of a mountain? It doesn’t have to be as dramatic a scenario, but if you look forward to shooting videos and tracking speeds on a path that makes your motorcycle go shaky-shakey, go with a high composite clamp mount made of heavy duty metal.
How much you can shell out
The vast majority of silicone-based strap mounts are going to be affordable for almost everyone.
Understandably, the tougher metal-based clamp mounts are going to set you back at least twice as much.
The major benefit to a clamp mount is that you can use it literally anywhere your motorcycle takes you- because the material is designed to absorb all vibrations. On the other hand, while the affordable ones are more than enough for most common commutes, there are some scenarios (like the one mentioned above) where they just won’t cut it.
What kind of motorcycle you’ll be riding
If you have a touring motorcycle with a large windscreen, you’re best off with those specialized windscreen mounts. Mainly because they’re designed with these types of motorcycles in mind.
For the vast majority of motorcycles, however, you’re going to be playing heads-or-tails with the clamp mounts and strap mounts- the one you pick is going to depend on the other factors in this list.