Review: Options to Mount Electrics

Jun 15, 2017 View Comments by

While just about everybody at RoadRUNNER prefers standalone GPS devices for navigation (since phones are not quite there yet in terms of development), smartphones are a multi-tool, offering riders the ability to listen to music, communicate with others, search the internet, and use GPS functions. Hooking one up to your bike doesn’t have to be costly or a hassle. Below are four products we have tried out and liked enough to review to get started. For more in-depth knowledge on how to mount your device, refer to our “Motorcyclist’s Guide to the Galaxy” series.

X-Grip High Res PhotoRAM Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Cradle
RAM Mounts’ spring-loaded X-grip cradle comes with a standard size composite double-socket arm. Its streamlined four-leg design is malleable and offers excellent holding power on short or long rides. At first glance it’s not confidence-inspiring enough to entrust it with your $500 lifeline, but we’ve never lost one.

It fits a minimum width of 1.875 inches and height of 4.25 inches, or a maximum width of 3.25 inches and height of 2.25 inches. We used it on an iPhone 6, and it expanded and contracted and adjusted to different angles with ease, offering a custom fit. The double- socket arm will accommodate all of RAM’s one-inch ball bases, which can be purchased separately for $7.50-$32.50.

Adventurous riders will appreciate the tether that comes with it for more extreme environments, though a weatherproof case is highly advised. Made in the USA, the rustproof cradle comes with a lifetime warranty.

RAM Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Cradle
Price: $35.99

3-17 Product Review - GIVI smartphone holder 2GIVI Universal Smartphone Holder
This mounting option is made with a thermo-formed bottom, and the PU-covered EVA shroud provides satisfactory weatherproof protection. The holder is compatible with Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy A5, Samsung Galaxy On5, Samsung Galaxy Core Prime, and Microsoft Lumia 550 phones, and also works for GPS units that aren’t weatherproof.

We fitted the case using the brackets designed for tubular handlebars, though a kit can be purchased to connect the bike to handlebar risers instead. Quick locking makes for easy installation and removal. Additional features include a sunshade, waterproof zipper, rain cover, cable port, and safety strap. At 8 x 5.7 x 3.5 inches, the holder weighs less than 12 ounces.

3-17 Product Reviews - GIVI Smart BarGIVI Smart Bar
This is a helpful tool for riders who like their electronic toys—and like to keep them neat and streamlined. Use it to mount your smartphone and other devices (such as a GPS) using one of five weather-resistant mounting kits that cover more than 70 bikes.

The bar is compatible with models from Aprilia to Yamaha and helped us keep our devices front and center. It measures 11 ¾ inches in length and ¾ inches in diameter. A listing of available year, make, and model kits is available online, along with fitting instructions.

GIVI Universal Smartphone Holder
Price: $65

GIVI Smart Bar
Price: $149
3-17 Product Reviews - 3BR 2.1 USB Power Port3BR Powersports TAPP 2.1A All-Weather USB Power Port
Easy to install, this compact all-weather 2.1A USB power port is the answer to keeping your smartphone charged while riding. It also works with other USB devices, including tablets, most GPS units, MP3 players, and even some digital cameras.

Two key capabilities separate it from the other USB power ports. First is ultra-low quiescent current (the current that a power port pulls when nothing is plugged in). At only 0.3mA, the quiescent current of 3BR’s TAPP power port is low enough to allow direct connection to the battery, a boon for CAN bus bikes like BMW and Ducati. No other all-weather USB power port comes close to TAPP’s low quiescent power.

The other is Auto Sense, which automatically senses what type of device is plugged in—i.e., iPhone, iPad, Android, or Samsung Tablet— and automatically configures for maximum charge rate. The port works for most devices that charge using 2.1 amps or less. Check out their website for more info on that subject.

The installation kit includes 3BR’s universal mounting system. When not in use, we protected the USB port from dust and water with the included seal cap. It’s weatherproof up to a “full water wash-down” when used with 3BR’s patented TAPP CAPP cable, which is included. On the road, it functioned well even in the midst of occasional showers.

3BR Powersports 2.1A All-Weather USB Power Port
Price: $44.95

Review: Florian Neuhauser



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