Do you remember the good old days when all you needed to ride a motorcycle was a sense of adventure and an outdated paper map?
How times change, eh?
Like most people, the notion of smartphones being compatible with motorcycles is one I dislike. For me, the two are worlds apart.
My phone is for work. It’s the tool people use to contact me at their whim and pester me freely for stuff I haven’t yet done.
And my bike is the tool I use to get away from those who pester me for that stuff!
But for touring, these two worlds do – whether we like it or not – morph into a somewhat compatible (albeit unharmonious) existence.
Like many folks, I use my phone to house apps that look after my hotel bookings, ferry tickets, and travel documents. It’s my lifeline in an emergency and my way of contacting the outside world.
I use it to find restaurants – and I use it to pay for meals in those restaurants. And rather than hunt for my wallet at the fuel station, I tap my phone on the petrol pump instead.
But with sat navs becoming a thing of rarity (thank God!), our smartphones are slowly but surely taking over the responsibility of navigation.
And whilst listening to voice-guided navigation through your helmet as your phone sits unobtrusively in your jacket pocket is fine, you sometimes need a visual when riding in unfamiliar towns and cities.
Cue motorcycle smartphone holders.
Table of Contents
- It’s Just So Handy!
- The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders: Considerations
- The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders: A Note On Vibration Dampening
- Use An Old Phone!
- The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders for 2022
- The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders: FAQs
It’s Just So Handy!
But it isn’t just navigation, is it?
As mentioned above, we use our smartphones constantly. They have become evolutionary appendages that make our lives (arguably) easier.
Admittedly, I ignore texts, WhatsApp messages, emails, and notifications whilst riding. Whatever or whoever it is that’s trying to steal my peace can wait until I get to the hotel.
But for navigation, it’s invaluable. It’s convenient as a payment method and perfect for inopportune snapshots at the roadside.
It’s also fantastic for listening to music whilst riding – a pastime I always said didn’t belong on motorcycles until recently (more on that in the coming weeks!)
So whilst having access to your smartphone is essential whilst touring, you also need to ensure your setup of choice will protect the phone from damage.
Because let’s face it, with a new iPhone costing over £1,000, it’s not a luxury you want to replace when your mount fails and flings your adopted limb 300m down the autobahn.
With all this in mind, let’s look at some things to consider when choosing the best motorcycle smartphone holders.
The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders: Considerations
You might expect this to be an easy hindrance to overcome, but a certain amount of fettling should be expected. Not all bikes are the same. And what fits on your mate’s BMW GS might not fit on your Triumph Explorer.
Ascertain where the phone and mount will fit best before you buy from any range of mounting options available.
Also, consider the placement and if it will hinder your view of the dash or ability to reach the ignition key.
It’s not always as simple as buying a mount and sticking your phone on it. Some mounts require a compatible case. And this means another expense on top of the price of the mount. The case you buy can also affect the bulkiness of your phone.
Personally, waterproofing is a given. Even if you ride in warmer climates, you might still get caught in the occasional rain shower. And even if you don’t, a waterproof case stops dust and debris from getting into your phone.
Not all mounts come with a waterproof housing. If waterproofing is a priority for you, ensure you choose one that comes with a waterproof case (or is compatible with ones available separately.)
Some phone mounts are tougher than others – fact. If you rely on your phone setup for navigation when touring, I’d recommend a more durable setup.
Not only do you need the mount to be tough enough to hold onto your phone over all the lumps, bumps, and vibrations, but you need it to stay firmly fixed to your bike.
Yes, you can buy many mounts and setups to house your smartphones. But we’d like to remind you that using your phone on the move is still illegal! I’m not saying what you should and shouldn’t do. But please be responsible 🙂
The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders: A Note On Vibration Dampening
We’ve known for years that the vibrations of motorcycles play havoc with smartphones – with prolonged exposure leading to faulty cameras.
This appears to be more prominent with iPhones, and Apple released a statement in September 2021 confirming as much:
“It is not recommended to attach your iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate. Attaching your iPhone to vehicles with small-volume or electric engines, such as mopeds and scooters, may lead to comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations, but if you do so a vibration dampening mount is recommended to lessen the risk of damage to your iPhone and its OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) and AF (Auto-Focus) systems.”
Similar issues with Android phones seem few and far between, so, unfortunately, it does tend to be more of an iPhone problem.
If you’ve spent a tonne of your hard-earned cash on an iPhone, I suggest purchasing a phone mount setup that includes vibration dampening!
Use An Old Phone!
Before we get into the cases and mounts, it’s likely desirable that you use one of your old phones to do the job on your bike.
I tend to keep my ‘real’ phone on my person – this way, I have it on me if I become detached from my bike in an accident and need it to call the emergency services. (As apposed to over a cliff – along with my bike.)
Utilising an old phone also means that any damage incurred from getting wet or falling off will be inflicted on the old phone – and not my expensive one.
If you don’t have an old phone, you can buy them for silly-cheap money through platforms such as eBay. They’re far cheaper to replace than your brand-new iPhone if they break, get damaged, or get lost.
The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders for 2022
Okay, enough of the waffle. Let’s get to the best options available to you this year!
Please note, these are not in any particular order as the best option for you may not be the best option for someone else.
Ultimateaddons Pro Bike Mount
Mount – from £16
Tough mount case – from £29.99
For us, one of the best overall contenders in this space is from Ultimateaddons because it provides a durable, weatherproof, and secure solution that is easy to use.
One of the things we like is the case, which is IPX5 waterproof, dustproof, and includes a silicone layer as standard to reduce vibrations.
It’s also touchscreen compatible, accommodates the front and rear camera on your phone (so you can use it in the case,) and the screen also works with gloved hands.
The mount itself utilises a 3-prong mounting system that is not only secure but quick-release for ease of use.
- The case fully encompasses your phone
- Comes with a built-in, weatherproof charging port
- A range of mounting options
- Dampner included
- Cameras are operational whilst in the case
- The case is somewhat bulky
- You will need to remove your phone from its everyday case to fit it in the UA case
Find the Ultimateaddons Pro Bike Mount on:
Find the Ultimateaddons Tough Mount Case on:
Peak Design Everyday Case & SlimLink Mount
SlimLink mount – from £66.63
Everyday case – from £27.46
Have you ever unboxed a brand-new MacBook Pro? From the feel in your hands to the snap of concealed closure magnets on the box, everything is very satisfying!
And Peak Design is very much in the vein. As a photographer, I’ve owned various Peak Design products over the years. Sure, there are cheaper alternatives out there, but none of them give you the sense of satisfaction that come with Peak Design equivalents.
The phone case is slim at 2.4mm, beautiful, protective, and fits into the Peak Design Ecosystem. The magnetic/mechanical lock is built into the back and fits effortlessly into the SlimLink mount.
As with the case, the SlimLink mount is beautifully engineered, aesthetically pleasing, functional, and durable. It also features a best-in-class vibration isolator to protect your phone.
- Slim profile
- Beautiful look and feel
- A range of mounts and accessories
- Integrated vibration isolator
- The phone case isn’t waterproof
(Images: Peak Design)
Find the Peak Design system at:
The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders: Quad Lock
You’ve likely seen one of the many endorsements on social media for Quad Lock mounting systems – and they’re not entirely without substance.
Thanks to their proprietary dual-stage locking technology, Quad Lock mounts are safe and secure and attach to various cases and adaptors.
With a range of possibilities, you can mount your phone to various places on your bike, and the system works just as well in landscape as in portrait.
Perhaps the biggest downfall of this Quad Lock system is that the cases aren’t waterproof. A waterproof poncho is available at an extra cost.
- Quick, easy-to-use system
- Loads of mounting options and configurations
- Vibration dampening and wireless charging options are available
- The case doesn’t feel as protective as others on the market
- A separate poncho is required for waterproofing
Find the Quad Lock mount on:
RAM Mount Quick-Grip XL
This Quick-Grip mount by RAM is a simple yet sturdy mount for your phone – if not necessarily simple to initially set up.
Perhaps one of the best things is the modular nature of the mount – which means you can cater it to your individual needs via numerous ball-and-socket attachments.
Once the mount is in place, you can easily swap and change between devices (for example, a GoPro or 360 camera) with minimal fuss.
Overall, it’s a good, sturdy, fuss-free option.
- Utilises the super-customisable RAM ball-mount system (1-inch)
- Quick and easy to perfectly fit your phone
- No case so isn’t waterproof
- No specific dampening technology
Find the RAM Mount Quick-Grip XL on:
As mentioned above, the world of navigation is changing. And as sat navs make way for smartphones and their mounting counterparts, new companies and brands are popping up daily.
But if you want a mount from a tried and tested brand that we all know and respect, perhaps this option from Sena is for you.
Uniquely, this is a hybrid between a handlebar mount and a portable charger.
Once charged, you can mount it on your bars and use it as a traditional smartphone holder.
But its powerful 10,000 mAh battery holds the capacity to charge the average smartphone 5 times.
The mount can also power sat navs or other devices on the go, as it’s equipped with a micro USB port.
- A powerful battery gives tonnes of charging juice on the move
- Works with any phone
- You can re-charge the mount off the bike’s battery
- Quite bulky as a unit
- Quoted as water-resistant
- Sometimes fiddly if you want landscape orientation
Find the Sena Powerpro on:
The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders: Rokform Pro Series Case & Mount
Mount – from £90.99
Case – from £29
A good feature about the Pro Series setup is that it’s universal – and thus easy to fit and install.
The mount comes with simple small, medium, or large rubber adapters that enables fitment to most bars.
And in a similar vein to Peak Design, it offers a premium finish and feel, thanks to its machined aluminium and stainless steel construction.
The Pro Series case has a super-durable polycarbonate shell that fits neatly into the twist-lock system on the mount.
- Slim, neat design
- 360-degree rotation
- Good protection
- Zero vibration dampening
- Fitment could be an issue for some bikes
- Not clear whether the case is waterproof
Find the Rokform Mount on:
Find the Rokform case on:
Tackform Enduro / Metal
Mount – from £70.44
So what if you want to do a bit of off-roading? Well, in that case, your phone and mount will likely suffer more than your tarmac-going counterparts who tend to spend more time the right way up!
But these budget options for Tackform are a good place to start.
Similar to the ball-and-socket system used on RAM mounts, these Tackform options allows mounting in portrait and landscape – ensuring a good fit for your personal needs.
The heavy-duty grips ensures tight fitment, and once in place, the mounts feels safe and secure.
Overall, they are a simple, sturdy mounts offering good protection for off-road riding.
- Spring-loaded grip
- 360-degree positioning
- Compatible with all phones
- Difficult to mount
- Zero vibration dampening
- A case is needed for protection
Find the Tackform Metal on:
Cliff Top Phone Mount
Mount – from £20.89
Okay, so the expensive mounts above are all well and good. But what if you want something cheap and cheerful? Perhaps you have an old phone and ride on tarmac in the summer months.
So do you need to spend 3-figures for a phone mount setup? No!
Check out this offering from Cliff Top if you want a budget option. This universal mount fits phones ranging from 4.7-6.8 inches and uses the popular 1-inch ball system for full 360-degree placement.
It doesn’t come with a case, so you’ll need to buy your own for protection from the elements.
But if you want something quick, easy, and cheap, it’s a reasonable option.
- 360-degree placement
- Fits a large array of phones
- Not the best quality
- You will need to buy a phone case
- It can be rattly and vibey
Find the Cliff Top Mount on:
The Best Motorcycle Smartphone Holders: FAQs
For versatility, durability, and protection, Ultimateaddons offer a range of excellent products. But ultimately, the best phone holder for your motorcycle is the one that fits the best and provides the features you need.
Consider the thickness of your handlebars and the available space on your mirrors, yolk or windscreen crossbar. Ensure you don’t obscure the dashboard or hinder your reach of the ignition. A compromise is needed between functionality and space.
Depending on your system, your chosen mount attaches to your handlebars. Your phone is then inserted into your favoured case, and the case fits into the mount.
Yes, a statement from Apple in September 2021 quoted that vibrations from motorcycles can damage iPhones – specifically the OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) and AF (Auto-Focus) systems. Examples are fewer with Android phones.
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Top Image: Rohan Krishnann