One significant advantage modern cars have over motorcycles is in-built sat navs and entertainment screens.
Many riders used to these luxuries from their cars want to be able to see, at a glance, information on a screen – be it what music they’re listening to, their navigation system or to see who’s calling them.
The best way of approximating this on a motorcycle is with a secure phone mount, which usually affixes to your handlebars.
But how do you know you’ll be getting one that will stay put, offer waterproofing and still be easy to use while wearing gloves?
Considerations, Care and Cost
A motorcycle phone mount won’t cost you an arm and a leg – it’s the bit that supports the expensive bit, after all.
You can spend as little as £5 and some models can cost upwards of £100. What you get at the top end of the price spectrum is something that will do the same job as a £20 model, just better; with less vibration, better waterproofing and snazzy, yet generally unnecessary, extras like magnetic mounting.
The sweet spot in terms of pricing – where it’s going to be affordable, yet reliable – is generally found in the £15-£35 range.
Motorcycle phone mounts can fit your handlebars in many different ways.
Usually, and more often on cheaper models, the mount will be one unit that clamps around your handlebars, with a screw system to tighten up, and a bracket to place your phone into.
However, some models will have one section that attaches permanently to the bike, and then a ball and socket joint that attaches to the back of the phone, meaning you can remove the handset easily without taking the entire mount apart.
It’s important to check the listings of the mount you’re looking at to ensure it fits your handset – most are adjustable, but some may not house larger ‘phablet’ style phones.
Your phone mount has one job – to keep your phone in place, facing where you want it face.
Have you ever had mirrors that bounced around at high speed? You don’t want that when your smartphone is at stake.
You want something that will absorb vibrations while you take on Britain’s uneven roads, speedbumps and many potholes.
Finding a mount with metal components made of zinc alloy or aluminium will help with sturdiness, while ABS plastic will also do just fine.
Often the part that holds the phone will be a rubberised plastic, and sometimes will have a whole plastic pouch to put the phone in to maximise waterproofing.
When it comes to mounting your new purchase to your bars, you want it to be tight enough you can’t spin it around without serious force – but not so tight you’re putting unnecessary stress on the fixings.
What are the benefits of a motorcycle phone mount?
It goes without saying you should never operate a mobile phone while riding a motorcycle – it’s not only dangerous, but illegal.
However, there are certain things that make having a phone mount a seriously useful bit of low-cost kit to add to your bike.
- Navigation – Firing up Waze or Google Maps before you set off will give you a real-time map, at a glance, to tell you where you’re headed and the distance to your objective.
- See who’s calling – Even if your phone is connected to headphones through Bluetooth, when you’re riding you don’t know who’s ringing you – unless it’s out and in front of you.
- Track your distance – If you’re riding a bike without a fuel gauge, it’s handy to know exactly how far you’ve travelled since your last fill-up.
- Music – If you do have a Bluetooth headset connected, you’ll be able to skip songs and adjust volume more easily.
Top Motorcycle Phone Mounts Reviewed
These are our top six mounts to suit every rider.
Ram Mounts Universal
Ram is the brand you’ll see bikers mention most often as the one to go for – it has a fearsome, and well-earned reputation for reliability.
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Unique ball and socket connection for great adjustability
Incredibly strong and made from resilient materials
Comes with an additional rubber webbing for extra security
Takes phones of all sizes, even with bulky cases attached
Not overly expensive for the security you get
It’s big and it’s ugly, but it works
It’s possible for thieves to make off with the whole thing if left unattended
Some phones may find the big rubber balls press buttons down
With larger phones, the range of motion in the ball is reduced greatly
Givi S957B Universal Smartphone Holder
Givi earned their stripes with market-leading topboxes and panniers, but do their phone mounts live up to the reputation? ‘Mostly’ is the answer, making this a great all-rounder.
Comes with rainguard to keep phone safe in downpours
Has an extra safety strap just in case the main mount comes loose
Quality materials mean screen glare is reduced
Easy to mount, quick to attach and detach phones
Has a hole to run a power supply to your phone
Bigger phones can be a tight fit
Difficult to make adjustments when wearing gloves
Modohe Bike Phone Holder
A cheap and cheerful phone mount that will do what you ask of it, but may not last forever. Offers good stability for a low cost.
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Will easily fit the largest of mobile phones
Cost makes it an attractive gamble
Made of lightweight material
Can be used on a bicycle as well as motorbike
Takes a little time to assemble
Material has a flimsy feel
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Quad Lock Motorcycle Mount
Slightly more expensive, but will fix your phone in place with serious dedication with its proprietary locking system.
Quad-lock system makes it incredibly stable
Super easy to install
Has a premium feel and looks stylish
Requires a specialist phone case for your mobile, adding to cost
It’s quite pricey anyway
Oxford Aqua Dry Phone
Something with a bit more protection to keep your phone dry in case of showers on your journey, from the trusted Oxford name.
Full-cover system makes it good at protecting from rainfall
Mid-range in price so won’t break the bank
Plastic window is touch-sensitive so you can still use your phone
Easy to install
Will protect your phone from rain
Is one-size-fits-all so if you’ve got a tiny mobile, it may jostle around
Materials don’t feel incredibly sturdy
To ensure waterproofing, there’s no gap for a charging cable
No camera gap so if you want to snap a photo, you’ll have to take it out
Aduro U GRIP PLUS Roll Mount
A universal phone mount that makes it really easy to place the phone in and out of the grip, with fully adjustable rotation and tilt.
At the lower end of the price spectrum
Very adjustable, meaning you can always get good visibility
Silicon bands make for extra security that will reduce vibration
Nice red and black colour scheme
Easy to rotate phone between portrait and landscape modes
Will only fit mobiles with screens up to 5.5 inches
The extra adjustability means over time it could lose stability
The best mount for general use has to be the Ram Mount, it’s rock-solid, not too taxing on the wallet and is easy to use.
Thousands of bikers can’t all be wrong – and if you can get past its looks, you’re left with a seriously sturdy phone mount that will last you for plenty of riding seasons.
But if you’re someone who commutes through all seasons and wants to have a screen in front of them come rain or shine, the Givi S957B can do it all with added peace-of-mind in the event of an unexpected storm.
Recommended Reading: Motorcycle Gear Hub