While taking your phone with you has never been easier, using its many useful functions such as Google Maps while riding has always been a hit or miss affair. That was our view at least, until we tried the Quad Lock handlebar kit...
Words by Ray Heron | Photos by Ray Heron & Quad Lock
If you’re a child of the 80s, like me, you'll likely always be looking for the next bit of tech, the next big thing. But when it comes to your motorcycle, why does it seem we always have to compromise with solutions for holding and protecting said tech while riding? Smart phones are fantastic devices, able to combine your communications, GPS tracking, Mapping, photos, videos and countless other things, but up till now, I’ve always struggled to find a simple, clean and elegant solution for holding and protecting my smartphone on my bike, in a place I can see and reach it if I need it.
We have all been in the situation where your phone is ringing and in an internal pocket of your jacket, meaning removal of gloves and 3-4 layers of zippers and domes before reaching the phone just as the caller hangs up.
All previous solutions for handlebar mounting I have tried, have been bulky, sippy, awkward or impractical. But the team at Quad-Lock say they have come up with a solution that may just fit the bill.
Quadlockcase.com is an elegant, clean and easy to follow website, offering mounting solutions for most phones. And for those they don't have, there are adhesive solutions available also. They seem to offer just enough options to be helpful, but not too many to be confusing. I chose a handlebar mount kit with a Quad Lock case specifically for my Samsung S8 with a price tag of USD$69.90
Arriving in a nondescript white postbag eight days later from a depot in Australia, I found three boxes, one being the smart and simple looking black clip-on case for the phone with Quad-Lock Socket built in on the back.
Another being the rain and muck poncho that fits snugly over the face of the phone and clip-on case. And the third box was the Quad-Lock and handlebar mounting clamp.
The materials don't feel cheap or plasticky at all. They feel like high-quality components, which gave me a little more confidence, given I was attaching a fragile $1000+ device (read: lifeline) to the handlebars of my bike. The last thing I would want would be to send my phone for a skate down State Highway 2 at peak hour traffic.
Another bonus is that everything you need for installation is included in the kit, including the Allen key, and a choice of 3 different bar sleeves for different size bars.
In fact, the hardest part of installing the Quad Lock mount was deciding where to put it. Unfortunately, on the MT07, I had the hot grips controller installed in the only spare location left on the bars. So some creative manoeuvring was required. I managed to make enough room between the left mirror stem and the speedo for the Quad Lock mount.
Once clamped on the bars, the next trick is to work out where the extension bar needed to go so it would clear the tank when the bars were turned lock to lock. With a full 360 degrees range of motion, the angles and options are endless. Once positioned, all bolts were tightened and I was away laughing.
With the Quad Lock case on the phone, actually mating the phone to the Quad Lock base is as simple as lining up the teeth on the mount, to the socket on the back of the case. Roughly a 45-degree angle, then twisting it either vertically or horizontally while applying pressure, until the spring loaded locking tab on the back of the Quad Lock gives a satisfying and reassuring click. Removing the phone from the mount is just as simple. Apply pressure to the spring-loaded locking tab, twist the phone from 90-degrees back to about 45-degrees and you're free to snap away at the boundless scenery, or film your mate’s next big fail.
The ability to have your phone mounted either vertically or horizontally without changing the configuration of the mount its self is genius. I find I often have the phone vertically when listening to podcasts or the like. But for mapping, the ability to have the phone in landscape mode (horizontally) makes for clearer turn by turn instructions. Looking through the Quad Lock website, I see they even offer a ram mount to Quad-Lock adapter for those Ram Mount Fans. Since receiving my Quad Lock, My phone has travelled 1600km of Wellington motorways, State Highways 1,3,4 and even the gravel sections of the Forgotten World Highway. Not once has it fallen off, or given me any reason to worry. The rain poncho worked exactly as it should for 300km of rain from Cambridge to Taumarunui and I’m glad to say the phone still works perfectly well. Couple this with a Bluetooth helmet kit and bar mounted USB socket for charging, and this would be an ideal solution for navigation on long haul rides. Heck! I would even happily attach this Quad Lock system to the bars of my 2003 WR250F for GPS tracking when I next hit the trails.
When you change your phone, you'll likely need to buy a new Quad lock case.
Unless your phone has a high waterproofing rating, you'll likely want to put it in your waterproof pocket for anything more than a passing shower.
You can get a case for almost any Samsung or iPhone
A rain poncho is great at protecting against rain, mud, grit and bugs
The mount has a massive range of motion
Doesn't take up much handlebar real estate
Strong and elegant design
Quick and easy to attach, reposition and remove
Quadlockcase.com have a full range of spare parts
Quad-Lock offers a full range of mounting solutions for cars, mountain bikes, even for use on your desk with charging built in.