The Quadlock system for mounting phones to all manner of things is not new, but is this popular option suitable for you and motorcycling?
I've been using the Quadlock system in various configurations for navigation and more on my CRF250L Rally for a few years now, and I've kinda been putting off putting this article together. While there have been admittedly a couple of bumps in the road, I really do like the Quad Lock system and how it simplifies my ride.
I first fitted the Quadlock to my bike back in 2019 with the Quadlock mount fitting nicely to the accessory bar above the CRF250L Rally's dash unit which also conveniently keeps it out of the elements behind the windscreen. I've tried to mount it on the handlebars, with the supplied extensions and without, but I've come to settle on the simplest solution which sees the Quadlock front and centre above my dash.
The first impressions were great. I finally had a way to safely mount my phone to the bike and use Google Maps or the REVER app for navigation. It also meant my phone was handy for taking pics while out on my rides as well as being able to visually see when I had notifications or calls. No more fumbling around in jacket pockets or bags was a definite win.
Originally, I was running an iPhone 8, which unlike the more modern iPhones had a more basic camera setup. This meant that vibrations weren't going to wreck the camera and I used the Quad Lock for about a year with the iPhone 8 before it inexplicably died while riding south to the 2020 GS Rallye in Martinborough. While I have absolutely no proof as to why the iPhone 8 died, I do suspect prolonged exposure to the high-frequency vibrations from my CRF250L Rally's single-cylinder engine may have had something to do with it.
So with the need to upgrade, I moved up to an iPhone 11 with its more advanced twin-camera system. By this time it had already become apparent that newer phones were having camera issues when mounted to motorcycles, and Quad Lock was developing the vibration damper to help insulate these newer phones from harmful vibrations. As I didn't want to kill my new phone, I slapped my old iPhone 6S into the old 8's case and used that until I could order the vibration damper.
All was going swimmingly until I decided (with the damper on order and on the way from Australia) to risk my new phone on a short ride out to Mount Pirongia. Within the 30 minutes it took to ride out to the mountain, my phone's primary camera was broken and unable to focus. Trying to take pics of my bike made it look like I was photographing through a waterfall with wavy lines throughout the resulting pictures. Let's call that a lesson learned the hard way. ALWAYS USE THE VIBRATION DAMPER - It's not worth the hassle of risking your phone's camera.
Thankfully I was able to get the phone replaced under warranty at the time, something I think Apple may have since excluded their phones from being covered for, but even as the vibration damper arrived and I bolted it on, I wasn't feeling confident in its ability to dampen the screaming little 250-single.
So for the next two years, I ran a two-phone system on the bike with the iPhone 6S performing navigation duties and only using the iPhone 11 and Quad Lock (with vibration damper, of course) only on bikes with smooth multi-cylinder engines.
Fast forward to 2023, and with two small children taking possession of the old iPhone for their seemingly exclusive use, I finally decided to take the plunge and try the iPhone 11 out on the little Honda. And you know what? It has been absolutely fine.
WHAT IS GREAT ABOUT QUAD LOCK
Let's state the obvious, being able to quickly and easily mount a phone onto your bike to handle navigation, entertainment and the rest is very handy.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Quad Lock case has proven to be a real winner. It's done the obvious, but in terms of protecting my phone from frequent drops, it has really shone. Coupled with a screen protector, my iPhone 11 has taken some decent abuse in its stride.
With the official case and mounting system on the bike, I have NEVER had the phone detach from the bike unless I wanted to. This has been a win, as when I'm out riding trails on the CRF250 Rally I do happen to either fall off or drop the bike frequently. 4 years in and I haven't had to go searching for my phone once.
The sheer number of accessories is also a real win. Not only can you use the Quad Lock on your phone, but they also do a range of other accessories that take the system well outside of the scope of being just another handy motorcycle farkle. From car mounts to desk systems, rings to wireless chargers, the Quad Lock range has really expanded into quite an impressive collection. It's also fully modular, so if you change your phone to a different model all you need is the matching case, everything else Quad Lock sells will still function perfectly.
WHAT IS NOT SO GREAT ABOUT QUAD LOCK
Honestly, I've had to think pretty hard on this as I really rate the Quad Lock system.
Personally, I think the vibration damper should be a part of the standard kit and not an additional accessory. It's just that important if you ride a motorcycle.
There are a lot of imitators out there, so make sure you're buying the real deal and not a cheap knock-off. That way you know it'll work with the whole range of Quad Lock accessories and will work as it should no matter how much abuse you give it.
So if you are thinking of getting a Quad Lock for your bike and phone combo, here are the bits I'd highly recommend grabbing.
The base Quad Lock kit - gets you started and can also be fitted to a bicycle if you are that way inclined
The vibration dampener - this simply is a must-have item. Don't risk your phone's fancy camera.
A phone specific rain poncho - another must-have - you never know when you are going to run into rain and it is nice for peace of mind to know your phone won't get drenched.
For my setup, I plan on grabbing the weatherproof wireless charger head and waterproof 12v to USB battery cable, as you can't charge your phone while it is wearing the rain poncho which I find limiting.
Other than that, I'm very happy with the Quad Lock setup. In fact, I now own two Quad Lock mounts so I can keep one on my personal bike and fit the other onto test bikes so I can get the most out of my phone no matter what I am riding.