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Phones/ Navigators on Bikes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by johnmoz, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. This statement in another thread brought something to the surface that I've been thinking about:

    I'm not interested in phonecalls or music on the bike, but I wouldn't mind having access to some sort of guided navigation occasionally.

    Phone in jacket pocket & earphone up to helmet ala SMA is the simplest solution, but I suspect I'm going to have to mount the phone and run power to it- it gets awfully thirsty when it's navigating. The electrics aren't a problem, I'll just pull the guts out of one of those cigarette lighter USB thingies and wire it in permanently out of the way somewhere.

    Mounting it, however, what have people got for (non- Iphone) mounts? I don't want to see the phone bouncing down the road because it's fallen out of a crappy mount... Do you try and have it mounted so it's visible while you're riding or stashed somewhere?


  2. Ask [MENTION=33435]Felix[/MENTION] where he got his universal device mount from - I couldn't pull his phone out of it, and I was trying hard enough that he had to steady the bike...
    This one also has the phone in front of you above the bars so you can see the map...
  3. My phone, which I don't use for navigation, is in my pocket. Yeah, maybe not a good idea, but the Zs bars aren't exactly spacious once the heated grip controller and the USB port are on. If I wanted to take the Navman, it'd probably go in my pocket or backpack.

    Speaking of which, I have a USB recharge port wired into the relay that powers the heated grips, and fastened to the bars next to the heated grip controller. When streetmaster installed the grips for me, he used a relay with a spare point on it for just this purpose. Win! Now, if either the phone, the bluetooth headset or the Navman (if I used one) needs charging, I can plug it straight in. I just run the cable from the phone in my pocket to the port. Doesn't get in the way.

    The relay also means you don't drain your battery if you leave the grips on accidently (ie all the time in my case!). They're 'supposed' to turn off automatically, but apparently it doesn't always work that way.
  4. One thing I have noticed on several phones is that running satellite (not google) navigation at the same time as connecting to a headset via bluetooth, will eventually drain the phone battery even if it is connected to a charger via auxilliary power plug.
    In fact one phone got too hot to touch being operated in this way.

    I can just about balance charging with the demands of nav if I connect the phone to headset via cable (instead of blutooth) but this rules out using intercom. Need to start with a fully charged phone though.

    On a positive, close reading of the regulations looks like I can continue to place the phone in the clear map pocket of my tank bag, for the purpose of satnav. I don't usually look down at it unless I'm stopped though.
  5. we use something like this:


    They have a slot in the bottom for a cable to come into. Waterproof too.
  6. I use a bicycle mount and 12 to 5 volt regulator. With this I use mu Android phone together with Navigon to do all my navigation. Priceless.
  7. I have a solar charger for my phone (not so good on cloudy days tho). Costs about $15 on ebay. Just clip it on the outside of my pocket - works a treat :)
  8. How does using the phone to do navigation affect your data plan? Does it chew thru a lot of data?
  9. not for me it doesn't. Not sure if other apps do.
  10. So, what app are you using? On an iPhone?
  11. MetroView. (yes, iPhone, but, has an android version too). Best GPS I've ever used IMO (better than any dedicated one's as well).
  12. OK, I'll give it a shot - mine is iPhone btw.

  13. This is what I use as I didn't see the point forking out a fortune for a motorbike GPS, so just used my car's. Very sturdy but may need to adjust the mount angle after going over a few bumps! I don't use it with sound, just a glance now and then to know I am on the right track. I was getting too stressed about getting lost, this is great.
  14. I was thinking of putting my iPhone in a ziplock bag with a few magnets taped to the corners for mounting to the tank. I'm waiting for my 12v socket to arrive and thought with this simple workaround I could fit a gps in the ziplock bag as well. Anyone done anything similar? Cons, apart from looking like a povo.
  15. I would seriously reconsider putting a magnet anywhere near a computer device.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. I have tried to use iPhone 4 with dedicated Nav apps on my bike and in my cars. Can't stand them, always a compromise, if it is not the sun glaring on the screen it is the non-glove friendly screens.

    I have given up and purchased a dedicated Strike BT fixed mount GPS for $370 for the bike, absolutely love it to bits. Easy to see in any weather, always powered, fast as, glove friendly, waterproof, etc. Comes with a dedicated BT speaker for the helmet.

    If you are interested, I did a detailed review of this unit here :

  17. You can get tank bags which can hold a phone at the front, but that is likely too low for use when in motion.

    Fleabay has iPhone holders. Just make sure you get one fat enough to wrap around your bars.

    FWIW, althouth I would love a GPS some times, *most* of the time the absolute LAST thing I want to see when riding is my damn phone. Love the device itself but when it rings I want to burn it. Pesky people calling me...
  18. I have an SW Motech Evolve 7L tankbag with a clear section for the iPhone, you really can't see it properly and have zero chance of using the touch screen, as you say the angle of view sux.

    I also have a Givi and another brand of handlebar iPhone holder, the view is a little better but again not glove friendly.

    I seriously tried all I could to use the iPhone and it just did not work out. Also with IOS 5 you can not use voice to load a nav app although I believe that IOS 6 has some changes in this area.