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RAM Mobile Phone Cradle & Strap Mount

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Gobberwart, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. #1 Gobberwart, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
    I bought this thing about a month ago now, and figured I'd had it long enough to be able to write a review, so here goes.

    What is it?

    Just in case the title doesn't give it away, it's a device for holding a mobile phone securely to the handlebars of a motorcycle. It's best suited to "smartphone" type devices such as Android or iPhone etc. and I've tried it with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and an iPhone 4S, both of which fit very nicely.

    Importantly, it's actually two things that must be purchased individually:

    1. RAM Mobile Phone Cradle (RAM-HOL-PD3U)
    2. RAM EZ-Strap Motorcycle Handlebar Mount (RAM RAP-SB-187U)

    Why are they two separate pieces? RAM makes modular systems, so as much as the phone cradle CAN be attached to a motorcycle handlebar strap mount, it could also be attached to a suction cup mount, cup holder bendy mount, or something else. There are plenty of options available, I just chose this one.

    Theoretically, this means you could snap off the phone holder, and snap on something else if you wanted to. Like a camera or... I dunno, a portable toaster or something. Realistically, detaching the bits is a bit of a pain once it's all assembled. I probably wouldn't bother, but you might be more of a masochist.

    Note that this does not have any sort of power supply, but it should leave room for most USB chargers to plug in, if you're lucky or clever enough to have such a beasty on your mighty steed (that's a project for another day for me).


    I haven't seen these anywhere cheaply in Australia, although I have seen them very expensively both here and overseas. Best prices are to be found overseas from what I've seen, which means waiting a week or two for delivery.

    The cheapest I have found recently is on eBay from a geezer who is currently selling the handlebar mount for about $19.90 here and the cradle for $27.90, both including postage of $4.95, which you might be able to combine. Total cost is $47.80


    Caution: If you're like me, and tend to enjoy a quiet ale or two before making your internet-based purchases, be careful not to rush it. I did, and it cost me far too much money. First mistake was not shopping around, so I bought the first cradle I found - over $45 including very expensive shipping from cruisercustomizing.com. My second mistake was that I assumed that the handlebar mount would be included with the phone cradle, and I didn't realise until a few days later, which was too late to combine shipping. Fortunately I found the mount on ebay, but I still paid over $65 instead of less than $50. Basically, I'm an idiot, but the beer was nice.




    Nothing fancy. Each item was shipped in a sturdy plastic bag, inside which were the major parts and a smaller plastic bag containing the wee parts. In the case of the cradle, that was the side pins, nuts and bolts, while the mount kit had a few extra bits and pieces.


    In a word, very sturdy and stong. That's four words, I know. Have some more: I couldn't tell you what exactly it's made of, but it all feels very rugged and durable. Once everything's assembled, there's no sign of anything moving that shouldn't be moving, and I'm extremely confident leaving my expensive mobile phone in there.


    Assembling the cradle itself was extremely straightforward. There are four side pins/pegs/fingers that need to be slotted into your choice of four of the six available slots (to avoid buttons on the side of your phone) then bolted into place so that they're snug against the side of your device. Tools are not supplied, but the nuts sit in recessed holes and the tops of the bolts fit a phillips head screwdriver. If you don't have a phillips head screwdriver, you probably aren't riding a motorbike.

    The strap mount was quite a bit more difficult.

    First, there's a long, sticky foam strip that needs to be stuck to a long piece of flexible plastic (the strap). It needs to be stuck to exactly the right place, and you only get one shot before the stick starts to get messy. I got lucky, but you need to be careful.

    Once you've done that, you need to measure how long your strap needs to be by wrapping a specially marked piece of paper around the handlebar and marking it (or use a tape measure, piece of string, wild guess etc.). Then you cut the plastic strap to the length you marked and trim off any rough edges. Tips for this are to 1) use something sharper than crappy kitchen scissors, and 2) make sure you cut the right end off as although replacement straps can be obtained fairly cheaply, you're going to feel like a goose, so just be careful.

    Finished? Nahhh, then you need to attach your newly-cut strap to the body of the base using a method I like to call, "voodoo" but which is probably better described as, "needing four hands, three elbows, four hands and a sledgehammer to push a fiddly stainless steel pin exactly the right distance through a watch strap type affair into a tiny hole".

    Whatever you do, don't get it wrong like I did, because taking the pin out is even harder.

    Next, attach the diamond-shaped attachment plate to the cradle itself. That's an easy bit and just requires a couple of screws and nuts. Easy.

    Finally, you have a barbell-shaped bit approximately 2.5 inches long with a ball on each end, each with a diameter of... well I don't know exactly, but call it 0.75 inches. Each of those balls must fit into a hole (on the base and the cradle) having a diameter of roughly 0.73 inches. It's an INCREDIBLY tight fit, the balls do not feel like they compress and the holes do not appear to stretch. This bit took me a LONG time to get done, and I really don't know what I did that achieved the result in the end. There must be a trick to it, but I have no idea beyond blind "persistence". I considered lubrication but then realised it would probably result in a floppy phone mount so..... shrug. All I know is that eventually the bits were joined together and I could stop being terrified that something was going to go SNAP!

    After all that, attachment to the bike couldn't be simpler. Hold it with one hand, wrap the strap around and feed the end back through the ratchet and pull tight until it locks in place. To remove it, press the button to release the ratchet and pull the strap out.

    To place your phone in the cradle, you stretch a spring-loaded claw at the top, seat the phone in place, then allow the claw to retract against the phone. Once it's there, the only movement will be when you want to adjust it, and there's a fair range of adjustment available to you if you want it.


    Overall, I'm pretty happy with this. Some pre-assembly could have been done (like sticking the foam pad to the strap) and some things seemed needlessly difficult/fiddly to do, but the end result more than does the job.

    - Extremely sturdy once assembled
    - Strong springs, unlikely anything is going to fall out
    - Pretty good value for money if you shop around

    - Strap mount is fiddly to put together
    - Difficult to attach cradle to base (possibility of breakage if you force it too hard?)
    - Not easy to adjust for different sized devices

    If you have any questions, please let me know.
    • Informative Informative x 2
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  2. I bought my set at a GPS shop in St Kilda. The prices are the same RRP prices you'd find on the US online shops except you don't have to pay the shipping costs.
  3. I got one of these recently too. Very good quality.

    Mine has a neck between the mount (which screws onto the brake reservoir) and the cradle.


    Very easy to fit, but unfortunately I didn't realise you could get them locally so I paid a bit for shipping.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. yes they are awesome kit had one years ago and they just work and are so well made!!!
  5. I purchased the cradle and handlebar adapter above from http://www.ja-gps.com.au/ , works well, I just need to find a decent cig lighter/usb(2amp) combo for the Strom.
  6. How much?
  7. It came to $38 so it wasn't too bad, they had to order in the goods. The handle bar adapter was missing the little pin, gave them a call and they sent out a complete kit free of charge, I managed to fabricate a pin from a pc and will attach the second kit to my mountain bike, win win!

    I'm looking at a usb/cig lighter solution and only found this one at the moment http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Motorbik...ries&hash=item2a27489fa6&_uhb=1#ht_685wt_1393 the usb is only 1amp (would of liked 2amp as it would charge the phone faster) but there's not much else out there.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. i do wonder about cig lighter solutions, i have one that has weatherproof caps and is under the side cover which is reasonably water tight but after 2 years 2 out of the three sockets dont work due to light surface rust inside the plugs, cant complain got good use out of it just have to replace or derust thats all
  9. I try to avoid rain but I thought I might cover it up with plastic some how, would need to find a solution to water proof the phone if it's really needed with a Glad bag haha.
  10. I'm planning to install one on the left side just under my tank over christmas so I can get a few hours out of my GPS. Should be interesting. As for the phone itself... ziploc bag should do the trick if I need it in the rain, but first I'm hoping Santa brings me the waterproof gear I asked for :)
  11. Speaking of USB, at the same time I also ordered a USB socket which I wired into the bike electrical system. The socket sits on the other handlebar to the phone mount.

    Pretty nifty solution if you don't have a cigarette lighter on the bike. Mine was from Burns Moto.
  12. I'd rather have both incase one day I need it for a air pump or some other accessory, my old slim which just sticks out of the socket usb cig lighter adapter burnt out after a few chargers, the better dual (1amp/2amp) usb adapter I have is better but it sticks out quite a bit.
  13. #14 zol, Jan 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
    My handle bar adapter is starting to shit me a little, from the vibrations or when tilting the cradle towards myself, the bracket keeps moving forwards(clockwise) yet I have to loosen it to push it back. Gobberwart do you have the ring facing you or facing forward?
  14. I have the tongue on the strap/ring facing away from me and pulled tight and it's not moving at all.
  15. Another mention for johny Appleseed, they sell ram mounts for the same price as online, they have a few stores in oz, and you save on shipping costs.

    It's a bit confusing, different mounting options and sizes, I had to buy 3 seperate bits to build my mount, most importantly the mounts are very secure.
    Mine was
    -stem ball mount
    -3GS cradle
    -adapter thingo
    Johny Appleseed also gave me a nice discount because I bought a set. $45 odd from memory.
  16. Thanks :)
    The range of ram mounts is huge something like 4000 products. That is why if you see something on the ram mounts home page send me an email and we can check availability. Even had some customers asking for aviation mounts, which is all new to me :)
  17. Is there a RAM mount that allows you to connect two devices to a single stem mount?

    I'm trying to work out a way of connecting both my GPS and Gopro to my stem mount at the same time

    I've tried looking at the Ram page, but can't see anything that might work.

    Anyone managed to sort this out?