Most cell phone mounts are just cheap plastic products made to turn a profit. However, there are a select few brands that truly do offer premium, reliable mounting systems. After comparing 20+ models, the RAM X-Grip stood out to us as the best motorcycle phone mount for numerous reasons. This mounting system goes above and beyond the usual standard by offering a strong U-bolt base, secure four-point spider grip, and a rubberized ball-and-socket joint that helps absorb any vibration or impact from rough roads. It's more expensive than other mounts, but thousands of riders agree - it's worth every penny. Article Summary
No one wants to admit it, but we depend on smartphones for so many things – communication, navigation, information, and more. We’ve all had times where we’re riding and wish we could quickly look up directions, make a call, or simply change a song. If you’ve got your phone in your pocket, this means pulling over and stopping, which is inconvenient, to say the least. However, if you’ve got your phone mounted on your bars (or somewhere else on your bike), everything you need is within short reach.
Unfortunately, finding the best motorcycle phone mount is nothing like finding a cell phone mount for a car. There are way more risk factors to consider. In a car, it doesn’t matter if your mount loses its grip and falls, your phone is still safe. If your mount falls off your motorcycle, you may as well kiss that phone goodbye. Things like wind, bumps and potholes in the road, and even your bike’s vibrations can cause a phone mount to break free, which is why it’s absolutely crucial that you buy one that’s tested and proven to withstand things like these.
After reviewing more than 20 motorcycle phone mounts on their quality and strength, we’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news: most mounting accessories are just cheap plastic products pumped out of some factory in a foreign land. They have no regard for quality; they just care about turning a profit. But the good news: there are a few brands that have recognized this common lack of quality and seized it as an opportunity to create mounting accessories that are truly dependable. To keep your mobile safe and secure, we’d recommend choosing one of the three brands below.
The best motorcycle phone mount overall
When it comes to motorcycle mounting accessories, there is no brand that offers better quality and reliability than RAM. With a unique ball-and-socket design and a four-point grip, their X-Grip Mount has earned major praise from casual riders and motorcycle industry professionals alike. It’s not the cheapest mount on the market, but it’s by far the best at keeping your phone secure on your bike.
While most brands offering phone mounts are just small pop-up shops trying to jump in on a hot trend, RAM has been developing mounting accessories for a variety of industries since 1992. From cars and motorcycles to industrial equipment and airplanes, they’re known for their ability to design unique solutions for different applications. In the case of mounting phones to motorcycles, they’ve got numerous advancements in design that sets their accessory far above the competition.
To start, RAM uses a two-piece ball-and-socket design. Most mounting accessories are all one piece, and they use some sort of twist clamp to attach to your handlebars. With the RAM mount, there are two key pieces: the ball base (which attaches to your bike) and the mount itself (which holds your phone). The ball base secures to your handlebars using a U-bolt for better stability, and on top of that, it’s rubberized. The rubberized design is a huge benefit because it absorbs impact (in case you’re on a rough road or you accidentally hit the mount), keeping it stable no matter what your conditions are.
Once you’ve secured the ball base to your handlebars, the top part of the mount pops right on with ease, and then it’s ready for you to secure your phone. This is another area where RAM’s mount has set the bar high. Other mounts are designed like vice grips – there are two points of contact on either side, and you tighten down each side until it grips your device. RAM’s system uses a spring-loaded grip with four points of contact, capable of strong-holding phones up to 3.25” wide (for reference, an iPhone 7 is 2.6” wide and an iPhone 7 Plus is 3.1” wide). As if that’s not enough, there’s also a rubberized safety tether that wraps over each corner of your smartphone for ultimate stability and safety.
We know the technical details can be a bit confusing without visuals, so to give you a better example of how all this stuff works, check out the detailed video review below from Lemmy at RevZilla.
As Lemmy mentioned in the video, the ball base is also available in several different styles depending on where you want to mount your phone. The U-bolt base for your handlebars is the most popular because it’s widely regarded as the easiest to install and the most universal, but there are also bases for brake/clutch reservoirs, gas tanks, and more.
Overall, RAM’s X-Grip won our vote as the best motorcycle phone mount because they beat out every other brand in terms of quality, design, and proven ability. This accessory is backed by thousands of positive reviews from customers who say that although it’s priced higher, it’s “worth every penny” for its security of their $500+ smartphones.
A good bang for your buck
Despite the RAM mount’s quality and appeal, some people just can’t justify spending roughly $50 on a phone mount (even though phones are 10 times the cost!). We think it’s the safer option, but we get it. If you’re looking for a solid bang for your buck, the Roam Co-Pilot is less than half the price yet still packs a number of benefits compared to the rest of the cheaply-made products you’ll find in this price range.
Roam hasn’t been around as long as RAM has, but in the short time their company has existed, they’ve gained some serious traction. Their phone mount is the #1 hottest-selling mount across several major retailers, praised for its impressive balance of quality and price.
As far as design goes, Roam’s Co-Pilot is more along the lines of traditional compared to RAM’s killer innovative features. With that said, it’s still got its perks. Like many others, it attaches to the handlebars using a twist clamp. Twist clamps are usually less secure, but Roam’s is nearly twice the size, providing more grip coverage on your bars and therefore much more stability. In addition, Roam uses a standard vice-style clamp to grip your phone. Vice clamps have been known to loosen easily, but there have been very few negative complaints of Roam’s clamps slipping, which is great indication of their quality from customers who are using the mount daily in numerous applications. It can even hold phones up to 3.5” wide, which is a quarter inch more than RAM.
Another positive to Roam’s mount is that they use a ball-and-socket style design, just like our top pick. Compared to the rest of the models on the market, this is a solid upgrade, it still isn’t quite as advanced as RAM’s is. Most notably, the ball isn’t rubberized, so it doesn’t offer any impact absorption. This is a key benefit that many people love about the RAM mount, so if you know you’ll be riding in rough conditions often, this may be something for you to consider before buying.
For those looking for a cheap mounting solution, you will not find a better value for your dollar than the Roam Co-Pilot. We were pleasantly surprised by how much quality Roam is offering at such a low price; there are other mounts twice as expensive that don’t even offer the same level of quality.
An extra-wide mount for bigger phones
Our two picks above should have most people covered, but for those with extra-large phones, there is another alternative you may want to check out. The OUTERDO Phone Mount is more of a universal phone mounting solution, but it works great on handlebars and can fit devices up to 3.7” wide – one of the largest available.
Unlike our other choices, OUTERDO fits more into the crowd of “general accessory” brands. While their main focus is on cycling accessories, they do offer several off-topic products too. Typically, this would raise a red flag since the majority of “general accessory” companies are those that we talked about in our introduction, but surprisingly, OUTERDO’s phone mount has received very high ratings and recommendations from numerous motorcycle riders.
The design of OUTERDO’s mount is similar to others you’d find on the market, using a twist-style clamp to attach to your bars. The only difference is that their clamps are oversized, and instead of two, there are three. This gives it a claw-like appearance that customers have said works very well for stabilization while you ride. Securing your phone to the mount works just like Roam’s product. You place your phone on the surface, tighten down each side like a vice, and wrap a rubberized safety tether over the corners.
The most notable advantage this accessory offers is the fact that you can mount devices up to 3.7” in width. As of now, there aren’t many phones that even break the 3.25” mark – but the benefit comes for those who have big cases. Cases like Otterboxes or Lifeproofscan easily add a few tenths of an inch to your phone’s width, and with other mounts, you’d likely have to take your case off in order to fit your phone. With the OUTERDO mount, you can keep your case on and still have room to spare.
The OUTERDO Phone Mount comes in right around the same price as Roam, making it a great bang for your buck. If cheap and solid is what you’re after, but you’ve got a larger-than-average phablet (phone-tablet) or a thick case, this is the one to go for.
How we picked our top three
Since phone mounts are relatively simple accessories, there isn’t much that brands can do to differentiate their products from competitors other than providing higher-quality parts. Still, even subtle differences in design can have a big effect on how secure a mount stays while you’re riding. With that in mind, we looked at the following features when choosing the best motorcycle phone mounts.
How a mount attaches to your motorcycle is important for several reasons. First, it will determine how solid the mount is while riding, but it will also determine versatility (in other words, where on the bike you can use it). Most mounts use a twist clamp. Basically, you slide the clamp over your handlebars and tighten it down using a little knob until it’s solid. While these usually get the job done (provided the parts are made with good quality and not cheap manufacturing), other brands have developed more secure solutions (like RAM’s U-bolt and rubberized ball-and-socket bases). We ideally looked for stronger, more versatile base attachments than the average twist clamp. However, in the case that we did come across twist clamps, we checked parts quality for strength and longevity.
Next to the base attachment, how a mount grips your phone is equally significant in determining how safe it will be when you inevitably come across unexpected riding conditions. Just like with base attachments, most mounts use a similar vice-style clamp where you place your phone on the surface and tighten down two edges (on the left and ride side) until it’s tight. Again, this usually does the job, but there are still safer solutions available that provide more coverage. When comparing cradles, we looked at the material of the surface holding your phone, how many points of contact the grip had, and whether a safety tether was included (a rubberized grip that goes over each corner of your device to provide additional safety). The three mounts we picked were the safest we could find.
Handlebars vary in shape and size. Not only that, but everyone has a different preference on the angle and placement of their phone when mounted. Many phone mounts are restrictive in their abilities. They can only fit on a certain part of your bars, or they can only hold your phone at a certain angle. We looked for and chose models that were as versatile as possible, allowing attachment to any size handlebar and viewing at any angle (including full 360° rotation for landscape view).
Things to consider before buying
We don’t all have the same phone, and we certainly don’t all ride the same roads. Knowing that, you have to consider a few things to be sure you’re buying the best phone mount for your motorcycle and your specific conditions.
How big is your phone and do you have a case?
Most mounting accessories are universal and have no problem fitting the average smartphone, but with ‘Plus’ versions of phones becoming the future, it’s always smart to measure your device ahead of time just to be sure it will fit in the mount you’re looking at – especially if you’ve got one of those tough cases like an Otterbox or Lifeproof. In addition to height and width, remember to check depth as cases usually add quite a bit of thickness to a phone. For reference, we’ve listed each mount’s specifications in our comparison table near the beginning of this guide.
What are your riding conditions usually like?
Here in Southern California, the mountain roads are usually very nicely paved, but the freeways are horribly maintained. This means weekend riders who like to cruise the mountains will encounter nothing but smooth roads, but those that ride the 405 for their daily work commute will experience rough bumps, potholes, and occasional debris from all the constant traffic. The point here is that those who often ride smooth roads won’t have to worry much about the stability of their phone mount, but those that often ride rough roads should choose a model that offers beefy attachment and ideally some sort of impact reduction. RAM’s rubberized base pieces are one of the key reasons it earned our top pick as the best motorcycle phone mount – it stabilizes any type of impact or vibration.
How often (and how long) do you usually ride for?
This question goes along with the same point made above. If you don’t ride often or long, having the most durable mount might not concern you; but if you ride daily and/or for long periods of time (like road trips), you’ll want a mount you can trust to keep your smartphone safe. As always, we’d consider phone safety a top priority because of how expensive they are, but make the choice that best suits you.
Tips for installing a phone mount on your motorcycle
Installing a phone mount isn’t rocket science, but since this is going on your motorcycle and not inside a car, we’ve prepared a special process so you can be certain your stuff won’t unexpectedly come loose on the road.
Step 1: Pre-installation safety check
Before attaching the mount to your motorcycle, first secure your phone. Seems a little out-of-order, right? Don’t worry, this is just a practice run to make sure the phone cradle works as intended.
Secure your phone by following the instructions provided with the mount. If your mount offers a safety tether, throw that on as well. Once everything is secured as it should be, shake the mount around a bit. Pretend you’re riding a super-rough road or in some heavy wind. The idea is to mimic conditions you may encounter on the road to make sure your phone stays put like it’s supposed to.
If you do notice your phone moving around, double-check that you’ve secured it correctly. If it continues, you may want to consider contacting the manufacturer for assistance. If your phone doesn’t move and stays secure, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Installing the mount
Now that you’ve made sure your mount keeps your phone secure, go ahead and remove your phone and go through the regular installation process. Follow the directions provided by the manufacturer, usually starting with attaching the base to the handlebars, and then installing any additional pieces. Remember to double-check that all screws are tight – not too tight, but also not finger-tight. You want them to be extremely solid so there’s no movement once you’re on the road.
Step 3: Test ride
Even with the last two steps covered, it’s always smart to do a quick test ride to ensure your new accessory doesn’t fail when it comes time to perform. The last thing you want to do is install it and just assume it works, then head out on the highway and have your phone bounce off at 70 mph. Take a quick ride around your neighborhood and see how your phone holds up. If all is well, you’re ready to use it on all your regular rides!
Wrapping it up
As motorcycle riders, we have a lot of freedom that other vehicles don’t. We can split lanes through traffic, make easier turns in cities, and generally have more fun wherever we’re going. However, one thing that we don’t have is easy access to our phones. Buying a phone mount solves this issue, as long as you have a product you can trust. Many phone mounts are cheap accessories that have been found to fail, but we believe the three options in our guide offer the most reliable designs backed by proven experiences.