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Have you had a phone damaged by vibrations when using a handle bar mount?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Merry post-Christmas Greetings all. I wanted to pass on a bit of information about handle bar phone mounts that cost me a couple hundred $US in phone repairs.

So the background on this is that last year while I was on travel to support a remote site about 1200 miles from my home office I decided to take the R1200GSA instead of fly due to the Wuhan Flu policy that would include a total of 28 days of quarantine. I had recently added a RAM mount for my iPhone 6S+ because I had to remove the tank bag due to aging straps and had not decided on a new one yet.

I have never used a RAM or other phone mount, but have used RAM mounts for my Delorme GPS and InReach, as well as the current Garmin GPS/SatCom and considered them to be the best mounting system available. The RAM mount was quick-grip with a short arm and claw type base mounted in the center of the handle bar. On several rides around the area with a dummy phone (a store display phone that I use as part of my training) the same size and 20 grams heavier than my iPhone, several test rides proved the mount to be capable of holding the phone well.

During the ride out to the site I did not notice any issues with the phone, and used it several times to make calls while on the road and play music during the more dull parts of the ride. It was not until I arrived at the site and tried to use the camera that I noticed the problem. The display was fuzzy and the camera module was making a buzzing noise.

Fortunately I was able to get another camera and get the photo's I needed that day. That evening I took the phone to an Apple store that was nearby and they told me the camera stabilizer system was damaged. The apple repair tech noticed the BMW rally jacket I had on and asked if I used a handle bar mount. I told her that I had just installed one for this trip because I did not have the tank bag at the time.

The Tech told me that the vibrations induced from the handle bars are known to damage the camera stabilizers and focus systems because they are trying to compensate for the movement even if you are not using the camera.

OK lesson learned, no more handle bar mounts for the phone. I kept the repaired phone in my jacket pocket the rest of the trip and have not had any problems with the camera. Fortunately, the local bike store was kind and accepted the RAM mounts back when I described the situation so I was not out the money for those parts.
 

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They make Ram mounts specifically designed to reduce the camera killing vibrations. I keep my phone in my pocket.
 

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I have the vibration isolating quad lock inductive charging mount. Works like a charm on my iPhone 11 Pro Max.
 
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'14 R1200 GS Adv "Freya"
2021 BMW R1250 GS Adventure
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I've put about 100,000 miles on my bikes with a RAM Quick-Grip on a 6' Arm always mounted to a Ball on one of the Handle Bar Clamp screws. I've had several Motorola phones and now a Samsung s10e and never had any camera trouble. Is this purely an iPhone deficiency?
 

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I use old Huawei more than 5 years + RAM X Grip, but never happens similar things with the camera, or phone.
Hold RAM mount on additional tube frame above main display, not on the handlebars.
At the end of the season I forgot to put additional securing elastic laces and phone drops down on the road, just few dents on side boards but nothing more.
 

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I dont use my iphone but a kyocera which I picked up used for google maps since my Nav 6 will not always have updated highways in India. Its mounted on a RAM Wireless charger X grip next to the Nav 6
So maybe it is an Iphone issue.
 

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The vibration caused iPhones to loose the camera’s self focusing ability. I discovered a great hack that fixed my phone’s camera (iPhone 10s): Simply super gluing a small magnet between and to the right of the lenses corrected the problem. My phone’s case covers the magnet so it’s not even noticeable. I used a little button magnet from a magnetically held name tag. Zero $$ fix
 

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I heard of this phenomenon and figured it was just a weak iPhone design issue, but I find it really interesting that it sounds like the system whacks itself out.. I use a mount that holds my iPhone in the Navigator mount, and haven't had any problems... so far.
 

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Yeah - I think I read that Apple wasn't too impressed with the BMW Phone Cradle citing the potential for similar problems.

I've been using an aftermarket phone cradle for a few years now with no issues...it obviously doesn't connect to the BMW navi wheel but it works ok for maps etc and has a built in power socket. And I use the work phone not my personal one :sneaky:

If I am on long distances I use the GPS, short round town trips I use the phone cradle - maybe that's the difference? Trips not long enough to cause damage?

Agree with other posts - get a dampened mount or keep in your pocket/tank bag etc.
 

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Yeah - I think I read that Apple wasn't too impressed with the BMW Phone Cradle citing the potential for similar problems.

I've been using an aftermarket phone cradle for a few years now with no issues...it obviously doesn't connect to the BMW navi wheel but it works ok for maps etc and has a built in power socket. And I use the work phone not my personal one :sneaky:

If I am on long distances I use the GPS, short round town trips I use the phone cradle - maybe that's the difference? Trips not long enough to cause damage?

Agree with other posts - get a dampened mount or keep in your pocket/tank bag etc.
I did about 900 miles in 3 days with the phone cradle on some rigorous roads with no problems with my iPhone 6s - can't complain!
 

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Apple itself issued a memo citing the potential damage to their phones on certain motorcycle models based on vibration and how it has the potential to kill the image stabilization on their phones. I think many of the Android phones use a different type of optical stabilization that isn't as susceptable to damage
 
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