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Anyone found an iPhone mount that doesn't kill the camera?

1633 Views 29 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Reveille
I found out the hard way this week that iPhones are not supposed to go on motorcycle handlebars. Apple says vibrations from motorcycle engines "might impact the camera." That impact turns out to be utterly destroying the camera's focus mechanism, meaning it can't focus at all, auto or manually. I was quoted $500 to $600 to repair the thing, so I just bought another used one off ebay for $350.

Obviously, I don't wanna do that again. Has anyone found a way to mount the phone that dampens the vibrations enough to not break the camera? I really rely on it for GPS, and I really don't like the idea of having a secondary device just for navigation. I'm considering a bluetooth headset for my helmet so I can just listen to directions, but that still means a whole 'nother thing to charge and worry about - plus my current cheapo helmet can't take one, so it'd have to wait til I upgrade that.

So yeah, anyone got a good solution?
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Yep it鈥檚 made by Samsung 馃ぃ馃ぃ
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Yes, 3D used to have a bundle with clamp, isolator, and mount but looks like all pieces now. Before I had this I smoked an iPhone on my KTM 690. The KLR vibrates ALMOST as bad.

Hondo Garage Buzz-Kill Vibration Isolator
The same thing happened to me. But it wasn't my KLR that killed the phone camera, it was my Super Tenere. I had the isolator on my KLR, but not on the Super-T. A parallel twin? Rubber mounted bars? Who'd have thought. But clearly there's some high-frequency vibrations that just aren't affecting me the way they nuked my iPhone after one short ride.
I just do the Cardo headset for the spoken directions. And if I remember to wear my apple watch, the turns show up there as well. Easy enough to make a quick glance at.

The best solution is a ruggedized android phone.
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Dang, I didn't know that. My Samsung just rides and smiles. I never had an issue with my phone. Sorry for your troubles. Good luck.
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Dang, I didn't know that. My Samsung just rides and smiles. I never had an issue with my phone. Sorry for your troubles. Good luck.
Just a guess, but your Samsung probably doesn't have optical stabilization, instead relying on software for image stabilization. Older iPhones did not have this same issue until much more recently. (I think the 11 onward)
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Yep it鈥檚 made by Samsung 馃ぃ馃ぃ
Cool thanks, that's helpful.

Doing a bunch of looking around, it seems like there's a handful of vibration damper mounts being sold. Anyone have experience with something like Quad Lock? I don't like this option because it requires a whole new case, new mount, and the damper is sold separately - so it's a whole investment, and I like my current case anyways.

Another option I've found is this custom made guy. He based it on this sort of thing. I like this option because it's an excuse to use my 3D printer and I've already got the correct sized bolts, I'd just need to pick up some wire. It also just looks like it'd work? But I'm not an enginerd so who knows? Not me that's for sure. But this is like the lowest cost option so far, so I'm going to test it out and report back later.
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I use this Ram and 3D.
Awesome! That 3D wire mount is real similar to what I'm making. How many miles have you had it for? And no issues with your camera after riding?
Awesome! That 3D wire mount is real similar to what I'm making. How many miles have you had it for? And no issues with your camera after riding?
40,000+
No issues.
I use a quad lock on my KLR. I have the vibration dampening version on the upper smaller bar (near the windscreen) and just a regular base model on the handle bar. I prefer the handle bar one as it is actually smoother than the windscreen mount with the vibration dampener (maybe due to the rubber mounted handlebars?). I was initially hesitant to use any mount offroad, but I can tell you with over 1k miles of trail riding that the quad lock has been solid. I don't take a ton of pictures with my phone so I'm not a good judge of subtle differences in quality, but the phone is still able to focus just fine taking normal pictures, and my pictures look like they always have. I haven't noticed any downside yet.

Just from my experience I'd say buy the base quad lock mount and case for your phone, skip the vibration dampener. together the mount and case cost similar to what other mounts can cost. The mount is super simple to install and use. I will be ordering a few more for my other bikes. It is similar to the KLR in regards to being durable by nature of not being complicated.

Also, I pair my phone to a cardo pactalk on my helmet for listening to music while riding and it is great. Occasionally the cardo will get the volumes mixed up between music and talking to my riding partners, when this happens having the phone on the quad lock mount on the handlebars makes it super easy to reach up and hit the volume button on the phone while riding so I can hear my music again.
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Awesome! That 3D wire mount is real similar to what I'm making. How many miles have you had it for? And no issues with your camera after riding?
That鈥檚 the one I linked above.
Just a guess, but your Samsung pro. bably doesn't have optical stabilization, instead relying on software for image stabilization. Older iPhones did not have this same issue until much more recently. (I think the 11 onward)
That is correct. The OIS system uses mechanical servos to focus/adjust the lens for shake, while Andoid camera systems are solid state - not immune to problems, and producing a somewhat reduced image quality (not that most of us could ever tell the diff), but much less likely to be damaged by vibration or sharp impacts. As I understand things, the only absolutely sure way to isolate iPhones from vibration damage is a device called The Pocket, which comes pre-attached to many shirts, pants, jackets, etc. - in fact, most articles of clothing currently available. Unless you're a girl.
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iPhones are far too expensive for me to risk putting my primary phone on the bars. Nothing is guaranteed to prevent damage.
Not to mention the issues that might arise from being thrown from the bike and immobilized. Hard to call for help if your phone is still on the bike.

But obviously each person is different and can make their own risk calculation.

If I didn't have a Garmin Zumo on the bike already, I'd be looking at a second hand Kyocera Duraforce Pro. Far more durable than any iphone, and far less expensive to replace. Also much more resistant to overheating, which is a serious weakness of an iphone mounted in direct sunlight.
You can get plenty of offline mapping apps for androids (Scenic is popular), and you can even tether it to your iphone (assuming your cell plan doesn't suck like mine does) to allow you to use google maps for on-demand navigation.
I may still look at this in the future, as my Zumo 660 isn't the best thing in the world, and an XT costs far more than I think it's worth.
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I lost an iPhone camera too after 18 mos of off-roading and road riding and it was a simple 2 hr fwy ride that killed it. * My fix was to leave the old phone in the powered handlebar mount without a Sim or service. Join it via Bluetooth to your new iphone鈥檚 HotSpot that鈥檚 safely in your jacket pocket. (simple to do). Now your old phone on the bike has maps, texts, gps, Nav, etc. and your good phone is with you wherever you go. Try it. Works great.
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The best isolation mount is putting the phone in your jacket pocket.

Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
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I found out the hard way this week that iPhones are not supposed to go on motorcycle handlebars. Apple says vibrations from motorcycle engines "might impact the camera." That impact turns out to be utterly destroying the camera's focus mechanism, meaning it can't focus at all, auto or manually. I was quoted $500 to $600 to repair the thing, so I just bought another used one off ebay for $350.

Obviously, I don't wanna do that again. Has anyone found a way to mount the phone that dampens the vibrations enough to not break the camera? I really rely on it for GPS, and I really don't like the idea of having a secondary device just for navigation. I'm considering a bluetooth headset for my helmet so I can just listen to directions, but that still means a whole 'nother thing to charge and worry about - plus my current cheapo helmet can't take one, so it'd have to wait til I upgrade that.

So yeah, anyone got a good solution?
GoPro for $200 bucks
GoPro for $200 bucks
I never knew GoPro has GPS navigation 馃槅
I never knew GoPro has GPS navigation 馃槅
OP was pretty specific about iPhone camera features.
Go quadlock, it has the stock mount but also a vibration damper as well yuo can buy for any vibrations, which we all know the KLR has got.
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