January 14, 2019 4 min read 0 Comments
I need GPS on every bike I ride. For several years I have been using Garmin Montana. Although I believe phones are better for on-road navigation, I value Montana's ruggedness.
After extensive off road riding last season, I had mixed feelings about this mount. It has quick lock feature, which is great, but I don't need it as Montana's cradle is hard wired. Angle is adjustable, which is great in theory, but again - I don't need it. And it can accommodate large number of GPS units, smaller and larger. Which, again, I have no use for, since I use only Montana (and maybe my Samsung Galaxy for road rides, but it is smaller than Montana anyway).
Because of these features, mounting plate of SW-Motech mount sticks out too much towards the rider, IMO. And this leads to vibrating off road. Mount is very sturdy, and vibrations never scared me - I never thought something will brake, but it was annoying (just for the record - overall, I believe SW-Motech mount is a great mount).
So I started thinking how to make my own GPS mount for 1090 Adventure R. My goal was to have Montana mounted as far from me as possible, keeping it under the windshield. I also wanted it to be as close to the dash as possible and at the same angle as the dash, so I could look into it while sitting and while standing. And I wanted something sturdy, with no vibrations.
Here is what I came up with.
Bracket is made of two pieces, bolted together.
It is bolted to the bike using two bolts holding the dash and to the faring in the back. Wiring is routed through the pocket on the bracket.
I am using Montana in Garmin's Rugged Mount for a while and it never failed me. I also know that many hard core riders use this combo on their off road excursions, without a problem. However, I was always concerned that Montana will fall off after some hard hit and I will loose it. So I implemented one slot on the right side of the bracket. This way, I can use lanyard to tie Montana to the bracket.
And finally I have Montana where I wanted it to be.
I have tested this setup and so far, it performs great. I need some more testing to do.
I also may add a thing or two.
I will probably adjust position a bit more - I want windshield in lowest position to slightly touch Montana. Then I can add some soft rubber self adhesive tape to the windshield, right where it touches Montana. This way, Montana will be completely safe and protected from vibration and bouncing, when wind shield is in lowest position.
I will also add few more holes, so I can mount Hondo Garage Perfect Squeeze phone mount (using same AMPS bolt pattern as Montana's cradle) horizontally or vertical.
UPDATE, February 5th 2019.
Few design changes are added.
In original design, there were 4 holes in AMPS pattern, placed vertically. This allowed Montana cradle to be positioned horizontally, as it should be. But recently I got my self Hondo Garage Perfect Squeeze Phone mount and I realized that I can mount it only in a way that phone is mounted vertically, which I didn't like. So, instead of four holes, I added four diagonal slots, as shown in photo below. That way, any AMPS mount can be fixed horizontally or vertically.
It is worth mentioning, again, that this mount is made specifically for Garmin Montana, to place it just above and in line with the dash. This make it less ideal for mounting some other stuff to it. Hondo Garage mount, mentioned above, requires four spacers (10-12 mm) to avoid collision with the edge of the dash.
Fixed that way, it is great.
By the way, I now plan to fix Montana above the dash, and to place Hondo Garage mount on the small plate I will bolt to the upper handlebar clamp. For off road rides, I will remove phone from there. It will be safer in the jacket pocket.
And finally, I adjusted position of the holes/slots a bit more. Now, when Montana is mounted and (OEM) windshield is in lowest position, there is slight contact between windshield and top of Garmin's cradle. This prevents cradle from opening, as slider in the back needs to be lifted 10-15 mm in order to let Montana out. It also further reduce vibrations, as Montana is slightly pushed down by the windshield. Of course, this can leave scratch marks on the wind shield, but this can be easily prevented, by applying self adhesive rubber (or electrical) tape on contact point, on the windshield.
After these adjustments, and after it proved well in tests, I feel that this product is ready for the market - link to product page.