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Motorbike navigation via your phone!

In the previous blog we took a deep dive into dedicated motorcycle navigation, but if that's too big an investment for you, navigating on your phone is an excellent alternative!

Everybody has a smartphone nowadays and most people don't leave home without one. Your phone is integrated in your daily life. The screens are getting bigger and bigger and a waterproof phone is more the rule than the exception. So it is not so strange to use your phone as a navigation device.

But how do you mount it to your bike? If you have decided to use your phone, you will find that there are quite a few choices to be made before you have found the solution that fits you and your bike. Every motorcycle is different and therefore every cockpit looks different, but also every phone is different. That is why there are basically two important questions you have to answer for yourself; how do I want to mount my phone & How do I want to mount my holder to the bike.

How do I attach my phone to the holder?

There are several ways to attach your phone to the holder, namely a model specific cover, a universal clamp & a universal cover. Here we take you through the different options and their advantages.

Model specific cover - These are basically a replacement for the phone covers that you would already put on your phone for protection. The big advantage of these covers is that the attachment system is built right into them. So in no time you have your mobile phone attached to the motor. These cases are made for most known/new models, if you have an older phone or a phone of an unknown brand, you will have to look for another solution.

Pro tip: With the SP Connect Universal Interface you can turn any phone case into a ''motor phone case''.

Universal clamp - If you don't have the possibility for the above case or if you don't want to lose your current case because of its cool design or extra security then a universal clamp is a great choice! The holder often takes up a little more space on the bike (even when empty) but you get great flexibility in return. Well known options are the X-grip clamps from Ram mounts.

Universal sleeve motorcycle phone holder - These are robust sleeves which can hold almost any phone. They also allow you to use your phone as a navigation device when you do not have a waterproof phone, and sometimes also offer an extra sun visor which ensures good visibility even in bright daylight. Optiline has several sizes of universal sleeves in its range that ensure a safe storage option.

How do I attach a holder to the motorbike?

There are many different types of motorcycles, with very different dashboards, so it can be a real challenge to find a place on your bike to attach your mobile. As a result, there are a number of different options to choose from, one of which will suit your bike:

Handlebar Mount - The Handle Bar Mount is probably the most commonly used and simplest mounting option. If you have space on your handlebars, this is the most common place for your phone holder.

Stem Mount - If you can't find a good spot on your handlebar, you might want to consider a stem mount. The stem mount is a pin that is placed in the steering head of your bike. This way, the mount sits exactly in the middle of the frame. This has the advantage that you can easily read the screen and experience less vibration. However, the steering head is not always accessible and it requires a little more effort to install.

Mirror Mount - If the top two options are not an option, you could look at a mirror mount. The mirror mount attaches the holder to the mirror of your bike, allowing you to mount your mobile phone safely even on the most awkward bikes (or scooters, for example).

Motorcycle navigation apps smartphone

As we mentioned in the previous blog, the reasons for using a real dedicated navigation system are still valid, but that doesn't mean you can't use a mobile phone. For the high power consumption there are solutions like wirelscharger in phone holders or simply wires that can charge your phone through the battery of your bike. In any case, it is best to operate and set up your smartphone before you get on the bike and before you put on your gloves. Have you found the right method to attach your phone? Then consider the following Navigation Apps to make the best use of your mobile.

CaliMoto - This is a paid app with special features. CaliMoto has the round trip function. With this function, you no longer have to think about which route to take when you want to go on a tour. You indicate a desired length and a global direction and CaliMoto will calculate a nice route for you.

Osmand - Very comprehensive navigation app that is perfect for the offroad motorcyclist thanks to the turn-by-turn navigation that also works over .gpx tracks.

TomTom Go - A user-friendly app that doesn't create unnecessary distractions while riding and is very easy to use.

Waze - Extremely suitable for everyday use. This is because it is very easy to use but still provides all the functions a motorcyclist needs. Waze loads live traffic information based on input from other users on your route.

Maps.me - Has free worldwide maps and can be used offline. The app is fairly basic, but is perfectly adequate for getting from A to B, anywhere in the world.

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