RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount


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WingAdmin
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RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:14 pm



I've been making some changes to my bike over the past year or so. Among them, I removed and deactivated my old XM Satellite Radio receiver. I also removed my ancient and long-suffering TomTom GPS. Both units have sat out in the sun, been soaked in the rain (neither of them are waterproof), and provided years of reliable service. But the maps in the GPS were old, the unit was not always powering up, and the satellite radio was just getting more and more expensive.

I decided I would replace them both with a cell phone. The cell phone would show up-to-date maps via Google Maps, with live traffic and automatic routing around traffic jams, as well as playing any kind of music - including Sirius, should I want.

I bought a used Samsung S7 phone on eBay for around $100. I picked this phone because it is relatively small, cheap, reliable, has an excellent screen, and is completely waterproof.

Next, I needed a way to mount the phone on my bike. After some research, I decided on the X-Grip, from RAM mounts. This is a RAM mount with the typical ball on the back, and four steel "legs" with metal feet. The legs squish the phone on the side, ostensibly holding it in place. I bought mine from Amazon:

X-Grip IV Large Phone/Phablet Holder with 1-Inch Ball


I used a brake/clutch mount to fasten it to my handlebar:

Ram Mount Motorcycle Brake/Clutch Reservoir Base with 1-Inch Ball


And lastly, I used a 1 inch arm to connect the mount to the X-Grip:

Ram Mount Composite Double Socket Arm for 1-Inch Ball Bases


The S7 phone supports wireless charging, so I bought a slim wireless charger:

Nillkin Ultra Compact Qi 10W Fast Wireless Charging Pad


This would ensure the phone was always charging when on the bike.

I installed the unit on the right side, attached to my front brake.

Image

It states that the X-Grip will firmly hold the phone through any kind of bump or wind.

On my very first trip, I hit a small bump on the highway at 60 mph, and felt something in my lap. I looked down, and it was my phone! It had been ejected from the X-Grip just by a small bump. Not good!

The X-Grip has available a rubber "security band" which you can flip over the corners of the phone:

RAM MOUNTS X-Grip UN10 Tether


I installed this on the mount, and the phone was very secure. This is what it looks like with the phone installed:

Image

To install the unit, you remove the existing allen screws and replace them with the RAM Mount screws. This is extremely strong and secure.

Image

The adjustable arm allows you to change the position and angle of the phone, but once it is tightened, it STAYS tight.

Image

My overall impression: this thing is a pain. It's tough to get the phone in and out, especially with the rubber security band. The security band sits up over the corners of the screen, obscuring what is showing on the screen, and worse, making the touch-sensitive qualities of the screen intermittently unresponsive. The phone can actually rotate around when it's in the grip. Very annoying, the grip continually pushes the volume and power buttons on the phone, unexpectedly turning the phone off or adjusting the volume.

I'm close to what I want, and on nice smooth roads over long distances, this grip works great. If you are getting on and off your bike frequently, necessitating the installation and removal of the phone, this is just too much work.

While it's an interesting concept, I think the X-Grip mount misses the mark.

To read about the next mount I tried, which is an excellent, inexpensive alternative, see: RAM Mount Quick-Grip

To read about the mount I ended up keeping (and loving), see: RAM Mount GDS Dock



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tamathumper
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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by tamathumper » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:11 am

I completely agree.

- The Ram-X mount presses the phone's buttons unless you're very careful how you mount it - even harder on more recent Samsung phones with more extraneous buttons (yes I'm talking about you Bixby).

- You have to glue the arm "tips" on.

- The rubber strap is extremely secure, I have no worries about losing the phone, but it's a royal pain to mount and dismount the phone, requiring removal of gloves every. dang. time.

- The ability of the phone to pivot slightly once mounted is either convenient or aggravating. Depending on my mood, perhaps.

Staying tuned...
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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by offcenter » Wed May 01, 2019 5:29 am

I am very surprised at the Xmount ejecting your phone.
I use the larger Xmount to hold a 7 inch Nexus tablet just
ahead of the radio on my 1500, running a GPS program.
That Nexus is much bigger and heavier than your phone
and it has never moved an inch in several thousand miles
of riding. I never installed the rubber band thing.
Never felt it was needed.
Also, I have never had the rubber tips come loose in two
seasons of using the thing.
A friend has the smaller Xmount like yours on the handlebars
of his Triumph to hold his cell phone. His hasn't moved either.
He was the one who turned me on to the Xmount.
That must have been one hell of a bump that you hit.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Wed May 01, 2019 8:37 am

offcenter wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 5:29 am
I am very surprised at the Xmount ejecting your phone.
I use the larger Xmount to hold a 7 inch Nexus tablet just
ahead of the radio on my 1500, running a GPS program.
That Nexus is much bigger and heavier than your phone
and it has never moved an inch in several thousand miles
of riding. I never installed the rubber band thing.
Never felt it was needed.
Also, I have never had the rubber tips come loose in two
seasons of using the thing.
A friend has the smaller Xmount like yours on the handlebars
of his Triumph to hold his cell phone. His hasn't moved either.
He was the one who turned me on to the Xmount.
That must have been one hell of a bump that you hit.
I had heard the same thing, that the X-Grip did a good job of holding phones in place, which is why I bought it in the first place. But I found it not to be true - a few bumps and the phone actually moved a bit, and then the one bump (that truthfully really wasn't that big) that ejected the phone into my lap.

So using the rubber strap for me is really required, which is a pain, but the deal breaker is the thing continually pressing on the volume and power buttons on the phone. That just drives me crazy, and is the reason I'm not recommending (or using) it anymore.

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by AZgl1800 » Wed May 01, 2019 5:43 pm

I have the X-Grip on my bike also.

But, after using it one time with my Samsung Note 4, it became an ornament for the reasons mentioned above.

it is still in use though, but for an entirely different purpose.
I wear a head sock to prevent sweat from staining my Shoei helmet liner.
when I remove the helmet, I place the head sock over the X-Grip and it dries out fast, and does not blow away.

I don't use a cellphone while riding, I use only the audio from the GPS to the bike's audio to my helmet speakers.... ( I can't listen to music, it hurts my ears.... Severe Tinnitus )


When I saw the first picture, I was going to mention the rubber band is missing. with that installed on the phone, it is impossible for it to get out of the mount.
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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by offcenter » Wed May 01, 2019 6:31 pm

Maybe it's because yours is mounted on the handlebars?
Mine is mounted just ahead of the radio with four screws
using this ball mount:
https://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-B-202U
Two seasons so far. It hasn't moved an inch holding
the seven inch tablet.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by Bentrider » Fri May 03, 2019 6:33 am

I have been looking at adding GPS capability to my GL1500. I have a 7 in Verizon Ellipsis that I haven't used in a year. Your installation of a 7 in tablet is a interesting alternative. Any additional information about the installation would be appreciated.

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Fri May 03, 2019 8:21 am

Bentrider wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 6:33 am
I have been looking at adding GPS capability to my GL1500. I have a 7 in Verizon Ellipsis that I haven't used in a year. Your installation of a 7 in tablet is a interesting alternative. Any additional information about the installation would be appreciated.
Keep in mind if you ride in rain or even damp weather, a tablet might not fare so well. I used to carry ziplock bags that I would put over my TomTom GPS and my satellite radio if it was REALLY pouring rain. The Samsung I just bought to use is waterproof, so no more problems there....except that the capacitance touch screen really does not work that well with drops of water on it.

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by offcenter » Fri May 03, 2019 8:50 am

WingAdmin wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 8:21 am
Bentrider wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 6:33 am
I have been looking at adding GPS capability to my GL1500. I have a 7 in Verizon Ellipsis that I haven't used in a year. Your installation of a 7 in tablet is a interesting alternative. Any additional information about the installation would be appreciated.
Keep in mind if you ride in rain or even damp weather, a tablet might not fare so well. I used to carry ziplock bags that I would put over my TomTom GPS and my satellite radio if it was REALLY pouring rain. The Samsung I just bought to use is waterproof, so no more problems there....except that the capacitance touch screen really does not work that well with drops of water on it.
Agreed! I keep the ziplock bags in my tankbag for the tablet, my MP3 player, and the control head for my ham radio.
Those things were never designed to be exposed to the elements.
I'll get a picture of my installation and post it here a bit later.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by offcenter » Fri May 03, 2019 11:21 am

Here are pics of my Nexus 7 installation using RAM parts.
The ball is mounted to the radio housing using four stainless steel
screws with large flat washers and lock nuts underneath.
I use two short RAM arms and a double ball to give it
quite a range of adjustability.
The Nexus is powered by a permanent USB socket that I mounted
in the left fairing pocket and wired into the bike.
You need to remove the radio housing to properly attach the
RAM ball. WingAdmin has instructions here:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=10985
It has been riding around there for two seasons now, several
thousand miles, and it hasn't moved a bit.
Click on the pics to see them larger.






George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Thu May 30, 2019 9:02 pm

An update to this review:

To read about the next mount I tried, which is an excellent, inexpensive alternative, see: RAM Mount Quick-Grip

To read about the mount I ended up keeping (and loving), see: RAM Mount GDS Dock

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by Ob1quixote » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:22 am

I am greatly happy with my SlipGrip phone mounts.
http://www.slipgripcarmounts.com/

I ride duals sports across hard country and have never had an issue, after I made one small mod. Testing it out, I snapped my phone into the frame, attached a RAM arm and swung it hard towards my couch. The phone did come out with a very hard swing. The mod was heating up the thumb tab with a heat gun and bending it over the phone list a wee bit further. For a more sedate GoldWing kinda ride, I wouldnt bother modding it. I needed mine to hold the phone securely in the roughest country and the occasional get-off, and it does.

Since then, no failures whatsoever! I'm talking riding courses an enduro race would be on the next day.

And they were able to make a special one for my phone, which has a double capacity battery and aftermarket battery cover.
Excellent service and very affordable!

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by erupert66 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:40 am

After reading the 1st article in the newsletter, I had to jump over to this thread. I NEVER had my iPhone come out of the X-Mount. I am a lefty so it's mounted the exact same way with the handlebar mount. I also have my phone in a rubber case so maybe the rubber case and the rubber feet together make it more secure? I also never had the "feet" come off and I've had the X-Mount since I bought the Wing 3 years ago.

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Re: RAM X-Grip

Post by Rwilkerson » Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:30 am

I have had it with the "X" grip using one hand to mount the phone in the precision spot where it does not hit the switches or drop and break the glass and just plain ugly. I am going to look into the GDS mount sounds like a better approach. Better yet convert the x to the trunk. Have power supplied there and really no need to use let alone see the screen in direct light. Using a Galaxy S8 and adjusting it so that the screen is visible the sun glares and is annoying let alone dangerous distraction. My blue tooth allows me to answer the phone with voice commands and I preset my maps for turn by turn. Being in the trunk also has another benefit I left the phone absently minded on the mount while at the DMV and fortunately was still there when I returned whew explain that to the wife! So to sum up my findings: Mounting is a pain, sun glare is bad, forgetful could cost $$$ and less clutter on the bars. I will be moving mine to the trunk.
Some like to follow the masses but many lose the "m"

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by MalcolmX » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:00 pm

Its good to have this discussion, for a wide variety of views.....
The OP pictures were critical. THAANK YOU!!!
Nobody is really talking about what model phone they have. (size) The big tablet users are happy? I've had an X-grip for a couple of months on an iPhone 5 (6?) X. Big size. The arms hold it like a rock.
As far as usage? I only put it up in the cradle when I'm lost. I use it for GPS and finding things I've never seen. Don't take calls, don't listen to music.
For me, 20 miles per week? bumpy streets, big time, in Tucson. (Are you guys riding in Pennsylvania? Those highways are rough, dude!) Touring, once a day for 40 miles? When touring, the rubber spider web thing comes out. I have no complaints mounting it and dismounting it 1-2 times a day. If I was an Uber driver, (on a moto? ha,ha) I might get annoyed.
YMMV :)

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by MalcolmX » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:04 pm

O, and TY offcenter! Pics are awesome!!!
The double ball is preemo, my man. A lot of people don't know that exists and it makes the whole thing work.

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by Fatboy46 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:59 am

I would suggest for the folks that don't have a waterproof fone..a resealable sandwich bag to put the fone in... touch screen still works- keeps it dry..

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by erupert66 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:57 pm

Back in the days before I had a waterproof phone I would put it in a ziplock bag when I got in my hot tub. Worked great

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by hvyrtft » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:08 am

Has anyone tried the TacForm holders? Other recommendations other than the RAM X mounts which many people seem to have not very positive experiences with?

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Re: RAM X-Grip Handlebar Mount

Post by offcenter » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:28 am

MalcolmX wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:04 pm
O, and TY offcenter! Pics are awesome!!!
The double ball is preemo, my man. A lot of people don't know that exists and it makes the whole thing work.
Thank you. Thank you very much. (in my best Elvis imitation)


George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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