We have taken two of the most popular motorcycle mount brands in Australia and pit them against each other – Quad Lock vs RAM Mounts. Smartphones have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Thanks to advancements in mobile technology, most people use their phone as a GPS instead of buying a standalone unit. For this purpose or easy accessibility to your smartphone while you ride, then a sturdy, reliable mount for your motorcycle is of utmost importance. The last thing you want is your smartphone flying off the mount when you hit a bump. Quad Lock and Ram Mounts have both made motorcycle-specific phone mounts that are popular worldwide, but which one should you buy? Here at MotoReview, we’ve tried and tested both mounts to see which one really tops the rest.
Quad Lock is a Melbourne-based company that has created an incredibly effective mounting mechanism. The design is fairly simple. There are two main parts to the Quad Lock system – the phone case and the actual mount itself. Quad Lock has a wide variety of mounting systems to choose from. They have mounts for your motorcycle, your car, your office desk and more. They even have an armband you can wear and attach your phone to! You’ll have to refer to their instructions on how to attach each mount to your desired location. For your motorcycle, you can get mounts that attach to either your handlebar, mirror or fork stem.
The Quad Lock phone case has a raised dual-staged locking mechanism on the back, which is compatible with all of their mounts. The locking mechanism is simple and easy to use. All you need to do is line up the cutouts on the back of your phone with the tabs on the mount, place your phone on, and twist. Releasing it is just as easy. Just press the blue lever down and rotate your phone until it releases. The locking mechanism itself is extremely secure. It’s even strong enough to lift 73kg, which is more than enough to keep your phone in place, even in the roughest terrain. There’s also vibration dampening in their motorcycle mounts, which adds to the usability and safety of your phone when you’re out on a ride.
If you opt for a Quad Lock case, you’re in for a treat. It’s incredibly durable, easy to grip, and has excellent shock absorption properties. Thankfully, the case is also surprisingly slim but secure and doesn’t add much weight to your phone. Quad Lock has cases for most iPhone, Samsung, Google, and Huawei models released in the past 6 years. If, however, you prefer to use your own case or don’t have a compatible phone, Quad Lock also offers a universal adaptor. All you need to do is stick it to the back of your phone or case. It uses top-of-the-line 3M adhesive, which is as secure as the locking system itself.
Another advantage to the Quad Lock mount and phone case is that nothing gets in the way of your screen. Many other mounting systems utilise rubber bands and grips. These work to some degree, but they can get in the way, and more often than not, press down on the volume and lock buttons. Constantly having to adjust your mount is incredibly frustrating, especially if you need to pull over constantly. I’ve never had this issue with a Quad Lock for obvious reasons.
The lack of moving parts means you have less to worry about in regards to maintenance. Nothing has the potential to fall off, which is a big bonus. No one likes snapping a small plastic clip and then waiting a few weeks for the replacement part to arrive. There is, however, a small potential for the locking system to wear out over time, but that will take a few years at the very least. Otherwise, the Quad Lock is the most effective mounting solution available. The only downside to the Quad Lock is the price. It is a fair bit more expensive than other mounting solutions, but it’s definitely worth the cost with better safety and usability.
RAM Mounts X-Grip
The RAM Mounts X-Grip works in a completely different way to the Quad Lock. Like Quad Lock, they offer many different mounting solutions, but the locking mechanism utilises a spring-loaded X-Grip. The X-Grip attaches to your phone, which then attaches to the mount on your motorcycle. This mounting system is a fair bit larger than the Quad Lock, so you’ll have to take some time finding the correct place to mount it, so it doesn’t obstruct your driving. There are also many bits and pieces that need to be assembled once you’ve attached the mounting system to your motorcycle.
For starters, you have to glue the rubber caps onto the mounting system and let it dry. Which, in all honesty, is a little annoying that they don’t come pre-glued. Thankfully, you only have to glue them in once unless they come loose. Whilst it’s drying, you can attach the main mounting system to your motorcycle. The instructions for how to attach it will depend on the type of mount you choose. So, you’ll have to refer to the manufacturer’s guide.
After that, you can finally mount your phone. Firstly, you need to squeeze the leavers on one side of the X-Grip and place your phone in the centre. Then, you can release the leavers, and they should grip your phone. After that, you have to attach the rubber band tether. This is done by first sliding the ball on the back of the X-Grip through the centre hole of the tether. Then you have to wrap each corner of the tether around the corners of your device. Finally, you can attach X-Grip and your phone to the mount on your motorcycle. This entire process can be seen in the diagram below.
When I mounted my Samsung, I noticed that the top right grip was directly pressing my volume up button. As a result, I had to adjust the placement of my phone lower in the mount so that my volume wasn’t constantly turned all the way up. This, however, inevitably caused my phone to pop right out. I also noticed that there was far more vibration using the X-Grip in comparison to the Quad Lock. I had a short test ride but kept to a low speed as I noticed my phone was vibrating quite a lot. This ended with me pulling over and keeping my phone in my pocket instead. It was a huge distraction, and it made me worry about the safety of my device. I would constantly keep looking to make sure it wasn’t about to fall off or crack the screen.
Frustrated, I arrived home and went online to see if anyone else has had this experience. Maybe I just got one from a bad batch? It turns out it gets worse. iPhone 11 owners have reported that the vibration from this actually damages and potentially destroys the phone. I even read some reports about people losing their phones entirely. Don’t get me wrong. I think the X-Grip would work great on a bicycle because you are competing against fewer forces. But I do not feel comfortable mounting this on my motorcycle.
It took some time to remove my phone from the mount when I got back home. This made me think of how tedious it would be having to take my phone out every time I wanted to stop and take a break. It also made me realise just how annoying it would have to attach so many different parts to my phone every time I want to go out on a ride. Ultimately, I am not a fan of this device, but it may be because the Quad Lock raised my expectations to unrealistic levels. The RAM Mounts X-Grip is cheaper, and it definitely feels that way.
The Quad Lock is a clear winner for me. With vibration dampening, no risk of detaching, ease of use, quick attachment and detachment, it checks all the requirements for a high-quality phone mount. The RAM Mounts X-Grip, on the other hand, doesn’t feel like it is at home on a motorcycle. I firmly believe that you should use it for bicycles, rather than being marketed for motorcycles. One of the main things a phone mount needs to achieve is to keep your smartphone safe and secure. In the big picture, you’ll be getting more value from buying the Quad Lock, regardless of it being the more expensive option. You’ll definitely be breaking and losing fewer phones, that’s for sure.