Tag Archives: Bike accessories

Is your handlebar mount damaging your phone?

I recently found photos taken on my iPhone 11 were blurry because the autofocus wouldn’t lock on.

The phone was under warranty so I rang to have the camera fixed and was immediately asked whether I rode a bicycle or motorcycle.

When I said yes, they asked if I had a handlebar mount.

So obviously they are aware of an issue where having your phone or camera mounted to your handelbar can cause vibration issues that can damage the delicate workings of your device.

I’d be careful what you admit to as it could void your warranty.

Several handlebar mounting devices for cameras, GPS, phones, etc now come with vibration isolation attachments.

One of the most popular is the Aussie invention, Quad Lock, which offers a vibration mount for just $A24.95.Quad lock

It’s a small price to pay for the insurance of protecting your expensive device.

I have been mounting my phone to the handlebars using a Quad Lock with a wireless charger for several years without any issues … until now.

Having your phone charged while you are out on a ride is not only a convenience, but also a safety device.

If you get lost, crash or fall ill, having a fully charged phone means you can ring emergency and they can track you.

The Quad Lock is available for motorcycles, scooters, cars, bicycles and runners.

You can buy the mount (RAM, handlebar or mirror), the case to suit your iOS or Android phone, a waterproof covering if required, plus accessories such as the charging units and isolation mounts separately or as a pack to save money.

To mount your phone, hold it at a 45-degree angle until it slots into place, then twist it clockwise to a vertical or horizontal position where it remains securely in place.

To remove the phone, simply push the blue tab (or ring on the wireless charger mount) and rotate anti-clockwise.

That makes it useful if you are riding along and see something worthy of a photo – no fumbling in your jacket for your phone, just grab it and take the shot, then re-attach it. (Obviously, stop first!)

Although it is very secure, it does vibrate which makes it impossible to use the camera or video function on the move.

And as we’ve now found, that vibration can cause damage, especially if you ride on rough roads or off-road.

Quad Lock even lists a variety of motorcycles – mainly twin cylinder models – that can cause vibration issues.

Be aware that it may be illegal in your jurisdiction to even touch the phone while riding, although the laws are a bit vague, says the Australian Motorcycle Council.

If you want to access any of the touchscreen facilities, you would need to have special gloves with touch-sensitive finger pads.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Light, tough motorcycle lock launched

UK bike lock manufacturer Litelok have developed their lightest and most flexible motorcycle lock yet called the Litelok Core Moto. 

It has been accredited as Motorcycle Gold by the independent certification group Sold Secure and the makers claim it is one of the lightest security locks on the market. 

Litelok still weighs 2.5kg which is a lot to lug around in your bike’s panners or top box.LITELOK CORE lock

At the core is Boaflexicore Plus, a patented material invented by rider and Litelok founder, Professor Neil Barron, an award-winning industrial designer and ex-Rolls Royce aeronautical engineer. 

“I’ve owned a number of motorcycles and truly understand what it means to lose such treasured possessions but also how inconvenient lugging around heavy chains can be,” says Neil who has had three bikes stolen. LITELOK CORE lock

“We developed Litelok Core Moto to be our most secure lock whilst still being really practical and easy to use.”

It has multiple layers of protection from the inner core out.

The 125cm lock is also very flexible and features a simple integrated click-to-lock system with a key only required to unlock. 

Locks are pairable so you can join two together for added length. They offer them in twin packs so they can be used with the same unique key.

Litelok Core Moto is available for preorder in either a 125cm or 150cm length and comes with either an orange, black or red washable, outer neoprene skin to help protect your bike’s paintwork. LITELOK CORE lock

Limited early bird pricing begins at £110 ($A196, $US155, €130), with savings of up to 30% on recommended retail pricing.

Funding for the locks has launched on crowdfunding site Kickstarter with the campaign reaching its goal in just a few hours. 

Litelok successfully funded their first lock using Kickstarter in 2015 and had another successful campaign for Litelok Silver in 2018. 

Based in South Wales, UK, and made up of motorcycle and bicycle riders, the company works with material scientists from Swansea University.LITELOK CORE lock

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

More BMW cruiser models and parts

BMW’s return to the cruiser market with the R 18 looks like being a success story as the brand announces more models and Corbin adds an aftermarket fairing and seat.

It is usually a mark of the success of a new model when aftermarket companies of the calibre of Corbin of the US produce specific seats.

Not only have they produced a twin seat with backrests (pictured above), but they have also produced a bikini fairing for the cruiser model.

They say it will not only protect the rider with improved aerodynamics, but also help lower wind noise.

And to complement that quieter, calmer “bubble” they also have a Bluetooth audio kit for the fairing with 500 watts of power, a dash-mounted controller and JL Audio 5.25″ coaxial speakers.

BMW R 18 Corbin
Corbin audio for BMW R 18

Surely this means Corbin believe the model will be a huge sales success as do we after our road test last month.

It comes as BMW Australia has announced the arrival of the R 18 Classic.

A Touring model is expected later this year.

BMW R 18 full-dresser
Spy image of an R 18 tourer (S. Baldauf/SB-Medien)

So the bike is now available in the following three models:

R18 Classic: $28,550 ($30,863 rideaway based on Sydney delivery)


  • Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
  • ABS
  • 3 riding modes (Rock, Roll, Rain)
  • Keyless Ride
  • Spoke wheels
  • Twin front brakes
  • Preload adjustable rear
  • Telescopic forks with fork covers
  • LED headlight, tail-light, brake and indicators
  • LED auxiliary lights
  • 12-volt socket
  • MSR (Dynamic engine brake control)
  • Adjustable hand levers
  • Saddle bags
  • Cruise control

Optional equipment:

  • Lockable Fuel Cap: $75
  • Hill Start Control: $155
  • Headlight Pro (inc. Adaptive Headlight and Daytime Riding Light): $605
  • Floorboards: $235
  • Heated Grips: $340
  • First Edition (Inc. Pinstripes and Chrome Package): $3300
  • Reverse Gear: $1500
  • Anti-theft alarm system: $365
  • Low Seat (690mm): No cost option
    BMW R 18
    Road testing the new R 18

R 18 Classic Custom: $30,090 ($32,448 rideaway)

Includes all specification from the R 18 Classic and adds the following as standard:

  • Lockable Fuel Cap
  • Hill Start Control
  • Headlight Pro (inc. Adaptive Headlight and Daytime Riding Light)
  • Heated Grips
  • Anti-theft Alarm System

R 18 Classic Deluxe: $35,090 ($37,598 rideaway)

Includes all specification from the R 18 Classic Custom and adds the following as standard:

  • Floorboards
  • First Edition (Inc. Pinstripes and Chrome Package)
  • Reverse Gear

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW headlight lights up your home

A vintage BMW R series headlight is a simple yet elegant piece of styling and now motorcycle tragics can have one in their home as a floor lamp just in time for an illuminating Christmas.

In 2017, Spanish motorcycle accessories company Halley Accessories a stylish and practical motorcycle helmet hanger and has followed up with a helmet wall rack, key rings  and other expensive and esoteric motorcycle-oriented designs.

Halley BMW R floor lamp
Halley BMW R floor lamp and helmet hanger

Now they have added a limited edition Halley R-Lamp floor lamp made from reclaimed vintage BMW R series motorcycles.

The stylish floor lamp also features a stainless steel body and a Nero Marquina marble base.

But wait for it … the price is a whopping €1390 (about $A2250, $US1656).

Halley BMW R floor lamp
Halley BMW R floor lamp

Halley product designer Marc Graells, of Barcelona, is a passionate rider who says he likes to bring his passion into his home.

The backside of each headlight has been restored and painted, but the chrome rings are as found so they have a patina of age.

Barcelona is a European centre for design excellence. Have you heard of the Barcelona chair?

Well, Halley Accessories reflects that design excellence in their products.

“Our commitment to local production and a minimalistic, detail-driven approach to design are key to our project,” they say in their press release. 

“Halley speaks to the unwavering rider, who embodies tenacity and freedom on and off the road; to those with a taste for clean, utility-orientated design and appreciation for great craftsmanship.”

And to those with a fair bit of cash in their wallets!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bosch develops split-screen for motorbikes

German automotive electronics company claims it has developed the world’s first split-screen instruments for a motorbike capable of showing app and vehicle information in separate screens at the same time.

Indian has had a split screen feature for at least three years in their seven-inch Ride Command infotainment system.

Indian split screen
Indian split screen

However, the Bosch system is slightly different as it displays app content from a smartphone on one side of the 10.25-inch TFT screen.

It uses mySPIN  smartphone integration and will arrives first on some BMW motorcycles this year.

Ducati and Kawasaki also plan to bring to their motorcycles, but Ducati will not have the split-screen function on their Bosch 6.5-inch connectivity display.

The mySPIN software has been used since 2018 in all-terrain vehicles, personal watercraft and BRP vehicles such as the Can-Am Spyder.

Bosch split-screen instruments
mySPIN app

Bosch spokesman Geoff Lieresch claims the split screen facility is not only convenient but safe as it displays all relevant information “at one glance without distracting the rider”.

Users decide on the content they wish to see on the screen, all of which can be controlled by a switch on the handlebar.

The contents of a smartphone app, for example, are automatically adapted with mySPIN to show relevant information fitting the size of the motorcycle display. The split screen continues to show key indicators such as speed and warnings.

According to a Bosch survey nearly 90% of riders use their smartphone to prepare or follow-up on trips.

One third put themselves in great danger using their smartphone even while riding, the survey found.

Bosch’s mySPIN software partners with apps such as REVER to download, track and share routes with a community of like-minded riders, Genius Maps and Sygic to find the way to a nearby hotel or restaurant and Dash Radio for free premium digital radio. The app portfolio is continuously expanded on a global basis.

Bosch says pone of the most important apps is the digitally connected emergency call system Help Connect.

In the event of an accident, it automatically calls rescue services and provides the GPS location of the rider.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Finn Update Helmet Intercom Speakers

One of the major failings with motorcycle helmet intercoms is the poor quality of their speakers.

Recently Sena and Cardo (JBL speakers) updated their intercoms with bigger, louder, thinner and better-quality speakers.

We have tested these upgraded speakers as well as some aftermarket speakers and the improvement in sound is welcome. You wouldn’t listen to music at home wth crappy speakers, so why do it when you’re out riding!

And for those who say music is a distraction, maybe they shouldn’t be riding … or even driving as all cars have sound systems!

One of the aftermarket speakers I reviewed was a set of $30 speakers from Finn Moto. I found they provided a substantial improvement in sound for a budget price.

Now, they have made them thinner and bigger which means they are more comfortable next to your ears, as well as louder and with better bass.

In fact, for those who know about audio quality, the output is now from 20Hz to 20kHz.

The problem is that wind noise tends to cancel out the bass end in most speakers.

However, these seem to retain a lot of that fulsome deep sound.

It’s not audiophile quality, but it’s a lot better than before.

Updated Finn intercom speakers

Best of all, they are now just $27.95.

While the speakers look a lot bigger, most of that size is the padded surrounds which make them comfortable against your ears.

Flip them over and the actual speaker unit is no bigger. Yet the sound is better.

And they are much thinner which again improves comfort.

They come with Velcro attachments so you can securely position them right over your ears for optimum sound.

It’s a small price to pay to vastly improve the quality of your sound.

So if, like me, you enjoy music and riding, why not double your enjoyment with a good set of speakers in your helmet intercom?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Italian Company Regina Make Maintenance Free Chain

Just 10 days after BMW Motorrad unveiled a maintenance-free X-ring chain, Italian company Regina has announced they will launch a similar Z-Ring High Performance Endurance chain that eliminates the need for periodic lubrication.

The BMW M Endurance chain in 525 pitch is available on the latest S 1000 RR Race, S 1000 RR M Sport, S 1000 XR Sport as standard and as an option on the S 1000 XR Tour.

It will also be available as an aftermarket item for any bike with a 525-pitch chains for about $A160.

That compares with standard chains costing as little as $A40 and gold chains of about $A200.

There is no word on the price of the Regina Z-ring chain when it hits the market in January 2021.

Another ta-C chain

Both the BMW and Regina chains feature an extremely hard “industrial diamond (tetrahedrally amorphous carbon) coating on the bushings and rollers.

The ta-C coating reduces energy dissipation and increases efficiency in the secondary transmission, combining the very high hardness of the coated surface with a low coefficient of friction.

Kawasaki Nosilu

Regina and BMW promise a greater life than the traditional chains, without the need for lubrication or coated front and rear sprockets.

It also eliminates messy lubricant spatter and the need for regular chain cleaning, minimising environmental impact.

While Regina CEO Paolo Garbagnati says the technology is “unparalleled”, clearly it is not.

And we expect more chains will soon be offered with ta-C coating.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Touratech Protects KTM Engines

German adventure and touring motorcycle accessories company Touratech has produced a special skid plate for the engine on big KTM adventure bikes.

Touratech KTM

The KTM Rallye skid plate allows riders to literally skid over hazards such as rocks, logs and other bumps on rough trails without doing any damage to the engine.

Touratech KTM

Unlike some other rigid skid plates that bolt straight into the engine casing and can transfer impact to the engine, this is made of 6.5kg aluminium that flexes and absorbs impacts without breaking.

That weight is kept low in the bike, so it doesn’t affect handling or balance.

Touratech KTM

It also has two parallel recesses to absorb impacts and allow the bike to skid along the object without jamming on it.

Forcite MK1 Helmet

There are also no welds to snag on bushes and sticks.

Touratech KTM

The KTM Rallye skid plate costs $A711.50, but it’s cheap insurance on protecting your engine.

It suits KTM’s 1050 Adventure, 1090 Adventure, 1190 Adventure and 1290 Super Adventure.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

BMW Introduces Worry-Free Chain

Keeping your motorcycle chain clean, lubricated and tensioned is a messy business, but now BMW has developed a special chain that never needs lubricating nor re-tensioning.

BMW has long been known for its maintenance-free shafts, but now they have extended that ability with their M Endurance chain in 525 pitch.

BMW Group Australia Nick Raman Product Communications Manager says the M Endurance chain is standard on the S 1000 RR Race and S 1000 RR M Sport from September 2020 production.

“It is also standard on the S 1000 XR Sport and available optionally on the S 1000 XR Tour from August 2020 production,” he says.

“The ex-factory price for the chain on the S 1000 XR Tour is $160, though we don’t have any information at this point on whether it will be available on other models.”

That’s not too bad considering chains cst between about $50 and $200 for a gold link model and these should last longer.

BMW Motorrad’s global release says “further models are being prepared for this feature”, so we expect the F and G models will get something similar.

However, it may also be suitable for non-BMW bikes.

Company spokesman Gerhard Lindner says: “I think you can put it on every bike with a 525er chain.”

BMW Motorrad No Maintenance Chain

So how does it work?

The M Endurance chain has a resident permanent lubricant filling between the rollers and pins, enclosed by X-rings, so they don’t require lubrication, nor re-tensioning.

Father's Day

BMW uses a new tetrahedrally amorphous carbon (ta-C) coating material for the rollers. It is also known as industrial diamond.

This coating is harder and more resistant than Diamond Like Carbon. The only thing tougher is pure diamond.

BMW says the ta-C industrial diamond coating “does not wear off” and “drastically” reduces the friction coefficient.

“Thanks to excellent dry lubrication properties and the elimination of wear, the tetrahedral amorphous carbon coated rollers of the M Endurance chain offer maintenance comfort equivalent to that of a shaft drive motorcycle,” BMW claims.

“This includes all the cleaning work that is unavoidable with a conventional chain due to splashed lubricant. Accordingly, the M Endurance chain also offers maximum environmental friendliness.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is carbon fibre suitable for bikes?

BMW Motorrad is leading the charge for more carbon fibre on motorcycles with a patent for a carbon fibre swingarm and carbon fibre wheels, fairing and fenders for its S 1000 RR sports bike.

The latter are among their new M performance parts catalogue, but it shows their commitment to lightweight motorcycles.

BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber

But in this drive for lighter weight for both better performance and economy, are they sacrificing structural integrity and safety?

Carbon fibre is a material consisting of thin, strong crystalline filaments of carbon, used as a strengthening material, especially in resins and ceramics.

It has been around for many years with early development in cars by Toyota and BMW.

Performance motorcycles have long offered various carbon fibre accessories, but nothing really structural.

Today’s carbon fibre is a lot better produced and BMW has shown that it can even be used in the frame.

Many riders are still sceptical that it can withstand the unique physical punishment in a motorcycle.

BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber

Race engineer for Porsche and Supercars, Jeromy Moore, says that compared with ABS plastics, carbon is more brittle, but is lighter and stronger in that it takes a higher load until it fails.

“It can be used in combination with Kevlar which of course is used in bullet proof vests as it’s strong and impact resistant,” he says.

“There are also flexible resin systems out there now that allow movement under low loads and the parts return to original position.”

That seems to be what BMW Motorrad is doing with its swingarm which uses flex rather than a pivot.

BMW M Performance Carbon Fiber

Jeromy says Kevlar is not as stiff as carbon but still has higher stiffness-to-weight ratio than plastic.

As for how it stands up in a crash, Jeromy says it depends on the crash.

“Plastic will just deform and you may be able to repair it,” he says.

“A composite that has been deformed past its yield is throw away.

“It is more expensive and I think unless you are looking for the last tenths of a second around a track by shaving a few kilograms, on a road bike it’s just an expensive nicety.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com