Tag Archives: Gear/accessories

How will your rider gear cope this summer?

With the hotter weather approaching, riders can check the breathability standard of their gear on Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP online safety ratings service.

Sixteen new MotoCAP safety ratings have just been published, providing riders with safety ratings for 11 jackets and five pairs of pants.

Importantly, they also test the breathability and comfort of the gear in hot conditions which is an important primary safety factor.

The Richa Daytona 2 leather jacket performed best, receiving three out of five stars for safety yet two out of five for breathability.

The new ratings for jackets can be viewed here. The new ratings for pants can be viewed here.

MotoCAP has now performed testing and issued safety and comfort ratings ratings for 356 items of rider jackets, gloves and pants.

The MotoCAP safety intitiative launched in September 2018 and is the first of its type in the world.

Riders are urged to consider checking the safety and comfort ratings of gear before they buy.

While some have disputed the veracity or usefulness of the tests, rider representative groups and road safety experts say MotoCAP at least makes riders more aware of wearing protective gear.

The breasthasbility score also shows how the gear may perform when out on the road, something you can’t test for when trying it on in a store. 

MotoCAP is a partnership between Transport for NSW, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), VicRoads, Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Lifetime Support Authority (LSA), the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.

Testing is carried out by the Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials on behalf of the MotoCAP partners.

All gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

In 2019, MotoCAP won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Dashcam made for motorcycles

GPS company Navman have turned their attention to dash cams with a robust waterproof unit built especially for motorcycles.

Since about half of all riders having recently experienced a near-miss, it’s a good idea to have video proof of the perpetrator.

It could be a driver who opened a car open on you or a driver who didn’t check their blind spot for motorcycles.

Now Navman have a dash cam that you can fit to the front and back of your bike to record these incidents and provide proof of who was at fault.

The Navman MiVue™ M760D dash cam features two cameras with a 130 wide-angle glass lenses. 

Recording in Full HD 1080P at 30FPS and with the Premium STARVIS™ Low Light Sensor, it promises crisp images in all lighting conditions so you can see things such as number plates and faces.  

The 3-Axis G-Sensor and GPS Tagging stamps your footage with an exact location, time and speed at the time of an incident.

There is also a button on the GPS multifunction control box installed on the handlebar to activate emergency recording to prevent files from being overwritten. 

IdeasMotor App

With EZYSHARE Instantly via WIFI you can view footage in real-time and share it via the MiVue™ Pro mobile app. 

The MiVue™ M760D is IP67 waterproof, has a metal casing and full glass lens.

It costs $599 and may require professional fitting by an auto-electrician as it’s wired in.

However, you can get 20% off and free shipping if you buy using the code M760D20 on the Navman Australia website. Offer ends 31 October 2021.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

German Retailer Louis Moto Launches Rekurv Gear and Apparel

Louis Moto is a popular gear retailer based in Germany and sells products from several brands, including AGV, HJC, and Kriega. Visordown reports that the company also has its in-house labels at the more affordable end of the motorcycle gear spectrum. Now, it’s added a new line called Rekurv that will sell apparel and gear for the younger generation of riders.

An image of the Rekurv leather jacket

The official Rekurv webpage on Louis Moto’s website mentions that the new vertical will sell gear that delivers a no-frills, performance-oriented experience. The company’s products have been designed to focus on a sporty fit, optimal protection, and maximum comfort while being affordable. 

Image of the Rekurv textile jacket

The Rekurv portfolio currently comprises leather and textile jackets, gloves, and riding pants. The brand also sells non-protective apparel like T-shirts and jeans. There’s also a variety of gear and clothing available for women

Visordown points out that Rekurv’s Leather Combi Jacket is one of its more popular products. It comes with abrasion-resistant panels, removable elbow and shoulder armor, and an optional Super Shield HTP back protector. The jacket is priced at €249.99 (around $289.98), which matches entry-level options from popular brands like Dainese and Alpinestars.

Studio shot of a Rekurv glove

Studi shot of Rekurv ankle boots

Image source: Motorrad Online

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Phone app highlights motorcycle events

It seems like there is a new motorcycle almost every week.

There are apps for touring, connecting with other riders, caring your data and more.

Now a free app has launched on Kickstarter that claims to allow riders to find events to attend while on a road trip.

IdeasMotors launched their fundraising campaign on Kickstarter with a goal of $A13,760 and have already raised  more than $A2400 with a month to go.

IdeasMotors says their free app contains more than 60,000 various types of motorcycle events – festivals, shows, motorcycle rides, club meetings and parties, motocross and other events. IdeasMotor App

It also includes a map that will direct you to the event.

The app may be free, but it does have paid ads. 

However, if you support the fundraiser with a $US20 donation, you will get the app ad-free.

IdeasMotors currently has a web page which will be combined with their app in May 2022.

As usual, we issue a word of caution about supporting Kickstarter programs.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo do not offer refunds to supporters who pledge money for products that either fail to reach their goal or do reach their goal and then fail through fraud.

However, a $US20 pledge is not exactly a high-stakes risk!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

iPhone 13 accessories coming soon

No sooner has Apple announced its new iPhone 13 with an improved camera than accessories companies such as Quad Lock and Mujjo have announced accessories that will interest riders.

Quad Lock says you can order cases now for their handlebar-mounted units while touchscreen glove specialists Mujjo have also developed leather cases.

iPhone 13 will be available in four versions, all of which feature a new camera, a “powerhouse chip,” 5G connectivity and better battery life.

There are several features of the new iPhone 13 that riders should welcome.

Even the two base models come with exclusive-to-iPhone Ceramic Shield protective coating, so they should be better protected from damage when they fall off your handlebar mount or out of your jacket pocket. 

And you won’t need the waterproof covering if you mount them on your handlebars with a Quad Lock, RAM or other mounting device as they are IP68 waterproof.

That means they can be submerged under 1.5 m of water for half an hour, so they should withstand a heavy downpour while riding.

They also have a much brighter Super Retina XDR display with high contrast and a 28% increase in maximum outdoor brightness so you can easily see your navigation directions while riding.

Australian-designed Quad Lock iPhone 13 cases will cost $A34.95 and begin shipping later this month.

Quad Lock iPhone 13 cases

You can also get a waterproof poncho for $A29.95, and a tempered glass screen protector, but as we have pointed out, you may not need either since the new phone is better protected.

The case mounts directly to their clever and secure Quadlock system which you can now get with an attachment to power the phone via a cable or with a wireless charger.

Mujjo iPhone 13 leather cases

Meanwhile, touchscreen glove specialists Mujjo have also developed leather cases for the iPhone 13 so you don’t have to remove your gloves to access the screen.

Of all the touchscreen gloves we have used, these are the best, although they are not armoured for rider protection, but they do plan to introduce motorcycle-specific gloves soon.

Mujjo say their craftsman-made leather cases come with added protection on the bottom and a raised bezel around the rear camera to protect the protruding lenses against scratches from abrasive surfaces.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie Quad Lock speeds up new products

Smart phones have been making navigation easier and safer for riders and keeping them in contact and entertained with the help of handlebar mounts such as the Aussie Quad Lock.

Now the Sydney-based company is keeping pace with the rapid development of smartphones by 3D printing their cases and mounting systems.

This means they will quickly release suitable products for the new era of foldable phones unfolds (lame pun intended).

It’s good news for tech-savvy early-adopter riders (read BMW owners).

Quad Lock has joined forces with Singapore 3D printing company Ultimaker to speed up the development of new mounts such as their award-winning Quad Lock Vibration Dampener.

Quad lock
Quad Lock with vibration dampener

This device is important to protect your phone as the vibration can affect its camera’s ability to autofocus.

Imaginables, partner of Ultimaker in Australia, served as a support partner to Quad Lock delivering various types of Ultimaker 3D printers.

Together they Lock developed a flexible research, design and development process that gathered lab and field test feedback almost as quickly as they could design and print the new part. 

Various types of Ultimaker printers were used to print prototypes strong enough to withstand hours of testing on a vibration test rig, from which the team gathered valuable feedback and data. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

CFMOTO unveils MT800 accessories

CFMOTO Australia is gearing up for the launch of their first non-learner adventure motorcycle models, the 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring, late this year.

Last month they announced pricing and now they have unveiled a wide range of accessories.

The 800MT Sport in Starlight Black will cost just $12,990 ride away and the up-spec Ocean Blue 800MT Touring is only $1000 more.

They will come with a three-year, unlimited kilometres warranty under CFMOTO current ‘2 plus 1’ deal.

Now the importers have announced a wide-ranging line-up of genuine accessories for the Aussie-bound duo.

In addition to a huge catalogue of standard-fitment features, 21 items will also be available across the full accessories’ gamut: luggage, protection and ergonomic alternatives such as a higher seat, handlebar riser mounts and oversized rally pegs.

The accessories range is as follows:

LUGGAGECFMoto 800mt

Aluminium top case (36 litres): $699

•    High-strength reinforced corners  for the shock and stress of off-road riding

•    Perfect match with the original mounting bracket

•    Waterproof, dustproof scratchproof inside lining

Aluminium side case (RHS 28 litres, LHS 35 litres): $699 eachCFMoto 800mt

•    High-strength reinforced corners  for the shock and stress of off-road riding

•    Perfect match with the original mounting bracket

•    Waterproof, dustproof scratchproof inside lining

Rear tail bag (40 litres): $399

CFMoto 800mt

•    Constructed from waterproof and wear-resistant nylon fabric

•    Wide range of internal pockets and strapping

•    Top access port (waterproof zipper), internal nylon waterproof bag

•    Double-end roll mouth, items accessible from both sides

•    Converts to a backpack when not fitted to bike.CFMoto 800mt

Side bag assembly: RHS $599, LHS $499

•    Isolation plate which protects the bag and its contents from exhaust heat

•    Made of wear-resistant waterproof 1000D fabric, with a waterproof zipper to achieve an all-inclusive waterproof and dustproof seal

•    Can be used as a backpack or tail bag

•    10kg maximum load

The 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring will go on sale with factory-fitted pannier mounts.

PROTECTIONCFMoto 800mt

•    Headlight guard (silver or black): $179

•    Radiator protector (silver or black): $169

•    Lower crash bars (silver): $299

•    Spotlight guards : $99

•    Front brake caliper guards: $59

•    Front brake fluid reservoir guard: $59

•    Rear brake fluid reservoir guard: $59

•    Dashboard protective film: $12

ERGONOMICSCFMoto 800mt

•    High seat (up 30mm to 855mm): $199

•   Oversized rally pegs: $119 each

•    Handlebar riser mounts: $89CFMoto 800mt

MISCELLANEOUS

•    Oversized side stand seat (800MT Sport only): $59

•    Front fender extension: $39

•    Device extension bar: $99

MORE 800MT ACCESSORIES INFORMATION 

The 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring are powered by KTM’s 799cc parallel twin, which produces 70kW (95hp) at 8000rpm and 88Nm at 6600rpm.

The 800MTs also have a slipper clutch, Bosch electronic fuel injection and a ride-by-wire throttle with three riding modes: rain, off-road and road.

The 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring share the same 19-litre fuel capacity, expansive rider and pillion seats, tubular steel frame, fully adjustable KYB suspension, crash bars, 825mm seat height, adjustable screen and Spanish J.Juan brakes with ABS.

The major point of differentiation between the two is in the rolling stock: cast wheels on the Sport as opposed to spoked tubeless wheels on the Touring. Wheel sizes are 19-inch front and 17-inch rear – an ideal compromise for road and off-road riding.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Form And Function: Ashley Watson’s Waxed Cotton Jackets for Motorcyclists

From the green hills of the Central Hemisphere comes Ashley Watson.

Ashley is a designer who has been itching to update the laminated fabric of traditional motorcycle gear into a more classic, sustainable choice  – and he’s gone and done it with waxed cotton

a model wearing the Ashley Watson Armoured Jacket for motorcyclists

According to a report from MCN, The Eversholt MkII (don’t ask us to pronounce it) is a variant of the Eversholt – the first waxed cotton jacket made available from Watson, and one that he made sure to test on an extensive trip across Europe prior to its release. 

Quoted by Watson’s website as “one of the world’s most protective textile motorcycle jackets,” the Eversholt MkII passes CE testing with a triple-A rating and comes with a hybrid Dyneema/Aramid abrasive resistant lining that houses the latest D3O Armour.

an armoured jacket from Ashley Watson

And the sustainability is sound, considering the market’s alternatives.

“Waxed cotton can be easily maintained at home – making the garment function for longer…laminated waterproof fabrics (the alternative to waxed cotton) are woven from virgin synthetic yarns which are derived from fossil fuels”, says Watson. 

a close-up photo of the new GSX-s950, in Triton Blue.

A front view of the new Ashley Watson Eversholt MkII

“The adhesive used to bond the layers of these fabrics together means that they can’t be recycled. In effect, this means that after a relatively short lifecycle, a jacket made from a laminated fabric will become landfill and take centuries to decompose.”

The jacket is rounded up to the neat sum of £765, as Watson is apparently making each by hand in his shed – adding to the exclusivity of the jacket. Watson is also limiting this batch to 300 units – though we hope in future he will consider expanding his brilliant ideas to the colonies.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider gear sacrifices safety for comfort

Motorcycle jackets and pants that have good breathability for the warmer riding months sacrifice safety standards, according to the latest test results from Australia’s internationally awarded MotoCAP motorcycle gear safety ratings service.

MotoCAP has now performed testing and issued safety and comfort ratings ratings for 354 items of rider jackets, gloves and pants.

The MotoCAP safety intitiative launched in September 2018 and is the first of its type in the world.

It has now added 14 more products to its online ratings of 172 jackets, 90 pairs of pants and 92 pairs of gloves.

The new safety ratings for seven jackets and seven pairs of pants range from one to three out of five stars for safety.

They show that you can’t have it all when it comes to safety and comfort in hot conditions.

Jackets and pants that have good breathability score low for safety and vice versa.

For example, the Bullit Easy Tactical Icon pants score just one safety star but a maximum five for beathability.

Meanwhile, Dainese Delta 3 leather pants performed well for safety with three out of five stars, but just two for breathability.

It’s not that we haven’t suspected the trade-off on comfort and safety, but it’s interesting to see that sciebce back up our suspicions.

The new ratings for jackets can be viewed here. The new ratings for pants can be viewed here.

Riders are urged to consider checking the safety and comfort ratings of gear before they buy.

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System

While some have disputed the veracity or usefulness of the tests, rider representative groups and road safety experts say MotoCAP at least makes riders more aware of wearing protective gear.

MotoCAP is a partnership between Transport for NSW, State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), VicRoads, Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), Lifetime Support Authority (LSA), the Department for Infrastructure and Transport, Western Australian Police: Road Safety Commission, Department of State Growth, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australian Motorcycle Council and Accident Compensation Corporation in New Zealand.

Testing is carried out by the Deakin University Institute for Frontier Materials on behalf of the MotoCAP partners.

All gear rated so far has been obtained through a secretive buying system to guarantee integrity.

In 2019, MotoCAP won a Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) road safety award.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

[Review] Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System
A valiant attempt to translate what was originally a fitness armband mount to the motorcycle world, the Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System gets a few things right, but a lot of things need work. This isn’t to say that the idea overall is bad, it just needs refinement and evolution to rise to the level of stronger competitive products.
Materials & Build Quality
Effectiveness
Value For Money
Magnet is very strong, and holds the phone sleeve solidly, without any slippage
Phone sleeves are 99% waterproof
Phone sleeves are remarkably durable
If you have a bare phone, or a metal case for your phone, the steel magnet optional plate will serve you well for mounting
Packaging and product are presented professionally, with clear instructions
No vibration dampening at all.
Phone sleeve clear plastic is hard to see through in sunlight
The phone sleeve does not allow any heat dissipation and caused one emergency phone shutdown
Touch-capacity phone sleeved only worked about 50% of the time
Silicon mounting strap has a tendency with high-frequency vibrations to slip
Steel accessory plate only sticks to metal or glass, not plastic.

In the motorcycling world, much like with the car world, using your smartphone while riding/driving is just asking for an accident to happen. However, smartphones have become useful tools for motorcyclists to view important information. Speedometer doesn’t work? Download a GPS speedometer app. Want to check if your action camera is recording? View its status on your phone.

One of the most important uses for riders with their smartphones is GPS navigation. In fact, most phones, from either the iOS or Android base operations systems, will come with a baked-in GPS navigation map app. As well, there are multiple third-party apps, of which the most popular is by far Waze.

Being able to see these maps and upcoming turns is helpful, especially if you do not have a Bluetooth comm system in your helmet for the phone to broadcast directions to you. This is where the handlebar phone mounting system comes in, with multiple competitors from around the world vying to create the best solution.

About Shapeheart

Shapeheart is a relative newcomer to the mountable smartphone world, started by two friends, Antoine and Michael. Based in France, the company started almost by accident, as the two friends were working on creating an armband that could track heart rate that wrapped around the bicep, preventing the shaking that watches could encounter, or the discomfort of a heart-rate belt strapped around the chest.

They were encountering problems with fitting an optical sensor inside the armband, but the phone that it would connect to was too far away, or too had many layers between the phone and the sensor, which could use NFC to communicate. So, they developed a magnetic mount system that took a full 14 iterations to get just right, that didn’t add any weight to the arm but also wouldn’t have the phone jostled loose during jogging, walking, or exercising.

In 2019, they developed this concept further and released the bike handlebar phone holder, designed for use on the multitudes of bicycles that are popular across France, and Europe as a whole. From this design, it was realized that the system could be adapted to work with motorcycles, and in 2020, their first motorcycle phone mount system was released.

About webBikeWorld’s Review Policy

This product was provided at no charge for the purpose of this review. Note that we do not allow brands to influence review scores or content. Please see our review policies for more information.

We here at webBikeWorld believe that you can’t just try something out once and give an honest opinion of it. Any product we test is actually used by our testers, and for the month of May, 2021, I took off the other phone mount that I have for my bike and used the Shapeheart kit, rain or shine, good and/or bad.

The Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System

Bike: 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650
Phone: Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Let me start off by thanking Shapeheart for providing us a review sample of their handlebar mounting system.

Included in the package were the Classic Handlebar Mount boxed product itself, a spare phone sleeve, and a steel one-sided magnetic plate that attaches to a phone or phone case with strong 3M adhesive.

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Box and Contents

Shapeheart’s packaging, as you can see in the image above, is exactly the kind of thing that would look right at home on a retail peg in the local gear store. It’s unobtrusive, professionally designed, and does a good job listing what you’re getting in the packaging.

Unboxing

Opening the main mounting system box, you will find a drawstring bag that holds the magnet, the silicone mounting strap, and a pair of strong mount retention elastic bands. Honestly, the biggest surprise here was the bag, which turned out to be very useful. Personally, I put my registration and insurance card into the bag and placed them in the tail section of my bike. You could use it for other things as well, such as a place to keep spare GoPro batteries if you’re a vlogger out on a long ride.

Inside the Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Box

The extra mount plate accessory is all that comes in the mount plate sleeve. No instructions are provided, yet I assume the rule of common sense prevails here, since it’s an accessory you need to purchase, you would know what you’re ordering.

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Pack

Phone Sleeve

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Phone Sleeve

The phone sleeve itself is made out of a robust, almost waxy-canvas feeling material on the backside, and a clear cover on the other side that is touch-capacitive and is laminated solidly to the backing. The magnetic plate on the sleeve takes up a good third of the space and is solidly locked into place by the backing material and a compression fit.Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System With iPhoneThe phone, in my case an iPhone 8 Plus, slides into the sleeve via a fold-over closure on the back. Once it is fully in, the material has enough stretch and give to pull over the exposed end of the phone and overlap the opening. Once the phone is in, it really is in. The sleeve holds it tightly, and it only moves a few millimeters if you shake the sleeve vigorously.Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System With iPhone InstalledI did notice that the clear side of the sleeve was reflecting the lights of the studio box I was using quite significantly. I put this down to them being pure white LEDs.

Phone Mount Installation

As I ride a 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650, my handlebar tube is only 7/8ths of an inch, so the extra mounting rubber bands were not needed. The magnet has four little upraised fingers, two per side, that mate to the four holes, two per end, of the main elastic silicone stretch strap. The mount relies on material tension to maintain stability, which is another reason that the main strap is silicone – to provide a strong grip even on the slipperiest of painted bars.Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System On A Kawasaki Ninja 650

After finding a good mounting point, I pushed one end of the strap onto two of the mounting fingers. What surprised me was the sheer grunt needed to stretch the strap around the bar and pull it up far enough to meet the fingers on the other side around the bar. However, once lined up, the fingers popped through the holes and the mount was on. I gave it a good tug, twist, and shove to see if it would slide around at all, and it stayed put. Impressive for such a “simple” mounting style. Total time spent: 3 minutes.Shapeheart magnetic mount on Kawasaki handlebarIt should be noted that Shapeheart offers multiple mounting styles, including a hard mount to a mirror stalk or a fork stem mount. I would have preferred to use the fork stem mount, however, as you can see in the pictures, it is blocked off by the central handlebar spar that connects the bars to the front fork.Shapeheart kit with phone inside plastic sleeveOnce installed, it’s as simple as holding the phone sleeve with your phone inside anywhere near the magnet, and it clicks on solidly. The phone sleeve plate is also designed to only be one-way magnetic, so there is no damage done to the internal circuitry of the modern smartphone. When it’s on the magnet, it takes a moderate amount of force to pull the sleeve and phone off, to the point I felt a little uncomfortable pulling it off with my phone inside the sleeve.

Shapeheart Strengths

Good Waterproofing

My concern over the phone sleeve, upon first seeing it, was that the fold-over style of closure was going to be a point of failure. Yet, with the correctly sized sleeve, my iPhone never even thought about slipping out of the sleeve. My other concern was that, with the sleeve ostensibly being waterproof, that having that flap would allow moisture and water in.

However, in both artificial testing (holding my phone in its sleeve under a spray faucet attachment) and real-world experience (getting caught in light rain for 15 minutes while out on my bike), the sleeve did remarkably well. Road mist coming up from the tires of vehicles around me peppered the back of the sleeve, without making it in to affect the phone.Phone inside plastic Shapeheart sleeve

I feel it is my duty to note here that the iPhone 8 Plus is IP67 waterproof rated, and oleophobic as well. I make this mention only to reinforce that I was not worried about my phone surviving rain, allowing me the peace of mind to focus my thoughts on the Shapeheart sleeve itself.

Extremely Durable Materials Used

I also was a bit clumsy with my phone. I had one heart-stopping moment when I pulled the sleeve with my phone inside off the magnet mount and it slipped from my hand, landing face down in a parking lot. The end result? A minor scuff, barely noticeable, on the clear plastic of the sleeve. No damage to my screen or phone.

As I had two sleeves, I also carried the second one around with me at all times. For this part of the testing, I was not gentle with it, as many people are not gentle with their phones. If they were, Otterbox, Ballistic, and other phone case companies wouldn’t have a market!

As such, the spare sleeve was shoved in a back pocket, crammed into one of the chest pockets of my Alpinestars Andes V3 jacket, put in the same pocket as my house keys, earplugs case, and wallet in my Rev’It Arc Air jacket, dropped on the ground, tossed on a shelf with tools on it, and so on.Front view of Shapeheart plastic sleeve

After a month of almost daily riding and abuse as described above, the sleeve that was used for the phone primarily is on the left in the images above and below, and the one that was the spare? It looks as close to brand new as possible save for a small scratch from a key on the mounting plate paint.Rear view of Shapeheart plastic sleeve with magnetic mount

Very Strong Magnetic Mounting

Common bike mounts these days are either pressure-fit systems that grab the corners and/or edges of your phone or use a case with a twist-lock mechanism. Using a pure magnetic connection is a bit of fresh thinking in the motorcycle phone mounting space, and I can tell you with 100% confidence that once that sleeve is on the magnet, it isn’t coming off until you want it to.

I traveled across the city on a variety of roads, from 40 KPH (25 MPH) to the ring road expressway maximum speed of 110 KPH (approx 70 MPH). No matter the speed, if there was a headwind, crosswind, or tailwind, and no matter the road condition, nothing moved the mounting plate from the mounting magnet. I mentioned earlier that it takes a solid amount of force to pull the sleeve off the magnet, and I would estimate that you would need at least a good 15 to 25 lbs of mechanical force to separate the two. Once it’s on, it’s staying on until you want it off.

Shapeheart Phone Mount Weaknesses

Screen Unreadable In Sunlight

The Shapeheart phone sleeves being extremely durable also caused one of my major complaints about the mounting system as a whole to become apparent: The clear plastic that allows for the phone screen to be seen is also highly reflective. I noticed it during the original unboxing and taking the pictures in my studio box, but in actual, direct sunlight, even with the iPhone 8 Plus’s brightness at full and its natural light sensor working overtime, you can often barely see the screen.Rider view of Shapeheart kit mounted on Kawasaki Ninja

Even reflective sun glare, such as off a concrete wall like in the picture below, was enough to cause maps, GPS items, and such to be very difficult to see. I had glanced down to see if this was my turn up ahead, and couldn’t see a thing. Once I entered the shaded area a second later, everything was fully visible.Rider perspective with Shapeheart mounting kit installedThis is not an issue when standing beside your bike and setting up your GPS navigation waypoints. However, when you forget to charge your Sena Bluetooth system before your ride, and it shuts off from low battery when you’re only a third of the way there… you want to be able to glance at the phone, get your bearings and any upcoming turns in the space of a blink, and then be back to watching the road. This proved undoable, no matter how I adjusted or angled the mount once I had pulled over into a parking lot to fix the issue.

It was so impossible to see the screen, in horizontal or vertical mounting positions, that after another few miles, I pulled over into a parking lot again and took my phone out of the sleeve to memorize the turns I needed. Since the gloves I was wearing at the time, my ICON Super Duty II’s, were not touch-capacitive, I pulled my right one off and found out the second most concerning issue about the sleeve.

Sleeve Does Not Allow For Any Heat Dissipation

The air temperature for that first GPS ride day was about 21 C, or almost dead on 70 F. Yet, when I passed the phone from my gloved hand to my bare hand, I nearly dropped the phone because it was quite hot. As part of the construction of many smartphones these days, the actual body of the phone is used as a heatsink for the powerful processors inside.

The Shapeheart sleeve, however, is designed to keep water, road grit, dust, and such away from your phone while you ride. What it also keeps away is wind. And, as the fold-over flap on the closure is designed to sit tight when a phone is in the sleeve, there is nowhere for any heat generated to realistically escape.Closeup of magnetic mount for Shapeheart kit

This came to a head a few weeks later, when Calgary experienced a heatwave that got all the bikes out on the road, including mine. Hot weather peaking at 90 F, a light wind off the mountains, decent roads to go for a ride on… it was as perfect as it sounds. However, even with the screen off, and streaming music quietly into my ears, all of a sudden the music cut out and the phone streamed a few beeps into my headset before that too stopped.

Concerned, I pulled over as soon as I safely could, and, having learned my lesson before, took off my glove and felt the sleeve. It was so hot I jerked my hand away to prevent being burned. The beeping sound, I later found out, was the iPhone’s emergency shutdown that it performs to save itself from damage. I need to reinforce here that the screen was not on, which is more often than not the key heat generator in phone usage.

Touch-Capacitive Plastic Is Often Not

I protect my iPhone screen with a tempered glass protector. However, for the duration of the month of May 2021, I removed the one that had protected my screen for a couple of years, as I have spares. This was specifically to test out the touch-capacitive clear plastic that is part of the sleeve.

After thoroughly cleaning my phone with a phone-safe screen cleaner and a microfiber cloth, touch was transmitted fairly well through the plastic for the first day or two. Granted, these touches were when I was not on the bike, and the sleeve was not on the mount.Shapeheart sleeve with phone in daylight

However, once out on the bike, I planned a route that would allow me to pull over into parking lots along the way to do tests like changing the song, opening the maps app, checking a FaceBook or SMS message, and the like. For these tests, I would wear the weather appropriate gloves I have, ICON Super Duty II’s for colder weather, Scorpion EXO-Vortex Air’s for warmer weather. I wiped off any sweat on my fingers on a microfiber cloth I tucked into one of my riding pants pockets, and then tried to use touch.

The result, to say the least, was not positive. A light touch would not transmit through at all. A moderate push would transmit, but a moderate push on an iPhone screen these days puts it into widget moving mode, so I would have to light tap the screen again to get it out of that mode… except light taps don’t transmit. Frustrating!

I did find a way to make it work, which was to pinch the sleeve at the base and literally pull it taught to the screen, and even then, only about 2 of every 3 touches transmitted. Thinking it was the sleeve, and as I had the spare with me, I changed out the sleeves. Touch still would not transmit half the time, and often, I would have to use more force than should really be necessary to make the touch transmit.

Sympathetic Vibrations Are Fed Directly To The Phone

One thing that I noted when I was setting up the mount, but accepted, was that the mount had no form of vibration damping. For those that have never ridden a parallel twin sportbike, above 4,000 RPM the bike comes alive with vibration. It’s not an annoying buzzing vibration, at least not to the rider. Yet, due to the nature of a 180 degree cranked parallel twin-engine, vibrations will make their way through the bike.

In 6th gear, my 2012 Ninja 650, to keep a steady cruise speed on the ring road expressway we have here, revs to about 4,500 RPM, give or take a few hundred RPM. This is where I noticed in my peripheral vision that my phone was starting to slip down, in the sense that if I had it pointed mostly up to the sky, after about 5 minutes of cruising, it would be facing directly to my stomach.

In terms of pure physics of what is happening, the handlebars are vibrating at the frequency put off by the engine, but are mounted hard to the forks and therefore one feels more of the road than the engine by a factor of something around 10 to 1. However, this vibration seems to be just at the right frequency to make the silicone mounting strap “slip” slowly.

While that is inconvenient at worst, what this means is that the mount itself is also passing sympathetic vibrations through to the sleeve and to the phone, due to how strongly the magnet holds the sleeve on. Thankfully my iPhone 8 Plus is old enough that it does not have the newest image stabilization accelerometers for the camera, but on newer iPhone 11s and 12s, sympathetic vibrations at the rate of over 3,000 per minute are enough that they could damage those stabilizers, or at the least jar them enough out of alignment that you would have to restart your iPhone.

Accessory Steel Plate Adheres Only To Metal Or Glass

I have an old, dead Nexus 6P android phone that is my “let’s see what this thing can take” toss-away. Basically, if it fell off while riding, slipped out of my hand and cracked on the floor, et al, it was not the end of the world. For the phone, I have a Poetic Ballistic case, which has smooth plastic ridges on the back.

I took the accessory steel plate, peeled off the 3M sticker cover, and pressed it firmly to the plastic so that it would stay. I picked up the phone, and the steel plate slipped off and landed on my foot. This, in all fairness, made me lift an eyebrow in curiosity.

I felt the edge of the adhesive, and it was tacky and sticky to the skin, meaning that it was properly sticky. With curiosity piqued, I slipped my Nexus 6P out of its case, wiped off the dust and debris with a microfiber cloth, then tried to stick the plate to the aluminum back of the phone. It stuck on the first try, and strongly too for a light press.

I carefully peeled it off, then tried it on the glass back of the iPhone, using only a tiny portion of it on a corner. It stuck to glass the same as it did to aluminum: confidently and strongly. I then tried the plate on the matte plastic of a regular iPhone case. It slipped off again.

Basically, unless your case for your phone is metal or glass, the adhesive used with the plate seems to not like plastics of any kind. This is concerning because if you can’t find a sleeve big enough or the right size for your phone, you’d at least want something like an Otterbox or Ballistic case on your phone in case it did come off during your ride.

Final Thoughts: Things Work Well, Just Not Well Enough

It may sound like I am taking Shapeheart to task in my review, and I will start my feedback by stating that I am presenting only observed situations and my 100% honest opinion. In fact, I like the idea of a magnetic mounting system, removing the need for using a rotational locking case or using pressure mounts on the corners and sides. It is my personal opinion that Shapeheart really is onto something here, it just needs refinement and evolution.

Having originally come from a wearable fitness armband designed to monitor your heart rate, the sleeves haven’t changed much since the final design that was released in 2017. While strapped tightly around your bicep, the large mounting plate makes sense, to spread contact between the armband magnet and the sleeve plate as wide as possible, due to the jarring changes of direction, or repetitive movements, that happen during exercise.

The size of the magnet of the mount, about an inch in diameter, is perfect for fitting on a bike’s handlebars. Where the refinement and evolution need to come is in following the example of other mount manufacturers and offering an accessory vibration damping mount system, or a case with a thin damper built into a small hole in the back of it that would fit snugly over the mounting magnet.

A Valiant Attempt To Make A Fitness Sleeve Mount Work On A Motorcycle

Seeing that Shapeheart only started business in 2017, they’ve come a long way in four years. They developed a fitness product that introduced a new and comfortable way to track your heartbeat and keep your phone on you while allowing you to whip it off your arm if you needed to send a text, change a music album, and the like.

Where it falls short is that a great fitness mount sleeve, meant to be used during jogging, running, or exercise, does not make a great motorcycle phone mount. The basics of it are solid, and there is real potential for a good, quality product with some iterations on the idea. It does its job as described on the box, but not much more at the moment.

The Shapeheart will work if you absolutely must have a phone mount that is not a pressure fit or corner clamp style on a tight budget. Otherwise, there are far better, albeit more expensive, options out there.

Pros

  • Magnet is very strong, and holds the phone sleeve solidly, without any slippage
  • Phone sleeves are 99% waterproof
  • Phone sleeves are remarkably durable
  • If you have a bare phone, or a metal case for your phone, the steel magnet optional plate will serve you well for mounting
  • Packaging and product are presented professionally, with clear instructions

Cons

  • No vibration dampening at all.
  • Phone sleeve clear plastic is hard to see through in sunlight
  • The phone sleeve does not allow any heat dissipation and caused one emergency phone shutdown
  • Touch-capacity phone sleeved only worked about 50% of the time
  • Silicon mounting strap has a tendency with high-frequency vibrations to slip
  • Steel accessory plate only sticks to metal or glass, not plastic.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Shapeheart
  • Price (When Tested): Classic Handlebar Mount Kit €29.95 ($36.50 USD), Spare Shapeheart Sleeve €12.95 ($15.75 USD), Adhesive Steel Plate €9.95 ($12 USD)
  • Made In: France
  • Alternative models & colors: Mirror stem hard mount for classic British-style bikes, Fork Stem hard mount for supersports and sportbikes
  • Sizes: M, XL, XL+ depending on phone model
  • Review Date: May of 2021. Published June 11, 2021
  • Where To Buy: Shapeheart

Shapeheart Classic Handlebar Phone Mounting System Photo Gallery

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com