To some people the thought of putting a Sat Nav on a motorbike goes against the grain and the thought of putting one on a cafe racer of any description would be anathema.
But that’s just what I have done.
For six years or so I used a Garmin 550 and had it fitted to a few bikes (GSX-R 1000, Fireblade RR9, CB1000R and then laterly on a Kawasaki Z1000SX).
I used it all over Europe and to be honest would almost class it as an essential piece of kit.
I’ve done more than my fair share of miles on my bikes in Europe with just maps (as well as in cars) and whilst I’m content to respect the viewpoint that considers the use of a sat nav on a bike as almost being in league with the devil Ive never quite understood it.
Having a sat nav on the bike doesn’t mean you have to use it or have it switched on all the time – but for avoiding city centres, finding accommodation at the end of a long day or those occasional times when you’ve sort of misjudged distance between fuel stops then for me it’s a neat and easy solution that can make life a lot easier – but to each their own.
In my opinion the ideal solution for travel is a combination of maps and sat nav using each as and when appropriate and/or together.
Towards the end of last year I decided to replace the 55o with the range topping Garmin 590 (LM). Relatively speaking it’s an expensive bit of kit but the increased functionality coupled with the £140 I got for selling the 550 made it a decent proposition.
It was a straightforward fit to my Z1000, although the whole mounting assembly is pretty different to that that went before it – but I did wonder about how easy it would be to swap the unit between the Kawasaki and my Moto Guzzi V7 Cafe.
What ever your view on using a sat nav on a bike is – I think its hard to knock the functionality of a unit that links to your phone and provides real time weather forecast en route and at your destination as well as real time traffic updates. Of course you don’t need them but maybe nice to have?
The problem was how would I mount the unit to a bike that was never really meant to have a sat nav on it and frankly without making it look a real dogs breakfast (although I accept that beauty is in the eye of the beholder).
On my previous bikes I have always used a RAM mount through the yoke and supplied to me by Bob who runs TELERFERIZER, although Bob does much of his business via an online presence he’s its especially handy for me as I only live a few miles from where he is based. In fact prior to sorting out a suitable fitment for the Guzzi I had bought three yoke mounts from him over the years.
The Guzzi is a bit different I suppose in so much as the ‘hole’ in the yoke is pretty small (less than 12mm) and the tube isn’t uniform throughout as it actually tapers. Bob gives a great personal service and you’re as near guaranteed as is possible to finding a suitable solution. After speaking to Bob and providing a few measurements to confirm dimensions he had soon knocked up for me a custom mount.
It’s pretty different than the previous yoke mounted Ram solutions I have had in the past, as this one has a stainless threaded bar that goes right through the hole in the yoke (about 290mm) and provides an incredibly solid and rigid fixing.
I’ve posted a set of pictures below that illustrate the fitting and how it looks on the bike. Click the first and then scroll through.
Bob has also provided me with a neat waterproof 12v connector that I intend to use later this year – it’s a really neat piece of kit with a multitude of uses and Ive included a couple of pictures.
Im not here to shamelessly promote Bob’s service but on the basis that he’s a decent bloke providing a rapid personalized service then I think he’s worth mentioning. You can ‘phone him on +44 (0) 796 602 6532 or via his web site at http://www.telferizer.com/