Modify Ram-Mount Arm for Cradle with Rear Ball

Doing any touring on a motorcycle without a GPS system is not a good idea. I recently retired my Garmin C330 in favor of a new, larger screen Tom Tom with lifetime maps. I had installed an audio jack on the old C330 allowing me to actually hear the verbal instructions through earbuds that I wore inside my full-face helmet. The new Tom Tom is so thin that attempting to install an audio jack in that case is more than a challenge… it’s an impossibility!  I’m working on a solution, but that’s the subject of another posting.

The Garmin C330 was mounted on the right handlebar of my 2007 Yamaha FJR.  I had purchased several components of the Ram-Mount brand mounting for motorcycles, attaching a ball-mount to the rider side of the brake fluid reservoir on the right handlebar. A cradle to hold the Garmin securely with another ball-mount was then attached to the bike with the adjustable arm. The system worked great, allowing positioning of the GPS so that I could see it and hear the instructions clearly, as needed. Unfortunately, the ball-mount of the cradle of the new Tom Tom was on the rear of the cradle rather than on the bottom of the cradle of the Garmin. This presented a real mounting problem since the ball-mounts and attaching arm allowed the cradle to be positioned in a horizontal plane only, making viewing the screen an impossibility!

The picture above shows the arm mounted onto the ball-mount of the right handle-bar, showing the open end ready to receive the ball-mount of the cradle.

The ball-mount of the cradle has been inserted into the arm, with the cradle facing upward, and not adjustable to any position allowing normal viewing by the rider in any normal riding position. A modification to the arm will allow the cradle to be positioned vertically for viewing, as follows:

This picture shows a pilot hole drilled into the end of the adjusting arm. Note the positioning away from the edge of the arm.

This picture shows a larger hole drilled into the end of the adjusting arm. Using a drill bit the same size as or a bit larger than the diameter of the post holding the ball on the cradle will reduce the amount of finishing required to ‘shape’ the new opening.

This picture shows the opening after finishing using a Dremil tool with various shaping tool bits. Use the post of the ball on the cradle as a fitment device, removing just enough material from the arm to allow the post of the ball, and the ball of the cradle to fit securely inside this new opening.

This picture shows the arm with the modified side attached, after painting with a matching flat-black finish.

This (final) picture shows the cradle for the new Tom Tom GPS mounted using the new slot cut and shaped in the attaching arm. Note the original opening on the arm is facing upward, as in the first picture. The GPS when inserted into the cradle will be in a usable position for the rider. Note that this picture is viewing from front to rear, taken from just outside of the handle-bar on the right side of the bike.


About justanoldguy

Retired Computer Programmer. Born and Raised in Missouri. Graduated from Missouri School of Mines in 1964. Retired in 2003. Moved to Colorado in 2010. Enjoying good health and 'front range'. Touring frequently on Can-Am Spyder motorcycle. Skiing during the Winter months at Monarch Mountain Ski Area (for free!).
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