Touratech iBracket - Product Evaluation

A techie device to hold a techie device.

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At risk of tearing the time/space continuum, Editor-in-Chief Mark Hoyer mounted a Touratech iBracket for an Apple iPhone on his 1958 Triumph Trophy. Logic being that if the bracket could survive the harshness and vibration of an old British parallel-Twin with crap suspension, it is likely to survive anything.

The iBracket is beautifully made from precisely cut stainless-steel, with UV-resistant “rubber” bands, foam padding and plastic that help the device positively grip the iPhone (there are iBrackets to fit the 3G and 4G models, which are sized differently). Flick the accompanying lever to hold or release the phone. We found it a good idea to give the bracket corners a squeeze to make sure the phone is fully secured. Once in place, the phone/bracket can be rotated on the mount through 360 degrees, with detents for “portrait” or “landscape” orientation.

Touratech iBracket for Apple iPhone

First hiccup was that the bar mounts provided were to clamp around 22 or 12mm handlebar or crossbar diameters (roughly 7/8 and 1/2 inch), neither of which fit the Triumph’s 1-inch-diameter bar. Hoyer, therefore, added a RAM mounting system ($32) with U-bolts that fit 3/4- or 1-inch bars, with a “diamond” adaptor for the iBracket mount. This is a great addition because of the mount’s excellent stability and adjustability, and there are options to fit almost any type of motorcycle.

So equipped, Hoyer’s iPhone 3GS was easily accessible, and the screen could be adjusted simply and quickly for the best viewing angle and to reduce glare. This permitted use of compass and navigation/GPS apps, and even allowed Hoyer to screen calls as they came in (over a Bluetooth headset, of course, further disturbing the time/space continuum). If the Triumph were 12 volts (it’s only 6, at best!), a power adaptor could be fitted because the iPhone’s input plug is accessible between the rubber bands (as is the earphone jack). The volume and other buttons are hard to operate between the bands, though. And the iPhone’s touch screen really isn’t amenable to gloved hands, which is no fault of the bracket.

A final consideration is the general fragility of the iPhone. It is far from water- or dustproof, and the long-term effects of motorcycle vibration on the device are unknown. The short-term effects were humorous: Engine and road vibes (even on our much-smoother 2010 Kawasaki Concours 14 testbike) mightily confused the phone and caused it to flip the screen orientation all around in its attempt to find which way was up. Also, the iPhone’s recommended operating temperature range is 32-95 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is a case of the bracket being far better suited to its duty than the device it holds. And how did the time/space continuum survive? We primarily used an iPhone 3G, which is already sort of an antique itself.

DETAILS
Contact|Touratech-USA 4021 Airport Way S. Seattle, WA 98108 800/491-2926 www.touratech-usa.comPrice...$149
Ups|• Beautifully made • Positive grip • Works with many iPhone cases/covers
Downs|• Longer screws needed to fit RAM mount • Apple needs military-spec iPhone! • Doesn’t work with iPhone “battery backs”