Date reviewed: September 2023 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: From around £70 | www.quadlockcase.co.uk
The Quad Lock phone mounting kit on review here is a well-established product, with a wide variety of options for fixing your phone to pretty much any motorcycle. I’ve been testing it with a Samsung Galaxy S21 and Google Pixel 7 Pro on a 2019 BMW R1250GS, a 1999 Kawasaki ZX-6R and a 2001 Honda VFR800 to find out how safe it is, how easy it is to use, and whether it’s worth the money…
A Quad Lock phone case for the Samsung Galaxy S21 costs £22.99 at the time of writing (though 10% discounts are usually available on the site), while one for the Google Pixel 7 Pro costs £31.99. Though a fair bit of money, they’re well-made with a soft interior and good protection around the edges of the phone.
The buttons aren’t quite as unrestrictive as those on the SP Connect cases (which are more expensive than Quad Lock) due to a lack of slots cut on either side of the pushers, but they better than some other premium cases I’ve used, and don’t make it hard to use the phone.
The Quad Lock Pixel 7 Pro case is on the left, with the SP Connect on the right
The Galaxy S21 case adds 5mm to the back of the phone, while the one for the Pixel 7 Pro – which is a ‘MAG’ case designed for wireless magnetic charging – is a newer design that adds 4.5mm. Neither makes your phone feel bulky, but they are more noticeable than the average standard phone case, which adds about 2mm.
The Quad Lock’s fixing system is a roughly 35mm diameter hole that your finger tends to drop into while holding the phone – some people might like the extra stability this can give you, but I find it a little uncomfortable. Honestly though, I’ve only noticed by repeatedly switching between cases, so it’s not a big issue. I’ve also found that the bottom of the Quad Lock Pixel 7 Pro case is a little sharper edged around the charging port, which is a touch less comfortable than it could be as it rests on your little finger. Yes, I am nit-picking.
A nice touch of the Quad Lock MAG cases is that the magnetic ring can be swapped out for one of a different colour if you want; as standard it’s black, but for £7.99 you can choose from blue, green, grey, orange, pink or red for some personalisation.
The magnets in these cases are a little stronger than the ones fitted to the SP Connect MAG mounts; in normal use that doesn’t really make a difference, and both will stick to the fridge, but I did find that on the magnetic SP Connect car mount, the Quad Lock had a slightly stronger grab. As I’ve not tested the Quad Lock’s car mount, I can’t comment on how well it sticks to that.
Due to the thickness of the cases, there can be some restriction to wireless charging on a standard pad. I only have a cheap 10W wireless USB charger to test with (we’ll come to the Quad Lock wireless bike mount later), and just like when in the SP Connect cases, the Galaxy S21 will fast-charge fine, but the Google Pixel 7 Pro won’t charge at all.
This is an issue with the Google phone, rather than the case, and it does seem to need a lot of power to wirelessly charge effectively.
Attaching your phone to the mount gets easier with practice, but like with SP Connect, there can be times when you just can’t seem to find the right position for it to slot into place.
Once fitted, your phone is extremely secure on a Quad Lock mount, and I’ve not been able to put it on in such a way that it feels like it’s fitted when it’s not; if it locks on, it’s there to stay.
Releasing the phone requires a push of the lever, which can be a little awkward to get your finger to depending on its orientation relative to the phone (you can fit the lever in any of four directions), and while it does click satisfyingly into place, I wouldn’t consider it an anti-theft benefit, as if anyone was going to snatch your phone off, they’d be happy to rip it away.
The major advantage that Quad Lock has over its main competitor – SP Connect – is that you can choose to position your phone horizontally or vertically whenever you pop it on, rather than have to decide on one position and stick to that when fitting the bracket to your bike.
Also handy is that your phone only needs to be rotated through 45° to lock in place, which can be useful if space is tight, for instance with larger devices positioned close behind the bike’s screen.
Overall, the Quad Lock makes for a very solid fixing. Using the £15.99 vibration dampener introduces some play to the assembly, but your phone’s still safely and secure.
Quad Lock has an ever-growing selection of mounts available, with the standard models (made mainly of glass-reinforced nylon) including a blue lever that’s pushed down to release the phone.
The ‘Pro’ mounts are predominantly made of machined aluminium and come with a black lever. You can buy separate levers in red, white, black or blue for £7.99.
A pivoting knuckle adaptor, extension arms and spacers are available if you need them, so it should be possible to find a way to fit your phone using at least one of these mounts on pretty much any motorcycle.
None of the mounts include the £15.99 vibration dampener, which is explained later in this review.
Quad Lock Handlebar Mount Pro | Price: £59.99 | Link: quadlockcase.co.uk
Available in two versions – a strong, reinforced nylon Handlebar Mount for £39.99, or the machined and anodised aluminium Handlebar Mount Pro for £59.99 – both do effectively the same job, but there are some useful differences.
Besides the different materials used in construction, the Pro version comes with a black, rather than blue lever, and also has a small notch in the aluminium bar clamp, which is plugged with a silicone bung. Removing this reveals a channel that you can pass a charging wire through if you want: a very neat bit of design.
Bar spacers are included allowing the standard version to fit 22mm (7/8”), 25mm (1”), 28mm (1 1/8”) and 32mm (1 ¼”) diameter handlebars, with the Pro also accommodating up to 35mm (1 3/8”) bars.
The arm itself can be rotated through 360° in 10° increments, and the head, which mounts on the other end, can also be spun in the same way. There’s no pitch adjustment in the head, but you can of course rotate the bar clamp to suit.
Assembly is simple with the supplied Allen key, and the set-screws already have thread-lock applied.
I’ve tested this clamp on the BMW R1250GS bars, where it positioned the head (and the wireless charging head) perfectly over the bar risers. I also tried it on my push-bike where it works great, though there are other, cheaper and more slimline options to fit Quad Lock to a bicycle.
Quad Lock Mirror Mount | Price: £29.99 | Link: www.quadlockcase.co.uk
Made of reinforced nylon with three spacers and an Allen key included, the Mirror Mount is designed to fit stems of 10mm, 12mm, 14mm or 16mm in diameter, which covers many motorcycle and scooter mirrors, as well as the accessory bar behind the screen of the GS and the fairing brace on the ZX-6R.
While predominantly plastic, the screw threads are stainless steel inserts, and the set-screws have thread-lock already applied.
Compact and simple, I find this to be an extremely useful mount on the GS as it puts the phone above the dash, while the adjustability in the positioning of the head means you should be able to get your phone at just the right angle if you’re fitting it to a mirror.
Quad Lock Fork Stem Mount Pro | Price: £64.99 | Link: www.quadlockcase.co.uk
Proving ideal for my 2001 Honda VFR800, the Quad Lock Fork Stem Mount is available in a reinforced nylon version for £49.99, or an anodised aluminium Pro for £64.99.
The standard version comes with a blue locking lever and fits the hole that’s in the centre of some steering head tubes between 12.7mm and 24mm in diameter. The Pro version comes with a black lever, and also has a cut-out in the extension arm to pass a cable through if you want. I fitted the optional £7.99 red lever for a splash of colour to match the bike, and while it’s an unnecessary additional expense, it does add a little personalisation.
Both versions of the mount come with two sets of expanding spacers, but the Pro’s are a different design with a slightly larger range of 12.4mm to 25.4mm. For either to work, the tube must be smooth internally with a minimum depth of 45mm – if there’s any lip inside it won’t fit.
The wide range of pivoting in both ends of the arm – and the 360° rotation of the head –means it shouldn’t be hard to find a suitable position for your phone: I was able to get it in a good spot with it tucked neatly behind the tank.
An Allen key is supplied, and the set-screws have thread-lock already applied.
The Fork Stem Mount won’t work with every bike, but it’s an excellent option if there is a hole down the fork tube on your machine (some might have a cap over the top nut so do check).
Quad Lock Brake & Clutch Reservoir Mount | Price: £54.99 | Link: www.quadlockcase.co.uk
Designed to fix in place of the screws that hold the lid on many motorcycle and scooter brake / clutch reservoirs, this mount is a very clever design that opens up even more options.
Construction is predominantly reinforced nylon with stainless steel pivot pins and threaded inserts, the powder-coated steel base expanding and contracting between 38mm to 70mm, which suits both of my VFR’s reservoirs great.
Two screws are used to fit the base, with a pair of 16mm and 18mm-long M4s supplied to replace the ones fitted to your bike. Make sure you use the right length, and don’t force them if they seem to be bottoming out.
The extension arm pivots at both ends, and rotates where it meets the base, so combined with the rotation in the head you can set this in a surprisingly wide range of positions. On the VFR, space is very tight when the bars are turned due to the screen, but I was still able to get the phone to fit (if only vertically).
I did have one slight issue with this mount in that the thread-lock was too heavily applied on the fasteners. This meant I couldn’t undo any of them with the supplied Allen key, which just stripped. I was able to get it to pieces with my own tools, but as I’ve not had this problem with any of the other mounts it must be an isolated issue and would be covered by the warranty.
Quad Lock Brake and Clutch Mount | Price: £54.99 | Link: www.quadlockcase.co.uk
With an anodised machined aluminium arm and reinforced nylon pivot, this mount fits over the clamp that holds the brake and clutch levers in place on many bikes. It’s a system that’s long been used by RAM mounts for sat-navs, and supplied spacers allow it to fit both my GS (despite these also being the mirror mounts) and the VFR800.
Two sets of bolts are included to replace the existing ones, but do carefully check them against the originals before fitting as one is a metric M6 x 1.0 fine thread, while the other is an imperial UNC ¼” – they look the same at first glance, so don’t go forcing the wrong one in and damaging your bike.
An Allen key is supplied, but you’ll of course need a socket set to remove and replace the fixing bolts. If you’re not happy doing this you can ask your dealer, but remember that you don’t need to apply too much torque on fixings like this, and you should tighten the top bolt before the bottom.
Despite being so compact, there’s a huge range of adjustment in this bracket, and even with the wireless charging head fitted I was able to get the Pixel 7 Pro to fit under the VFR’s screen with the handlebars turned.
Quad Lock USB Charger | Price: £27.99 | Link: www.quadlockcase.co.uk
This USB charger can be tucked out of the way on the bike, but it’s really designed to be fitted directly beneath the head of your Quadlock mount with the supplied longer screw, which gives you easy access to plug your phone in.
While it should be positioned with the USB-A port angled downwards – so water and filth don’t collect in it – the case itself is IP66 rated (dust-tight and resistant to powerful jets of water), and the port is IPX8 (not dust resistant as it’s open, but fully resistant to immersion in water). There’s no USB cable supplied, though you’ll almost certainly have one to suit your phone already.
The charger has a 1.5m-long cable that terminates in an SAE connector (the same as used on Optimate chargers), with a second cable about 20cm long that has the corresponding SAE connector at one end and a pair of ring terminals to connect to your battery at the other. You could wire this into an auxiliary switched supply on your bike if you want, but I found that without a phone connected, the USB charger pulled about 1.5mA, so would take a good while to flatten the battery.
The charger is rated as delivering up to 2A at 5V, 1.67A at 9V and 1.5A at 12V (Quick Charge 2.0), and I found it gave a full 2,000mA to the Samsung Galaxy S21. The Pixel 7 Pro is a weird device when it comes to charging, accepting only around 1,300-1,400mA here.
There are plenty of options when it comes to USB outlets for motorcycles, but the clever design of the Quad Lock can work really well with the mounts.
Quad Lock Wireless Charging Head | Price: £69.99 | Link: www.quadlockcase.co.uk
The solidly-built Quad Lock Wireless Charging head comes in two variants – the USB-powered one that I have and a 12V-24V hard-wired version. Both can charge at 5W, 7.5W and 10W, with the 12-24V model also offering 15W charging. Both are completely safe to use in the rain, and the USB version comes with 50cm, 1.2m and 1.5m USB-A to USB-C power leads that have seals built into them. The hard-wired version is inevitably the more totally waterproof though, thanks to requiring no external connections.
I have the USB wireless head connected to the Quad Lock USB charger, which delivers the required 2A minimum power and results in a charge of around 1,700mA to 1,900 mA to the Google Pixel 7 Pro (this phone would likely charge faster with the hard-wired version), and 1,300mA to the Samsung Galaxy S21.
The hard-wired version must be connected to a switched auxiliary supply, not straight to the battery as it will draw power. Using the Quad Lock USB Charger I measured the USB Wireless Charging Head to pull 11.4mA with it turned off via the small switch on the underside, and about 16mA and very short bursts of about 35mA with it turned on.
I’d recommend having the USB head connected to an outlet that’s disconnected when the bike’s turned off (or go for the hard-wired version). The wireless head does ‘remember’ its last state when powering up, so you could leave it turned on and ready to charge if you have a switched auxiliary supply.
Unlike the SP Connect wireless charger, the Quad Lock version doesn’t include any vibration damping, so you’d need to also add the £15.99 vibration dampener, which makes it quite tall and not as elegant looking. I also fitted the USB charger in the stack too – while this is possible, the 50mm-long screw required isn’t included, so you’d need to buy the optional Pro Screw Set from Quad Lock, or source your own. It’s not really an ideal setup and to be fair to Quad Lock, it’s not what it’s designed for – the hard-wired version is by far the better option here.
It was my mistake that I went for the USB version of the Wireless Charging Head, and while it might suit some setups to plug into a USB socket (or to use Quad Lock’s £29.99 Smart adaptor, which automatically turns off when the engine stops), the 12V-24V hard-wired solution will almost certainly be the better bet for the majority of riders, especially if you have a Hex ezCAN or Denali CANsmart power controller.
I haven’t been able to try it in real extremes of heat, but with the air naturally flowing over the phone when riding, I’ve not had any issues with overheating. As a convenient way to power you phone, wireless charging is a great option but do keep in mind that all wireless chargers can cause your phone to get hot quickly, and potentially stop charging. If this might be an issue for you, go for the USB system as you can always plug your phone in if needs be.
Quad Lock recommends that you fit the optional £15.99 vibration dampener to any mount to avoid potential damage to your phone. It’s supplied with an Allen key, and the clever design means there’s no need for any additional fixings.
I had a Samsung Galaxy S20 fitted direct to the bars of many different bikes using SP Connect in the past and never had any issues until I tried it on a Kawasaki W800, where the camera started shaking after riding. Fortunately, turning it off and on again cured it, but I do know that there have been plenty of cases of the optical image stabilisation (OIS) in some phones being permanently damaged while using both SP Connect and Quad Lock without vibration dampening. Bennetts BikeSocial’s Michael Mann lost an iPhone 11 Pro to a Ducati Hypermotard 950.
These issues seem to be predominantly with iPhones, and when I spoke to SP Connect, they confirmed that the vast majority of problems they’d come across were with Apple devices, and of these they were mainly the iPhone X, 11 and 12 series, but not the 12 Pro Max, which has Sensor-Shift OIS. They told me that issues with the iPhone 13 are very rare, with none reported on the 14, both of which use Sensor-Shift. They also pointed out that unlike on Apple devices, the OIS on Samsung is deactivated when the camera’s not being used.
Realistically, it’s probably wise to add the cost of a vibration dampener to the brackets you buy. In my testing on the Kawasaki ZX-6R using the Resonance app on my phone, both Quad Lock and SP Connect reduced the vibration in general, though there were some increases seen at idle around 40Hz with the dampeners fitted. There are so many variables around this that I’ll keep running tests, but I have to say that it remains the case that whether any damage could occur will be entirely dependent on the type of engine your bike has, and the phone you’re using.
I do find that the Quad Lock dampener is more loose and ‘rattly’ than the SP Connect when riding; both allow some movement of the phone, but the Quad Lock is less controlled.
Purely anecdotally, I have been told by a dealer that they had some instances of iPhones (I don’t know which models) experiencing issues while using a dampener, but I haven’t been able to verify them and there are a huge number of people using them without any problems.
Ultimately, vibration damage seems to depend very much on the model of phone and the bike’s engine. Those few I know of who’ve had problems – using any mounting system – have all been using older generation iPhones, and have had them repaired under the Apple warranty.
What I can tell you is that I’ve had no problems over many thousands of miles with a Samsung Galaxy S21 and a Google Pixel 7 Pro fitted to a BMW R1250GS using a dampener.
I spoke to Quad Lock to get their opinion on vibration issues (you can read SP Connect’s responses in this review):
What frequencies appear to cause an issue with phones?
Extensive investments have been made by Quad Lock to determine the frequencies that may cause problems for phones. The specifics of this information cannot be shared as it pertains to proprietary intel that is considered confidential. [SP Connect said that peak frequencies can vary, but that its testing showed 30-60Hz caused the most issues.]
Is it more of a problem with some devices than others due to the construction of the OIS? If so, what is the difference in the devices?
Generally speaking, the more advanced the camera technology is, the more sensitive it is to high-frequency vibrations. Although there were occasional reports of issues in earlier versions, our team began to identify the major impacts of motorcycle frequencies on phones starting from the iPhone X model and onwards. The effects of frequency in earlier versions were relatively lower compared to subsequent models.
Are there any other risks to a phone through vibration?
We have not encountered any other issues with smartphones resulting from vibration.
Have you seen any patterns in the bikes people are riding causing issues?
Yes. Please refer to the ‘Performance’ tab of the Vibration Dampener page for further information. [Looking at the website, which is partially based on feedback from users, it pretty much covers every bike if you look at the engines these machines have. BMW Boxers, parallel twins and inline-fours, Honda singles twins and fours, Yamaha twins and fours…]
Is it the bike’s engine vibration that’s causing the issue when it happens, or vibration from the road?
The issue is attributed to the vibrations generated by the bike's engine, rather than the vibrations from the road. This is evidenced by the absence of any vibration issues occurring to phones when riding a bicycle on and off road.
What frequencies does your vibration dampener reduce?
The dampener reduces high-frequency vibrations known to damage smartphone camera modules.
Would you recommend the damper more for certain bikes?
Yes. Please refer to the ‘Performance’ tab of the Vibration Dampener page for further information.
What other activities can cause vibration damage?
Within our current offering, there are no identified issues. But if a phone were to be mounted onto specific machinery or equipment, potential issues could arise. Broadly speaking, no issues have been observed thus far.
Quad Lock is often the first name that comes to mind when considering mounting your phone to the bike, but here are some other options...
These are just some of the alternatives. Be sure to check out our other reviews at BikeSocial, and always check the BikeSocial membership pages for discounts on a huge range of products and services, as well as exclusive competitions and events.
Investing in any phone mounting system has a fairly high initial cost, but remember that once you’ve bought the brackets, you can swap them between bikes and you’ll only need to buy a new case when you change your phone. Sure, they’re more expensive than the cheap cases you can get on Amazon, but they’re well-made and add a high degree of functionality to your device.
If you’re a fan a blingy phone cases, you might be disappointed that, besides swapping out the MAG rings on compatible Quad Lock cases, you’re stuck with black. But I wouldn’t be without a case that I can quickly and easily clip onto my motorcycle (or push-bike), whether that’s for day-to-day use with Calimoto, to access controls for my intercom for instance, or when I suddenly find myself needing to get somewhere quickly with Google maps.
Quad Lock’s mounting system is very solid and secure, with a satisfyingly positive locking mechanism. A few elements of the design aren’t quite as elegant as some of its competition, but it’s got a well-engineered, purposeful look to it that works great on almost any bike.
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