There’s no escaping the vital role smartphones play in our lives, and increasingly motorcycles are designed with this truth in mind. There are numerous models that sync to phones, providing all sorts of analytic information. And of course there are a broad selection of Bluetooth communicators that connect as well. All of which raises two questions…what’s the best way to make a phone easily accessible on the bike, and how do you ensure it stays protected?
Enter Rokform. The Orange County, California-based company has made a name for itself for its robust product, designed and constructed in the USA. There are covers, mounts, docks, screen protectors and more for most major Apple and Samsung products, and applications for bicycles, cars and of course motorcycles.
Our colleague Travis Woolard has been using a Rokform iPhone 5c Shield Case (the latest evolution being the Rugged Case) and can attest to the quality of the product. When paired with the Motorcycle Handlebar Phone Mount, the Shield Case is a great companion on the road.
One of the standout features is Rokform’s signature RokLock mounting system.
“The Roklock is an ingenious one-eighth turn lock system that has a built in secondary lock safety feature,” Woolard explains. “When in, the phone case is locked in positon and there is a super strong magnet in the mount that grabs the magnet in the case to create a double secure feature. It has done well for thousands of miles so far, held strong at 150 mph (on a closed course), and several gravel roads hasn’t bothered it.
“Even off the bike, the magnet in the case is an awesome touch. When your hands are full or dirty you can stick it to anything metal to hold it. I like when I’m doing maintenance on my bike, I can turn music on my phone and stick my phone to the gas tank or the side of the tool box.”
The particular shield case Woolard’s been using is an injection-molded polycarbonate that’s exceeded military grade drop-test standards.
“I’ve dropped it a handful of times, I even kicked it once when I dropped it in a parking lot as I was walking. The phone is still ticking with no problems.”
It has a quick release tab at the bottom to make sliding your phone out of the case easy, and lanyard support in case you want to have an added failsafe against dropping your phone during a ride. There’s thermoplastic elastomer anti-slip grip elements on the case and a mounting system plug, to ensure complete back protection. You also get an easy stick RokLock car mount, so transitioning from two to four wheels is effortless.
The handlebar mount is CNC machined from 6061 T6 aircraft grade aluminum and comes with a dual retention locking system (the RokLock and lanyard being the dual modes of retention). It’s also adjustable up and down and side to side, so you can position the unit for the optimal view regardless of ride position. And, unless you have exceedingly large or small handlebars, the mount will fit your machine. It secures to 7/8-inch up through 1 ¼-inch bars.
Installation is “really easy” according to Woolard.
“Snap on the appropriate sized plastic spacer (that’s supplied) on to the bars, put the bar clamp on the spacer and snug the one Allen head screw. That’s it.”
As for positioning, you’ll need to get it dialed before you set out. On the fly adjustments aren’t in the cards for this unit. Woolard again:
“There is one horizontal Allen head screw that controls the tilt and swivel, which means on the fly is not an option. So set-up ahead of time is necessary and very easy to do. Loosen the screw, put the vertical portion of the mount as straight as possible between left and right then tilt backwards and tighten the screw. Attach your phone to see if the screen is in appropriate position to your height and riding position. But remember, if its tilted too far back you will get more glare than screen. Once the mount is set up correctly it’s amazing.”
Another positive feature is the fact that the case doesn’t make your phone a brick in terms of size or weight.
“The case has the appearance of a big robust protective case but is actually pretty thin, when it not mounted on the bike it’s in my pocket and I can’t tell the difference between case on and case off.”
One demerit is that the case as tested is a five-side protector, meaning you’re going to need a screen cover. RokForm offers these as well, at an additional cost.
All in all though, Woolard won’t be going back to his pre-RokForm days. Particularly since previous mounts utilizing the four-arm design haven’t always worked as they promised.
“If you ride a motorcycle, it’s really great to have a protective case and a mount that gives you complete access to GPS, music and to monitor phone calls. And to be sure that it’ll hold your phone steady at highway speeds or on bumpy roads.”
RokForm has products for just about all iPhones, but also has covers for various iPads and even a case for the Apple Watch. Samsung offerings range from the S3 up to the S8 and if you’re a Google Pixel user, there’s a Rugged Case for you as well.