High GPS mount using the BMW Touring Shield bracket
The standard GPS mount BMW supplies mounts the GPS on
the top triple-clamp right above the bar mount. This is a good spot for
the GPS if you don't intend to use a tankbag. If you intend to use a
tankbag - you'll quickly find a conflict between the GPS and the front of
the tankbag since the mount puts the GPS right over the front end of the
I managed to use the factory mount with the tankbag
I'd taken off my R1150RS by squishing down the front of the RS bag so it
fit under the GPS (as in photo above..) Not really a satisfactory
solution. The factory GPS mount also worked with an 11L bag I got from RKA..
Shiloh Road. A great "day" bag - the Shiloh Road carries everything I
need for daily riding, but not so great for trips and overnight rides,
where I might want to carry something like a Camelbak or tire-repair
tools. And I picked up an almost new BMW R1200R bag via the Net.. so
I needed to find a new spot for the GPS.
So - what to do?
I happened to stop at a friends house and look at
his R1200GS/Adventure. His GPS was mounted on a brace on the windshield
mounting frame, above the instrument panel. An idea came to me involving
the factory BMW bracket for their touring shield. It might be possible to
mount a GPS on the top of this bracket.
How it's made? It's actually very simple. The tube
across the top is made from a length of aluminum tubing, 1/2" OD found at
Home Depot (cost was about $4.00 for 3 feet.) The ends were
flattened out using a vice with some smooth jaws to keep from marring the
aluminum surface. A hole - approx. 1/4" was drilled in each end, and
the ends were rounded off using a file and a sander.
Smooshed end of the aluminum
tubing ready for drilling
The bracket was prepared by twisting off the pointed
plastic caps that sealed the two uprights. While I tried to twist the caps
out of the bracket tubing, this proved impossible. They were probably
molded in place somehow to the bracket, or fastened in with a glue. It
turns out the twisting off worked fine. After they were twisted off - the
plastic plug that was their base remained firmly in the tubing. It was
simple to drill and tap it for 10mm allen-head bolts to hold the
cross-brace in place. The bolts holding it can be tightened up quite
securely with no sign of pulling the threads out of the plastic.
GPS Mounting bracket
As can be seen above - I used the mounting block
from the BMW GPS mount - which was designed to rotate on a slightly
smaller than 1/2" shaft and mount to a Garmin GPS mount. It fit on the
aluminum cross piece and allows pivoting the GPS for best viewing. I then
used some shrink-fit tubing to "finish" off the cross-piece.
Final view of the finished product
I can now use a factory R1200R tankbag and still
have the GPS.
Footnote: If you don't happen to have the BMW GPS
mount kicking around to borrow the mounting block from - there are other
Steel cable-clamp rubber coated.
This type of clamp could be used - in the 1/2" clamp
size with a standard Garmin GPS mount. I used them with success on my
former R1150RS. These are available at electronic supply houses, usually
with the PN of SPN-8, manufacturer RICHCO. Richco does offer free samples
from their website
http://www.richco-inc.com if you ask nicely. There are vendors selling
these in quantities of less than 500 (the minimum order from the
manufacturer.) Allied Electronics sells a bag of 50 for $14.75.
Perhaps if you're interested - you and a few R1200R
friends would split a bag.
I do intend to make a slightly more finished
cross-brace from some stainless-steel tubing I procured - when I get
around to it.. stay tuned here for details.