Don Eilenberger's


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 tank.

BMW Factory GPS Mount

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.. the 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.

The result

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 options.

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. http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/ProductDetail.asp?SKU=911-0382&SEARCH=&ID=&DESC=SPN%2D8%2E&R=911%2D0382&sid=46CA2B0035D7617F

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.


 

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