Apple iPhones and Motorcycles…Think Twice!
October 1, 2021
By Joy Burgess
When I take off on a ride I generally want to get as far away from technology and the world of up-to-the-minute news and constant communication as I can. Riding local dirt roads and trails while navigating Florida sugar sand is like meditation…a chance for life to get simpler and quiet down. So I rarely pull out my iPhone, keeping it in my pocket or my backpack.
Turns out that’s a pretty smart choice, at least for iPhone users. Plenty of riders these days mount their phones on their motorcycles to take photos or videos while they’re riding or for the GPS functions. While it’s easy to get great images with that iPhone camera with all the image stabilization technology available on the latest models, searching for the perfect riding shot may be a problem for your phone.
Apple recently put out a support notice for iPhone users, saying:
“High-power or high-volume motorcycle engines generate intense high-amplitude vibrations, which are transmitted through the chassis and handlebars. It is not recommended to attach your iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate. Attaching your iPhone to vehicles with small-volume or electric engines, such as mopeds and scooters, may lead to comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations, but if you do so a vibration-dampening mount is recommended to lessen the risk of damage to your iPhone and its OIS and AF systems. It is also recommended to avoid regular use for prolonged periods to further lessen the risk of damage.”
We think Apple meant “damping” instead of “dampening” here, but regardless, this is particularly a problem if you have your iPhone mounted on the handlebars or the chassis of your motorcycle. Still, if you’re gonna do it, you can mitigate the problem by using a vibration-damping mount if you insist on having your iPhone mounted on your bike — though if you’re heading out on a 10-day ride, even that might not be enough to protect your phone from damage.
Of course, beyond the potential damage to your iPhone, having your phone in your field of vision is just as dangerous for motorcyclists as it is for those driving cars. That riding selfie won’t seem so cool if you lay it down or run into something.