Rugged mount for Garmin Zumo XT

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by mda185, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. mda185

    mda185 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    144
    Location:
    South NJ
    I recently purchased a Zumo XT and was not happy with the stock RAM mount included with it. The RAM ball on the stock mount bolts directly to the plate that snaps into the back of the Zumo for power connections. There have already been reports of that plate failing in posts on this forum. To be fair, the stock mount is probably fine for a street bike. I use mine off road on a KTM350 EXCF and I like to ride single track on rock strewn trails in PA. I doubt the stock mount will hold up to that environment. Touratech has a lockable rugged mount that is in pre-order status and costs about $175. I found another option for under $100. It is not lockable but I don't need that feature on my dual sport. I purchased a Perfect Squeeze phone mount from Hondo Garage for $90 shipped. There is a review of the Perfect Squeeze on Web Bike World here:

    https://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-phone-mounts-reviewed/

    The stock Perfect Squeeze needs to be modified to hold the Zumo XT but the modification is easy. The 4 posts that hold the phone or GPS are too short for the Zumo XT. These posts are threaded 10/32 studs that screw into the aluminum back plate of the Perfect Squeeze. I replaced them with 1 1/2" 10/32 stainless steel studs I purchased from McMaster Carr for $7.00 + shipping. They are the perfect length to hold the Zumo XT. The owner of Hondo Garage has indicated he may provide a retrofit kit if there is sufficient interest in his unit for use with the Zumo XT. I have posted some pictures here of the finished product. Note that I had not mounted the RAM ball to the back of the Perfect Squeeze when I took these pictures. There are threaded holes on the back of the unit with the correct spacing for any of the common RAM ball mounts.

    The Perfect Squeeze is all metal construction and it has a spring loaded rubber ball pressing against the thumb wheel to prevent it from vibrating loose. Be careful when modifying the unit as the ball and the spring can easily fall out after you remove the studs. I lost mine and had to get replacements. The unit is assembled with blue loctite and it takes a little effort to remove the stock posts. I used a pliers to grab the top of the post and unscrew it from the stud. The top piece is a conical machined aluminum part that screws onto the stud. There is a rubber hose pressed over the conical part to provide a better grip on the phone or GPS unit. So the steps involved are:
    1. Remove conical top piece. Cut hose off of it. You will replace with longer hose.
    2. Use allen wrench to remove the existing studs. Be careful not to lose the ball and spring on the thumb wheel side.
    3. Replace studs with 1 1/2" studs. Use blue loctite.
    4. Put a 10/32 nut on the posts that are on the thumb wheel side to hold the plate covering the thumb wheel in place. Use blue loctite.
    5. If desired use 10/32 nuts on the other 2 posts to increase the threaded length that is secured. I did. you should be able to see this in my pictures.
    6. Cut longer piece of hose to cover the conical piece and the stud. Press hose on to the conical piece and screw the combination onto the longer studs. Use blue loctite on the threads before screwing on the conical piece. You are done!

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,420
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Nice write up. Doing my due diligence on what device to get next as my Montana 600 is getting really buggy.

    This helps on the mount conundrum.
    #2
  3. mda185

    mda185 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    144
    Location:
    South NJ
    I was seriously considering the new Montana 700 but when I added up the cost of the Garmin rugged mount for that + the need to purchase maps, I decided to go with the Zumo XT. Both the Zumo XT and the Montana 700 can use 24K topo maps and that is an extra cost for either unit. Advantage of the Zumo XT is that it comes preloaded with decent street maps and costs $200 less than the Montana 700 with preloaded maps. The $699 Montana 700 does come with Garmin In Reach built in but I did not need that. My requirements were good daylight readable screen, ability to use 24K topo maps, and ability to record and import tracks. Both units do that.

    The advantage of the Perfect Squeeze is that it still can be used to hold any of the large format cell phones even after the modifications so if the Zumo breaks or the battery dies, I can swap in my phone and still navigate my way home.
    #3
    mbabc likes this.