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Ok to drill & tap handlebar riser on Gen 1 to add Ram Mount ball?


Mach VIII
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Well topic kinda states what I'm asking, but I'll elaborate for clarity's sake.  I'm looking for a good place to mount my new TomTom Rider GPS.  I have already installed a phone mount on the left handlebar of my 89 VR and happy with its location.  I've looked at some other mounting options for the GPS, but I think I'd like to have it mounted just to the right of the phone so it is on the same level and plane as the phone, close to my normal sight line, doesn't block gauges, and can be reached easily with left hand.

I've read about the "snagglestuds" a member used to offer, but I don't think those are available anymore.  Besides, it seems like a simple and clean solution would be to just drill and tap a hole in the left handlebar riser (the odd shaped aluminum piece) and install a RAM mount ball stud.  Then I can use one of their arms of whatever length is needed to get the GPS where I want it. Total cost would be around $20.

I'm looking at drilling and installing the ball in the black painted portion an inch or so down from the factory hole.  When the GPS isn't on the bike the only thing visible would be the small black RAM mount ball stud (which only cost about $9 btw).  In addition to tapping the hole, was thinking it would be good to use a nut on the other side of the hole as well.

Any reason this wouldn't work or is a bad idea?  Is there enough room in the channel of that riser for a nut AND the wiring that runs through there? Other thoughts or comments on this idea?

Thanks.

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21 minutes ago, Freebird said:

What size hole would it be?   I worry somewhat about it weakening the bar. 

Most likely to fit a 1/4-20 or an M10 as those seem to be the only sizes RAM offers.  So nothing especially large.

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You could replace the nut that holds the  the main handle bar in the riser with a long nut like used to join lengths of threaded rod together and thread a    ramm ball mount into the other end. Or if you have a drill press and a set of taps ( or better yet a metal lathe ) or access to to any of those items, you can easily make one up out of some round stock. Drill and tap 1/2 way through to M10X1.0 and drill and tap the other end to fit the stud on the threaded ball.

Some size examples; 

https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?facets[part_type][]=Threaded Ball

or choose from this assortment of mount options;

https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?

https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?facets[mount_function][]=Mirror Post

https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?

 

Edited by saddlebum
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10 hours ago, Mach VIII said:

Most likely to fit a 1/4-20 or an M10 as those seem to be the only sizes RAM offers.  So nothing especially large.

The actually supply a broad range of sizes https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?facets[part_type][]=Threaded Ball

and many other options see links in my previous post.

Edited by saddlebum
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2 hours ago, Stasher1 said:

Would the RAM offset reservoir mount not work for you? Easy, cheap, and can be transferred to the next bike.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003CMNXIO/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_CCQ1945PCKB4J20Z7FAG?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1  

I've considered that as a "back-up" option.  To get the GPS located where I'd like it using a reservoir mount would require a longer arm routed behind the phone mount.  That would also limit my ability to adjust the position of the GPS to dead center if/when wanted, which is something I'd be able to do if mounting as I propose and using a short arm.

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16 minutes ago, Mach VIII said:

I've considered that as a "back-up" option.  To get the GPS located where I'd like it using a reservoir mount would require a longer arm routed behind the phone mount.  That would also limit my ability to adjust the position of the GPS to dead center if/when wanted, which is something I'd be able to do if mounting as I propose and using a short arm.

I guess, theoretically, you could mount your phone on the reservoir mount and your GPS on the handlebar...

I just use my phone as my GPS.  🤷‍♂️ 

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2 hours ago, saddlebum said:

You could replace the nut that holds the  the main handle bar in the riser with a long nut like used to join lengths of threaded rod together and thread a    ramm ball mount into the other end. Or if you have a drill press and a set of taps ( or better yet a metal lathe ) or access to to any of those items, you can easily make one up out of some round stock. Drill and tap 1/2 way through to M10X1.0 and drill and tap the other end to fit the stud on the threaded ball.

Some size examples; 

https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?facets[part_type][]=Threaded Ball

or choose from this assortment of mount options;

https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?

https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?facets[mount_function][]=Mirror Post

https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/popular-components/b-size?

 

As far as using a threaded coupler to replace the handlebar nut, I expect it would be hard to source one that is the correct size in metric thread.  I expect a metric coupler is tougher to find just in general, but it would have to obviously be big enough to fit the handlebar, which would likely be too big on the other end to fit a RAM threaded ball, as M10 seems to be the biggest offered in metric.  I don't recall the size of the handlebar nut, but I'm fairly confident it is bigger than an M10.  If it is an M10, then searching for such a coupler could be a good option, though it would likely result in the GPS being positioned closer to me and on a different plane than the phone mount.  Hmmm.

I don't have access to a lathe, or aluminum stock.  I do have a cheap metric tap & die set.  That seems like a much more complicated solution though than simply drilling and tapping a hole in the riser, no?

Thank you for all the links.  It is good to know there are a few other size options for the threaded ball mounts in particular.  I should have checked their website myself to see what all options were available.  Looks like I could go 5/16, 3/8, M6, or M8 as well.  Another variant, in case clearance inside the channel is an issue, would be to get a female threaded ball mount, then use a button-head bolt from the channel side.  The downside to that is that the stud itself would not be threaded into the riser, but that might not be a big deal.

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1 minute ago, Stasher1 said:

I guess, theoretically, you could mount your phone on the reservoir mount and your GPS on the handlebar...

I just use my phone as my GPS.  🤷‍♂️ 

Well, my phone mount is a handlebar style,  while the GPS cradle uses a RAM mount ball, so it really would not be easy to just swap locations considering the limited round handlebar real-estate.  I've done a bit of navigating with my phone, but have found it a bit lacking for my uses compared to a dedicated device.  If I'm just trying to get from point A to B, I'm happy to use the phone - particularly in the car or truck.  But I understand opinions vary on that topic.

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3 hours ago, Mach VIII said:

As far as using a threaded coupler to replace the handlebar nut, I expect it would be hard to source one that is the correct size in metric thread.  I expect a metric coupler is tougher to find just in general, but it would have to obviously be big enough to fit the handlebar, which would likely be too big on the other end to fit a RAM threaded ball, as M10 seems to be the biggest offered in metric.  I don't recall the size of the handlebar nut, but I'm fairly confident it is bigger than an M10.  If it is an M10, then searching for such a coupler could be a good option, though it would likely result in the GPS being positioned closer to me and on a different plane than the phone mount.  Hmmm.

I don't have access to a lathe, or aluminum stock.  I do have a cheap metric tap & die set.  That seems like a much more complicated solution though than simply drilling and tapping a hole in the riser, no?

Thank you for all the links.  It is good to know there are a few other size options for the threaded ball mounts in particular.  I should have checked their website myself to see what all options were available.  Looks like I could go 5/16, 3/8, M6, or M8 as well.  Another variant, in case clearance inside the channel is an issue, would be to get a female threaded ball mount, then use a button-head bolt from the channel side.  The downside to that is that the stud itself would not be threaded into the riser, but that might not be a big deal.

The thread on the handle bar is M10x1.0 the available threads on the ball is M10x1.25, M10x1.5 or 3/8x24 so you tap the hole 1/2 way through from one end to M10x1.0 and then 1/2 way through from the other end to match the thread of the ball you intend to use.

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Thanks for the clarification Saddlebum.  Too bad the thread pitch is different or a coupler would be a quick solution as well.

I think I still prefer the simplicity of what I'm proposing lower down on the riser.  Freebird mentioned some concern about compromising strength.  Anyone have further thoughts on this?  What about the clearance issues mentioned by luvmy40?

Edited by Mach VIII
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8 hours ago, Mach VIII said:

Thanks for the clarification Saddlebum.  Too bad the thread pitch is different or a coupler would be a quick solution as well.

I think I still prefer the simplicity of what I'm proposing lower down on the riser.  Freebird mentioned some concern about compromising strength.  Anyone have further thoughts on this?  What about the clearance issues mentioned by luvmy40?

Don't think a couple of small holes would compromise the bar at all. What I would look at to do is to remove the cover from the back side, fasten the mount onto the bar with a couple of tek-screws, cut off the protruding screw on the backside with a dremel, put the wires back in and re-install the cover. Bob' your uncle! Advantage of using tek-screws is that they completely fill any hole and it's easy.

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