| Garmin i3/i5 External Speaker
by R.K. for webBikeworld
UPDATE: This mount is no
longer available. See our article on making your
Garmin GPS Handlebar Mount!
Garmin stock has been up about 30% since
the beginning of 2006 and I know why. It's because
1) I didn't buy any and 2) we've recommended the i5 to
about 80 bajillion people.
Some day I'll start a website called "Rick's Stock Picks"
and I'll post my daily trades. Just do the complete opposite and
you'll become very rich.
The truth is that the Average Joe has better odds pumping
quarters into a slot machine than playing the stock market anyway, and I
never go near either.
But Garmin must be as good a bet as any, because they stay
focused on pumping out really nice GPS units.
GPS snobs look down on us for recommending the lowly i5, but
i5ers know better. The thing is so easy to use that there's actually
an underground i5 fan club, with people like James Yarwood pioneering
surgery on the i3 (B&W version of the i5) to add an external speaker jack.
Sure, it would be easier to simply go with the next higher
level Garmin GPS, but i5 devotees wouldn't think of it.
Need further proof that i5 fanatics really do exist?
Check out this bespoke bead-blasted, stainless steel Garmin
GPS mount by Andy Pridmore. In addition to stainless, Andy will make
this mount out of bronze, brass, copper, plastic, aluminum alloy (aka
"aluminium" by Continentals) and even titanium.
Andy made up a Garmin i5 mount for us to fit the cross bar
on our '98 Triumph Tiger Steamer (love this bike!). The cross bar is
just a hair over 12mm and Andy whipped it out and had it to me within a
couple of days from across the Pond.
It fits perfectly on the Tiger's cross bar and the two 4mm
stainless steel cap screws will hold it in any position.
The ball on top of the mount fits the Garmin i2, i3, i5 and
Garmin Nuvi and Navman GPS units. He can make them for flat bars, 7/8"
bars or whatever.
Andy also has some unique ball mounts that will fit the
front fuel tank bolt, motorcycle clip-on handlebars, riser bars for cruisers
and one-off GPS mounts for fuel filler lid bolts, cars and more.
Fitting one of Andy's GPS mounts is a piece of pie -- simply
bolt it in place (I used a dab of blue thread locker just in case) and it's
ready to go.
The i5 separates very easily from its plastic mount on the
stock windshield suction cup mount. It's a slightly tighter fit on to
the bead blasted stainless steel ball on Andy's GPS mount, mostly because it
doesn't have the natural slipperiness of the factory plastic mount.
But it fits on and stays on. I think this is a much
better solution than my original one, which was using the suction cup to
attach the i5 to the glass cover on the tachometer. It came off once
or twice and I haven't trusted it since, although I have found that if I
clean the suction cup and wet it, it tends to stick better. The same
goes for when I use the unit in my car also.
Andy is currently charging £25 for these, which includes
shipping and handling, even to the U.S.A.
At the current exchange rates for the weak U.S. dollar,
that's about $48.00 for a custom-made, high quality mount that will probably
last way longer than the GPS unit itself.