If you’re like me and use your phone to navigate while riding, then you know how quickly your phone battery drains and how important it is to charge it while riding.
I have my phone mounted to my bike with a Quad Lock set-up, which I feel is the most secure option available, and this accessory means I can charge my phone without having to plug it in, or manage any trailing cables.
The wireless charging head replaces the head on whatever Quad Lock mount you have secured to your bike.
So as soon as I clip my iPhone 13 Mini in place on the Quad Lock mount, it starts charging. And that saves me a lot of fuss whenever I want to stop and use my phone for something else, such as taking a photo.
There are a couple of things you need if you are starting a Quad Lock fitment from scratch.
You’ll need a bracket to mount the charge head to the bike. Quad Lock have a few different types, so there should be a mount to suit your bike.
I also have the additional security of a Quad Lock Vibration Damper to protect my phone from the camera-wrecking wobble of being attached to a motorcycle.
Once the mount is attached to the bike, removing the lever mechanism allows fitment of the wireless charging head, which you then wire up to the bike’s battery so it can charge your phone.
If your phone isn’t compatible with wireless charging then you can use a more conventional USB charger in place of the wireless one, and you’ll need to use a charging cable to get power from that to your phone.
With the wireless charging head fitted, your phone starts charging after you start the engine. A small light on the charge head indicates the charging condition. If it’s solid bright blue there’s power available but no phone connected. Attach your phone and the light should go solid green to show it’s charging. Once the phone is fully charged, the light turns solid pale blue.
The only time to be concerned is if that light starts flashing. If it’s flashing blue there is an error, flashing green means low power coming from the charger and/or bike battery and if it starts flashing pale blue the charger is overheating. I don’t recall seeing any of these lights yet.
Once I got my phone attached to the charging head it took me a minute or two to work out how to remove it again. It’s a little less obvious to see how the press, twist and release of Quad Lock’s system works on this compared to the lever mechanism on other Quad Lock bike mounts. The key action is to press down on the charge pad, then twist and release the phone.
Now I’ve figured this out I find it easier to release my phone with one hand than it was on the lever-based mount.
The charging head is weatherproof, which means I don’t have to worry when it rains. On a weekend away in the Lake District, rain didn’t affect the charging and the sockets and plug points are either weatherproof or out of reach of direct rainfall.
For me the time saving involved with wireless charging is a real plus. It might just be a few seconds here and there, but I stop frequently to take photos on my phone and not having to unplug/plug in a cable every time is a bonus.
It also saved me the worry of whether I should leave the cable attached to my bike when it was unattended, either because of concern about it being stolen or continuing to draw power from my bike battery. The wireless solution kicks all those concerns to the kerb.
In terms of getting power from your bike battery to the charging head, there are options. If your bike has a USB socket you can plug the charging head straight into that.
If you don’t have a USB port, you’ll need to get a Quad Lock Waterproof 12V to USB Smart Adapter.
If your bike has an SAE port you’ll be able to plug the adapter straight into that. If you don’t have an SAE or USB port, then you attach the wires provided with the adapter directly to your battery, which is how I fitted it to my Hornet.
I found it straightforward, the only tricky part was working out how to route the cabling through to the battery. This required some delicate removal of fairings and covers to get the cable tidy and out the way.
There are two videos Quad Lock have made to direct you through this process. If you follow them step-by-step you should have no problem. The first video shows how to attach the head itself and the second runs through the process of connecting the head to your bike’s battery.
One thing to note though. The final step of the Quad Lock video suggests striking up your bike to make sure the current flows and the light on the wireless head comes on to show it has power. I found that this worked perfectly and the solid blue light came on.
However, when I turned my engine off and removed the key, the light stayed on. On the Quad Lock website, they say this light may stay on for a few seconds before going out. Mine stayed on for well over 10 minutes. I was concerned that if the light stayed on it would drain my battery.
I contacted Quad Lock, who told me some bike batteries, especially if they are new, will hold the charge high for longer when not running. The smart adaptor reads the voltage of the battery and turns the charger head off (or on) at a certain voltage threshold. My battery was staying over this threshold for quite some time. I was told this was normal.
To test if it would shut off, I was told by Quad Lock to leave my phone on the charge head for a few minutes after I had turned off the ignition and removed the key. They said my phone would absorb the residual charge held in the charging head, and the light would soon go out. This is exactly what happened when I tried it.
At the time I didn’t notice an on/off button just underneath the lip of the wireless head. Pressing this will shut the unit off and make sure it can’t drain your bike battery. However, you must remember to press this again when you next want to use the charger head.
Overall, I have had no issues with this product, whether in the fitting or in use. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and it has made life just that bit easier and quicker whenever I want to use my phone as navigation on my bike.
And we all know any small gains in efficiency when preparing to ride a motorcycle are more than welcome. This has been a great addition to my ride and if you have that extra bit of cash, it’s definitely worth splashing it on this.