The Homemade Nav Tower

Adventurising the EXC 500 means making it more capable of navigating and covering some major distances. In order to travel light, I probably won’t be bringing a computer, so plan on either using a phone or tablet to navigate using OSMand.

I’ve installed the Apps on the phone and tablet and it’s working perfectly on both. Both devices have good batteries and I’ve checked their ability to navigate offline using only GPS and they’re both well capable.

So how to mount them to the bike?

I already have M5 threaded holes on the handlebar clamps, and a set of RMS rally roadbook clamps from F2R. Combined them should make a sturdy platform to hold my nav equipment, and maybe some USB power sockets too.

First things first, I made a cardboard template and cut it to size to see how it might fit. I was reasonably happy with the size and shape so marked the template shape onto some plate aluminium and cut it to size.

I picked up these USB sockets/voltmeter on amazon, and cut the holes to size using these hole saws.

I wasn’t happy to leave it flat as it would make the screen difficult to see while sitting, so I measured the width of the tablet and bent the plate at a place I though appropriate. hopefully there’s enough space above the bend for the tablet, and below for the power sockets..

Four M5 bolts secure the plate into the handlebar clamps and four M4 bolts hold the plate to the RMS’s 12mm crossbar mounts.

The two 30mm holes in the plate house dual USB sockets, and a switch to remotely enable or disable power to them. Because nobody wants a flat battery in the morning.

After making the basic frame and mocking everything up, it was time to disassemble and prep the plate for painting. At the same time two channels were cut out of either side to assist in mounting the tablet using velcro straps.

I like the simple satin/matt black look, so went with that. All re-assembled and tested and it seems to be ok. Hopefully the vibrations won’t kill it.


Eventually replaced the old Nexus7 tablet for a Garmin Montana.

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