Over the last few years, mobile phones have penetrated our lives like never before. They help us connect to our family and friends wherever we are, entertain us to no end, and allow us to capture scenes that are worth reliving another day. A mobile phone is an invaluable tool to a rider, but using a one on the move is dangerous. We’ve picked an assortment of accessories that will allow you to use your mobile phone safely whilst on two-wheels.
While you can use your standard-issue earphones under your helmet, it is more often than not uncomfortable. Instead, you should get a pair of helmet speakers. These resemble flat headphones, but come without a connecting frame. They slip into the crevice between the inner padding near the ears. Nowadays, most helmets come with a dedicated section for this. You can connect the helmet speakers to your phone via the 3.5mm jack, or via Bluetooth. While the Bluetooth-enabled versions are quite expensive, the wired type ones are reasonably priced. You should be able to get one with a microphone for around Rs 3000. Well, it may seem as expensive as some helmets, but they would prove useful when riding.
Pictured: Tork X2 Helmet Headset - www.torkworld.com/helmet-speakers/x2-helmet-speaker.html
A portable mobile phone charger is an extremely useful accessory. The current crop of smart phones can last at most a day and a half under normal usage, which can drop to hours if you use power-hungry features like GPS and Bluetooth, which we motorcyclists tend to use a lot when on the road. This is where portable chargers come in handy. Most usually pack enough juice to charge the average smart phone battery atleast twice over, so having one at hand will ensure your phone doesn’t conk out when you need it the most.
Pictured: Livguard Portable Charger - www.livguard.com/mobileaccessories/mobile-accessory/sb40d
A handlebar mount would enable you to use satellite navigation, a staple feature on all smartphones today. This would be useful if you are exploring a new city, or touring across the country. A word of caution though – a sudden downpour could ruin your expensive phone in a matter of seconds. Make sure you get a mount that comes with a waterproof casing, or else get a good waterproof case if your phone isn’t designed to withstand wet conditions.
Pictured: Rynox Mobile/GPS Mount - http://www.outdoortravelgear.com/product-detail/rynox-mobile-gps-mount
Smart phones may be able to do a multitude of tasks, but they are extremely sensitive to wet weather. Many companies have introduced phones that are water-resistant, but most of them are really expensive. A simple solution would be to get a waterproof case. It will add a little bit of bulk, and the sensitivity to touch may be reduced, but rest assured, it will keep your phone dry and safe. A worthy investment when you ride in the rainy season.
Pictured: LifeProof Nuud for iPhone 5S - http://www.lifeproof.com/shop/us_en/iphone-5s/iphone-5s-nuud-case
Smart watches are a recent development in mobile technology. They are like an extension of your smart phone’s screen, conveniently placed on the wrist. The main advantage of wearing a smart watch for riders is that it makes satellite navigation easier to use on the move. Instead of pulling over to the side of the road to take a look at the maps on your phone, you’ll just need to take a quick glance at the smart watch, and it’ll display where you are heading. Also, if you receive a call, you can see who’s calling without too much distraction. Smart watches are quite expensive, and battery life is limited as well, but if you can afford it, it will certainly make touring unknown places on a motorcycle very convenient.
Pictured: LG G Watch R - http://www.lg.com/us/smart-watches