Rokform Mount And Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max A Bad Combo – UPDATED

Update September 11, 2021: It may have taken over a year for The Verge to catch up to me, but I reported on the iPhone/motorcycle compatibility issues way back in December of 2019. It appears the problem is not limited to the use of the Rokform motorcycle bar mount. The Verge article and another article from Gizmodo points to issues with mounting the iPhone to any motorcycle. This is one of those times I wish Jimmy Mac On Two Wheels reached more riders. I could have saved a lot of iPhones!

December 12, 2019: I’ve run into a big problem with the combination of my iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Rokform Rugged Case mounted to my Suzuki DR-Z400 with the Rokform motorcycle bar mount.

I installed the bar mount on my Suzuki DR-Z400. I was careful that the mount (and the phone) had clearance between the mount and the handlebar’s crossbar. I believed if there was any contact, that could increase vibration passed from the motorcycle to the iPhone.

The first time I used the combo was on a 100-mile dirt road ride. The roads had the usual washboard sections and rocky sections but it was not harsh riding conditions. A day after the ride, I noticed the iPhone’s camera was no longer focusing. I took it to the Apple store and because there was no obvious damage, Apple figured (and so did I) that it may have been a manufacturing issue and replaced the camera for no charge. I never put the riding and the malfunction together until my next ride.

The second ride, also off-road, was on fairly smooth, sandy roads. The ride was just over 100 miles. The camera broke again. I will not allow Apple to pay for this repair because it is my fault. Not theirs.

The third ride was the roughest of the three (on gnarly dirt roads around Primm, Nevada). The camera broke in less than 25 miles. To my utter amazement (and protests), Apple replaced the camera again at no charge. The replacement came with one stipulation…stop using the Rokform mount.

It appears the phone’s camera is too fragile to be used with the Rokform motorcycle bar mount. The first time I contacted Rokform, a rep said the company had never heard of this issue. The second time I called (requesting a return), a company rep explained that they are hearing from other riders who have experienced similar problems. The rep explained they don’t have a fix because they have not identified the problem. They did offer a refund on the mount if I shipped it back to them.

Conclusion: Apple offers amazing customer service and went way beyond what I expected. Rokform didn’t hesitate to offer a refund. Still, it appears they need to up their R&D game. If you own an Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, I cannot recommend pairing it with a Rokform Motorcycle Bar Mount on single-cylinder dual-sport (or off-road) motorcycle.

The mounting bracket’s arm did not come into contact with the handlebar’s crossbar. The mount should be isolated from the motorcycle’s vibration due to the rubber mount. My iPhone 11 Pro Max needs better isolation.
I’ve used and have been very happy with Rokform’s products on my mountain bikes. It may be that the iPhone 11 Pro Max is too fragile for this application.
This is off-road riding but it is hardly rough. In fact, the sandy-surface road may produce less jolts than riding on Southern California’s cracked and potholed pavement.

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