Motorcycling destroys camera stabilization on iPhone 11 and 12

Yesterday RJ contacted us regarding the contribution to the Switching off the optical image stabilization on older iPhone models shared his experiences with the iPhone 12 Pro. This was used as a navigation system during a longer journey and attached to the handlebar accordingly. Then the image stabilization of the camera was irreparably damaged. When searching the net, you will find other such messages from users in which the image stabilization of iPhone 11 (Pro) or iPhone 12 (Pro) models was destroyed by motorcycling. A quad-lock attachment with a vibration damper could help; however, there is no guarantee of this. There's a completely different solution at the bottom.

Motorcycling destroys camera stabilization - The sensor stabilizer in iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models can be destroyed by the vibrations of the motorcycle. Perhaps a vibration damper from Quad Lock will help (see pictures)?

Motorcycling destroys camera stabilization - The sensor stabilizer in iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models can be destroyed by the vibrations of the motorcycle. Perhaps a vibration damper from Quad Lock will help (see pictures)?

iPhone on the motorcycle: The sensor stabilizer breaks due to vibrations

RJ had also written to us that the problem with the iPhone 8 did not occur when he drove several thousand kilometers through Europe with it. This may be due to the fact that the lens has been stabilized on the iPhone X and iPhone 8 (2017) as well as on the XR, XS and XS Max (2018) models. From the iPhone 11 (2019) and the current iPhone 12 - or their Pro models - the image sensor is stabilized. The new vulnerability of the devices could be due to this difference. 

When searching the net, you will also find several places where you will be warned of the motorcycle's driving vibrations if you attach an up-to-date iPhone with image stabilizer to its handlebars. According to a discussion, for example, the high-frequency vibrations can damage the mechanics on the iFixit page. The entries from 2020 show, among other things, that even professional fastening with brackets from SP Connect or Quad Lock does not easily help to circumvent the problem.

Protect iPhone image stabilization: Quad Lock vibration dampers

In the Quad Lock Store on the Amazon site you will find various solutions with which you can attach the smartphone in the car, motorcycle, bicycle and other places. Included is a vibration damper specially developed for motorcycles, which should be able to dampen the vibrations of the engine by at least 90%. For this, the vibrations between the two parts of the housing are intercepted with elastomers. You can take a look at the product with this link.

Quad Lock vibration dampers for motorcycles
  • Attach your smartphone to all types of motorcycles with a clear conscience
  • Protect your smartphone's camera while driving
  • Reduces the vibrations of the motorcycle engine by up to 90%

Concerns about using dampers in the iPhone holder

When RJ suggested using a Quad Lock bracket with a damper, they were able to share further interesting findings. During his research he read that damage can still result. These may be related to low temperatures: "But ATTENTION according to my research there are enough people who were initially very satisfied with the attenuation but then suddenly after a few months the awakening and the image stabilization was damaged! One person wrote that he suspected that the elastomers would not have done their job adequately at 8 degrees in his case!"

iPhone damaged on motorcycle handlebar: so what's the solution?

During the warranty period, Apple will of course repair the damage or replace the device. But that cannot be the solution. The best thing would of course be something that works permanently and not without constant repairs. If you don't want to get involved in experiments or do long research in English forums, you should leave your smartphone padded in your backpack and instead on the handlebars a motorcycle sat nav use. What are your experiences with the topic? Feel free to leave a comment on it.

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  1. Minimilianus says:

    hi. is this problem also with mtb bikes, with which one heats through the forest? thanks.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Yes, as far as I've read in the iFixit forum, some MTB riders are also affected. However, it should not occur when cycling on roads.

  2. Patric says:

    I also think that riding a bike is much worse. The vibrations are much stronger than when driving a moped. For someone who is always on the move and navigates with the mobile phone, these are not great prospects!

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Patric! If I got it right, it is less the few harsh vibrations than the constant micro-vibrations that are generated by the vehicle's engine. But QuadLock also offers good bike mounts. When I still had a bike, I used one and was quite excited about it.

  3. plausibel says:

    I work in the bicycle trade myself and am always appalled that people expose their expensive device, which is not built for outdoor use, on the handlebars.

    Smarties are not navies, not on bicycles, not on motorcycles and not even remotely intended for them.

    • Pablo says:

      That was my thought too. That's why I bought a Garmin Explorer. Not very good but ok. Should I ever fly, always possible on my departures ;-), then not much happens. My cell phone is in my pocket / backpack ... ..

      But I'm still surprised that there can be problems with it ...

  4. Frank says:

    Sounds to me like someone wants to advertise a certain bracket. I've had my iPhone 11 on my motorcycle for at least 2 years and nothing happens!

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Hello Frank,

      I understand your reference to the reading and the criticism associated with it. Apart from that, the iPhone 11 has not even been on the market for 2 years;)

      Best regards

    • Jörh says:

      today the camera of my iPhone 12 also broke while riding a motorcycle.
      It really is the way he writes.
      I have the interphone with a USB holder.
      Drive a BMW 1000 R, it is already vibrating a lot.

  5. Verena says:

    I would not have suspected that the sensor stabilizer could break due to vibrations. I will definitely keep this in mind on my next motorcycle tour. Fortunately, irreparable damage to my iPhone has never happened before. Many damages can eventually be repaired by a computer service.

  6. csievers says:

    I'm taking my iPhone 12 mini for repairs for the third time (3 minutes of free repairs).
    A ride with my Honda Monkey Z125 with an iPhone on the handlebars was enough to destroy the camera. It took a while until I found out that the cause was the motorcycle excursions. I will try the Quadlock mount with vibration damper.

  7. Mario Kempes says:

    My iPhone 12 also got it, - drive with the SP Connect bracket without additional damper, on the way with a Z900RS, - i.e. 4 cylinders and if so, only very fine vibrations.
    I will use my old Samsung to drive in the future, has already successfully completed many kilometers with the same holder, and Kurviger runs on my mobile phone.

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