This describes how I mounted a roady XT (the most current XM radio before the new portables out in 2006). It's compact, full featured, and somewhat suited for my bike needs. The unit works well on a bike, but the buttons may be a little small for gloved hands- please try one out in a store first. It's also not waterproof, so you will need to toss it in your tank bag when the rain starts falling.

The XT already comes with everything you need to for a car kit. I use this unit's FM radio feature so that all I have to do is tune my helmet radio to an adjustable freq on the XM unit to listen to the broadcast.

Parts needed (ordered from cycle gadgets) are a RAM 11mm mount, shortest arm, and RAM base as seen in the photo. You will also need the bolt to secure the 11mm mount to the unused mirror mount on the left handlebar.

The included XM mount would bolt right up to the RAM base, but the mount to the supplied cradle isn't secure enough for bike use. Ditch this mount in the trash.

The cradle also don't really "hold" the radio unit in place with more then just connector friction, so a way to keep the radio from coming loose is needed.

Time to make a more secure mount. The only flexible stainless metal I could think of that anyone could buy was a taping knife for drywall. The metal is the perfect thickness and is flexible enough for what I need to do.

The handle was removed with a cold chisel, the rough spot welded edge was cut off with a metal blade in a band saw. The unit was measured and cut to length on the same band saw with the edges rounded out on a grinder. A vice was used to bend in the form you see here as well as holes drilled for the RAM base. Two more holes were drilled later for cable ties to secure the extra antenna wire (they give you WAY more than needed). The only change I made to the above bracket was to leave the bent back top shape with a wedge shape (about 10-15 degrees) instead of just flat.

The cradle needs to be taken apart so holes can be drilled in to the back base. Two hex screws can be removed with a .05" allen head wrench. The base comes apart and the RAM base can be used to measure the holes. Make sure there is enough clearance between your future bolt heads and the circuit board. There is plenty of room if you drill the holes in the correct place.

Put the screws (6-32 or 8-32 x 1" stainless should work fine) from the cradle, through the stainless bracket, and then through the RAM base. Use stainless nylock nuts on the RAM base to prevent backouts.

Here is the XM unit mounted on the bike. You can see how the stainless bracket holds the unit from coming out of the cradle when riding. A quick bending back of the bracket will allow removal of the radio with no affect on the bracket itself. The radio can be mounted very low to the thumb controls and not take up any instrument viewing space or hit the windshield when steering is at lock.

I mounted some Velcro on top for the antenna. The antenna has a magnet, but that doesn't work so well on this bike. In fact, the shown mounting location for this antenna stinks. The reception is spotty with a rider in place and didn't meet my needs. I relocated the antenna to the rear rack with a little spot of Velcro. The rear rack is IDEAL mount and I didn’t have any reception problems riding solo. More tests will have to be made if carrying a person or gear on the back.

The extra antenna lead can be coiled up and cable tied to the back of the bracket with a couple of new holes drilled in the back.

Equipment in photos: Larger factory windshield Tech mount steering stem equipment mount Touratech Garman streetpilot cradle Buell tank bag (this bag has made it from my Buell cyclone to my ST100 to my Yamaha FJR1300)

Feel free to email me (John Kirby) if you have any questions.

Copyright © 2006, by H. Marc Lewis & John Kirby. All rights reserved.