Introduction: Steering Stem Bolt Smartphone Ram Mount - Kawasaki Ninja 300
This is simply going to be a quick guide on how to make a phone holders mount for the 2012-2017 Kawasaki Ninja 300 (or Ninja 250), via threading the steering stem bolt. Also, it's probably the perfect solution for the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400, too. For a more comprehensive guide, see my other Instructable "Sportbike Smartphone Ram Mount". The goal is to be able to mount a Smartphone Holder centered directly on the handlebar.
Tool Requirements: Basic
Time: 1 Hour
Step 1: What You'll Need
Parts & Supplies
- Ram Mount 1-Inch Ball with 1/4-Inch 20 Male Threaded Post: This is the standard ball for most Ram Mount attachments.
- OEM or Aftermarket Steering Stem Bolt: This is what we'll be threading for the Ram Mount Post. You can use the OEM Steering Stem Bolt, or do it to an aftermarket bolt like the one linked if you don't want to risk the original part.
- 1/4-20 Tap Set: We will need all three tap types for this job (Taper, Bottoming and Plug).
- Tap Wrench: I personally prefer the ratcheting variety since it's quicker, but you can use whatever you have at hand.
- Drill or Drill Press
- 13/64" or 3/16" or 5mm Drill Bit: These are the suitable drill sizes for a 1/4-20 thread, erring towards a tighter fit.
- Center Punch: To keep the drill bit from slipping.
- Red Threadlocker: For this use, high-strength red threadlocker is preferable to blue threadlocker.
- Tape: To mark the drill depth.
- 22mm Socket: To remove the steering stem bolt
Step 2: Remove the Steering Stem Bolt
The first step is to remove the Steering Stem Bolt. It's a large hex bolt, so you'll need either a wrench or a 22mm socket (preferably the latter to avoid rounding the bolt).
Step 3: Put It in the Vice
Put it in a vice so we can work with it properly. Don't grab it too hard to avoid deforming the threads, and preferably put it in some v-jaws for cylindrical parts so it doesn't slide.
Step 4: Mark the Center
Now we want to mark the center of the bolt.
Use a ruler aligned with the hex corners to mark along the center of the bolt with the Center Punch's sharp tip. Make two or three lines to find the center, and then center punch it.
Step 5: Drill the Pilot Hole
Given how important getting the center right is, we will be drilling a pilot hole first to guide the main drill bit. I was going to do this in the drill press, but I decided to go with a hand drill instead since that is what most people reading this would be using.
Any small drill bit is fine. Since the bolt head is concave, the drill bit will naturally tend to center itself. Don't drill too deep. About a centimeter or less is as far as you need to drill.
Step 6: Drill the Main Hole
To be able to use the tap, we will need to make a hole slightly smaller than the threads. The correct drill bit for a 1/4-20 thread is 13/64", but since I wanted an extra tight thread I went with a 5mm drill bit.
I used a piece of tape to mark how deep I wanted the hole to be. Any unnecessary material removed is simply weakening the bolt, so we should make the hole only as shallow as needed.
The bolt is steel, so use a slow speed and a lot of pressure. You know you're drilling at the right RPMs and pressure when you're getting a thing, long metal spiral instead of splinter-like chips.
Step 7: Add Oil
To help the tap make the hole easier, add some lube. Any lube. Tapping Oil made specifically for the job is best, but hardly necessary. Even used motor oil will do.
Step 8: Start Tapping
First use the most tapered tap. Go slowly. When the tap binds, go back a rotation and then continue forward again. It is extremely important to make sure the tap is straight. Keep tapping until the tap can't go forward anymore.
Step 9: Blow Out the Chips
Since the hole is blind, we'll have to blow out the chips so they don't keep the tap from reaching the bottom. Engage your safety squints and blow the chips out.
Step 10: Use the Plug Tap
Once we can't procede any further with the taper tap, use the Plug Tap. Just repeat the same steps as before.
I moved the bolt to the bottom side of the vise to grip the head and avoid the bolt slipping or damaging the threads under the pressure of the vise's jaws.
Step 11: Use the Bottoming Tap
Now it's finally the Bottoming Tap's turn. With this tap you'll be able to just almost thread the hole until the bottom. Make sure to blow out the hole before concluding you can't tap any further.
Step 12: All Done
Perfect! Now we have a tapped hole where we can thread the Ram Mount Post. Let's proceed to installing it.
Step 13: Install the Steering Stem Bolt and You're Done!
To install the steering stem bolt again, we only have to screw it back on. The correct torque for the Steering Stem Bolt is 44 N·m / 2.0 kgf·m / 32 ft·lb, which is "pretty tight, but don't over-do it". Just set the right value on your torque wrench. No threadlocker is recommended per the manual.
Once the Steering Stem Bolt is properly torqued down, we need to screw in the Ram Mount Ball. Ideally, red threadlocker should be used if you won't be removing the steering stem bolt in the near future. If not, blue threadlocker is also an option if you already have it at hand, but be aware that the ball might come loose sooner rather than later.
And there we go! Now we just need the right attachment for it. Ram Mount is a system so you'll have to choose what components you like best (check my other Instructable for more info on that). The most universal option is Ram Mount's Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder.
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