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TomTom Rider v5 motor cycle GPS review

The newest version of TomTom’s GPS navigation device for motorcycles offers even more features to appeal to riders, but is it worth the price?

As you’d expect, the device is heavily ruggedized in order to cope with the rigors of daily use on the road, and is also resistant to rain and UV sunlight damage. Another key feature of the TomTom Rider is that the 4.3 inch touch-screen can easily be operated while wearing thick motorcycle gloves. The screen size is significantly increased from the previous model’s 3.5 inches, which makes viewing maps and other on screen information much easier to do with a quick glance, so you take your eyes off the road for less time.

Other than the larger screen, the biggest new feature for version five is the ‘Winding Roads’ option which enables you to find more interesting twisty roads on your route. There’s also integration with the route planning service, Tyre, which enables riders to create and share their favorite itineraries. Lifetime map updates are included in the purchase price.

The TomTom Rider comes supplied with a good quality motorcycle mounting kit from RAM, which has a proven track record in this area.

Power options include a six hour internal battery, which can be charged via a microUSB socket like most cellphones, as well as a wiring kit to connect the device to your motorcycle’s battery.

The TomTom Rider does not have a built in speaker, so if you want to get audio navigation instructions you’ll need to use it with a Bluetooth headset in your helmet. It’s unlikely that this will be a problem for most riders, since you’re not going to be able to hear the instructions from a built-in speaker over the wind and engine noise.

When compared against its main competitor, the Garmin zumo 390lm, the TomTom Rider seems a little bulky and offers marginally fewer features. However, it’s still a pretty good navigation system for motorcycles and, as of the time of writing, it’s available for $330, which is a lot less than the Garmin’s $600 price tag.

The real question is whether the Garmin offers enough benefits over the TomTom to justify an extra $270.

Product Name: TomTom Rider v5
Our Rating: 4/5
Amazon Link: TomTom RIDER Motorcycle GPS Navigator

What is the best GPS for motorcycles?

In our opinion the best GPS for motorcycles is the Garmin zumo 665 Widescreen Motorcyle Navigator. The unit is designed especially for use by motorcyclists with features such as an interface than can easily be operated whilst wearing riding gloves, and enhanced 3D navigation which gives you much better at-a-glance situational awareness and realistic visualisations of junctions, making it easier to navigate whilst maintaining your concentration on the road. A lane assist feature also lets you know what lane you need to be in ahead of a junction so that you’re not trying to switch lanes at the last minute in heavy traffic. The Garmin zumo 665 is designed to be waterproof, resistant to fuel spills and to withstand UV rays so that it won’t suffer from prolonged exposure to rain or sunshine.

The screen is 4.3 inches wide, providing a large visible area to make it easier to see the on-screen navigation instructions. Nobody likes waiting endlessly for a GPS to locate satellites before it can begin working, so the zumo 665 features HotFix technology to acquire satellites more quickly. One of things that make this the best GPS for motorcycles is that it features Bluetooth, a built in MP3 player and XM radion, which means that with a compatible headset you can also use the device as an entertainment center, or link it up to your mobile phone so that you can take calls without having to get off your bike. The motorcycle mount also includes a built in headphone/mic jack to to connect a headset.

Features that make this the best GPS for motorcycles

While most people use GPS systems to find the quickest route, motorcyclists often like to plan rides along scenic routes. The zumo 665 comes with route planning PC software which allows you to decide the route you want to ride and then upload it to the GPS, for motorcycle riders this is a very useful tool. The device also offers an integral digital picture viewer. Another helpful feature is the digital fuel gauge, which keeps track of the miles you’ve covered since your last refill, to help make sure you never run out of fuel. You can also use Garmin’s Connect online service to share and compare your favourite routes with other riders.

If you are using the zumo 665 with a headset, it can also provide you with spoken directions as well the visual navigation, to make it even easier to keep your eyes on the road. We think this is the best GPS for motorcycles, but it can also be used in a car as it comes supplied with a vehicle mount and power cable to make switching from two wheels to four a piece of cake. An XM antena is supplies, which means that with an appropriate service subscription you can get up to the minute updates on traffic and weather conditions to make sure you never get caught by surprise.

There are various other sat navs on the market for bikers, but we think that the ease of use and comprehensive feature set makes the Garmin zumo 665 Widescreen the best GPS for motorcycles.

Click here to get the latest prices from Amazon for the Garmin zumo 665 Widescreen Motorcyle Navigator