Tag Archives: gps

TomTom announces new GPS for motorcycle riders

TomTom has announced a completely new TomTom RIDER sat-nav, designed to make every motorcycle ride more exciting. For the first time, bikers can choose the level of twists and turns they want to ride to create their own adrenaline-filled adventure. The new product will be available to buy in April 2015.


New features include:

  • Winding Roads: Find the most exciting winding roads and avoid the boring straights.
  • Hilly Roads: Stay at sea level or climb the highest peaks.
  • Round-trip Planning: Simply select where you want to ride and TomTom Rider will find the most exciting route.
  • Portrait View: Simple rotate to portrait view to see more of the bends ahead.
  • PC Route Planning: Pre-plan a touring adventure before leaving home.
  • Route Sharing: Share a route with other bikers before setting off or after you return home.
  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Ride with real-time traffic information for the lifetime of the device.
  • Audio Instructions via Bluetooth: Keep your eyes on the road with audio instructions delivered through your headset.
  • Track Support: Upload tracks (GPX format) and your TomTom Rider will show you the way.
  • Hands-free Calling: Call hands-free while you ride.
  • Weather-proof Design: As weather ready as you are.
  • Glove-friendly Screen: Use your TomTom Rider even while wearing gloves.
  • Sunlight Visibility: Make use of different colour options for different times of day.
  • Trip Recording: Record your trip and relive the adventure any time.
  • Trip Statistics: See how far, how fast and for how long you have ridden.
  • Fully Interactive Screen: Pinch, zoom and swipe to interact with the map.

“We believe that every ride is a chance for adventure,” said Corinne Vigreux, co-founder and managing director, TomTom Consumer. “So we have designed TomTom RIDER to give bikers more ways to create and discover exciting routes. From the freedom of cruising the open road, to the thrill of leaning into the tightest curve on the highest peak, with RIDER, bikers can create and ride their own perfect adventure.”

The stylish, yet rugged TomTom RIDER has been completely redesigned for life on the road.

An innovative rotating mount allows bikers to switch to portrait view to see more of the bends ahead. It has a glove-friendly, interactive screen to make it easy to find and explore new places. Bluetooth enabled audio instructions delivered to the headset or helmet, give bikers more freedom to just enjoy the ride.

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

Review: Garmin zumo 390LM motorcycle GPS

Manufacturers of specialised motorcycle GPS navigation systems are having to find new ways to compete with smartphones which offer built in navigation features. The Garmin zumo 390LM is the newest offering designed specifically for motorcyclists, with the kind of specialised features that smartphones can’t compete with.

First up, the 390LM comes in a rugged, rubber casing that not only protects it from daily battering out on the road, but also keeps the unit from being damaged by water, fuel and UV sunlight. The 4.3 inch touch-screen is easy to use while wearing a pair of riding gloves.

The device is supplied with both motorcycle and car mounting options, and features all the expected connectivity options, including Bluetooth, MicroSD port, USB connector, and headset socket.

The LM designation shows that you get free Lifetime Maps with the zumo 390LM instead of having to pay for new versions whenever they’re updated. There are a few brand new features for this model. Curvy Roads mode will help you find a more route that has more interesting, twisty Tarmac – perfect for riders who want to work on scrubbing off their tire’s chicken-strips.

The unit’s Bluetooth feature means it’s now easy to connect your smartphone to it, so with a headset you can easily answer calls while you’re riding. For many riders being unreachable is part of the joy of being out on the road, but long distance riders might well appreciate the ability to take calls without having to stop.

When used with a pair of optional tire pressure sensors (currently priced at $69.99 each) which fit onto your valve stems, the zumo 390LM will also monitor the pressures and provide you with a visual alert if they drop below a preset level. The system can monitor up to four wheels, so you could set up your car as well as your motorcycle if you intend to use the device with both vehicles.

Currently selling for $699, the zumo 390LM is certainly more costly than using a smartphone to navigate, but if you do a lot of long distance riding, particularly on unknown roads, it will certainly make life a lot easier.

Product Name: Garmin zumo 390 LM
Our Rating: 4/5
Amazon Page: Garmin Zumo 390LM 4.3-Inch Motorcycle GPS Navigator

New motorcycle tracking device helps locate stolen bikes, and more

A new GPS motorcycle tracking device from Laipac Technology can help riders track the location of their bike if it gets stolen. The StarFinder Aire is compact, water resistant and has an aerodynamic design so that it doesn’t ruin your bike’s looks or performance.

The StarFinder Aire uses GPS technology to keep track of its location, and can communicate its coordinates via SMS messages or over a GPRS mobile data connection. The device can be set up to send an SMS message with its coordinates to a user defined cellphone number, or through a GPRS connection to the manufacturer’s LocationNow website where the user can login to get realtime updates of their bike’s location.

A ‘geofencing’ feature allows the tracker to be set up so that it automatically alerts the owner if their bike is removed from a certain location, such as their garage or a parking lot. With two inputs and two outputs, plus an optional analog input, the tracking device can be integrated into a bike in a variety of ways. For example, the motorcycle’s starter motor can be disabled remotely via the LocationNow service to prevent a thief from starting the vehicle.

The device can also be used to monitor a rider’s behavior, making it useful for tracking the speed and location of a motorcycle when a son or daughter is riding it. It can also be used to send an alert in the event of an accident, as the device features an integral accelerometer which can detect when the motorcycle has been involved in a collision.

Should the motorcycle tracker lose its mobile signal, it can store several thousand sets of location coordinates in memory and then send them to the user once the connection has been restored.

The StarFinder Aire will be available in the second half of 2012.

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

Choosing the Best Motorcycle GPS Navigation System

Navigation on a motorcycle can be difficult because it’s difficult for the rider to read a map whilst on the move, so handlebar-mounted GPS satellite navigation systems can be very useful. GPS systems for motorcycles need to be more rugged than those for cars, since they are exposed to the elements, and the controls have to be easy to operate for somebody wearing gloves.

Motorcyclists also need anti-glare screens, since they don’t have a roof to shield their navigation system from bright sunshine. Another point to consider is that, unlike cars, motorcycles do not have a power socket to connect a GPS unit to, so battery life is an important issue – although some satnav units are supplied with adapters that can be wired into the bike’s electrics.

Both of the leading manufacturers offer GPS navigation systems designed especially for the needs of motorcycle and scooter riders:

Garmin Zumo 550

Garmin Zumo motorcycle gps system
Garmin Zumo motorcycle gps system

The Zumo 550 offers all of the features you would expect from any GPS navigation system, along with some handy extras designed with motorcyclists in mind. The touch screen and controls are easy to use with your gloves on, and can be operated with your left hand, which means you can keep your right hand covering the front brake at all times.

The 3.5 inch screen can be read in bright sunlight and is UV resistant to prevent it from fading over time. The unit also keeps track of your distance travelled between refuels, and can warn you when the bike is running low on gas. It weighs 10.6 ounces and is reasonably compact, so it’s easy enough to carry around when you get off the bike.

The GPS unit features a speaker to provide voice directions, and also has built-in Bluetooth, allowing you to use it with a headset and your mobile phone, making it possible to answer calls while you’re on the move.

For the style-conscious, Garmin supplies caps in a variety of colors to match your motorcycle’s paint scheme. A universal mounting bracket is supplied, so you should be able to attach the device to any motorcycle, and a car-mount is also supplied.

Price: $650 (approx)

Click here to learn more about the Garmin Zumo 550 at Amazon.

TomTom Rider 2

TomTom Rider 2 motorcycle navigation
TomTom Rider 2 motorcycle navigation

In addition to a 3.5 inch anti-glare screen, this motorcycle GPS navigation system also features a sun visor built into the casing, to make it even easier to read in bright sunlight. The Rider 2 comes supplied with a Bluetooth headset, allowing motorcycle riders to listen to the spoken navigation instructions even when they’re wearing a crash helmet.

The device is waterproof and designed to be easily operated whilst wearing gloves. A universal motorcycle mounting kit is supplied, but a car mount is only available as an optional extra.

The TomTom Share feature allows you to modify the maps with your own points of interest and to share with your friends, so you can share information about your favourite roads with other riders. Another handy optional extra feature will let you know where to find the cheapest fuel near to your current location.

Price: $449

Click here to learn more about the TomTom Rider 2 at Amazon.

Garmin Zumo 665

Garmin Zumo 665 motorcycle GPS navigation unit
Garmin Zumo 665 motorcycle GPS navigation unit

If you want the very latest in motorcycle GPS navigation units, the Garmin Zumo 665 is for you. The Zumo 665’s unique features include advanced 3D navigation, a large 4.3 inch screen, and a built in MP3 player allowing you to listen to music or e-books through the supplied Bluetooth headset.  Alternatively, you can connect a headset through the standard headphone jack.

The device also offers a lane-assist feature, guiding you into the most appropriate lane as you approach a junction, and also provides you with a lifelike image of the approaching junction so that you can be better prepared for it.

Optional extras include an XM antenna, which will enable you to receive traffic and weather updates as well as XM Radio® with 170 ad-free music channels. The Zumo 665 features a built in MicroSD slot and allows you to share ride data with your friends – you can even review your rides on Google Earth when you get home.

Price: $999

Click here to learn more about the Gamin Zumo 665 at Amazon.