Tag Archives: Motorcycle


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.

Five of the best motorcycle games

As winter draws in a lot of riders will be mothballing their bikes until the weather improves, but if you want some two-wheeled thrills to keep you entertained in the meantime, here’s a list of some of the best motorcycle video games. They’re not as much fun as the real thing, but at least you can enjoy a few beers while you’re riding these motorbikes on your PS3 or X-Box.

MotoGP 08 (X-Box 360, PS3, PS2, PC, Wii)

Reckon you could show Rossi a thing or two? The official game of the MotoGP franchise will let you compete against the world champion, and most of the other big name riders on some of the world’s most famous race circuits. While not the best racing game in the world, MotoGP 08 received passable reviews on most of the platforms, which means you should be able to squeeze a fair bit of enjoyment out of it.  Be warned though, the Wii version is considered to be pretty abysmal, so it’s probably best to give it a miss unless you’re really desperate.

Click here to buy MotoGP 08 from Amazon

SBK-09 Superbike World Championship (PSP, X-Box 360, PS2, PS3)

SBK-09 brings the other main motorcycle racing series to video gamers. Unfortunately it’s been given very average reviews by most games critics, so you’ll probably struggle to find much fun here – although if you’re an obsessive fan of the series, you might be able to get more out of it than the average gamer.

Click here to buy SBK Superbike World Championship from Amazon

MX vs ATV: Untamed (X-Box 360, Nintendo DS, PS2, PS3, Wii, PSP)

Mud lovers rejoice! MX vs ATV lets you race all manner of offroad vehicles, including motocross bikes against each other on a series of dirt-tracks. There’s plenty of value for money here, with a wide range of vehicles other than bikes to play around on, although reviews of the game are fairly mediocre, generally billing it as OK but not great.

Click here to buy MX vs ATV Reflex from Amazon

Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, X-Box 360, PC)

Although the game isn’t specifically about motorcycles, there are plenty of opportunities for jumping on a chopper, motocross or sports bike and tearing around the beautifully realistic city streets in Grand Theft Auto IV. If you’ve got an X-Box 360, you can download an extra content pack which has a whole story line centred around a motorcycle gang, so you can live out your Sons of Anarchy fantasies. Don’t worry if you’ve only got an older console or PC which can’t handle GTA IV, all the older instalments of the game feature a wide range of motorcycles, and San Andreas is especially good since it offers lots of countryside for off-roading and long winding country roads to tear up.

Click here to buy Grand Theft Auto IV from Amazon

MTX Mototrax (PSP)

Only available on the PSP, this motocross game provides plenty of motocross thrills across 30 different tracks. It’s even got a built in track editor so you can design your own if the pre-made ones become too boring. The game received positive reviews when it was released in 2007, so it should offer plenty of fun.

Click here to buy MTX: Mototrax from Amazon

History’s greatest sci-fi motorcycles

Any fan of science fiction and awesome motorcycles must by now have seen the pictures floating around the internet of the killer robot motorcycles from the forthcoming film Terminator: Salvation.

We thought that was a great excuse to revisit some of the most iconic motorcycles from science fiction movies and TV shows – admittedly the pickings were slim, but we managed to pull together the following…

Just in case you missed the pics which have circulating on the internet for a while, this is one of the new Terminator motorcycles, and it looks both terrifying and awesome, as any good motorcycle should. Although we’re not quite sure that it would be a particularly comfortable ride…

Robotic killer motorcycle from Terminator: Salvation. This film is going to rule so hard!
Robotic killer motorcycle from Terminator: Salvation. This film is going to rule so hard!

Christian Bale gets to play with all the best toys. Before going head to head with the Terminator bikes, he got to ride around on the Bat Pod, a kind of two-wheeled escape pod built into the Batmobile in The Dark Knight.

The Bat-Pod from The Dark Night. Unsafe, uncomfortable, unbelievably awesome.
The Bat-Pod from The Dark Night. Unsafe, uncomfortable, unbelievably awesome.

But we should spare a thought for the Batmen of earlier generations, who not only had to wear completely gay costumes, but also had to ride around on this piss poor excuse for a super-hero motorcycle.

The original Bat-Bike. Part motorcycle, part butt-plug.
The original Bat-Bike. Part motorcycle, part butt-plug.

Remember when Sylvester Stallone made that huge stinking turdburger of a Judge Dredd adaptation? The Lawmaster motorcycle from that is now part of a sci-fi movie prop exhibition somewhere in London and this is pretty much the only reasonable quality photo of it we can find.

Lawmaster motorcycle from the Judge Dredd movie. Whoever directed that piece of crap should be subjected to some Dredd style justice and executed on the spot.
Lawmaster motorcycle from the Judge Dredd movie. Whoever directed that piece of crap should be subjected to some Dredd style justice and executed on the spot.

For the sake of completeness, here’s how the comic’s creator imagined the original Lawmaster motorcycle.

The original Lawmaster from 2000AD
The original Lawmaster from 2000AD

Streethawk was supposed to be a motorcycle oriented version of the popular KnightRider TV show – unfortunately the show bombed because they forgot one important element: The Hoff.

Streethawk - retarded.
Streethawk - retarded.

Fans of Japanese manga sci-fi should immediately recognise this as Akira’s motorcycle, although to be fair it could just as easily be a road-legal machine from any of the major Japanese bike manufacturers these days.

A model of Akira's motorcycle
A model of Akira's motorcycle

Here’s a picture of the original comic strip version of the same bike.

Akira on his shiny red motorcycle, wearing his shiny red jumpsuit
Akira on his shiny red motorcycle, wearing his shiny red jumpsuit

Finally, although there were never any motorcycles in any of the Star Trek films or TV shows, we can’t finish this article without showing you this stunning piece of work. Somebody clearly has too much time on their hands, but then so do we…

Star Trike. See what we did there?
Star Trike. See what we did there?

Did we miss anything? If you can think of any sci-fi motorcycles we forgot, leave us a comment and we’ll add them to the article.