Best Motorcycle GPS

Review & Comparison, Last Update April 29, 2020
When it comes to safety on the road, a motorcycle GPS device is an essential thing to have. It can not only plan a perfect route but also notify you about alerts for speed zones, red-light cameras, upcoming twists, low fuel level, and many more. For this review, we have narrowed down the choice to most high-spec bike sat-navs that can suit both beginners and professional riders. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Screen
Preloaded Maps
Power Source
Housing
Mount
Features
Warranty
 
PROS

The device is compatible with the Garmin Tire Pressure Monitor Sensor (sold separately), which allows you to monitor tire pressure. The built-in trip computer will notify you when you need to stop for refueling. 

CONS

No Wi-Fi. 

OUR VERDICT

The Garmin Zumo 595LM is ideal for real adventurers. If you crave for a thrilling ride, you can activate the Adventurous Routing function for the most fascinating trip, while the device will keep you on the safe side thanks to numerous alerts.

detailed parameters
Screen

5" sunlight-readable touchscreen display (800 x 480), Dual-orientation

Preloaded Maps

All of US, Canada and Mexico (lifetime updates)

Power Source

Rechargeable battery (Motorcycle and automotive power cable included)

Housing

Rugged water-proof housing (IPx7 protection class)

Mount

Handlebar (mount included)

Car Dash panel (suction mount included)

Features

Garmin Adventurous Routing™ system, Rider alerts, Bluetooth® for hands-free calling, Music control from MP3 player or smartphone, Compatible with Smartphone Link app, Built-in trip computer, USB-cable included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Dual-orientation LCD-screen has a large diagonal of 5.5" with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, so even small objects on the map will be clearly visible. Moreover, the screen is well-readable even in bright sunlight.

CONS

Pairing with a phone may take you some time.

OUR VERDICT

If you often travel not only on-road but off-road as well, we recommend going with this model. The BirdsEye Satellite Imagery will help you see a real-life view of roads, buildings, and terrain, while a track recorder will save all the information about your trips.

detailed parameters
Screen

5.5" sunlight-readable touchscreen display (1280 x 720), Dual-orientation

Preloaded Maps

All of US, Canada and Mexico (lifetime updates)

Power Source

Rechargeable battery (Motorcycle power cable included)

Housing

Rugged water-proof housing (IPx7 protection class)

Mount

Handlebar (mount included)

Features

Garmin Adventurous Routing™ system, Rider alerts, Bluetooth® for hands-free calling, Music control from MP3 player or smartphone, Compatible with Smartphone Link app, BirdsEye Satellite imagery, Built-in track recorder, Wireless updates via Wi-Fi, USB cable included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi, you can easily update maps to the latest version (a USB cable is also included in the set). The battery can last up to 4 hours after a full charge.

CONS

The screen resolution could be higher.

OUR VERDICT

This kit includes everything you may need for using GPS navigation. Besides the sat-nav device, you'll get a practical storage case, a 16 GB memory card, and a universal screen cleaner. A real bargain for those who want everything at once. 

detailed parameters
Screen

4.3" sunlight-readable touchscreen display (480 x 272)

Preloaded Maps

All of US, Canada and Mexico (lifetime updates)

Power Source

Rechargeable battery (Motorcycle power cable included)

Housing

Rugged water-proof housing (IPx7 protection class)

Mount

Handlebar (mount included)

Features

Garmin Adventurous Routing™ system, Rider alerts, Bluetooth® for hands-free calling, Music control from MP3 player or smartphone, Compatible with Smartphone Link app, Wireless updates via Wi-Fi, Storage case, 16 GB microSD card, Universal screen cleaner and USB cable included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

This device is reliably protected from dust and water, so you can safely use it even in the heavy rain (it has an IPX7 protection class). Compatibility with the Smartphone Link app allows you to receive real-time information.

CONS

It may struggle a bit in direct sunshine. 

OUR VERDICT

The ZUMO 396 LMT-S is a rugged, feature-rich device that would be great for those individuals who ride in any weather conditions. It comes with a RAM mount system for a bike and a bracket with a suction cup for a car.

detailed parameters
Screen

4.3" sunlight-readable touchscreen display (480 x 272)

Preloaded Maps

All of US, Canada and Mexico (lifetime updates)

Power Source

Rechargeable battery (Motorcycle power cable included)

Housing

Rugged water-proof housing (IPx7 protection class)

Mount

Handlebar (mount included)

Features

Garmin Adventurous Routing™ system, Rider alerts, Bluetooth® for hands-free calling, Music control from MP3 player or smartphone, Compatible with Smartphone Link app, Wireless updates via Wi-Fi, USB cable included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The navigator can not only read incoming phone messages aloud in your headset but also follow Siri and Google Now voice commands. This way, you can always stay fully concentrated on the road.

CONS

The touchscreen may not work with thick gloves. 

OUR VERDICT

The TomTom Rider 550 is a decent alternative to smartphone navigators and famous Garmin sat-navs. It comes at a quite moderate cost yet can provide riders with the actual mapping and other road data.

detailed parameters
Screen

4.3" sunlight-readable touchscreen display (480 x 272), Dual-orientation

Preloaded Maps

Worldwide maps (lifetime updates)

Power Source

Rechargeable battery (Motorcycle power cable included)

Housing

Rugged water-proof housing (IPx7 protection class)

Mount

Handlebar (mount included)

Features

TomTom Road Trips system, Smart Notifications, Bluetooth® for hands-free calling, Music control from smartphone, Wireless updates via Wi-Fi, USB cable included

Warranty

1 year

Garmin Zumo 595LM

Built for Adventures

The Garmin Zumo 595LM is a real find for real road adventures. Besides the addition of a host of useful features, it boasts the Garmin Adventurous Routing option that definitely sets it apart from the competition. This function allows moto riders to traverse twisty, curvy, and hilly terrain, varying intensity levels to their preference. To take advantage of the "thrill riding", you simply need to activate the Adventurous Routing and enter a needed destination. In less than half a minute, the Garmin will offer you a fascination route from point A to point B. This feature is really perfect for those who would like to add thrilling adventurous rides to their routine.

Besides that, the 595LM is packed with many other useful functions like TracBack feature, alerts for school zones, locations of interest, red-light cameras, and upcoming twists. All the functions are easy to control via the 5" high-resolution touchscreen display. If needed, it can transmit and update the 3D view in real-time to help you in tricky intersections. The display reduces glare and is easily readable even in direct sunlight. All this can take your motorcycle experience to a whole new level.

Review of Garmin Zumo 595LM Premium motorcycle GPS

Extra Safe

To enhance road awareness, the ZUMO 595LM navigator provides not only basic alerts for sharp curves but also those for speed changes, railroad crossings, and even notifies you when you need to check state laws. Moreover, if you're taking a quite long ride, it'll show you fatigue warnings and suggest break times in potential rest areas ahead on the road. The ZUMO 595LM also lets you track places of interest and milestones on your route. With that, you're free to add a point on the map to adjust your route as you wish. A built-in trip computer is very accurate and responsive, so you're less likely to experience some lags.

Yet, what completely sells the product is the Dynamic Fuel Stop feature that automatically estimates how many miles you'll be able to ride before your bike runs on empty. That is to say, the navigator will prompt you when it’s time to refuel, while a built-in helpful speed limit indicator will inform you when it’s time to throttle down. There’s also a Tire Pressure Monitoring function to show you the data on tire pressure.

All these features encourage a safer ride and let you relax and enjoy your ride to the fullest. Although the navigator isn't that cheap, it's a great investment for motorcycling enthusiasts who are looking for a real thrill without neglecting safety.

Garmin Zumo 595LM Premium motorcycle GPS in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Garmin zūmo XT

Extra Large Display

The Garmin’s ZUMO lineup has recently got a new addition - the XT All-Terrain Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device. As the name suggests, this advanced navigator can cater to the needs of those individuals who like to ride both on-road and off-road. It comes fitted with numerous built-in topo maps, a helpful database of historical sites, TripAdvisor ratings, iOverland points of interest, and other content that can come in useful for outdoor enthusiasts. No longer will you need to haul out your mobile phone to search for information on Google!

Yet, the biggest upgrade this device offers is the extra-large 5.5" screen with the crisp HD resolution that works either in landscape or portrait mode. The display is way better compared to any of Garmin GPS devices and those offered by other brands. The map retains detail even when zoomed further out. Also, it's very bright and well-readable even in the direct sun with polarized sunglasses on. When set at 100% brightness, the device lasts up to 3.5 hours on a full charge and goes up to 6 hours in regular settings. Alternatively, you can hard-wire it for constant power supply. What we also liked about the XT navigator is that it's made with a standard 1” ball mount, meaning it requires no additional cradles or adapters.

Review of Garmin zūmo XT All-Terrain Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device

Connectivity Options

In order to take full advantage of the ZUMO XT capabilities, you can pair it with your smartphone and/or Bluetooth helmet headset. Connecting it to your phone will not only allow you to get phone notifications and calls directly on the navigator but also let you get real-time traffic and weather data as well as stream Pandora, Spotify or listen to MP3 files stored your phone. Owing to the high-quality Bluetooth, you can also make clear hands-free calls provided that you've paired it with the Garmin Drive app on your phone. Even better, you'll get an opportunity to send GPX files from your smartphone to the XT wirelessly.

The unit is also equipped with a Wi-Fi module, so you won't need to plug it into the computer to update maps and software. The Wi-Fi also enables BirdsEye Satellite Imagery around the world and lets you pair the device with a compatible inReach satellite communicator for sharing your locations, two-way messaging, and even sending SOS signals in case of an emergency.

As you see, riding off-road has never been easier. With the new 5.5" HD ultrabright display and extra functions, the Garmin ZUMO XT makes sure that every ride is safe and full of excitement.

Garmin zūmo XT All-Terrain Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Garmin Zumo 396LMT-S

Perfect For Beginners

If you're new to GPS tracking and just looking for your first navigator, most probably, you want it to be functional yet budget-friendly. In many ways, the Garmin ZUMO 396LMT-S meets those criteria. Coming at half the price of its bigger brother (ZUMO 595LM), it meets and exceeds the basic needs of the majority of motorcycle riders.

To begin with, the ZUMO 396LMT-S is very easy to install and set up. It has only one power cable to connect with no extra jacks and USB inputs to hassle with. All the software and map updates are done via Wi-Fi, so actually you won't even need to plug it into your computer.

The sat-nav has a modest 4.3" screen with a simple learning curve. Even if you've never used such devices before, you'll be able to master it quickly. With that, the screen is not only intuitive for first-time users but also glove-friendly (works with both touchscreen-sensitivity gloves and standard pairs). The touchscreen works really well with gloves on, and most of the buttons are large enough to hit despite the overall compact size of the device. The unit is also easy to angle up or down to read in the sun.

Review of Garmin Zumo 396LMT-S Motorcycle GPS Navigator Bundle

Everything You Need

The strong selling point of this system is the rich bundle it comes with. Besides the Garmin ZUMO 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS-tracking device, you'll get:

Storage case. The bag is made from ultra-hard EVA material, so it can reliably protect the navigator when it's not in use. In case of drops, the case will absorb most of the shock, thus, protecting the screen from damage. The pouch has a strong zipper and will snugly accommodate the GPS device inside. It's also large enough to hold some tablets and other similar gadgets.

MicroSD HC 16GB C10 U1 card that can store pretty much of data. Additionally, it comes with an SD adapter, so you won't need to buy anything to transfer files to your computer.

The universal screen cleaner is a nice bonus that can become very useful after riding on muddy trails. To bring back the lustrous look to the display, simply wipe it down using this solution and a soft cloth (also included in the set). The cleaner is also suitable for the screens of smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other gadgets. A good thing to have at hand.

With such a rich bundle, the device is ready to use right out-of-the-box. So, if you're looking for a decent GPS device with a complete kit to start your tracking experience, this one may be right up your alley.

Garmin Zumo 396LMT-S Motorcycle GPS Navigator Bundle in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S

Bombproof Device

If you're one of those who can't live without riding and don't deprive themself of fun to ride even in bad weather, you may really like the Garmin ZUMO 396 LMT-S. It's well-sealed from the weather and has an IPX7 protection class, meaning the screen is completely unaffected by water. So, it won't cause you any issues even while riding in the rain, regardless of how heavy it is. Moreover, the device is solidly-built and forged to military-grade 810G drop-test standards, so it's afraid of neither rigorous weather nor rough terrain.

Moving on, we would like to stress that this rainproof unit still works fine with any glove, no matter whether it has touchscreen sensitivity or not. This truly makes the device a joy to use. What also makes the device so admirable is the simple layout. Many of the menu icons can be scrolled and much of the information can be easily customized to your preference. The display shows smart notifications like alerts of emails, SMS, WhatsApp messages, Facebook notifications, missed calls, and other ones that typically appear on your smartphone’s screen. With that, you can select what alerts you want to see and what ones you'd like to turn off. It's also worth mentioning that if you’re going too fast, the display will glow red, and when you approach speed cameras, it'll show a warning.

Review of Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS

How to Get it Up and Running

Generally, mounting the navigator to the bike isn't a tricky job but it may be a bit time-consuming. The unit comes with a RAM mount kit that allows you to fit it to pretty any motorbike. Though take note that the power cable should run through your vehicle before screwing it into the mount, and unfortunately, there aren’t any connectors on the cable to attach it to your battery, so you’ll need to add some by yourself.

Once set up, the Garmin sat-nav recognizes whether it's installed in a car or motorcycle and automatically selects the profile. This largely affects the default route planning, tools displayed, avoidance, map view, and off-route recalculation modes. Speaking of which, the navigator calculates and plans a route pretty fast and accurately. Plus, updating the maps is fairly easy thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi.

Without breaking down and addressing the details we've already seen many before, including the Smartphone Link app, Free Live Traffic, Weather services, hands-free calling, and more, this navigating device is everything that avid riders need. It's a durable, totally weather-proof sat-nav that offers plenty of options for navigating on your motorbike or/and car.

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

TomTom Rider 550

Decent Alternative

If you're looking for a more rugged alternative to navigation on your phone but don't want to overpay for branded sat-navs, you may like the TomTom Rider 550. Operationally, it's quite similar to Garmin navigation devices - it's as easy to use and also has an intuitive interface. Yet, although the interface looks simple, there are no limits for route planning; you can choose the fastest routes or slower but more complex and thrilling routes. All of the routes can be set according to three levels of twistiness and elevation. Also, each of them can be further modified by adding extra stops.

If compared to the popular Garmin ZUMO 396LMT-S, both devices share many same features, but the area where the TomTom Rider 550 really shines is the longevity of the battery life. While the ZUMO 396LMT-S offers only 4 hours of cordless use, the Rider 550 has a battery life of 6 hours.

Like its direct counterpart, this navigation tool also has Wi-Fi, so you don’t need to connect it to your computer for updates. Owing to the large internal memory of 16 GB, you'll be able to download the set of all free world maps. The mapping data is very up-to-date with accurate speed zones, speed cameras, and red-light cameras.

Naturally, the device can be paired with Bluetooth intercom units, but one of the most striking features is that it's also compatible with Siri and Google smart assistants. So, when used with a headset, you can access music or make phone calls without a need to take your eyes off the road.

Review of TomTom Rider 550 Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device

Easy to Install

The unit comes with a robust RAM brand that offers one of the most secure ways of installation. When attached to the handlebar, the mount has virtually no vibration. Plus, it allows you to quickly adjust the unit for landscape or portrait mode. For your convenience, the navigator is supplied with both a short cable for battery terminal connection and a cable with a USB plug to go into a USB charging port.

Speaking about the screen, it's pretty average with 4.3″ diagonal and decent visibility even in full sun. When it is dark, it automatically reverts to night mode. The display is glove-friendly and works with most types of gloves provided that they aren't too thick.

The display is weather and shockproof, therefore it can handle pretty much any road/weather conditions you may encounter. It's also able to withstand the damaging effects of UV rays and fuel vapor. All this surely makes the TomTom Rider 550 a much more useful navigation tool than a delicate smartphone. It's well-suitable for the rugged conditions and can drastically simplify the tricky job of creating the most optimal routes.

TomTom Rider 550 Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Motorcycle GPS?

Are you still using your smartphone for navigation? Want to make your rides more exciting and hassle-free? If so, you surely need a sat-nav designed specifically for motorbikes. Unlike car navigation tools, motorcycle GPS devices are built to withstand harder motor vibrations and still function ultimately accurately. Also, they have a much more rugged design since they are naturally exposed to rain, snow, mud, UV rays, and fuel vapors. That's why motorcycle sat-navs are built to be waterproof and shockproof to the highest extent. Even better, they have extra-bright screens that are clear enough even in the full sun.

As for connectivity options, motorcycle GPS navigation units can be used cordlessly or connected to your bike's battery pack. Basically, they come with secure, reliable mounts that prevent the units from falling off while riding. Made with safety in mind, modern GPS devices come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options, allowing riders to pair them with Bluetooth headsets and mobile phones. This way, users will be able to receive calls or notifications without a need to reach for their phones on the road. So, if you'd like to ride without interruptions, you surely need a good navigation tool for your bike. For this review, we've selected only the best motorcycle GPS systems for any need and budget. Fitted with many specific options for motorcycling, any of them can make your rides much safer and more fun. 

Other things that enhance safety on the road include motorcycle helmets and gloves.

What Features to Compare

Functionality

First and foremost, you should pay attention to the mapping functions and the ability of a GPS system to display the fastest route possible. For this to happen, the device should have a powerful processor and the latest maps with variable routes depending on a rider's skill level. That is to say, some bike GPS units allow users to select a route based on how winding the road is.

If you want to save money in the long run, look for systems with free map upgrades. The built-in Wi-Fi module will also be a welcome addition since it will allow you to get the updates without a need to connect the navigator to your computer. Bluetooth connectivity, in its turn, will give you an opportunity to pair the device with your smartphone and get access to weather and traffic updates, giving you an idea of the road condition and letting you plan ahead of what way to go or where to stop in case it rains hard. Also, Bluetooth is crucial for those riders who can't stay off from their phones - it'll enable you to connect the device to your headset and phone for business calls and message alerts. This way, you'll totally focus on the road.

In case you're shopping for your first sat-nav system, it should have a user-friendly interface. It would be nice if it had easy-to-access, clearly-labeled menus.

Battery life

If you often take long rides, make sure that the battery of a chosen sat-nav can provide enough power for your needs. Battery life usually varies within the given price range, yet the most powerful ones can last for 16 hours after a full charge. Also, you can find models that can be connected to the battery pack of your bike for a non-stop power supply.

Size

Before purchasing a navigator, it will be great if you take a measuring tape and estimate what size works better for you and your motorcycle. Most screens range from 4.3" to 5", however, if you feel that you won't be comfortable with those sizes, you can find even extra-large options with 5.5" displays.

The next point to consider is how viewable the display will be under different conditions. Normally, GPS units have anti-glare screens and are still visible in the direct sun. Also, check whether the screen is glove-friendly.

Materials

This is another concern with regard to motorbike GPS units. Since they are mounted on the outside, they should be perfectly sealed and have IPX waterproof rating to prevent damage from rainy or snowy conditions. You need to make sure that the device is resistant to vibration and reverberation as well. A stoutly-built device will give you the freedom to go anywhere you want without a need to worry that it might break down.

Did you know?

Top Reasons to Swap Navigation in Your Smartphone for a Professional Motorcycle GPS System

When it comes to motorcycle riding, you can surely use your smartphone and a tracking app like MapMyRide. Or, you can get a GPS system designed specifically for motorbikes. If you’re still hesitating whether you need it, here are top reasons that may convince you.

Longer Battery Life

If you’re riding your motorbike from time to time, mainly in good weather and for short trips, a phone may obviously be a better (and cheaper) option. Yet, if you're serious about riding a motorbike, a separate GPS navigator is surely a worthy investment. While a smartphone running a GPS app may only last for a few hours, motorcycle GPS can get up to 16 hours. So, you can be sure your phone won’t die and you won’t stay out of touch during a long 50-mile ride.

Weather Resistant

Of course, you can buy a special water-resistant cover for your phone and drop a few dozens of bucks for a quality mount, but even then, there still will be a chance that water will penetrate into your phone or it'll become dislodged. So, why even risk it when you can buy a GPS bike computer that carries at least IPX7 water-resistant rating. Even a heavy rain won’t affect its performance, not to mention it won’t even shatter during extreme off-road riding.

Better Visibility

As it’s often the case with the majority of phone screens, they are quite difficult to read in the full sun. Yet, as you’ve already read, this won't be a problem for the majority of motorcycle GPS systems. While they may not be as vibrant as your phone under normal light conditions, they definitely do a better job of reflecting sunlight.

Car GPS on a Motorcycle?

Many people wonder whether they can use a car GPS device on their motorbikes. Despite the seeming similarity between units made for motorcycles and cars, the answer is “No”. And there are several key reasons for that.

Motorcycle GPS systems are weatherproof and waterproof. The latter implies that you can dip the unit into a bucket full of water and have it come out fully functional, while the weatherproof index means it's resistant to damage caused by the weather and most road conditions. A motorcycle GPS can withstand the vibrations of a motorcycle much better than car units, meaning internal parts won’t get damaged and the device will serve you longer. Lastly, a motorcycle GPS is made with more emphasis put on Bluetooth integration, making it ideal for pairing with a Bluetooth-enabled helmet or headset.

That said, bike GPS systems are well-suitable for use in cars and often come with special cables allowing you to connect them to the dashboard. Plus, you can use motorbike GPS on other vehicles like snowmobiles and ATVs. What’s more, they automatically recognize the vehicle and adjust the settings, routes, and speed limits according to it. So, it’s better to pay a bit more but get a much more versatile unit.

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Publish Date: 2020-04-28 18:16:50