Best Motorcycle GPS in 2018 – Navigation Made Easier
If you install a good quality GPS in your motorcycle, it will translate into several exciting adventures and fun journeys for you. Indeed, it can open up a new world for you to explore with your friends or on your own. Hundreds of amazing destinations, landscapes, and road trips await you with an assurance of never again losing your way.
But when you go to a store to get a GPS for your beloved motorcycle, how do you select the best one? How do you even know which is the ideal fit for your bike? These are the questions that this guide will help you answer. You don’t want to end up wasting your money and regretting your choice later on.
Best Motorcycle GPS - Our Top Picks
Table of Contents
- Best Motorcycle GPS - Our Top Picks
- Types of GPS Units
- How to Choose Your GPS Device
A special note for mobile-users: to view the full table, you need to scroll the page left-to-right.
Garmin Zumo 590 LM
This glove friendly GPS features a sun-friendly, 5-inch touchscreen with dual orientation. It also provides you a wireless phone control through Bluetooth technology plus spoken directions. This ensures your own personal security in addition to that of anybody else present on the road, as you will be able to concentrate on your driving rather than looking at the GPS or your phone.
Another benefit you can enjoy with it is its compatibility with iPod and Pandora. An mp3 player is incorporated within the GPS, and it is very simple to control your music right from the touch screen display. It is also important to keep an eye on the pressure in your tires, for which you need to buy a TMPS separately. This model is highly compatible with it. It is also rugged and robust enough to endure through rough weather, fuel spills, and UV rays.
It gives you unrestricted access to real-time weather information and traffic info with its Smartphone Link 2 feature. Even better, you will be able to ride out your favorite twisty, simply by changing the setting of your GPS to traverse winding pathways. Considering that you can access the 3-dimensional terrain details via download, you will never again have to worry about getting lost, regardless of what your destination is.
Garmin Zumo 390 LM
This model from Garmin has been built quite sturdily, featuring a 4.3-inch touch screen which is waterproof, fuel spray proof, highly visible and readable in sunlight. You can easily use it even while your gloves are on. This TFT screen, with a 480 x 272-pixel resolution, offers good color accuracy as well as sharpness. Among its new features are the ANT technology, through which you can observe the pressure in the tires of your bike by using it along with the TPMS, which is an optional purchase. You can also make use of its hands-free technology for phone control through Bluetooth.
One more benefit with this GPS is that it comes with free of cost lifetime map updates. You can download the upgraded maps without any extra charges on your GPS. This is compatible with a variety of vehicles such as utility vehicles, off-road motorcycles, street-touring motorcycles, street-motor scooters, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, street-sport motorcycles and street-cruising motorcycles. This could serve as an all round perfect companion for you on the road.
Garmin Numi 57LM
This is an absolutely extraordinary GPS installment for your motorcycle. Its touchscreen display of 5 inches has dual orientation. It works well with Landscape as well as Portrait orientation modes. You won’t have to worry about adding a BC 30 wireless camera as a backup camera compatible with this device can be purchased separately.
The navigation uses guides like traffic signals and nearby landmarks for better comprehension. Pre-installed maps of 49 US states are a nifty perk that would definitely aid you if you are an avid traveller. The pre-loaded Foursquare tops up your experience as you as easily access millions of newly built shops, restaurants and far more extra destinations. The GPS is firmly mounted to your motorcycle with secure suction cups.
You won’t have to constantly check up on its safety and can focus on the road. It further gives you easier directions to complicated places like malls and airports through the Direct Access. You can easily check on your speed limit as you near school zones as the device warns you through its visual and audible alert system. This is definitely a must buy in the arena of motorcycle GPS.
Garmin Zumo 220
You get a lot more than your typical satellite navigation with this particular GPS from Garmin. Like all other models of this series, this navigator too is a very rugged device as well as weatherproof. Apart from being fully waterproof, it is also resilient towards the rusting effects of fuel spray and UV radiation. You will also come to love its top-notch screen that is engineered to be readable even in complete sunlight. You can easily navigate it with your gloves on.
Although most of the other Garmin navigators come with a 4.3-inch screen, this has a slightly smaller one of 3.5 inches. The smaller size makes it lighter and less bulky. This gives it an edge over others in its portability. The chances of it eclipsing the instrument panel of your sports bike, if that’s where you plan to install it, are also significantly lowered. A small USB port is hidden on the rear side of this device which can be used for charging and data connections. The back side also houses a speaker for audible directions and a removable battery.
The text on this device is easily readable. This makes for an amazing interface. Your focus on driving is not scattered with this uncluttered display. The only downside is that the keyboard is not QWERTY, so it can become challenging to enter the data sometimes. It can get slower if you use the enlarged version when you’re wearing gloves.
TomTom Rider 400
This is a motorcycle GPS that is worth looking into. You can simply create your personal adventure with all the freedom of biking on the road and the thrill of sloping into the most constricted curves. With its Winding Roads setting, you can get off the straight roads and seek out adventurous twisties to reach your desired place.
Now feel each turn and twist on the road and have an experience that you will want to keep coming back to! You can also find new directions by simply tapping on unexplored zones on the map through a Round Trip planning.
You can mount this GPS on to any bike with its RAM mounting kit. The touch screen can be rotated to enable the portrait mode which allows you to view further bends on the road.. It maintains its visibility even in extreme sunlight. The TomTom Traffic app allows getting real-time traffic info. You won’t have to divide your attention to peruse the screen as the instructions can be fed to you through a Bluetooth connected headphone With this feature, you can easily get back to your most beloved roads as well as share them with your friends.
Types of GPS Units
Special Motorcycle GPS Units
These are engineered with only the biker’s benefits in mind. These are very robust and durable enough to endure anything that can come in your way on the road. They feature Bluetooth technology, touch screen, anti-glare screen, weatherproofing and waterproof casing. If you are a frequent rider with a preference for good quality GPS devices, this will work very well for you. You can mount them on your handlebar. The Bluetooth technology allows you to interface your bike with the GPS so that you can hear all the instructions loud and clear.
Portable Outdoor Hiking Units
If you are a lover of adventurous sports such as rambling, camping and mountain biking, these systems will prove to be a blessing as you can quite literally carry them with you everywhere. It has precision as well as versatility. This even functions well with boats and cars, if you don’t mind taking it with you everywhere. Just make sure that your unit has a universal mounting in order to reduce your worries about how you will mount it every time you carry it somewhere with you.
These are also portable. Its unique feature is its large screen in relation to most other GPS devices, which is favored by some bikers. Once again, this has the most appeal for those with an inclination towards outdoor activities. It functions like any other handheld device. The only difference is that it also functions like a PDA. If you love your adventure, but also need to keep up with your work, this is the GPS for you. It is compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Apart from that, you can also store digital photos and play games on it.
How to Choose Your GPS Device
All GPS units available in the market today boast of their efficacy in determining precise locations. But you do need to check the roads that you know you will be using frequently. Do you get good GPS signals on them? If you are going to be off-roading through forests that block the GPS connectivity, then your priority should be a GPS device with strong connectivity. One other thing that could come in handy here is preloaded maps, which will help you out on your way even without a good internet connection.
Ensure that your GPS system is proofed against reverberation and vibration, which you are bound to encounter on the road. You will not find a smooth road each time. A durable unit will allow you the choice of going anywhere without the worry of it breaking down. The outer case should be weatherproof and have shockproof mounting. This is designed to absorb all external friction so that your precious GPS will be protected against accidents and harm.
Check whether your device has a universal mounting or not. This is especially necessary if you own more than one bike and transfer your GPS unit whenever the need arises.
Always keep a measuring tape handy when you go out to buy a GPS device. It will help you have a good estimation of the dimensions of your motorcycle GPS system.
Even if you wear top notch sunglasses while you are riding your bike, that does not in any way ensure that you will able to see the screen properly, especially under full sunlight. Your sensitive eyes will thank you for having a GPS device that has good visibility. There usually are anti-glare screens on the Special Motorcycle GPS Devices, unlike the standard car units.
It is advisable to buy a weatherproof GPS as water is not the sole harmful component for your newly purchased motorcycle GPS. There is dirt, dust, rain, moisture, wind and a so much more on roads. While you might wear a helmet to protect yourself against these elements, your motorcycle GPS unit certainly cannot do so, which makes it liable to harm from such environmental factors. That is why a weatherproof GPS device is a valuable investment.
While all the motorcycle GPS devices in the market today boast of having a glove-friendly screen, you cannot be certain unless you try it for yourself
This is one field where most of the GPS devices vary today. Battery life depends on upon the given price. Some might last only for a couple hours, whereas others could go for a whole 16 hours. It is always recommended to go for the one with a longer battery life as you can never be sure of how long your trips in the future might be.
Whenever you set out to evaluate the several choices in any given product category, it soon comes to your attention that there are certain pros and cons of each one. In some situations, there may be no clear winners also, and that is what happens with a motorcycle GPS. Instead of having a generalized approach towards looking the best GPS system, try contemplating which one best suits your personal requirements. One reason is also that they are significantly more expensive in comparison to your typical satellite navigation, so you might want to make sure that you are making a worthy investment.