How To Pick The Best Motorcycle GPS
The best motorcycle GPS that you are looking for which could be the perfect companion during long motorcycle rides is definitely out there. You have a number of options to choose from, but you need to select the one that fulfills all your requirements in just the right way.
There was a time when even thinking of the possibility of such a device was impossible, but now almost all leading GPS manufacturers are creating navigators dedicated for motorcycle use. Here, we have selected the few top contenders with varying features and prices so that you can select one according to your needs.
**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
Finding The Best Motorcycle GPS Unit
If you have been looking at satellite navigations systems for some time then you already know that buying a GPS system for your motorcycle is far different from buying one for a car. The priorities vary to a great extent while you look for the best motorcycle GPS system, it needs to be waterproof, rugged, hands-free, longer battery life along with features like the anti-glare screen which can be compromised when shopping for a car GPS.
While in the case of cars you can get factory installed GPS system but it is very-very rare in the case of cycles and motorcycles. The GRS navigators made for two-wheelers are slightly expensive than car GPS system as well, this is because the above-mentioned features are more than essential for the best motorcycle GPS navigation.
What Is Important?
Before buying, what you think is the best motorcycle GPS, it is good if you give this a read. You need to be aware of the most essential features, which have to be a part of the navigator that you are thinking to invest in.
First of all, it has to be waterproof. You cannot deny the fact that the possibility of water splashes or rain is extremely high when riding a motorcycle, so a GPS that is not waterproof will not last for long. The second most important feature that has to be a part of your new GPS unit is Bluetooth capability or hands-free option.
If the GPS has no port for headset or Bluetooth for earplugs, it is as good as no having a navigation device. You need to know that a GPS device with a speaker will not be audible when you ride above 15mph or when you are on a busy road surrounded by loud traffic. It will also have difficulty in voice command recognition due to disturbances and noise.
These features might turn up the price a few notches, but if you buy a navigator without these two main features it will not last for long and you will soon be looking for the best motorcycle GPS with these features.
What Else To Consider?
There are a few more features that you could consider before settling for the best motorcycle GPS that you just chose. You need to know what hardware comes along with the main GPS unit and how many things you will have to buy separately to make the GPS function properly. Does it come with a durable mount? Is the accompanied mount compatible with our ride? What programs or features are pre-installed? How much more you will have to pay for additional software features or applications? Is the navigator compatible with all other gadgets you plan to use with it?
And finally, are all the features of the best motorcycle GPS you selected within your budget, or you need to compromise on some?
How To Decide?
You need to ask yourselves a few more questions before getting that best motorcycle GPS home.
What is screen size you require? Is the screen size of the unit you chose big enough for you? The screen needs to be of an optimum size so that the rider is able to see all contents of the screen from the usual distance without having to lean in closer. The screen also needs to be anti-glare so that everything is clearly visible in direct sunlight.
Can the screen be used while you are wearing your motorcycle gloves? You certainly should not have to remove your gloves every time you will be using the touch screen of the GPS unit. Do you require expandable memory? Is there an option for SD card slot? This is another thing that you might have to consider before you get the best motorcycle GPS satellite navigation unit.
Below is a list of some of the most famous, loved and best motorcycle GPS navigation devices. This list has different price ranges and different features; you can select one according to your requirement. I do not think any of these will disappoint you if you choose wisely.
The Best Motorcycle GPS
Garmin Zumo 390LM
The Garmin 390LM is an efficient addition to the Zumo series; it is a 4.3-inch motorcycle GPS navigator after the 350LM. The touch screen has a white backlight with TFT display, it is readable in sunlight and the touch is glove-friendly.
The best motorcycle GPS devices all have Bluetooth connection for mobile phones, so does this one. It supports curvy road navigation and monitors tire pressure as well. It has a card slot for micro SD at the back, mini USB slot, and external headset connection.
- Sturdy and strong, resistant to water, UV rays and fuel spills
- Free lifetime maps
- 1 year limited warranty
- A little over-priced for a product with generic features
- Can be difficult to handle and use at times
The Garmin 390LM can easily be included in the best motorcycle GPS list as one of the top most contenders according to me, because of its sturdy and rugged design. It is waterproof and all the connections are covered with tight rubber covers. It does not have an MP3 player; the headset is to communicate for navigation purposes which work really well and makes traveling on new roads easier.
Garmin RV 760LMT Portable GPS Navigator
The RV 760LMT by Garmin is a portable GPS navigator for people who travel to new unknown destinations a lot, this device keeps you safe and does not let you take a wrong turn. This is not just like any other simple navigator, it has special routing feature which is capable of recognizing road restrictions that are related to RV throughout Canada and US.
I think it is the best motorcycle GPS navigation companion that is proficient of customization according to the width, length, height and weight of the motorcycle you are riding. After you input the RV information, this device gives preference to routes that suit your motorcycle the most, making it a personalized experience.
- Backlit 7 inch touch screen display with high resolution
- Wireless camera compatible
- Impeccable understanding of verbal commands during voice activated navigation
- The Garmin camping program could be made easier to use
- Not strong enough to be used on adventure trips or difficult roads
The Garmin RV 760 LMT GPS device used for portable navigation is considered as one of the best motorcycle GPS navigation devices by me. I really appreciate the big 7” screen but was a little worried it night get cracked on my last trip which was on a very gravelly uneven road, where small rocks kept jumping up.
This navigator also advises and cautions about the upcoming risks such as sharp bend, steep hill, narrow road or lateral wind. A good purchase if you are not into extreme rash motorcycle riding.
BMW Motorrad Navigator V with Cradle
The BMW Motorrad Navigator V comes with a Cradle, a resistive color touch screen TFT display. Both landscape and portrait screen orientations are supported, but it remains in landscape mode while it is in the cradle or while it is in the Preparation GPS Mount, the mount comes with 4 buttons.
It has features like weather radar, electronic compass, travel history, units’ converter, calculator, alarm clock, world clock, the capability to track back the route you just traveled on and much more, which are probably the best motorcycle GPS features available.
- Lifetime Map Update included with
- It has volume controls, one headphone jack and calling capability
- Very good compatibility with all motorcycles including additional multi-controller switch for BMW motorcycles
- A little over-priced
- Requires you to buy additional hardware and cradle mount for certain motorcycles
This exclusive BMW device was a contract with Garmin to create a unique device with new hardware and features. Unlike the Zumo 390LM, you can listen to music in the V navigator; this is an attractive feature but there is no built-in speaker as there was in the earlier IV navigator by BMW. The music is muted itself when directions are being given, it one of the best motorcycle GPS navigator.
The price is a little over the top but considering its features, it is worth it.
Garmin Nuvi 2598LMTHD Advanced Series 5" GPS Navigation System
The Garmin Nuvi 2598LMTHD is an advanced satellite navigation system, the price is mid-range and it endorses a number of great features. This model represents the new design of Garmin navigators, and this particular one focuses more on features and less on style.
There is a pre-installed ecoRoute system in this device that is capable of finding the least fuel-consuming route and warns you about upcoming traffic jam which makes it the best motorcycle GPS that helps save fuel as well.
- Logical and easy to use navigation system with clear, concise instructions
- Lifetime free maps and live traffic subscription
- Great voice activation and detection system
- Screen is not anti-glare, so might be difficult to see during daytime
- Just stops working at times, screen freeze or does not turn on
- Links to Android smartphone only
The Garmin Nuvi 2598LMTHD Advanced Series 5" GPS Navigation System provides above average traffic updates although they are not as great as the HD traffic on TomTom or premium live 3D traffic on Garmin, the premium services are paid where as the Garmin Nuvi 2598LMTHD has free traffic updates for lifetime. The best motorcycle GPS is supposed to have all the above-mentioned features and much more.
TomTom Rider 3 Motorcycle GPS Navigator
The Rider 3 is a portable navigator by TomTom is one of the best motorcycle GPS devices available because it is packed with great features. It has pre-installed maps of Canada, US, and Mexico with multiple places of interest marked beforehand such as hotels, gas stations and restaurants.
The lifetime free map updates will guide you along an unknown path accompanied with clear voice instructions which can be heard loud and clear through an in-built speaker. The device also has Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free operation and also takes voice commands, it is waterproof as well.
- Fast re-routing and good signal strength
- Works straight out-of-the-box, big screen, affordable
- TomTom Home Software and great interface
- Screen not visible in direct sunlight
- Software glitches and bad customer support
The TomTom Rider 3 is the best motorcycle GPS for you, its 5th edition has an option of winding route so that you can enjoy a ride full of curves and bends when you are looking for some adventure and just want to avoid the boring straight roads.
You can also share routes, maps and make corrections to existing map if you find some error. This is a well-priced device, could be best for people on a budget.
This list explains that the BMW Motorrad navigator is the best motorcycle GPS out of these according to me, it might be a little costly but if you are looking for a complete package, this is it.
Although the Garmin 390LM and RV 760LMT are close contenders, but the BMW Motorrad has the features of Garmin with cutting edge BMW technology to ease your riding experience and fill it with complete joy.
You should consider this GPS unit as it has all the major features which are necessary such as water resistance, Garmin maps, music on the go, calling facility, useful applications and all loved features of any Garmin navigator.
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