TomTom Rider 400 Review

Written by | Motorcycle GPS Reviews, TomTom

This long awaited upgrade to the TomTom Rider has a more stylish and compact design. It also incorporates a number of new features to make your ride more interesting and enjoyable, such as the “hilly roads” and “plan a thrill” options. The user interface is easy to navigate with some useful short cuts, and the capacitive touchscreen features a crisp display with smartphone-like zoom and swipe capabilities. Audio instructions and hands-free calling via Bluetooth are also available on this model.

Features

  • Round trip planning
  • Hilly roads
  • “Plan a thrill” route planning
  • Hands-free calling
  • Audio instructions via Bluetooth
  • RAM mounting kit
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • 6 hours battery life
Pros
  • significantly cheaper than most other models
  • user friendly display and intuitive user interface
Cons
  • lacks advanced route customization options
  • some on-screen buttons are too small

The new TomTom Rider

With adventure touring having experienced a resurgence over the past few years, the need for a rugged and intuitive motorcycle GPS system has driven all the major manufacturers to invest in this section of the market. Dutch manufacturer TomTom has been producing the Rider since 2005, aimed at motorcyclists everywhere, and it has developed an immense following.

This past spring, TomTom released the Rider 400, an update to the well-received Rider 5, which was released in 2013. The Rider 400 features a few significant changes, including portrait and landscape screen orientations, a much more compact and stylish frame, and simpler mounts for your motorcycle.

Who is the Rider 400 for?

With its incredibly intuitive user interface, the Rider 400 is aimed primarily at motorcyclists who enjoy day trips or those who go on long, straightforward cross-country tours. The Winding and Hilly Roads options allow riders new to an area to immediately zero in on the most enjoyable roads. Basically, the device does the work for you and cuts out any homework. While this feature isn’t perfect, it manages to find all but the most obscure roads.

Keeping it simple

Everything about the Rider 400 exudes simplicity. The compact, weatherproof frame fits snugly and easily into the RAM mounting kit, which fits virtually every motorcycle. Screen orientation can be easily adjusted with one hand, which is useful on the road to maintain proper visibility.

The simple graphics on the screen make it easy to plan a trip or change it on the fly, especially when using the Winding and Hilly Roads options in an area you haven’t explored yet. It’s just as simple to adjust the audio settings for the Bluetooth headset feed.

The Rider 400 comes equipped with TomTom’s real-time traffic updating system, letting you stay ahead of the curve and avoid troublesome traffic jams. The device’s ability to plug into your PC and display your trips, as well as plan new ones or use routes created by other Rider 400 owners, really adds to the appeal. And priced lower than its competitor, the Garmin Zumo 590lm, it makes an ideal GPS device for all but the most hardcore adventure riders.

What could be improved and final thoughts

If anything, the TomTom Rider 400 may be too simple, and adventure touring enthusiasts may outgrow its tendency to hold your hand during motorcycle rides. The MyDrive route planning system, while simple, doesn’t allow for the greatest amount of route customization, and can be a bit unwieldy at times. TomTom would be well-advised to take inspiration from Google Map’s simple route-planning tools.

While the Rider 400 looks great and really keeps the rain out, some of the on-screen buttons could do with a little enlarging – a feature surprisingly absent in this version. Gloved hands sometimes end up pressing the wrong button, although this shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you don’t like to fiddle with your GPS while riding.

Overall, the Rider 400 is a smart, well-built device that delivers a simple user experience. Day-trippers and cross-country riders will love it, while hardcore adventure riders will yearn for just a little more.

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Last modified: November 21, 2017

6 Responses to :
TomTom Rider 400 Review

  1. Gene says:

    I have an older Tom Tom. Will the mount/ power cradle work with this one also? Will this tie into the intercom or is it strictly Bluetooth?

    1. Chris says:

      No new mount is different.

  2. Mark says:

    The “My Drive” route planning feature is useless. It does not let you design your own route on the computer and the upload to the device. You can select a start and finish point and various road options and the Tom Tom does the rest………..too bad if you want to drag and drop the route to take in places of interest or another road option. It wont let you. So you have to set multiple “journeys” to achieve the route you want to take. Very disappointed!

  3. Greg says:

    Maps selected dirt rds even with option turned off. mounting system doesn’t fit sports bike, R6. wanted to use suction cup mount, none available in S.A. slipped the unit in tank bag map pocket and it got so hot the screen went bad but my phone next to it was perfect and maps worked fine. tried to turn the display off and use my Scala Rider G4 for directions only, units heard connecting in headset but no instructions could be heard? maybe not compatible? plug external speakers in? no external jack to be found. I admit that I purchased this the night before my trip and I may be wrong in operating this but I used to use a car unit for a 1/3 of the price until I dropped it with minimal issues. $600 not sure of the value. the best thing is the screen resolution and the screen can be locked in position its just takes a while to find the setting. not a fan but will persist and hopefully find it to be what I expected.

  4. greg stear says:

    Always been an avid TomTom fan before I brought this model, not now though, unable to download a map update from tomtom without it corrupting, which then bricks the unit as it overwrites the existing map with no way of reverting or loading a working map – other than wasting 50 hours over a couple of weeks dealing with the ineffective tomtom customer services and their scripts who just blame it on the anti virus/ firewall/ ISP. Even though all these have been disabled and tried on various computers and connections. You will only know the actual update has failed after wasting at least 1 to 2 hours. The tomtom website is full of people with the same problem. Would not have brought it with hindsight.

  5. Reyna says:

    I’d like to find out more? I’d care to find out more details.

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