Top-rated Motorcycle Sat-Navs - 2017

DEVICESCREEN SIZEBATTERY LIFEREVIEW
TOMTOM RIDER 4004.3" dual orientationup to 6 hoursRead Review
GARMIN ZUMO 595LM5.0" dual orientationup to 4 hoursRead Review
GARMIN ZUMO 395LM4.3"up to 7 hoursRead Review
GARMIN MONTANA 680t4.0" dual orientationup to 16 hoursRead Review

Choosing the Best Motorcycle GPS

When evaluating the various products in a particular category it soon becomes clear that each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and, in many cases, there are no clear winners. Such is the situation faced by those in the market for a motorcycle GPS. Rather than taking a definitive approach to finding the best motorcycle GPS, you should instead consider which product is the best fit for your individual requirements.

The fact is, motorcycle navigators are often considerably more expensive than your average sat-nav, so if you only ride on a casual basis you might find an improvised solution using your smartphone adequate to your needs. If, however, you take your riding more seriously, the obvious benefits in terms of functionality and convenience make a dedicated motorcycle GPS a totally worthwhile investment.

At this juncture, it should be noted that most dedicated motorcycle navigators are not strictly limited to use on a motorcycle, but can also pull double duty in your car, and some even have a pedestrian mode to guide you when travelling by foot.

So what exactly are you getting for your money when you purchase a dedicated motorcycle GPS? That, of course, depends on the particular device in question, but there are a number of common features which set them apart from a standard Global Positioning System

Ruggedized Frame

Given the higher levels of vibration and the generally harsher conditions they are subjected to, this is a critical aspect of motorcycle GPS design. Especially when riding off-road, without this more rugged construction, your device would likely suffer from a much shortened lifespan.

Weatherproof Design

This is yet another obvious requirement for the successful application of sat-nav technology to use on motorcycles. Even with the most careful planning being caught out on the road in a sudden downpour is always a distinct possibility when travelling by motorbike. With a dedicated motorcycle navigator you have peace of mind knowing it can stand up to the worst that mother nature can throw at it. Devices such as those manufactured by TomTom and Garmin are in fact tested to meet the ix7 standard of waterproofing and can even survive a dunking in water of up to 1 meter in depth.

Customized Display

Glove friendly displays are now a standard feature of many of the top rated motorcycle GPS units currently sold, and have considerably improved the practicality of those systems. Another weather related aspect of design concerns the typically poor visibility of displays when viewed under sunlit conditions. This problem has been overcome, to some extent at least, by screens specially designed for outdoor use.

Motorcycle Specific Software

Although the above design modifications go a long way towards producing a motorcycle ready device, these alone do not yet make for a device adapted fully to the needs of motorcyclists. The fact that most motorcyclists ride for recreational purposes has led manufacturers to offer more flexibility in terms of navigation. Some of these additional features include multi-point or custom routing, and the ability to choose routes based on how winding the road is.

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