BMW Motorrad Navigator VI Review

Written by | Motorcycle GPS Reviews

The BMW Navigator VI was released in April 2017, and is a nice upgrade from the Navigator V with sleek smartphone-like features and appearance. The display is very easy to see, even in direct sunlight, and can also be accessed while wearing gloves.

A joint venture between BMW and Garmin, it provides all the navigation options and functions you need for your next trip. The internal memory can be extended by adding a micro-SD card and map views can be customized to your personal preferences.

This GPS unit is a great option for motorcycle riders everywhere, with included maps of North America and free lifetime updates. With precise location and navigation data, it will quickly become a must-have for riders everywhere.

Features

  • 5-inch dual-orientation display
  • Micro-SD card slot
  • Programmable buttons for commonly-used functions
  • Mount available for non-BMW riders
  • Customizable map views
  • Music streaming capability
  • Bluetooth connection

If you have a BMW motorcycle, this is a great GPS option for you. Non-BMW riders, don’t stop reading – there is a mount for you to use this unit as well!

Pros
  • systems integration with some BMW models, including handlebar mounted multi-controller switch
  • GPS and Glonass receiver
  • advanced routing options
Cons
  • relatively expensive

Maps and Navigation

The unit comes pre-loaded with map data for North America, so you’ll be able to navigate all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico without a problem. There are maps available for other countries, too.

Unlike some GPS units, this one comes with lifetime map updates. Some companies charge for updates or make you buy a subscription, so it is nice to come across one that includes lifetime updates as part of the package.

This unit also gives you the ability to customize your maps. You can change the views of the map depending on what information you like to see on the screen. You can display elevation, time, speed, direction and more. There are also different color options available. Basically, you can make the map look the way you need it to and the way you like.

As far as navigation, the unit does an admirable job. With the recent upgrade from the V to the VI model, the device now has dual GPS and GLONASS integration, extending coverage and allowing you to pinpoint your position with even greater accuracy.

Display and User Interface

The 5-inch screen is very bright and easy to read, even on a sunny day. It is also slightly larger than some other GPS units, which makes it easier to read the display for people that have been riding for a while and might not have the same eyesight as their younger days (like me!).

The display can also be accessed while wearing gloves, which I really like. Most riders wear gloves, especially on long rides. There’s nothing more unpractical, or more unsafe, than needing to take off a glove just to access something. Thankfully, that isn’t an issue with this device.

I also like the ability to program buttons and select different map views. The programmable buttons are a great way to get to functions you use on a regular basis. Instead of having to touch your way through several screens just to get the right feature, just program a button and you are there with a single touch.

Bluetooth

This unit supports Bluetooth, so you can pair it with a compatible Apple or Android, and with your Bluetooth headset. With a Bluetooth connection, you’ll be able to stream music, hear directions in your headset and also take calls from the home front.

Apps and Memory

The unit has several apps to choose from to provide more functionality. There is a trip planner, a track log to keep track of your tips, a media player that lets you play music, as well as other functions like an alarm and unit converter. There is also an app to pinpoint where you parked, as long as you remove the unit from a powered mount.

The free smartphone app provides more functions and makes the unit even more powerful and useful. With the free app, you can sync your phone with the GPS unit, subscribe to get locations of traffic cameras for supported areas and weather data.

You don’t need to worry about filling up the memory either if you want to load music, or other data, onto the device. Just add a micro-SD card to the unit and you can have up to 64GB more data on the device. Don’t expect to be able to add a card on the road, though. The slot is on the back of the device, so don’t forget to add the included screwdriver to your road kit.

Conclusion

All in all, the BMW Motorrad Navigator VI is a sound (albeit expensive) navigation option for motorcycle riders, especially for a BMW. With an optional mount, though, this GPS unit can be used with any motorcycle.

The display is large at 5 inches, is very bright and can be accessed while wearing gloves. For commonly-used functions, you can program buttons to take you right to the functions you need the most.

The unit supports Bluetooth, so it can connect to your phone and your headset, which makes hearing the navigation commands and taking phone calls a breeze.

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Last modified: November 21, 2017

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