Do you know you could do much more than just navigation by using the best motorcycle GPS device? Latest GPS units have become much smarter like your smartphone and could provide a lot of features like hands-free calling, lifetime map and traffic updates, Point of interests, adventure routing, Route Planning and much more features are available. To explain all of these features we have also included a Buying Guide along with the best motorcycle GPS reviews. So read our buying guide and reviews and select the best suitable Motorcycle GPS for your requirements.
- 1 Best Motorcycle GPS Reviews 2018
- 2 Best GPS for Motorcycle Buying Guide
Best Motorcycle GPS Reviews 2018
Garmin Zumo 595 LM – Best Selling
Garmin Zumo 595 LM with 5” sunlight readable touchscreen display with dual orientation and also glove friendly. Zumo 595 is one of the bestselling motorcycle GPS and price is also decent for most. By connecting with a Bluetooth helmet rider can take calls while driving and listen to the voice-based directions. At perfect volume, riders can enjoy the music by connecting your iPod or smartphone and yet driving carefully.
Zumo 595 build is so though it could withstand plenty of natural conditions even at high speeds. It is also water resistant which means you can comfortably use it even in heavy rain. Tire Pressure monitoring is a unique feature available only in Garmin devices and it will let you know the pressure data for tires in real-time.
It also comes with Lifetime Map updates for the regions in 3D terrain making it future proof no matter what road changed or building rose. Garmin Adventurous Routing lets you ride through exciting and thrilling curvy hilly roads instead of boring highways. Rider alerts are provided on the display that includes sharp curves, speed cameras, animal crossings, school zones and more. Connecting your data enabled smartphone provides traffic, weather updates and also notifications like calls, text, and apps directly on the Zumo 595LM.
Overall Garmin Zumo 595 LM is the most suitable GPS for motorcycle available with almost all the features one needs to be packed into it. With a small learning curve, you can work it for any type of trip from traveling in a city traffic to riding in the wild. All you need to do is buy it get your hands dirty by going through every feature in the device and mount it on your bike.
- Hand free calling & smart Notifications.
- Lifetime Map Updates.
- Garmin Adventurous Routing.
- Rider Alerts.
- Speed limit for the road.
- Small learning curve to get most.
Garmin Zumo 395 LM – Affordable
Garmin Zumo 395 LM is a downgraded version of Zumo 595 making it more affordable at the expense of few not so necessary features. The first downgraded feature is the display in this unit comes with 4.3” touchscreen display and doesn’t have dual orientation. Still, the display is touchscreen, sunlight readable, glove-friendly & water resistant. Not just the display the whole unit is harsh weather and water resistant which means you can ride at top speed & heavy rain still it works normally.
Media options are same as 595 with smartphone or iPod music streaming, listening to voice-based directions on your Bluetooth helmet. Hands-free calling is also available to take calls while riding, however, it does lack one feature Smart Notifications.
Navigation features are pretty much the same except for the 3D terrain maps which are not so necessary. Garmin Adventurous Routing helps you to avoid highways as much as possible allowing you to have much more adventurous & exciting journey through curvy & hilly roads. Rider alerts provide notifications for sharp curves, speed limit changes, school zones, speed cameras and similar warnings. Lifetime Map updates reduce the maintenance costs as you would never need to pay a dime for the map updates.
In simple Zumo 395 lacks the large display, dual orientation, 3D terrain, smart notifications, and live track. Other than these all the features available on the Garmin Zumo 595 are also available with Zumo 396 LM. So, if you think the above downgraded features are not important for you then you could buy the Garmin Zumo 395 and save a couple of hundred bucks.
- Water and weather resistant.
- Hands-free calling and Music streaming.
- Voice-based routing.
- Rider and speed alerts.
- Poor audio quality.
- Little learning curve.
TomTom Rider 400 is the best affordable GPS for motorcycles yet providing most features required in a GPS device for the motorcycle. It had a 4.3” sunlight readable touchscreen display with dual orientation making it very comfortable to use. Lifetime maps and traffic updates are very exceptional for a unit at this price. Also, it had plenty of options for motorcycle riders to make your journey more exciting. Which are, winding roads option prefers roads with exciting turns, hilly roads for higher elevation or sea level roads. If you select an area and click on Round Trip planning it will provide a route to explore the whole region and come to the starting point at the end of the route.
Riders can do a lot of other things by connecting your smartphone to the device through Bluetooth. Hands-free calling allows you to accept incoming calls and talk via Bluetooth helmet. Transfer files between devices allowing to share locations routes between devices. Also, it is water resistant and comes with an IPX7 rating and 16GB internal memory with expandable storage.
PC route planning allows you to plan a trip on computer comfortably and transfer it to the Rider 400. A motorcycle mount, RAM mount, battery cable & USB cable are also provided along with the unit similar to Garmin Zumo units. Rider alerts like Speed Camera, speed limit on the road are also shown on the device. By connecting the device with helmet through Bluetooth lets you listen to voice based turn by turn routing. Riders can also search for Points of Interest like gas stations, restaurants, hotels and more directly on the device.
- Unlimited Map 7 Traffic updates.
- Voice-based routing.
- Hands-free calling.
- Mounts are provided.
- Navigation is tough to use.
- Water droplets could be takes as inputs.
BMW Motorrad Navigator VI is designed specifically for BMW riders by BMW & manufactured by Garmin. This unit fits perfectly with all the BMW motorcycles & also connects with BMW Motorrad communication system.
Motorrad Navigator VI comes with a 5” sunlight readable color touchscreen display with dual orientation. It can be connected to BaseCamp software on a computer and plan your trip with routes, waypoints & points of interests. Winding Roads, Avoid Country Roads & Round Trip options allow you to customize your trip according to your interests and explore the regions.
Motorrad Navigator VI comes with one of the fastest processors in the motorcycle GPS units, users can search for a place without any lag. Automatic routing provides directions and turnings by just selecting the destination and it will guide you with voice. Stream music by connecting the device to your smartphone. High-quality build & water resistant, lifetime map updates for pre-installed maps of North America or Europe. 16 GB internal storage and ability to expand storage up to 64Gb with Micro SD. Connect your smartphone and take your calls hands-free, get real-time traffic & weather updates.
BMW Motorrad Navigator VI is not only feature filled device but also expensive when compared to other alternatives like Zumo & TomTom Rider. However, it provided an advantage to BMW riders by connecting with the bikes communication system and factory fit mounts for BMW motorcycles.
- Factory Fit Mounts for BMW riders.
- 16GB internal memory + Micro SD.
- Lifetime Map updates.
- Water resistant.
- Fast processor.
- Touch doesn’t do well in cold.
Garmin Montana 610 – Portable
Montana 610 is actually a handheld GPS unit but its 4” touchscreen and a perfect mount would make it an excellent GPS motorcycle and provides unique features than a dedicated GPS for a motorcycle. This is because it is designed for hikers who need much more navigational features like adding waypoints, uploading tracks from computers, and add different types of maps. City Navigator maps which cost around 80$ are near identical to the maps provided on other units.
Coming to the features of the Montana 610 it had a 4” sunlight readable touchscreen display with dual orientation. Unlike the regular units, it had the support of both GPS & GLONASS which means your positioning is much quick and accurate. Garmin AMPS Rugged Mount allows it to attach to any motorcycle or ATV and also comes with a cable for power & audio. Even without the power cable, it can work continuously for up to 22 hours with AA batteries.
Garmin BaseCamp software allows to plan a trip with waypoints, tracks, and points of interests and upload it to the device. This way you can find the places you want to visit and mark them for a more convenient trip. The navigational sensors include a compass for directions and barometric altimeter for altitude.
The device had 4GB of internal storage and expandable memory slot which gives the ability to upload different types of maps like TOPO 24K, BirdsEye Imagery Maps, & City Navigator maps. With City Navigator Maps uploaded Montana provided you with automatic routing until you reach your destination.
However, it does lack features like hands-free calling, speed limit on the roads, music streaming, voice-based routing, pressure monitor, motorcycle trip computer and especially windy roads, Round Trip. A few of these disadvantages wouldn’t be a problem and some could be avoided with correct planning.
- Sunlight Readable Display.
- Route planning software.
- Ability to upload maps.
- Portable and easy to use.
- Good battery life.
- No hands-free calling.
- Less driving features.
Magellan TRX7 Explorist is more of an off-road GPS if you are a person who goes on off-road trips into the wild than this is suitable for you. It comes with a 7” touchscreen display and Android OS 4.4 which actually is pretty old. Since the OS is old you may not be able to install most Android apps on to the device.
The best part of TRX7 is it comes with 115K preloaded off-road trails which are ready whenever you need. In-built maps are also very detailed and can also provide you with 3D maps which are detailed. Rugged design and waterproof makes it usable to the extreme and still functions normally.
When you are on a trip TRX7 will automatically mark waypoints at regular intervals, this way you will know your way back. Also with just a click, it will start guiding you back to the start.
Overall Magellan TRX7 Explorist is the best off-road GPS for motorcyclist which comes with almost all the features one needs in a GPS for off-road adventures.
- 115K off road trails.
- 7” inch display.
- Detailed TOPO maps.
- Old Android OS.
- No or limited on-road navigation.
Mobiles have evolved much more than a device to talk over the phone into more than anyone had imagined and with a good smartphone you could use it as a GPS for your motorcycle. There are only two Smartphones operating systems dominating more than 98% smartphones Android and iOS. Plenty of navigation & travel related apps are available for both of these OS’s. Below are some apps to help you with your required features in a unit.
Google Maps with 1 billion+ people using it, it is the most used and popular navigation related app available with plenty of features. Google Maps can literally find almost any place above rural areas around the world and provides maps with as accurate as Garmin or TOMTOM devices. It provides voice based turn by turn routing with near precise traffic updates. Also for most of the places, you can find plenty of user reviews to help you know more about the place with popular times. Offline maps allow you to download a map of a particular area and allows you to use it offline. Overall it is easy to use the app for navigation as long as you are connected to the internet.
Windy Maps if you are an adventurer and love to ride your bike to explore nature then this app may be suitable for you. It will let you download maps of a region you are visiting and let you plan your routes, find places of interest in the region, and voice based turn by turn navigation. They also save trails, bikeways of previous users to help new visitors and provide travel tips for the area.
EatSleepRIDE is like a social app designed for motorcyclists as it allows you to create group rides and allows to see each other on the map, share and access routes uploaded by other users, and meet other riders nearby. Riders can share their location with their family and friends back at home. Upload rides by trimming your start and end points to protect your privacy. Riders can access unlimited maps of the regions even without internet which is essential for bikers.
Roadtrippers, Best Biking Roads, Waze, Rever Motorcycle, Camp Where are some more apps for your smartphone to plan for your long road trips, city navigation, exploring new places and more.
However, there are also downsides to using smartphones as motorcycle GPS unit. Water resistance, most of the smartphones are not water resistant which makes them not useful in rainy climates. Sunlight readability, smartphone screens are not so bright to see easily in sunlight. Riding at high speeds could damage your pricey smartphone due to dust, swift winds and longer exposure to sunlight.
- Free apps to find required features.
- Easy to use interface.
- Saves money.
- Sunlight readability.
- Susceptible to damage.
Best GPS for Motorcycle Buying Guide
When looking to buy anything we need to have a good knowledge of what a product could offer and how well it could actually work for our requirements. So, today we have written a Buying Guide to find best motorcycle GPS unit.
Every rider had specific requirements for buying a GPS device for motorcycle other than navigation. Of all the units we reviewed above are very good at navigation part. However, there are features that we should discuss to find what actually a GPS unit for motorcycle could offer. So, below are the most useful features that come along with many of the motorcycle GPS units.
Features to look for in a Motorcycle GPS
Riding at a speed of 80 miles per hour could exert a lot of force on the motorcycle and its parts. There are chances for external objects like dust to damage the unit. If the GPS unit is not protected by the windscreen, then you need to be even more careful at selecting one. Garmin Zumo devices are well built in this regard they can withstand a lot of force when mounted perfectly.
Lifetime Map & Traffic Updates
Except for the Montana, all of the other devices come with free lifetime maps and traffic updates. This is a major relief for most of the users as it is a hectic task to manually find and update maps every time. All you need to do you connect to a computer and use the software given for the device and update the maps. This is much better than the old way of buying a CD with latest maps and the uploading to a computer then transferring it to the GPS unit.
A 5 to 7-inch display with sunlight is the most suitable for a GPS unit for a motorcycle. It should also be very clear to view even in bright sunlight or pitch dark. Also, the touchscreen should work even with gloves or freezing temperatures. Most touchscreen units had these problems unable to use with gloves and when under sub-zero temperatures. So if you are a person who ventures into these conditions then you should be more cautious.
Most motorcycle units come with routing options that are preferred by motorcycle riders like windy roads, hilly roads, and round-trip planning. Windy roads option prefers routes with high bends making your trip more exciting. Hilly roads prefer or avoid roads with higher elevations this way people who are uncomfortable with low pressure can avoid these roads. In Round-Trip planning, if you select an area then the device creates a round route covering most of the area for you to explore. With these options on your gadget, you can explore and make your long trip more exciting to ride.
Rider alerts like speed limits, railway crossing, school zones, speed camera, red lights, sharp curve ahead, camp areas etc are very important for motorcycle riders. Many a time we may not notice the signboards, but with a GPS like Garmin Zumo, you are always notified of alerts. This way you can avoid getting into trouble and enjoy your ride. So while buying a GPS unit check if the unit comes rider alerts or not.
GPS units specifically designed for motorcycles comes with motorcycle mounts, power cable, and related hardware. Thus making it easy for users to mount the device on to your vehicle. If you are opting for a Montana or use your own smartphone then you may need to buy a suitable mount. My most preferred brand for mounts is RAM and they have mounts for most of the needs and are of high standards. Even the TomTom 400 comes with a mount manufactured by RAM.
Weather & Water Resistant
As we explained in the Display, having a GPS device than could withstand freezing temperatures is very necessary. Cold temperatures may make the unit unusable and in some units, raindrops could be considered as inputs. Other than these riders should also consider devices having water resistance rating of at least IPX7. Having a weather & water resistant unit is much more reliable and would never ditch you even in worse conditions.
Voice Based Navigation
Voice-based routing is essential for city navigation, unlike highways we encounter a lot of turns while riding in a city. Voice based navigation makes it easy to drive by providing accurate turn by turn routing like a real person. If you are having a Bluetooth helmet, then you could connect it to the GPS device and listen to the directions. This way driving even in an unplanned city would be easy to ride.
PC Route Planning
Having the ability to plan your routes and tracks for your long trip with waypoints, POIs, campsites would make it your ride enjoyable. This way you can be planning everything from start to end and have everything planned out. Most units come with PC route Planning software, users can also create routes on Google Earth and send them to the device too. Overall if you are an adventurer who goes on to explore the nature or go on long trips then you make sure it had options to plan your routes.
Points of Interest
Whenever you are riding in a new city or on long trips it is essential to know where to find gas stations, pit stops, restaurants, motels etc. With Point of interest feature you are just a search away from finding where to go. Most Garmin and TomTom units come with this feature and would always help you to find any location easily.
Hands-free calling allows users to accept or reject phone calls directly on the GPS device. This is done by connecting your smartphone with the unit via Bluetooth. If you are having a Bluetooth Helmet you can connect it with the Motorcycle GPS and directly talk through the helmet. This way you no longer need to stop your ride or take your smartphone out thus making it convenient.
Tire Pressure Monitoring
Tire Pressure Monitoring is a unique feature you can only find in Garmin Zumo device. This sensor which can be bought for your motorcycle allows Zumo device to track the pressure in your tires. Each tire requires an individual sensor and battery sensor lasts for up to 18 months. This actually is not so essential feature but if you feel it could help you then buy a pair of them for each tire along with Zumo 590LM.
Overall these are the most important features one must look before buying a GPS unit for your motorcycle. Hope you have found the best motorcycle GPS device that comes with all the features you require.