Choosing the best motorbike sat nav
Whether you’re planning a European trip or you’re an everyday rider looking for an upgrade to that printed map in your tank bag, a motorcycle sat nav can be the perfect gadget to make your rides that much simpler, faster, convenient or fun.
As you can imagine, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to buying a GPS unit for your bike, with different models and brands offering a wide variety of functionality and prices. We’ll explore the most popular satellite navigation systems for motorbikes and detail the top features and benefits of each to help you choose the perfect one for your bike and riding plans.
1. Our top pick – Garmin Zumo 396LMT (or 346LMT)
Our top pick based on the range of functionality and price is the Garmin Zumo 396. It only takes a few moments of reading the reviews over at Amazon to see why bikers love this sat nav so much. But as a quick overview of what you can expect from the Garmin unit
- Glove friendly and tough unit with 4.3 inch display, built to resist harsh weather.
- Connected device which can handle hands-free calling, smartphone notifications and the ability to share your plotted route with other devices e.g. when you’re on a group ride.
- Garmin Adventurous Routing – this technology is built for us bikers that love the twists and turns. Essentially it will do its best to avoid motorways and give you some of the more incredible rides around the bends and hilly roads.
- Built in Wifi for easy system updates and map updates
- 2 year Garmin Warranty
- Full UK, Ireland and European maps (Only Western Europe on the 346LMT…that’s the difference between the Garmin 396LMT and 346LMT)
- Free lifetime map updates
- Easy mounting
Garmin Zumo 396LMT Review
2. TomTom Rider 500
Much like the Garmin 396, the TomTom Rider 500 comes packed with features that are well thought out for a biker. Overall, the Rider 500 offers fairly similar levels of functionality to the Garmin, but at a higher price tag, which is why we’re choosing the Garmin as our top pick.
If you’re a TomTom fan then we’ll still give you some of our favourite features of the Rider 500 GPS unit here:
- Find the winding and hilly roads – much like the Garmin, this will take you to the more exciting roads
- MyDrive – this cool feature allows you to plan and plot your route from the comfort of your computer and then upload it to the Rider 500 wirelessly.
- Compatible with Siri and Google Now so you can use your smartphone via the satnav. Allowing you to access music, calls and messaging.
- Full EU maps.
We’ve only opted to review these two motorbike sat navs at this stage, as we’ve spent a fair amount of time riding with sat navs and exploring the many different options available and we truly believe these are the two units you should be choosing from.
If however, one of these two Satnavs doesn’t give you what you’re looking for, here are a few alternatives which are worth considering
- Garmin Zumo 595LM
- TomTom Rider 420
- Garmin Zumo 590LM
- TomTom Rider 50
- TomTom Rider 550