There are two different types of motorcycle riders. There are riders that just use their motorcycles for important things, not caring about the little things that matter a lot. And there are riders that like being in full kit from top to bottom. We call them biking purists. These motorcyclists know the actual importance of each piece of equipment, from helmets to motorcycle GPS.
Most of you may not know that a motorcycle GPS is one of the most essential pieces of equipment that a motorcycle rider can have. A motorcycle GPS comes in handy for those who find it hard to use a smart phone while riding their bike. Also, even if you can use you a smart phone while riding a motorbike, you should not use it for safety purposes.
Basically, a GPS (Global Positioning System) device is like a modern map. It is a satellite-based radio navigation system that is owned by the USA. Of course, people use these devices for navigational purposes. The best traveling GPS devices are more accurate and durable; therefore, you can use them for their specific purposes without breaking them.
The most advanced GPS units made today are able to tell you so many important things relevant to your journey. For these devices, informing you about the real-time traffic situation of a road is just the tip of the iceberg.
Being such an important device for bikers, a large number of manufacturers are producing GPS models especially for motorcycle use. Naturally, some of these brands are performing better in the market than others because of their lower prices and/or higher quality. These manufacturers include Garmin, TomTom, and Trail Tech, to name a few.
If you are new to motorcycle GPS devices, you can easily get overwhelmed after seeing tons of brands and their different GPS models at once. This can make it really hard for you to decide which GPS device you should buy. Even if you are able to choose a GPS for yourself, the chances are good that you will end up buying the wrong product. But you don’t have to worry because this is where we step in.
To make your buying process much simpler, our editors have separated out the best of the best motorcycle GPS devices for you. We were able to complete this colossal task after thorough and detailed research. All the features, prices, and customer satisfaction of the chosen devices were compared in order to compile this list. So without further ado, here are the best motorcycle GPS devices of 2020.
Here is a quick comparison table for a quick insight if you are not much of a reader
Best Motorcycle GPS of 2020 Reviews
1. Garmin Zumo XT
The Zumo XT by Garmin is one of the best motorcycle GPS devices out there right now. This Garmin device comes with tons of pre-loaded on-road and off-road topographic maps. These maps display the much-needed public land boundaries with 4×4 roads and so much more.
Plus, you get street maps (with updates) of various countries, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, and more. If you’re an adventure-seeker, you will love the preloaded off-road maps of the Garmin Zumo XT. The device also offers turn-by-turn voice navigation through either your connected helmet or headset.
The Zumo XT features a glove-friendly and fairly large touch screen of 5.5 inches, which is super-bright and has an HD resolution in both landscape and portrait mode. This makes it work amazingly in a well-lit environment. The unit passes the military standard 810 drop test, so there’s no doubt that it’s designed to be rugged. What’s more, the Zumo XT is waterproof.
At full brightness, this Garmin masterpiece lasts up to 3.5 hours. On regular settings, it can even go up to 6 hours. For longer trips, you have an option of hard-wiring it to constant power.
The Garmin Zumo XT is packed with fantastic features. First, it gives you free access to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery with direct to device downloads. Also, with the Garmin Adventurous Routing option, you can easily find challenging roads for an exciting riding adventure.
Moreover, its track recorder allows you to record your journey. You can also get live traffic and weather updates, phone notifications, and share routes with your friends. With the Zumo XT, you can ride your bike while streaming music from your smart phone or the navigator itself.
Apart from the GPS module, the pack consists of a mount and hardware, power cable, USB cable, and the usual documents.
2. Garmin Zumo 595LM
The Zumo 595LM is another phenomenal invention from the GPS giant, Garmin. The 595LM has a featureful 5-inch touch screen that is both glove-friendly and sunlight-readable. Not only that, but the dual-orientation IPX7 screen has an incredibly rugged design that makes it fit for the harshest of weather conditions.
Like most other Garmin devices, this one also contains the Garmin Adventurous Routing option that thrill-seekers demand. It finds curvy, twisty, and terrain-following roads and limits you from highways and freeways. The Zumo 595LM is a smart machine that alerts you for sharp turns, speed cameras, animal crossings, and red lights.
The 595LM also supports Bluetooth technology, allowing you to receive and make calls without using your hands. Plus, the model comes with a live track feature that lets your friends to keep a track of your current location. Besides that, the device also displays smart notifications like text messages.
When it comes to durability, the 595LM model exceeds expectations because its rugged design gives it the ability to endure UV rays, rain, fuel vapors, and rough weather conditions. The 595LM from Garmin allows you to control music from your smart phone or MP3 player. On top of that, it supports Pandora and Spotify streaming services.
3. TomTom Rider 550
The TomTom Rider 550 is a better, more advanced version of the TomTom Rider. The Rider 550 is filled with the newest features, but the best part is that it is designed specifically for bikers.
The Rider 550 has a robust, IPX7-certified body design, which enables you to navigate through any weather condition without leaving your side. It has a 4.3-inch screen that is not only glove-friendly but sunlight-readable as well. This only enhances your riding experience and prevents you from missing any important information.
Also, the TomTom GPS has a large internal storage of over 16 GB, which is more than enough to store any useful information. On top of that, the device also offers an SD card slot for additionalstorage space. The Rider 550 is compatible with both Siri and Google Now, so you can connect it with your smart phone and get on-board access to calling, texting, music, and more.
The TomTom Rider 550 uses it quad-core processor to run multiple processes simultaneously to keep up with your high-speed adventure. The built-in Wi-Fi of the device prevents you from having to use a laptop because it updates maps, software, and syncs new routes by itself. So, with the Rider 550, you can customize your path with twisty and hilly roads to make your journey extra fun.
4. Trail Tech Voyager Pro
This Trail Tech masterpiece is a compact GPS device with tons of features. The device has everything from routes, color maps, and topography to hill shading, waypoints, and support tracks. This allows the user to not only plan but also record his journey.
The Voyager Pro 922-117 from Trail Tech also offers a variety of pre-installed maps. The GPS comes pre-loaded with detailed maps of North America. That’s not it because, on the Voyager Pro, you can easily download maps of other regions without paying a single penny.
Having dimensions of about 6 x 4 inches, the Voyager Pro is quite a versatile GPS device. It has the right size to fit on the dashboards of dirt bikes. However, at the same time, it is also big enough to be mounted on UTVs and adventure bikes.
The Voyager Pro is a smart device that notifies you with important information, such as speed, distance, temperature, elevation, and voltage with its digital gauge. This is important if you need to stay within the road limits. Moreover, the device features a Buddy Tracking option that uses local radio signals to show you the live locations of 20 members at maximum. This feature along with the fantastic mapping abilities of Voyager Pro makes it the best motorcycle GPS for off-road bikers.
In addition, the Trail Tech Voyager Pro has a 4-inch touch screen display that is glove-friendly, anti-glare, sealed, and IP67-certified for water or dust intrusion. Therefore, no matter what kind of weather it is or how much sunlight is falling on your screen, you will not have any problem with your GPS. The Bluetooth support of the Voyager Pro is amazing. With this, you get great control over your media files, volume, calls, messages, intercom, etc.
5. Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S
Without a doubt, the Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S is among the best motorcycle GPS that you can find out there. With its winding road feature, this smart GPS device finds you the most enjoyable route and limits your interaction with highways and freeways at the same time.
Also, the Zumo 396 LMT-S has a compact screen of 4.3 inches that is not only resistant to UV rays and fuel vapors but rough weather conditions as well. In addition to that, the touch screen is glove-friendly so that you can easily operate the device while you’re riding your bike at high speeds.
With this Garmin masterpiece, you get access to live traffic services and alerts for railroad crossings, sharp turns and curves, and more. Like other Garmin GPS devices, this one also includes the Garmin Adventurous Routing option that let you know what kind of conditions are you going to face ahead on the route. This feature is especially helpful when you’re finding roads in curvy and hilly regions and trying to avoid highways and freeways.
The Zumo 396 LMT-S comes with a highly compatible Bluetooth option which allows you to listen to music, radio, receive calls, check messages, and much more. Apart from that, this feature also allows you to share GPX files with your riding buddies through the Smartphone Link application.
Another useful feature of the Garmin Zumo LMT-S is that it is equipped with a fuel tracker. This is important because it alerts you when you’re low on fuel. Not only that, but it also informs you about the nearest mechanic shops, gas stations, and other relevant spots.
You can’t just go to a store, buy a random motorcycle GPS unit, and expect it to work and provide as per your needs. If you want a motorcycle GPS that satisfies you to the maximum, you need to adopt a systematic approach for buying it. First of all, you need to identify your own requirements. You must have a clear idea of what you want from a GPS. Then, you should look for GPS units with the features that fulfill your purpose.
As mentioned above, there is a multitude of GPS devices out in the market; therefore, you are likely to find a large number of products that fit your needs. At this point, you need to know what to see in a product and how to judge it. For this reason, we have compiled some of the most important considerations that you need to make while choosing the best motorcycle GPS device for yourself.
Type of Motorcycle GPS Device
Motorcycle GPS devices are broadly divided into two: traditional and portable. Most of the times, traditional GPS devices offer all the important features that a biker needs. If you buy a good quality traditional GPS device, it will be a long term friend for you since it will most probably be durable and will function in even extreme weather conditions. Also, traditional motorcycle GPS models are compatible with Bluetooth technology.
As for portable motorcycle GPS devices, they also contain more or less the same features as traditional GPS devices. However, an added advantage with portable GPS devices is that you can use them off your bike as well. For example, many people use their portable GPS on hiking, trekking, and camping trips. Like many portable devices, portable GPS units tend to be smaller in size and thus have smaller screens.
You cannot and should not ignore the price while buying anything. Remember, a GPS device that you cannot afford can never be the best motorcycle GPS for you. However, that does not mean that you should opt for a cheap GPS unit.
Going for a low quality GPS device may seem inexpensive, but in the long run, you will have to pay a big price for it. Buying a high-end and slightly highly priced GPS device can be a great investment for you if it has all the features that you need.
You can roughly divide the pricing of motorcycle GPS modules into two. There are GPS devices that you can buy for less than $300, and there are GPS devices that you can buy for more than $300.
In this era of advanced modern technology, only some good-quality GPS devices fall in the less than $300 price range. Since they are less expensive, it is obvious for them not to have as many features as GPS devices of the leading brands do. In addition, these cheaper picks might be difficult to program.
Most of the GPS devices in our list fall in the over $300 price range, and you should not expect the best motorcycle GPS navigation systems to be cheaper than this. That being said, spending your precious on these devices is worth it.
This is because you can rely on these units. They are durable, so they are going to be with you for a long time. Another reason for their high price is that they contain the most advanced features, which makes them even more useful.
If you have looked for GPS devices or have owned one before, you might know that the best motorcycle GPS system comes with pre-loaded maps of the USA. Manufacturers pre-load these maps so that you can start using your unit right after purchasing it.
Nowadays, since the world has become a global village, you will find many motorcycle GPS devices with pre-installed maps of other countries as well. These countries include North American countries, such as Canada and Mexico. Pre-installed maps are important because some places do not have a great network, and you need these maps for accurate navigation through such places.
Apart from pre-loaded maps, the best motorcycle GPS units come with a slot for an SD card so that you can download more maps. In addition to that, some great GPS units give you lifetime map updates as a bonus.
For most people, bigger is always better. That is not always true for a GPS device. Bigger GPS systems tend to be heavier, which may result in you bumping into them accidentally. This should not happen because even the slightest of bumps can damage a modern device irreversibly.
In contrast, small GPS devices can be hard to read while you’re riding your motorcycle. Therefore, you must be careful with the size of your unit and get one that has the right dimensions for your vehicle.
If you are looking for the best motorcycle GPS unit, it goes without saying that you need a long battery life for a long biking trip. A device with a short battery life won’t work till the end of your journey and thus won’t fulfil its purpose.
Therefore, you should go for a GPS that works for a sufficient amount of time. If it does not, it should at least come with a backup. Thankfully, many modern motorcycle GPS devices can be connected to the battery of a motorcycle, so battery life won’t be a huge concern for you.
No matter what the screen size of your GPS is, sometimes you just can’t look at it while you’re riding. For this reason, it is important that your system has a voice navigation option. The best motorcycle GPS devices come with Bluetooth support that allows you to hear your device’s instructions through your earphones. Without Bluetooth support, it can be hard to listen to the device due to the noise of the traffic or air.
Imagine a motorcycle GPS that doesn’t come with a reliable set of mounting hardware. It would be pretty useless because it will fall down easily on the road. Also, the hardware should be easy to install and handle. Fortunately, many GPS systems come with a common mount that fits on most motorcycles.
However, some bike mounts are made to be mounted on handlebars. These mounts use mounting screws and are proven to have a strong and reliable grip on the GPS. Other than that, some devices are designed to be mounted on the fuel tank. If you have this GPS, you would have to look all the way down to view the display. Also, these products need a tether strap to keep them in place.
Remember, the best motorcycle GPS device will always have a simple and easy to use user interface (UI). If the interface is complicated and does not feature intuitive actions, you will have to face a lot of problems using it during your speedy journey. In a simple UI, menu items should be labeled very clearly, and it should allow you to map out your destination in a matter of seconds.
All motorcycle GPS products should have a touch screen display that responds easily when you touch it. This is important because, while you’re riding your bike, delays are the last thing that you want.
Additionally, the touch screen should be glove-friendly. Most motorcyclists wear gloves while riding, so a glove-friendly screen is a must. Taking off your gloves every time you want to use your GPS is not ideal and definitely not safe.
If you’re going to buy a motorcycle GPS, you should know that it is going to face harsh weather conditions very often. If not that, it is going to be in contact with a lot of wind. For these reasons, you need to get a unit that is extremely durable and long lasting.
The navigation system should be made of materials that are strong, powerful, and high-quality so that it does not stop working no matter what the weather is. In addition to that, it is best if you get a water-resistant GPS device. Such motorcycle GPS modules will be there for you even if it rains or snows.
All the above-mentioned GPS devices are undoubtedly the best motorcycle GPS devices out there right now. We can say this for sure because all of our GPS reviews are based on market research along with the opinions of experts and real-life customer experiences. We use this special approach in order to produce not only authentic but also accurate guides. These guides have helped hundreds and thousands of our readers to find the best choice for themselves.
Even though these GPS devices are the best motorcycle GPS systems, it is not necessary that all of them are the best for you. You cannot randomly buy any of these products. Each of these GPS units has different features and benefits to offer.
Now, it is up to you to identify what you want from a GPS device and look for those things in the GPS units that we have listed. Also, make sure that you choose a unit that you can afford. Remember, a product that you can’t afford may not be the best choice for you.