10 Best Motorcycle GPS Reviewed
Taking your motorcycle out on the road requires a few essential pieces of gear. While helmets and goggles might be the first thing you think of, having a good GPS system is becoming more and more important for drivers, both on-road and off-road.
GPS technology has been around for a long time, but never before has it incorporated the range of features which it benefits from today. Having road-maps and quick routes is today seen as standard, and some GPS systems have also gone out of their way to include weather updates, traffic information and even fuel prices in their modern technology.
- High Sound GPS
- High-res display
- Multi language
- Garmin 57LM
- Junction View Lane Assist
- Garmin Real Directions
- Garmin Nuvi 2579
- Voice Activation
- Garmin Traffic Updates
Some models utilize Bluetooth technology, while others use Wi-Fi. Some include multi-media features such as music, radio, video and gaming programmes, while others take pride in providing the bare essentials in a clear and concise manner.
When it comes to choosing a good GPS for your motorcycle, you’ll have to consider your own needs against the specific features of each model. We’ve put this review together to save you the time on research. We’ve broken down all the important features that you’ll need to know about when it comes to choosing your GPS navigation system.
1. Garmin Nuvi 2597
You will never need to take your hands off the grips with Garmin’s voice activated navigation. Combined with Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity, this means you could navigate freely without having to touch the screen.
Garmin Traffic Updates
This model comes with the option of lifetime traffic updates without any ongoing subscription charges. Traffic information appears on-screen unobtrusively, and gives you time estimations as well as preferred route recommendations.
Cost and Value
The Nuvi 2597 commands a price reflective of its manufacturer’s reputation. Garmin are market leaders, and this GPS system is loaded with enough features to warrant paying a just a little bit extra for it.
- Free lifetime traffic updates
- Detailed maps with updates four times a year
- Hands free capability
- Can be linked to an Android phone
- Includes store names, restaurants, emergency facilities and landmarks
- Screen too dim for some
- Will require a mount to secure it to the handlebars
2. Garmin 57LM
The Garmin navigation voice has been designed to offer more personable navigation instructions, and will make mention of nearby landmarks and buildings to make things easier for you while driving.
Lane Assist with Junction View
The 57LM comes with a detailed ‘Junction View’ feature which zooms into an upcoming junction and marks clearly which lane you’re supposed to be in. A major plus, as many GPS systems fail to implement this feature.
Cost and Value
There are models both much more and much less expensive than the 57LM. Overall, it fulfils more than you could ask of a navigation system, and its mid-range price-tag is comprehensively justified.
- Detailed Junction View with precise lane markings
- Comes preloaded with a wealth of data, using Foursquare
- Dual-orientation display
- Back-up camera compatible
- Comes with lifetime maps with regular updates
- No voice command functions
3. Koolertron All Terrain 912S
The internal memory is capable of holding 4GB of data on its own, while a Micro SD slot can take another 16GB. The 800Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM make this model a very useful little computational travel companion.
USB and Audio Ports
The USB port makes for quick and easy transfer of data, without having to rely solely on manufacturer updates. The audio out port is a useful addition and fills the gap left by a lack of Bluetooth connectivity.
Cost and Value
The Koolertron All Terrain model is a sturdy piece of gear that’s ready for all weather. Its list of useful and unique features gives it a price comparable with Garmin models, but it still presents great value for money at its upper mid-range price.
- Water-proof. Can be submerged into 1-meter of water for 30 minutes
- All terrain capabilities make it suited for multiple weather conditions
- Huge total memory capacity
- Comes with mounting bracket and power cables
- High sensitivity receiver
- No Bluetooth compatibility
- Shot battery life – 3 to 4 hours before recharge
4. Garmin Foretrex 401
This wearable navigation system also comes with a range of useful features like sunset/sunrise times, hunting/fishing information, an electronic compass and a barometric altimeter. The use of standard AAA batteries makes sourcing power less of a problem.
Adjustable Strap – Wear like a Watch
The Foretrex 401 comes with an adjustable, tough Velcro strap which allows the GPS unit to be worn on the wrist. This is useful for those who can’t use handlebar mounts, or for extreme off-road drivers who need the extra security.
Cost and Value
The Foretrex 401 GPS system occupies an upper mid-range price comparable with other Garmin models on this list. Its small size and sleek, no-frills display doesn’t reduce its value, as it adds many new features in return. Best suited to off-road drivers.
- Electronic compass makes it harder to get lost on off-road tracks
- Use of AAA batteries keeps things simple
- High-sensitivity GPS can operate in canyons and ravines
- Utilizes dual-display for multiple readouts
- Uses Military Grid Reference System
- Militarized readouts may take some time to get use to
- Will only be suitable for certain drivers
5. AWESAFE 8GB
The sensitive touchscreen display is in true HD, with a resolution of 800x400, and comes ready to play and display pictures, videos and audio files. The large display combined with highly detailed 3D road maps make this great for easy viewing.
With built-in speakers and an FM radio transmitter, this model can also function as a useful audio player. Its music player capabilities give it a two-in-one functionality that could reduce the amount of devices you need to carry with you.
Cost and Value
This GPS system from AWESAFE comes in at a significantly lower price than many on this list, despite having a larger display. A lack of real battery life and no Bluetooth connectivity probably account for the lower price. The AWESAFE 8GB still presents good value.
- Huge display for a GPS system
- Detailed, 3D layouts of road maps
- Voice prompts make for a hands-free option
- Built-in speakers provide a handy music player, with FM radio feature
- Free maps for a lifetime
- No Bluetooth
- Must be plugged in to a power source – low battery life
6. High Sound GPS
The 7-inch display is a couple of inches bigger than other named brands. The native screen resolution of 800x480 is one of the highest you’ll find and allows this model to compete in a tough market.
90 Day Money Back Guarantee
This GPA system comes with 3 months of buyer protection in the form of a money-back guarantee. Meanwhile the warranty that ships as standard with the High Sound GPS lasts a lifetime.
Cost and Value
This model comes in at a much lower price than brand named competitors, while still supplying comparable functionality. The large, high res screen makes it a good choice for those who value clarity on the road.
- Large display compared to branded competitors
- 8GB Memory built in
- Features speed camera notifications
- Notifies of you of sharp turns up ahead
- Money back guarantee and lifetime warranty
- Translated instruction manual makes updates more difficult
- No customer support beyond email/web
7. Garmin 64ST
Any purchase of the 64ST comes with a free one year subscription to Birdseye Satellite Imagery. This highly detailed top-down satellite display reproduces your immediate surroundings with laser accuracy and includes local and natural landmarks.
The 64ST uses a quad-helix antenna and the GLONASS receiver is a high-sensitivity tool for staying informed of your surroundings. This model operates anywhere, regardless of terrain. This will benefit off-roaders particularly.
Cost and Value
The Garmin 64ST is a premium model and its price is reflective of this. It comes with a range of useful features too numerous to list, and is essential for off-roaders. This GPS system justifies its price easily.
- Small, functional design and size
- TOPO U.K 100K maps
- Bluetooth compatible
- 3-axis compass with barometric altimeter
- Works in extreme terrains – full land coverage
- May be too pricy for some
- Functional-sized screen may be too small for some
8. Trail Tech Voyager Stealth
You can programme the Trail Tech Voyager to remember your current route. It will then save the route for future use. This makes it a great tool for mapping out remote areas like fields and woodlands.
Designed for Handlebars
The Voyager avoids large screens with flashy LCD displays, and instead delivers the essentials in a display that will settle nicely into your handlebars without sticking out or getting in the way. A great tool for off-roaders.
Cost and Value
The Voyager represents the upper price-range in the moto-GPS market, but its range of motorcycle-specific features makes it a good long-term investment. It is one of the few on this list that are specifically designed for use by off-road motorcyclists.
- Back-lit LCD display
- Includes a track manager system for organising routes
- Unit is designed specifically for handlebars
- GPS track mapping
- MicroSD slot included
- High-end unit will be out of some people’s price range
- Specific off-road design will alienate some
9. Rand McNally Intelliroute
The Intelliroute uses Wi-Fi connectivity to update the driver on a range of useful data-points. A connected device will benefit from weather updates, traffic news, fuel prices and more, all without any additional subscription fees or charges.
Rugged and Durable Design
The Rand McNally Intelliroute is encased in a thick polymer case with grooves for shock absorption. The screen is stepped-in beyond the case to add extra protection. An extremely durable piece of tech built with safety in mind.
Cost and Value
The Intelliroute uses a lot of unique features which set it apart from the crowd. Some features such as weather forecasts and fuel economy info will be essential for many drivers. A higher end price is justified here by the sheer functionality of the model.
- Wide range of real-time updates via Wi-Fi
- Fuel economy route comparison
- Huge database of local businesses and services
- Extremely durable case
- 5-inch display screen
- High-end price range
- Not designed with off-road routes in mind
10. Magellan eXplorist TRX7
The BackTrack feature from Magellan allows you to explore the unknown, safe in the knowledge that you can find your way back home. By remembering your route from the start, all it takes is a click of a button to lead you back home.
High-Res U.S Maps
The TRX7 comes fully loaded with over 115,000 trails, with around 25,000 being added every year. This model also features over 6 million points of interest, and has features allowing for social media updates and achievement earning.
Cost and Value
The Magellan eXplorist TRX7 is one of the priciest on this list, but it carries a reputation for reliability and has a wide range of features to back up its high-end price. It also comes with a Ram mount, and offers good value for those who can afford it.
- BackTrack feature means you’ll never get lost
- Excellent off-road trail database
- Regular trail updates free of charge
- 7-inch high resolution display screen
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Extremely pricey
- May be too big for some tastes
As you can see, GPS units for motorcyclists come in a wide range of styles, and serve a variety of different functions. Some are designed as multi-media tools with gaming and video options, while others take a more spartan approach and offer up just the essential information.
Most of the products listed on this lost are designed with safety in mind, and offer the motorcycle enthusiast some nifty solutions to on and off-road navigation. Whether you opt for voice activation, touch-screen options, or Bluetooth functionality, will all depend on your preferred choice of attire; gloves, helmets etc. But whatever you choose, every item on this list will easily provide the basics of GPS powered road and trail navigation. All of them have 2D or 3D graphical displays, with a variety of sizes to cater to your particular set-up, and they all come with the potential for limitless, lifetime map updates.
All of them can be handle-bar mounted using ram clamps, while some come with the clamps included as standard. Be sure to check what mounts you’ll need, if any, when making your purchase. All in all, a good GPS navigation system is an essential piece of road-kit for motorcyclists.