It wasn’t long ago that GPS devices were considered a luxury. However, the last few years they became ubiquitous as prices of GPS chips have dropped and became smaller and easier to implement in a variety of devices. The benefits of using a GPS are many, they can help you plan your route, avoid traffic, will show you nearby POIs (points of interest). Overall they can make your ride less stressful and can even save you same gas money. The majority of the available devices have been built for cars, however there are few that were made specifically for motorcycles. Below we are going to take a look at some of the most popular and highest rated motorcycle GPS devices currently available.
|GPS Unit||Image||Screen Size||Screen Resolution||Bluetooth||Battery Life||Waterproof||Other Notable Features|
|Garmin Zumo 590LM||5"||800 x 480 pixels||Yes||up to 4 hours||Yes (IPX7)||MP3 player, 3-D terrain view, dual-orientation transflective screen,|
|Garmin Zumo 390LM||4.3"||480 x 272 pixels||Yes||up to 7 hours||Yes (IPX7)||Curvy Roads routing guides,|
|Garmin Zumo 665LM||4.3"||480 x 272 pixels||Yes (with A2DP technology)||up to 3 hours||Yes (IPX7)||MP3 player, XM receiver antenna, 3-D landmarks and terrain, digital fuel gauge|
|TomTom RIDER||4.3"||480 x 272 pixels||Yes (For handsfree calling and data exchange)||Up to 6 hours||Yes (IPX7)||Charging bike dock,|
|Garmin Zumo 660LM||4.3"||480 x 272 pixels||Yes (with A2DP technology)||up to 5 hours||Yes (IPX7)||MP3 player, digital fuel gauge|
|Garmin zumo 350LM||4.3"||480 x 272 pixels||Yes (Helmet or headset use only)||up to 7 hours||Yes (IPX7)||Digital fuel gauge,|
Essential Features of a Motorcycle GPS
Mobile GPS units have become virtually mandatory for many drivers. Gone are the days of trying to hold maps unfolded over the steering wheel or reading hastily written directions while watching for signs and landmarks. Today’s drivers rely on GPS units that give them spoken directions every step of the way, often while displaying real-time maps marked with the vehicle’s location.
Motorcycle riders can benefit from this same technology. The GPS unit for a motorcycle, however, needs some features and capabilities that may not be found in standard GPS systems.
Motorcycle riders often wear gloves. This may be for protection in a crash, for comfort in cold weather or for a better grip on the handlebars. This means that they must be able to operate their GPS unit with gloved fingers. Touch screens need to have large, well separated icons that will respond to the touch of a finger covered in leather or cloth. Controls such as on/off switches and function buttons also need to be large and easy to find.
Easy to Read Screen
Large, glove-friendly icons would have the added benefit of making the screen easy to read when the rider glances quickly at it while riding. Another readability issue for motorcycle riders is the sun. If the unit is mounted where it can be seen while riding, it will also often be in direct sunlight. A screen that has filtering or shading to make it visible would be essential for a motorcycle GPS unit.
A conventional GPS speaker would be difficult if not impossible to hear on a motorcycle. A motorcycle GPS would need to have Bluetooth capability to allow the rider to listen to the directions through an earphone. This might be accomplished via a separate earpiece, with a helmet that has a built-in Bluetooth capability, or via one of the popular in-helmet communication systems that allow riders to talk to each other while riding.
Protection from the Elements
A motorcycle GPS will be exposed to harsh conditions. Vibrations, rain and wind can damage sensitive electronics. A GPS for a motorcycle would need to have a rugged construction that could stand up to the elements.
Just like their car and truck driving counterparts, motorcycle riders want the convenience and safer driving that can come with a GPS system. Riders need to be aware of the extra challenges that a motorcycle GPS faces, and look for a unit that has the features and capabilities they need. This will ensure that their GPS units will be long-lasting, safe and easy to use.