10 Best Motorcycle GPS in 2017 for Hardcore Bikers – Reviews and Guide

By Tim Fox | Motorcycle

Dec 01
best motorcycle gps

Introduction

Using your smartphone for navigation when riding a bike isn’t the ideal choice for obvious reasons. You rather need a sophisticated GPS unit. But buying any unit won’t do; you must get the best motorcycle GPS unit that not only makes navigation easy – while you focus on the road – but also offers added features and stays strong in all sorts of conditions.

While a good system will make navigation easy and traveling to new places a fun adventure, with such a wide variety available on the market finding the right one can be hard. To make your endeavor easy and help you find the best motorcycle GPS, we have put together a list of the very best motorcycle GPS gadgets you can buy.

Terminologies used

LM and LMT are two commonly used terms by different manufacturers (especially Garmin) which mean Lifetime Maps and Lifetime Maps and Traffic correspondingly. That means you’ll get free lifetime updates for maps and traffic depending on the model of your device. However, some manufacturers might not use these terms, but their product can still offer these features.

Reviews of The Best Motorcycle GPS

Before we discuss some useful buying tips and tricks, let’s review the top-rated GPS devices available for bikers:

Price: Over $8oo - $$$$ /between $600-$800 - $$$/ Between $300-$600 - $$/ Below $ 300- $

Garmin Zumo 595 LM

garmin zumo 595 lm

The Garmin Zumo 595 LM is the perfect device for adventurous riders. This unit was made out of durable materials so it can withstand virtually all types of weather conditions. And with rider alerts and other customization features, this GPS can take you anywhere you want to go, with utmost peace of mind.

This GPS unit is made with hard core bikers in mind. The screen and controls on this device are outsized, so they're not only easy to view but also easy to interact with even when you have your gloves on. Moreover, the screen has a special coating that keeps the glare off, making it easy to read under all lighting conditions.

Key Features You’ll Love

  • Hands Free Calling – This unit can sync with any smartphone so you can easily make and receive calls. Answer incoming calls and play music without ever having to touch a phone.
  • Stay Updated – With the addition of a simple app, you can use your cellphone to see weather and traffic conditions for the area. This service provides up to date conditions and can alert you about severe weather.
  • Be on the Alert – The GPS device alerts you about any extraordinary conditions on the road and with your motorcycle. It can tell you if there are any railroads, school zones, or rough terrain headed toward you. It also includes monitoring the length of time you have been on the road. The GPS system will recommend places for you to pull over for some rest.
  • The unit monitors the status of the bike as well. The device can provide an alert when the motorcycle runs low on fuel or air pressure, or experiences any other issue. In case there is a problem, an alarm will tell the rider immediately so they can fix the issue.
  • Navigation – Never get lost or tangled in traffic again. This GPS unit can use nearby landmarks to identify the location of the biker. And you will get a realistic view of junctions and roadways coming up.
  • Updated Maps – This unit comes with the ability to download the latest maps for as long as you own the device.

Things We Liked

  • Good mounting system
  • Single power cable
  • Screen is bright, easy to see
  • Compatible with both motorcycle and car

Things We Didn't Like

  • Poor sound quality
  • Slow connection
garmin zumo 395 lm

It’s another Garmin GPS unit that is considered one of the best motorcycle GPS devices because it can help you navigate through any terrain with pinpoint accuracy. This unique system uses the most up to date information to keep you informed of traffic, and environmental conditions ahead. Garmin Zumo 395 LM comes with an extremely powerful battery, making it an ideal choice for those who love to take long rides.

Anyone looking for a motorcycle navigator that is perfect for long rides will love the Zumo 395. The large display is easy to use, even when wearing gloves. The exterior is constructed from durable materials that resist fumes, UV rays, as well as the harshest weather conditions.

Key Features You’ll Love

  • Stay Connected – This GPS unit can connect with a smartphone using a Bluetooth connection. It allows you to make phone calls, stream music, and use other features of their wireless device as they ride.
  • Stay Alert – Riders who travel know the perils of the road. This unit will alert you of upcoming school zones, railroads, bad traffic, and poor weather conditions. Also, it will keep track of the length of the ride, so you know when it's time to pull over before you get fatigued.
  • The device keeps an eye on the overall condition of the bike also, so all your focus is on the road. It monitors everything, from tire level to fuel consumption. When something needs attention, you’re alerted to the issue.
  • Navigation – This GPS unit has an enhanced navigation system that can guide you through all kinds of conditions. Use lane assists in navigating traffic comfortably. It is a feature that allows you to get directions using nearby landmarks, so they never get lost.
  • Always Updated – This GPS unit offers lifetime map updates.

Things We Liked

  • Features enhance ride
  • Good Routing
  • Large Memory Space

Things We Didn't Like

  • Screen is hard to read in extreme, direct sunlight
tomtom ridder

This device is perfect for riders looking for their next adventure. Plan exciting new routes that can be shared with friends. You can create new rides or share a journey you have been on before with this unique GPS unit, so that your unforgettable road trips become timeless.

The TomTom Rider comes with a range of features that can be customized for the best ride possible. These controls are easy to access and keep the rider informed at all times. Enjoy the next ride by bypassing traffic and staying on the road longer.

Key Features You’ll Love

  • Updates – This device comes with the ability to download the latest maps free of charge.
  • Large Interface – The large screen on this GPS unit makes it perfect for riding in any conditions. It can be seen even in sunny weather. And the controls are made to be easily used with gloved hands.
  • Upload Routes – Create the perfect routes to ride and upload them to the GPS through a Bluetooth connection. This motorcycle navigation can connect to a range of devices that are Bluetooth capable of giving you more options than ever. They can listen to music and even get live weather and traffic updates.
  • Durable – The shell of this GPS unit is made from durable material that can stand up in any weather conditions. There is even an anti-glare coating on the bright screen so that it will always be visible.

Things We Liked

  • Easy to use controls
  • Convenient pre-planned routes
  • Very accurate navigation

Things We Didn't Like

  • Slow calculations
tomtom ridder 400

This GPS unit is for any rider who wants to go on the adventure of a lifetime. The route through some of the most unusual places, customize the trip, and even share your journey with friends. You can even re-route to avoid inclement weather, heavy traffic, or any other potential hazards.

It is the best motorcycle GPS unit when it comes to keeping you on the road and out of traffic. One thing we particularly liked is that the TomTom Rider 400 motorcycle navigation system allows you to enter custom routes that can be changed on the fly.

Key Features You’ll Love

  • Customizable Navigation – Set up a roundtrip tour that takes you on the route you want to travel. You can stay at low levels or climb to high elevations for a unique adventure. And this device can be set up to show the turns coming ahead for an easier ride.
  • Share with Friends – Customize the perfect route in the setting you want and share with friends so everyone can stay on the same page.
  • Traffic and Maps – The TomTom GPS comes with the ability to download updated maps and traffic information.
  • All in all, we totally loved the clarity of the screen. It can be seen in all weather conditions, even bright sun. Another amazing feature that surprised us is that you can plan a route on your computer or smartphone and transfer it to the motorcycle navigation system.

Things We Liked

  • Intuitive controls
  • Bright, easy to read screen
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to use mapping

Things We Didn't Like

  • Screen becomes less responsive when wet
  • Menus are a little Small

Garmin Zumo 660 - Best Budget Motorcycle GPS

Garmin Zumo 660

This GPS system is made for bikers looking for a new adventure every time they hit the road. Whether you ride every day or just for recreation, this is the perfect unit. It has advanced features for enhanced driving and detailed maps that will you anywhere you want to go, without any hassle.

Just like most other GPS units by Garmin, this device also comes with a large, bright screen that can be seen in any weather conditions and controls are easy to use, even with gloved hands.

Key Features You’ll Love

Some of the highlights that make it one of the best motorcycle GPS systems are:

  • Free Lifetime Maps – This unit comes with lifetime map updates. It ensures that the device will always have the most recent maps of all areas in the United States.
  • 3D Technology – This system has more enhanced three-dimensional pictures show more than ever. This unit gives a picture of streets, junctions, and even buildings for a better visual of the surroundings.
  • Staying Connected – This device can connect to a Bluetooth device. It gives you the ability to stream music and make calls without ever touching the phone.
  • Lane Assist – Riders can keep their eyes on the road at all times with this GPS unit. A lane assist feature tells the rider where and how to navigate quickly through traffic. It also helps you find your way through tight junctions.
  • Will Last For years – This device is designed to be durable. The motorcycle navigation system is waterproof and made to stand up to the elements. The outer shell will not fade or crack over time because it is made to resist UV rays and all types of weather conditions.

Things We Liked

  • Well-built, durable unit
  • Works well in any weather
  • Easy to use controls

Things We Didn't Like

  • Screen blacks out in direct sun
bmw motorrad navigator v best bike GPS

This amazing GPS unit is a product that was made by the two most renowned and biggest companies in their industry: BMW and Garmin, to use with this brand of motorcycle. The unit as well as additional features (which are extremely useful) might be a little pricier than the competition, however, you get what you pay for. In short, you just can’t go wrong with the BMW Motorrad Navigator V aka NAV5, no matter what your expectations are.

BMW Motorrad Navigator offers you with exceptional navigation, both for riding on or off the road. It's also Bluetooth capable of being able to connect with a range of wireless devices.

The Motorrad Navigator V is perfect for riders who love the BMW brand. Made for this brand of bike, it’s compatible with car and motorcycle. It has enhanced features that can provide up to date information so you can find the fastest as well as safest route possible.

What we really like about NAV5 is that it offers a plethora of peerless features including last spot (parking), world clock, alarm clock, calculator, unit convertor, dynamic parking (finds free parking nearby), weather updates, last ride analysis, overall stats, trip log, and a lot more, and is still very easy to use and there is a very small learning curve.

Key Features You’ll Love

  • Responsive touchscreen interface
  • Easy to Mount – This unit has a four-button cradle mount and can be easily installed on the BMW. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery that's charged by the motorcycle. And the display is easy to interact with, even when wearing gloves.
  • Navigation – This device allows you to put in longer routes and allows for up to nearly 3800 reference points. Many cities offer a three-dimensional display for a more realistic view of roadways. And voice-based directions allow you to keep your eyes on the road.
  • Bluetooth – This motorcycle navigation can connect to any Bluetooth capable device so you can receive calls, stream music, and have access to apps. It also allows you to get up to date information about weather conditions and traffic in the immediate area.
  • Map Updates – Lifetime map downloads are included with this motorcycle navigation unit at no extra cost.

Things We Liked

  • More complex routes made easy
  • Faster calculations
  • Powerful Bluetooth connection
  • Easy to read screen
  • Intuitive controls
  • Packed with amazing free features plus you can buy more
  • Keeps track of your road trips, last trip stats, and gives a comprehensive report on your bike’s condition

Things We Didn't Like

  • Extra features are a Little Pricey

Car GPS That Can Be Used For Motorcylce

Garmin Nuvi 57 LMT

garmin nuvi 57LMT

Bikers who love to tour cities all over the United States will want this GPS unit. It is the best motorcycle GPS for finding local restaurants, hotels, and other local hot spots.

This GPS device will help you explore towns all over again. Now, you are not dependent on magazines and other resources for the best places to go. These are all programmed in and can be accessed at any time. And the easy to use features make it perfect for all types of riders.

Key Features You’ll Love

  • Navigation – The big screen displays the directions to any location in the United States. This device comes programmed with a detailed map of the country. It allows you to see all the turns and obstructions on the road so you can stay on the safest route.
  • The verbal directions give you turn by turn navigation so you can keep your eyes on the road. And when you see the traffic slowing down, you can use the GPS unit to see just how far the jam goes. This device also alerts you of detours and other causes for the delay on the road.
  • POI – This device paired with Foursquare to locate a variety of businesses in the area. The rider can just type in something like “restaurants” or “shops” and get a list of places to go.
  • Lifetime Maps and Traffic – You can download updated information for traffic and maps anytime with no additional charge.
  • Garmin Nuvi 57 LMT gave excellent and accurate directions. Navigation through towns was easy because this gives alerts to traffic and school zones to be able to avoid slower areas.

Things We Liked

  • Clear directions
  • Lane assist enhances ride
  • Excellent re-routing and traffic alerts

Things We Didn't Like

  • POI feature doesn’t always work perfectly
Garmin 70 LMT

With detailed maps of North America, this is the best motorcycle GPS system for riders looking for an enhanced experience. This one keeps you fully connected, with a range of alerts and updates to choose from.

The Garmin Drivesmart 70 LMT navigation system is ideal if you use your bike for everyday commute. Warnings alert you of crosswalks, railroads, and any other possible obstruction in the road. It also lets you stay updated on current red light and speed cameras, along with traffic jam alerts.

Key Features You’ll Love

  • Alerts That Keep the Rider Safe – On the daily commute, there are a variety of school zones, animal crossings, railroads, and detours to slow down the ride. This unit will alert you to these upcoming zones so you can easily navigate around the block.
  • Plan a better route – The Garmin Drivesmart 70 also provides up to date traffic information. It can also pick up red light and speed cameras in the area. All the information allows you to plan the perfect route to work and home.
  • Stay Connected – The Bluetooth connection will enable you to use a cellphone to stay connected while you’re on the road. You will be able to handle calls hands-free, get navigation through a headset, or listen to music. You can also get the latest weather and traffic updates through an app on the phone.
  • Lane Assist – Sometimes it can be difficult to navigate busy intersections. This screen comes to life to alert you of just where you need to be to pass slower traffic and make turns easily.
  • Keep Maps Current – The lifetime map updates that come with this device make it possible to have the most current information for any town.
  • It’s simply amazing how easy it is to set up the system and install the maps. We also liked the Bluetooth feature on this motorcycle navigation system which gave excellent navigation instructions, and you can easily stream your favorite music and make handsfree phone calls.

Things We Liked

  • Understands voice commands well
  • Intuitive controls
  • Easy to read large, bright screen

Things We Didn't Like

  • Some available routes appear closed
  • Sometimes the GPS signals are not strong enough
garmin nuvi 2597 lmt

This unit is easy to use and will keep you up to date on every piece of information regarding your road trip. The Gamin Nuvi 2597 comes with lifetime map updates that also include points of interest. It allows you to download new information up to four times a year, so you always have the most recent information at the tip of their fingers.

The voice command option allows you to speak a command, so they don't have to take their hand off the handlebars. And lane assist and spoken traffic updates make it easy to navigate through any conditions, without having to take your focus off the road.

Key Features You’ll Love

  • Free Maps – When you purchase this device, you get free lifetime map updates as well.
  • Interface – The large interface on this GPS unit is easy to use, even when wearing large gloves.
  • Traffic Updates – This GPS unit allows you to get the latest information on traffic and roads in all towns. It is done at no additional charge, so the device is always up to date.
  • Real Time – This device has the ability to know just where the rider is at all times. It can recognize buildings and landmarks to pick up a location. The unit also uses this information to give you a bird’s eye view of your location. You can see a three-dimensional picture of streets and turns for better navigation.
  • Bluetooth Capable – This device can connect to any device with Bluetooth. You can stream music, transfer routes to the GPS unit from a computer, and get live updates on weather and traffic on your phone.
  • This Garmin GPS connects to the satellite in just seconds, so you don’t have to worry about lost GPS signals. It’s amazing how it provides fast recalculations, so you don’t face any delay in directions.

Things We Liked

  • Connects well to satellite and Bluetooth
  • Easy to see screen
  • Works in all weather conditions

Things We Didn't Like

  • Hard to remove once mounted

Garmin Nuvi 2699 LMT HD -Best Car GPS Compatible with Motorcycle

garmin nuvi 2699 lmt hd

Almost every rider will love this GPS unit because of the detailed information that it has to offer. It is loaded with points of interest to allow you to explore the country. It also comes programmed with detailed maps so you can plan the perfect route.

You will appreciate the accurate navigation and intricate details this motorcycle navigation system provides. You can create a ride that hits all the hot spots along the way.

Key Features You’ll love

  • Tons of Destinations – This device partners with Foursquare to provide a list of the best places to go in any town in the United States. Each place has a detailed map to help you easily navigate to each destination.
  • Traffic Navigation – This GPS unit has an enhanced system that makes travel through congested areas easier than ever. Get up to the moment accurate information about jams and severe weather coming to the area.
  • Directions and Lane Assist – You will never have to take your eyes off the road with this GPS unit. It provides lane assist, so you know just where you need to be for quick and easy passage.
  • Garmin Nuvi 2699 LMT HD offers clear, spoken directions so you can keep their attention where it needs to be.
  • Map Updates – You have the ability to download new maps for the life of this device.
  • The traffic alerts were up to date and accurate. This Garmin GPS can pick up any roads, even in the country where some other units fail to work.

Things We Liked

  • Voice command works well
  • Easy to use controls
  • Strong Bluetooth connection

Things We Didn't Like

  • Reflective Screen can be hard to see in direct, harsh sunlight
  • Traffic function doesn’t always work perfectly

Top Brands

Though TomTom used to be considered the best motorcycle GPS system out there until a few years ago, this is not the case anymore. Garmin has introduced a wide range of products to the market which are not only more durable and reliable, but also offer better, more advanced technology. The company has grown exponentially by acquiring a bunch of other companies and subsidiaries since 2003.

Garmin brand provides up to date traffic conditions and can even alert you of incoming bad weather. Gamin GPS are also programmed with detailed maps of the United States, so you will never be lost. Some even come equipped with a large selection of shops, restaurants, and other places of interest to visit while in the town. Garmin definitely deserves the title of the best motorcycle GPS system on the market.

The best thing about Garmin is their navigators, such as the Zūmo series, is designed, manufactured, and tested for bikers with different needs and expectations. From inception to manufacture, the line is built by people who are bikers themselves and understand your needs. From being easily readable in the sun to glove-friendly touchscreen interface, Garmin GPS has everything.

In addition to high-quality yet affordably priced products, their customer service is also topnotch. Their shipping fees (ground 2–5 business days: $8, 2nd business day 2–3 business days $18, and next business day 1 business day: $28) are reasonable. On top of that, you have a no-hassle, 30-day money back guarantee, which however doesn’t apply to software. You can learn more about their shipping fees and refund policies here.

Buying Guide & FAQ

Choosing A Unit

Choosing the best motorcycle GPS unit depends on the way you will use it. If you take long trips, look for a unit that matches durability with excellent navigation and offers an extended battery life. All the devices on this list can provide these features. They all have detailed maps of the United States with the ability to withstand the elements.

All of the devices on this list also provide traffic, weather, and road alerts to keep you safe. They can provide details for bad weather as well as traffic jams in the area. This motorcycle navigation system also give alerts to school zones, railroad crossing, and other possible obstructions on the road. A waterproof build, bigger screen, Bluetooth connect, and ability to detect tire pressure and fuel level are also a must have for any motorcycle GPS system.

Main Features to Look For

It’s a no-brainer that the most important feature is the navigation. You want to find a motorcycle navigation system that provides all the bells and whistles, from traffic alerts to lane assist. These features allow you to re-route quickly to get the best route possible. This feature is worth paying a little more for the unit. It will ensure you get the most detailed maps and can see certain intersections and junctions in three dimensions to safely navigate these areas.

When choosing a GPS unit, the controls and visibility of the screen are another feature you may want to check out. Make sure the unit can withstand all types of weather and resist the cracking and fading that comes with fumes and UV rays.

Using The GPS

The motorcycle navigation systems should be used to create a detailed route to the intended destination. It includes the points of interest, such as restaurants and local hot spots along the way, so you will always know where to stop for a meal. You can also turn on the alerts to get an alarm when:

  • The traffic begins to build in the area.
  • Bad weather is on the way.
  • When there are railroads, crossings, or traffic detours from construction.
  • When red light or speed cameras in the area
  • The conditions of the motorcycle including tire pressure, fuel level, and other conditions.
  • When the rider has been driving for an extended period using this GPS will help them navigate easier.

Another feature that makes these units easier to use is Bluetooth. This feature allows you to attach a device through a wireless connection so you can stream music, listen to turn by turn directions, and make phone calls. These devices can also be equipped with an app to give advanced traffic and weather conditions.

Types of GPS Units for Motorcyclists

  • Special – The GPS units on this list all fall into this category. Special motorcycle navigation systems come equipped with all the features needed to give the best ride and last for years to come. They are made with durable materials, being able to withstand any type of weather, fumes, and UV rays.
    These devices also have Bluetooth capability and come with enhanced navigation features. They may have a higher price tag, but they are all worth the money. These devices provide an enhanced view of the road to ensure you get to your destination safely.
  • Portable – If you love to explore the road and the trails, get a portable unit. They can be taken on hikes in addition to mounting them on your motorcycles. These usually have comparatively smaller body and smaller screen, but offer more maps and can get you through any type of terrain.
  • Hybrid – This is also a portable unit. The difference with a hybrid is that it provides the large screen of a regular GPS device.

Conclusion

When it comes to navigation, Garmin GPS units beat the competition hands down and are the best motorcycle GPS systems. This company strives to continually improve their products to give you the best possible ride. Garmin’s motorcycle navigation systems are compatible with car and motorcycle to be used in all vehicles. They have maps of all the states and come with a range of alerts to keep you informed.

Their partnership with German car giant BMW, however, produced the best motorcycle GPS device you can buy. It has everything a biker can dream of and more. They are not just a GPS unit, but an all-over routing device plus personal digital assistant that can assist you in navigating a range of terrains and conditions.

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