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.
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.
Before we discuss some useful buying tips and tricks, let’s review the top-rated GPS devices available for bikers:
Garmin Zumo 595 LM - Best Motorcycle GPS
Garmin Zumo 395 LM
Garmin BMW Navigator VI
Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S
TomTom Rider 400 Portable Motorcycle GPS
Garmin Zumo 390 LM
BMW Motorrad Navigator V with Cradle - Runner Up
Garmin Nuvi 57 LMT
Garmin Drivesmart 70 LMT
Garmin Nuvi 2597 LMT
Garmin Nuvi 2699 LMT HD -Best Car GPS Compatible with Motorcycle
Price: Over $8oo - $$$$ /between $600-$800 - $$$/ Between $300-$600 - $$/ Below $ 300- $
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.
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.
Wherever the name “BMW” is mentioned it is enough to perk our ears up and make us take note. A car manufacturer of distinction, it seems only fitting that they would choose a brand as innovative and research-based as Garmin is. The two joined forces for this product to create a GPS system that presents both fine quality and technical brilliance, but that does come with a price tag that reflects it.
The BMW navigator represents the epitome of high end, on the move biker tech – but is it worth the money and does it live up to the hype? Let's examine it further and find out.
The BMW VI starts off by offering free maps for the lifetime of service life on any pre-installed software. This means that, once you get the map you will get free updates for life. This device has been optimized for use alongside BMW's own Motorrad Communication system. Once connected it will recognize your voice and you can give command prompts to open music or messages as you ride. It is both Android and IOS compatible, comes with 3 years warranty courtesy of the manufacturer and is
probably the best looking GPS we have ever seen.
The Zumo 396 echoes with the threat of adventure by making use of its winding road feature that makes sure you always have the most scenic choice of route while limiting your exposure to freeways and highways. That's all well and good, but we wanted to find out what the other features were, too.
The Garmin sets you up for adventure with a 4.5-inch screen that is smog, weather and sun-proofed for your comfort. Garmin identifies itself as one of the market leaders and this product has enviable statistics for a similar price to some of the higher end brands. This device links to your phone in order to download content, updates and traffic information which means that you need to download an app to use it... not great for users who still rely on an old phone.
The Zumo 396 does have a free group sharing feature that is great for road trips and live updates etc. In addition, the system is easy to understand and use.
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.
With Garmin, a brand known throughout the industry to be fairly inventive and therefore worth paying attention to, the Sumo 390 presents a higher grade model than its counterpart. This Zumo has a touchscreen display with TFT and a white back-light to combat some of the screen reading issues they
have encountered before. It's waterproof, it has free maps –really; with this version of a modern Biker
GPS system, they have gone out of their way to play their best hand.
We really wanted to take a closer look at this one. The excitement was palpable.
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.
This TomTom has been specifically designed to work best for bikers and comes with built-in Wi-Fi. If you buy this model you get free traffic and map updates for a lifetime – not only that but it is compatible with both Siri and Alexa, so there is no need for the ladies to fight.
TomTom first emerged at the height of the GPS trend and have been working hard to keep their products up-to-date with new features and software. Let's take a look at some of the things that you get if you choose to buy the Rider 550.
This model has that all-important built-in Wi-Fi that means it updates as you move. You don't need to connect it to a computer to download updates as you did with the earlier models. This device also lets you connect to headphones to listen to texts or music as you go along.
Like the Navigator VI, this amazing GPS unit was made by BMW and Garmin. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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. This is why the Garmin Zumo 595 is the Best we find. 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.