Attaching a GPS navigator to a motorcycle isn’t a new concept but it is a niche market that GPS navigator manufacturers continue to invest in. Sure smartphones can be used for navigation purposes but not everyone is willing to mount their pricey touchscreen device that they are likely paying every month. Then there is the TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS, which is more than half the price of a flagship phone. Not so many GPS devices reach the $400 mark but the Rider Motorcycle GPS has a pretty justifiable reason as its design and features make it very motorcycle friendly.

TomTom Rider

TomTom Rider

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Design

The TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS may not be a very attractive looking GPS device for the price but it should blend in well with just about any motorcycle. Unlike premium automotive GPs navigators, the Rider Motorcycle GPS focuses more on durability than looks and that’s for the best because an exposed GPS device needs extra protection. TomTom delivers the goods complete with a fully waterproof design so those unexpected rainy days don’t ruin the experience. Plus, the 4.3-inch touchscreen can be viewed under direct sunlight and it can respond to touches even if you are wearing gloves. You also don’t have to worry about stability too because the TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS comes with a universal mount supplied by RAM – a well-respected supplier. It is also vibration proof so you can keep it mounted no matter what biking conditions you go through.

Features

The Rider Motorcycle GPS offers plenty of neat features that bike riders will appreciate. One of the more unique ones includes this special “Winding Roads” feature. Apparently, not all bike riders enjoy straight roads so you have the option to use Winding Roads so your upcoming path is most likely to consist of curved roads to make the whole motorcycle experience more thrilling. Before you get started, you may turn on the “Trip Recording” feature so you have an idea on what path you took even if you decided to take a detour or two. This makes it easier to head back to the spot you first turned the feature on. You may also share your recording with others to give fellow bike riders a chance to experience what you went through. If you prefer a more straightforward route, you can leave it to TomTom’s trademark IQ Routes feature that brings up the fastest route and offers a pretty accurate ETA although the device cannot monitor traffic.

With the “Itineraries” feature, the TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS is also a pretty good GPS device to rely on when going on a vacation. Every tour you plan or waypoint you visit can be saved in case you want to repeat that tour in the future or show it off to friends by means of the “Upload and Go” feature. Because other TomTom users can upload routes online, you can download these routers to your Rider Motorcycle GPS too. Fellow motorcyclists that use a TomTom Rider can take an easier approach by pairing the devices via Bluetooth and sending the routes directly.

The Bluetooth functionality of this TomTom device is a bit more versatile than the average Bluetooth-enabled GPS navigator. For starters, it can connect to your smartphone wirelessly so you don’t have to touch the smartphone whenever you receive a call or message. You can also enjoy hands-free calling with the TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS. If you own a headset or Bluetooth-enabled helmet, you may also link the accessory to the Rider Motorcycle GPS and have the audio directions sent directly to the earpiece so you can hear them loud and clear.

Some of the other features of the TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS are quite clever. When you switch on your bike’s ignition, your mounted TomTom Rider will power on as well. The charging bike dock ensures that your Rider Motorcycle GPS will stay charged. It is quite possible for motorcyclists to end up on a highway so TomTom carried its Advanced Lane Guidance from its automotive GPS devices and implemented it on the TomTom Rider. The 4.3-inch display is just enough to show off the nice 3D graphics that represent junctions and intersections. You should also have no concerns regarding speed cameras because the TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS is capable of mapping them all out. You will get alerts when they are nearby so you can respond accordingly and avoid those pesky fines. Finally, the TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS has an extensive database of points of interest with free lifetime map updates for life.

Bottom Line

The TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS is one of the best bike GPS devices money can buy simply because it is very durable, comes packed with nice features and has TomTom’s simple interface. The screen is the main weak point as its low resolution pales in comparison against modern smartphones with displays where you can hardly see the pixels.

Update: There is a newer model > TomTom Rider 400

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