If you want to get somewhere on your motorcycle and you don’t know the way…then the obvious answer in the sat nav! But which is most suitable for motorcycle riders?
Well this largely depends on which motorcycle you own and what your preferred navigation methods are. For some luddites…including me…I still regard a physical map book or map as the foundation but you must have a keen sense of direction too. Knowing where you are in time and space is a great advantage to being able to figure out notionally in which general direction you should be heading.
Of course most people would say…just look at the sun in the daylight or the moon and stars at night…but seeing as celestial navigation was never really my strong suit…I think a decent sat nav will do just nicely…but which one?
So if you ride a big new touring motorcycle then the sat nav function is usually built in, therefore no need to worry, but what if it fails or if you don’t have it in the first palce.
Well you could go to the tried and true, Tom Tom, Garmin or similar notable brands. Heck you could get onto Amazon or Ebay and get a cheap sat nav that might work…not sure for how long though.
You could just use your phone which work amazingly well but not always suited to long range riding because motorcycle vibrations can cause your phones and phone cameras, especially iPhones to stop working properly. Some of the latest motorcycles employ scaled down sat navs as part of the instrument cluster but this is merely a display and the sat nav information id derived from your phone which needs to bluetooth it across.
So it is this capability that seems to be the better budget option for most people. You can secure your phone in your pocket but just have a remote display on your handlebars with which you can glean directional information on your journey. The only downside here is that you cannot change route information on the fly whilst riding so you’d have to pull over and reset your phone.
This option seems the best to me. Relatively inexpensive, compact and easily removable for security. Your phone is less likely to be swiped off your handlebars when riding in some dodgy part of town and less likely to incur damage albeit their are anti vibration mounts that are ‘supposed’ to protect the phones…but many reports suggest this is not always the case.
So in the next couple of weeks I will be testing out a few motorcycle sat navs. Some more expensive and some more on the budget scale to see which suits me best…what is your choice?
TomTom Motorcycle Sat Nav Rider 500