Best Motorcycle GPS Systems of 2020
Ask any rider what is the best thing about owning a motorcycle and they will more than likely tell you that it’s the feeling they get when riding on unknown roads without a destination. While exploring the world might be nice, it’s quite easy to get lost.
One of the biggest issues with motorcycles is that they are not equipped with pre-installed GPS systems. No one knows why but fortunately, there are dozens of systems that you can find online. Since there are so many GPS systems available online it will be quite easy to find the one that suits your needs the best.
We are going to help with that by presenting the world’s top five motorcycle GPS systems.
Best Motorcycle GPS Systems of 2020
1. Garmin Zumo 595 MLM
The GPS is not a kid’s toy and it plays an important role. This is why riders who don’t want to get lost might want to consider purchasing the Garmin Zumo 595 MLM. Garmin is a renowned tech manufacturer and the Zumo 595 MLM is one of the best GPS systems for motorcycles available in the world.
The price is a bit expensive, but believe me, it’s all worth it in the long run! This is thanks to the plethora of features that the GPS offers.
The Zumo 595 MLM is the perfect companion for riding adventures because it offers a heavy-duty design that can work without any issue under pressure or bad weather. You will never have to worry about covering the GPS to protect it from dust and rain.
Moreover, the system ships with a 5-inch dual-orientation display that supports touchscreen.
Security is all that matters when riding a motorcycle at fast speeds and this is why the Zumo 595 MLM offers Bluetooth support that enables hands-free calling and smartphone notifications that will pop up directly on the 5-inch display.
To make things even better, the device provides the rider with alerts such as sharp curves, speed cameras and many other important notifications that will make the rider feel safer. Additionally, Zumo 595 MLM offers music controls for MP3 players and smartphones.
- Heavy-Duty Design
- Touchscreen Display
- Riding notifications
- The price is high
2. Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S
If you like the previous GPS but you are looking for a cheaper alternative, then you should be pleased to know that we have just the perfect device! The second GPS on our list is also manufactured by Garmin and it does an amazing job of providing riders with safe navigation and access to useful features that make it easier to explore unknown roads.
Garmin has equipped the Zumo 396 LMT-S with a 4.3-inches display that is glove-friendly. This means that you won’t need to stop your trip to take your gloves off every time that you want to address notifications or change the navigation route.
Another important thing that we want to highlight about Zumo 396 LMT-S’ display is that it is resistant to fuel vapors. While this feature might not sound like something groundbreaking, we assure you that it is a “must-have” for motorcycle GPS systems.
The resistance to fuel vapors significantly increases the durability of the device. Not just that, but the display is also resistant to UV rays and harsh weather.
There’s nothing worse when riding a motorcycle other than having to deal with rain. The roads are slippery and leaning in corners becomes more dangerous than ever! Fortunately, this is not going to be a problem for you after you mount the Zumo 396 LMT-S to your motorcycle.
The reason behind this is that the device offers access to free live services for traffic and weather reports.
- High-Quality Display
- Live traffic and weather reports
- Compatible with smartphones
- The Bluetooth connection can be problematic at times
3. TomTom Rider 550
Do you consider yourself a tech-savvy person? If that is the case and you are a fan of gadgets, then you can’t go wrong with the TomTom Rider 550. This is more than a motorcycle GPS and what we mean by this is that the folks at TomTom have updated the device with an extensive array of features.
More importantly, the device will give you the chance to personalize every road trip and it does that through custom paths. For example, you can choose to ride on as many winding and hilly roads as possible. If you are not a fan of hilly roads, then you can customize the path to follow straight roads.
TomTom Rider 550 is compatible with Google Now and Siri. This is an important feature because it enables you to use your smartphone via vocal commands. Therefore, you will be able to skip songs and answer calls without ever having to pull over.
We also want to highlight that TomTom Rider 550 will read aloud in your headset every message that you receive so that you can stay focused on the road while also being up to date with all the latest notifications.
The GPS is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and this means that it doesn’t require to be connected to a computer to load the latest maps. Not only that, but the folks at TomTom have also equipped the device with special software that receives the latest map updates so that you don’t have to manually download and install them.
- Personalized Paths
- Google Now and Siri Support
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- The device is not compatible with all mounts
4. Garmin Nuvi 2597LMT
The Nuvi 2597LMT is another great device from Garmin and it weighs in at only 6.6 ounces. This lightweight design makes the device perfect for motorcycles since you will not feel its weight when cutting corners or leaning. The measurements of the Nuvi 2597LMT are 5.4 x 3.3 x 0.76-inches and thanks to the rounded back panel edges, the device is compatible with all types of mounts.
Additionally, the device ships with a 5-inch color display that features the ability to view the map horizontally and vertically.
The biggest advantage of riding a motorcycle through the city is that you don’t have to sit in traffic. You can slide through every traffic jam, but this isn’t always safe. Luckily, the software of this device will help you stay ahead of traffic by providing you with pop-up alerts that indicate the traffic ahead and delay times.
The North American and European maps are pre-installed on the Nuvi 2597LMT but if you want to visit a foreign country that is not registered, then you should be pleased to know that the device can be updated freely with other maps.
Your hands need to always be close to the clutch, front brake and throttle when riding a motorcycle. The folks at Garmin know this too well and this is why the Nuvi 2597LMT supports voice commands and Bluetooth connectivity.
You can link up the device to your smartphone in an instant and you will be able to pick up any phone call just by giving the vocal command to your headset.
- Compatible with all mounts
- Pop-up alerts for traffic
- Easy to use
- It doesn’t load maps and routes fast
5. TomTom VIA 1525SE
We are going to end our list with another amazing device manufactured by TomTom. When it comes to price-quality ratio, the TomTom VIA 1525SE is one of the best GPS systems for motorcycles available online. The price is affordable when compared to the other products but you shouldn’t let that fool you into thinking that the performances offered by this device are sub-par, it’s quite the opposite!
TomTom VIA 1525SE is equipped with the latest GPS technologies that enable it to provide riders with the fastest and safest routes.
Another great thing about the TomTom VIA 1525SE is that you will never have a reason to upgrade to a more expensive model. The reason behind this is that this device offers lifetime access to all the latest map updates of the United States.
The free software service is a great benefit of choosing this device, especially since the only thing you will need to do to access the latest maps is to connect the device to a PC.
TomTom VIA 1525SE offers a 5-inch display with touchscreen support. The display is durable and thanks to the premium build quality, you can be sure that it will work for the years to come. Moreover, the device is equipped with a cool feature called advanced lane guidance.
This feature will make it much easier to switch lanes and you will not have to deal with sudden route changes.
- Affordable price
- Lifetime map updates
- Advanced lane guidance
- The device doesn’t support vocal commands
Best Motorcycle GPS Buying Guide
If the products that we presented today are not what you were looking for, then you don’t need to fret about it! As previously noted, there are dozens of devices to choose from and now we are going to show you the most essential criteria that a GPS needs to have so that you can pick the best one.
What many people fail to realize when searching for the best GPS for motorcycles is that the most important criteria is not the size of the display or the features that the device offers, but the way it can be mounted. If the GPS is not compatible with your handlebars, then you are in for a world of trouble since you need to return the device. Check out below the most common mount options.
The most popular mounting option is called a tank-mount. If you want to make sure that there is no way for the GPS to fall off your handlebars, then this is the option that you should pick. However, this option does come with a big downside. You will not be able to see the GPS without looking downwards.
The second option is called a bar-mount. As its name implies, it allows you to mount the GPS directly on the handlebars. The great thing about this option is that you can mount the GPS with special screws on any position that you want so that it is easier to see when riding.
Weather is always a big concern when riding a motorcycle. Riding during rain is dangerous and if you have a GPS installed, the water can cause a short-circuit or make the display malfunction. This is why your second-biggest priority when purchasing this type of device is to make sure that it is waterproof. Additionally, you can purchase motorcycle tank bags that are equipped with a waterproof top cover to protect the GPS.
- Hands-Free Support
Your hands need to always be located on the handlebars when riding and there is no doubt about that! With that said, another essential feature that the best motorcycle GPS needs to have is hands-free support. The device needs to be compatible with Bluetooth and to support vocal commands that allow you to answer calls or change routes just by speaking into your headset.
- Touchscreen with Gloves
Needing to pull over to change the route on a GPS or delete a pop-up notification is annoying enough and having to take off your gloves makes it even more irritating. Therefore, searching for a GPS that supports touchscreen with gloves is a great idea.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I install a motorcycle GPS?
What’s great about motorcycle GPS systems is that they are super easy to install. Anyone can do it from the comfort of their garage. The interfaces are user-friendly and the only thing that you will need to do after purchasing a GPS is to sync the device with your smartphone and then connect it to a charger or the motorcycle’s battery. There are also mounting systems for the handlebars and it takes less than two minutes to install them.
How does a motorcycle GPS work?
The GPS is more than a simple companion when riding on unknown roads, it can also be a lifesaver! The device is constantly updated with live information about traffic and weather reports so that it can help you avoid having to deal with them. The way that GPS systems work is by making use of your current location to provide the fastest and safest routes.
Additionally, the maps featured by the device are updated via Wi-Fi.
Are GPS systems compatible with all motorcycles?
Yes, GPS systems are compatible with all motorcycles. However, they are not all bundled with mounts and you will need to search for one that is compatible with your handlebars. There are different types of mounts and while they might be compatible with all GPS systems, each mount variant has its unique perks such as better viewing angle and improved locks so that the device doesn’t fall off when you hit a bump or start speeding on the highway.
How long does a GPS’s battery last for?
The battery life of a GPS system depends on the model that you want to purchase. All the latest models are equipped with powerful batteries that can last on average four to five hours. However, there are some things that you can do to extend battery life.
You can adjust the brightness of the display and disconnect the link to the smartphone. Furthermore, most GPS systems can be charged directly by the motorcycle’s battery.
What types of maps do I need?
You will never have to worry about maps and finding the best routes after purchasing a motorcycle GPS. All models ship with the latest map updates pre-installed on their memory. However, you can manually download more maps if you are planning to go exploring the unbeaten paths.
You can install all types third-party of maps and some GPS systems even support 3D-buildings. However, this depends on the model that you are using.