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Published Aug. 2, 2021

Today’s smartphones have made it so incredibly simple to find out where you are, route a drive to almost anywhere, and follow turn-by-turn directions along the way. But there’s a catch: you can’t really rely on your smartphone when you’re hanging onto the handlebars of your motorcycle. That’s why, even in today’s world of handy and highly capable smartphones, a motorcycle GPS is the best tool to carry.

Motorcycle GPS devices are all about helping you find your way without getting lost. Made solely for navigation, these GPS units are designed to attach securely to your bike and give you the guidance you need, all while you keep your attention on the road. And they can offer even more features, perks, and guidance than a basic smartphone’s maps app. If you’re looking for a helpful and smart motorcycle GPS, we’ve done the hard work for you. Check out which devices we consider the best of the bunch right here.

The Best Motorcycle GPS

Meet the Garmin Zumo GPS, our first product under review in this article. It is considered the best choice product in this article because of its global acclaim. This system is well suited for all your new riding adventures, thanks to its premium, heavy-duty design that allows it to withstand constant pressures for a more prolonged operation. The Garmin Zumo allows you to limit significant highways and find your way around the hilly and curvy roads you encounter during your trip.

This GPS features durable construction that comprises a sunlight-readable touchscreen. This system is a 5-inch dual-orientation model that comes with its rugged design for resistance to harsh weather. Every turn you take, you’re altered by the Garmin system about oncoming sharp curves, speed cameras, and state helmet laws to ensure that you’re always in check. You are also free to place calls and undertake other hands-free activities since this GPS comes with a Bluetooth device. All smartphone notifications are displayed on the Zumo screen, with help from the free smartphone link app incorporated by manufacturers.

Key Features
  • Premium motorcycle GPS
  • Sunlight-readable 5-inch dual-orientation touchscreen
  • Garmin Adventurous Routing
  • Hands-free calling and smartphone notifications
Specification
  • Brand Garmin
  • Model 010-01603-00
  • Weight 14.4 ounces
PROS

Inherent controls

Long battery life

Easy to use mapping

CONS

Small menus and buttons

The screen is not glove-friendly

Lack of adequate customer support

Another GPS we have come to love is the TomTom Rider GPS Navigation Device. Out of all available systems in the market, many customers opt for this model because of its reliability and affordability. This motorcycle tracking device is a 4.3-inch unit with motorcycle specific winding for better performance. You can make use of this best motorcycle GPS on hilly and winding roads, as it enables you to discover new territories and more exciting trails that are usually hidden. Take a step away from boring road trips and venture onto more new paths that make your trip more memorable.

There are many unique features possessed by this unit. Each element comes together to allow customers to have the best traveling experience. The first major design element incorporated is the use of Wi-Fi for operations and updates. This reduces your data consumption costs and also keeps you updated on all new routes and the latest maps. There is no need for a computer to upgrade your software, as this can be done on the device directly. You can also operate this GPS device via voice, thanks to its compatibility with Siri and Google. With voice control, you can access music, calls, messages, and many more tasks without lifting a finger.

Key Features
  • Updates via Wi-Fi
  • Compatible with Siri and Google now
  • Smartphone messages
  • TomTom road trips
Specification
  • Brand TomTom
  • Model 1GF0.047.00
  • Weight 9.9 ounces
PROS

Easy to use GPS navigator

Precise and detailed maps

CONS

Malfunctioning

Software installation failure

The Trail Tech Voyager Pro GPS Kit for Adventure Bikes is a fantastic option if you’re a motorcycle rider who doesn’t mind getting rough or dirty. Specifically designed for more adventurous rides, this motorcycle GPS can handle everything the great outdoors will throw in your direction.

This GPS combines premium navigation capabilities with a rugged design that can handle everything from bumps and rough roads to unpredictable weather. It’s built with materials that can handle extreme conditions and is rated IP-67 for waterproofing and dust protection. A TFT display makes it easy to pinpoint your location and follow a route even in bright sunlight or the darkness of night. That display screen is touch-sensitive too, and it even works while you’re wearing gloves.

Key Features
  • Measures 5.6 x 3.5 inches in size
  • Comes with docking cradle and mounting hardware
  • Rated IP-67 against water and dust
  • 3.7V and 3,100 mAh lithium ion rechargeable battery
Specification
  • Brand Trail Tech
  • Model 922-123
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Bluetooth connectivity allows you to have a lot of options, including communication through the GPS unit itself

Designed to survive extreme rides and conditions, including unpredictable weather

Can be paired with Trail Tech sensors to deliver data like engine temperature, RPM, and more

CONS

Communication features only work with other riders who also have the same GPS

Designed more for adventure rides than your everyday around-town jaunts

Get a taste of new, exciting, and twisted roads for your next adventure by using the Garmin Zumo LMT-S GPS. This is the best GPS device in the market, with its exceptional 4.3-inch display and a rugged general design that attracts many adventurers and travelers. The unit is built to be weatherproof; thus, it can be used throughout the year without fail. The Garmin Zumo LMT-S is a motorcycle GPS that helps you navigate around traffic and weather and also discover all new routes that can make your journey more enjoyable.

This Garmin Zumo GPS device is highly resistant to UV rays, fuel vapors, and harsh weather.it is a rugged glove-friendly unit that can be paired with your smartphone for a more modern experience. Making use of the smartphone features of this device provides you with the ability to undertake hands-free calling and also to receive smart notifications. You can also share any GPX file of your choice via the Smartphone Link app, a free addition offered to all users. Find new hilly or curvy roads with the Garmin Zumo, and limit your use of the boring highways on your next trip.

Key Features
  • Motorcycle GPS
  • 4.3-inch display display
  • Rugged design
  • Smartphone Link app
Specification
  • Brand Garmin
  • Model 010-02019-00
  • Weight 1.76 pounds
PROS

Perfect screen size for a detailed display

Ideal in any weather conditions

Easy to use

CONS

Car charger not included in package

Prone to malfunction

If it’s versatility that you want from your motorcycle GPS, then the Garmin Montana 700 GPS is going to become your best companion when you hit the road. This GPS is designed to have you covered when you’re holding the handlebars of your motorcycle or wandering through nature on your own two feet. In fact, it’ll work on everything from your motorcycle to your ATV to your passenger car to your RV, thanks to its far-ranging versatility.

This Garmin motorcycle GPS can be used either mounted onto your bike or as a handheld device. It’s entirely up to you. Either way, you’ll be pleased to discover just how durable this GPS is. Built as tough as a tank, it meets MIL-STD 810 for thermal, shock, water, and vibrations. In addition, it delivers BirdsEye Satellite Imagery, allowing you to see photo-realistic views of where you are. You can create waypoints, use landmarks to navigate, and plan routes.

Key Features
  • Measures 3.4 x 7.2 x 1.3 inches with a 2.55 x 4.25 inch display
  • Lithium ion battery lasts over 18 hours on a single charge
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Offers wireless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Compatible with the Garmin Explore smartphone app
Specification
  • Brand Garmin
  • Model 0100213300
  • Weight 14 ounces
PROS

Works mounted on a motorcycle, other vehicles, or in your hand

Uses multiple GNSS satellites to pinpoint and navigate location without delays

Comes equipped with extras built in, like an LED beacon flashlight and active weather notifications

CONS

Most additional features are designed for handheld navigation, like on hiking trails

Display is quite small

The Garmin Zumo XT Motorcycle GPS might be an all-terrain device like others on this list, but it’s especially friendly for motorcycle owners. This compact GPS device features a screen that’s easy to see, simple to use, and highly durable, so it can survive everything from dirt and debris to ice-cold weather and rain.

This motorcycle GPS features an ultra-bright 5.5-inch display, which makes it easy to see regardless of lighting. The screen is rain-resistant, and the entire device can withstand any weather, including extreme temperatures and harsh vibrations. When it’s time to navigate and ride along your planned route, the GPS will offer turn-by-turn directions—and if you’d like, the BirdsEye Satellite Imagery will show you off-road images so you can stay safe. You’ll also get live rider alerts, so you always know when there’s a sharp curve, railroad crossing, or other potential danger ahead.

Key Features
  • Measures 4.9 x 3.4 x 0.9 inches with 5.5-inch display
  • 32GB internal memory, with the option to add a MicroSD card
  • Battery lasts up to 6 hours on a single charge
  • Bluetooth capability allows for communication, music streaming, and hands-free calls
Specification
  • Brand Garmin
  • Model 010-02296-00
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Loaded with smart technology and features

Display screen works with gloves or bare fingers

Crisp, clear screen resolution stays visible in any and all weather

CONS

Doesn't come with a MicroSD card

Some extra features do require an additional subscription or cost

As a smaller spin on the original Zumo, this compact little device is designed to be used both on and off your bike. This small motorcycle GPS unit won’t take up much space on your bike or in your pocket. It measures 2.04 x 3.90 x 1.03 inches in overall size and weighs just 3.5 ounces. The display sits at 0.9 x 0.9 inches in total.

But don’t let that compact design make you think this GPS lacks anything. It offers 100 percent global satellite coverage on the Iridium network, and you can pair your GPS device with your smartphone for tracking and location sharing. It’ll provide weather updates and even offers two-way emergency messaging in the event you need it.

Key Features
  • Measures 2.04 x 3.90 x 1.03 inches with a 0.9 x 0.9 inch display
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • High level of impact resistance
  • Global satellite coverage so you can pinpoint your location anywhere
  • Rechargeable battery provides up to 50 hours of battery life
Specification
  • Brand GarminGarmin
  • Model 010-01879-00
  • Weight 3.5 ounces
PROS

Perfectly compact for complete portability when you’re on or off your motorcycle

Loaded with extra features, including communication, tracking, and logging

Impressively long-lasting battery

CONS

Display screen is very small

Two-way messaging functionality requires a separate paid subscription

Best Motorcycle GPS Buying Guide & FAQ

Features to Look for in a Motorcycle GPS

How can you separate an average motorcycle GPS device from the best available? It all comes down to the features a given unit offers. The more capable a GPS device is, the better equipped it is for every one of your drives, whether you’re within city limits or headed out into wide-open spaces.  But some features are far more helpful than others—you could argue that a GPS can be overloaded with unnecessary or overly complicated features. So, we’re breaking down which motorcycle GPS features are the most critical to look for—and which ones you’ll really benefit from.

Customizable Display Screen Brightness

You want to be able to see your GPS display under any road conditions, from extremely bright sunlight to low-light or nighttime darkness. That’s why having the ability to adjust or customize your GPS unit’s screen brightness is so essential. This feature will allow you to control how dim or bright your screen is at different times of day, in different weather, and different amounts of light. Oh, and don’t forget to keep glare in mind. An anti-glare GPS display is also important, and these often accompany devices that offer brightness control. This little detail will cut down on the amount of light that reflects off—or even obscures—your GPS screen in bright sunlight. Typically, car GPS units don’t include anti-glare displays, so make sure your motorcycle GPS does.

Easy-to-Use Touchscreen

Who wants to fumble with buttons while you’re speeding down the highway or sitting at a short stoplight? Because of this, you need a motorcycle GPS device that has a simple, straightforward touchscreen. It eliminates the hassle of figuring out which buttons control different settings; you can just touch the screen and follow the clear prompts to get to the settings you need.  Additionally, it’s also a good idea to look for a touchscreen that works while you’re wearing gloves. Glove-compatible touchscreen displays are super handy in winter when you’re bundled up, but if you wear motorcycle gloves year-round, it’s a must-have. This eliminates the problem of needing to remove your gloves to use the touchscreen display.

Bluetooth Capability

To stay as safe and focused on the road as possible, you want to make sure you look for a motorcycle GPS kit that can work hands-free. To have a hands-free capability, you’ll need a GPS unit with Bluetooth. Just like your smartphone, your GPS can wirelessly use Bluetooth to connect to different devices. That allows you to control your settings, route, and navigation process—plus other features—with nothing but your voice. It also ensures you keep your eyes on the road rather than your GPS screen. Bluetooth capability can also equip your motorcycle GPS with other nifty features, like hands-free music streaming, the ability to make calls, and more. All around, Bluetooth is a helpful feature, even if you don’t expect to use it every single day.

Waterproofing and Weatherproofing

Your motorcycle gets exposed to all kinds of weather when you’re out on the road. From surprise rain to damp snow to the heat of summer sunlight, it’s all possible when you’re riding on your bike. And when you mount a motorcycle GPS on your handlebars, it too will encounter all of this weather. That’s why it’s important to look for a device that features both waterproofing and weatherproofing.  These two details ensure that your GPS unit is sealed and protected against dust, dirt, and water. It makes your device more durable, allowing it to continue working even when facing harsh rain, high winds, and changing temperatures. Some units can also handle extreme temperatures, which is particularly crucial if you live where temperatures can get extremely low or high. Remember, your motorcycle GPS is an investment, so you want to protect it accordingly. 

Long Battery Life

You can choose a hardwired motorcycle GPS, which wires your GPS unit to your bike’s battery, or a wireless model. And if you go wireless (the most common choice), you’re going to want to make sure to choose a GPS with long-lasting battery life. Depending on their battery capacity, wireless motorcycle GPS devices can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days or even longer. If you plan to hit the road for hours or long road trips, you’ll want as extensive a battery lifespan as you can find. One of the best ways to maximize battery life is to find a GPS with low-power modes. This allows you to change to a less battery-sucking setting while using your GPS for navigation to conserve more power. Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device

Why You Should Use a Motorcycle GPS

  • Motorcycle GPS devices can reduce your travel time. They make the journey less time consuming because they provide you with accurate maps and various alternative routes that can help you avoid all traffic-congested roads to reach your destination quickly.
  • Another benefit of the cycle navigation tool is that it is an efficient way to record all travel data while on the move. This may not be possible otherwise. Having such data makes travel time for hikers and utility bikers very short and more enjoyable. Also, the ability to record all travel data helps companies to track their cycles and also review their entire journey from one location.
  • The use of GPS trackers on your motorcycle enables you to identify it in the event of theft quickly. The tracker helps you monitor your cycle from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.
  • You can discover your way out of peculiar zones and areas with help from your motorcycle GPD. This device helps you to find the nearest service station or highway where you can get more directions to reach your destination. This is very helpful when your phone is out of order or when you’ve lost your smart devices.

Types of Motorcycle GPS

Special Motorcycle GPS

The Special Motorcycle GPS device is a rugged system constructed to be highly resistant to UV rays, every kind of weather, and fumes. It features a touch screen and Bluetooth capabilities that enhance its navigation and overall performance. The unique GPS systems are the most expensive type of navigation system, but they are well worth the investment.

Portable

A portable GPS system is your best bet if you enjoy long outdoor adventures. It can be used while on hikes and during camps since it is very lightweight and compact. The portable GPS has a small screen and cute frame especially when compared to the other types of navigation devices. Despite the size, they are known to provide users with an in-depth guide into all kinds of terrain. Their versatility keeps them in high demand.

Hybrid

The merging of a Personal Digital Assistant with a Global Positioning System gives you the combination. This is a device that is multifunctional in operation and large in size. It features a large screen for better visuals and is also compatible with the Microsoft suite. With the hybrid, you can create photos, play games, and have a little more adventure.

Motorcycle Navigation vs. Smartphones

Smartphones are very good with navigation, but they’re restricted in operations when compared to the motorcycle GPS. Shipping for motorcycles is more precise and accurate, with maps that suit your terrain. Smartphone navigation on the other provides you with a generic plan that must then be tweaked via the settings to suit your motorcycle route.

Portable Motorcyle GPS

Best Motorcycle GPS FAQ:

Q: How does a motorcycle GPS work?

Motorcycle GPS devices operate like every other GPS. They make use of your current location to provide you with information on your intended destination. They are upgraded frequently to ensure that every landmark and the distinct feature is easily identifiable, and this makes every trip you create more comfortable. There is also the traffic prediction feature, which allows every user to avoid all potential traffic zones while driving.

Q: Will, all of these products fit any motorcycle?

GPS devices can be mounted onto a wide range of motorcycles, thanks to the inclusion of universal mounts upon a single purchase. Equipping these devices with the mounts ensures that you can attach your navigation tool and detach it from your cycle whenever you please. For mounting, you must make sure your GPS is compatible with your bike’s handlebar,

Q: How long does the GPS work when only powered by the internal battery?

When powered by an internal battery only, a navigation device can operate at an average of 4 to 5 hours. This occurs when your brightness levels are set at 50 percent; thus, not a lot of energy is being consumed. On an average, the energy consumption of most GPS devices depends mainly on brightness settings.

Q: How often should I update my GPS device?

The rate at which you keep your GPS mainly updated depends on the model you purchase. There are models with technologically advanced features that help with automatic updates as and when necessary. These models operate without any subscriptions and fees; thus, they’re considered cheaper.  As much as possible, your GPS should be updated monthly, to ensure that you don’t lose your way at any point in time.

Our Top Pick

The Garmin Zumo GPS device is the best choice product of the day, thanks to its exceptional features and heavy-duty build. Its construction allows it to be operable for years on end, without any issues. The Garmin GPS is globally recognized as the most affordable unit with a touchscreen system that makes hand free operations easier. It features a navigation processor that continually updates your routes and locations with the essential landmarks and features, to make your trips more enjoyable.

Sources:
  1. GPS – Wikipedia

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