When you think of using a GPS unit in your car there really isn’t much to consider. Just plug it in and you’re off. But when it comes to motorcycles we have to consider a few additional factors such as road noise, screen visibility, and ease of use. Some key points to consider before purchasing a GPS unit for your motorcycle include the size of the screen, bluetooth connectivity, touchscreen, and mountability.
Road noise is a major drawback to standard GPS units. The best motorcycle GPS systems have built-in bluetooth connectivity so the rider can connect his headphones directly to the GPS system. This increases the rider’s ability to hear the directions without interference from the sound of the engine or other outside noise.
The size of the screen is another important factor to consider before purchasing a GPS system. The best motorcycle GPS systems include a large screen which makes directions easier to see and read. A small screen means the rider will have to take his eyes off of the road for longer periods of time while trying to get a closer look at the map. More time spent looking away from the road increases the rider’s chances of getting into an accident. The bigger the screen the better.
The best motorcycle GPS systems should have a very easy to use display. The rider should be able to input a destination with just a few touches of the screen. Some GPS units are difficult to use while wearing gloves so be sure to try out any new GPS unit while wearing your motorcycle gloves to make certain it is user friendly. Remember, you can always return it later if it doesn’t work the way you would like it to.
The GPS unit should be easy to mount to the motorcycle. Some units come with a mounting bracket made just for motorcycles. If the unit you would like to use doesn’t have a mounting bracket included, you can buy a universal mounting bracket that fits most major brands of GPS systems. The mounting brackets normally attach to the handle bars but I have seen other types of brackets that mount elsewhere. The handlebar mounting bracket is somewhat easier to use in my opinion. Once you have mounted the bracket, make sure you adjust it so that you have the best angle of view.
One last thing to consider is whether or not the unit you have chosen is weatherproof. Some of the best motorcycle GPS units are waterproof or water resistant. Some units can even be dropped in a pool of water and will be safe up to a certain depth. If you plan on riding in less than perfect weather conditions, then a standard GPS unit just won’t do.
Which GPS systems do I recommend? Here is a list of the best motorcycle GPS units I have found.
TomTom RIDER Motorcycle GPS Navigator
Garmin Zumo 660LM GPS Motorcycle Navigator
Garmin Zumo 665LM GPS Motorcycle Navigator
Garmin Zumo 590LM GPS Motorcycle Navigator
TomTom Rider 2 GPS Navigator for Motorcycles and Scooters