The Four Best GPS Navigation Units For Motorcycles 2022
Motorcycle GPS Units That Go Beyond Phone Navigation Apps
Sometimes it’s fun to meander on backroads with no particular direction. Discovering new roads and routes by happenstance is one of the major allures of riding for many. But when you’d rather be sure of the route you’re taking, either to save time or maximize the twisties, using a navigation system is essential. Most people today are used to using smartphone apps like Waze or Google Maps when driving. However, these apps don’t have some of the features and functionality that can make your time on the motorcycle far more fun. If you’re looking for the most curves, for example, there’s no option for that in either of the aforementioned apps. What you need is a motorcycle-specific GPS navigation unit. To help you land on the perfect motorcycle GPS unit, we’ve rounded up four of the best ones on the market for 2022.
Why buy a motorcycle-specific GPS navigation unit?
For starters, GPS navigation systems make it easy to cue up a variety of route combinations. They also provide improved interaction capabilities like gloved-finger interfaces so you can hit the open road with more confidence and safety. These key elements make it much simpler to choose a ride for the day and less frustrating as you use the system throughout the ride.
In 2022, there are numerous motorcycle GPS units on the market to suit every rider’s needs, whether you’re into off-road, on-road, or adventure. The units we cover here are either specific motorcycle GPS units, or at the very least, have exceptional features for motorcyclists. Outside of smartphone apps like Waze, your typical automotive GPS units aren’t built to the same standards as motorcycle GPS units. They simply can’t hold up to the harsh environments us motorcyclists find ourselves in.
While it’s important to compare features of the units themselves, two key elements to maximizing the benefit of motorcycle GPS units are the mapping products available and the computer or mobile device user interface. Choosing a motorcycle GPS with the type of maps you want and the ability to plan a route are key considerations before making the investment. It’s key to find a GPS unit that allows you to plan your next ride on your mobile device or computer, explore with Google Earth, and download tracks for editing and recording as you ride. Without further adieu, let’s roll into the list of the four best GPS navigation units for motorcycles in 2022!
Garmin zūmo 396 LMT-S
Garmin’s Zumo 396 LMT-S is a smaller and slightly less feature-rich version of their 595LM. Though best suited for streetbike use, it’s a solid contender for mild adventure riding as well. The unit relies on Garmin’s collection of proprietary mapping products for both domestic and international coverage.
At this price point, the Zumo 396 LMT-S boasts a ton of features. It comes with a 4.3-inch screen that’s glove-friendly and easy to read in the sunlight. It’s also resistant to harsh motorcycle fluids along with UV exposure.
There’s even the ability to connect your smartphone via their app, enabling hands-free calling, smart notifications, and music controls. You can also stay updated with live weather and traffic information when connected to your smartphone.
For adventure riders, Garmin’s Adventurous Routing makes it easy to find the best roads. Adjustable ride filters include hills, curves, and avoiding freeways. Automatic reporting provides riders with helpful alerts about upcoming curves, animal crossings, and real-time traffic incidents. Maps are updated easily via Wi-fi, and there’s even a built-in service log that gives you notifications for things like brake pads, air filters, and tire tread depth.
Garmin zūmo 595LM
Garmin’s Zumo 595LM is their top-of-the-line motorcycle GPS unit with the same features of the 396 LMT-S, but with a larger 5-inch screen. There’s also the ability to use Garmin’s Bluetooth tire pressure monitoring valve caps. If you prefer the largest screen possible and are focused on tire pressures, the 595LM could be worth the $330 premium over the 396 LMT-S.
Garmin Montana 700i
The Garmin Montana is marketed toward hiking, but it’s been a favorite motorcycle GPS unit amongst off-road and adventure riders for years now. Plenty of riders swear by these for off-road and adventure because of its topo mapping, large, well-lit, five-inch touch screen, and enough memory to store routes for a trip around the world. You can also store multiple map sets simultaneously, whether topos or city streets.
If you bump up to the 750i in the Montana series, you’ll get an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera that can automatically geotags pictures to remember points of interest along the route.
You can link your smartphone for live weather updates, and for the ultimate peace of mind, you can purchase a satellite subscription to access Garmin’s inReach SOS feature. This system enables you to send messages via satellite when you’re far from normal cell service.
TomTom Rider 550
Many folks have been using a TomTom in their car since way back, but the company has also been making solid GPS units for motorcycles for a long time. They’ve even been partners with several OEMs for original equipment on premium streetbikes over the years.
One great feature of the Rider 550 is the access to TomTom’s maps, traffic, and safety camera alerts for the life of the GPS unit. There’s also Bluetooth smartphone connectivity for calling and messaging, along with Google Now and Siri voice controls for riders with a connected headset.
The TomTom Rider 550 also delivers elevation and curve level filters when mapping routes. You can even share your route through social media, email, or by GPX file. Wi-fi map updates and touchscreen sensitivity settings for different glove thicknesses round out this quality offering from TomTom.
Keep your connected smartphone safe on your motorcycleWhen you’re out on the adventure bike, taking photos of your trip often means exposure to harsh environments. Protect your iPhone 13 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra from dust, shocks, and drops with one of our Rugged Phone Cases. And, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram!
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