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8 Best Motorcycle GPS Systems in 2020

Sometimes it can be a wonderful experience to start up your motorcycle and head out onto the open road without any endpoint in mind. And then there are other times when you want to plan the road trip of a lifetime. There are also times that you just want to visit a friend in another town, but you don’t know the way. In all these situations and a lot more situations, a motorcycle GPS can be a Godsend. Back in the old days, you needed a map, but now there’s no need to worry about getting lost, thanks to modern GPS devices.

The best motorcycle GPS units will have an intuitive touchscreen that’s large enough for you to see at all times, and won’t be obscured when the sun’s UV rays are beating down on it. It will be Bluetooth enabled, so you can get text messages, traffic updates, and also, in some cases, offer hands-free calling. You’ll have a lot of control over routes, allowing yourself to take sharp curves if you want to, as well as explore rugged, hilly terrain.

So that you find the very best motorcycle GPS unit for your needs, consider this list of the eight best, as well as the buyer’s guide that follows it.

View The Best Motorcycle GPS Below

1. Garmin Zumo 595

Garmin Zumo 595

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The Garmin Zumo 595LM is universally recognized as the best motorcycle GPS unit on the market. Why? It simply does everything you want it to do, and it does it well. When it comes to features, the Garmin Zumo 595LM is loaded with them. You can hook-up to your smartphone via Bluetooth and control your music via the 5″ touchscreen. So, if you like listening to your favorite tracks on Spotify while you’re out on the open road, then the Garmin Zumo 595LM is a great choice.

The maps come fully installed. And this Garmin Zumo GPS includes ‘Adventurous Routing,’ which means you can choose to challenge yourself with some rugged, hilly terrain. This GPS is built for motorcyclists, and for that reason, it’s a great choice for serious riders who want to be able to explore the open road and never get lost.

Pros:
+ 5″ High-Resolution Touch Screen
+ Garmin Adventurous Routing
+ Smartphone Notifications and Music App Controls via the Screen
+ Landscape and Portrait Mode
+ Includes Universal Screen Cleaner

Why We Liked It – It does everything you’d want a motorcycle GPS navigation unit to do, and more. The Garmin Adventurous mode can make for some exciting adventures on your motorcycle too.


2. GARMIN BMW Navigator

GARMIN BMW Navigator

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This is another exceptional navigation device from Garmin. You receive lifetime map updates for the pre-installed maps with this sat nav. Motorcycle riders can also enjoy the pleasures of the open road while also receiving live traffic news when you’re hooked up to your smartphone via Bluetooth technology. This Garmin GPS device features BaseCamp software, which means that you can create custom routes depending on the type of journey that you want to experience.

The 5″ touch screen has been designed so that the sun won’t obscure the screen when it’s shining on it, so you can always see the map. And it is, of course, waterproof, with a rating of IPX7, so there’s no reason to worry about rain or gasoline breaking it. Like the best motorcycle GPS units, this one has a robust, rugged design.

Pros:
+ BaseCamp Software
+ Customizable Routes
+ Avoid Highway Mode
+ Waterproof
+ Rugged and Robust

Why We Liked It – This Garmin GPS navigation unit might cost a little more than a regular motorcycle sat nav. Still, it’s worth every cent because of the key features that it offers, including customizable routes and Bluetooth technology.


3. TomTom Via 1525SE

TomTom Via 1525SE

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TomTom is one of the most recognized brands for satellite navigation systems, so it makes sense that TomTom would also produce one of the best motorcycle GPS units too. This motorcycle GPS includes lifetime map updates, as well as a 5″, high-quality touchscreen. Perhaps one of its best features is the advanced lane guidance that it includes.

That means that you can always be in the right lane, so you don’t need to make any quick shifts. This motorcycle GPS also includes free software updates, so when you purchase it, then you’re sorted for the long-term. It’s also one of the most affordable motorcycle GPS devices on the market too, so it’s highly recommended to motorcycle riders looking for a bargain.

Pros:
+ Map Updates for Life
+ Free Software Updates
+ Excellent Value
+ Advanced Lane Guidance
+ 5″ Touchscreen

Why We Liked It – It’s a typically high-quality product from TomTom that offers great value-for-money, making it a top choice for anyone seeking a bargain buy.


4. Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S, Motorcycle GPS

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S, Motorcycle GPS

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The Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S is another motorcycle GPS unit that proves how good Garmin is when it comes to producing a user-friendly navigation system. At 4.3 inches, the touchscreen is slightly smaller than the previous motorcycle GPS units so far on this list. It’s got an advanced reflection system built into it so that the sun’s UV rays won’t obscure the map while you’re out riding.

It can be easily paired to your smartphone with Bluetooth technology. And if you’re used to going out riding with your pals, then you’ll like how this GPS device allows you to share GPX files with your fellow riders easily. While you’re connected to your smartphone, this motorcycle GPS will also give you smart notifications so that you can find out about any upcoming traffic problems or weather changes.

Pros:
+ 4.3″ Touchscreen
+ Can Easily Share GPX Files
+ Bluetooth Connectivity
+ In-Built WiFi
+ Weather and Traffic Updates

Why We Liked It – Garmin is known for producing the best motorcycle GPS units on the market, and this is another great example of why. The ability to share GPX files makes it perfect for riders who go out in groups.


5. TomTom Rider 550 Motorcycle GPS

TomTom Rider 550 Motorcycle GPS

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The TomTom rider is a superb motorcycle GPS navigation system that features a quad-core processer, meaning that it is smoother, quicker, and more intuitive than many of the other best motorcycle GPS units on the market. It’s also very easy to use. It has a 4.3″ SmartScreen, which allows you to use it with your riding gloves on thanks to its ultra-sensitivity.

This advanced motorcycle GPS navigator also allows you to hook-up via Bluetooth, and once your phone is connected, it enables hands-free calling. It’s got lifetime map updates, and updates are easily downloaded through WiFi. It comes loaded with 100 TomTom Rider road trips to choose from, too. And through the MyDrive software, you can create a road trip of your own or simply plan your Sunday afternoon route.

Pros:
+ Lots of Fantastic Features
+ Can Use it With Gloves
+ Hands-Free Calling
+ Quad-Core Processor
+ 100 Road Trips In-Built

Why We Liked It – The TomTom Rider is an advanced motorcycle GPS navigation system that’s full of fantastic features. The ability to use it while wearing gloves is a big plus, as is the highly intuitive quad-core processor.


6. Garmin nüvi 2597LMT

Garmin nüvi 2597LMT

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This Garmin motorcycle GPS navigator offers you the ability to enter commands verbally. This is a handy feature as there’s no need to stop or use the touchscreen when you’re out riding. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t also use the 5-inch bright touchscreen too. There are many different views to choose from, so you can find one that you feel comfortable with.

It’s up there with the best motorcycle GPS units in terms of value-for-money too. Not only does it includes maps for a lifetime, but this motorcycle GPS also includes a preloaded City Navigator for the whole of North America, which is ideal for city bikers. You never have to worry about how far the next gas station is, as this motorcycle GPS navigation device has that information for you.

Pros:
+ Garmin Real Voice Technology
+ Affordable Price
+ 5″ Bright Screen
+ Free Map Updates for Life
+ Bluetooth Enabled

Why We Liked It – You can always back Garmin to produce a high-quality sat nav for motorbikes, and that’s exactly what this one is. The ability to verbally enter a route is one of its best features.


7. TomTom Rider 400

TomTom Rider 400

https://www.tomtom.com/en_us/drive/motorcycle/products/rider-400/

Even the safest, most speed-conscious motorcycle riders like to know where speed cameras are when they’re out on the open road, especially when you’re in a new area. That’s why this motorcycle GPS unit gives you this information. It also will provide you with traffic updates when you’re out riding, too. If you’re an adventurous motorcycle rider, then you’ll like the ability to select windy roads or hilly roads so that you can have some fun and excitement.

This motorcycle navigation unit is compatible with Tyre Pro. That means that you can plan out a route on your laptop back home then sync it with this navigation device. Other key features of this motorcycle GPS unit include MyDrive software that keeps track of everything important and a screen that’s built to be seen clearly despite the sun’s UV rays.

Pros:
+ 4.3″ Screen
+ Speed Camera Notifications
+ Compatible with Tyre Pro
+ 6hr Battery Life
+ Sunlight Visibility

Why We Liked It – Although there are lots of great features that this motorbike sat nav offers, the ability to know where speed cameras are makes it one of the best motorcycle GPS units on the market.


8. Garmin GPSMAP 64st

Garmin GPSMAP 64st

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This is a handheld motorcycle navigation unit that is ideal for motorcyclists who also want to be able to explore the great outdoors. You can use it to get to your destination on your motorcycle, then take it into the woods to find a camping spot, and use it to get back to your motorcycle in the morning. The 2.6″ screen is designed to offer perfect visibility even when it’s sunny. And another of this motorcycle GPS unit’s key features include the ability to power it with simple AA batteries.

You just need to make sure you pack them and don’t leave them back at home when you go out on a road trip. Even if you do, though, you can also use the rechargeable battery, as this GPS device includes a dual-battery system. You can also receive smart notifications with this motorcycle GPS, as well as plan your trip easily thanks to the BaseCamp software.

Pros:
+ Good Visibility Even When Sunny
+ Dual Battery System
+ BaseCamp Software
+ Smart Notifications
+ Rugged Design

Why We Liked It – If you’re wondering what the best handheld motorcycle GPS navigation unit is, then this is your best choice. You can use it on your motorcycle, back home on trail walks and runs, or for simply exploring the great outdoors.


Motorcycle GPS Buyer’s Guide

There are lots of different motorcycle GPS units on the market with a variety of different features. Some motorcycle GPS units put usability above all else, while others are packed full of smart, advanced features that are very useful for some motorcyclists. But not all motorcycle riders are the same. Some may simply want an effective, efficient GPS device that is affordably priced.

To find out what is the best motorcycle GPS device for your needs, then have a look at this buying guide, which will explain all the key features of GPS units. We’ll also have a look at the most important questions that any buyer of a motorcycle GPS device might ask are. Let’s get started with the buyer’s guide.

Lifetime Map Updates

Motorcycle travel gps Navigator

Some manufacturers of satellite navigation systems will charge you to update the maps on your device. Or they will allow you to update the maps for a certain period for free until you then have to start paying for the updates. Of course, this is an added expense that you don’t want to pay, especially if you’re spending a decent amount of money on a GPS navigation system. You’re best choosing a GPS for motorcycles that offer you a lifetime of free updates so that you’re never charged to update them anytime in the future.

This is a feature that you might not think much of when scouring through the product information pages of lots of GPS systems, but it’s actually an important one, and you should only ever consider purchasing a GPS for motorbikes that don’t offer these updates for life if you’re purchasing a budget device that you don’t intend on using for a long time.

Touchscreen

The screen’s size is the first consideration. When you’re out on the open road with the sun beating down on your back, you want to be able to see the route in front of you clearly. That’s why you should only ever choose a GPS that has a screen that is at least 4.3 inches. A better option is to go larger and choose one that has a 5-inch screen. The only time that you want to choose a GPS device that’s got a smaller screen is if it’s a handheld unit. For a handheld motorcycle GPS, then the size of the screen will be smaller.

Whatever size screen you choose, you need to remember that the sun beating down on your back while you’re riding will also be beaming down on the screen. The best motorcycle GPS units will have a screen that won’t become obscured by the sun.

You should also consider the sensitivity of the touchscreen. If you tend to ride with gloves on, then it can be handy to be able to control your satellite navigation system while still wearing those gloves. And a lot of good GPS systems will have a smart screen that will allow you to do this.

Traffic Updates

Motorcycle travel navigation

Whether you’re a city rider or you prefer the open road, the last thing you want is to be sat in traffic. Many motorcycle GPS systems will include traffic updates. This is a great feature for obvious reasons. If you hate being stuck on the highway or you want to avoid any roadblocks, then just pick a GPS that includes traffic updates.

Bluetooth Connectivity

You’ll likely want to be able to connect your GPS to your smartphone and also to your laptop. To do this, you’re going to need Bluetooth connectivity. Most modern GPS units will include Bluetooth connectivity. But it’s important to check that your desired satellite navigation device does have it before you purchase it, as it will allow you to get a lot more benefits.

Smartphone Notifications

If your device does have Bluetooth connectivity, then you’ll be able to connect your smartphone to it. A lot of the best units will then show your smartphone notifications up on the GPS. That means that when you receive a text or WhatsApp message, it will show up on the screen. There’s no need to pluck your phone out of your pocket or to stop riding – you can simply touch the screen and read the message.

Adventure Modes

This is a fantastic feature for adventure riders. You can select this mode, and then the device will throw up the most exciting routes around you. You can head around tight corners, find hills to climb, or generally explore some rugged terrain. Garmin has one of the best adventure modes available.

Road Trips

Motorcycle road trip

Some devices will come with a set of road trips already built into them. You can browse the available road trips, and then you can head out on them. It takes the pressure out of planning your own trip. Of course, you can still deviate from their plans. But these road trips are tried and tested by experienced motorcyclists, so you can be sure that they’ll be a lot of fun.

Weatherproofing

As you’ll be outdoors when you’re riding your motorbike, you need to ensure that the GPS unit won’t get damaged or stop working if it starts raining. You should always ensure that it offers IPX7 water resistance as a minimum. You also need to know that it won’t be affected by the sun, too. UV ray protection is a key feature of lots of the best navigations systems.

World Maps

If you like to explore the world rather than just where you live, then you should try to pick a GPS that includes world maps. That way you can go anywhere you want. Even if you’re going to take a trip to another continent and rent a bike there, you won’t need to rent a GPS device too. You have to keep in mind that it sometimes costs extra to download maps from other countries, but you should consider that not all GPS devices will offer global map capabilities too.

GPX File Sharing

If you’re the type of motorcyclist who doesn’t like to ride alone, then the ability to share GPX files with your riding buddies is a great feature.

Weather Updates

Have you ever found yourself caught in a storm? Having weather updates can ensure that you’re never caught out again.

Rugged Construction

The GPS device will be undergoing a lot of vibrations while you’re out riding. There’s also a chance that it will be sprayed with gasoline too. To ensure that it doesn’t break, then only choose one that has a robust, rugged construction.

What is the Best GPS for a Motorcycle?

Traveling on a motorcycle

The best GPS for one motorcycle rider might not be the best satnav for other riders. The most important thing to do before choosing a GPS device is to check what features it offers. You want to pick one that has all the right features for your needs. For some, that might be the ability to load up an adventure mode and start riding up hills with sharp curves. For another, the price might be the main concern. Always choose a GPS navigation device that ticks all your boxes.

The eight GPS units on our list are the best on the market. Some are advanced, others are budget choices, and then others offer all-round quality for an affordable price. Just make sure that you buy a GPS motorcycle navigation unit that has all the possible features you might use. Also, make sure to buy from a reputable manufacturer, such as Garmin or TomTom.

What is the Best GPS for Adventure Riding?

The best GPS for adventure riding will be a motorcycle navigation unit that includes an adventure mode. Garmin sells many motorcycle GPS units that include its Adventurous Mode. This is one of the best features for adventure riding, as the GPS system will automatically offer you the most adventurous routes available.

If you love nothing more than having the sun on your back while you ride up hills, around tight corners, and other adventurous terrains, then choose a motorcycle GPS navigation unit that includes an adventure mode. It can also be useful to have an Avoid Highway mode. Then a more interesting route will be created by the navigation system for you.

Which Garmin Zumo is Best?

The Garmin Zumo series is renowned as being one of the best in the motorcycle GPS game. Why? Because Zumo GPS devices are always packed full of amazing features that motorcyclists love. For example, the Adventurous Mode that Garmin is so well known for is found on the Zumo GPS systems. The best Zumo for you will depend on your price range.

All are good, but some are simply more expensive than others. There are no bad Zumo GPS devices, though. If you had to pick the two best, then the 595LM and the 396 LMT-S have to be up there. Both of these Zumo GPS units offer a wide array of features and are premium products that will last you years and years, especially as maps are updated for a lifetime for free.

Can I Use a Car GPS on my Motorcycle?

Car Navigation Device

This question is asked a lot. The main reason why motorcyclists ask if they can use a car GPS as a motorcycle GPS is simply because a car GPS costs a lot less than a motorcycle GPS. The answer to the question is both yes and no. In theory, it’s possible to use a car GPS on a motorcycle. But the problem is that most car GPS systems are built to be used inside a car. And that means that they are not built to withstand the sun’s UV rays, nor are they resistant against rain or gasoline.

Some motorcyclists who have tried using a car GPS on their motorcycle have found that the vibrations cause a lot of trouble with the screen too. This can be corrected with the right mounting system. But really, if you ride a motorcycle, then you should get a motorcycle GPS. They are designed specifically to be used on a motorbike rather than inside a car. Yes, you might have to pay a bit extra for a motorcycle GPS as opposed to a car GPS, but it’s worth the extra dollars.

Imagine if you set out on a long trip with a car GPS, and as soon as you’re out on the road with the sun on your back, you then realize that the GPS isn’t functioning properly or the sun is also beating on the car GPS system, causing it to melt or malfunction.

The first thing you’d do when you got back home is to throw the car GPS in the trash and then order a GPS that’s designed for motorbikes. To summarize, yes, you can use a car GPS on your motorbike, but the best motorcycle GPS is one that’s been specifically designed to be used on a motorbike, not a car.

Expert Tip

An adventure mode is a great feature. If you’re the kind of rider who gets a thrill from riding over rugged terrain or climbing hills and turning sharp corners, then you should choose a GPS with an adventure mode.

Did you know?

The fastest speed that a motorcycle has ever been recorded traveling on land was a little over 376 miles.

Conclusion

There are so many great motorcycle GPS units on the market, but each one will suit different riders. Make sure that you choose one that fits your budget, can withstand weather, and includes Bluetooth technology. You should also consider buying one that’s got an adventure mode so that you can have lots of memorable rides on rugged terrain. Weather and traffic updates are a handy feature, too. Being able to see where speed cameras are doesn’t hurt either.

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