Find the Best GPS Navigation Unit for your Motorcycle
If you do any adventure riding or touring on your motorcycle a motorcycle GPS unit is a useful addition to your bike’s loadout.
Motorcycle-specific GPS navigation systems are designed to easily mount to your handlebars, stand up to harsher elements and rain, and provide you with navigation and routing on curvy roads.
Check out our picks for the top motorcycle GPS units below.
What is the best GPS system for motorcycle touring?
Some great choices for the best motorcycle GPS include:
- Garmin Zumo Motorcycle GPS
- TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device
- Garmin Zumo XT All Terrain GPS
Garmin Zumo Motorcycle GPS
- 4.3″ display designed to resist fuel vapor, UV rays, and bad weather.
- Glove-friendly touch screen.
- Pairs with smartphones.
- Live traffic and weather compatibility.
- Adventure routing.
TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS Navigation Device
- 4.3″ glove-friendly touch screen display.
- Landscape or portrait orientation option.
- Weather-proof housing.
- Curvy mountain road routing available.
Garmin Zumo XT All Terrain GPS
- 5.5″ ultrabright glove-friendly HD display.
- Battery power or hard-wired options.
- Rain-resistant and durable housing and screen.
- Direct-to-device downloads with no subscription needed.
- Adventure routing options.
- Live traffic and weather, and sharing capabilities.
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1. Garmin Zumo Motorcycle GPS Features & Review
The Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S is a solid entry level motorcycle GPS unit at an affordable price.
While it’s an older model, this GPS unit has everything you’ll need to get started with a navigation and control system on your motorcycle.
The Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S features:
- All-weather 4.3″ display that can be operated with gloves on.
- Smartphone and Bluetooth headset compatible for hands-free calls, navigation information, and music controls on the display.
- Live services for traffic and weather with the companion app for your smartphone.
- Adventure routing with options to find curvy roads, route through hills, and limit major highways.
- Easy to share routes and GPX files with friends and other riders.
- Built-in Wifi to download updates without a computer.
Downsides to this unit include non-responsive buttons at times, too dim a display for certain conditions and times of day, and software and UI that takes some getting used to.
For the price though, it’s a great unit to start experimenting with GPS on your bike.
2. TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS Features & Review
The TomTom Rider is another good choice for a more affordable, entry-level GPS navigation system.
Compared to the Garmin Zumo, the TomTom Rider tends to be a little buggier, clunkier to operate, and not as user friendly overall.
The TomTom Rider 550 motorcycle GPS features:
- Free lifetime maps of North America with live notifications for your trips.
- Built-in wifi for easy updates.
- Smartphone and Bluetooth headset compatible.
- Adventure settings to customize routes for hills and curves.
- Pre-programed motorcycle routes for the best curated rides.
- Can be battery operated (up to about 8 hours with minimal settings on a full charge) or hard-wired for constant power.
While the TomTom Rider 550 is not the most user-friendly or feature-rich motorcycle GPS unit, it does have the features you’d want in a nav system on your bike.
If you can get used to some of the clunkiness and usability issues, it’s not a bad unit for the price.
3. Garmin Zumo XT All Terrain GPS Features & Review
The Garmin Zumo XT is one of the best motorcycle GPS systems you can get.
While it’s at the more expensive end of the list, you’ll be getting a quality device packed with the latest features.
The biggest downsides to this unit is that it will take some getting used to to operate it, the stock mounting unit is not the best, it has a weak SD card slot, and the screen tends to glare.
Aside from that, it’s a robust unit with some serious functionality for the regular touring and adventure riders.
With an aftermarket mount, you can solve most of the issues.
The Garmin Zumo XT GPS navigation system features:
- 5.5″ display with brightness adjustments and glove-friendly HD resolution.
- Durable construction that’s designed to withstand rain and harsh weather.
- Battery power up to 3.5 to 6 hours (depending on the brightness settings) and hard-wire option.
- Access to satellite imagery to scope out the terrain ahead.
- Preloaded street and off-road maps with updates included.
- Easy toggle between map modes.
- Adventure options for twists and rugged roads.
- Smartphone and Bluetooth headset compatibility.
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line unit with all the functionality you’ll need from a motorcycle GPS system, the Garmin Zumo XT is the way to go.
Pick up a better mounting system and you’re sure to have a unit that’s going to last and satisfy for while.
Do you have experiences with any of these GPS navigation units? Maybe you’re using something different? Share your experience in the comments below.