A GPS system for your motorcycle can turn your trips into adventures. Opening up a whole new experience, you can find amazing places to explore by planning your trips at home and downloading your routes to your GPS device. New landscapes, destinations and road trips await you; with the security and confidence of never losing you again.
A GPS system for your motorcycle can also help make your trips as comfortable and stress-free as possible. If you fancy a break or are running low on gas, your GPS can help. More importantly, your GPS unit can guide you back to safety when you accidentally get lost or take the wrong turn. With voice-guided directions and software packed with points of interest (POIs), such as gas stations, restaurants, gas stations, and hotels; your GPS can guarantee you a journey of uninterrupted enjoyment.
Sounds like the perfect toy? Well, with GPS systems becoming mainstream and new features and models endlessly hitting the shelves, it can be a difficult task figuring out which GPS device is best suited for your needs.
To help you out, the following points are worth considering before you go ahead and buy your first GPS for your motorcycle.
What kind of GPS do you need for your motorcycle?
Are your receiving capabilities adequate for your needs?
Does your GPS battery life suit your needs?
How resistant is your GPS to vibration and hardware?
Do you want two-way communication?
How easy is it to update your GPS?
How easy is it to update your GPS?
What price is appropriate?
What kind of GPS do you need for your motorcycle?
There are 3 types of motorcycle GPS units; portable outdoor units, GPS units designed specifically for your motorcycle/scooter, and GPS/PDA hybrids.
If you also like outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking or even camping; a portable GPS that can be taken anywhere would be ideal. In addition to navigating your off-road activities, versatile sat navs like the Garmin Quest 2 work in any vehicle. In addition to motorcycle, you can take it in your car, on your boat, or even on a plane with you.
GPS devices designed exclusively for motorcycles can offer you some very impressive features. Designed especially with you, the motorcyclist, units like the TomTom RIDER have a weather resistant casing, glove friendly touch screen options and anti-glare screens. One of the latest features introduced by TomTom for effective communication is a system that transmits your spoken instructions via an integrated Bluetooth audio system, using a headset that fits inside your helmet.
The last type of GPS device that may appeal to you is the PDA/GPS hybrid. Although these devices have been designed primarily with portability in mind, most come with the added benefit of having a large screen. Therefore, like portable outdoor GPS units, this type of GPS would be ideal for those who enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. With an integrated PDA on top of this, GPS/PDA devices, like the Mio A201, for example, can be useful for work and play. With features like Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, you can catch up on work anytime, anywhere. If you prefer to listen to music on the go, play games, or store digital photos, a GPS device like this is an ideal choice.
Do the reception capabilities of your motorcycle GPS meet your needs?
When selecting a GPS for your motorcycle, it’s worth thinking about how accurate you want the signals from your satellites to be in determining your position.
Many GPS units available today are accurate to within approximately 6 to 8 meters. However, many of the newer GPS models are designed with WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) capability, resulting in accuracies of 3-4 meters 95% of the time. The Garmin Quest 2, for example, has a flip-up external antenna equipped with a 12-channel WAAS GPS receiver; providing position accuracy of up to 9 feet.
If you enjoy riding in dense forests and urban areas, it’s worth noting that GPS devices incorporating the new SiRF Star III chipset are units to consider. This high-performance, low-power chipset has superior sensitivity in foliage-heavy environments. It’s also worth noting that GPS units with externally powered antennas are great for maintaining a signal in deep woods.
Does the battery life of your motorcycle GPS suit your needs?
With the freedom to travel almost anywhere with a GPS; Battery life is an important component to consider. Most GPS units use 2, 4 or 6 ‘AA’ batteries, which can last up to 6 hours. GPS units with built-in rechargeable batteries are the ideal choice if you occasionally lose track of time. With GPS systems like the TomTom RIDER, you can charge your battery at home, while planning your next ride, or keep yourself continually recharged by charging your GPS directly from your bike’s battery.
How resistant is your motorcycle GPS to vibrations and hard items?
With the freedom to travel virtually anywhere and not get lost, your GPS is guaranteed to get a lot of use (and reverberation). Therefore, it is important to consider how durable your GPS is to withstand such conditions.
GPS devices designed exclusively for Motorcycles, like the TomTom RIDER, have been designed with this in mind. Not only weather resistant, its tough outer shell and rugged shockproof frame have been designed to absorb any external friction.
Although most GPS devices come with a mount, it is imperative that you use a vibration isolated mount if your GPS will be used regularly on your motorcycle. Quickly becoming the industry standard, NPI RAM Mount manufactures anti-vibration ball and socket mounting systems that allow you to mount virtually anything, anywhere with vibration protection and durability. This would be an ideal addition to the Garmin Quest 2 GPS if you were purchasing this portable GPS for extensive use on your motorcycle.
Do you want your motorcycle GPS to have two-way communication?
Some of the latest GPS systems released for motorcycles have taken two-way communication to a whole new level.
If you own a Bluetooth GPRS mobile phone, it’s worth knowing that many Sat Navs, such as the TomTom RIDER, have a built-in Bluetooth receiver, among their many features. With the ability to connect your phone via Bluetooth and receive incoming phone calls through your GPS and Bluetooth headset, you’ll never have to remove your gloves and helmet to answer your phone again.
You could even use your Bluetooth-enabled phones’ wireless Internet connection and, with certain models of GPS, receive real-time information on traffic conditions.
Do you like to ride in a group? It’s worth knowing that there are some recent handheld units that may offer built-in radios that will not only allow you to communicate with other members of your party, but will also display everyone’s location on your screen.
How easy is it to update your motorcycle GPS?
With ever-changing roads, the ability to upgrade your device easily and at a reasonable cost are very important factors to consider when selecting your GPS.
It’s important to realize that each type of GPS will update in a different way, so you need to choose which process is best for you.
Those connected to a PDA, like the Mio A201 for example, are usually updated via a PC, while dedicated in-vehicle units tend to be updated via CD. These must be purchased from the road map data provider.
Some specific software vendors have map preparation solutions that can be downloaded to your GPS unit. In particular, TomTom operates the TomTom PLUS service.
The Choice: Budget Considerations
In essence, your choice may be reasonably simple: buy the most expensive GPS you can afford that suits your needs.
It is important, using my suggestions above, to decide which features are most important to you. If you want a last minute GPS for your motorcycle; With features like real-time on-demand traffic information, hands-free calling, turn-by-turn voice directions through a Bluetooth headset, alerts for speed camera locations, plus thousands of useful points of interest, GPS systems like the TomTom RIDER starting at approx £550 incl. VAT.
However, if you’re looking for a toy to play with and a GPS to simply get you from A to B, then a handheld device might be a better option. With a variety of features like simple voice guidance, compass mode, MP3 player, and essentially portability, GPS devices like the Mio 268 and Garmin Quest 2 are ideal for motorcycles and a variety of outdoor activities. The Mio 268 and handheld GPS units with similar features cost approximately £250 including VAT. VAT.
To explore a range of discounted GPS systems for your motorcycle or accessories and software for your motorcycle GPS systems, visit http://www.globalpositioningsystems.co.uk.