Best Motorcycle GPS to Turn Your Rides into Adventures

Last updated: April 01, 2020
Best Overall
All-Weather Build and Gloves-Operable
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Best Budget
Durable, Water-Resistant and Wi-Fi-Enabled
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Best Waterproof
Well-Built, Versatile and Bluetooth-Capable
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Best With Bluetooth
Sturdy, Sunlight-Readable and Glove-Friendly
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Best All-Terrain
Feature-Rich and Bluetooth-Capable
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Your guide

A dedicated motorcycle GPS navigation system is crucial if you prioritize the journey as much as the destination. Considering that motorcycle GPS devices are feature-rich, technologically advanced units, they often do not come cheap. Hence, you must choose one wisely to ensure it’s right for your needs and budget. This buying guide features our pick of five best motorbike GPS devices that are worth investing in for faster, safer, and efficient rides.

Top 5 Motorcycle GPS

If you are into serious motorcycling and an enthusiastic explorer at that, getting yourself the best motorcycle GPS could just be the ticket you need to fuel your thirst for adventure.

Thanks to these sophisticated navigation units, you no longer have to worry about the probability of losing your way while treading into hitherto unknown and uncharted territories.

motorcycle gps in use

And if you are someone who loves to unwind over long rides and emphasizes the riding experience as much as the sense of liberation that the activity of motorcycling brings along with it, settling for a motorcycle phone mount to accommodate a relatively cheaper smartphone with built-in navigation capabilities may not make the cut for you.

Akin to other motorcycling-related accessories such as motorcycle jackets and chain lubes, when it comes to selecting the best motorcycle GPS, several choices exist with regards to features and price points, and discerning one from the gamut of options can be overwhelming and confusing.

To make the buying process a bit easier for you, we have compiled a handy guide to help you determine which product is best suited to you, depending on factors such as budget, overall value, usability, or something more feature-specific. Here’s our pick of five best motorcycle GPS devices that will make sure you never get lost while you explore new routes and places of interest.

1. Best Overall - Garmin Zūmo 396 LMT-S

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 1 x 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 1.76lbs
  • Screen Size: 4.3 inches
  • Battery Type: Lithium Polymer

Key Features:

  • Garmin Adventurous Routing selections for identification of twisty, hilly roads
  • LiveTrack feature for real-time tracking of rider location
  • Easy Route Shaping for route adjustment based on individual preferences
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for map and software updates

Garmin Zūmo 396 LMT-S Review

American multinational Garmin is known for bringing cutting-edge GPS navigation systems to many walks of our life, fitness and outdoor recreation being no exception. The Zūmo 396 LMT-S is yet another innovative offering from the brand and our choice for the best motorbike GPS by overall value.

This device features a 4.3-inch sunlight-readable, intuitive touchscreen display that is designed for convenient use with gloves, and its solidly built frame is robust enough to resist harsh weather elements.

Look beyond conventional highway routes and trust the unit’s Adventurous Routing selections to help you discover the curvy and hilly roads that you crave to explore for a biker-like adrenaline rush that is beyond comparison.

Expect a host of navigation tools to get you from A to B quickly, safely, and efficiently. From preloaded detailed street maps and trustworthy reviews for restaurants, hotels, and attractions to the display of junctions, interchanges, and places of interest, easy adjustment of routes, assistance with lane guidance and more, the Zūmo 396 supports it all.

Stay connected while you are on the road with smartphone notifications displayed on your Zūmo screen and hands-free calling made possible in conjunction with a compatible smartphone and a Bluetooth-enabled motorcycle helmet or headset.

The fact that this motorcycle GPS is pairable with a compatible handset means you can enjoy your favorite tunes while you soak in the beautiful surroundings.

And then there is the free Smartphone Link app that keeps you up-to-date with live traffic and weather updates, alerts a predetermined contact with location information in the event of an incident, enables GPX file sharing for group rides, facilitates LiveTrack for real-time tracking of your whereabouts and more.

Thanks to thoughtful rider alerts, you are proactively notified about impending direction changes, railroad and animal crossings, school zones, nearby red light, and other must-knows that can ensure safer trips.

And you don’t have to worry about getting pulled over for speeding or riding without a helmet, or driving the wrong way on a one-way street, as the Garmin Zūmo 396 will alert you to state helmet laws and speed cameras, besides ensuring situational awareness. And that’s not all. The Zūmo 396 LMT-S will also prompt you to potential rest areas to help overcome fatigue on long journeys.

Other key features include dynamic fuel stop alerts to prevent you from running on empty, built-in Wi-Fi for wireless map and software updates, a handy TracBack feature to navigate the same route in reverse for return trips, a database of motorcycle-specific points of interest, a speed limit indicator, a digital compass display, and a service history log.

As for downsides, some buyers have cited improvement opportunities with the Zūmo 396’s software intuitiveness and “Incident Notification” feature.

All in all, despite a few drawbacks, none of which take away much from this feature-rich, ruggedized device, at less than $300, the impressive Garmin Zūmo 396 LMT-S packs in enough punch to offer a good blend of price, performance, and functionality.

The sheer versatility of this device will inspire you to go out there and explore the great outdoors by yourself or in a group, and it will not massively deplete your savings at that.

Pros
  • Rugged, road-tested, weatherproof build
  • Sunlight-readable, glove-friendly display
  • Equipped with Bluetooth function
  • Live traffic and weather updates
  • Useful rider alerts for situational awareness
  • Automatic incident notifications
  • Convenient GPX file sharing functionality
Cons
  • Software intuitiveness can be improved

2. Best Budget - TomTom Rider 550

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Screen Size: 4.3 inches
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion

Key Features:

  • MyDrive feature to discover and plan personalized riding routes
  • Intelligent planning of routes with TomTom Traffic and Lifetime Maps
  • Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and data exchange
  • Quad-core processor for faster start-up and processing speed

TomTom Rider 550 Review

Dutch multinational, TomTom is yet another reputed brand in the GPS navigation space, and its Rider series of motorcycle GPS units are considered as one of the best in the market when it comes to industry-leading navigation solutions for motorcycles.

At under $260, the TomTom Rider 550 is not just a cheap motorcycle GPS but also one of the best finds in this price range.

Forget the boring straightaways and target thrill-generating winding coastal roads and breath-taking mountain climbs with the Wi-Fi-connected Rider 550. Use this updated TomTom Rider to trace some of the world’s best and most exhilarating routes available exclusively to sync to your Rider 550.

Adventure or recreation – no matter what the motivation behind your out-of-town escapes – expect adrenaline-fueled fun with trips tailored with custom routes to accommodate your desire for challenging rides.

The compact and sturdy Rider 550 is designed with state-of-the-art technology and a host of modern features to address the needs and expectations of today’s motorcyclists.

So, you can have an IPX7-rated motorcycle GPS that can not only endure accidental dropping but also the elements. The 4.3-inch responsive display boasts new levels of sensitivity, and the glove-friendly touchscreen can be effortlessly toggled between light and heavy glove modes to suit you and the kit that you are wearing.

This navigation device is powered by a quad-core processor, and its in-built Wi-Fi lets you retrieve the latest maps, update software, and sync new routes for your TomTom Rider, without any need for a computer.

TomTom Traffic and lifetime maps help you avoid congested roads and discover the fastest route to get to where you need to go. Handy alerts warn you if you need to throttle down when approaching a speed camera, and the MyDrive motorcycle route planning feature enables you to design the perfect adventure for yourself.

Our best budget motorcycle GPS is also compatible with voice-activated personal assistants, such as Siri and Google Now. So, there’s the feasibility of using verbal commands for onboard music access, calling, etc.

Plus, you can have your smartphone messages and essential weather updates read aloud in your headset, thereby eliminating the need to take your eyes off the road and ensuring safety while riding.

With so much going for the Rider 550, it’s hard to fault-find, except maybe for the relatively slow updates over Wi-Fi, and the overly elaborate documentation, as pointed out by some reviewers.

That said, if you are after a well-built motorcycle GPS that is easy to install and use, has good search and routing capabilities, responds to re-routing well, enables trip personalization and does a ton of different things to elevate the riding experience, and yet manages to keep the price affordable amidst this, you will hardly find a better fit than the TomTom Rider 550.

Pros
  • Compact design and weatherproof, durable construction
  • Easy-to-read, sunlight-readable, glove-friendly touchscreen
  • Voice-enabled access to music, calling, and messaging
  • Access to the world’s best curated exclusive new routes
  • Audible smartphone messages and updates
Cons
  • Documentation can be simpler and concise
  • Some users experienced slow Wi-Fi updates

3. Best Waterproof - Zūmo 395LM

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.1 x 3.7 inches
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Screen Size: 4.3 inches
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion

Key Features:

  • Garmin Adventurous Routing options to help find twisty, hilly roads
  • Driver alerts for road awareness, rider safety, and adherence to state helmet laws
  • Bluetooth hands-free calling, plus spoken directions heard in-helmet
  • Hands-free controlling of music/media with compatible MP3 players and handsets

Garmin Zūmo 395LM Review

Changeable weather is one of the few constants of outdoor activities such as motorcycling, and the probability of your motorcycle GPS being exposed to the elements always remains.

If you are looking for a GPS navigation device that is durable enough to hold up against unpredictable weather conditions and that is backed by a brand you can trust, rest your search for the best waterproof motorcycle GPS with the Garmin Zūmo 395LM.

A more affordable version of the advanced but expensive Garmin Zūmo 595LM (reviewed later in this list), the Zūmo 395LM is one sleek but sturdy unit that offers you all the critical features you need to ensure nothing comes in between you and your recreational and adventure tours.

The 4.3-inch touchscreen display is exceptionally bright and sunlight-readable, and the glove-compatible design ensures you do not have to shuck your gloves off to use the screen.

An IPX7 rating means the fuel-resistant unit is also waterproof; so, you can rely on the Zūmo 395LM to be the ultimate guide for your road trips, no matter what the weather condition or what the navigation system is exposed to – UV rays, rain, or fuel vapors.

Get the rush of adrenaline you covet, each time you hit the road, thanks to the Zūmo 395LM’s Adventurous Routing options that ensure your rides are never boring or limited to the tried and tested. Curvy or hilly, conquer every new road with confidence with this Zūmo doing all the planning, thinking, and navigation for you.

The 395LM is equipped with Bluetooth function. So, you get the advantage of wireless calls. And with directions heard in-helmet, you can stay focused on the road ahead, even as you explore faster routes or navigate through complex transitions.

When it comes to spoken turn-by-turn directions, this motorbike GPS truly redefines the concept. It comes with the revolutionary Garmin Real Directions feature that not only speaks street names but also offers reliable guidance using recognizable landmarks, buildings, and traffic lights.

Be forewarned about every curve ahead, nearby red light, railroad crossings, school zones, fuel stations, food stops, etc. with helpful driver alerts that encourage heightened road awareness and safer rides.

And there’s a lot more to what the versatile 395LM can do for you by way of fatigue alerts, intimations about one-way streets, comprehensive location data, information about state helmet laws, warnings for speed reduction, lane assist, onscreen music & media control, and free lifetime map updates.

Any downsides with this capable unit? Nothing major except the unit’s audio quality and interface readability at highway speeds not finding favor with some reviewers.

Final verdict? The waterproof Garmin Zūmo 395LM is a competent motorcycle GPS that is worthy of your consideration if you looking for a robust navigation system that will guide you all year round, no matter what the weather – sunny, rainy or anything in between.

Pros
  • Glove-friendly design and rugged, IPX7-rated build
  • Sunlight-readable, 4-3-inch touchscreen display
  • Handy navigational tools to help you stay on route
  • Free map updates for the life of the device
Cons
  • Audio quality
  • Readability of a few interface elements at highway speeds

4. Best with Bluetooth - Zūmo 390LM

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.5 x 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 2.1lbs
  • Screen Size: 4.3 inches
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion

Key Features:

  • Touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels
  • IPX7 waterproof rating and resistant to fuel spills and UV rays
  • Curvy Roads routing guides to locate the windiest roads
  • Compatible with the Tire Pressure Monitor System3

Garmin Zūmo 390LM Review

If your idea of a rewarding road journey is riding without any inhibition or distraction, the Zūmo 390LM is for you.

This Garmin for motorcycle is designed to add thrill to your rides, and it comes with Curvy Roads routing guides that look beyond major highways to keep your passion for adventure alive with twisty routes that are certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Feel inspired to explore new routes, knowing that you have access to the most up-to-date points of interest and maps with free map updates available for the useful life of the device.

Features such as Lane assist with junction view, easy-to-spot brightly colored indicative arrows, TracBack, etc. make navigating new roads exciting, simultaneously ensuring you always find your way back home.

This versatile Zūmo is loaded with rider-friendly features and is easy to use, even with gloves on. The 4.3-inch touchscreen is readable in sunlight, and the WQVGA TFT display is equipped with white backlight to boost readability in low-light conditions.

Wondering what happens to the device if you get caught in a downpour unexpectedly? Fret not as the rugged Zūmo 390LM is IPX7-rated, meaning it can survive incidental exposure to water at a depth of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, besides being resistant to fuel spills.

When looking to embrace the open road without any form of distraction whatsoever, a hands-free operation can play a critical role in elevating the comfort factor of your rides and the overall ride quality. The Zūmo 390LM shines in this aspect.

With this Garmin GPS supporting Bluetooth wireless technology, you don’t have to divert your attention from the road to answer calls or view directions.

Simply connect the Zūmo to your mobile phone and a Bluetooth-enabled headset or helmet and benefit from hands-free phone control and spoken directions, plus voice prompts transmitted to your compatible headset or helmet.

Also, get the advantage of wireless monitoring of up to four tires with the Zūmo 390LM’s compatibility with the manufacturer’s Tire Pressure Monitor System.

As for shortcomings, with so many features packed into a single unit, there isn’t much that’s left wanting with the Zūmo 390LM. However, certain aspects could do with upgrades, such as the unit’s battery life and the brightness of its screen.

Nitpicking aside, the Garmin Zūmo 390LM is an excellent motorcycle GPS that makes sure that non-negotiable aspects, such as road awareness and rider safety, are never compromised even as you endeavor to stay connected with everything that matters.

Pros
  • Durable construction
  • Sunlight-readable and glove-friendly interface
  • WQVGA TFT display with white backlight
  • Hands-free phone control and spoken directions via Bluetooth
  • Free lifetime map updates
Cons
  • Brightness of the screen can be improved
  • Battery life is not the best out there

5. Best All-Terrain - Garmin Zūmo 595LM

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 1.3 x 5.9 x 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Screen Size: 5 inches
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion

Key Features:

  • High-resolution, dual-orientation touchscreen
  • Transflective technology-equipped display
  • IPX7-compliant design
  • Bluetooth-enabled and equipped with Garmin Adventurous Routing options

Garmin Zūmo 595LM Review

When adventure is your middle name, and a no-holds-barred kind of a ride is what you seek from your motorcycle, the Garmin Zūmo 595LM could be your best bet to fulfill your riding aspirations.

Add excitement to your explorations and convert your regular trips into twisty, gnarly, exhilarating adventures with the Zūmo 595LM. Designed with thrill-seekers in mind, this premium motorcycle GPS makes use of Garmin Adventurous Routing options to indulge the adventure junkie in you with routes that boast the most curves.

Thanks to handy navigation assistants such as the photoReal Junction View and the 3D terrain view, you can expect seamless maneuvering through complex interchanges.

Helpful voice prompts direct you to the appropriate lane position that you need to maintain for your next turn or exit, and an innovative TracBack feature enables a seamless return journey by allowing you to navigate the same route in reverse. Not to forget the fatigue warnings that make for a truly intuitive device that leaves nothing to chance.

From notifications about speed changes, upcoming sharp curves, congestion, one-way streets, railroad crossings, etc. to rider alerts for speed cameras, impending red light, state helmet laws and more, get vital information at your fingertips to make intelligent route choices and ensure personal safety.

The inclusion of free lifetime map updates means access to routes with the most up-to-date points of interest and maps available. And with the handy LiveTrack feature added to this model, tracking your current location is now easy for your friends and family.

The Zūmo 595LM allows hands-free calling via a compatible smartphone and a Bluetooth-enabled compatible helmet or headset; so, you can keep your focus on the road while making or receiving calls.

The fact that the 595LM is also compatible with tire pressure monitor systems and VIRB action cameras, and that you can use it to control music from an MP3 player or smartphone, stream Pandora and Spotify music services using a compatible handset, and stay connected on the road with customizable smartphone notifications, makes this GPS for motorcycle adventure riding an undisputed all-rounder.

As for the design, the 5-inch touchscreen is gloves-operable, and the high-resolution, dual-orientation touchscreen is equipped with a transflective technology-enabled bright display for comfortable reading in sunlight.

The ready-to-ride design boasts a sturdy build, and, backed with an IPX7 rating, this advanced motorcycle GPS navigator remains unfazed even when exposed to fuel vapors, UV rays, rain, and other harsh elements.

At over $500, the Garmin Zūmo 595LM is pricey. However, if the cost is not a deal-breaker for you and robust performance, led by advanced features, is what you seek for your outdoor pursuits, we recommend the versatile Zūmo 595LM for unleashing the true potential of your two-wheeler and the freedom that only a motorcycle is known to offer.

Pros
  • Well-built and durable
  • Glove-friendly and readable in sunlight
  • Viewable in both landscape and portrait modes
  • Helpful alerts to ensure rider safety and adherence to laws
  • Hands-free calling, music control and streaming of music services
  • Free lifetime map updates
  • Includes automotive mount
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Display could be clearer and brighter

Motorcycle GPS: Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is the Best GPS for Adventure Riding?

All the models reviewed in this list are adventure-focused units that can be deemed as the best GPS for adventure riding in their respective categories. Some of the most popular ones in the market include the Garmin Zūmo 595LM, Garmin Zūmo 395LM, and TomTom Rider 550.

Can I Use a Car GPS on My Motorcycle?

Even if feasible, using a car GPS on a motorcycle is not desirable because of the following reasons.

First, unlike cars, motorcycle engines tend to produce forceful vibrations. Hence, it is wiser to invest in a dedicated motorcycle GPS that can withstand such potent vibrations and yet remain accurate.

Second, contrary to a car GPS that is mounted on the windshield or dashboard, a motorcycle GPS is mounted on the two-wheeler’s handlebars, which implies constant exposure to the elements. So, it’s preferable to buy a GPS unit specially designed for use on motorbikes as they are built such that they can resist dust, spills and temperature ranges.

Third, designated motorcycle GPS units tend to feature displays that support usage with gloves and readability under direct sunlight.

Fourth, dedicated GPS navigation devices for motorcycles are more likely to emphasize Bluetooth integration for hands-free calling.

Which Is the Best Garmin Zūmo for Motorcycles?

The choice of the best Garmin Zūmo for motorcycles will vary from one to the other, depending on aspects such as features, price, functionality, or the value quotient of the device.

Of all the models we reviewed, we found the Zūmo 396 LMT-S to offer the best value and the Zūmo 595LM the best for mixed-terrain riding.

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