Dedicated motorcycle sat navs have been around almost as long as in-car sat navs, and these days offer advanced features that really can improve your ride. Initially, similar to in-car sat navs, they were simply about providing instructions on how to get from A to B, but more recently they’ve become more about increasing enjoyment, with features such as ‘ride challenge level’ and ‘winding roads’. TomTom were the first on the scene with the original TomTom Rider, then there was a version 2, 3 & 4, then the Urban Rider, then the 400, then the 410, and now the 450. Compare the TomTom Rider features in our comparison table below.
Similarly, Garmin Zumo are the other big player, and offer some great looking and fully-specced motorcycle sat navs that prove to be very popular, despite their rather high price tag.
So which is the best? As usual, it depends on the individual. For value-for-money, our favourite is the TomTom Rider. If you want the best on market regardless of cost, our favourite would be the Garmin Zumo 595LM.
TomTom Rider & Garmin Zumo Comparison Tables To compare features on the different TomTom Rider and Garmin Zumo models, including models from the last couple of years up to the latest 2018 releases, scroll down!
Our Favourite - The TomTom Rider 450
Ease of Use
Value for Money
If you're after the top-of-the-range sat nav for your bike, our favourite would be the Garmin Zumo 595LM due to the bigger screen and superior feature set. However, it's hard to ignore the fact that the Rider is considerably cheaper than the Zumo, and it's likely to meet and even excel the everyday requirements of a rider. We particularly like the 'ride challenge level' function, and the glove-friendly touch screen has been noticeably improved on the latest Rider models. The Premium Pack is good value if you need a car mount and anti-theft solution.
TomTom Rider Models Compared
There’s a fair few variations of the TomTom Rider models out there, and whilst all offer the same basic functionality (and design), there are some key differences. An overview of the different features is shown in our table below. For an explanation of the features, see the bottom of this page.
As with the TomTom, the Garmin Zumo models have progressed over the years. Whilst all look fairly similar, there are differences in both hardware and software. An overview of the differences is below. Scroll the table to the right to see all details. For an explanation of the features, see the bottom of this page.
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Scroll to the right to see full table.
OFFER – Certified Refurbished Zumo 590LM – £299.99 If you don’t fancy stretching to the high cost of the Zumo 595, Amazon have a great deal on the slightly older Zumo 590 at the moment. The 590 lacks a few features of the 595, namely Adventurous routing, Spotify streaming, Smartphone Link and 3D terrrain. But if none of that sounds like a deal breaker to you then get yourself a bargain! View the Garmin Zumo 590LM (Certified Refurbished) on Amazon Now
Explanation of Features
Released The year the sat nav was released. Due to the product release cycles, models that were released in a previous year may well still be the current, most recent, model.
Maps The maps regions that come preinstalled on the sat nav. You can always add new regions later (for a fee), but it will work out the more expensive option than buying the most suitable model initially.
Glove Friendly One of the big benefits of a dedicated motorcycle sat nav is that the screen can be used with gloves.
Screen Size Either 4.3″ or 5″ on the Zumo. It’s purely a preference thing, although if you intend to use features such as music streaming, we’d say bigger is better.
Memory Bigger is better of course. This should only be a consideration if you intend to add maps/POIs in the future, or you want to store lots of routes etc.
Traffic All these motorcycle sat navs give traffic alerts via your smartphone (connected via bluetooth). So you’ll need a decent data connection. Which could be a problem if your somewhere remote, but then again if you’re somewhere remote then traffic alerts aren’t going to be an issue!
Winding Roads / Adventurous Routes As it says really, find routes based on the curvyness and excitement level of the roads.
Offline Routes Nearby hotels, restaurants etc are normally found using data via your phone over bluetooth. Some models can store these offline, so you can find these POI’s even when you don’t have a data connection.
Preinstalled Routes The sat nav comes with a number of ‘great rides’ preinstalled. Discover new rides recommended by others.
Ride Challenge Level Rather than just pick your destination, you can pick the route you want based on challenge and experience.
Speed Limit Indicator Warns of speed limits on certain major roads.
Bluetooth A bluetooth connection allows handsfree calling (via a connected headset), and also uses a data connection for some features.
Speed Camera Alerts TomTom gets speed camera alerts by syncing with your smartphone. Garmin has the locations preinstalled on the device.
Black Sport Warnings / Rider Alerts Alerts you when you’re approaching a blackspot area, and also gives info on how far back traffic is queuing when approaching a jam.
Music Streaming Stream Spotify and other music services from your sat nav into your helmet via a bluetooth headset.