Adding a motorcycle GPS to your riding repertoire can expand your horizons beyond your imagination. There are products on the market to suit every rider’s needs, whether off-road, on-road, or adventure. All the units covered here are specific motorcycle GPS products or units otherwise lend themselves very well to use on a bike. Your typical automotive GPS units aren’t built to the same standard as motorcycle GPS units and the often harsh environments we find ourselves in. While it’s important to compare features of the units themselves, two key elements to maximizing the benefit of motorcycle GPS units are the mapping products available and the computer or mobile device user interface. As you get deeper into this technology, you will find yourself spending more time on your mobile device or computer laying out your next ride, exploring with Google Earth, and ultimately, downloading and editing tracks you’ve actually recorded on the ground. Choosing a motorcycle GPS with the type of maps you want and the pre- and post-ride user environment are key considerations before purchasing a specific unit.
Before we get too far into this, let’s face it, smartphones have come a long way and are capable of doing things most don’t understand and some can’t comprehend. Navigation, however, is one of the features people from all walks – and levels of technological literacy – use on a daily basis. A smartphone works quite well for nav among dozens of other things, occasionally at the same time. So are standalone GPS units even worth having around anymore? As phones continue to advance – as well as GPS units – the lines between the two continue to become more blurred. Let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons of both.