The 5 Best Motorcycle Sat Navs

Here’s a quick and easy guide on picking the best motorcycle Sat Nav for your bike trips, tours and adventures. You’ll find specs, pros, cons and the best devices on the UK market here. Happy navigating!

Motorcycle Sat Nav GPS
One million points if you can name the little Slovakian castle in the distance...

Contents

The Best Motorcycle Sat Navs

Motorcycle Sat Navs save time, stop you from getting lost, help with planning, warn of speed cameras and traffic and plot alternative directions, are brilliant for finding (and saving) new twisty routes, can instantly find you a hotel, campsite, fuel or food and have become near essentials on motorcycle tours. They’re brilliant devices that help you get the most out of your motorcycle tours and travels.   

And this guide’s job is to help you pick the right one for you. When it comes to motorcycle sat navs, there are only two options: Tom Tom and Garmin. And here are their two flagship models along with their features, pros, cons and where to pick one up. You’ll also find older models in case you’re after a bargain. These are the best motorcycle sat navs on the market today.  

Motorcycle Sat Nav UPDATE 2022

Both Garmin and Tom Tom have discontinued all of their models and are now instead only providing one flagship sat nav model: the Tom Tom 550 and the Garmin Zumo XT. This makes sense and is a welcome move as their ranges are so similar.

This article listed other models before they were discontinued, and we’ve kept a few of those on here because they’re still available on Amazon and elsewhere online and you may want to pick one up for a bargain while stocks are cleared out.  

TomTom Rider 550 Sat Nav Premium and World Review

Quick info: Packed with features, top of the line, £389 (premium) £299 (world)

The TomTom Rider 550 Sat Nav is the step-up from the Rider 50. Both models are the same physically and use the same software. The difference is in the features and mapping. This 550 model comes with lifetime worldwide maps, lifetime speed camera and traffic updates and also the exclusive routes and points of interest.

There’s two versions of the 550: World and Premium. There’s absolutely no difference between the two devices themselves – the only differences are what accessories they come with. The Premium version comes with a RAM Anti-Theft locking system, a protective case and a car mount system and those extras will set you back an extra £90. 

Garmin Zumo XT Sat Nav Review

Quick info: All-in-one, Latest Sat Nav on the market, £384 

The Garmin Zumo XT is the latest and greatest in Garmin’s Sat Nav line-up. It is the successor to the Garmin Zumo 595LM. The main differences between the two are the screen size (the XT has a far wider screen), the resolution is better on the XT and it also has a higher processing speed, built-in Wi-Fi and a bigger internal storage capacity. The XT is dripping with features, free lifetime updates and excellent extras such as ‘Adventurous routing’ and birds-eye views for topography. 

Discontinued Sat Navs

The three Sat Navs below have been discontinued in 2022 but are still available online.

TomTom Rider 50 Sat Nav Review 

Quick info: Budget, Western Europe, No Thrills, £242

The TomTom Rider 50 Sat Nav sits at the lower price end of TomTom’s GPS units. The actual device, hardware and all of the mounts are the same as the more expensive TomTom Rider 550 Sat Nav. The difference is with the maps and updates. The Rider 50 gets lifetime access to Western Europe maps (550 gets worldwide), the 50 has 3 months of Live Traffic and Speed Camera updates (550 gets lifetime) and there’s no access to the Points of Interest and Exclusive Routes that the 550 also has included. 

Now this isn’t a big deal if all you don’t care about those extras and makes the Rider 50 an excellent cheaper alternative to the fancy-pants 550.

Garmin Zumo 595LM Sat Nav Review

Quick info: Superseded by Zumo XT, Packed with features, £375

The Garmin Zumo XT has taken over from the 595LM, but this is still a seriously good device. It comes with lifetime access to European maps, access to Garmin Base Camp for route planning, live rider updates, points of interest, 3D topographic maps (perfect for those who like rough roads) and route logging. 

Garmin Zumo 396LMT-S EU Sat Nav Review

Quick info: Popular, Entry-level Garmin, £287

The Garmin Zumo 396 is one of the most popular and well regarded Sat Navs out there. It’s also one of the lowest priced devices in Garmin’s line-up. 

The more expensive Garmin 595 has a larger display, dual orientation, headphone jack, tyre pressure monitoring, 3D maps and a better screen while the 396 has Wi-Fi connectivity for automatic map updates. It’s also set-up for free live traffic, weather and tracking as well as able to handle hands-free calls and notifications. So it depends how much you value those extras. 

The Best Motorcycle Sat Nav Winners

The Best All-Round Motorcycle Sat Nav: TomTom Rider 550

5/5

The TomTom Rider 550 is the step up from the 50 and 500 models. It comes packed with lifetime updates for everything, and unlike its Garmin XT competition, it comes with lifetime Worldwide updates. The screen layout is also more intuitive on the TomTom, it comes with lockable RAM mounts and TomTom’s MyDrive software is easier to use than Garmin Basecamp.  

The Best European Touring Motorcycle Sat Nav: Garmin XT 

5/5

The Garmin XT and TomTom Rider 550 are so closely matched and you can’t go wrong with either. The XT has a bigger and crisper screen, which for a lot of people is enough to seal the win on its own. In terms of battery, price, software, services, ruggedness they’re very evenly matched. The Garmin XT comes with lifetime European map updates while the Rider 550 comes with worldwide. 

If worldwide vs European maps don’t actually matter to you, then go with the best priced deal on the market or whichever system you’re more used to as both are brilliant.   

Sat Nav Alternatives

Beeline Moto

Quick info: Requires mobile phone to work, £157

Beeline are new on the scene and provide an alternative to the conventional sat nav. Think of this product as middle ground between sat navs and mobile phones. It requires a smartphone with Bluetooth to work, you just plot your route on the Beeline mobile app and then use the device to navigate as it instructs you when to turn. It’s minimalistic, so not for everyone but does make for a clever alternative. 

It’s waterproof, has 30 hours battery life, easy to install and take off, can be used as a compass or route guide, has worldwide coverage, tracks your ride and you can import GPX routes. 

Motorcycle Phone Mounts

Quick info: prices range from £10 – £70

Mobile phone mounts for motorcycles offer a cheaper alternative to sat navs (provided you already own a phone). You can simply use a free navigation app like Google Maps or Maps.Me to plot a route. However, if you’re doing big mileage on a trip, you’re going to want a mount with decent protection from the elements. You’ll also need to consider data usage (if you don’t download the maps beforehand) and vibrations from your bike. For more info, check out our phone mount guides and the best free biking travel apps.  

READ MORE: The Best Motorcycle Phone Mounts
READ MORE: Top 5 Free Motorcycle Travel Apps

Motorcycle Sat Navs and Bluetooth Headsets

If you’re looking into sat navs, you may also be interested in Bluetooth headsets. Motorcycle intercom and Bluetooth devices are built to integrate with sat navs as well as your phone to help provide you with audible instructions as well as visual.

Check out the Bluetooth guide for more info.

READ MORE: The Best Motorcycle Bluetooth Headsets

Read more on Motorcycle Travel Gear

Thanks for checking out our Best Motorcycle Sat Navs Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle travel gear that we recommend you read next. 

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Let us know what you think of this Best Motorcycle Sat Navs Guide in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions, questions or use any of these devices. Thanks! 

11 thoughts on “The 5 Best Motorcycle Sat Navs”

  1. Great guide right here, thanks. I’ve noticed though that in some of your pics from your travels you have a sat nav and in some pics you’ve got your mobile fixed up on the handlebar instead. Which one do you use now? cheers

    Reply
    • Hi! Good question…
      We started our RTW trip with a Tom Tom Sat Nav and once we were out of Europe we switched to just using a phone mount and here’s why:
      A sat nav is absolutely perfect for touring. If we were just staying in Europe I would still have the sat nav. We could plot our routes, save waypoints, make changes on the laptop etc and it saves so much time. But once you’re out of Europe, it’s more of a hindrance. You rely on Google Maps way more, even with worldwide maps downloaded onto a sat nav. So that’s why we made the switch.
      Here’s a guide on The Best Motorcycle Phone Mounts in case you’re interested.
      Cheers,

      Reply
      • Excellent and makes sense thank you. I’m a touring based rider (mainly on the Continent) and in that case a sat nav makes sense for me. I’m looking to upgrade and think i’m going for the Garmin XT. Thanks

        Reply
      • Hey there,
        so does this mean that for RTW travel, a GPS does not really do the job intended, and its better to just reply on Google Maps, or Mape.me / OsmAnd if no data available.
        I am also thinking of going the way of TomTom mainly due its reported ease of use, and free worldwide maps…..but I see others choosing a Garmin device for the off road information/routes….
        So, I was hoping to be able to manage with TomTom + Maps.me/OsmAnd….

        Reply
        • Hi, thanks for your question.
          Yes, in my opinion, for round the world travel, a phone is the best option for navigation.
          Maps.Me works without data – that’s the beauty of it. You can literally use it to travel anywhere in the world. You just download the maps you need when you have wifi.
          I would advise though, to get a separate cheap but tough phone to use solely as your nav device. That way all the dust and vibrations won’t affect your primary phone.
          And yes, you’re correct. TomTom is an easy to use sat nav – great for touring while Garmin is better for off-road riders who are still going to be touring but with off-roading in mind…
          Think TomTom road tourers and Garmin adventure bike riders.
          But if you’re travelling around the world, then you’re better of with a phone.
          Or, if you want a Sat Nav and have your eye on the TomTom then, as you say, you will be fine with it plus a phone with maps.me etc. It’s just more equipment and devices.
          Hope this helps,
          Cheers,
          Andy

          Reply
          • Interesting Andy….I have been a little skeptical that the phone and its offline apps would be sufficient; eg downloading maps that may not be updated, and / or having issues with loading TET route files onto Osm or Maps.me or any other app out there if I wanted to explore at least some of the rural/offroad routes – similar to what Noraly (as an example) is doing currently in South and Central America (but she seems to be using her Garmin almost exclusively when on the road….)
            Whilst I was planning to use my current phone more for navigation activities, and get a newer phone for other functions, I also thought I had better invest in a GPS – and favouring the TomTom for the free worldwide maps and ease of use…your different perspective is useful. Thanks.

            Reply
            • Yeah, I see what you mean. But when you download a Maps.Me map it’s going to be up-to-date on the day that you download it. The next time you get wifi you can update it. So it’s really not going to be long periods with no updates.
              Regarding uploading TET files to apps, yes, you may have issues with that.
              We plot our off-road routes with a mixture of paper and Google maps and then plot the way points on Maps.me.
              Yeah, fair enough and that’s a good idea! We did the same when we first set off. We had a TomTom and had planned to use the phone for more off-road stuff. But after a few months we ended up sending the TomTom home because we were just finding and plotting the routes on Google Maps and then transferring it to the TomTom, so we unnecessarily had two processes.
              But what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. So, try the GPS and phone together if you prefer and see how it goes 🙂
              Having a GPS is a worthwhile investment, they’re brilliant devices and essentials for touring and travelling. My original point to the previous poster was that only in our case of a RTW trip do we not need it and prefer a phone.
              And ps, please do let us know how you get on and which setup you end up with.
              Cheers,
              Andy

              Reply
              • Will do….hopefully the RTW will commence by Q1 next year…
                I guess I am the type who tends to be a little overprepared…with most things but especially when I travel…even when I go for a short day ride…lol
                I don’t have much experience (yet) with plotting waypoints, transferring gpx files, etc as I have not done much overlanding…something I am still learning via youtube etc….
                Also, just came across a smartphone product Ulefone on an Advrider thread….going to look into that as well….more options, more confusion…haha…

                Reply
                • Oh wow, that’s exciting! Best of luck with the trip and perhaps we’ll see you on the road somewhere then!
                  Nothing wrong with being overprepared. It’s good to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. And you’ve got plenty of time now to do trial and dry runs before leaving on the big trip so you can decide which setup works.
                  haha yeah, too many options – a part of me misses the days when all we had was just paper maps!
                  Cheers,
                  Andy

                  Reply
  2. I used a BEELINE across Spain. On the first real test (I had booked into a boutique hotel that turned out to be 2 miles down an unmarked gravel road) it not only took me there: it actually took me to the reception desk.

    Reply
    • Hi Nigel,
      That’s really interesting you mentioned that because I was just having a conversation about Beeline last week and was considering adding the device as a Sat Nav alternative to this list.
      I’m assuming you’d recommend the product then? Also, interesting that your first real test with it was on a tour in Spain? (I’m assuming you’re not from Spain though!). Did you have a SatNav as a backup?
      Cheers,
      Andy

      Reply

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