Top 10 Navi Systeme

Paper Maps Cruizador compressed

In diesem Artikel (auf Englisch) überprüfen wir 10 geeignete Kandidaten, je nach Ihrer Bedürfnissen und/oder Ihrer Fahrphilosophie.

In kürze

  1. Traditionelle Papierkarte + Kompass
  2. GPS Moto (Tom Tom, Garmin)
  3. Beeline
  4. Quadlock-System
  5. Waze/Google Maps
  6. Here We Go (Nokia)
  7. Via Michelin
  8. Liberty App
  9. Rever App
  10. CaliMoto

Whether you use your bike only for (long) road-trips or to commute daily, the ability to find your destination safely is often key, as you cannot stop in the middle of the traffic. Additionally, if you lead a (big) group, loosing track can be problematic as it might get tricky and dangerous to re-route the whole group. So, what are the best options out there?

1. Paper map + compass

Paper Map Compass Cruizador Navigation
Paper Map + Compass

If motorbike riding means for you an open road with no particular place to go, nothing can beat the good old paper map and the compass. You stop on a sunny terrace and start planning with you riding companion(s). Browse possible itineraries, write down the general directions on a post-it, stick it on the fuel tank, and hit the road. This is as simple as that! And sometimes, loosing yourself is the best way to discover great places and make genuine encounters with locals.

Pros

Cons
  • Focus on the road, not the screen;
  • No battery/data/network needed ;
  • Eco-Friendly 🙂 !
  • Not really handy when you look for a particular place (e.g. hotels, restaurant);
  • Not really waterproof either 🙂 !

2. GPS Motorcycle 

TomTom Garmin GPS Navigation System Cruizador
Navigation System

If you’re riding a brand-new high-end bike (model 2019 and up), there is a high chance you have a built-in GPS system. However, if you don’t, there are several options on the market, such as TomTom Rider or Garmin Zumo series. If you’re going on a long(er) road-trip, this might be your best option. Manufacturers offer shock/vibration resistant and waterproof devices that you can securely mount on your bike (with a lock), so no need to unplug it during every break. Additionally, you can connect them to the motorcycle’s electrical system, which means running out of battery no longer becomes a problem. Furthermore, those devices are designed to be used with your gloves on, and the screen is legible even with direct (sun)light. Motorcycle GPS do not require network coverage (GPS signal is enough).

TomTom/Garmin offer route options, such as winding roads which takes you on itineraries with a lot of twisties. Though, planning and importing an itinerary isn’t the most user-friendly experience. Either you do it on a computer and export it on the memory card or over Wi-Fi (GPX file). Or you can do it directly on the device. But if you want to change the itinerary, you have basically to start from scratch. Third party integration/live information are not as reliable as services such as Google Maps.

Pros

Cons

  • Robust and handy (with gloves on);
  • Secured mount;
  • Easy to read (event with bright sunlight);
  • Battery not an issue if electric relay with bike;
  • More expensive (device + map updates);
  • User experience (UX) to plan and import itineraries flawed (compared to smartphone);
  • Risk of theft/vandalism if left on bike overnight e.g..

3. Beeline

Beeline Navigation System Cruizador
Beeline Navigation System

Beeline is some sort of a hybrid apparatus, which consists of a small device (mounted on the bike) with basic information and a smartphone app. You have the best of both worlds in a sense. You can plan your itinerary on your smartphone and then share it with the device over Bluetooth.

Pros

Cons

  • Access to basic information in real time;
  • Stay focus on the road;
  • Cheaper than Motorcycle GPS (from 179€);
  • IP67 certified (dust and waterproof);
  • 1h of charge gives you 30h of autonomy;
  • Physical buttons -> easy to handle with gloves on.
  • Display only basic info (no traffic e.g.);
  • Still need cellular data (beware of roaming charges) or at least network coverage.

Link: https://beeline.co/

4. Smartphone + APP

Let’s ask it upfront! Who doesn’t own a smartphone nowadays? And since it’s the single device that we carry with us at all time, why don’t we use it as a navigation system?

Quadlock Smartphone Mount Cruizador Motorcycle
Quadlock Smartphone Mount

Firstly, there are several providers when it comes to the mounting system. Personally, here at Cruizador, we use the Quadlock-System, which consists of a motorcycle mount and then either a Quadlock Smartphone Case (availability depends on your smartphone/model) or, if your smartphone is not compatible, you can purchase a universal adaptor that you stick on your smartphone/case (a bit like for GoPro). It costs around 20CHF just for the adaptors, and around 80 CHF for the package (mount + case).

However, we have to warn you. Some users have reported that an extended use on bumpy roads has literally broken their smartphone because of the vibrations (screen became blurry/yellowish). Additionally, using it under driving rain or in the dust is not recommended. Even if most current high-end smartphones are IP67 certified, they are not made to be used under pouring rain for instance. So please bear that in mind if you’re going for a long road trip in difficult conditions. Last but not least, some handlebars are not compatible with the mount (has to be cylindric).

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to mount;
  • Secure and robust;
  • Price/quality decent.
  • Not good for smartphone (rain/dust/bumpy road);
  • Mount compatibility depends on handlebar.

Link: https://www.quadlockcase.com/collections/shop-moto

Now we will look into some of the most commonly known navigation apps available. All of them are available for Android and iOS. All of them offer navigation features, with basic planning features such as “avoid motorways” or avoid paid/toll roads. So for this review, we will focus on the main pros/cons respectively the unique features of each one of them.

Common downsides of smartphone apps are the battery use (autonomy) and the necessity to have cellular data or to get guidance. Some of them allow you to download the map whilst on Wi-Fi to use them offline, but still you’ll need at least network coverage to get geo-localized.

4.1.  Waze/Google Maps

We will handle these two as a bundle, since they share the same mother company and DNA (Google acquired Waze in 2013). It means that those two Apps share the same features to a large extent. However, we like the Waze User Interface (UI) slightly better.

Waze Navigation Application GPS Smartphone Cruizador
Waze Navigation App

Main upside of Google/Waze are the 3rd-party integration (e.g. find cheapest gas station in the area) and the live traffic information, i.e. the ability to re-route you depending on the road congestion. The technology is simple. The algorithm will analyze real time information of the users and if you’re slowing down or if many users are stuck in one place, it will conclude that there is traffic jam and re-route the other users to avoid it. So, if you commute in (congested) urban areas, you might definitely use them.

Additionally, as a user, you can notify directly in the app road hazards, camera, police along the way, which benefits other users in the area.

Pros

Cons

  • User interface (UI) & display of relevant infos;
  • 3rd-Party integration;
  • Live traffic and hazard warning.
  • Not custom for motorcycles (only basic feature to plan itineraries);
  • Battery & data usage (no offline use);
  • Focus on the screen, not the road.

Link: https://www.waze.com/

4.2.  Here We go

Same underlying concept as the previous one, except that you can download the map over Wi-Fi to use them offline. Additionally, you can set-up speed-limits in the system (e.g. if you’re riding 20km/h above speed limit), so if you tend to drive a bit too fast, this might be a friendly reminder 🙂 !

Here WeGo Navigation App Smartphone Cruizador
Here WeGo Navigation App

Pros

Cons

  • Download entire country maps (for offline use);
  • Set-Up speed limits.
  • If used offline, no live traffic or impossible to find point of interest without postal address;
  • Basic itinerary planning features;
  • Map size (>1.5GB for France e.g.).

Link: https://wego.here.com/

4.3.  Via Michelin

If you’re planning a road-trip in Western Europe and especially France, this is THE app to use.

Whilst the underlying concept is identic, the main feature of this app is the integration of the points of interest along the way. When you plan your itinerary, choose the option “discovery” and the app will take you on the best scenic roads. Pretty high chance that it will double up your traveling time but who cares right? When we’re on a road trip, we want to spend as much time on the bike as possible 🙂 !

ViaMichelin Navigation App Cruizador Smartphone
Via Michelin Navigation App

Michelin is a French company yet well known worldwide for its Michelin Guide (Restaurant) but also for its paper maps. So if you want to combine gastronomy and road-trip, do not look any further.

Now the main downside of this app is the possible time lag between your progression on the road and the one in the app which makes the navigation in urban areas (where changes of direction are numerous) a bit tricky.

Pros

Cons

  • Find the best scenic roads;
  • Integration of points of interest;
  • Compute total costs of travel (toll, gas, etc.);
  • Michelin know-how in an app.
  • Battery and data usage;
  • Lag between progression in app and reality -> guidance in urban areas a bit tricky.

Link: https://www.viamichelin.com

4.4.  Liberty Rider

Liberty Rider is an app launched by a French start-up which offers, on top of itinerary planning, a very interesting features, i.e. the possibility to share your road-trip in real-time with specific persons (defined by you). So people can see in real time where you are and be sure you are safe. If the system detects an accident it will notify automatically the emergency services within max. 5 minutes.

Liberty Rider Navigation App Cruizador Smartphone
Liberty Rider App

Additionally, you have advanced itinerary planning features (best roads for motorcycle, level of difficulty, distance, time, etc.). You can also share your itinerary/roadbook with the community/other users.

There is a basic free version (with limited functionalities) and a premium version (4€/month).

Pros

Cons

  • Safety first -> real-time trip sharing;
  • If accident detected, emergencies notified automatically within 5 min max.;
  • Advanced itinerary planning options;
  • Safety features included in free version.
  • Roadbooks -> user generated content -> quality/quantity may vary;
  • Battery usage;
  • Freemium (4€/month for pro).

Link: https://liberty-rider.com/

4.5.  Rever App

Rever is a US-Based start-up that offers a subtle combination of social network and itinerary planning. Basically, it is a navigation apps that allows you to download/share itineraries.

Rever Navigation App Cruizador
Rever Navigation App Cruizador
Pros Cons
  • Download map for offline use;
  • Plan on computer and export GPX file;
  • Lots of itineraries in US;
  • Advanced itinerary planning options.
  • Share your road-trip in real time (safety).
  • Data required;
  • User generated content -> quality/quantity may vary;
  • Weak in Europe;
  • Freemium (4$/month for pro).

Link: https://www.rever.co/

4.6.  Cali Moto

This is the European twin of Rever if you want. We haven’t used it yet, so it is unclear if there are more itineraries available. But the underlying concepts are the same.

CaliMoto Navigation App Smartphone Cruizador
CaliMoto Navigation App
Pros Cons
  • Download map for offline use;
  • Advanced itinerary planning options.
  • User generated content -> quality/quantity may vary;
  • Freemium.

Link: https://calimoto.com/fr

Cruizador

Hallo! Ich bin der Gründer und Chief Biker Officer von Cruizador. Biker und Reiseliebhaber seit langem entschied ich mich 2018, diesen neuen Service zu starten, in der Hoffnung, dass er die meisten Biker anspricht, die dieselbe Philosophie und denselben Durst nach Open Roads teilen. Es ist mir eine Freude, Ihre Kommentare, Verbesserungsvorschläge usw. zur Kenntnis zu nehmen. Ride on!

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