10 Best Garmin Motorcycle GPS – Comparison & Reviews was last modified: May 18th, 2020 by ContentP
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10 Best Garmin Motorcycle GPS (Updated Reviews) in 2020
We know that looking for the best Garmin motorcycle GPS units is not always an easy task, as there are many items that fall into this category. However, you should know that the next selection is here to help you out, as we’ve showcased the highest-rated devices so that you can easily take your pick.
1. Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS Navigator System
This Garmin model is a versatile and complete device that will certainly prove to be a reliable partner for your road adventures. With a 5-inch design, this unit is handy and easy to use, while the turn-by-turn directions feature makes it a lot easier for you to focus on the road ahead.
One of the things that you will probably be very happy about is the fact that it comes with lifetime maps for most U.S. states. This means that you don’t need to worry about needing to make additional purchases after a while. Moreover, the device is specially made to encourage safe driving, which is why it gives alerts depending on how the road ahead looks like.
With this being said, if you are in the market for a device that can also offer the brand’s Real Directions feature, you can certainly give this one a try.
You can receive alerts about any upcoming speed changes, sharp curves, school areas, as well as speed cameras, so you’ll feel like someone keeps an eye on the road as well.
The unit is specially made to ensure ease of use, so the display shows arrival times and speed limits while navigating the menu is not going to be an issue either.
Thanks to the impressive amount of data pre-loaded from Foursquare, you will be able to locate stores and restaurants right away.
It also includes lifetime maps of most of the U.S. states, while the system also easily identifies key destinations, such as airports and malls, for your own comfort.
This unit doesn’t include voice commands, which is something that could come in handy as well.
You will need to use an SD card as well in order to update various regions around the country.
2. Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S with Lifetime Maps
This Garmin GPS is another device that’s a great addition to your gear, given that you can use its Bluetooth capabilities in order to stay connected while remaining safe, as you won’t have to take your hands off the wheel. If you decide that this is the GPS you want to try out, you’ll be able to make and receive phone calls, as well as benefit from smart notifications on the display.
These are customizable, so you’ll be able to tailor the entire experience according to your preferences, which is always a good thing. Moreover, the most important part is that such a GPS device means that you’ll be able to focus on the road ahead, without reaching for your phone in order to be able to communicate with others.
Another aspect worth mentioning is that this unit comes with detailed maps of the United States, as well as with lifetime updates that are free.
This Garmin device comes with a bright display that has a 6.95” size and touch-screen capabilities, thus making your life a lot easier while riding.
Thanks to the free map updates that are lifetime available, you won’t have to spend additional money in order to keep everything updated from this point of view.
The unit includes Live traffic and parking updates when using the free smartphone app as well, so you’ll always know what the situation is on the road.
You should also know that the device is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows operating systems, while the built-in WiFi capability makes the entire process of updating it easier.
The battery might need a bit of special attention, so make sure that you use the device according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The voice option is not useful for every user, depending on what you are already used to.
3. Garmin Drive 51 USA LM GPS Navigator System
In case you are in the market for a GPS unit that comes with innovative features while ensuring a smooth ride, this Garmin model is the one you should take a closer look at. The device includes extremely helpful driver alerts that increase your awareness while riding your motorcycle by pinpointing the dangerous spots.
Moreover, given that it comes with preloaded points of interest in partnership with TripAdvisor, you will find pretty much everything you need during your rides. One feature that you will certainly enjoy using is the “turn-by-turn” spoken directions, as this makes the device very easy to use, while you pay attention to the road ahead.
These directions are able to locate landmarks, traffic lights, as well as buildings, so you’ll feel like you have a friend helping you along the way, which is always a good thing, as following directions using a GPS device has never been easier.
If you want to, you can connect the Garmin Drive model with the brand’s Wireless Backup Camera, a device that’s sold separately, for an even easier riding experience.
The GPS device comes with a bright and easy-to-use 5.0” display that also has a dual-orientation construction.
The unit includes detailed lifetime maps of the United States, so you won’t have to worry about this aspect neither now nor in the future.
Given that this unit alerts the driver whenever any potentially dangerous point comes up along the route, such as curves or railroad crossings, it renders the entire experience safer.
The Wireless Backup Camera should be installed professionally, so this is not something that you can do on your own.
If you want to use the device in Canada, you should know that the necessary maps are not included, so it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer to see what your options are.
4. Garmin Nuvi 2597LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth Portable Vehicle GPS
This Garmin model is the one you want to try out if what you need is a reliable unit that shows you the map all the time while riding, and that also comes with lifetime maps. Since we’ve mentioned this, it’s a good idea to point out that this unit includes detailed maps of the United States, and the great part about it is that you won’t have to spend additional money on updates.
You can simply update all the maps up to four times per year, so you will always have the most accurate routes ahead of you. The GPS device is easy to use, which means that you won’t have to waste time trying to figure out how to set everything up. Plus, given that it also includes the brand’s Real Direction feature, you will get the right guidance along every step of the way.
The Garmin Traffic feature is activated by voice, so it answers to the user’s directions, which can prove to be very helpful, depending on how you want to use the GPS.
In case you are going to go through complex junctions, you will surely appreciate the bird’s eye as well as the detailed views capability, as you won’t be stressed by trying to figure out which way to go.
You can use the brand’s app in order to connect the device with your smartphone, which gives you access to other functionalities as well, such as knowing where you parked.
The Real Directions feature uses a voice guide in order to point out landmarks and recognizable buildings, thus making the entire trip much better.
The voice command feature might be a bit difficult to use when trying to find a new and very specific location.
The display is not as sensitive to the user’s touch as smartphones are, so this is something you should know.
5. Garmin DriveSmart 50 NA LMT GPS Navigator System
In case what you need is an advanced GPS device that comes with a generous display and that also includes various driver awareness features, this Garmin model is definitely an option that you can look at. The unit also includes Bluetooth capabilities, which means that you can connect it with your phone for hands-free calling if that’s necessary.
Moreover, the navigation is voice-activated, which means that you won’t have to take your hands off your bike in order to remain connected with others. The smart on-screen notifications system includes texts, calls, as well as other useful app alerts. You don’t need to worry about the maps either, given that detailed ones of the United States are included.
What you should also know is that lifetime updates are included as well, while the traffic functionality is definitely going to make things easier for you. The same goes for the Active Lane Guidance system that ensures you are always aware of the road ahead.
Everything about this device is made to ensure the user’s safety, including the special alert feature that lets you know whether any dangerous curves or traffic jams are coming up.
The Active Lane Guidance system ensures that in case any fatigue signs show up, you are aware of the situations, and you safely drive to the nearest rest area.
Thanks to the specially designed 5.0” display that also includes dual-orientation, you will be able to clearly see where you need to go next, as it includes the zoom option as well.
The unit includes a USB mass storage device that’s compatible with both Windows and Mac OS operating systems.
The voice recognition might not work if there’s background noise, so this may be a problem in some cases.
The same goes when trying to identify a new address, as the voice recognition function has trouble finding it.
6. Garmin Drive 51 GPS Navigator System
Those of you who are in the market for a reliable GPS navigator that can also show you landmarks and special buildings should know that this Garmin model checks all the boxes. It’s important to note that the points of interest included in the maps are from TripAdvisor, so there’s a very low chance of ever looking for something specific along your route and not being able to find it.
Thanks to the 5.0” display that’s also a dual-orientation one, you will be able to easily use the device, especially if you are always on the go. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that the detailed maps of the United States that are preloaded in this device benefit from lifetime updates, so that’s one thing less that you need to worry about.
Plus, you won’t have to spend additional money in order to always know which way you should go.
The brand’s Real Directions feature comes in handy, as it basically guides you along the way, using various landmarks, traffic lights, and recognizable buildings in the process.
Thanks to the fact that TripAdvisor points of interest are included in the unit and that their ratings are also taken into consideration, you will always find good restaurants, hotels, and attractions.
The unit also works to keep the user safe at any given point, as it has very useful alerts whenever any dangerous curves or animal crossings are along the route.
The display comes with a good resolution that allows you to quickly see which way you should go, so this is not going to be an issue.
The battery might need to be replaced after a while, so you want to make sure that you use the device as the manufacturer recommends.
Maps for Canada are not included, so this is something that you should keep in mind.
7. Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcycle GPS
If what you are looking for is a reliable device specially made for motorcycle use, this Garmin GPS unit is the one you should check out, as it won’t let you down if you decide to try it out. One of the first things you should know is that it comes with a sturdy all-weather construction. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about its durability even if you are often riding in tough conditions.
Moreover, the fact that it includes wireless connectivity means that you don't have to take your hands off the bike in order to access all sorts of features. It’s also extremely useful that the touch-screen display is glove-friendly, so if you need to use it on the go, this is not going to be a problem.
Plus, you can use the device to share your adventures with others as well, thus making everything more interactive and fun.
You can definitely use this GPS navigator that’s specially made for riders to turn your outdoor experiences into real adventures, as no ride needs to be boring.
The rugged construction makes this unit highly reliable over time, while the fact that you can use it while wearing gloves is definitely very helpful.
It’s also good to note that this unit’s display is resistant to fuel vapors, harsh weather, as well as UV rays, so if that's something that concerns you, you have nothing to worry about.
You can easily pair the device with your smartphone if you want to benefit from smart notifications as well as from hands-free calling during your rides.
The screen could be a bit brighter in some situations, but this also depends on where you choose to install it.
The routing is not always as optimized in terms of traffic, as is the case if you’re using Google’s maps.
8. Garmin Montana 680t with 8 Megapixel Camera
The Montana model comes with plenty of features that make it a very good choice, including a glove-friendly and dual-orientation touchscreen, so you shouldn’t hesitate to give it a try, as it won’t let you down. You should also know that this model includes an 8MP camera that can help you capture high-quality images that are also geotagged with their coordinates.
The result is that you can easily go back to an exact spot in the future if you ever want to do this, which is a very nice feature. With this being said, it’s also good to note that the GPS is a high-sensitivity one that can hold your position even when you are riding in covered conditions.
Thanks to the device’s features, you won’t have any difficulty when it comes to sharing tracks, waypoints, and routes with other riders who are also using Garmin devices.
This Garmin model is highly resistant to humidity, water, and bumps, so tough riding conditions are not going to cause any damages and impact the unit’s lifespan.
Another useful feature that you might want to check out is the Bird’s Eye Satellite Imagery 1-year subscription offered with this device.
Thanks to the high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS support, the Montana model can easily and quickly identify your location, even in covered conditions and deep canyons.
You can use the unit’s 8MP camera to capture beautiful spots and moments along the way, and you’ll be able to easily return in the future, given that they are also geotagged with their coordinates.
The unit might seem a bit bulky, so make sure that you take a look at its dimensions as well.
The menu’s layout could be a bit more intuitive for some situations, so this is something that you may notice as well.
9. Garmin Zumo 595LM Dual-Orientation Touchscreen GPS
This Garmin Zumo model is one of those GPS devices that you can truly rely on, especially since it’s designed to ensure adventurous and exciting routes, so you can safely give it a try as it won’t let you down. Thanks to the sunlight-readable display, you won’t have any trouble seeing which way you need to go in all sorts of conditions.
Moreover, the unit is compatible with plenty of other types of devices in order to make your entire experience better, including smartphones and MP3 players. You can stream your favorite music, while never missing out on the unit’s alerts in case a potentially dangerous situation approaches.
Things such as dangerous curves or speed cameras are common on the road, but you will be well aware of them ahead of time, so that you always remain safe, as this is the most important thing wherever you are going.
With this Garmin Zumo 595lm motorcycle GPS, you will enjoy safe but exciting rides, especially since it includes a Bluetooth functionality that allows you to make calls without taking your hands off the handlebars.
The impressive 5.0” display is easy to use and read, so this is one less thing that you should worry about, and you can also receive texts and smart notifications while on the road.
The unit features a sturdy and rugged construction that can withstand rough riding conditions, so fuel vapors, rain, or UV rays are not going to be an issue.
The display can be easily operated while you are wearing your gloves, which means that you will remain comfortable all the time.
The text on the screen might be a bit small for some users.
When searching for a new address, it might take a bit more time for it to find it.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
No matter if you are looking for an affordable Garmin motorcycle GPS or something specific offered by the brand, such as the well-known Garmin Zumo motorcycle GPS model, there are some features that you should keep in mind in order to make the right choice. In the end, this category does come with plenty of options, so you want to make sure that you pick the device that suits your needs.
With this being said, let’s see what characteristics you should look for, as you are going through the best motorcycle GPS units offered by Garmin.
Just as is the case with pretty much any product that you are adding to your riding gear, you want to make sure that the GPS unit you choose is highly durable, as there are many rough conditions that one can meet while riding. Moreover, given that we’re talking about riding a bike, it’s important for the unit to be resistant to reverberation and vibration.
The good part is that Garmin units are well-made, so even if you choose a cheap Garmin motorcycle GPS, you shouldn’t have any trouble from this point of view. As a general rule, you should always take a look at the outer case to make sure that it’s resistant to weather elements, and that it’s also shockproof by including a special mount.
In case you’ve set your eyes on a Garmin GPS for motorcycle that doesn’t include the special mount, you can always contact the seller for more details on the matter. This item reduces external friction, which is something that ensures the unit will work right for a long time.
Most Garmin motorcycle GPS units come with versatile mounts, so installing the device shouldn’t be an issue. However, it’s still a good idea to check with the manufacturer or the seller if the mount included with the GPS Garmin model is compatible with your bike. Doing this can save you from a lot of frustration.
Another good piece of advice is that you should always make sure that you carefully read the Garmin motorcycle GPS review for a unit that you intend to purchase. If it comes with a universal mount, then everything will work fine, especially if you own more than one motorcycle, and you want to transfer the system from one to the other.
Display & Size
If you are not familiar with which GPS device size you are most comfortable with, you should take a measuring tape and try to get an accurate approximation of the system before you purchase it. Another idea is to go to a specialized store and take a look at various models in order to figure out which one works best for your needs.
When it comes to Garmin GPS motorcycle models, these are specially designed to ensure an overall comfortable experience, but it’s always a good idea to check the size out beforehand. Another very important aspect when it comes to GPS units is the quality of the display.
First, you probably want a touchscreen one, but keep in mind that these don’t usually come with the same sensitivity as smartphones. Next, you want it to include anti-glare properties so that direct sunlight is not going to be an issue. As you are going through Garmin motorcycle GPS reviews, you’ll note that this brand does pay special attention to the quality of the display.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which Garmin is waterproof?
Given that Garmin is a brand known for the quality of its products, it pays special attention to details such as weatherproofing its devices as well. For this reason, most GPS units meet the international IPX7 rating. This means that these models can be immersed in water for up to 30 minutes at around 40 inches (or 1 meter).
However, if you often ride in very rough weather conditions, you should check the device’s compatibility with this before making a purchase. Moreover, no matter what type of Garmin GPS unit you pick, you should make sure that it’s weather-resistant if you intend to use it often.
This way, you won’t have anything to worry about over time, and you will be able to rely on the unit for as long as necessary to make your investment worth it. So you shouldn’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer if you have any questions about this matter.
Q: How often should I update my GPS device?
The answer here depends on various factors, one of them being if you are using your GPS only on highways and main roads. If that’s the case, then you can update it once or twice every year. However, if you usually like taking small roads or discovering new areas, then you should do this more often.
The great part about affordable Garmin motorcycle GPS units is that they come with free lifetime map updates, so there’s no extra cost included. Moreover, you can do this up to four times every year, which is very useful if you travel often, and you don’t use main routes.
With this being said, it’s always a good idea to update it as often as you feel that it is necessary. Of course, this should also be done based on the manufacturer’s updates and on how often they are available.
Q: How does a motorcycle GPS work?
A motorcycle GPS works pretty much the same way as a standard one, using coordinates to identify your location and then to create the best route for you to take. There are some differences in terms of motorcycle models, though, compared to car ones.
First of all, you want to make sure that the motorcycle GPS Garmin you choose is resistant to vibrations, especially if you don’t usually ride on smooth terrains. Next, these units should also include various connectivity features, such as Bluetooth and WiFi, in order for you to be able to use your smartphone’s options without taking it out while riding.
It’s also important for any model to be easy to handle wearing gloves, and the good part is that even if you choose one of the cheap Garmin motorcycle GPS units, you should still be able to do this.