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The TomTom Rider 550 Review

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Published in: Gear

TomTom Rider 550 Review intro

Getting to the desert dunes of Merzouga, Morocco, was effortless thanks to our TomTom Rider 550. Its maps include even the smallest and least busy routes. And, the navi is exceptionally easy to update due to built-in Wi-Fi, which sure beats having to haul out the laptop for updates, something that can be quickly accomplished en route at locations like cafes. TomTom also provides free worldwide maps for the life of this device, along with traffic updates and speed camera locations.

By the time we approached the Atlas Mountains we were ready to experience more than the long, straight roads of the lower desert. For that, the TomTom Rider 550 offered us the option of choosing the type of road (low, medium or high number of curves and turns) and terrain to enjoy. All routes include the distance in miles (or kilometers) and the estimated time to destination—all of which helped us with the planning and scheduling aspects of our trip.

Another feature we like is the 550’s ease of use. The touch sensitivity of the screen with gloves is extremely good, and it can even be programmed for the thickness of the glove material. The unit has a Quad-Core processor which performs functions more quickly than other devices we’ve used. Response is also quick with the Rider 550’s Bluetooth interface to our smartphone and voice commands. Smartphone compatibility allows us to receive calls, use SIRI or Google Now, and listen/respond to voice messages or directions via the smartphone.

The onboard battery lasts up to six hours when disconnected from the bike’s power supply. We found that handy whenever we left the bike to wander off in “unknown” territory. With the navi in my pocket, we often used it to find our way back to the motorcycle. Sometimes we’d be miles away in search of the highest desert dunes, or lost in the labyrinthine market of Marrakesh late at night—no matter where we ended up the TomTom always got us back to where we’d parked our bike.

Even though we’ve traveled the world for years, this was our first experience with a dedicated navi. With it we discovered that our time could be better managed with the added benefit of data gathering. We love to collect information on our trips, and the TomTom Rider 550 captures and records things like hours of travel, miles/kilometers traveled, average and maximum speeds, route data, etc. Now we can share this information and our favorite routes with other motorcyclists through TomTom’s website.

TomTom550 Review 1

MSRP: $399.99

TomTom.com

PROS: 

  • Great sensitivity with gloves
  • WI-FI connection—you don’t need to connect via USB to download new maps
  • Free worldwide maps, updates and speed camera locations
  • Weatherproof and shockproof, ideal for motorcycling

CONS: 

  • Bluetooth reception could be better
  • Not the best option for off-road routes

Where to Buy:  Amazon btn

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