TomTom Urban Rider review

TomTom's latest motorbike sat nav tested

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Once the TomTom was snapped into its bracket and both the sat nav and the headset switched on, we paired the devices via the Options menu. Pairing was successful and we entered a postcode.

The touchscreen responded well to gloved fingers and even when we tapped the postcode button and were faced with a row of rather small letters to press we were able to enter the postcode correctly first time.

We were initially worried about whether the screen would be easily visible in bright sunlight but it was clear enough to punch in addresses and to see on the road. But we didn't really want to be staring down at it while on the move, so the clarity of the audio was as important.

TomTom urban rider

About half a mile from home we realised there was no sound. A quick glance at the sat nav screen showed that the volume had defaulted to mute, so we pulled over, tapped the speaker icon and adjusted the volume so it was audible.

Riding with a sat nav is a little disconcerting as it becomes an added distraction that you really don't want on a bike when you're concentrating on avoiding cars and potholes. Each time we glanced in the wing mirror the screen of the sat nav caught our attention and we had to consciously ignore it rather than be drawn to watching the map.

Fortunately, the audio instructions came through clearly even at speed with the helmet visor cracked open, so you only need to glance at the screen if you're at a confusing junction.

A downside of the TomTom Urban Rider is that it doesn't offer voice control. The Cardo headset has a mic for making and receiving phone calls hands-free, and the TomTom Go Live range of sat navs for cars has voice control – so why not in the Urban Rider?

It can't be because of price as both units are similarly priced, so we can only assume that TomTom felt that the added noise of a motorbike made voice control impractical. Still, we would have liked it as an option, if only to be able to use it when parked up.

It would also be useful to be able to use voice controls to toggle the screen on and off to minimise distraction whilst riding.


Tech Specs

Product TypeMotorcycle GPS Navigator
Navigation InstructionsLane Assist, 3D Landmark
Brand NameTomTom
Form FactorMountable
ManufacturerTomTom International BV
Product ModelUrban Rider
Product NameUrban Rider Motorcycle Navigator
Manufacturer Part Number1GC0.002.00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

TomTom is making easy and smart navigation available to powered two-wheel riders everywhere, with the launch of TomTom Urban Rider. This smart two-wheel navigator has a glove-friendly, intuitive screen and simplified user interface, but also ensures riders have the smartest navigation with innovative TomTom features like advanced lane guidance and IQ Routes™- all from just £249. "With TomTom Urban Rider, we're making navigation truly accessible to all users of a powered two-wheeler," says Damian Woodward, VP sales & marketing at TomTom. "Whether you use your bike for the daily commute or for long rides on the open road at the weekend, it's everything you'll need in a great value package." The most noticeable feature is the simplified menu, which has just two buttons - 'Navigate to' and 'Browse map'. This lets users get going without any hassle, and is made even easier to use thanks to the glove-friendly screen with its larger icons - perfect for gloved hands.