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TomTom RIDER Road Test
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject: TomTom RIDER Road Test Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.comIt has been a long time coming but we wanted to give the RIDER a full on road test before drawing our conclusions. After six months and 9,000 miles we think its time to reveal what we thought.

TomTom's RIDER is only the second dedicated GPS navigation solution for motorcycles, in fact if you consider that Garmin's StreetPilot is actually a car system with a bike mount then the RIDER is the first dedicated solution for motorcyclists. With a water resistant case, bluetooth helmet headset and full hands free functionality it has all the functions you need and that doesn't take into account the normal TomTom software features such as full 7 Digit Postcode and support for custom POIs such as our Safety camera database.

Click here to read more...
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Berisford
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I may have missed it but.....

.....can you see the screen in any sunlight?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Berisford wrote:
Well, I may have missed it but.....

.....can you see the screen in any sunlight?

No you didn't miss it, I forgot to mention it Embarassed However I'm pleased to report it's perfectly viewable, was out today and had no problems seeing the screen at all in bright sunshine and 90 degree heat.
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GPSJago
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:15 pm    Post subject: Rider missed a trick with no MP3 Reply with quote

I have had a Rider for about 3 months and mostly agree with the review as very accurate. There are a few things that could be improved but these are due to Navigator 5 rather than the Rider version (level of zoom on the display can't be set by the user etc).

Unfortunately though TomTom missed a trick by not putting an MP3 player on the Rider as this would have been awesome! (And rivals are now appearing with this feature). What's more surprising though is that they didn't use the A2DP stereo Bluetooth profile as they do in the Go900 (this would have made it easier to integrate to phones/other mp3 players in stereo).

BTW - it's not brilliant in direct sunlight (but I suspect as good as most?) and you can get around the driver menu restrictions (as long as you observe proper safe use whilst riding!)

Cheers
Jago
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magus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
Berisford wrote:
Well, I may have missed it but.....

.....can you see the screen in any sunlight?

No you didn't miss it, I forgot to mention it Embarassed However I'm pleased to report it's perfectly viewable, was out today and had no problems seeing the screen at all in bright sunshine and 90 degree heat.


It's "pretty good" in direct sunlight. I, too, had it out today on my DR650 in 90+ degree weather and I could just make out the screen through my clear visor but it required a good deal of concentration which wasn't all that comforting on the highway.
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magus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One area that was not covered in the review that is a weakness for the TT Rider is integration with PC-based mapping programs such as MapSource from Garmin. For those who like to plan a trip on their bikes ahead of time from the comfort of their computers and them transfer that route(s) to their GPS device, the TT Rider is a little less than user friendly.

TT Home does allow you to connect the Rider to a PC or Mac but the interface is kludgy and the program often crashes. When it works you can manually move files back and forth between unit and computer, including backing up the TT. I have yet to get this to work fully with Mac OS X but I am sure the software will continue to mature. Moving a route from PC to Rider also necessitates getting the waypoints/routes converted into the TT OV2 format at some point along the journey to the TT as well.

In the States, none of the Plus services are available yet.

It's good to finally see some of the accessories become available as well. The car adaptor has been a long time coming since the original release of the Rider itself and it is a very worthwhile Auto GPS unit as well. I have not been able to connect the TT Rider to a bluetooth speakerphone such at the SuperTooth 2 but if that obstacle can be overcome then the TT Rider will be an excellent companion on four wheels too.

Overall

Great hardware, good performance, good screen resolution and useablity.

Poor software stability and integration/planning options. More mounting and cabling suport from 3rd parties needed.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I specifically didn't mention a PC/RIDER interface for trip planning as there has never been such an option on the TomTom platform but it's a fair point.

However I would venture that whilst GARMIN do provide such an option, it's just as easy to take plan an itinerary on the unit itself and sdave it for future use? I often see references to the lack of planning software, perhaps I don't understand what this brings over and above pre-planning on the unit itself or is it simply the convenience of a big computer screen?
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jpkeates
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone managed to mount a rider unit onto a BMW K1200?

The bike has plastic covered handlebars, which look to me as though they wouldn't survive a clamp. And nowhere obvious to bolt is without damaging the bike.

So far this has stopped me buying the unit, which would otherwise be ideal for me.

Great Review BTW

Two other questions:
Can you use the unit plugged into an intercom (does it have a normal headphone socket for example)?

Do you really get 5 hours battery life?
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Darren
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jpkeates wrote:
Has anyone managed to mount a rider unit onto a BMW K1200?

The bike has plastic covered handlebars, which look to me as though they wouldn't survive a clamp. And nowhere obvious to bolt is without damaging the bike.

So far this has stopped me buying the unit, which would otherwise be ideal for me.

Get a RAM-Mount, they have a huge range of mounting solutions and there is always one that will fit. A quick Google search for 'RAM Mount K1200' reveals a myriad of solutions that owners have used.
Quote:

Great Review BTW

Two other questions:
Can you use the unit plugged into an intercom (does it have a normal headphone socket for example)?

It does not have any headphone socket but I have heard of people successfully integrating their Autocom systems using a lead to connect to the RIDER's Bluetooth Headset receiver/transmitter.
Quote:
Do you really get 5 hours battery life?

Yes indeed, I can quite easily manage a 2hr run into London and back plus some tootling about on a single charge but it's so easy to wire up to 12v why bother? On the BMW you could plug into one of the accessory sockets, just buy the plug from your dealer and wire up the loom to it, the socket is already fused so it's a cinch.
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magus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
I specifically didn't mention a PC/RIDER interface for trip planning as there has never been such an option on the TomTom platform but it's a fair point.

However I would venture that whilst GARMIN do provide such an option, it's just as easy to take plan an itinerary on the unit itself and sdave it for future use? I often see references to the lack of planning software, perhaps I don't understand what this brings over and above pre-planning on the unit itself or is it simply the convenience of a big computer screen?


Agreed on all points: although building a route on the TT is relatively easy, if you are building a long or complicated route it's much easier to work in front of a large computer screen where you can move about the map with greater ease. I have no problem building basic trips/routes right on the TT Rider as long as I don't have to scroll too much ;)
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magus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jpkeates wrote:
Has anyone managed to mount a rider unit onto a BMW K1200?

The bike has plastic covered handlebars, which look to me as though they wouldn't survive a clamp. And nowhere obvious to bolt is without damaging the bike.


I will secong the RAM mount advice. I'm not sure which I like better, the TomTom, or the different RAM mounts I use on different bikes.

One thing I have done, and it may seem crazy, is to use the RAM suction cup mount with Rider cradle on a Ducati Multistrada. I wasn't sure there would be enough fairing/shield surface to get a good mount but amazingly, the suction cuo (which I use for the Rider in the car) held rock solid for a 4 hour trip on the bike.

I have since moved to either the TT mirror mount option or a RAM handlebar mount but the windshield option worked just as well.
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jpkeates
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback and advice.

Saving pennies starting now.
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TomTomTim
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have TT Navigator 5 for my PDA phone and have been using an Otterbox to keep this dry whilst riding. One advantage has been the European maps that came with TT 5 Nav - I only go to Europe about once every two years but while I'm there, TomTom is a lifesaver and worth every penny.

The major disadvantage is that my home-made setup is clunky, has loads of cables everywhere and is not very pocketable. So I'm getting prepared to take the plunge before this years's trip to Italy and buy a Rider...

I was wondering two things:

1. If I copy the Rider's SD card onto a bigger one and move my European maps onto it, will it work (i.e. are the formats compatible)?

2. If I do this, will I violate the copyright agreement I have signed with TomTom?

Regarding question 2: Clearly I can't use both products simultaneously and I already have a fully licenced copy of TT5Nav (and I will have a fully licenced version of Rider). If this were a Microsoft product, for example, I would not be violating my licence agreement as long as I was licenced for both products and that I removed all traces of the European maps from the PDA before using them on the Rider (so I only had access to one copy at any one time).


TTT
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TomTomTim wrote:
I was wondering two things:

1. If I copy the Rider's SD card onto a bigger one and move my European maps onto it, will it work (i.e. are the formats compatible)?

Maybe, you would need to re-activate them i suspect.
Quote:

2. If I do this, will I violate the copyright agreement I have signed with TomTom?

Not if you removed them from your PDA. However, TomTom are releasing a version with Full Europe coverage on SD included, it may be simpler to purchase this version?
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PCPete
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently bought my TT Rider and I've found its well worth the money. I was concerned at first about wether I would be able to hear anything from the bluetooth earpiece. When I first tried it out I thought my suspicions had been confirmed. Using the padded earpiece inside my Shoei helmet I coundn't hear a thing above 20mph, even with the volume turned right up. The Shoei has a void inside the helmet at each side where your ears fit, so the earpice isn't pressed right against your ears. maybe that's why I can't hear it. However using the mobile phone, handsfree style earpiece, which obviously fits into your ear, I can hear the instuctions loud and clear! All the way up to 70mph, and beyond that on those private roads :-) Its a bit of a mess about to get the helmet on and keep the earpiece in my ear at the same time but once its on the instructions are clear as a bell, as I said all the way to the speed limit.

Regarding seeing the screen in sunlight. At times, in bright sunlight, at the wrong angle, you can't see the scrolling map. To be honest this is not as much a problem as it sounds. Firstly, I find looking at the map whilst riding very distracting and a bit dangerous. To make sense of the scrolling map takes at least 4-5 seconds, too long for me not to be looking for the nutters in the cars. On the other hand the black bar along the bottom of the screen while moving is great. Because on it, instructions are displayed in white. This means you can see it even when you can't see the less contrasty map. So you always know what the next manoeuvre is, (a ring road, slip road or L / R turn), and how far it is to that manoeuvre. That plus the spoken instructions is all you need really, in my opinion the scrolling map just makes it look pretty. Although I can see where it would be useful in a city centre I suppose.

I have a couple of questions. Is there any way of changing the distance from the next turn or whatever, that the spoken instructions are given?

I sometimes find they are a bit late, ie too close to the turn / ring road etc.

Also which POI speed camera map should I get to ensure its compatable with the Rider?

Finally, if anybody is considering buying one of these then I would say go for it. I suppose the acid test is, "Would I sell somebody mine?" The answer would be "No chance! Buy your own!"
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