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Customer Review

on February 9, 2008
Having used a Garmin for work i decided to purchase a SatNav for my bike, and after checking the alternatives, i plumped for the TomTom Rider, because:

- you get a wireless headset
- you get a mounting kit
- this is supposedly designed by bikers, for bikers
- its a 2nd version, so any problems would hopefully be ironed out
- TomTom have a reputation for making good SatNavs.

Having purchased the Western Europe version (as the price was reduced in the sales) the package duly arrived. Getting the unit up-and-running was simplicity itself (after charging both the wireless headset and unit for a few hours beforehand). The menu system is pretty easy to work out and is also useful when on the move (although there is a reduced menu-system in this situation) for safety reasons, but all you need to do is pull over for the larger menu.

Initially I did wonder how i would get the mount onto my bike (GSX-R600 K6) but after quickly realising that it wouldnt go anywhere on the handlebars, or clock set up, i attached it to the right mirror stand. This works like a dream as its level with the eyeline and pretty secure. I did have to tighten up the nuts at one point, after going approx. 100 miles, as the mount slipped down when going over rough tarmac, but after that incident it hasnt moved. Just in case it wouldnt fit, i searched online and found a nice alternative mounting system (telferizer - easy to find online), which has a central mounting system (which they say will fit any bike, but you will need to use the back mount of the enclosed ram mount system to attach the TomTom Rider). This does work nicely, but can be a bit uncomfortable as its set below the clocks.

I've driven in high winds and torrential rain and although i was drenched through, the TomTom Rider kept on working and didnt miss a beat. I've seen comments about the voices not being loud enough at high speed, which is a fair point, but when you use the well-designed visual display with the voice prompts (i use a loudness setting of 95% as 100% is distorted) i've not had any problems 90% of the time, and thats with using ear plugs to reduce wind noise too).

To update the software and to get additional downloads you'll need to install the software and register your unit using TomTom Home. This is again simple to use and quite useful as you can get information on any possible traffic problems before setting out (not that thats a problem for bikers ;o). The unit checks for updates either automatically or when you decide to and informs you of anything pending, then its a simple matter of choosing what to update (this can vary between unit updates, safety camera updates or other downloads, i.e. new voices).

The speed cameras, errm, i mean safety cameras download i consider to be an essential purchase for a biker (you get a years supply of updates for the whole of Western Europe, for a one-off payment) and the audible warnings for each camera is well in advance of the camera location (approx 400 yards) and again its an easy process to update the database by connecting to TomTom Home. I did read (after going online a few times) that you can get a free download of safety cameras if you do this the very first time you run TomTome Home, but this isnt clearly spelt out enough in the documentation.

You are also able to link up your mobile phone with the TomTom so that you can receive calls when on the move via the headset (and also make a call when stationary). Linking my phone to the unit was again easy (even though it wasnt one listed - K850i - it connected straight away with no issues), a few clicks, and its linked, and if you choose to do so, every subsequent time you want to in the future automatically.

The additional voices are a waste of money, imho, i'm still waiting for John Cleese to say something even remotely amusing and the 'sexy voice' is anything but.

One minor thing would be that i had to remove some, albeit unused software (voices) from the unit so that i could add other downloads, as the unit said it was full, even though it was straight out of the box.

I really cant find any significant fault with this SatNav (a clearer voice would be one thing but thats minor) and would recommend it to any biker looking for the best biker SatNav on the market.
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Product Details

3.5 out of 5 stars