The lightweight TomTom Rider 50 is an option to consider for those who want to purchase a dedicated motorcycling SatNav at a more reasonable price point.
The Rider 50 will do most things that its more expensive competitors will, it’s just lacking when it comes to the bells and whistles.
In this review we’ll take a look at everything the 50 has to offer, and compare it to other devices on the market.
What’s in the Box?
The SatNav unit itself and the mounts are exactly the same as the more expensive TomTom 550 World (more on the differences later.)
The box contains:
- SatNav unit
- Motorcycle mount
- RAM mount kit
- USB cable
- Charging cable
- Lifetime access to Europe maps
- 3 month subscription for TomTom’s route update service
- 3 months access to live roadworks and speed camera information
TomTom gives its users options; The unit can be hard wired into your motorcycle power source or charged at home. All the necessary cables for either option are included.
Two mounting systems are included, the pick being the RAM mount which is rugged and reliable.
Wifi and Updates
The Rider 50 has integrated WiFi, so you can update your device and download maps without ever needing to use a computer.
In the interest of speed and stability, though, it’s advisable that you do use a PC, and do all your data transferring and firmware updates before hitting the road.
That said, the built in WiFi will certainly be handy in a pinch, were you to suddenly need a new route and could access a hotspot.
The screen in the Rider 50 is. 4.3” of scratch resistant, glare preventing glass that will provide clear visibility of the route in even the brightest conditions.
Coupled with the unit’s powerful backlight and display, you’ll struggle to struggle when it comes to using this SatNav.
It’s also capacitive so you can wear gloves while using it, and the sensitivity can be adjusted depending on their thickness.
With its quad core processor the system is lightning fast, menus are snappy to the touch and there is no lag between commands, scrolling is smooth and glitch free.
The user interface is intuitive and works well even when geared up and on the road.
Route Planning and Maps
The Rider 50 ships with TomTom’s proprietary MyDrive route planning software, and so allows users to choose points A and B and let an algorithm do the rest. With adjustable settings for windiness and hilliness, there is sure to be a route to suit everyone.
Lifetime Western European Maps are included along with a three month subscription to live Traffic and Speed Camera updates from TomTom, so your rides will be free of the usual stress that comes from these distractions and hold ups.
Battery and Power options
The unit ships with two power options:
- Permanent connection to your bikes power via the loom
- Charging cable for home charging
You will get around 6 hours use out of a full charge which should cover most journeys.
Rated IPX7, the Rider 50 is sufficiently waterproof for any situation but the continued submersion of the unit. Monsoon season won’t be a problem, but as soon as you start riding into ponds for views on youtube, your SatNav is going to suffer.
Act like there’s £250 strapped to your handlebars and the Rider 50 will live a long and happy life.
If you’re looking for extra gubbins- you’d better look elsewhere. Whilst the Rider 50 does come with a modest suite of extras, like the 3 month Speed Camera subscription and hands free compatibility with Google and Siri, this category is where it is weakest.
If you want just a SatNav- and let’s be honest, most of us do; then you can’t go wrong with the Rider 50.
If you’re looking for the fancier features and lifetime update guarantees, better to look at the TomTom Rider 550.
Rider 550 vs Rider 50
TomTom’s Rider 50 and 550 SatNavs both utilise the same hardware, but the 550 includes several extras that set it apart from the Rider 50.
Notably, the 3 month subscription to route updates included with the 50 is replaced with a lifetime update guarantee for the 550. In this case, ‘lifetime’ actually refers to the “useful life of the device”, so when TomTom discontinues a unit with this guarantee, it also discontinues the update service.
The 50 is also lacking access to TomTom’s database of 1000 points of interest- specifically curated with motorcyclists in mind- that ships with the 550. This, along with the lack of access to exclusive routes also included with the 550, will leave Rider 50 users poring over maps for an age whilst 550 users are already out on the open road.
Rider 550 vs Rider 50 Comparison Table
|Rider 50||Rider 550|
|Battery Life||6 Hours||6 Hours|
|Maps||Western Europe lifetime||World Lifetime|
|Live Traffic||3 Months Free||Lifetime|
|Speed cameras||3 Months Free||Lifetime|
|Points of Interest||No||Yes|
The TomTom Rider 50 will, without a doubt, get you where you need to go.
It will look good doing it, take you to roads you wouldn’t otherwise find on the way, and even warn you of speed cameras- for 3 months. At its price, it’s hard to argue that the Rider 50 is a bad deal.
With this and the 550, TomTom have covered a huge swathe of the market and provided options for riders of differing budgets. The Rider 50 is the obvious choice for most- at least until the fancier units start to drop in price.
If you want to look at some other options see our guide to the best motorcycle Sat Nav.
For more individual reviews:
- TomTom Rider 550 Review – TomTom’s flagship GPS
- Garmin Zumo XT Review – Garmins flagship GPS
- Garmin Zumo 595 Review – Garmins mid range model
All images via SportsbikeShop