Bike reviews

Reviewed: Tomtom Rider 550 satnav

tomtom 1

Tomtom is one of the recognised brands in the motorcycle satnavs big league, and its Rider series of navigation aids is getting smarter and smarter. The latest in the range, the Rider 550, is a simple-to-use, robust and powerful tool for navigating.

Compared to the Garmin, the Tomtom looks a little lacking on paper, with its smaller 4.3” touch screen, and 16GB of internal storage (compared to Garmin’s 32GB). However, these are not necessarily real-world concerns, and the Rider 550 does come with world maps for free, while Garmin only includes Euro maps and charges for the rest. The RRP of the Tomtom is a bit higher than that of the Garmin, but in reality, the retail prices are very close if you do a bit of digging online.

The basic Rider 550 pack comes with everything you need to set it up on your bike, or you can opt for the £100 more expensive ‘Premium’ pack, which also includes an anti-theft device for the bike and handy car mounting items. If you don’t want to bother with wiring the satnav to the bike’s battery, you will get up to six hours of battery life on a full charge.

With the maps downloaded on the device (and kept up to date with regular updates), you are not reliant on your mobile data for navigation or even speed camera alerts, but linking up with the phone will allow you to get traffic alerts in real time, make hands-free calls, and even get your text messages read out to you. And the Rider 550 is compatible with Siri and Google Now, too.





Navigation options include the fastest route approach, as well as an option to get sent down some twisties, with the option to select just how winding or hilly you want it to be. Using a 40-minute A1 commuting route to test it, the winding and hilly option added about an hour to the journey, skirting the A1 and taking me down minor roads. There are three levels to choose from, which can potentially make a much bigger difference to the route, but this particular one cuts across flat-as-pancake Lincolnshire, so the hill selection made little difference in this scenario.

One area where Tomtom really excels is the My Drive online route planning platform. Using the simple map-based tool, you can save your favourite places and routes, as well as discover loads of curated routes from Tomtom, Adventure Bike Rider,, and others around the world. You can then choose to share them with the Rider 550 wirelessly, and you’re ready to ride.

Using the Rider 550 is simple in pretty much every way, including the updates, which are done wirelessly over the Wi-Fi. On the bike, being able to see your route on the screen, and hear the instructions in your headset makes navigating easy. You can also connect the device with your phone for more online services.

The Rider 550 is a satnav packed full of functionality, yet simple enough to use, and backed up by a terrifically robust online route planning tool.


Key details:

Price:                           RRP £399.99, but check online for offers

Display:                   4.3" (11cm) glove friendly touch screen

Waterproofing:           IPX7 rated

Battery life:              Up to six hours

Maps:                          World maps pre-loaded, updates included

Storage:                       Internal 16GB, plus microSD (not included)



What's in the box:

  • Tomtom Rider 550
  • Motorcycle mount
  • RAM mounting kit
  • USB/power cable
  • Documentation


Other satnavs reviewed:


Bike Equipment Reviews, Bike Reviews

You also may be
interested in...

Motorbike Reviews

Reviewed: BMW R 1300 GS

Britain’s best-selling big bike gets a big overhaul for 2024, but does it still do the business?

Read more Bike Reviews

Keep up to date with our news & blogs

Bike News

Does Honda’s new E-Clutch mark a new direction for motorcycling?

Will automatic motorbikes become as ubiquitous as their car equivalents?

Read more Bike News, Inside Bikes
Bike News

2024 WorldSBK preview: can JR get back on top?

Motorcycle racing returns this weekend with rejuvenated Carole Nash ambassador Jonathan Rea looking to secure a seventh world title. It’s a championship packed with talent and plenty of talking points. Here are the runners and riders…

Read more Bike News, Inside Bikes
Bike News

Triumph refine Tiger 1200 series for 2024

BMW may be grabbing headlines with all-new R 1300 GS, but triple alternative remains appealing

Read more Bike News, Inside Bikes

Have some questions? Check out our tips & guides pages for some great information

Motorbike tips

Understanding motorcycle Compulsory Basic Training

Better known as a CBT, Compulsory Basic Training is the first step on the journey to becoming a motorcyclist. Here’s what you can expect…

Read more Bike Equipment Reviews, Bike News, Biking Tips
Motorbike Reviews

Reviewed: BMW R 1300 GS

Britain’s best-selling big bike gets a big overhaul for 2024, but does it still do the business?

Read more Bike Reviews
Motorbike Reviews

Reviewed: Triumph Scrambler 400 X

Triumph’s first single cylinder machine in over five decades aims to be a hit with A2 licence holders

Read more Bike Reviews