Buying TomTom Rider

anyone know of any dealers doing any good deals?

Don’t get one! They are a pile of rubbish. You can’t properly plan on them and their routes generally take you on the worst roads known to man. They crash all the time and will drive you mad.

After 1,000 miles (of a 5k tour) I reverted to paper maps because they were more reliable, easier to plan on and didn’t try to take me on stupid routes.

If you still want satnav look carefully at ALL the options before buying.

I can’t recommend the Tom Tom enough - stunning bit of kit - I wrote a full review over on my blog here

I’ve been using it for nearly 2 years now and I really wouldn’t be without it, it’s amazingly useful around London and the routing options are spot on - you can just let it get on with it - or totally customise your route.

With the new Tom Tom Home software you can plan on your PC and download the route to the unit - or even plan the route on google maps or google earth and transfer to the unit. You can also download where you’ve been to create either a plan in google earth or save it as an ITN file so you can re-trace your route again

I used the Tom Tom to lead (and plan) the France trip last year as well as the St George’s Run this year and the St David’s day run - it didn’t lead me wrong - there were a couple of user error moments though!

The only limitation I’m finding with it however is that you can’t download 3rd party maps and make them run on the system - so you’re limited to the maps Tom Tom provide - that’s all of Europe - western Russia, and the states - okay if you’re not going off the beaten track but no good if you want to head down to Africa…

As far as buying it goes - it’s still cheaper than the Garmin Zumo - but the new one isn’t in the shops yet - it’s out ‘soon’ though and you can still pick them up on ebay for around £150. I’m seriously considering putting mine up on ebay to buy a more rugged GPS device suitable for my jaunt down to North Africa in September. PM me if you’re interested.

well ive currently got the tomtom rider and rate it highly, it has been brilliant for the 12 months ive had it until recently, its started turning itself on and off, ive contacted tomtom and they recommend returning it to them for testing. Im sick of the cradle breaking too, so im looking to upgrade at some stage to a zumo, i think Charley recommended it quite highly a while ago, it seems to do quite well.

But for a first no nonsense gps, the rider is good!

Granted it is very useful in cities, but out of town I found that it cuts corners to reduce distance (on avoid motorway mode) and consequently puts you onto roads that you wouldn’t choose to ride. Fine in the UK where the road surface and conditions are generally good, but in rural France we’re talking about dangerous roads.

It also has a tendency (when abroad) to run slow and give directions after the turn, requiring good u-turn skills ad patience of a saint.

Mine has crashed, and in doing so reset its destination, taken me a different route and I didn’t realise until 60 miles down the road (because it doesn’t give you an overview of your journey) that it was taking be back to where I had started.

There is also pp (unless they have brought out new software) compatibility with mac. Trying to route plan on the unit is pointless as the screen is too small and you can never get the level of detail that you need.

Another issue that got my goat is that how can a BIKE BIAS sat nav not have bike mechanics on it. If you look up automotive repair on the points of interest, all you get is car mechanics. Useless and bloody frustrating.

Its international POI (point of interest) files are quite often out of date.

Sure there are a lot of useful features, and it is fantastic for getting around in towns and cities, but when pushed it constantly falls over on things that it shouldn’t do.

As I’ve said before, I’ve just done 5,000 in the last 6 weeks and turned it off after the first 1,000 because it was more hinderance than a help. You just can’t beat a paper maps in a tank bag!

Conversely a mate of mine has a Garmin and has no such issues.

Is yours V1 or V2?

I am looking at the V2 Europe version. I think they are only as good as you program them.

Anyway back to the original question,

anyone know of a dealer doing any deals? or a good dealer to buy one from


I bought mine from (and was fitted by) CharlyBR600-RR.

So hopfully they have sorted out any problems with the V2.

If a satnav is running slow, and you have the latest software, this is usually becasue you need a faster SD card.

Wow you’re really having a bad time with yours!

I’ve not had any of those issues at all. It has crashed on occasion - as all GPS devices do - but it just restarts and I tell it to re-calculate it or at the very least hit the screen and look at the overview (it does have one ;-))

If you tell it to avoid motorways then it takes you on the most direct route using a grade roads - but of course you have to understand that that means in some countries that could be the equivalent of our b or even worse roads. I’ve done over 25k with my Tom Tom and it’s been spot on all the time. (all over the UK and France) and I’ve just used it to plot my journey down to Morocco in September - really easy.

If you tell it to take you on the shortest route and you have ‘show e grade roads’ turned on it will take you down some roads which you swear are just footpaths! But turn that off and it will only take you down B roads.

You do have to have a bit of common sense with it - it is only ever as good as you program it (as with any computer) - and as Tom Tom Home runs on the mac (I use it with my MacBookPro) I have no issues there either

You can download the mac version here
As far as POIs go - yes I agree quite a lot of them are out of date - but again you use these with a level of common sense you’re fine - for example petrol stations - 90% of them are correct, but if you like using BP stations go to the BP website and download THIER POI file and it’s 100% correct - or if you like Little Cheifs download THEIR file and it’s perfect

This is EXACTLY the same on the Garmin as the Tom Tom - POI files are the same what-ever GPS device you’re using - they all use the same data sets and are all as out of data as one-another - just update them and get them from a better source.

As far as garages etc go - you’re right the ones in the Tom Tom are general use car garages - again hardly surprising when you think about it - but a little search on Google comes up with a few options of bike friendly places that you can download as a POI file.

The Garmin in comparison (I used one for just over a month and did 4k with it) was a pile of crap - the only place it scored over the Tom Tom was the bracket that holds it on the bike - but given the V2 has a new RAM mount which is spot on this is no longer an issue - Westie - if you’ve got the V1 like I have it’s worth every penny buying the RAM mount for it - or even the lockable touratech jobbie.

For comparison I also wrote a review about the Garmin here

The other thing to bare in mind is that both the Garmin and the Tom Tom use the same maps, and the same routing software - so one wont route better than the other - it’s all down to the way you program it and set it up. The Tom Tom Rider is the only TT GPS to use the same maps as Garmin - all the other use a different set.

It only happens when abroad. All the maps are on the same card and the UK works fine.

hey matt. which part in the menu allows you change the grade of roads?

also noticed that somepeople’s tomtom’s have cashpoints in their POIs but mine doesn’t. my softward is uptodate according to TomTom HOME. any ideas?


the e road setting is in the general prefs windows - you need to turn on the extra functions or I think it’s called extended settings - and then just play around in there - there’s loads of stuff you can customise to get it routing to exactly the kind of run you want.

cash point POIs - yes I downloaded those myself - I got a dodgy disk off ebay with them all on - now… they’re quite out of date and on several occasions I’ve ended up going to a bank that is now a bar, but the main banks are starting to create their own files for this data - this is a good place to start to find that kind of POI file

This company is also quite good - but I’ve not used it to download their cash machine (banks) stuff

same goes for the Garmin - POIs are the same on both devices.

What I’ve found most useful is when I’m looking for a cash point I look up petrol stations near-by and go to either a supermarket one or a big one like a big BP and I nearly always get a cash point :slight_smile:

As far as slower reading in France this is down to the map data stored in memory. In the UK the Tom Tom gets to understand where you go - you’ll find that if you use the device every day to go to work then the TT will start to route via that route as it has it stored in memory, quite good as it makes for faster reading - the new chip set in the TT Rider (same as the Garmin BTW) is the fastest chip set currently available for Sat Nav in any sense - so what they do is anticipate where you’re going and what your route is - in the UK that’s easy because it’s learned where you tend to go - abroad that becomes more difficult and it can be a bit slow - unfortunately this isn’t limited to the Tom Tom - the only way to get around it is to limit any bottle necks your device may have, so… use a high speed SD card - you’d be amazed at the difference this makes, and turn off sound, bluetooth and anything else that’s ‘extra’ to just telling you where yo go - it’ll give you a couple of seconds extra notice.


I don’t have any of those options on mine. Neither are they mentioned in the manual

Having them would make life a lot easier.

Which version do you have Matt?

I’ve not got a Rider but I’ve had a TomTom 500 and now thanks to a scumbag with a house brick i have a One Europe. both of them have given me great service over the years and I have no complaints.

I expect the software is common to Riders.

I have found that those with the loudest criticism are the ones who don’t know how to use/set it up.

Anyone know if you can get a bracket to mount a One to a bike? There’s a business opertunity there

Ive got TomTom on my phone… and its great.

If it doesnt take me through a root i want then i tell it to add a point of interest to the root to make sure it goes where i want.

I did get lost on it but that is because i have it in my pocket (while riding the scoot) and have to listen to directions, hopefully having it in the tankbag of the bike will help from now on.

cheers mate, will add a few POIs from there. had another look and still at loss on the roads settings but hasn’t bothered me so far anyway

Try here

As stated above, there is no such option for roads on my version, nor is there any reference to it in the manual.

Further more it tried to take me down one way streets, make u-turns in the middle of dual carriage-ways, taken me to petrol stations that don’t exist, crashed and taken me back to where I started from, not to speak of missing roads, streets etc etc… none of which are pilot error I hasten to add.

Other gripes are that V1 didn’t come with a ram mount so won’t fit on a lot of bikes. It runs slow when abroad. Route refresh is too slow so tries to direct you down roads you have already passed.

Yes the unit is easy to use and I have always praised it until this latest trip where when pushed it failed me time and time again. I also know several other people who simply don’t use theirs anymore as a consequence.

Thanks for hijacking my thread only kidding, some useful info

Anyone know when the V2 will be available? only place I can find it is flebay not to happy about buying it from there.

They are supposed to be available from this week…

Seems as if there’s loads of things you can do to set it up properly…if you have a load of spare time to do it…