Pros excellent reception/tracking, bluetooth voice instructions
Cons drive mode limitations and non-functional "traffic" service...
Summary I learned about the rider last fall and waited with anticipation for the release. I ordered mine as soon as they were available. My initial reaction was based on two factors: the Bluetooth interface (I already have a Cardo ScalaRider attached to my Arai Corsair helmet) and its remarkable ability to obtain a position fix even in the basement of my home. The GPS receiver is exceptionally engineered.
My joy quickly diminished however as I learned that when the unit is moving it disables phone features; essentially making the phone integration useless; Even worse, when it is connected to the cradle adn in motion, it disables nearly all navigation and control features. TomTom calls this "drive" mode and says that it's for safety. Frankly, it's a real nuisance. There are a number of folks who are working on hacks to disable the “drive mode” lockout. One involves covering the third connector on the rear housing…
For me the final straw was after spending nearly two months trying to get the traffic service to work. After establishing that my phone (V3) and service (TMobile) are “supported”, I made my way to the depths of tech support… Finally, a few days ago after opening a total of six trouble tickets, I was told "traffic does not work on the Rider and it never did. The options are only there because we use the same interface on all Go type devices". I later found out that in fact, it works in the UK and other countries, but it does not work here in the US. They said it has something to do wit the maps used for the US. As of yesterday, the TomTom knowledgebase claims that traffic is supported on the Rider, even in the US. Worse yet, most vendors of the unit have no clue about this and continue to list Traffic as a great feature of the unit.
Needless to say, mine is on its way back to TomTom. One grand is far too much for a crippled GPS (drive mode) with a "major feature" which is not really supported.
After talking to Lowrance about the ruggedness and water resistance of the iWay 500c, I’ve decided to give that a go. Lowrance actually used the term "waterproof" to describe the iWay, saying that it is “marine safe”. Further, they claim that customers have safely used it on ATV’s in rugged off-road environments, so mounting it on my Harley VRSCSE2 cruiser should be a safe bet.Updated
Well, as it turns out, TomTom has revised their 'supported' phones list and removed the Moto V3.
It would appear that the traffic service does work in the US for some folks. all this suggests that despite my best attempts, i never did get the 'real story' about why traffic was not working for me.
TomTom may have saved a customer and avoided the expense of a return if they had been more forthcoming with me throughout the process...
Pros Great maps. Slick interface.
Cons Unreliable bluetooth connection to phone. Flimsy mounting hardware. Poor quality headset.
Summary I owned a TomTom Rider for just two weeks before taking it back to the store for a full refund. I am an all-year-round biker who does up to 15,000 miles per year so need something reliable and easy to use.
The TomTom Rider mounting hardware uses a poor quality cradle with a flexible rubber clip to keep the GPS in place. This looks untrustworthy. The mounting screws and brackets provided to attach the cradle to the bike do not look substantial enough to do the job.
The bluetooth headset is unreliable and would frequently unpair itself from the GPS unit. The headset has very low volume so can't be heard above 50mph (80kmh).
The software on the unit crashed frequently and also lost contact with the bluetooth phone.
I have seen the specifications for the new TomTom Rider 2nd Edition and its inclusion of a RAM mount and scala-rider headset would overcome two of the major problems I had with the TomTom
Pros Bluetooth Headset, Pre-loaded Maps on a 1GB SD memory card, Everything included, Nothing extra needed to start using it. Performs dead rekoning.
Cons Screen is NOT Transreflective and washes out in bright sunshine. No external power indicator. No Altitude display.
Summary I have been shopping for a GPS for use on my motorcycle for a long time. My requirements were for a unit that was portable, water resistant, vibration resistant, and easy to view in direct sunlight. Well three out of four isn't bad.
The TomTom Rider is very easy to use and installs on your motorcycle using the included "RAM like" mounting hardware.
Route planning is quick. Maps are pretty good and fairly recent. TomTom provides a feedback site for map errors and or complaints.
Since the unit comes with Bluetooth, you don't really need to see the screen. Just follow the audio cues.
Maps for the US and Canada included to street level along with numerous Points of Interest.
Route planning covers Fastest, Shortest, Avoid Freeways-(Highways), Walking, Bicycle, and Limited speed. It also includes options for Toll road/bridge avoidance.
I wish the unit had a History function along with Altitude readouts.
Pros It has vias, waypoints and it is weather proof
Cons Terrible Customer Support
Summary I have tried several GPS brands and models and decided to keep this one, though it lacks in several areas. I will start with the issues. Tomtom has the worse customer support I have ever dealt with. There is a toll free number for support, but they only answer the phone and have no knowledge of the product. Someone else will call you back later, days and days later. I have been waiting several weeks for an answer. The online help is nearly useless also. Garmin has great customer service. I have the c330 and have used the Quest. Both are great units, but I wanted the tomtom because it has traffic, weather, and phone interaction, of which I can get none to work yet.
The first time I used the unit on my Ultra, it locked up. Once the battery wore out, it booted back up fine. I wanted a car kit, but Tomtom says that they are not released yet, but actually they finally admitted they are just sold out. The unit works well except for what I have already stated. It calculates faster than the c330 and the Quest, and if you look directly into the screen in the sunlight it is visible to read. It has some great features, one required for me is weather proof. It is easy to mount and pretty easy to use. The bluetooth headset works at slow speeds, but I find the battery is always dead, so I don't use it. If the Quest 2 did not recalculate so slowly after a wrong turn, I would be using it. So, the unit works except for some options. If you have problems, you better be able to figure them out yourself, customer support may help, but you will wait at least days for substandard support.Updated
Well, this unit has 20K on it on the bike. It only locks up occasionally, and the new software is better than the old one.
Rider will connect to your computer through Tomtom Home, but every time I use it, it locks up the unit and I have to call customer support for help. Tomtom has the worst customer support of any product I have ever owned, and you are pretty much on your own. I have been waiting for a responce for a month on a question.
I only wish I would have sent back this unit right away. Now I am stuck with it. I will make the best of it, but I would not waste your money on a Tomtom product.
Pros Does an OK job on the occasion that it works.
Cons Dies randomly and often.
Summary I have owned the TomTom Rider for almost a year. I have a dock on the handlebars of my Harley that is hooked into the charging system. In the time I have owned the device I have taken several trips with it as my guide and I have been stranded every time.
I am on my second docking unit and it charges very intermittantly and will deplete the battery while on the dock. My biggest beef however are the random lock-ups. It is very tempermental and will lock up in either the on or off mode. You must use a small paperclip to un-lock it. Sometimes that doesn't work and you have to hook it up to ac power (difficult when you are 20 miles south of Cripple Creek, CO.)
Other complaints; it doesn't give you the city names on the navigation display, It doesn't tell you which side of the street the address is on, the power button is very difficult to press.
I would rate the TomTom rider as buy at your own risk!