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TomTom has played a bit of a blinder in releasing their new Rider 50, a feature-packed but at the same time ‘lightweight’ motorcycle sat nav at a great price. Not everyone has £400 to spend on a motorcycle GPS and the cheaper Rider 50 addresses that brilliantly.
For me, one of the main stumbling blocks with the new Rider 50 is the name; it’s confusing. Recent TomTom motorcycle sat navs include the 450, 500, 550 and now this 50. You’d be forgiven for thinking the 50 is a typo and you’d be excused for being confused as to how it compares to the 550 or indeed the 500.
They should have called it the ‘Rider 550 Lite’ because that’s exactly what it is.
A short summary for those who don’t have a lot of time: The new Rider 50 doesn’t have lifetime speed cameras or live traffic updates (you do get 3 months for both services), plus there’s no 3rd party POIs or exclusive routes. For most people, that’s not a big issue at all.
Let’s explore the main features of the Rider 50 and I’ll also compare it to TomTom’s best sat-nav, the 550 so you can easily review them both and buy the best motorcycle GPS for your needs.
Big functionality, small price
The Rider 50 is the exact same unit as the 550 but it just isn’t as feature-packed but it’s still a belter. With WiFi route uploads, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri and Google Now compatibility and hands-free calling and the ability to read your messages to you, it’s a quality bit of kit. It still includes a RAM mount too and it’s far cheaper than the 550.
TomTom Rider 50 Overview
The TomTom Rider 50 is a motorcycle satellite navigation device that offers more than just navigation. Letting you choose your ideal riding terrain, the TomTom Rider 50 helps you find the best route possible to make the most of your time outdoors.
The TomTom Rider 50 features an interactive easy-to-use 4.3 inch touch screen. The screen sensitivity can be adjusted to respond to both light and heavy gloves, meaning the TomTom Rider 50 is ideal for any season and under any condition. The rugged device is weatherproof (IPX7) and drop-proof. The sturdy mount allows the TomTom Rider 50 navigation device to be used in both a landscape and portrait mode. The TomTom Rider 50 also features a fast quad-core processor. This doubles the processing speed and means a five times faster start-up, letting you get on the road even quicker. Six hours of battery life keep you on the road even longer.
Making sure you experience your version of a perfect ride is easy with the TomTom Rider 50. Simply select how hilly or winding the roads on your ride should be, and the device will find the best route for you. With MyDrive Route Planner, you can create and plan your route either ahead of time or directly on your TomTom Rider 50 device. Easily share the route with your fellow riders using MyDrive or Bluetooth. Track and save rides so that they can be repeated. TomTom Road Trips helps to find the perfect route, pointing out all scenic stops along the way. Roundtrip Planning lets the TomTom Rider 50 chose a different return route to ensure you get the most out of your ride. With Lifetime TomTom Maps (Western Europe), you always know which way to go. The TomTom Rider 50 also gives you three months’ access to traffic and speed camera alerts.
The TomTom Rider 50 makes sure your ride is as safe and hassle-free as possible. Say “Hello TomTom” to activate the voice control on the device. Ask it to adjust routes, change the destination or even a setting. If selected, smartphone messages will be read to you via your Bluetooth-connected headset. The TomTom50 is also compatible with Siri and Google Now, meaning you can easily make and receive calls via your Bluetooth-connected smartphone.
Built-in Wi-Fi means updating the TomTom Rider 50 is easy. The device will let you know when updates are available. Connect to a Wi-Fi network and choose which updates you would like to download to ensure you have the newest software and maps on your device. No computer needed.
The TomTom Rider 50 and the TomTom Rider 500 share most features, but the latter offers lifetime access to traffic and speed camera alerts, as well as access to all European maps.
The TomTom Rider 50 currently retails for £255.06 on Amazon.
What’s in the box?
- TomTom Rider 50 device
- Motorcycle mount
- RAM mounting kit
- USB and power cables
- Instruction manual
How is the 50 different to the 550?
Whereas the TomTom 450 and 420 were different units to the top of the range models, with smaller screens and less functionality, the new 50 is exactly the same unit as the 550.
The main differences are that the 50 ‘only’ comes with European maps, it doesn’t have live traffic updates or speed cameras (well, it does have a 90-day free trial) and the 50 doesn’t have 3rd party Points of Interest or TomTom’s exclusive routes.
If you buy the 50 and decide that you do want World maps (if you’re exploring far-Eastern Europe or northern Africa for example, you’ll need world maps), then you can buy the World maps and use them on the 50 but you won’t have the lifetime map updates.
The other main difference is that the 50 doesn’t come with the pre-loaded Motorcycle Points Of Interest. You can still add your own POIs or download community-curated ones, so this isn’t a deal-breaker.
Rider 550 vs. 50 Comparison Table
The Rider 50 and 550 share a lot of features. If you just want a motorcycle sat nav that’ll get you from A to B with ease, is waterproof and doesn’t cost a fortune, the Rider 50 is a great shout.
Check out the table below for a quick side-by-side comparison of the two major players in the motorcycle sat-nav industry.
|TomTom Rider 550||TomTom Rider 50|
|Weight||280 grams||375 grams|
|Battery life||6 hours||6 hours|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth; Wi-Fi||Bluetooth; Wi-Fi|
|Traffic alerts||Yes (when connected to smartphone)||Yes (when connected to smartphone)|
|Check the price here||Check the price here|
The Best Motorcycle Sat Nav
If you’re still not sure which dedicated GPS device to go for, then check out our guide on the best motorcycle sat nav. We’ve pitched the two industry titans together and our detailed review shows you what to look out for, so you can get the best sat nav for your needs.
Motorcycle Sat Nav FAQs
Is it legal to use a Sat Nav in France?
It’s perfectly legal to use a dedicated Sat Nav device or a sat nav app on your phone while in France. However French law dictates that motorists cannot use a device which actively deters the effectiveness of speed cameras.
While this rule is fairly ambiguous and was introduced with the main aim of making it illegal to use radar jammers (which stop laser-based mobile speed cameras from working), if your sat nav warns you of an impending speed trap, in theory, the police could hand you a fine.
The reality is unless you’re caught at a silly speed or just plain unlucky, you’ll have no problems.