GPSs made specifically for motorcycles, like Garmin Zumo or TomTom Rider, are inherently expensive. The fact that these devices need to withstand vibrations and rain seems to make them expensive (or is it that bikers are an easy touch?). But it doesn't need to be.
French electronics manufacturer, Danew , have released a motorcycle specific GPS, the E 135 Outdoor, that will cost only €279, almost 2 to 3 times less than the cost from their more well known rivals.
The E 135 is waterproof (IPX7 norm, meaning up to 1 meter under water, so you can take it into the bathtub with you), Bluetooth 2.0 for wireless instructions and it includes a special mounting device for the GPS to be installed on your motorcycle's handlebar.
The unit has a removable battery system, allowing for some 8 to 10 hours of continuous use. If you don't want to use the battery, or gasp!, you ride more than 10 hours in one go, you can connect the GPS to your bike's 12V system, but the connectors are an optional extra.
The Samsung S3C2416 processor has 2 Gbytes of memory for the maps, which currently are limited to Europe only. The SiRF Star III satellite receiver chip is an old faithful, and is accurate and fast. The navigation system itself is based on the leading navigator and map provider, Navteq .
The E 135's 3.5 inch screen has been specially treated to minimize glare while riding. The unit measures 105 by 82 by 26.5 mm, and only weights 127 grams. The system has 20 languages to select from.
Currently only maps for Europe are offered, but I'd say if there was demand, you'd see other continents (it's the advantage of using Navtech as engine). Map updates will cost you a yearly subscription of €49.
It's good to finally see a GPS for motorcycles that is simple, easy, and most importantly, cheap. The GPS may not be innovative or revolutionary in its technology, but it's a winner because of its price. The kind of money we're now talking about is affordable by most bikers, even the ones that have been hesitating to switch from paper maps to electronic ones.
Availability: Around September 2009
Price: Around €279
Colors: Gray/Black or Gray/Green
Click here to access their site (though the site is also in English, there is currently no English information on the product).