Strike Motorcycle GPS Review
Motoaus.com trial a Motorcycle GPS from Strike.com.au
Strike Motorcycle GPS
What: Strike Motorcycle GPS
Why: GPS with In helmet FM turn by turn directions, Weatherproof, Touch Screen, Mounting kit.
Where: Strike.com.au or their distributors (see website}
First an admission, I hadn’t used a GPS before I trialed the Strike GPS. I do use Google maps occasionally to print out a directional map, or use an Iphone while in the car, but when riding, I usually have to stop and fumble with gloves, pockets and phone to figure out how far away from my intended destination I have strayed.
If you wish to ride through an area you are unfamiliar with, or traverse either a strange city or long distance ride, a GPS is now on my “must have” list after using the Strike unit. Rather than spending hours planning and printing maps, or committing routes to memory, it’s a simple matter to just type in the intended address, and listen to the directional instructions through the helmet mounted speakers. No more stress and constant stopping.
Clearly a GPS has less use in some situations, for example if you were just riding to work and back each day on the same route, or a weekend ride circuit that followed the same path. Even those examples though could perhaps benefit from the inbuilt speed alert, which reminds you if you are exceeding the limit.
The unit itself is different to the type you would expect to see in a car. Thicker, perhaps a bit smaller than some car units, and designed to be used in the weather. Apart from the on/off switch, everything is controlled via the touch screen.While some have chosen to buy a car type GPS and attempt to shield it from the weather, the Strike unit addresses this issue out of the box. Supplied with a handle bar mount to suit a standard bar size, an optional larger diameter bar mount is available from Strike.
As the bikes we were using during the time we tested the GPS all had fat bars, we ended up using the sucker style mount also supplied, stuck on a flat surface of the tank. While I don’t think this is main idea of supply this type of mount, it worked admirably, and despite some severe jolting over some very rough roads, stayed firmly in place. You could also modify or fabricate your own mount if you had a particular mounting position or issue in mind.
Other than that, it was a simple matter to run the supplied power cable, connect it to a power source, and turn it on. I fitted it to our trusty GSX1400 in about 15 minutes all up. The power lead also has a handy waterproof connector, makes it easy to take the GPS mount off, but leave the power cable in place.
The cradle the unit clicks easily in and out of has a supplied lead with connector to hook up to the power supply on the bike, so you can easily leave the mount in place, but remove the valuable bit when you park the bike without having to undo any wires or screws. The unit has a 3.5 inch (88 mm) touchscreen with an anti-reflection coating. A small rubber sealed door on the left side opens to reveal a USB port, and an SD memory card slot.
According to the instructions, the unit can access and play video or audio from the SD card, and display pictures and e-books. Much hilarity ensued discussing these features during ride stops while using the unit. Suffice to say we don’t think we will be attempting to view a video of any kind while riding.
The audio feature would perhaps be useful when played thru the FM transmitter to the helmet mounted speakers, keep in mind though, while perfectly fine for spoken directions, audiophiles will possibly find the quality lacking in the helmet speakers. Also I couldn’t manage to make the unit do both things at once, ie play music, but mute and speak instructions, but as I am not a teenager, perhaps it can. The instructions didn’t seem to mention attempting this.
On to actually using the unit. It has somewhat of a learning curve due to the amount and depth of menus and functions , but shouldn’t be too difficult for even the tech challenged to use if a little time is spent off the bike checking out the functions.
Whilst I won’t attempt to outline all of the different functions the GPS has, it includes the map view, 3D mapping, a trip computer, route planning, route flyover and more. The touch screen is easy to use, even with gloves on.
The function for inputting your intended destination is one of the nicest predictive text inputs I’ve used, as it narrows the available combinations left. You’d have to use it to understand, but it is very nicely done.
One handy feature is the ability to record your trip, to be downloaded and then displayed on a Google map for sharing or future reference. ,The maps used are the Sensis “Whereis” maps, and updates to the latest ones are available. This software also shows points of interest, petrol stations, Maccas and so on.
The unit comes with a helmet mounted FM receiver, which has two velcro backed speakers that you position within reach of your ears. Then simply set the FM frequency you wish, and chose what type of voice you wish the unit to talk in.
I found the English woman the most effective anti-speeding device, the seemingly disparaging tone of “You are over the spe-eed limit” was enough to do the trick. The GPS can also transmit to any other type of FM unit, for example a Scala Rider Intercom, or to an FM radio.
The Strike GPS offers a motorcycle specific solution to GPS, if you are in the market for such a device, this one would be hard to pass. Priced at around 500 dollars the unit is more expensive than a generic car specific unit, but you get what you pay for.
Keep in mind a car unit will have no motorcycle specific mounts, and the most important issue, will not be weatherproof like this unit is.
For more information and purchasing, contact Strike.com
Click below to watch Strike’s promotional video.