Bluetooth RiderMount GPS Audio review | £67.99 | www.ridermount.com / 01473 823351 | Tested by John Milbank
Motorcycle GPS units – like my TomTom Rider – are great, but they’re not cheap. If you’ve already got a sat-nav for your car, and can’t stretch to another for the bike, RiderMount has a clever solution.
While water-resistant cases have been available for a while, it’s the new Bluetooth GPS Audio that’s a real stroke of genius. By attaching a small microphone to the back of your car’s sat-nav, you can link the audio output to your helmet’s Bluetooth intercom. The mic has a short lead, so it’s unobtrusive when you’re using the GPS in the car. On the bike, this lead plugs into the small GPS Audio box, which detects when an instruction is being spoken, amplifies it, then outputs it from a standard 3.5mm socket. Power is supplied via a fused cable to the bike’s battery, and can be disconnected easily when not in use. Plug the small water-resistant Bluetooth unit into the audio output to enable wireless communication and you’re ready to ride with your car’s sat-nav.
Setting up is simple, with the GPS Audio box tucking into the case with your sat-nav (just cut away some of the foam). The Bluetooth unit clips to the cables outside the case, and lasts for up to eleven hours on a full charge from the micro-USB port. The unit then ‘listens’ for an instruction before turning on, and it disconnects again when it’s finished – cleverly this isn’t clipped, so you miss none of the directions. There’s no background noise, though you need to have your sat-nav set quite loud to activate the Audio unit (which has an adjustable output volume); you sometimes get some funny looks in city centres from pedestrians.
Once wired up, you have a cable to power the sat-nav (RiderMount sells a great USB power socket), and another to power the GPS Audio unit. It’s not as tidy as the TomTom Rider, but it’s a much cheaper way to use technology you already own. If you have a wired headset, you can buy the GPS Audio without the Bluetooth box for £37.99, and there are plenty of cable adaptors available for almost any set-up.