TomTom Rider Problem

A Gambalunga or two back there was an article on switching over from an elderly TomTom Rider to a new one. I think the conclusion there was - don’t bother. Well I have that same earlier model. Beyond the lack of support and updates now from TomTom I have a worse issue;

Once you get to speeds beyond 50 or so it starts losing sight of satellites and then losing where it is. Not handy when you have a junction coming up. Effectively it loses where it is and greys out intermittently but fairly continuously.

But here’s the thing. I had the Rider bolted up on Hardley last night and it was fine. And I wasn’t hanging about. Ordinarily it is never fine at those speeds. What is different about Hardley? It doesn’t have a screen. On Blue, Jug and the Pearl the TomTom is tucked in nice and dry behind a touring screen. Is this causing some kind of shielding - and why? Can’t find any mention of this issue on the web.

Has anyone else experience of this or any idea what might be going on?

Maybe the Harley is just slower? :wink:

Ha, it may not be the fastest hoss out there but will certainly haul a good deal quicker than any of my Guzzis.

Well we discussed this one briefly at the Essex branch meet up yesterday.

But meanwhile, as a further experiment I took Jug over there with the offending TomTom attached. On Jug I have an after-market screen fitted that sits quite well forward (it mounts round the headlight and these are further forward on the Loop frames). Then mounted the Sat Nav as far back on the bars as it would go, and the Jug bars are pretty groovy. Taking in a short section of A12 at 70 on the way to the meeting the device worked well with no issues. The screen on Jug is also quite vertical.

Next test will be on Blue – where most of the issues happen. That has a T3 Cali screen which is both quite tall and a little more raked back. Again I’ll mount the sat nav back as far as I can (it has T3 Cali bars) so it ‘sees’ more sky and see if that fixes it. Given that the devices in cars work though a windscreen it is hard to think that a piece of plexi glass or whatever it is will be a problem. And it did used to work on that bike.

I had a TomTom Rider for years. It was very good. Then the updates ceased, and the TomTom expired. RIP. I was offered a replacement for several hundred pounds and “Free Lifetime Updates”. I declined the offer.

I now use Google Maps navigation on my mobile. Cost nothing, as I already had the phone. Updates are free and download automatically. Works well.

A couple of years ago I used it to navigate round the island of Bohol in the Philippines. Took me just where I wanted down all the little, non-car tracks, through the forests. It worked perfectly. A wonderful trip.

Why would one buy a TomTom, apart from the fact it is waterproof ?

Hi Cyclobutch,

I also use a relatively old version of the TomTom rider. You don’t say which mounts you use on each of your bikes. I have the original TomTom mount fixed to the handlebar clamp on my Stelvio. What I noticed some time ago was that the mount had worn, due to vibration and the head unit was very loose. This caused the electrical connections to mount to be very intermittent and this resulted in the battery not being charged. I am wondering if this is the problem on one or two of your motorcycles. You could test this by charging the GPS from the mains and then seeing if it works on a problem bike. You can also check the battery charge indicator on the head unit which will have the lightning bolt icon showing if it is charging.
Hope this helps.



Yeah - I did wear out the original hot shoe as described. Bought a pattern part that has been working OK. It’s definitely not a power issue.

Why would I use this device? Because I have all of the kit, and for all the bikes I want to use it on I have a switched power line for it. At night it helps these rheumy old eyes determine which way the next curve is going to be going and what severity it is likely to be. Flying on instruments.

I speed tested it on my Rexxer last night, that one just has a small cockpit fairing. The TomTom ran fine throughout. From this it seems clear to me that whilst speed might be a factor, on the other bikes it is really a product of signal masking by the larger screens on those. Weird.

Next experiment will be back on Blue - trying to set the mount up out from as far from under the screen as possible. Maybe from the crook in the Cali bars and then with the mount extending back towards me from there.

Just resurrecting this one from recent findings …

I was out and about on Jaws the sidecar rig at the weekend and using my TomTom Rider on it. Jaws has a full fairing. The usual (I only have the one) hot shoe bolted to the handlebars and wired in on a new lead that remains at all times on the bike. The sat nav would barely pick up signal at all. Pulling the device out and handing it to my passenger it worked a whole lot better.

From what I can see it has taken against the hot shoe/lead. How weird is that?

What would make more sense to me, is electrical ‘noise’ (radio interference) from the bike, ignition, generator and so on. Could be the power lead is aggravating that.

Just FYI, I’ve just discovered and started using, a free phone app which doesn’t need Internet access to work (only gps) - apart from initially downloading the maps you want. Works anywhere in the world I believe.

Interesting, but I fear you are flogging a dead horse. :slight_smile:

Now that all the A14 road works around Cambridge and Huntingdon have been completed, my old TomTom Rider would be hopelessly out of date and quite useless, even if it did still work.

The other day I used the maps on an iPhone for navigation. That navigation comes free with the iPhone, as does the navigation on Google Maps on an Android phone. There were some features on the iPhone navigation that I preferred over Google Maps navigation. In particular the side roads are more clear, and the enlargement of a roundabout, as you entered the roundabout, was very good.

In either case, all one needs for a mobile phone is a suitable attachment on the handlebar and a USB socket for long journeys.

As mentioned previously the only worry is a downpour. To counteract this, I think all the holes and switches could be taped over.

Yeah I have an unchipped Galaxy that I’d been using in conjunction with Osmand for my off road forays. I also have CoPilot loaded on that which will give me road navigation. Probably the way to go, though I prefer the better road rendering that the TomTom gives me - actually allows me to judge the severity of upcoming curves.

I recently got a newer iPhone - looked at the map and it seems to be better than previous, so might be worth playing with that - the problem I had with the old one (iPhone 6) if it lost the Internet, no map … just a spot on a grid of squares … which could be anywhere … doesn’t need Internet.

Yes this is very useful, and something I never expected.

I use a Garmin Zumo, and have no problems such as Butch has described. I use it in the car and on the bike and it also gives an indication of the severity of up coming bends as with Butch’s Tom Tom.

It seems odd that it would be the screen interfering with the reception of your Tom Tom. Could it be unsuppressed ignition spark that is interfering with the signal to your Tom Tom, Butch?

Since determined that it is not the screen, err, screening. It is some kind of interference either from the power lead or the hot shoe itself. Each of the bikes I run it on has their own lead and some are worse than others - maybe? Unless it is the device vibrating in the worn hot shoe (it’s my second one). I also have a cold shoe which I’ve cut so I can keep the flap on the device open and run a USB cable in to it. I’ll test ride that as soon as the salt washes off the roads.