Talk me out of buying a TomTom Rider 550

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Moto Mark, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Moto Mark

    Moto Mark Been here awhile

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    I haven’t used TomTom since the first gen Rider back in 2008, it’s been a series of Garmins ever since.

    In interested in the new Rider 550 solely for the lifetime worldwide map update feature. I live half of the year in the US and the other in Italy so that would be a distinct advantage for me.

    I don’t see much mentioned here about TomTom so what’s the deal ? Are they reliable? How about the mapping software ( I currently suffer with BaseCamp so any improvement over that is a plus).

    Ok inmates, I’m all ears.
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  2. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    maps are free and available for every country on earth. if that's the only reason you're considering a device, keep looking.
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  3. Moto Mark

    Moto Mark Been here awhile

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    A valid point.

    In my specific use case I bought a Garmin map of Europe which is not eligible for lifetime updates on my device because it was for the North American market and the maps are pre loaded for that region. If I wanted an update of my Euro maps I would have to buy the newer version of my current map. Since I carry my Garmin with me to Italy and back I felt the lifetime worldwide updates on the TomTom might be a better choice.

    I know it's pretty much a Garmin-centric group here but I thought I'd get some real world usage examples from actual TomTom owners.
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  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    ohhhh ok. there are some great YouTube videos that go over real world usage both on and off the bike... instead of just repeating the marketing materials. the last time i saw/used a rider i was really surprised how much farther ahead of the Garmin products it had leapfrogged.
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  5. Mountainhound

    Mountainhound Long timer

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    Why not just buy a garmin in Italy while there then you have free updates with both. I would imagine $600 is not going to break you living here and Italy.
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  6. Moto Mark

    Moto Mark Been here awhile

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    I’ve considered that, and it’s probably the better solution. I’ve seen more TomTom ads in the Italian and British mags so it made me think of trying something different.

    I just want to hear from people that actually use them and if the mapping software and ease of use are worth jumping ship.
    #6
  7. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    AdamChandler on the forums here is a Tom Tom employee,maybe he can give you some insight into the product.

    JR356
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  8. zokn

    zokn ...In a Hand Basket

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    Check out this thread in GPS 101: https://advrider.com/f/threads/new-tom-tom-550-rider.1323790/

    I've had my Rider 550 since they were available last May. Previously used a Rider 2013 model. Very happy with the 550 and appreciate the upgrade from the previous Rider I used. Use it on the bike and in the old VW Westfalia. I use TomTom My Drive Connect on the desktop, MYDrive app on the phone, and Furkot for planning.

    Could not be happier. (No economic connections to TomTom - just a happy user.)
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  9. Bitte ein Bit

    Bitte ein Bit Been here awhile

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    I own the TomTom 400/410 and have loved it while here in Germany. Not sure how it would fare in North America. Brought 3 Garmins with me and could only use the SD Euro cards...didn't give me much detail and no updates...so...

    I've used the TomTom over 40,000 miles the last few years here in Europe and with camera updates, the MyDrive Connect and their MyDrive Route Planner have been very happy, again while here in Germany/Europe. Linked up right away to my Sena 20S, has saved me from countless speed cameras, to include the "average speed zones" (Italy), etc...

    I have not used in the US and to my understanding best bet is Garmin in North America and TomTom here in Europe. I know when I move back to the US I will sell the TomTom here in Germany...Not sure what I'll purchase back home, but from now on will probably buy a GPS new from the continent I am living.

    All that said, I have been very happy with the TomTom. I have never had an issue and updates for cameras and routes are constant...which is a good thing.

    Hooked up to my iPhone (personal hotspot) I get real time traffic and delays.


    Feel free to drop me a note if you have questions. I know I am not using the newest, but if I wasn't moving back to NA would definitely upgrade.


    Example of their route planner:

    Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 3.35.58 PM.png
    #9
  10. BigKev72

    BigKev72 ANZAC

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    That’s my 550 and my RT in the displayed pic. I have had mine for a while now and I like it a lot. It’s very fast in a processing sense, it’s bright and easy to read in bright Texas sunlight. It will certainly put you on a twisty route when you tell it to. The WiFi updating and route uploading has been flawless. The web based MyDrive is a piece of cake to use and flawlessly integrates into the WiFi uploading to the device.
    I got pissed off with Garmin and their shitty customer service and decided to try TomTom. So far I have only called once for CS (my unit was shipped with euro maps and I had to call them to unlock the us maps for me) and they did great, polite, quick and solved the problem.
    I would give them and the 550 a big thumbs up and if you are interested in buying one go for it.
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  11. Moto Mark

    Moto Mark Been here awhile

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    Thanks Kev, I've read your other post when you first got the unit and they were both very helpful. So I'm 99% convinced that that's my next GPS but I did have a couple of questions for TomTom about the lifetime updates.

    One question for you and the other owners, I read that the battery life is very good. Is that your experience ? I ask because half of the bikes I have between the two places I live will be hardwired for the GPS but the other half I'll be relying on battery power. In your experience will the battery last a solid 4-5 hours at a time ?
    #11
  12. BigKev72

    BigKev72 ANZAC

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    On my bike it’s always wired in, so no need for battery life. I sometimes will drag it along when I’m working and use it on battery, it has never gone dead on me...I would guesstimate that would be around 4-5 hours of use just on battery. Not once during any of my battery use times have I found the screen dimming, it keeps on being bright regardless of power feed to it. The bases for the hardwired power are simple as heck to install using ram mounts and the power is a simple two wire setup. If you want to set up something portable I would bet that you could crimp and solder some rings to the ends and just pop the seat on you bike that isn’t set up with a mount and wire it straight to the battery. Others may have better input on it than me though.
    With the lifetime updates they say it is for the lifetime of the unit, which is open to speculation. A lot of it depends on TomTom’s definition of lifetime. From what I read on different forums on their previous models it typically meant “for as long as they support the device”.
    Garmin on the other hand sends out updates for all of their devices (which in my case killed a perfectly good gps) when they have lifetime maps, regardless of the device age. For the price of the 550, at around $400 +/- v’s the Garmin at $600 +/- as long as they support it for a while it’s worth it to me. Regardless of map updates main roads don’t change much, I have Waze or google maps on my iPhone if the TomTom ever gets to the point that it isn’t updated on newly constructed side streets.
    Just a quick add on. I had read and watched YouTube review on the 550 having difficulties with rain hitting the screen and causing problems. Mine has yet to have any trouble with water on the screen and I have ridden in some seriously heavy rain, moderate showers etc. I call bullshit on those reviews, I will be happy to eat crow and retract that if it ever becomes a problem, but as of now...not a thing.
    #12
  13. Moto Mark

    Moto Mark Been here awhile

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    Hi Kev,

    I'm pulling the trigger on a 550, other than the waiting time how was your experience with Chromeburner ? I thought about going on Amazon but I couldn't find the premium pack in the US so I called TomTom US and they don't offer it in North America. WTF !

    And the cost of the car mount and locking mount will be more expensive than what Chromeburner has on sale now.

    And did your unit come with the proper US wall plug or did they give you all of the plugs for the world ?

    Thank you for all your insight and advice, you tipped the scales for me.
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  14. zokn

    zokn ...In a Hand Basket

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    I bought a second battery cable so I could have bike supplied power on more than one vehicle. Google TomTom battery cable 9UGE.001.04

    Haven't used the 550 without being plugged to a big battery, but with my older TomTom, I regularly rode all day (6-7 hours) on battery power.
    #14
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  15. Sleepyc

    Sleepyc We can't stop here, THIS IS BAT COUNTRY!

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    A developer from TomTom is an inmate...

    Calling @AdamChandler , Adam to the Blue phone please.
    #15
  16. Moto Mark

    Moto Mark Been here awhile

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    Thanks zokn, I did that with my current Garmin setup, but the battery life of my 660 is horrible and I have 2 scooters where it's not easy to hard wire in so I'll be relying on battery power for those times I'm on them.
    #16
  17. Moto Mark

    Moto Mark Been here awhile

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    Thanks Sleepyc, I've already been in contact with Adam. He's a wealth of information.
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  18. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    I’m definitely going to send this thread to the Rider Product Owner in Netherlands. I send him a lot of online feedback. Simply put, we are (don’t quote me on this) 90% of the GPS market in Europe. People call SatNavs TomToms there. In USA, Garmin is #1 by a huge margin. This means, when it comes to our VIO Scooter GPS, some of our premium packages, various mounts and aftermarket hardware, support and such, I feel like USA gets a bit shafted. That really extends to North America as a whole.

    Now, know that there are over 500 TomTom employees in USA but they’re sales people, support and cartographers. The marketing, hardware development, R&D happen in Amsterdam. Devices are built in China.

    I think we have 85 offices worldwide and5500 employees. When most of the revenue in hardware comes from Europe, USA just doesn’t get that re-investment in marketing. I think the TomTom Rider 450 never came to North America. I was honestly surprised when we got the 550.

    When I find people complaining about missing accessories or products in USA, I send it to our people in charge of sending and marketing devices here because they need to know people here want to buy all of the products. When I get an email from internal saying a new GPS is coming out, it’s 3-6 months before I get to buy it in North America. Always bums me out because I love trying all of our new hardware and playing around with it.

    I’m here to help more if you need me. I just don’t check every post so tag me so I can hop in. I’ll always be as open and honest as possible. No one from marketing / comms has ever slapped me on the wrist but maybe cause they don’t see my posts :) I’m just happy to see people talking about Tomtom. I love our products a lot and this company so if I can help us make a sale (without soliciting), that’s a great thing!
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  19. Traxx

    Traxx Been here awhile

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    check at fc-moto.de as well. Today they are doing a 15% off for black Friday. I am on the verge of pushing the button on the Rider 550 as well. It has been in my cart for a couple of days now.
    #19
  20. BigKev72

    BigKev72 ANZAC

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    I did not buy the premium pack.
    What I received in the pack was the 550, motorcycle mount, ram handlebar mounts (useless on my RT), a USB cable and...well that’s it. I, being a forward looking type, kept a couple of old blackberry chargers (the brick part of them, I’m sure apple and android wall adapters will work fine too), and using the USB cable I had a wall charger (I guess that’s TomToms world charger strategy). I have only used it that way a couple of times (doing updates).
    Chromeburner was fine, they shipped promptly, however it got held up in customs for a long time.
    I had to call tomtom as soon as I got it (well, the Monday after) to have them unlock it for the USA maps. They were good to deal with, wish they had weekend customer support though. But no biggie until it craps out on a Saturday ride.
    I did not try to get the unit from TomTom USA, they weren’t competitive on the price compared to Chromeburner.
    The security mount was a thought until I looked at it properly and figured it would take me around a minute with a flat head screwdriver to walk off with a 550 in that mount. I just pop it off and toss it into my jacket pocket when I stop. I wish that TomTom would come out with a good quality (touratech style) bike security mount. Currently I have not seen one I think would be reliable enough to walk away from for more than a minute.
    Now for the best news of all. TomTom has yet to absolutely destroy my GPS from within by sending out an update that killed it. (Suck it Garmin!!)
    #20
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