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Blazing a trail: Budget bike satnav

2013-10-28 12:24


A BIKE GPS THAT DOESN’T COST A FORTUNE: You can’t beat them, reckons the writer. Now you can get a genuinely affordable ‘plug ’n play’ GPS for your motorcycle – without breaking the bank. Image: DAVE FALL

Why should car drivers have all the fun cosseted in their tin boxes with built-in/aftermarket GPS units or maybe one attached to the windscreen?

True, there’s never really been a reason why motorcyclists couldn’t indulge themselves in this particular luxury, provided they were prepared to shell out upwards of R6000 for an “electronic map”.


I’ve been keeping an eye out for a motorcycle unit but I didn’t really want to pay over the top for a GPS unit. At the 2013 Johannesburg motor show I came across a busy and popular stand in one of the halls, well away from the hustle and bustle of the major automakers… well, those that bothered to attend, that is!

I digress …

Perhaps the busiest stand at the show that I could see was one manned by CNS Marketing, a South African company that specialises in GPS technology sourced in Korea. Under the brand name RoadMate, I found a unit called the B125CC - a five-in-one device genuinely suitable for motorcyclists as well as a car, cyclists, walkers and ATV users.

For about a week now I’ve been evaluating the B125CC. With its 8.8cm screen, intuitive buttons and on-screen set-up, I have nothing but praise for this robust device.

I decided to set it up in a car first, register it and select language etc. I didn’t really see the point of listening to a foreign language when all I needed to do was work my way to Simonstown, Western Cape! Suffice to say the real test for me was how well it was going to work on my motorcycle.

The mounting bracket (two supplied: one for a car and the other for a motorcycle) for the bike proved easy to fit – simply attach the correct shroud and connect the two-piece cable. One end obviously needs a power source and I decided to wire it directly to the battery. The other end loops back and joins the device via a waterproof threaded connector.

Press the on/off switch - it’s that simple.


It’s glove-friendly and vision adjustment is taken care of by a large thumbscrew. Locking this as well as a small grub-screw to make sure the device couldn’t jump out of its cradle, I set of to find the bumpiest road in Cape Town – the Misty Cliffs heading towards Cape Point proved a great test route.

It performed well enough but on reaching home the only grumble I had was the extremely bright sunlight experienced that day meant the map was difficult to see and follow. Still, one rarely stops for a break on a bike without seeking shade and I don’t consider this an insurmountable problem.

The road you’re are actually travelling on, highlighted in the bottom right corner of the screen, remained readable throughout, as well as a small panel in the left corner that accurately conveyed current speed. Even above the din of my BMW thumper I could hear the device telling me occasionally that I was "over the speed limit” …but surely not by very much, officer?

Wheels24 techie readers will want to know what else this little baby can do. Plenty, I can assure you. You can customise multimedia, music, video, eBooks and photos via Bluetooth.

The distributor, for some reason, gave Wheels24 the wholesale price for the B125CC RoadMate GPS and the GPS headset, which was R2046 with tax and published in earlier versions of this news item. The correct retail price for the package, however, is R2499, including tax.

Click here for more information about RoadMate’s products.
Read more on:    dave fall  |  gps  |  rider  |  bikes  |  motorcycle

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