Strike Genius motorcycle GPS
This Strike Genius GPS is designed to be used by motorcyclists and scooter riders - it can stand up to all weather conditions
- Useful audio navigation via FM radio, good anti-glare screen and tough weatherproof design, can be used while wearing gloves
- Slow interface and occasional lag when navigating, recessed display makes it hard to hit icons in screen corners while wearing gloves
The Strike Genius motorcycle GPS offers some useful features that bikers will love. It's solidly outclassed by its competitors for in-car use, but anyone on two wheels will be impressed by its rugged, weatherproof body and simple interface. It's not as fast as we would have liked, but apart from the odd GPS drop-out it does a good job of navigating difficult routes.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The Strike Genius is a GPS navigation device aimed at motorcycle and scooter riders. It offers some nifty features that make it a great all-weather riding companion.
Strike Genius motorcycle GPS: design and mounting
The Strike Genius is designed for all-weather use — its 3.5in touchscreen has an anti-reflective coating as well as a built-in hood. The Genius is waterproof, and its hard plastic finish should be able to stand up to some serious punishment. Its SD card slot and USB port are hidden behind a side-mounted door with a solid latch, which should prevent any unwanted water trickling in.
The Strike Genius GPS comes with mounts for both motorcycle and car installation. The motorcycle option attaches the GPS device's cradle to a mounting bracket that fits onto a free section of any motorcycle's handlebars, while for car use the cradle can be attached to a suction cup (which worked perfectly in our testing). The cradle itself has an integrated connector which can be hooked up to the supplied DC power adapter for constant power supply — this DC adapter comes with bare wires to be connected to a motorcycle's electrical system or battery.
Attaching the cradle and mount to a motorcycle took a few minutes of unscrewing and re-securing components, so the GPS is not able to be quickly switched between bikes. Once it was secure, we found that the mount of the Strike Genius motorcycle GPS absorbed vibrations well and the device wasn't shaking unnecessarily. A wide range of movement means the mount can be adjusted vertically and horizontally when needed.
Strike Genius motorcycle GPS: interface and ergonomics
The Strike Genius motorcycle GPS's touchscreen interface responds perfectly to gloved hands. This is invaluable when riding, as anyone who's ever had to pull over mid-journey and hastily pull off a glove to check directions on an iPhone will know. The recessed screen did occasionally make it difficult to hit icons in the extreme corners of the Strike Genius's display while wearing gloves — this may not be a problem if you've got small hands or snug-fitting gloves.
The interface of the Strike Genius motorcycle GPS is simple and looks slightly dated, but it gets the job done well. The GPS runs Windows Embedded software, and the GPS interface is pretty stock-standard stuff; you'll recognise it easily if you've used an in-car GPS before. It offers both 2D and 3D viewing and colours can be changed to suit your needs, with separate settings for day and night-time viewing.
We did find the interface occasionally slow to operate, with load times of over 90 seconds on start-up and occasional lag when browsing a map in 3D. If you're the kind of person that sets their intended destination and follows the directions provided, this won't be a problem for you. GPS lock times and route planning speeds weren't brilliant but were roughly on par with in-car GPS units we've tested.
As well as functioning as a GPS, the Strike Genius can also be loaded with music, e-books, pictures and movies in a variety of formats. While we wouldn't recommend watching movies while you're hurtling down the freeway at 110km/h, music is a nice inclusion. These features means the Strike Genius can be used away from the bike as a portable media player.
Strike Genius motorcycle GPS: audio navigation
One thing that makes the Strike Genius motorcycle GPS really useful is the inclusion of an FM audio receiver and miniature speaker. This can be attached to a rider's helmet with the speaker mounted inside — once turned on, the speaker will relay all audio from the GPS unit, providing easy access to turn-by-turn navigation instructions as well as music and other content stored on the Strike Genius.
We found the speaker functioned well and deliver audio clearly in all scenarios. A volume control on the receiver means you'll be able to hear it even at speeds where wind noise is an issue.
The Strike Genius motorcycle GPS occupies an interesting niche in the market. Its comparatively high price means that there are much better options if you only want a GPS for in-car use. There aren't many options for motorcyclists without a decent sense of direction — before now, the easiest option was to put an in-car GPS in the see-through top of a motorcycle's tank bag. Thankfully, the Strike Genius provides riders with the same ease of use that car GPS users enjoy — it's easy to set a destination, follow it with turn-by-turn audio and make adjustments when necessary, all while armoured up on two wheels.
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