Late last year I was asked to trial the TomTom Urban Rider which had been kindly donated to us at Saferrider for one of the competition prizes. The plan was for me to trial it whilst on my annual pilgrimage to Normandy France however. The device only came with a UK and Ireland map so the product was sent back to TomTom for European maps to be installed. Unfortunately the package came back to me after I had returned from France and by that time the cold winter weather had set in and I felt I couldn’t do the system justice until the New Year.
Now bearing in mind this particular package is the base Urban rider and retails from TomTom for £249.99. I was disappointed to discover the product only included the following items.
1 The device itself.
2 An instruction manual.
3 A RAM fitting kit enabling the device to be fitted to either a set of handle bars or the bracket which holds the clutch/brake lever.
4 A three pin household plug charger with USB capability including a foreign county converter.
5 A blank, non electrical mounting shoe that attaches the device to the RAM bracket.
Where is the “hard wiring” kit for the bike I hear you cry? Well that was my thoughts as well! I checked the contents again thinking I’d missed the wiring harness but nope, it wasn’t present. Believing Craig from Saferrider had already opened the box and lost some of the contents (knowing what he’s like!); I grabbed my laptop and went onto the TomTom site. It was at this stage I discovered that none of the Urban Rider devices come with the required wiring harness or electrical mounting shoe. To allow the device to be “hard wired” to your bike you need to additionally purchase the electrical mounting shoe and wiring harness from TomTom which is valued at £44.99. I will leave you all to make up your own opinions about that one! TomTom’s reason for not including the required electrical components is unknown however. I do know that once the Urban rider is fully charged using the supplied three pin plug, the device can be used for approximately 7 hours before running flat.
Anyway moving on, it took me 10 minutes to fit the mounting plate to the rear of the device and the RAM kit to the brake lever clamp on my Bird. The device charged from totally flat to full charge within 45 minutes, now that’s impressive!!
The device is also compatible with Bluetooth headsets like the Scala system however again, unlike the previous TomTom rider package you have to purchase the head set separately if you want to enjoy “turn by turn” audio directions and have the luxury of receiving mobile phone calls on the move.
The new Urban rider boasts many new features which include the following.
1 Simplified Menu
2 Glove-friendly screen
3 Advanced lane guidance
4 IQ Routes™
5 Map Share™
The most noticeable feature is the simplified menu, which has just two buttons – ‘Navigate to’ and ‘Browse map’. This lets you get going without any hassle, and is made even easier to use thanks to the glove-friendly screen with its larger icons – perfect for gloved hands.
When it comes to safety, a welcome addition to the Rider products is advanced lane guidance. On the most difficult highway intersections, this provides a realistic 3D representation of the junction to keep you relaxed and safe.
For even better routing TomTom Urban Rider features IQ Routes. This innovative TomTom technology uses actual speed data collected from millions of users to calculate the fastest route for any hour of any day.
And to help all TomTom users to keep their map up to date between map releases, TomTom Urban Rider features Map Share™ technology. This lets you make corrections to your map and benefit from thousands of corrections made by TomTom users every day – free of charge.
I also like the “Record Route” feature. When you come to a section of road that looks interesting, fast, twisty etc, you just hit the record route button and not only does it save the route for you, but when you get home you can transfer the section of road into Google maps and share it with your mates, so they can save it in their Urban Rider. Nice!
In conclusion I initially thought the package was too expensive for what it consisted of however I liked the device and features so much I was gutted to give it back to the Saferrider team and went out and brought my own device. I paid a bit extra and purchased the Urban Pro which came with the Scala headset. Now its part of my Bird permanently!
Review by PC Chris ‘Steptoe’ Howlett