With the right app you can get anything from route planning, to detailed weather reports and social networking on your phone – here Bikesure takes a look at some of the top motorcycle apps for 2019.
Smartphones generally have a weather app built in, and for the most part they’re pretty good – they are convenient and accurate as any forecast can be. But we are, of course, British, and part of our island isolation syndrome is the belief that our interest in the weather is somehow unique.
So if you want to get all weather nerd about it, there’s plenty of choice out there, but if you’re not careful you could end up with something tuned for different countries.
In terms of both eye candy and amount of information provided, this app has to be one of the best. Beautiful rainbow colours and simple yet effective animation gives you an instant idea of what you can expect, with plenty of detail and alternate views covering pretty much everything you could want to know about the weather. Best thing is, it is ad free.
If you want a version of Windy that doesn’t look quite as nice and is less accurate in the UK, then Accuweather is the slightly ironically named app just for you.
Looking almost as good as Windy and with a similarly good accuracy, Dark Sky is another great choice.
If you like the look of Dark Sky but would prefer to get your weather with a load of jokes shoehorned in then Carrot is the app for you. If you shell out for the pay version you get the ability to switch between different data sources, allowing you to fully nerd out over minor differences from the comfort of one app.
Not quite as gorgeous as Windy, but its equal in terms of data available to you. If you’re looking for something a little more visually restrained then this is a great choice.
Weather & radar
Don’t get suckered in to spending ten quid on Radarscope unless you really like radar data for the United States and nowhere else. As with Weather & Radar, be aware that even after you’ve paid the £6 subscription you’ll still get adverts and prompts to throw down even more money.
Best motorcycle apps 2019: Maps
Working out how to get where you’re going got a whole lot easier with smartphones. They quickly surpassed the earlier GPS units, leveraging the data online services can provide by giving access to instant traffic updates and providing the most optimal route as you go.
By sheer dint of the size of its user-base and the amount of money Google is able to throw at it, this is probably the best overall map app. They recently added motorcycle routes, and the real time route adjustment is incredibly useful if you don’t try to second guess it when it decides to redirect you unexpectedly. Just go with it, it’ll be fine.
If you’re on iOS then this is what comes pre-installed. It’s come a long way since its somewhat disastrous launch which saw it consciously uncoupling from Google’s data repository and many users found their automatic routes asking them to drive into lakes. It lacks the level of detail Google brings to the table.
Bought out by Google so it could help feed the main product’s absurd demand for data, Waze’s main selling point is showing up other users as cute little ghost icons, as well as the ability for users to leave notes detailing useful information. Problem is, these don’t get deleted for ages so you can find out about roadworks from five months ago very easily.
Originally developed by Nokia and suspiciously free, which almost certainly means it’s absorbing as much data as it possibly can out from your phone. Its main selling point is its ability to give turn by turn directions even while offline, which is great for rural bikers, tourers and cheapskates.
Look maybe it’s secretly great, but when the first review has one star, that does not fill you to the brim with confidence.
One of the many apps built off OpenStreetMaps, but this one works well. Also works offline, which is nice.
Best motorcycle apps 2019: MotoSocial Networks
Route sharing social apps aimed at bikers fill a vital niche, allowing bikers to share incredibly detailed information about the routes they’ve driven to a potential audience of people who find that kind of thing interesting.
Eat Sleep Ride
It’s probably safe to call this the great granddaddy of route sharing apps, and it certainly seems slightly busier in terms of daily users, although it’s still fairly quiet compared to any of the real social networks.
Functionally almost identical to ESR but with more of an emphasis on planning nice things to see on bike tours, and also limited to information about North America, Australia and New Zealand. So if you’re going there but are unsure of what to see then this is certainly one way you can do it.
As above, but with a very pleasing level of polish to the design and a few nice features that may or may not be worth it. The annual subscription is about £60, so just be aware of that before starting up any free trials.
Best motorcycle apps 2019: Vlogging apps
Bikers love sharing videos of their travels, and you can pretty much do all the editing you’ll need from your phone. Obviously quite a lot of this will apply specifically to GoPro cameras, although many will also work with similar cameras as long as they have wifi or Bluetooth connections.
For the Apple fans out there, this one is built in to iOS and, like most of Apple’s products, is pretty good. With this and Youtube you should be able to edit and upload vlogs on the go, as long as you have a connection of course.
Always slightly tougher recommending android apps, because it’s a fragmented ecosystem of wildly different hardware and software and it’s almost impossible to work out whether any app will work on whichever type of phone you have.
Adobe Premiere Clip
From the team that brought you Photoshop, this is a slimmed down version of their desktop software. It’s great if you’re used to Adobe products already, and probably fine if you’re coming to it fresh.
A simple but powerful video editor, one of the advantages with this one is that it won’t stamp a giant ugly watermark over your video, but it apparently does add in a title screen at the end (which can either be edited out with a different editor or gamble the £1.99 payment that promises to remove it.)
Top motorcycle apps 2019: Your favourite is?
This is just a small selection of some of the best motorcycle apps 2019, but which is your favourites and what have we missed?
Whatever app you think is right for you, before heading off on the road make sure you have the right motorcycle insurance.