Our Top Motorcycle Route Planning App Comparison

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I know it’s trendy right now to tour without a pre-planned route. And I get it. It’s spontaneous, adventurous, and exciting.

But the enthusiasm wears off pretty quickly when you get to your intended location and end up spending your time on boring roads/trails or wasting most of your time turning around.

I know this from experience!

If you’re one of the lucky few who gets paid to travel on bikes, it works fine. But for the majority of us who have to save up all year to go touring once in the summer, a pre-planned route gives you the best bang for your buck.

A pre-planned route gives you time to find and plot the best roads before leaving. You can decide how long you want to ride and book accommodation in advance. And you can even pre-plan fuel stops (like me) to remove yet another concern whilst on the road.

If you only tour once or twice a year, emphasis needs to be on enjoyment. And if you can remove the stresses of touring beforehand, then this leaves you free to actually enjoy your time on the road.

In this post, we’ll go through 10 of the best touring apps available. So grab a coffee, grab a notepad, and join us as we compare some of the top route planning apps on the market.

motorcycle route planning app collection

How Do I Find The Best Motorcycle Route?

Let me start by saying that there is no such thing as the ‘best motorcycle route.’ Nor is there a single ‘best app for bikers.’ And the reason for this is that everybody is different.

I like to incorporate scenic routes when I plan a motorcycle road trip so I can enjoy the world and spend an hour or two taking photographs.

Of course, I include the best riding roads I can, too. But I usually have to compromise to get the best from both worlds.

But as well as including the things I like, I also incorporate a list of avoidances.

For me, this includes motorways and toll roads where possible. And dirt tracks – depending on the sort of bike I’m riding at the time.

For more route planning tips, check out our Route Planning category

biker riding triumph tiger off-road
Image: Suarav Mishra

Best Isn’t Always Best

And it will be the same for you. My version of the best motorcycle route through the Alps might differ from yours. And that’s because mine accounts for my priorities and not yours.

I always suggest making a list of the points of interest (POIs) you want to see and the roads you want to ride in the areas you intend to visit. And then construct your riding route around these points of interest and roads.

I like to plot these POIs on a map so they’re visible all in one go. Google Maps is a good way to do this. But there are loads of other apps that have this function – many of which are discussed in this comparison.

When you have your POIs plotted, it’s time to join them together. Once this has been done, you have your fully personalised route.

Using the tools in the apps listed, you can even personalise your route between points by including/avoiding motorways, toll roads, and dirt tracks.

And on a few of them, you can customise them further by allowing the motorcycle route planning app to find the twistiest or highest roads. 

So now, you have a bunch of roads you want to ride, a bunch of things you want to see, and a customised way of travelling between them.

Once you get to this point, you have everything jotted down that makes for a memorable motorcycle tour. And you’re well on your way to finding the best motorcycle route for you.

biker checking sat nav on smartphone - motorcycle route planning app
Image: ArtHouse Studios

What To Look For In A Motorcycle Route Planning App

Finding a route planning app that works for you is as personal as plotting your route! I like to use MyRoute-App because it encompasses all of the tools and options I need.

The other thing to consider is whether you’re prepared to pay for them.

Most of the apps on this list have both free and paid plans. They’re usually pretty cheap. So if you find one you like, it’s often worth paying for it. As mentioned, I use My-Route App, and it costs me around £30 a year.

The truth is, you won’t know what you want from a motorcycle route planning app until you try a few. Once you start plotting routes, you’ll find tools you find useful, and tools you find irrelevant.

collection of navigation applications

Some Tools I Use:

  • Being able to reverse routes. It’s only once I’ve finished plotting a 3,000-mile route that I decide I want to do it backwards! Re-plotting it is a nightmare.
  • The ability to transfer my route to multiple sat nav units. I ride with a Garmin sat nav, but some people I ride with have TomTom’s. Being able to transfer one route in multiple formats is a huge time-saver.
  • Custom avoidances. Usually motorways and/or toll roads.
  • Distance calculator. Whilst most apps tell you the overall distance of a route, not all calculate the distance between individual waypoints.
  • Splitting routes. This means I can plot a 500-mile route and then split it into 3 smaller routes.
  • Hotel finder – MyRoute-App has a partnership with Booking.com. So when you place a point on a map, you can find a hotel in that exact area via Booking. Very useful!
  • Street View – in other words, the little blue man that you can drop on a map to see the street. This allows me to ascertain road conditions and potential stop off’s.
  • POI finder – some apps allow you to select certain POIs that show up on (or near) your route. I tend to use this to find petrol stations on my route or restaurants for lunch stops.

Of course, there are many other tools I use when plotting a route. And when you start doing it yourself, you’ll find your own little list of options you need.

biker off-road - motorcycle route planning app
Image: Saliha

Top 10 Route Planning Apps For Motorcycle Touring

With that said, let’s get into the meat and bones of the apps! As mentioned above, finding a route (and a route planner) is personal. There is no one-size-fits-all, so these apps aren’t listed in any particular order.

1. My-Route App

  • Available on Apple & Android
  • Free version available
  • Gold version: €35,10 (usually €39)
  • Navigation: €17,10 (usually €19)
  • Website: https://www.myrouteapp.com/en

I’ll start with MRA for the simple reason that it’s my route planner app of choice. And it also encompasses many of the tools I like to use.

First and foremost, it’s easy to plot routes due to the various ways MRA allows you to do it. You can either drop a waypoint onto the map or type a place name in the search box. The app will then find it for you.

Once you input subsequent waypoints, this motorcycle route planning app automatically joins them together to form a route based on your chosen waypoints.

For each individual waypoint you create, you also have the option to customise it. So, for example, you can change the name or the colour to make it stand out. I usually turn my petrol stops green, my hotels red, and my viewpoints yellow. This allows me to see them at a glance.

dropping colour-coded pins on MRA

Making Life Easier

As mentioned above, you can also search for a hotel around any given waypoint by accessing Booking.com directly through MRA. You likely don’t always get the best offers. But it’s a super convenient way to find accommodation in your chosen area.

Another feature that makes life easier is the ability to plot routes using the native map of your sat nav. For example, I use a Garmin sat nav. So MRA lets me plot my route using the Here map (the native maps for Garmin.)

If you use a TomTom, then you can plot your route using the native TomTom map.

This is important because if you try importing a route in the wrong format into your sat nav, your unit might change the route to ‘make’ it fit.

myroute-app hotel search - motorcycle route planning app

MRA Toolkit

Street View is another function I use a lot. Looking at my route at street level allows me to gauge the road surface and the scenery. And I can also get an idea of what my hotel looks like, which means I can find it easily when I get there!

The ‘Toolkit’ in MRA is incredible. This is where many of your tools live, and they include the option to reverse a route, split a big route into multiple smaller ones, and calculate distances between individual waypoints.

The app is available in free and paid versions on Apple and Android. There is also a web-based version that you can use on your desktop/laptop which makes it a million times easier to plot routes.

myroute-app user screenshots

Once saved, your routes are automatically shared across all of your devices.

Finally, MRA now offers their native Navigation app (which you have to pay for separately.) This means you can plot a route in MRA and then immediately run it through the Navigation app, complete with voice-guided navigation.

The Navigation app isn’t quite as sophisticated as Google Maps. But it’s getting better all the time and is certainly sufficient.

For a more in-depth look at the operation of MyRoute-App, check out this post.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Useful tools
  • Multiple maps
  • Multiple download formats
  • Voice-guided navigation
  • Folders/organisation system

Cons

  • Separate subscription for Navigation app
  • Navigation good but not up to Google standards yet
  • Updates & features sometimes slow to arrive

2. REVER

  • Available on Apple & Android
  • Free version available
  • Pro version: $19.99 (usually $39.99)
  • Website: https://www.rever.co/

REVER is one of the most downloaded motorcycle route apps – so that clearly says a lot. 

But I hasten to add it’s not for everyone!

See, REVER is one of the new-fangled apps which caters to those who enjoy social media and sharing experiences.

The good thing about this is you can access thousands of pre-planned routes that fellow REVER users have enjoyed and shared – so you can enjoy it too.

REVER usability screenshots - motorcycle route planning app

Simply open the map, select the style of ride you want (road, off-road, mixed, or even race tracks), and this motorcycle route planning app will flag up rides in your area.

From here, you can download the route to be used offline or immediately choose to follow it with voice-guided navigation. REVER will even find a way from where you are to the start of the route.

Another nice perk is that you can run your routes through Apple CarPlay.

Once riding, you can choose to record your ride as a track – a track you can share with other people in the community or even download and send to your friends.

REVER 3D Route Viewer

We particularly like the 3D feature, which gives you a sexy 3D overview of your intended route. It doesn’t really provide any real use in the real world, but it’s nice to see and share!

Here is a part of one of our routes in Norway – just by way of example. (Click to view.)

From a safety aspect, REVER is also good if you want to share your location. You can do this within the app so other REVERS can follow along, or you can generate a link and share it with family who can then follow along on your trip.

Similarly, you can turn on safety texts, which automatically send SMS messages to your loved ones with a link to your location.

Personally, I’m a bit of a miserable turd so I don’t have any particular interest in sharing my location or following along on the rides of others. So from this aspect, I find a lot of the features unnecessary.

If you’re the same as me, you’ll likely prefer one of the more traditional route planner apps, such as MyRoute-App or Calimoto.

That said, the premium version of REVER is well-priced and affordable. And it’s a great way to stay social, share your experiences, and gain valuable insights from others.

I can absolutely see why it’s one of the most popular route planning apps.

Currently, you can try the Pro (paid) version of the motorcycle route planning app for 2-weeks with a free trial.

Pros

  • Social aspect
  • Discovery routes
  • Route tracking/sharing
  • Safety SMS alerts
  • Integrated voice-guided navigation
  • Works offline
  • Integrates with CarPlay

Cons

  • Awkard to navigate around the app
  • Navigation not as good as Google
  • Kills your battery

3. Calimoto

I must admit, I like Calimoto. It’s been around for a while now without ever competing for attention. Developed for bikers, Calimoto focuses on finding routes that incorporate good riding roads over anything else.

With an emphasis on riding experience, this motorcycle route planning app prioritises twisty routes over the quickest routes. If you’re in a rush, Calimoto isn’t for you. But if you want a nice ride, it’s a good place to start!

That said, many people complained in the past about not having a fastest option. Calimoto has now addressed this issue and the feature is available when route planning.

calimoto - motorcycle route planning app

Growing In Community

Over the years, it’s grown more community-based – similar to REVER – with communities you can join within the app.

As mentioned above, this is a great way to find tried-and-tested routes that have been uploaded by fellow members of the Calimoto community.

Simply find a route in your area based on your preferences, click ‘Go’, and Calimoto automatically sets the route up with voice-guided navigation.

Whilst creating a route or roundtrip, you can also view tourist attractions, mountain passes, twisty highlights, biker meets, fuel stations, restaurants, and many others.

As with some other apps on this list, you can record your route as a track and send it to friends.

Another nice touch is the displayed weather forecast on the map.

Pros

  • Simple interface
  • Easy to use
  • Discovery routes
  • Tracking
  • Biker-specific
  • Intuitive navigation

Cons

  • Navigation not as good as Google, but decent enough
  • Not great at flagging traffic or roadworks
  • Re-routing can be hit-and-miss

4. Best Biking Roads (And BBR Lite)

For years, Best Biking Roads has been one of my go-to route planning apps. Unlike others that have continually updated to keep up with the trends, BBR hasn’t bothered. It just does its thing quietly in the corner.

And whilst it might not be the most up-to-date or modern motorcycle route planning app, it does what it says on the tin – it shows you the best biking roads in any given area. Clear and simple.

It doesn’t offer navigation or social sharing features. But it does offer recommended routes across the planet that, in my experience, have relevant and honest reviews.

BBR works on a star-rating system – not only for the overall route but for individual elements within the route.

For example, each route takes into account the following and applies a star rating to each of them:

  • Road surface
  • Visibility
  • Scenery
  • Corners
  • Straights
  • Hazards
  • Police presence
best biking roads lite screenshots

Web vs App

For each route, you can choose to see a map of it. If you have the premium version of BBR Lite, you can then download a GPX version of the route that you can export into your sat nav of choice.

Whilst I use the desktop version of BBR almost every time I plan a tour, I rarely use the app. I just find it easier to see and navigate.

The other thing to remember with Best Biking Roads is that whilst it caters to roundtrip and full tours, it’s more about individual roads.

best biking roads desktop - motorcycle route planning app

For example, if I pull up a map of the Alps, it shows me roads in three different colours: Red, blue, and purple. The red roads are rated as excellent, the blue as good, and the purple roads as recommended.

I don’t download them or try to import them into my sat nav – I simply take the ones I want and incorporate them into my route on MyRoute-App.

All-in-all, BBR is a salt-of-the-earth website and motorcycle route planning app. It’s an underdog in a world full of bells and whistles. But it’s a diamond in the rough and one of my all-time favourites.

Pros

  • As simple as it gets
  • Great star rating system
  • Ratings for individual ride elements
  • Good community sharing

Cons

  • Can’t download roads/routes without Premium
  • Can be fiddly when zooming
  • Easier to use on desktop

5. OsmAnd

  • Available on Apple & Android
  • Free version available
  • Premium version: $29.99
  • Website: https://osmand.net/

OsmAnd is quite a powerful motorcycle route planning app because it works entirely offline. Upon set-up, the app asks which region you would like to download – but you can download multiple maps depending on where you are going.

For preparing a standard tour on tarmac, OsmAnd probably wouldn’t be my first choice. But if I was going on an off-road adventure where phone signal and internet would be non-existent, I would absolutely have it on my phone.

One of the things that makes OsmAnd so powerful is its partnerships with OpenStreetMaps and Wikipedia: OpenStreetMaps for worldwide mapping and Wiki for points of interest.

The voice-guided navigation is feature-rich and includes lots of data – such as announcements when approaching stop signs or pedestrian crossings, speed limit warnings, and lane guidance.

It also offers street names as part of its navigation – which is a great help.

OsmAnd usability screenshots

If you plan on partaking in other activities off the bike (such as hiking or cycling), OsmAnd is a great option for you to consider. The detailed offline maps show hiking trails, cycle routes, footpaths, and even public transport stops.

Overall, the app has a proper navigational feel to it (like Ordnance Survey maps or traditional Garmin maps.) As a result, it takes some getting used to.

But learn how to use it properly, and OsmAnd is one of the most powerful apps on this list.

And it’s cheap, too. At £8.49 a year, it’s almost worth having just in case!

Pros

  • Works offline
  • Unlimited map downloads
  • Constant updates
  • Feature-rich navigation
  • Can be used off the bike

Cons

  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Fiddly to use
  • Difficult to fine-tune routes

6. Maps.me

Maps.me is one of the best offline route planners on the market today – even if it isn’t the easiest to get your head around at first.

Upon downloading, the app will download a map of the area you’re in. You can download subsequent maps by zooming in on the area – the app will ask if you want to download it.

You can download as many maps as you wish, and they’re usually pretty small in terms of download size – so won’t take up too much space on your phone.

For me, Maps.me works best when you take the time to set it up before you leave. You’ll need an internet connection or WiFi to download the maps, so doing this in advance pays dividends.

The same goes for putting POIs on the map – such as pre-planned accommodation details or places you want to visit when you get there.

Maps.me - motorcycle route planning app

Working Offline

Once it’s all on there, the app works completely offline. And this is great when touring in places where signal and data are hard to come by.

Even though it works offline, you can still search and navigate to various POIs, including hotels, restaurants and fuel stations. You can even see reviews via the app.

As with OsmAnd, Maps.me works really well if you want a day off the bike. Bringing up hiking and walking trails that even Google Maps doesn’t know about, you can navigate to and from your accommodation, knowing you won’t get lost! In that sense, it’s quite similar to the Strava route planner.

One of the biggest negatives I found with Maps.me is its lack of route customisation. For example, in more typical route planning apps, you have the option to avoid toll roads, motorways, or gravel paths.

In Maps.me, you can’t alter such settings – which sometimes leads you onto roads you otherwise wanted to avoid.

Pros

  • Works offline
  • Easy map downloads
  • All your POIs in one place
  • Reviews/POIs even offline

Cons

  • Route customisation
  • Route timings are never accurate
  • Mobile interface is awkward

7. Eat Sleep Ride

As with REVER, Eat Sleep Ride is a social-inspired motorcycle route planning app rather than solely a route planning one per se. The aim is to record (or track) your ride and then upload it as a story for others to read.

Like many of the apps on this list, there is an in-app community. And many of the members record, upload and share their rides so that other people in the community can enjoy them too.

One of the biggest factors of ESR is that it’s a biker-inspired motorcycle route planning app first and foremost – rather than a navigational app that has simply been adapted for bikers.

REVER usability screenshots

Whilst I can live without all the story sharing and community-inspired waffle, I like that ESR has a group ride feature.

As long as all riders in the group are on ESR, you can all share your location within the group. This means that you can see where all the other riders are in your group – even if you’ve got split up.

This makes it really easy to keep tabs on everybody – and see when you’ve lost someone!

ESR is also the only motorcycle route planning app on this list which has the optional extra of adding CrashLight. Made for bikers, CrashLight detects accidents and immediately notifies people on your ICE list.

CrashLight is usually £14.99 per year – although I have just downloaded ESR on my new phone and was given CrashLight for free.

crashlight usability - motorcycle route planning app
Image: Eat Sleep Ride

Pros

  • Social aspect
  • Discovery routes
  • Group ride feature
  • Optional CrashLight

Cons

  • CrashLight can be buggy
  • Tracking often stops mid-ride

8. RISER

RISER is a mixture of route planner, navigation, and social. With integrated voice-guided navigation, you can plan, record and ride your route – all in one go.

And as with the other social-inspired apps, you can upload your route so riders in your community to ride it themselves.

Upon opening this motorcycle route planning app, you’re greeted with your feed – showing recent rides by people in your community and new challenges you can join.

Each of the rides includes details such as total distance, duration, elevation, average speed, top speed (which you can hide), and a little write-up by the author.

RISER user screenshots

From here, you can save the route into your own Roadbook and ride it in your own time.

When creating your own routes, simply input your start and end details, and the app will let you select a route that is either curvy, super curvy, or fastest.

As with the ESR app above, you have the option in RISER to set up a Pack Ride. People within 150m of you can join the ride, and you can view all riders on the map on your phone.

The group is notified when a fellow rider takes a wrong turn or falls behind.

Taking it a step further, RISER has integrated automated messages within the Pack Rides. So if you need a toilet break or some fuel, simply tap the relevant button, and everybody in the pack is alerted.

Very nifty! 

Pros

  • Social aspect
  • Ride metrics
  • Pack ride feature
  • Pack ride alerts

Cons

  • Limited avoidances
  • Not a huge library of rides in the UK
  • Can be fiddly to start rides from Roadbook

9. AA Route Finder

Whilst AA Route Planner isn’t made for motorcycle trips, it’s useful to have on your phone – especially if you have AA breakdown cover.

Not only does it allow the dispatchers to see exactly where you are in the event of a breakdown, but the route planner section offers up some decent information, too.

The app doesn’t have integrated navigation, but once you plot a route, the app gives you the option of running it via one of the other apps on your phone. In my case, Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze.

aa route planner - motorcycle route planning app

But the thing I like about AA Route Planner is the information it provides. In my experience, the live traffic updates are accurate, and you can see at a glance if there are roadworks on your planned journey.

Once you’ve plotted your route based on traffic and roadwork avoidances, click navigate, and run the route via your desired navigational app.

As mentioned, the AA Route Planner doesn’t compete with the other apps on this list in terms of pure navigation. But for route information – and breakdown cover – it makes perfect sense to have it on your phone!

Pros

  • Simple interface
  • Excellent live traffic
  • Accurate at identifying roadworks
  • Links with your breakdown policy

Cons

  • No native voice-guided navigation
  • No biker-specific options

10. How do I Plan a Motorcycle Route on Google Maps?

Speaking of Google, is it possible to make a motorcycle route on Google Maps?

Yes, it is! Admittedly, it isn’t necessarily made for touring purposes, but it could be used as a route planner if needed.

The good thing about Google Maps route planner is that it’s a staple for most of us these days. We all use it all the time and we’re familiar with it. We know exactly where everything is.

And the level of global coverage offered by Google Maps is unrivalled.

Quite literally, no other company on the planet can offer that much data in one little app that’s natively on your smartphone. And in terms of a free route planner, it’s probably the most comprehensive app you can download.

google maps user screenshots

Positives & Negatives Of Google Maps

With many newer bikes such as the Honda NT1100 now employing Apple CarPlay, you can easily plot your route on Google Maps and then use the navigation through CarPlay on your dash. It’s the perfect set-up.

On the positive side, Google Maps is incredibly useful for finding things en route – for example, fuel stations, restaurants, cash machines, and almost anything else you need.

The voice-guided navigation is familiar, clear, and customisable. And you’ll also get speed camera warnings, live traffic updates, and automatic re-routing if you miss a turn.

apple carplay honda nt1100 - motorcycle route planning app
Image: Honda

You can also download maps to use offline. So you could download the map of your intended location and then continue to use it for navigation even if you lose your phone signal.

It’s not all great, though. For example, whilst you can plot a comprehensive route using Google My Maps, you can’t then follow that route in the Google Maps app.

Nobody is too sure why. People have been asking Google to sort it out for years, but, for whatever reason, they won’t do it.

If you want to follow a route with guidance, you need to plot the route directly in the Google Maps app. And the problem with this is that Google will only allow you to plot 9 waypoints per route.

This is fine if for a short trip. But if you’re doing a 350-mile day, 9 waypoints is nowhere enough to keep the route true.

Finally, you have to consider the toll that long-term use takes on your smartphone. It will completely decimate your battery if it isn’t constantly plugged into a power sauce.

And if you intend to use it all day, there will come a point where it gets too hot and shuts down.

Pros

  • Free
  • Easy to get (usually native)
  • Intuitive
  • Useful POIs & reviews
  • The best navigation available
  • Live traffic & re-routing
  • Works offline

Cons

  • Only 9 waypoints per route
  • No biker-specific routing options
  • Inability to run pre-set routes from Google My Maps

Planning A Motorcycle Roadtrip: Conclusion

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to planning the perfect motorcycle tour. And there’s no one motorcycle route planning app that will work perfectly for everybody, either.

Over the years, my experiences with route planning have taught me the importance of prioritisation. Take a minute to note down the roads you want to ride along with the POIs you want to visit. Once plotted on a map, these form the basis of your tour.

From here, it’s a case of filling in the gaps between the waypoints.

In my experience, the best way to do this is by finding recommended roads on Best Biking Roads and adding them to my route on MyRoute-App.

The other thing that helped me form better routes was attention to detail. Finding (and plotting) fuel stations in advance meant that I never again had to worry about fuel. Building them into your route from the start makes life a whole lot easier!

Apps that allow you to colour code waypoints are also a great help – allowing you to see what’s up ahead in a glance.

Ultimately, whatever motorcycle route planning app you choose, you will always have to make compromises. Download as many as you can, give them a go using the free trials and make a few test routes.

The one that has the most features you require and puts it all into a package that is intuitive (for you) is the one you’ll likely be happiest with!

Top image: ArtHouse Studio

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