10 Essential Touring Apps For Bikers: A Few Of The Best

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Touring apps for bikers?

What has the world come to?!

I know, I know… it all sounds a bit nesh in a really annoying snowflake-generation sort of way.

But like it or not, we rely on our phones for pretty much everything.

From surfing the net to social media, and from finding a date to organising our money, our phones are seemingly glued to our palms like digital shit to a digital blanket.

cruiser on highway - touring apps bikers
Love them or loathe them, we use smartphones for everything. Image via Cloney / Pixabay

Touring Apps For Bikers

As the years roll on, smartphones are fast becoming somewhat of a pre-requisite for bikers for route research, planning and navigation.

And in a world where sharing our adventures is the norm, the social factor of touring is becoming more and more of an indulgence for bikers across the globe.

So whether you’re a weekend rider looking for somewhere new to ride, or an experienced tourer looking for an all-in-one navigational and planning app, there’s something on this list for you.

We’ve also included below a few of the best community-focused apps to keep bikers in touch with friends and relatives worldwide.

montage of touring apps for bikers
Touring apps for bikers: GPS, route planners, and social

Essential Touring Apps For Bikers (GPS & Maps)

Maps.me

Thanks to its excellent offline mapping, this app is one of our top choices if you’re going off-grid and don’t have access to mobile internet or Wi-Fi.

Retrieving data from OpenStreetMap makes light work of adding POI’s, correcting routing mistakes, and editing maps.

With multiple graphic layers, bikers can pre-determine terrain. And that certainly helps with route planning if you’re on the gravelly stuff.

Furthermore, the integrated travel guides and voice-guided navigation makes it easy to visit the places you really want to see.

If you’re planning a trip with other bikers, you can also bookmark places of interest and share them with your group.

Along your route, Maps.me offers directions to various amenities. These include accommodation options, cash machines, places to eat and popular tourist attractions.

Another feature we like is the ability to find and book hotel rooms via booking.com.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: None
maps.me - touring apps for bikers
Maps.me is one of our favourite touring apps for bikers who are going off grid

Waze

With over 100 million users, Waze is the world’s largest community-based navigational app. And people who use it (known as Wazers) are all about efficiency – which means it’s consistently bang up to date.

Trusted by Uber drivers and commuters across the globe, Waze is a go-to app for simple navigation.

Considering it’s absolutely free, it would be daft not to have it on your smartphone – just in case.

And because it’s community-based, any obstructions, hazards, or roadworks along your route are updated in real-time – making it super helpful when routing through towns and cities.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: None
waze screenshots
A firm favourite for drivers and bikers alike, Waze is an essential touring apps for bikers

Google Maps

I don’t think I need to say much about Google Maps! If you have a smartphone, chances are you use Google Maps regularly enough.

From a touring perspective, though, it comes in handy simply due to the size of its coverage.

And as it’s the most used navigational aid in the world, you know you can rely on it.

One of the best things about Google Maps is its staggering ease of use. Intuitive to use, you can just set it up and let it do its thing.

Another nice feature is that it sends you usage reports. So at the end of your tour, you’ll see the places you’ve visited and the miles you’ve ridden.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: None
google maps - touring apps for bikers
Google Maps is free and accessible. And this makes it one of our favourite touring apps for bikers

OsmAnd

As with Maps.me, if you’re planning on doing some off-roading on your tour, OsmAnd is a beneficial app to have. The app illustrates offline maps from any region across the globe. A handy feature when riding on-road or off it.

But its usefulness expands beyond the dirt tracks thanks to some really user-friendly options whilst on the roads.

Along with voice-guided navigation, it also alerts you to speed limits, pedestrian crossings, stop signs and traffic lights – which we found particularly useful.

Once on the move, OsmAnd provides lots of information, including distance remaining, arrival time, lane assist and current speed. Turn-by-turn directions also include street names.

As with applications such as Waze or Google Maps, OsmAnd automatically re-routes you if you miss a turn. It also supports intermediate waypoints.

Other notable features include trip recording, numerous POI overlays and satellite view.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: None
osmand screenshot
OsmAnd is one of those essential touring apps for bikers who are touring off-road

Calimoto

Specifically designed for bikers, the default setting for Calimoto is to find routes that are twisty and exciting.

Due to its bias towards interesting roads, the app does a great job of introducing you to roads you never knew existed. And it’s also incredibly easy to plan routes.

As with some of the touring apps above, Calimoto provides bikers with functional points of interest, such as fuel stations and hotels, whilst still offering voice-guided navigation.

One of the things we liked about these functional POI’s is that they’re available via just one button. So finding the nearest fuel station or cafe becomes a thing of ease.

Upon starting a route, you are given the option of choosing from the fastest, shortest, or twistiest route.

And once moving, you are treated to a bounty of information – including current speed, distance remaining, altitude, and distance/time travelled.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: Optional premium features, from 6.99 – 99.99
calimoto - touring apps for bikers
For many bikers, Calimoto is one of the touring apps of choice when it comes to navigation

Essential Touring Apps For Bikers (Route Planners)

Best Biking Roads

For many people, Best Biking Roads is their go-to app for their initial route planning phase.

We actually use the desktop version more than the app, but both are highly useful.

The app design is intuitive, and it does an excellent job of displaying uploaded roads and routes near your current location. All of these can add a tonne of variation to your tour.

With a powerful filter system, you can filter roads by country, region, and even best rated.

Once you’ve ridden a route, you’re also invited to review it and add comments. This is to help other riders decide whether they should ride it too.

Upon selecting a route, users are shown star ratings for visibility, scenery, corners, straights, hazards and police presence.

You can also download the routes in GPX format that can then be uploaded to your navigation app of choice.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: Optional premium features, one-time payment of $3.99
best biking roads screenshots
Most riders we know use Best Biking Roads in one way or another – it’s one of the staple touring apps for bikers

MyRoute App

MRA isn’t the most well-known routing application out there, but it’s the one we use the most. (Although we upgraded to the paid version to get more out of it.)

Plotting routes is made simple – either by manually dropping waypoints on the map, or typing your desired location into the search box.

You can also edit names, colours, and icons of waypoints so you can see them at a glance.

With the paid version, there are other benefits. For example, you can split or combine routes and plot them on specific maps if you plan on exporting them to a sat nav.

There is also a handy option to reverse your route without having to manually re-order the waypoints.

Once your route is planned, you can simply use the integrated GPS to run it straight from the app.

One of the functions we love about MRA is that it also has a desktop version. This means you can plan routes on your laptop rather than fiddling around with your phone.

Once you open the app on your phone, you’ll find your route has been automatically added and is ready to go.

As an all-rounder, this is currently our route planning app of choice.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: Optional All-In-One premium features, €99 per year
my route app - touring apps for bikers
For us, MRA is one of the best all-round touring apps for bikers

Essential Touring Apps For Bikers: Social-Inspired

Eat Sleep Ride

ESR has arguably the largest online community in the motorcycle world. It’s promoted as a GPS app, but it provides quite a hefty amount of social-inspired features too.

The app is great for finding new routes courtesy of uploads from other bikers. But it’s also practical for tracking and recording your own routes.

Another great feature is the ability to plan group rides and keep track of your riding buddies.

If you like metrics, the app can also monitor riding information, including speed and lean angle.

Not only this, but you can save routes you have ridden, and you can also upload to the community base so that other people can enjoy it too.

With the paid version, the app also comes with Crashlight. This is an integrated safety measure that alerts specified contacts if it detects an accident.

All-in-all, ESR is a great, multifaceted little app if you want to look for new places to ride whilst indulging in a little bit of community niceness.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: Optional £14.99 per year for Crashlight
eat sleep ride screenshots
ESR is one of the world’s leading ‘social’ touring apps for bikers

Rever

Rever is another social app with many features as above. However, Rever is also suited to off-road tours as you can download routes and use them even when you have no phone signal.

As expected, you can plot and ride your own routes as well as keep up to date with friends.

It also has comprehensive community features such as finding fellow bikers in your vicinity. And if you’re into that kind of thing, it will point you in the direction of motorcycle hotspots and events in the area.

Furthermore, the app provides overviews of your saved routes – including sexy 3D virtual rides (paid version only.)

There is also integrated turn-by-turn guidance (paid version) which means you can plot your route and have GPS guidance all within one app.

As an all-rounder, this is one of our favourites.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: Optional premium features, $39.99 per year
rever app - touring apps for bikers
Rever is one of the most valuable touring apps for bikers offering some great features

Riser

As with Rever and Eat Sleep Ride, Riser is another social-inspired app.

But if route planning isn’t really your thing, Riser offers a functional system of recommending roads, routes, and points of interest that are off the beaten path.

With an emphasis on the social factor, Riser also makes it easy to document your trip and share your progress with like-minded bikers.

Unlike Rever, however, this app has voice-guided navigation free within the app. And you can choose whether you would like your route to be straight, curvy, or super curvy.

If you’re on a group ride, Riser gives you the option to start a ‘Pack Ride.’

Pack Ride shows each of the riders in your group on the map. Moreover, the app alerts the Pack if someone falls behind, and riders can notify the group should they need to stop or take a break.

The voice-guided navigation is basic, but it has everything you need – including time remaining, distance remaining and time of arrival.

In terms of contribution, you can tag points of interest using the community sharing options and help shape the trips of others.

  • Price: Free on iOS and Android
  • Subscription: Optional premium features, $59.99 per year
riser screenshots
With challenges and routes galore, Riser is one of the ultimate social touring apps for bikers

Touring Apps For Bikers: Conclusion

So whether you want old-school GPS or something to use as a social platform, there are plenty of touring apps for bikers available.

We’re miserable buggers here at Motorcycle Tourer. So for us, MyRoute-App provides a functional service that does exactly what it says on the tin.

But as far as touring apps for bikers go, it’s whatever floats your boat!


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