10 Essential Touring Apps For Bikers (And Why They’re Good To Have)

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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.

man on bike with phone - touring apps for bikers
Love them or loathe them, we use smartphones for everything

Touring Apps For Bikers

As the years roll on, smartphones are fast becoming somewhat of a pre-requisite for bikers in terms of 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.

rever screenshots
Touring apps for bikers: GPS, route planners, and social (Image: GoodandGeeky)

Essential Touring Apps For Bikers (GPS & Maps)

Maps.me

Thanks to its elaborate 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 the correction of routing mistakes, the adding of POI’s, or the editing of maps really easy.

With multiple graphic layers, bikers can pre-determine terrain which certainly helps with route planning.

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; such as 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 many an Uber driver as well as commuters across the globe, Waze is a go-to app when it comes to 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. It’s just so intuitive. And generally, 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 useful app to have. The app illustrates offline maps from any region across the globe which certainly proves useful when riding off-road.

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

Not only does it provide bikers with voice-guided navigation, but 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 a multitude of information including remaining distance, time of arrival, lane assist and current speed as well as turn-by-turn directions and street names.

As with applications such as Waze or Google Maps, OsmAnd also does a good job of automatically re-routing if you miss a turn as well as supporting 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.

The app provides users with an intuitive way to plan roundtrips whilst still giving you the option to pick the general direction or keep it randomised.

As with some of the above touring apps, 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 points 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 an abundance of information; including current speed, distance remaining, altitude, distance travelled, and 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 when it comes to their initial route planning phase.

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

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

The filtering system is very powerful, allowing you to filter out 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 others 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 which you can then upload 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 most often. Although we upgraded to the paid version to get more out of it.

Plotting routes is made simple either through 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 a multitude of useful benefits – such as splitting or combining routes and even plotting on different maps (if you are planning on exporting the route 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 the route 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, 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 biggest 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 pretty useful 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’re into 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; an integrated safety measure which 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 you’d expect, you can plot and ride your own routes as well as keep up to date with friends.

It also has a few nice community features such as finding fellow bikers in your vicinity. It will also point you in the direction of motorcycle hotspots and events in the area.

Furthermore, the app does a good job of providing overviews of your saved routes; including a sexy 3D virtual ride (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-rouder, 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, 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.’

This 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 quite 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 gallore, 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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