We wondered what we did after reporting the news BMW Motorrad had partnered with a well-known navigation application, continuing efforts of motorcycle manufacturers to find different ways to ‘touch’ riders outside of traditional advertising and showrooms. The move also has bigger implications of directing the world of motorcycle applications onto new roads.
An idea of what we could expect from this growing part of our riding world came from Motomappers, who actually responded to our question of ‘What next?’ with ‘Us!’.
As of the time of writing, the navigation application called Scenic has just been released with the paint on the digital sale signs drying as we type. Comparing itself to Garmin Zumo and TomTom Rider, Scenic allows riders to spend less time on planning and documenting memorable riding moments and more time enjoying the freedom of the road.
According to Motomappers, where their navigation application excels is in the ease of creating and importing riding routes. The app promises many of the features found in dedicated GPS navigation routes without the need of carrying one around. Add to this, Motomapppers say, many of the routes designated as ‘scenic’ could be for cars or even bicycles and not necessarily what a motorcycle rider would like.
Also, going to the more technical side of navigation applications, importing and editing existing routes can be time consuming. Using the open-source system of GPX, Scenic’s very own ‘Scenify’ algorithm converts any GPX route or track into a navigable route, with Turn by Turn and Voice Guidance. For those readers who may feel they don’t have a GPX route or can’t make one, Clutch and Chrome has been assured creating such a file is as easy as dropping up to 100 pins as via points on an online map.
If this sounds interesting, it is. Guido van Eijsdenat from Motomappers says Rever nor any other navigation app can do this.
But creating routes isn’t necessary as the application stores those submitted by other users in a searchable database which features reviews and ratings. Once found, the application offers riders Auto Zoom Sensitivity, 3D/2D map choices, Orientation Lock mode which is helpful for those who find themselves on sharp curves, NorthUp/HeadingUp, Speeding Alerts as well as a Power Saver option.
While riding, the trip is being recorded by Scenic with any pictures taken or comments noted during the road trip being saved along with speeds and time.
The ease of creating custom routes along with many of the features found in Scenic are not found in other navigation applications making it stand out in a growing crowd of choices.
The next most obvious question would be how well it works. Prior to its release, thousands of users having been putting the navigation app through its paces, sort of a beta testing team and based on the quotes given in the press release, everyone seems to like it.
The list of features are as follows;
- Turn by Turn & Voice Navigation
- Turn any GPX Route or Track into a navigable route
- Offline Maps
- Create routes by dropping up to 100 via points
- Turn a previous trip into a navigable route
- Export trips and routes to GPX
- Scenic Route Database
- Trip Tracker & Recorder
- Syncing between devices
- Multiple Map and UI color schemes
- Trip sharing on Social Channels
Scenic is free to download, however, a premium, non-auto renewable subscription is required for Voice Guidance, GPX Import and GPX Export. This subscription is $0.99 per month or $8.99 for those who pay for a whole year.
The only other fee involved with using this application are the credits needed to download Offline Maps. As an example, California is 3 credits and Illinois 2. The pricing for credits are as follows;
- 1 Credit - $0.99
- 5 Credits - $2.99
- 10 Credits - $4.99
- 50 Credits - $9.99
- 100 Credits - $17.99
Once an Offline Map is downloaded, it enjoys free lifetime updates and it can be downloaded onto other devices.
All this points to a navigational application that not only continues the social side of motorcycle routes already seen from other products and adds an apparent ease and flexibility of creating new, fun rides.
It also tells us to be more careful when asking broad questions as we’ll probably get a pretty thorough answer.