Google Map App for Motorcycle Riders!

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Google Maps with Motorcycle Icon

In 2005 I bought my first motorcycle; a Honda Goldwing. Back then, there was really no apps. to use as a map, so many times I had to go “old school” and get a map at AAA.  GPS did exist by then and I carried one in my saddlebag, and if I happened to get lost, I would turn it on to figure out where I was.

By the time I got my Honda VTX in 2009, Google Maps was common, but with the technology of cell phones, my cell phone battery drained quickly. So I ended up getting a battery tender extension with a cigarette lighter to charge my cell phone which I kept in my saddlebag.

In 2014, I got a Harley Davidson Street Glide with a built-in GPS. So in less than ten years, I went from struggling to fold a map on my motorcycle seat in the middle of nowhere to a map that speaks to me and directs me automatically to the nearest gas station when I run low on gas.

When I use the map feature on my Harley or the Google Maps app., I set it to “avoid highway or tolls” so that I can enjoy long rides on desolate roads. So far, I’ve had no issues with it and it has taken me cross-country on a motorcycle twice and twice in my truck. But Google, always looking to improve, just made things better.

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Google Maps mobile app has a new feature for motorcyclists. It’s not here in the United States yet, but the feature has been appearing in parts of India on Android phones. On the screenshot above, you can see the new motorcycle icon.

Since India has a huge motorcycle and scooter riding population due to traffic, the app. seems to take users through roads that are narrower and not possible for larger cars to drive through, thus, giving users the opportunity to save time on their commute.

By some estimates, as much as seventy-percent of transportation in India is via a scooter or motorcycle. I continue reading reports of the booming motorcycle and scooter market for Honda in India and have read other reports where the most motorcycles including manufacturing is in India.

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While maybe this app. may not be applicable to the United States, it is still another great feature by Google especially if you are adventurous and in your travels rent a motorcycle while traveling abroad. There are plenty of countries that have roads that are blocked off to cars but not to riders of scooters and motorcycles, making your travel faster and more importantly, safer!
Now, there is no doubt that technology has made motorcycle riding more dangerous. With drivers texting or playing with their satellite radio, taking their eyes off the road, more than ever motorcycle safety is an issue. But, I figured with time the technology would improve to further protect us and make motorcycle riding more safe, and little by little we are beginning to see that shift.
 Safe travels.
MC Atty
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