BMW Motorrad Navigator II

Almost two years ago, BMW revolutionised long distance route finding for drivers and riders by introducing the BMW Motorrad Navigator - one of the most wide-ranging satellite navigation systems ever made. Now, with the introduction of the Navigator II, the original concept has been considerably improved - ergonomically and technically.

The original Navigator's main features included vehicle versatility (despite its name the BMW Navigator could be used on any vehicle); PC integration (it was possible to download supplied map data for many countries, and routes could be planned in advance on a home computer); automatic re-routing to avoid traffic or hold ups; turn-by-turn visual and voice guidance; and comprehensive route data and topographical information. The Navigator also proved to be a reassuring safety item for hikers and mountaineers.

The vastly improved BMW Motorrad Navigator II (developed in cooperation with Garmin) retains the original model's functionality but incorporates the latest computer technology, advanced features, and a number of unique additions and improvements.

While still a universal product, the new unit has ergonomic enhancements specifically designed to assist operation and use on motorcycles. For example, the Navigator II is completely fuel and water-resistant and can be operated with gloved fingers by pressing the larger and wider-spaced function buttons on the unique mounting cradle. This cradle also allows for use via voice guidance. Gloved, touch screen operation on the anti-reflection screen is also possible.

The Navigator II is powered by plugging it into one of BMW's on-board power sockets that come as standard on all of its machines or by the utilisation of the rechargeable battery pack - making it completely portable. Alternatively, it can be permanently integrated on all current models in BMW's motorcycle range by fitting a model-specific connector lead. Riders of other machines can use the Navigator II with minimal mounting modifications and by connecting it to the battery, or fitting a generic connector lead.

Technically, the BMW Motorrad Navigator II is more advanced than any comparable product. The current device is five times faster than the original model thanks to the latest RISK processor and as a result route recalculation is much faster; memory has been expanded from 128Mb to 512Mb (in practice, this means that most of Europe can be held on the one memory card); GPS 'Phase Trak 12' receiver for 12-satellite reception and an accuracy tolerance of 15 metres; USB (1.1) and infrared ports; compass facility for off-road riding; internal patch antenna, and a compact flash slot.

Available in the spring of 2004, the BMW Motorrad Navigator II comes equipped with high-resolution Map Source European City Navigator data and features 16 countries. It measures a compact 14.3 x 8 x 5 cm and weighs 420g (without connectors or cradle). The price has yet to be finalised.

Published : 29/12/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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