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Best Trip Planning Apps for Motorcycle Camping and Touring

I wanted to plan a motorcycle trip around Colombia and went onto the internet to ask which apps people liked to use. I got a ton of great responses and thought that I would turn it into a little article to help people out. A good thing to note about all these apps is that you can download offline maps to your phone which is great since you can’t always get a cell signal while out exploring.

Medellin, Colombia Motorycle Rentals
Medellin, Colombia Motorycle Rentals

Google Maps - Good ol’ Google Maps: easy and intuitive to use and very accurate. Saving locations in advance and downloading offline maps are very useful. I doubt any other app has more data and better functionality. It’s also easy to switch between satellite, elevation, and classic mode. It really helps to know where the national forest boundaries are for dispersed camping and classic mode shows all the creeks and streams.

Unfortunately google maps doesn’t really let you pick out the twisties and stay on them and will instead try to reroute you to the highway.

Furkot - Based on Google maps, Furkot adds a bunch of useful things for planning trips, like even if you don't use it to find where to stop, it shows waypoints, stops and overnight stops as different icons, different days in different colors, and allows for you to set maximum mileages and time-riding per-day

You can also plan a whole road trip including side trips and it’ll calculate metrics like daily distance, daily time en route, mpg, etc.

You can even plan out gas stops and lodging (including links to booking websites) along the route.

The developers have really worked to gear the routing and such around motorcycle travel and includes an "off-road" setting for trails.

Also, it exports in all the formats, so you can use the routes in a proper satnav.

Furkot can also be used in conjunction with Scenic (an iOS navigation app) using route export. However, this year I have discovered that you can simply tap the navigate button while viewing one leg of travel and it can send that route directly to Google Maps for turn by turn.

Scenic Motorcycle Touring - For on-the-bike routing, there is an app called Scenic, The developer is a rider, and has really set this one up for motorcycling.

Scenic will directly import routes from Furkot, RouteYou and online route planners. The Scenic WebApp also makes it easy to import GPS files (GPX, KML, KMZ, GDB, ITN) and Google (My) Maps URLs.

Of course Scenic wouldn't be a good alternative to Motorcycle GPS units if it didn't offer navigation. The navigation screen has been especially designed for use on the motorcycle, with large fonts, a clear route line and a screen layout that enables you to see next turns in a quick glance. And of course Scenic also gives voice instructions (in 21 languages). Next to that Scenic has special features to guide you to the start point of a route and skip via points if you take a (deliberate or accidental) detour.

You can pay for the unlimited version (not cheap for an app, but cheaper than a dedicated GPS) as I use it even in my car and do not do off-road riding (yet) and bought the credits (pretty cheap) for the states where I travel most.

The developer is also responsive to questions and support and maintains an active Q&A and Bug reporting thread on for the app as well, and has been incorporating a lot of the suggestions (like direct import from Furkot).

The only drawback right now is it is only available for iOS devices, and we're still waiting on a big update (June, hopefully) for a full-screen iPhone X version.

iOverlander - iOverlander is a free database of places for self-reliant travelers going to remote destinations. It enables it’s users to submit, amend and find information includes information on camping sites, hotels, restaurants, mechanics, water, propane filling and may other categories that are important to travelers who are exploring off the beaten path.

Although information contained in the app is crowdsourced through fellow travelers, the app is filled with accurate information with the iOverlander team constantly working to improve and moderate the data by cleaning up descriptions, merging duplicates and making everything neat and tidy.

Gaia GPS - Gaia is great because it shows forest roads and also because you can overlay multiple different layers like topographical, street, outdoor, aerial, etc. You can map out your trip on the web and it'll sync down to your mobile device. It also supports offline maps. Whats really cool is that you can make a Google Earth flyover of a GaiaGPS track.

There's a free basic version but to get all the layers they offer you'll need to get the subscription version which is about $40 a year. It sounds like a lot but you can use it to map out moto, camping, hiking and kayak type trips so it can be a good investment for some people.

Honorable Mention:

CoPilot - Built for you, the driver. CoPilot is always ready to guide you with clear directions, reliable offline maps and powerful trip planning. CoPilot does not need a mobile connection so there’s no risk of being left stranded without maps in mobile dead spots or incurring high data usage fees.

Roadtrippers - The only map built for travelers. Whether planning an epic cross-country road trip or a weekend escape, with Roadtrippers you're always 5 minutes away from something awesome. Plan trips directly from the app or on the web at, then share them with friends. Friends can add suggestions to your trip itinerary and travel with their favorite navigation app.

Backcountry Navigator - BackCountry Navigator is mobile mapping software for outdoor recreation allowing you to explore your world beyond the limits of roads and cell coverage. Plan and navigate using offline topographic maps and aerial photography. When enjoying outdoor recreation, you often don’t want to worry about internet access and cell coverage. You can safely store maps on your storage card and use them when you need them.

Galileo Pro - Based on open data from OpenStreetMap project and updated monthly, Galileo provides detailed and easy to use offline maps with millions of points of interest.

MapFactor GPS Navigation - MapFactor Navigator is a free GPS navigation app with free offline maps from OpenStreetMaps (incl. free monthly maps update). You can navigate without an internet connection in 200+ countries. Intuitive voice turn-by-turn navigation in different languages, speed limits, camera warnings and many other useful features.


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