|Trail Tech Voyager Pro
Takes a licking and keeps on ticking
by Martin Hackworth
Photos: Martin Hackworth, Trail Tech
Photo: Trail Tech
|If you ride off road motorcycles
already familiar with Trail
Tech and the wide variety of lights,
electrical supplies, gauges, navigation units and other aftermarket
accessories they design and sell. Many of you have probably at
least come across a Trail Tech Voyager -
which was, for a while, their flagship navigation unit. Despite some
limitations, the TT Voyager was favored by many riders for both the
reams of useful vehicle information it was capable of providing and a
hyper-accurate GPS unit with a screen that was easily readable in any
light. The TT Voyager was even the official
GPS unit for high-profile races such as King of the Motos.
The update to the Voyager, the Voyager Pro, has been anticipated for several years. But Trail Tech insisted on getting the Voyager Pro right before turning it loose. The year I’ve spent with two Voyager Pro’s in near daily use indicates to me that it was worth the wait.The Voyager Pro retains the features that made the Voyager very popular: great GPS antenna and chipset, a display that’s easily readable in any lighting conditions, micro SD card for auxiliary storage, easy upload and download of tracks and waypoints, reams of useful vehicle information from a galaxy of optional sensors - and adds to all of this a large, easy-to-read touchscreen, basemaps, a useful buddy-tracker and Bluetooth connectivity with a variety of devices.
Trail Tech also has available a number of useful Voyager Pro accessories including an external GPS antenna, several mounting systems, a protective cradle and a wall charger, among others. .
One of the more admirable qualities of the Voyager Pro is that it is one beefy unit. It takes a major hit to disable the screen (watch this). The mounts, however, are another story (I recommend the billet center mount). But the Voyager Pro itself is at least as sturdy and rugged as a normal GPS unit that one might have mounted in the same spot and is no more susceptible to damage.
Another commendable feature of the Voyager Pro is that it is almost infinitely, and easily, customizable. You can adjust basically every operational parameter and display via the glove friendly touchscreen or large buttons and easily navigable menus that make intuitive sense.
One new feature of the Voyager Pro is the buddy tracking system, which allows a VP user to track other nearby VP users via a shortwave radio connection. This feature does require an external antenna (which is included in vehicle specific kits) but it works extremely well. Line of sight I’ve yet to find the distance that it you do not see the icons representing your fellow riders on the screen. In normal riding with terrain obstacles I haven’t had any issues out to over a mile.
The buddy tracker does require the use of a small antenna. I would recommend for those riding in self-contained groups that they mount the antenna horizontally rather than vertically (in the manner that TT recommends). The frequency used by the buddy tracker is typically part of the marine spectrum where mounting the antenna vertically makes sense. For riding in woods and especially mountains horizontal mounting makes far more sense. But you whichever way that you mount the antenna just make sure that it has the same orientation as those of other units that you wish to track.
The most eagerly anticipated feature of the Voyager Pro was the inclusion of detailed basemaps. No more tracks and waypoints on an otherwise blank screen. The basemaps are not as good as those available on some GPS units (like my Garmin GPSMAP 64ST) but they are still pretty good. It's my understanding that future firmware upgrades will allow for the import of more detailed map sets.
Though each Voyager Pro is available in vehicle specific kits it is entirely possible to move a VP from vehicle to vehicle if you don’t care about information accumulated in the vehicle specific profile. You'll also have to have a way to power it - though the internal battery life seems to be at least as good as any battery powered GPS. The Voyager Pro could, in many cases, completely replace the stock vehicle gauge cluster.Installation for each of my units took less than an hour. For those upgrading from Voyager units the sensors are the same. I’ve found the GPS-based speed and distance computations to be reliable and accurate without installing the wheel sensor. The only sensors that I used were the radiator fin temperature sensor and the inductive tach sensor which I use mainly to turn the unit on and off automatically. Figuring out the best way to externally power the unit is about the only thing that slows down the installation process and even that is easy following the supplied instructions.
All in all I find the TT Voyager Pro to be well worth the $599.95 MSRP. It's my favorite electronic dirt bike gizmo by a mile. It has the potential to replace several devices in one unit. In virtually every situation that I've encountered the Voyager Pro GPS is as accurate as my uber precise Garmin GPSMAP 64ST - and that's without the external antenna. The large touchscreen works with gloves and is easy to read in any lighting condition. The VP is so crammed full of useful features and adjustments that it'd take more pages than the Muller Report to list all of them.
Verdict: you want one.
Photo: Martin Hackworth
Photo: Martin Hackworth
|Trail Tech Voyager Pro
The Good: Large, easy-to-read touchscreen works with gloves and is visible in any light
The Rad: Amazingly accurate
The Gnarly: If you get lost now your nav skills really do suck.
Trail Tech provided us with two Voyager Pro's for evaluation.