Two Strikes

The Strike GPS, “The GPS made for motorcyclists by motorcyclists”.

I bought one.

After a very short time it broke down and was replaced under warranty by a slightly upgraded subsequent model.  After a similar period of use, that too has broken down.  I am not going to try another warranty claim.

Two Strikes and they are out as far as I am concerned.

I shall write it off to experience and buy a Garmin Zumo 660.

At first the Strike functioned pretty much as one might expect, except that because it booted up from an SD card, it was pretty slow to get going.  The first thing I learned was that I could not copy the boot files onto a larger and faster card, because it was locked.  Among other things, this meant there was very little space on the card for additional data such as tracks saved from Google Earth, or music files to listen to while riding. Not a great loss, since I have an MP3 player, and find I don’t want to listen to music while riding anyway.

The manufacturers claim the Strike Genius Motorcycle GPS is the best motorbike GPS on the market. They say it is made by bikers – for bikers. If that were really the case would not one of the options of vehicle type in use be a motorcycle?  The machine gave me the choice of truck, car, aircraft, public transport (!!!) and bike.  I told it “bike”.


When I planned a ride to Perth it informed me the trip would take around 9 hours.  It assumed I would be pedalling!


They also claimed:

Rugged & Weather Proof

Made specifically for motorbikes, the Strike Genius GPS can handle the rugged conditions of the Australian outback. Whether the GPS is battling bulldust blasting away at at 100 km/h or humid tropical rain attempting to penetrate the outer shell, the Genius is the ultimate when it comes to toughness.


No arguments about weatherproofing, if you mean waterproof. Not so if you are riding in blazing sunshine on a 40 degree day.  It certainly seemed to be affected by heat. And as for  rugged?  Hmmm.  Within months my GPS was non functional.  It continually rebooted, got lost, and finally gave up entirely.  The SD card disintegrated.  I sent it back for repair or replacement and was issued the new updated model, The Strike Genius BT Motorcycle GPS. The Strike Genius BT GPS does not come with an SD card (as the Genius FM did), as all software is now included on the device.  Should be better right?  By midsummer the damn thing was behaving just as poorly as its predecessor did. The screen goes white. If I hold it tight along the bottom, the image comes back.  It seems we have an intermittent connection.  My opinion is that the device just cannot take the heat of a Western Australian Summer, and the vibrations of a motorcycle.  Not both anyway.
Their other claims were exaggerations too, to say the least:

Anti-Glare Design & Glove Friendly Touchscreen

The raised top and sides helps protect the screen from glare giving the rider the best possible screen clarity. The Strike Genius is glove friendly to touch with plenty of hand clearance and large screen icons to ensure dialing in the next location is a breeze.

Glove friendly?  No.  Not even chubby-finger friendly.  I did not see any anti-glare properties either.  It was difficult to read without shielding it with your hands.  Not something to do while riding.


The Strike Genius features fast and easy to use navigation software with the number one map provider in the business – Sensis Whereis Maps.    The intelligent software is responsive and has been calibrated for motorcyclists to allow for easy navigation. 

I repeat. Why is a motorcycle not an option in the vehicle list?

Perhaps we can blame the Western Australians for the very poor mapping of their region.  Tertiary roads and backroads just do not come up on the GPS.  Yet sometimes it tried to take me along some firebreak track, or fenceline, that it believed was a formed road.

To be fair, Tim says his Garmin does that too.  I have also noticed that Google Maps cannot find routes around the backroads of the Great Southern.  In fact I have sent in quite a few notifications to Google pointing out that there really is a road between points A and B in various locations I have been riding.  I enjoy the grateful acknowledgement and the fact that the roads soon appear on the map.  It is nice to be able to contribute.


The BT (Bluetooth) replacement Strike was a lot faster in operation than the older FM predecessor.  I think perhaps also, that it made fewer mistakes around Perth than the older one.  It did not try to take me the wrong way up one-way roads for example, but it still informed me I was exceeding the speed limit when I was not.  For a while I used it beside Tim’s Garmin.  The Garmin definitely made less navigational mistakes.

I actually preferred the FM to Bluetooth.  I have no other BT devices, and without the FM, I could not listen to the device’s driving instructions on my car radio, if I was using it in the car.     That was a problem.

Pros:  It worked reasonably well for a while.  I fell in love with the English female voice, and named her Lara.  I hope she is in my next GPS.

Cons: I am old school and still expect electronic devices that cost more than a hundred dollars to outlast me.

Summary:  Considering the price, look elsewhere.

I am.


About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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9 Responses to Two Strikes

  1. Tony says:

    Thanks Alan , my experience has been the same as yours. The replacement they sent me is working fine. I have no complaints at the moment and sincerely hope they can improve the reliability. It took nearly 4 weeks to get a replacement out of them under the guarantee. I have seen many complaints about the Garmin as well ??!!! What do we do??


    • Alan says:

      A friend dismantled my strike and got it going again. He said it had been rather badly assembled. If you know a tech wiz he may be able to help. Meantime I bought a Garmin Zumo which has been going well with no problems at all in the same conditions .

      I use the Strike in my work car now, and keep the Garmin for the bike.


  2. Anthony Lee says:

    I also have a Strike. It has stopped Navigating totally. Where can I send it to for repair/replacement.?


  3. artist01John says:

    Good job Alan:) Thanks for all your efforts..
    I’m in Margaret River and so enjoyed the local relevance included in your report.
    Possibly riding East soon, so researching best set-ups.
    From what i have read so far, in regards to Moto-GPS, i think i’ll revert to old school navigational techniques..(Turn right at Norseman, head towards sunrise and away from sunset. If i do get lost at any stage, i will call that part “Adventure Riding”). I do ride an XT660Z after all !! (Yamaha Tenere). Will at least take a few relevant pages from map book for the tricky bits.
    I do hope that prices come down and reliability goes up on GPS eventually though. Garmin Montana 600/650 seemed to rate well, but pretty pricey. I could “get lost” for 6000 km’s for the same money.

    Enjoyed reading your writing and found it inspiring.
    Thanks again …John:)


  4. Kerry says:

    Excellent review Alan: really enjoyed reading it.

    One of the members on the bike forum I frequent put his up for sale: practically brand new, $220 including postage. Hadn’t heard of them before and came across your blog when searching for reviews. Only other user review I’d found previously said that it wasn’t possible to get the unit repaired once it was out or warranty. Apparently they offer a replacement for around 75% of retail price.

    Crazy stuff, no motorbike listed in the device. Maybe they’ve used generic software to improve their margins. I’d be concerned about map updates, something that Garmin’s very good on. So, definitely not going to be buying one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. slowenglish says:

    Thanks Alan. Much appreciated. Cheers!


  6. slowenglish says:

    Interesting review. I too have purchased a Strike Motorcycle BT GPS. My first device also broke. After 4 days it just froze and was ‘dead’. They replaced it with another. Their initial response to my problem was fast and customer friendly. I was impressed. In the end however, they took nearly 3 weeks to get the replacement to me. That is working okay thankfully. Your experiences in the heat with the device don’t sound too good. It’s been freezing here in Victoria lately and at least the cold doesn’t bother it. Let’s hope mine holds up in the coming summer. I also note that the user documentation is quite scant. For example, I don’t know where to put the music tracks I want to listen to. As always, I guess I’ll be using trial and error to find out.
    Overall, I am nervous. The GPS software does seem to work okay and so far has not led me astray in country Victoria. But I’ll reserve judgement on that. I too have a mate who has a Garmin 550 and he is happy with it (although it too has broken down and been replaced under warranty). Silly old me was trying to save money and I believed the advertising spin for the Strike. I’m stuck with it now and will persevere until it breaks. You have a cool blog here which I will further explore.
    We share a passion for motorcycling. And your honesty is most refreshing.


    • Alan says:

      Thanks for the kind words Rob. I like your blog and the premise it is based on. I think it will also be an interesting historical record if it survives into the future. When I returned 27 years ago to NZ with a foreign wife, I trained as an English as second language tutor. It seems to me that you are making a serious contribution!


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