|Trail Tech Voyager
What doesn't it do?
by Martin Hackworth
Photos: Martin Hackworth, Trail Tech
Trail Tech provided us
with a Voyager and
top mount kit for the 2013 Tour
of Idaho. As we
opined in our recent Tour of
Idaho Tested feature, Rarely
have we been
so completely blown away by a product that was completely off our
the most useful instrument of it's type we've ever used on a
and it will be a fixture on all future Tours.
A few months down
the road we are still kind of stuck on all of that. The TT Voyager is
a pretty darned handy accessory.
As we wrote earlier, the sheer amount of information available through easy to access displays: speed (two ways), engine RPM, coolant temperature, ambient temperature, charging system voltage, GPS track and more is incredible. GPS-linked data logging capabilities are equally impressive and getting data in and out of the unit, via a field-swappable Micro SD card, could not be easier or more simple. The display automatically adjusts to a variety of lighting conditions and darkness.
visible feature of the Voyager is the incredibly easy to read
x 400 WQVGA LCD display. The slickest digital gauge
the world is useless if you can't read it. Note that in the lede photo
difficult lighting conditions, the Voyager remains easy to read (at any
angle, btw) while the GPS unit is not - even when tilted to the optimum
viewing angle. There have been
exactly zero conditions, day or night, in which I have not been able to
display. We've never quite seen anything quite like it.
Navigating the Voyager is easy as well. Toggling between the screens and intuitive menus is a snap via a large joystick that is easy to operate - even with gloves. Once installed, the Voyager is very easy to use. One ride is enough to acquaint oneself with the unit's various screens, settings and menus - some of which are customizable. The amount of information that the Voyager keeps track of and displays is amazing. It's a little like having a HAL 9000 strapped to your handlebars.
Mounting options (especially with the optional top mount kit) are plentiful. Installation is straightforward with simple tools but does take a few hours that are mostly spent getting external power to the unit (though it will run off an internal battery) and various sensors in place. Calibrating the wheel speed sensor is probably the most time-consuming part of setup and even that is undemanding - even for someone like me who has to get my 11-year old to figure out the TV controller at home.
The exemplary feature of the TT Voyager, in our view, is the GPS. Even without deploying the external antenna, the Voyager is the most reliable and accurate GPS unit in our considerable arsenal (rivaled only by the Strava app in my smartphone). Not once during the 2013 Tour of Idaho did I lose a GPS signal. Sometimes when the Magellan and Garmin units would show me off the track (typically in the trees or deep down in a valley), the Voyager was spot on. Again, that's without deploying the external antenna. We were able to upload from our Voyager a hyper accurate track of the 2013 Tour that, in places, even indicated what side of the trail we stopped to take a break on. The RideLeader software supplied (via download from their website) by Trail Tech is actually pretty good, but I had no problem exporting the native gpx files into other platforms that I prefer.
The only knock on using the existing Voyager as a GPS unit is the inability to upload a basemap. When using the Voyager as a GPS unit you are simply following a track on the screen. For the time being we are still carrying basemap equipped GPS units for the Tour of Idaho and general exploring. That, however, is likely to change. Read on.
The single purchasing caveat with this unit is that we believe that you really need the optional top mount kit to keep the Voyager out of harm's way. Thusly equipped, our Voyager has survived and thrived amidst the usual assortment of catastrophes associated with our comical two-wheeled adventures in the wilds. Along those lines the Voyager happens to be, I can assure you, completely waterproof.
As you are, no doubt, able to ascertain by now, we think that the Voyager is really good. But, according to Trail Tech, it's about to get better. The next generation, which we hope to get our hands on soon, will have a bigger, color screen and a fully functioning GPS with the ability to upload base maps in addition to tracks. We'll bin our entire collection of existing dirt bike GPS units the day the package arrives from Trail Tech with the new Voyager. We can't wait.
MSRP: Voyager - $279.95, top mount kit - $89.95
The Good: Lots of information, easily accessible.
The Rad: The most accurate GPS we own - and it's only half functional.
The Gnarly: "Open the pod bay doors HAL..." "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that."
Our take on the TT Voyager in the 2013 Tour of Idaho.
|Check out our gallery of cool places to which our Trail Tech Voyager has taken us this year.|