Written by Carl Parker. Posted in Gear
As minimalist riders we love anything that simplifies our kit while at the same time increasing its utility. So, getting our hands on Trail Tech’s Voyager Pro was something to get excited about. The dash of many small dual-sport and dirt bikes lack basic information, like the tachometer we get on street-oriented bikes. Although some would argue against it, knowing how hard your engine is working is useful. Also, how about knowing where you’re going or have been? Is it possible to get both navigation and motorcycle information in a clean and compact interface?
Trail Tech has taken a good shot at that question with the introduction of the Voyager Pro which sports a massive list of upgrades from the previous Voyager. The most notable improvement is the color touch screen is wonderfully bright and visible even in direct sunlight. The touch screen works with gloves and the pages changed quickly, immediately settling annoyance of a slow interface. While riding, the displayed tracks are very easy to see and the map moves along without excessive lags or skipping.
Maps are free to download and available for a wide range of continents to install via a microSD card (not included). Both relief and topo maps are available depending on the type of map data you’re looking for. Although it doesn’t provide turn-by-turn navigation like a standard GPS, we reckon this’ll be mostly used for off-road riding. Although street-address friendly navigation would be appreciated, if turn-by-turn navigation increases the cost or complexity of the Voyager Pro, we’re just as happy without it.
Customizing your information has never been easier. Everything from map to stopwatch screens bring this wonder-dash into a new age of functionality. The user screen allows you to choose exactly what information you want—conveniences like this are currently only found on the most expensive flagship ADV bikes.
In addition to the glove-friendly touch screen, we love that the Voyager Pro also has physical buttons to move through the many options. When the going gets rough, nothing can replace the positive tactile feel of a good physical button.
The downside of all this functionality is that the Voyager Pro consumes a fair amount of juice and will likely chew up your battery if left on overnight. There are options like having the system turn on when it detects certain activity, but we strongly recommend mounting this unit to a switched power supply. This means, however, that the unit will only charge while running.
Also, on top of the new features list is a hefty amount of Bluetooth integrations with your favorite Android or IOS smartphone. Connecting is painless and allows a ride-friendly interface to change tracks, and show incoming messages or calls. We don’t recommend handling complex communications while in the saddle, and not everyone will find these features useful, but if you do you’ll will find these features a genuine benefit.
More importantly, we wanted to see how well the Voyager Pro mounts to a bike. There was no more of a suitable bike in the ADVMoto garage than one of our project Yamaha WR250Rs. Like most dual-sports, the WR250R lacks a built-in tachometer which we were eager to get working with such a high revving thumper. To pick up the pulse information, a sensor wire had to be wrapped around the ignition coil without contacting the spark plug wiring itself. Relying on passive sensing seems like a great idea, but we had to see it work first.
Much of the unit worked flawlessly. The GPS status page started to find satellites and hone down on our position, and the screen was as easy to read standing still as in motion. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a trouble getting the tachometer to work—the readings were pegged all the time regardless of what Pulses Per Revolution (PPR) setting we chose. The best thing to do in a case like this is to call Trail Tech support. Much to their credit, we got an actual human being on the phone who said a new software patch was about to be released that allowed for more adjustment to the Tach Sensitivity setting. After applying the update, we saw a new option for low sensitivity and started playing around with the pulse per cycle settings. The displayed RPM range and red line can be set manually. We ultimately got it to work, but not perfectly. We had some erratic readings when initially starting the bike, however the gauge started to behave like a regular tachometer after the bike was moving.
Installing the wiring is the same as any electrical work you’d do on a bike, being careful about the routing is important and the provided harnesses are robust. The included L-shaped handlebar mount works well but will likely obscure your OEM gauge cluster. Mostly this means you won’t have visual access to idiot lights and turns signals. Thankfully, Trail Tech has recently introduced a Voyager Pro Indicator Dashboard which should alleviate some of these problems, albeit at additional cost. We’d recommend using a R.A.M. mount system as an alternative.
Ultimately, while we don’t currentl¬¬y rely on the tachometer for serious work like tuning, everything else works as expected, and then some. The Voyager Pro has more features than you can shake a stick at, and many are not covered here including the Buddy Tracking feature which we will discuss on the ADVMoto website. For a device of this complexity, Trail Tech did a wonderful job getting this done right off the bat and has become a welcome upgrade to an already great bike. TrailTech.net MSRP: $600
• Clear easy to read screen and tracks
• Intuitive menu navigating system
• Love having physical buttons
• Massive information center
• Bluetooth device friendly
• Pricey but worth it if you want all the functions in one device
• Power hungry
• Included bar mount will likely obscure your dual-sport’s OEM gauge/light cluster (unless you get the new Indicator dashboard)
• Swapping for stainless screws would be a nice touch
• Missing turn-by-turn navigation