Back in 2020, I jumped into the wonderful work of Motorcycles after a decade-long break. As I spent more and more time riding, I discovered a variety of Motorcycle Smartphone Apps that could not only track my rides but allow me to share them with friends. I downloaded several of these apps and began experimenting – among them was Calimoto.
Calimoto is a Free Smartphone App available for both Apple and Android. Its purpose is to allow users to record their Motorcycle Rides and serve as a Trip Planner. Calimoto is packed with features and offers a Premium Subscription for even more features, including Offline Maps, Personalized Ride Statistics, and Twisty Routes.
My initial experience with Calimoto was short-lived. I used the app for several months before signing up for a Premium Rever Account. After a year of using Rever, I decided to change things up and purchase a Premium Calimoto Subscription. This review is based on my experiences using the premium subscription on my iPhone for the past year.
Table of Contents
Calimoto is a motorcycle navigation app developed in 2017 by a team of motorcycle enthusiasts based in Germany. The app provides riders with a tailored navigation experience, taking into account their unique needs. Traditional navigation apps are generally designed for cars and do not offer the customization riders enjoy, such as avoiding highways or finding the most scenic routes.
Calimoto Pricing and Features
|Calimoto Full Maps Package|
One Time Payment of $139.99
$8.49 Weekly or $59.99 Annual
|Tour Catalog||Tour Catalog||Tour Catalog|
|Access to 50,000 Ride Recommendations||Access to 50,000 Ride Recommendations||Access to 50,000 Ride Recommendations|
|Trip Planner||Trip Planner||Trip Planner|
|Round Trips||Round Trips||Round Trips|
|Special Motorcycle Map||Special Motorcycle Map||Special Motorcycle Map|
|Points of Interest||Points of Interest||Points of Interest|
|Web Trip Planner||Web Trip Planner||Web Trip Planner|
|–||Worldwide Trip Planner with Offline Maps||Worldwide Trip Planner with Offline Maps|
|–||–||Twisty Route Option|
|–||–||Terrain and Satelite Maps|
|–||–||Photos along the Route|
|–||–||Sights and Other Points of Interest|
|–||–||Weather Forecast on the Map|
|Voice Navigation||Voice Navigation||Voice Navigation|
|–||–||Danger Zone Alert|
|Track Rides||Track Rides||Track Rides|
|Ride Statistics||Ride Statistics||Ride Statistics|
|–||–||Personal Statistics and Diagrams|
|Share Rides||Share Rides||Share Rides|
The Calimoto Basic Package is free and provides the average Motorcycle Rider with several useful features. These features range from Ride Tracking (which will plot your ride on a map for viewing and sharing) to a full-blown Trip Planner, which I find most useful outside of the app via a Web Browser on a Desktop / Laptop computer.
A nice additional feature is turn-by-turn navigation which is often a premium upgrade on Motorcycle Apps. This will display your route on your smartphone (mounted like a GPS Navigation Unit) or through Voice Prompts via your preferred Bluetooth Communicator.
Full Maps Package
The Full Maps Package is effectively the Free Calimoto Basic Package with the addition of Offline Maps. It requires a one-time payment of $139.99 for lifetime access. This feature is most useful to those riding in areas with limited cell service where maps would ordinarily fail to load.
The Premium Subscription for Calimoto is available in two varieties. You can use it short-term and pay by the week at $8.49, or you can choose the annual subscription at $59.99 per year. Unless you plan on going on a Motorcycle Trip and only need Calimoto for a few days, I would stay away from the Weekly Subscription as it becomes wildly expensive.
The benefit of Calimoto Premium is that it grants you access to various features that aren’t available in the free model. The two most popular features, which make Calimoto feel different from its competitors, are the Personalized Ride Statistics and Twisty Route option.
Calimoto for the iPhone
I want to clarify that while Calimoto is available on both Apple and Android devices, I own and use an Apple iPhone 13 Pro. Anytime the Calimoto Motorcycle App is discussed, I am referring specifically to the iOS version.
When you open the Calimoto Motorcycle App, it defaults to the Map Tab. The focus is on the Map itself, where you can see ghost lines of all your past routes (you can also turn this off in the settings if it makes your map look too busy). On the top right of the screen, there are three buttons. The top is for Map Layers, the middle is to zoom in on your current GPS location, and the bottom is for the weather.
On the bottom right corner of the map, you’ll see a red button to record your ride. Tapping this button will cause the app to begin tracking your location on the map as well as enable the various sensors in your smartphone to collect data. This data is presented to you at the end of the ride so that you can see things such as top speed, average speed, elevation change, ride duration, etc.
Below the map is a search bar that you can use to enter a destination. If your destination is found, you then have the option to begin planning a route to that destination.
Tapping the New Route button will begin planning a new ride. You can set your start location based on your current GPS location or by searching for a destination. You also have the option to add Via Points (Waypoints) along the route. This allows you to fine-tune the route and ensure that you travel in a specific direction rather than allowing Calimoto to do all the work. Finally, there is a destination field where you can search for your endpoint.
The three dots in the lower right corner will expand your ride options. Here you can reverse the route, share the route, or discard the route.
Before starting the ride, you can have Calimoto adjust the route for Fastest, No Highway, Winding, or Twisy (Premium Only). Once your settings are finalized, tap the Calculate Ride button to get started. Turn-by-turn navigation will start automatically. Doing nothing will keep your screen on to serve as a GPS (you can toggle voice cues on and off). If you do not have a phone mount, turn on voice cues, turn off the screen, and slip the phone into your pocket to listen to prompts through your Bluetooth communicator.
New Round Trip
At first glance, you might think that a New Round Trip is simply directions to and from a selected destination. While you would be correct under normal circumstances, Calimoto uses it to describe one of their excellent features.
Tapping on the New Round Trip button will pull up a screen with a radial dial. On the outer dial, turn it to a ride distance you would like to take. The inner dial is used to select a direction of travel. Once your distance and direction are selected, select your ride type (Winding or Twisty – Again, Twisty is a Premium Feature) before tapping on Calculate. Calimoto will now generate a Loop for your to ride using your parameters.
The calculated route will go in the general direction you selected, but the mileage may vary from your initial input. Expect a distance of +/- 10 Miles to account for your selected ride type and roads necessary for the trip.
As you plan routes to various places, you can mark them as favorites to recall them later easily. I like to limit my favorites to only a few places, such as Home and Work. This keeps my list short and concise to act more like a quick select toolbar rather than a large list of places I want to ride to eventually.
If you allow Calimoto access to your smartphone’s contact list, it will allow you to quick-select the addresses of your contacts. This makes it quick and convenient to throw together a quick ride to a friend’s house. Only three contacts will appear (in Alphabetical Order); to see more, you must click “Show All.”
As the name implies, Recently Searched is your search history within Calimoto. The list shows the three most recent searches. To see more, click Show All for a complete list.
The Rides tab can be accessed by touching the button on the lower left of the screen. This tab is a collection of Planned Rides, Bookmarked Rides, Rides Shared with you, and Completed Rides. In addition, he also has popular routes as suggestions for your next trip.
By tapping on Planned Rides, Calimoto will load a list of all the routes you have planned previously – both complete and incomplete. Under each heading, there will be distance, anticipated travel time, and the Calimoto Twisty Road Score. Tapping on the three dots will expand options to Delete, Share, or Export the GPX File for the Planned Ride.
Tapping on a ride will expand it and allow you to rename it and add or view personal notes. From this screen, you can load it into the Ride Map and begin the route if you wish.
Tapping on the button for Bookmarked Rides will effectively do the same thing as opening the Planned Rides. The main difference is that these rides are limited to those you flagged as “Bookmarked.”
Shared with Me
Tapping on the button for Shared with Me will effectively do the same thing as opening the Planned Rides. The main difference is that these rides are limited to those sent to you by friends. Rides will also appear here if you click a Calimoto Link and load the info into Calimoto rather than a web browser.
For instance, if you click this link on your smartphone, it will load the information into Calimoto and save it under Shared with Me. If you were curious, the link is to the Map from our WaltInPA Discord Server Group Ride to the Loius J. Moscaro Automotive Museum.
Tapping on the button for Ridden will effectively do the same thing as opening the Planned Rides. The main difference is that these rides are all completed and have additional statistics associated with them. Depending on your Calimoto Plan, you can see Ride Stats (Calimoto Basic) and Personal Stats (Calimoto Premium).
Near My Location
Scrolling down the page, you’ll find an area labeled Near My Location. Here Calimoto will list all of the public rides shared from your area. Since there are no submittal criteria for these public rides, they can be a hodge-podge of maps. Some will contain a 20 Mile Loop to nowhere in particular, and others will be full-blown tours with photos included.
Scrolling farther down the page, you’ll find an area labeled Worldwide Rides. These are very similar to the Rides Near Me, except they are rides that feature locations worldwide. These tend to be featured tours of substantial length. Think of them like bucket list rides if you find yourself traveling to another country.
The Profile tab can be accessed by touching the button on the lower right of the screen. This tab is a collection of settings that can be changed within the app. It also provides access to the Maps that you have downloaded through Calimoto.
Settings and Offline Maps
In the Calimoto Settings and Offline Maps Tab, you can access account options and access maps you’ve downloaded from the App. If you are looking to cancel your Calimoto Premium Subscription, that must be done outside of the app. In the case of the iPhone, you’ll find the option under Settings > Apple ID > Subscriptions.
The My Services heading is effectively an advertisement area for Calimoto features services such as Accident Clams Assessments. Through this button, you can request a free legal case evaluation. There is a disclaimer, however, that claims assessments are only available for cases in Germany.
In the event of an accident, I would suggest seeking local legal council to assess your incident.
The My Garage section of Calimoto allows you to add individual motorcycles to your account. I have had trouble with this feature as the app only seems to like using a single vehicle. By using the Calimoto Website, you can add additional motorcycles without issue.
The Calimoto Website
In addition to the Smartphone App, Calimoto has a Web Interface that allows you to interact with the service similarly. Personally speaking, I find the Web Interface much easier to plan long trips as it gives you more screen real estate to work with. In the year I’ve been using Calimoto Premium, I haven’t found anything on the website I couldn’t do in the app, and vice versa.
The Calimoto Trip Planner works like most GPS Navigation Services. There is space to search for an address, and if found, it can be set as a Start Point, Destination, or Via Point. Right-clicking anywhere on the map will also allow you to set a specific point rather than searching for an address.
Once a Start Point and Destination are established, you can set the ride type – Fastest, Curvy, or Twisty (Premium Feature). If the route goes in a way you do not care to travel, inserting a Via Point is a quick and easy way to massage the route.
Once finished, the route can be saved to your Calimoto Profile and called up in the App for future riding.
If you click on the More Dropdown, you can also plan a Round Trip in the same manner as you can in the app. Additionally, routes can be Exported as GPX Files for use in other GPS Devices (such as a Garmin). These same GPX Files can also be imported into Calimoto – this is handy if a friend sends you a file from their standalone GPS Navigation Device.
The Rides Tab on the Web Interface works differently than in the app. Here you aren’t shown a list of completed rides (those are saved in the Trip Planner) but instead can access and search public rides. Rides can be filtered by type (Forrest, Desert, Mountains, Etc), Distance, and location (Zip Code with Radius).
Where Calimoto Shines
Over the past few years, I have tried several Motorcycle Apps for tracking rides and analyzing data. While most of these apps do a decent job, there are a few areas where Calmoto goes above and beyond with its feature set and makes for a better all-around experience.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times in this review, Twisty Route is a Calimoto Premium feature. Of all the feature upgrades in the premium subscription, this is my favorite – by far.
I work in Bucks County, and the ride from home to work has always been pretty dull. I take one Pennsylvania State Route to the next and repeat the process for forty-five minutes until I arrive at work. I’ve tried time and time again to find ways to spice up the ride, but it always winds up being a cool little backroad followed by the tried and true state route.
That dull ride to work changed dramatically when I set work as my destination and told Calimoto to use a Twisty Route. My travel time jumped to an hour, and I had an amazing ride exploring new and exciting backroads that I didn’t know existed. One of those roads is still among my favorite roads to ride when I’m close to home.
Round Trip Function
I suffer from analysis paralysis. I often decide to go for a ride but get stuck in an endless loop of trying to decide where to go. Maybe I’ll ride to the Greisemer’s Mill Covered Bridge – No, I’ve been there dozens of times, and I’m bored with those roads. Maybe I’ll take a ride to the Reading Pagoda – No, I’ve been there a bunch, and it is sure to be busy. Maybe I’ll ride out to Firehouse Coffee and pick up some beans – No, they aren’t open right now. Maybe I’ll go to Four Monkeys Coffee – Nope, they are closed too. It is agonizing how my brain bounces from one destination to the next, and I waste valuable riding time!
The Round Trip Function on Calimoto eliminates this constant mental battle of trying to pick a destination. Instead of trying to devise a destination, I can tell Calimoto that I want to ride 100 Miles heading north on twisty roads, and the app does the rest. All I have to do is hop on the bike and ride!
Where Calimoto Falls Short
Despite the Calimoto Motorcycle App having some excellent features, there are a few areas where I feel like it falls a bit short. Many of these gripes started as minor annoyances that became more troublesome as time passed. Depending on how you plan to use Calimoto for your personal riding style, these may not be issues you will face when using the app.
When riding the MT-09, Calimoto is a pleasure to use. The screen identifies the direction I’ll need to turn, the name of the road I’m turning on, and how much farther I have to ride until it is time to turn.
When riding my Ninja 400, Calimoto’s turn-by-turn navigation can be annoying. Since I must carry my phone in my pocket, I must rely solely on voice cues through my Sena 50S. Calimoto does a decent job most of the time, but there are instances when it seems like it isn’t providing enough information.
This leaves me anticipating when it might suddenly tell me to turn. On a few occasions, voice directions stopped altogether, and I wound up far off course and had to force-close and restart the app to get turn-by-turn navigation working again.
As someone who lives in the United States, I am accustomed to a standard US Address. We use a number followed by a Street Name, then the City, State, and Zip Code. Because Calimoto is based in Germany, it uses an entirely different address format which I find difficult.
Because of this Non-Standard (in the US) way of identifying locations, searching for an address is difficult. To make matters worse, many searches you could run on Google for local attractions do not appear in Calimoto.
For example, searching for Greisemers Mill Covered Bridge, Calimoto will return no results. If I enter the closest street address as 73 Sprangsville Rd, Oley, PA, 19547, I also get no results. If I copy and paste the GPS Coordinates for the bridge, I also get no results. The easiest way to get to this location in Calimoto is to physically pan around on the map until I find it and then drop a pin as my destination.
If you were wondering, Calimoto sees this location as Spangsville Road, Oley Township, Pennsylvania 19547, United States of America.
This address search system is cumbersome to use through a browser on a Desktop and virtually useless when you are on the side of the road trying to get directions for lunch.
I can’t stress enough how much I loved my Calimoto Premium Subscription when I purchased it. The Twisty Roads feature alone made it worth the annual cost. It allowed me to discover amazing roads that I didn’t know existed – and they were all around my local area!
After a few months of normal use, I began to see a pattern in how roads were selected for each ride. After nearly a year, I know exactly how Calimoto will route me for a given trip, and I find it monotonous.
Think of a map as a large paint-by-numbers picture. Each road is assigned a number based on how Twisty Calimoto thinks it is. For example, a straight highway with no bends or elevation change might be assigned a score of 1. On the other hand, a road with lots of elevation changes and hairpin turns might be scored as high as 100.
When you enter an address into the Trip Planner and select the Twisty Roads option, Calimoto will connect the dots between all roads with the highest scores. In a nutshell, anytime you head north, Calimoto will take you on the same roads – every single time because the numbers say that it is the best route.
I find it much more fun to navigate myself partway to my destination and then use Calimoto to supplement the route when I get to a point where I no longer know the way. This keeps the initial part of my trip fun and allows for variation while utilizing the app in the later stages to discover amazing new roads.
Is Calimoto Premium Worth It?
Simply put, Calimoto is a fantastic Motorcycle App. It does a great job handling via points. The Calimoto Round-Trip feature is awesome when you want to ride but don’t know where to go. The Calimoto Twisty Road feature has introduced me to some of my new favorite motorcycle roads!
Despite all of the features I enjoy, I hate the address search. It forces me to pre-plan every route because plugging in a location on a whim is cumbersome. There is nothing worse than deciding you want to take a break and have lunch only to close Calimoto and be forced to use Google Maps.
While Calimoto is a fantastic Motorcycle App, I am not renewing my Premium Subscription for the 2023 Riding Season. This year I’ll be going in a different direction and would love some suggestions. Which Motorcycle Apps do you use? Share them in the comments below!
Motorcycle Apps Similar to Calimoto
If Calimoto doesn’t sound like the Motorcycle App for you, there are several on the market to choose from. Some apps perform tasks better than Calimoto, while others lack features. Below is a short list of options to consider.
Is there a Motorcycle App that you love to use?
Tell us About it in the Comments Below!
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