Hello to all in the vast reaches of cyberspace. So someone has told me that APParently we are living in the 21st century. This means that technological devices not only travel with us but are also able to assist us in our travels. Bamboozled by the idea I couldn’t help myself but to put it to the test. Thus I swiftly installed Riser on my Android powered technological device.
Here’s what Riser has to offer us, quoted directly from their app pages in the respective application stores:
“RISER is a motorcycle platform built by motorcycle enthusiasts. It lets you track your motorcycle trips and share them with your friends and the community. Among others you will get the following functionality:
* Track your motorcycle trips
* Create special sections and share them with your friends and the community
* Organize your trips in your personal roadbook
* Discover popular roads nearby you
* Get live weather and weather forecast for sections nearby you
* Connect with your friends and likeminded people
* Add your bikes to your personal garage
* See statistics about your trips on your profile
* Discuss trips, sections and bikes in the comment section”
I’ve been riding around with Riser in my pocket, tracking my rides and all other things since mid October.
It has a navigation feature as well (scratch that), but I don’t like having a phone staring at my while I ride so I rarely use it (can’t use it if the app doesn’t have it). Here are my thoughts:
At first glance, Riser does look like it is a version of Facebook dressed up for the motorcycle enthusiast. It is exactly that. It let’s you record your motorcycling journeys and shares them on the platform with your “friends”. It also gives you a glimpse of the weather conditions in your region. In essence it’s your motorcycling dashboard, giving you something to entertain yourself with, recording your trips, and sharing them with friends.
I installed the app on my device around mid October, and from the word go, I’ve been having problems. Granted, it is a new app, but a lot of these issues could have been addressed before release. Firstly, you have to register to use all of the features that are built into the app. It’s not that bad seeing as it’s free. Secondly, you create a profile, which has a garage section, where you list all of the bikes that you have. It does have Honda as a manufacturer, but neither my VFR 400 (VFR400R NC24) nor Anxiety’s Bros 400 (NT 400 Bros) were in the model list, and you cannot enter it manually. However, the larger displacements such as the VFR 750 and NT 650 Hawk are in the model list. (This was addressed in an update). So I have a profile on a biking app, but no motorbike as you have to provide the model for it to save it to your garage section. I’ve brought this to the attention of the developers, who informed me a few days later that the issue is to be addressed in an update that followed weeks after (deep into the month of November). I feel that it’s taken far to long to roll out an update for this and various other bug fixes.
The third on my no list is a bit of a bummer. Riser actually doesn’t have a navigation feature… It literally just records your trips. Yes, you have no idea where you’re going, but at least you know where you’ve been. Now if you someone who doesn’t pre-plan your route, you are pretty much screwed. Have fun switching between this and your navigation app with riding gloves on.
Fourthly, linking to the problem above, Riser has a discover feature, which I had mistaken for a navigation feature. It shows you the popular roads travelled by Riser users in your region. I’m located in Southern Africa. It appears that riders here don’t often make use of tech when riding. So all I get to Discover are the roads that I have been taking. I assume that this probably isn’t an app issue per se but a community issue, as in the community using Riser in my region is quite small. I noticed in November that this has seemed to become an issue of the past as more and more riders start using the Riser app my region and surroundings.
There are a few plus points to using Riser aswell. Firstly it works well when you want to share a fantastic road you’ve just discovered with your friends. Even if you just take a different route from the norm you can share that specific section to your profile for others to see. It logs both your start and end destination as well as your average and top speed.
Now I know a lot of you see red lights flashing, as you don’t want people to know where you are or where you come from. Secondly, there are some who have difficulty adhering to speed limits for some reason, and don’t want this infraction to be made public. To those there is a solution, you can simply hide the start and end location and your top speed. However, you can’t hide just your start or just your end destination, either you hide both or you hide neither.
Fortunately, Riser isn’t just all negatives. I found it to be a fantastic app if one wishes to just ride…, and track the roads that one discovers on such a walkabout. I believe this to be the purpose of the app, to help you jot down when and where you’ve found that perfect piece of road. To remind you of where it was that you had that once in a lifetime ride on the road you discovered while “lost”. It’s there when you want to commemorate a special ride with friends (like we wanted to do with the 35th Annual toy Run, if I had remembered to turn it on). It’s not an app to help you find your way, it’s the app that shows everyone the way you found.
For that simple reason, I think I’ll be keeping this little app on my phone. Ride safe and enjoy the journey.