MotorGuide has been making trolling motors since the 1960s, and they have a big number of happy owners.
The Tour Pro was released in January 2020 and it is arguably one of the best motors on the market today.
However, there have been reports of problems with its Pinpoint GPS, resulting in a recall, as well as other issues with latching and transducer interference.
In this article, we discuss the most common problems associated with the Tour Pro.
Let’s get started!
The most common issue is when a Tour Pro can’t get a GPS signal. It is very annoying, as your MotorGuide’s spot lock (GPS anchor) won’t work without it.
Interestingly, the problem is not apparent at first, when PinPoint GPS works fine but stops working after some time on the water.
One possible explanation is voltage drop. According to MotorGuide, PinPoint GPS is very voltage-sensitive.
So the very first thing that should be done is to check the voltage, and possibly have the batteries load tested to rule out voltage drop as the source of the problem.
Tour Pro Recall
A far more serious problem when spot lock becomes unpredictable, turning back and forth and engaging at full power. It could potentially throw unexpecting people off the boat.
This behavior is due to a faulty PinPoint GPS system and is the reason why MotorGuide announced a recall.
MotorGuide tells you not to use anchor mode on the Tour Pro and to have the motor inspected by a dealer.
MotorGuide is still working on the fix, and when it’s available, it will be at no cost to owners.
Heading Data Problem
This issue can occur when you have your Tour Pro connected to a fish finder via the NMEA network.
What happens is that you can’t get accurate heading data from a networked Point 1. When you add your trolling motor node to the network, the Point 1 antenna data shows as “invalid”.
The problem happens with Lowrance fish finders and is most likely an interface compatibility issue.
Some users find it really hard to eliminate radio frequency interference when using the internal transducer on the Tour Pro.
No matter how far they would move wires away from the trolling motor, interference wouldn’t get any better.
Even ferrite added to each cable wouldn’t solve the problem.
Sometimes the Tour Pro latches so well, that is almost impossible to pull it up. You may have to pull it very hard several times before it unlatches.
One solution could be to press down gently with your foot on the bracket, although it doesn’t always work.
The issue is most likely caused by uneven torque on the mounting bolts, so try to correct that first.
If that doesn’t work, you can also spray the locking mechanism with lithium grease. More specifically, spray the locking pin and move it back and forth afterward.
The motor is not brushless. It’s true there many trolling motors out there still using the old brushed technology. However, most of these have been designed years ago, and for such a new product as the Tour Pro, we would expect MotorGuide to introduce a brushless DC motor.
It would then be in the good company of Lowrance Ghost and Garmin Force, both excellent trolling motors.
Brushless means more efficiency, less maintenance (no brushes to replace), less noise, and transducer interference.
Lift-assist works fine when you want to deploy your motor. However, it doesn’t prevent a hard landing when you want to stow it.
Speed lock is adjustable only down to 1 mph. Anything slower than that means you need to adjust the speed manually. This is unfortunate, as some species require trolling at slower speeds.
Sticky Steering. On some units, the foot pedal felt very stiff right after disengaging anchor mode.
Frequent Compass Calibration
According to MotorGuide, you need to calibrate your compass every time you go to a location that is 100 miles away from your previous calibration.
Frequent calibration is inconvenient, especially if you tend to go to different lakes.
Of course, chances are your trolling motor will still work, but the compass could be inaccurate.
Unfortunately, the recall left some users without the ability to fish and with no chance to have the motor fixed anytime soon.
Apparently, the motherboard on the control unit needs replacing, but as for now, there seems to be no replacement available.
We can only speculate why, one reason could be a global shortage of chips.
It’s a shame really, as otherwise, MotorGuide provides an excellent warranty service.
GPS Reprogramming Steps
According to MotorGuide customer service, some trolling motors left the factory not completely programmed.
They provide codes and actions needed to perform on the water in the following order:
GPS steering program
Remote code M [hold] 284. The motor and the foot pedal will move in different directions. There will be a beep once finished.
GPS foot pedal travel program
Remote code M [hold] 285. Again, the trolling motor and the foot pedal will keep moving during the process, which will finish with a beep.
Compass calibration program
Remote code M [hold] 111. Drive your boat with the outboard, making two full circles. The calibration process will end with a beep.
PinPoint GPS program
Remote code M [hold] 112.