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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Motorguide Tour Pro Review Revised & Edited #14004184 05/20/21 11:35 AM
Joined: May 2021
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Evrude dude Offline OP
Green Horn
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Motorguide Tour Pro Review; Revised & Edited

THIS IS A CORRECTED VERSION OF MY PAST REVIEW.

First I need to apologize to MG and the members here for posting incorrect information. Even though I read the manual 3 times and contacted customer service concerning what I thought was a failing in engineering of the TM. It in fact was not true. Thankfully I was corrected by another fisherman and did do more research and discovered I was WRONG. This changes everything and happily the review. Please see my updated and edited review.

An honest assessment of the MG Tour Pro by an amateur fisherman.

Let me first explain that this is my first cable steer motor. Also my first MG. My previous motors have all been electric steer Minn Kota’s with my last being a 55 lb Terrova.

I chose the MG Tour pro 82 lb - 24 volt with no transducer.

I’m a huge shallow water fisherman. That’s where I excell. Especially in mid summer around docks.
The Terrova has hurt me by the slow and noisy movement of the motor, causing fish to dart out of docks like a missile.

The installation;
The instructions with the motor are clear, concise, and easy to follow. Not something common in most products today.
I installed the motor using the four 1/4” SS bolts provided. The instructions did say they recommend 4-6 bolts. I found that my TM mounting surface was not level on my aluminum boat. Something I had never noticed with the Terrova but the Tour Pro bracket is twice as big in length. I used SS washers at the front as spacers above the provided rubber washers. The mount seemed rock solid when finished.
The pedal installation was a little tricky. The buttons on the pedal for constant on and heading lock are designed on a slant backwards. Putting the foot pedal in my recessed holder made those buttons unusable with your feet. Also the cable was pinched to much upwards. I was able to install a 1” piece of pvc board under the foot pedal which took care of the cable problem. That left the 2 buttons only operable by foot if you tilt your foot sideways and use your toe. It’s functional and I will probably get used to it, but disappointed that the design leaves the foot pedal in a higher position than I would like and I can’t just toe tap the button without looking down.
I performed the M<hold>112 remote program on the trailer as instructed to teach the motor the mounting angle and direction called pin point program.
I also installed a Marinco plug instead of direct wiring. The gps function like all gps electronics never turns off unless you disconnect the power. The installation directions recommend disconnecting power before charging your batteries.

First on the water test;
Deployment and retrieval of the Tour Pro is very well designed and is unbelievably easy considering it’s weight.
As per installation instructions I did a compass calibration of the gps by pressing M<hold>111 on the remote with the TM deployed, facing forward. Then driving the outboard in two complete circles, at idle. Per instructions, I repeated this function 5 times for a new installation.
Immediately I started using the motor to go to a fishing spot. Once the heading lock was used though the motor went nuts. Rocking back and forth violently. I shut it off and attempted several times to use the heading lock with the same result. The anchor feature was even more hazardous with the motor just going absolutely berserk. Obviously something was wrong with the gps functions. I also noticed that the mount twisted way to much while the motor did this. Which was concerning. I felt that a bolt could break, the mount could break, or the boat aluminum would crack.
I spent the rest of the day fishing and using the motor like a regular cable steer TM. Remember how I said I’ve never owned a cable steer. Yes, there is a learning curve. Several times I almost flung myself out of the boat because the pedal is touchy and moves extremely faster than I’m used too. I did a M<hold>235 program on the remote which made the pedal stiffer. It’s adjustable from 1-5. That helped immensely and I spent the rest of the day learning to drive the TM while fishing.
It is definitely much more quiet than the Terrova, but it is not silent. The motor does make a very slight squeal when turning more than 90 degrees and any power setting above 4 there is a definite harmonic hum to the motor that can be heard on deck.
The Tour Pro top speed for me was 2.8-3.5mph. Which is a huge improvement over the 1.8-2.2mph I was getting.

Reporting the gps problem;
I called MG customer service and was informed me that unfortunately some TM’s left the factory before being completely programmed. They gave me a set of codes and actions to perform on the water with the motor deployed. They said to perform them in this order.
Remote code M<hold>284. GPS steering program. The TM and foot pedal will move back and forth and up and down. Let it. Once the gps light comes back on it’s done.
Remote code M<hold>285. GPS foot pedal travel program. The TM and foot pedal will move back and forth and up and down. Let it. Once the gps light comes back on it’s done.
Reprogram the compass calibration for gps. TM facing forward. Remote code M<hold>111. Drive in idle, with the outboard, in two complete circles. When finished the TM will beep and the gps light will come on.
GPS TM pin point program. TM facing forward. Remote code M<hold>112.

Remounting the motor;
I removed the two front 1/4” mounting bolts and replaced them with two 5/16” bolts. I also added two 5/16” bolts in the middle of the mount. This meant re-drilling the holes out larger and the TM base. One center bolt went thru a support for the TM area. That should secure it better.
MG should supply 6 bolts instead of 4 and change their installation manual. It should read install as many as space allows. Even if 4 bolts are only needed for some boats. Let the consumer decide.

Second on the water test of gps system;
I replaced the remote batteries just to make sure everything was prepared. The battery holder design is not the best it’s 2 tabs that hold them above the circuit board. And the back plate holds them in place. I see this as a potential problem in the future since I had to bend the tabs to get the battery to stay still.
After programming the motor as explained the motor worked very well. All gps functions work as described. As I got more and more used to the foot pedal I have backed the tension back down to number 1.

Rating each catagory;
I’ll use a rating if 1-10 for each category.

9*
Installation instructions and ease of use.
Even though the motor is fairly easy to install for most people, the lack of hardware supplied hurts the installer. MG should provide 6 bolts to install motor with instructions to use as many as space will allow.

10*
TM deployment and retrieval.
A complete home run.

9*
TM design and ease of use. Overall great design. The remote battery compartment knocks it down from perfect. I’ll cover gps later.

8*
Foot pedal design and ease of use.
The two previously mentioned buttons designed on a backward slant hurts what is overall a well thought out design. Future designs should definitely address the buttons positions for recessed foot pedal trays.

6*
Initial quality
Even though the motor itself worked flawlessly, the lack of quality control in the electronics of final product is a big problem. MG should address this immediately.

8*
Customer Service
If it’s mechanical it will break or have problems. A companies willingness to admit there is a problem and address it as quickly and efficiently as they possibly can, is a huge plus for consumers.
Lack of knowledge of a new products functions on a 2nd call wasn’t helpful though.

9*
Quietness of motor
While no TM is going to be silent, the very slight squeal when turning the motor more then 90 degrees knocks it down from perfect. For most stealth operations I think this TM will give me much more success though. The motor hum is no quieter than any other on the market.

8*
GPS functions.
The speed lock only goes down to 1 mph. That means I will have to adjust speed under 1 mph manually while working an area. Not a huge problem but if MG wants to market this motor to a larger fishing market than bass fishing, getting that down to 0.5 mph would be much better. Fishing a crappie rig for panfish or a river bouncer for walleye is usually a slow troll at 0.6-0.8 mph.
Having to do a compass calibration every time you go more than 100 miles away from the last compass calibration, is an inconvenience. Although this may make it more accurate, MG should be able to install better programming. Can you imagine having to “recalibrate” your cell phone every 100 miles. I live in an area where every good lake is an hour away, except Lake Michigan. That means recalibrating a lot. Again, not a big deal but something else to add to your prep list.
All other GPS functions work very well.
By just hitting heading lock the prop turns on and off as well. Nice added bonus the Terrova doesn’t have.
CORRECTION;
BEST FEATURE IS THE HEADING LOCK STEERING. BEING ABLE TO MAKE HEADING CORRECTIONS WITH EITHER THE REMOTE OR BY STEPPING ON THE FOOT PEDAL MOMENTARY BUTTON AND MOVING THE PEDAL IS WHAT MAKES THIS MOTOR GREAT. (Again this is corrected and accurate information)

8.4* out of 10*
Overall rating (average of above catagories).
Out of the gate I think MG has a very good beginning. This motor is a solid contender in this market. A few programming fixes, a better remote battery compartment, a slight pedal modification, some better quality control and MG has a real winner.

The reviewer (me) needs better reading comprehension and better research skills. So much for my retirement career. Again I apologize to MG and the members here for the previous review and misinformation. What changed is I went from not recommending the Tour Pro to highly recommending the Tour Pro.


Last edited by Evrude dude; 05/21/21 11:39 AM.
Re: Motorguide Tour Pro Review [Re: Evrude dude] #14004437 05/20/21 02:38 PM
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Great review, thanks. thumb


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Re: Motorguide Tour Pro Review [Re: Evrude dude] #14008839 05/24/21 08:22 PM
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merc200 Offline
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I purchased a MG Pro Tour 24 volt with transducer about three weeks ago. I took it to the lake and went through all of the calibrations exactly like the instructions stated. Whenever I hit the anchor lock, the motor would stay on the waypoint for less than 30 seconds, back up about 10 feet, turn to the right and do a complete 360 degrees circle. By this time I was a good 25-30 feet away from my original waypoint. The trolling motor would then switch to high speed and race back towards the waypoint, overshoot it because of going to fast. It then repeated the backing up, 360 circle and race back towards the waypoint again. A friend has the exact trolling motor and his works perfectly. He helped me with the calibrations so I know it was done correctly. We did a reset and repeated this calibration at least ten times without any luck. Each time it repeated the steps exactly as I mentioned earlier. I contacted Motor Guide and the service tech said it was most likely a software issue and that I should return it to MG authorized repair center. Since it was only a few days old, I returned it to Cabela's for a full refund. They told me they also had others come in for a refund that experienced similar problems. I have owned numerous Motor Guide motors for the last 30 years without any problems. Now I am skeptical about giving the Pro Tour another shot. I talked to a service center that services both MG and Minn Kota and he said that the new MG Pro Tours haven't been on the market long enough to work out all the issues and he recommended Minn Kota.

Re: Motorguide Tour Pro Review [Re: Evrude dude] #14016347 05/31/21 02:33 PM
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I think if I had to replace my 2006 Tour I would go with the new Tour and not the Tour Pro with spotlock to many bugs right now. Hopefully they will get them worked out before I do have to replace, MG has always been my favorite brand over MK they just seem to have more power although honestly I have not looked at the new Lowrance and Garmin motors and I hear the Garmins are super strong.

Re: Motorguide Tour Pro Review [Re: Evrude dude] #14038574 06/21/21 04:02 AM
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Chuck72 Offline
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Glad I read this. I bought a Tour Pro 36v about 2 months ago. I noticed immediately it is not as accurate as my Xi5 was in anchor mode. In the last two weeks the motor started displaying the same issues merc200 and others described. I hit anchor mode and it holds a minute and the motor takes off on 10 on a sharp (usually right) turn, when it doesn’t do a sharp turn on high the prop turns off and I just start drifting.. I am calling MG tomorrow to discuss the issues as it is now intolerable on a unit i paid a lot of money for… extremely disappointed in this product and I have been a MG user for a long time..


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Re: Motorguide Tour Pro Review [Re: Evrude dude] #14057734 07/10/21 02:06 PM
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I just installed my MG Tour Pro and have had zero issues with it, it anchor locks in place, it's very quiet and have zero concerns with it.

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