Selecting a Wireless Bow Mount Motor
While the majority of trolling motors on the market are controlled by
hand or a corded foot pedal, there are a few models that offer wireless motor control.
Since these models are fairly unique, we've dedicated an article exclusively to
If you're interested in a non-wireless bow mount motor, please see our article on
Standard Bow Mount Trolling
This article discusses the three popular freshwater wireless models on the market
today: The PowerDrive V2 and Terrova models from Minn Kota and the Wireless Series from MotorGuide.
Minn Kota PowerDrive V2 is Minn Kota's basic wireless compatible line, and starts
Almost all of Minn Kota's wireless compatible trolling motors are just that -
wireless compatible - as they don't come with wireless installed.
Minn Kota's wireless accessory is called CoPilot, uses a remote to
wirelessly control the motor, and is available as a $175 accessory. Making the wireless control optional is
convenient in that is allows for the flexibility of upgrading to wireless in the future if needed without having
to commit to paying for the feature at the time of purchase.
Minn Kota's wireless lines (both PowerDrive V2 and Terrova) also are compatible
with AutoPilot and i-Pilot.
AutoPilot is only available on select Minn Kota PowerDrive V2 models, and cannot be added as an accessory after purchase.
i-Pilot is Minn Kota's new technology that allows for GPS guided boat control,
along with wireless remote control and integrated AutoPilot. Costing around $400, the i-Pilot accessory has a
number of impressive capabilities such as route re-tracing and electronic anchor, which controls motor speed and
direction to keep the boat in the same place regardless of wind and waves.
One disadvantage of PowerDrive is that the wireless remote can't be used in
conjunction with the included corded foot pedal. After upgrading, the pedal is useless and the remote is the only
method available to control the motor.
PowerDrive V2 includes variable speed motors with 45, 50, 55, 65 and 70 lbs thrust
Like all Minn Kota motors, the shaft is made from a composite materials and
carries a lifetime guarantee. The overall motor has a two year warranty.
Minn Kota Terrova is similar to PowerDrive V2 with a few distinct
Most notably, Terrova offers up to 101 lbs of thrust whereas PowerDrive and
MotorGuide Wireless max out at 70 and 75.
Terrova's foot pedal is also unique in that it can be used in conjunction with the
wireless CoPilot accessory, offering the flexibility of having two methods of control.
Additionally, both the foot pedal and wireless remote for Terrova have the ability
to activate AutoPilot, making it easy to lock in a course.
Just like PowerDrive V2, Minn Kota Terrova motors are compatible with AutoPilot and i-Pilot, features a
variable speed motor and has a composite shaft and two year warranty.
The MotorGuide Wireless series differs from Minn Kota models in two noticeable
ways: all models come pre-installed with wireless control, and the control is a wireless foot pedal.
Wireless remotes are included as an aftermarket accessory, and up to 4 remotes /
wireless foot pedals can be used with the same motor!
MotorGuide Wireless is the most affordable wireless option, and costs around $50
to $100 less than a similar PowerDrive V2 when purchasing the wireless CoPilot accessory for PowerDrive is factored
While it only offers thrust options of 55 and 75 lbs, the Wireless Series includes
a built-in release plate (usually sold separately), one hand stowing similar to Terrova and an impressive three
MotorGuide wireless isn't compatible with AutoPilot or GPS technology available on
the Minn Kota motors.
However, if these two features aren't important MotorGuide Wireless represents the best value for medium to semi-large boat owners looking for a quality
So which standard motor is best for you? We examine the pros and cons, as well as
identify who each motor is best suited for below:
Minn Kota PowerDrive
IDEAL FIT: PowerDrive V2 is a
great choice for medium sized boat owners who need AutoPilot/GPS technology.
IDEAL FIT: Large boat owners who
want AutoPilot/GPS technology, and want the ability to use both a foot pedal AND a wireless remote for motor
IDEAL FIT: Medium sized boat
owners who want the most wireless motor for their dollar and don't need AutoPilot or GPS technology.