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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! I am going to try and do much more riding this year than in past years. I want to get myself a motorcycle specific GPS to help me find my way around in the best way possible.

Looking for: Garmin or TomTom 2 years old or newer

Budget: $250 shipped to 06351

Thanks in advance!
 

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Gps

Heck...buy a good mount for your cell phone and download the "Waze" GPS program. Pipe it to a Bluetooth setup on your helmet.
GPS, phone, I-heart radio, Pandora, intercom etc. All at your fingertips.

FS
 

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Oh yes the old argument "just use your phone.. it has GPS.. it is much better". short answer it is not.

A dedicated GPS device does what it is designed to do VERY well. Points of interest, next gas stop in X miles, navigating around small and large towns equally well, dedicated maps, "offline" support, editing way points and uploading them, better battery power.

Last summer I did 5000 miles in two weeks I have a pretty good idea what works and what doesn't. I used both Garmin something (car model) and a Samsung S8 + Waze

Garmin
1) simple 1 button operation for most functions
2) larger screen; easier to read in dark/light
4) better navigation when the mobile phone loses data connection (route planning when you change your mind) [dont tell me some BS about "oh just download the whole state of Texas to your phone before you leave..."
5) simply better for long trips (7+ hours in the saddle)
6) Quicker finding stuff (though in fairness sometimes that stuff didn't always still exist; my fault for not updating the maps [looking at you random gas station in western Texas]).
7) A bit bulky on the handle bars; nothing too crazy.. what do you do with it when you leave the bike? Leave it mounted / take it off and stash it?
8) my Garmin model also has the traffic feature; it works "ok"
9) durable; I've dropped mine several times it bounces off the ground without any special protection just fine.
10) water resistant enough to be mounted on the handle bars and ride at 35+ mph no problems with operation.

CHEAP! Buying a used GPS at your local pawn shop is the way to go! Craig's list is another gem. Note: when buying used make sure the unit has been map updated in the last 18 months (preferably in the last 12 months). Garmin will flag a serial dormant / end of life if it hasn't received map updates "regularly".
I do have 2 of the same model because I bought them used and their were cheap!

I am using a Garmin Nuvi 65LMT https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/147609

Mobile phone
1) around town trips it is better (waze traffic)
2) a bit less hassle to mount up and use
3) one less item on the handle bars (i'll just navigate via sound)
4) more real time / accurate information for places of business
5) more portable
6) you can dunk a Samsung S8 so rain isn't a problem
7) wireless charging works good and you will need it because GPS operation EATS your battery usage

In the end use the right tool for the right reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
FatStrat, thats what I have been doing for the last year or so. However, like CaliChaos argues, I want something that is dedicated to one function and does it well. The phone is fine for around town and local rides, but I plan on doing some bigger rides this year and dont want to fuss with low cell signal or data connection issues, or what have you.
 

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I used two different models of Garmin GPS for many years. From 2004-2018. It was very nice having all the benefits Cali mentioned, though I never owned the most current models at the time. I'm cheap so won't spend full price on anything if I can help it. Even so, I did spend a fair amount of cash on those units and the mounting and the direct battery connection. I never owned one that would go more than a few hours at most continuously navigating so a direct battery connection is a must for me.

My last Garmin unit was getting old and harder to update. The memory, even with a SD card was getting so I was having to eliminate some of the original map range just to fit it all. I had plenty of SD card storage but there must be a certain amount of internal memory to run it all. So I decided to just start using my Pixel phone. The battery would last longer while continuously navigating than my previous Garmin units but I also did set it up with a cable to charge on the go so that remains a non-issue. My GPS needs are very basic. Best or preferred route from point A to point B including OFF the Interstates and preferably interesting roads while traveling. There are some operational processes I needed to adapt to make it work for me but nothing that was too much to deal with for me. I wear gloves that have a touch screen patch on a few fingers. I have my phone connected to my BT headset anyway and the Nav function gives me turn by turn instruction on that same channel. I don't use Waze since Google owns that and has been migrating a few features from that to Google Maps Navigate with every update. In time I see there being no difference between Waze and Google Maps Navigate. Currently there are 2 limitations I'd like to see improved. Both relate to way points, or stop points as Google Maps calls them. When Google Maps Navigate arrives at a stop point navigation stops until I tap a button to continue. It would be very nice to be able to set it to auto continue if not at the end of a planned route. But for now that is not a show stopper for me. The other limitation is what everyone who lists the cons of using a cell phone to navigate mentions, and that is the limit on how many stop points can be included in a route. I get around that by having multiple routes for a day. I have yet to run out of stop points before I arrive at a gas stop or lunch stop. And it is no more than 15 seconds to start up the next route anyway so it remains a non-issue to me. Usually I set up one route to my planned lunch stop and the next route takes me to my stop for the night (camp site). I have found that Google Maps Navigate is very much less obnoxious about trying to get me back on the planned route should I deviate when I see a road I'd rather take. Garmin would pester me every street I passed to turn or turn around for the next 3-5 miles, 5-10 times at least. Google Maps prompts me no more than 2 or 3 times and then figures out I wanted to go a different way. Also, Garmin would start telling me a turn is coming up 5 miles out, then 2 miles, then 1 mile, the 1500 ft, then 1000 ft, then 500 ft, then 100 ft, then 50 ft, then finally turn now. REALLY! One of the reasons I turned off the voice prompts on all my Garmin units. Google Maps tells me when I'm 1 mile out IF I AM GOING HIGHWAY SPEEDS, if slower the first prompt happens about a half mile out. Plenty of time to look for it. Then I am prompted one more time when closer and then a final prompt to turn at the next street. Much better. Sometimes, when in a town that results in only 2 prompts, once when getting close and once more to take the next turn. As much as I liked GPS/Austrailian Karen's voice and accent on the Garmin it became obnoxious like a nagging old lady. My phone is every bit as waterproof as any of the dedicated GPS units (IP68) so no need for anything to protect it from rain. Last year I did have an issue with my phone, but that was nothing to do with using it as my GPS. It turned out to be a known problem with that particular phone model. I now have that phone replaced with the newest model that is even better. I've already used it this year once (just not been out for any longer rides yet).

Having said all that, there are significant benefits to using a dedicated GPS unit if you don't mind spending the cash for one. Don't settle for a car only GPS unit. I did that once and was very disappointed in not being able to see it on a sunny day, and that was not even with the sun shining directly on it over my shoulder. That one was not water resistant at all and only lasted me a few months. My phone screen brightness goes up when in navigation mode and is very close to being as bright as my previous dedicated GPS unit, which was a motorcycle GPS unit. While there are things about using a phone that you would have to get used to, as I mentioned above, it is doable and I don't mind having the extra cash for gas through most of the riding season. I'm not in a hurry or a rush when I travel on my scoot so if looking for a gas station or restarting a different route takes a minute or two I really don't care. I can still do a Google Maps search for gas near me and get results on my phone, even though I won't get as much information about it compared with that feature on a GPS unit (and even that feature is not on every GPS unit).

It's a very individual/personal choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bob, what a write up! I too hate to pay full price for anything haha. So until I can find that "killer deal" on a motorcycle specific gps unit, I'll stick to the phone and deal with its quirks and features.
 

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Just found a Garmin Nuvo 550 on ebay for $50.


Description - Will not boot up - looks like it's going to come on but never does - I haven't tried to update it or connect to computer, just don't have time to fool with it.


Haha - no.
 

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Upvote on Garmin

I bought a Garmin 2598 gently pre-owned off ebay a couple of years ago. Mounted in Ram mount designed for it. NEVER had any issues with it at all. Plugged into 12V socket under the seat. Goes on/off automatically when the bike starts/stops. Resistive screen works with whatever glove you are wearing. Bluetooth if you want it. Lifetime traffic. :smileygarden_de_ban
Keith
 

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Hello all! I am going to try and do much more riding this year than in past years. I want to get myself a motorcycle specific GPS to help me find my way around in the best way possible.

Looking for: Garmin or TomTom 2 years old or newer

Budget: $250 shipped to 06351

Thanks in advance!
PM sent
 

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I just bought a $17 cell phone bar mount. Installed it in the very last space on my handlebars. Have not trieded it yet, because it's still raining here in the Pacific NW.

I now have, from left to right
Wireless heat controller on the clutch reservoir
Cell phone mount
TPMS display
Front camera
Throttle lock

From above, it looks like a poor man's Goldwing. Which, I guess, it is. Only better.:520:
 

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I have had a Garmin ZUMO 350LM for 4 years now that I bought on Amazon a refurbished one, the buttons are large and work with gloves, it works great most of the time, every now and then it will get confused when they have redone the ramps on the Interstates a b c exits and not updated it in the map updates, but I wouldn't go on a trip without it! I have it mounted on the right side of the handle bar and powered through the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I picked up a cheap one off a friend. But of course as soon as i bought that from him, I saw the new Zumo XT from Garmin. It looks pretty awesome. guess Ill just have to start saving again, or wait for a used one!
 
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