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Bike specific GPS

  1. #1
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Bike specific GPS


    Anyone got the lowdown on bike specific GPS systems? I want something semi permanent- leave the mount in place and maybe take the unit off the bike in the unsavory part of town. It looks like the Garmin Zumo line is the most popular. Anyone knowledgeable about them? Building a route and then being able to follow it would be awesome. Just having it follow the squiggly roads would be fine too.

    I'm sure someone will suggest it, so before that happens I am not interested in using google maps. I'm a fixed data plan that otherwise works fine for us and not interested in paying out the nutsack for an unlimted plan.

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  2. #2
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    So thereís GPS apps you can use with an offline cell phone, you donít need a data plan, you can use an old phone you have kicking around. Iím not all that familiar with any of these yet. Hereís a huge thread on ADVRider that explains a ton: https://advrider.com/f/threads/ultra...guide.1206076/

    That being said, I have a Zumo 660? that Iíd part with. It has a real sweet quick-release mount that attaches to the 4 handlebar clamp bolts, and a cover and a case for it. Your cell still 4972? Iíll find it tomorrow and text you pics.

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  3. #3
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by 01xj View Post
    I'm sure someone will suggest it, so before that happens I am not interested in using google maps. I'm a fixed data plan that otherwise works fine for us and not interested in paying out the nutsack for an unlimted plan.
    Google Maps lets you download the maps when you're connected to WiFi to avoid paying out the ass for data charges. Just saying..

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    I got a Zumo XT over the winter, only had a chance to use it a couple times so far but I really like it. I previously had a TomTom Rider and I liked that, but the Zumo has more route planning options.

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  5. #5
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Depends a lot on where you want to go too. I'm a fan of the Garmin Montana line. Rugged as hell and I've seen one survive a 60mph drop on pavement with little damage. You can load street maps and topomaps etc... on them. Lot of bang for the buck with them. Large enough to be useful on the bike, small enough to have a real GPS with you if you want to take it hiking as well.

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  6. #6
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    I've never been able to justify the cost of a zumo motorcycle GPS. Instead I shop the closeout or steeply discounted nuvi car units. They are not waterproof or vibration friendly. But they still work for me. My target is about $100. My attitude is that I can lose or destroy 3-4 of them before I get to the cost of a motorcycle unit.

    Hard wire using an automotive cable. It isn't terribly weather proof but that hasn't been an issue for me in ~5-8 years now.
    Use a RAM cradle to mount. They are rock solid and affordable
    Keep a couple of sandwich baggies in your tank bag or saddle bag for rain

    Most of what I use a dedicated GPS unit for is situational awareness. It is really nice to know what is coming up around the corner and encourages me to take those random turns and just get lost. Then when the day is nearly done just tap "home" and get an idea of how angry the wife will be that you promised to be home by 5 and roll in at 7 or 8 instead.

    I am not super skilled at designing and using pre-planned routes. I know some use those features well and the zumo units are probably better here from a software perspective.

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  7. #7
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Good timing, the Zumo XT is currently on sale for $100 off on most sites.

    https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-All-Te.../dp/B08561CSRG

    You can pair that with a Touratech locking mount.

    https://touratech-usa.com/store/Tour...Garmin-Zumo-XT


    Given all that, I personally use a Kyocera Duraforce Pro with Locus Maps, mounted on a Juiced Squeeze wireless charging phone mount. Indestructable mount, cheap rugged phone ($50) and nearly unlimited offline free content make the value proposition much higher than any GPS.

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    Last edited by SRTie4k; 03-11-21 at 11:58 AM.
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  8. #8
    no can kneedown feralchimp's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    My Hyper came with factory GPS prep. Every couple years I've gone through a sequence of:

    - considering a Zumo GPS unit that (probably?) fits my factory mount (so many pins! are the right pins delivering power, presumably their only job in this application? hard to say without an intended device in hand!)
    - thinking the Zumo stuff is still wicked expensive for the actual utility. Aviation and marine GPS are still "solutions" with all kinds of regulatory compliance overhead; road-going GPS hasn't been a $500 problem for over a decade
    - entering choice paralysis from well-reasoned suggestions like bubba's, popular on related ADVRider threads, but which definitely involve chucking my factory mount and installing something else
    - ultimately not buying anything

    I know this is unhelpful, and I apologize for that...sometimes a dude gotta vent.

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  9. #9
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    I'm leaning towards the zumo xt. Probably will be the most user friendly and I know I can export Google map routes to it and open them in Basecamp. That and the touratech locking mount seem like a home run.

    The 399 price tag and ability to use it in my car too makes it a winner.

    Quote Originally Posted by feralchimp View Post
    - entering choice paralysis .
    Trying to avoid this. Also, I like that term and I'm totally gonna steal that.

    Did some research after I posted this last night and what I've come up with is that the old clunky, but highly effective ones with the small screens and full topo mapping are way beyond what I need. Like bubba said, 90% of the time I just need an overheard to know where I'm at and point myself in the direction I want to go. The idiot proof "adventure routing" on the zumo is what I need. Point me toward some fun roads and take the thought out of it for me.

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    Last edited by 01xj; 03-11-21 at 02:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by feralchimp View Post
    My Hyper came with factory GPS prep. Every couple years I've gone through a sequence of:

    - considering a Zumo GPS unit that (probably?) fits my factory mount (so many pins! are the right pins delivering power, presumably their only job in this application? hard to say without an intended device in hand!)
    I wonder if it is like the BMW setup. Proprietary bit of kit built by Garmin under some sort of contract. Extra pins carry a bunch of vehicle info data. Stuff like engine temps, tire pressure, etc, etc.

    TPMS is a thing I could actually go for. Especially if it is an actual measurement rather than an idiot light. The rest I dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01xj View Post
    The idiot proof "adventure routing" on the zumo is what I need. Point me toward some fun roads and take the thought out of it for me.
    Honestly, I haven't looked at the software on those units for a while. The software could sway me away from my $. If it helps me find the fun roads, that could be worth some $. Could be.

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  11. #11
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I wonder if it is like the BMW setup. Proprietary bit of kit built by Garmin under some sort of contract. Extra pins carry a bunch of vehicle info data. Stuff like engine temps, tire pressure, etc, etc.

    TPMS is a thing I could actually go for. Especially if it is an actual measurement rather than an idiot light. The rest I dunno.



    Honestly, I haven't looked at the software on those units for a while. The software could sway me away from my $. If it helps me find the fun roads, that could be worth some $. Could be.
    From what I understand it's got an "adventure" slider. More adventure means more twisty roads. Less gives you a more direct route.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    I haven’t tried the adventure routing on my XT yet, but the “winding route” feature on my old TomTom worked really well. A real difference between Moto and car GPS, IMO

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  13. #13
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    I use Kurviger for finding the curviest route to get somewhere.

    "Adventure routing" is a dumb phrase IMO, as nowadays it would imply dirt over pavement rather than curvy vs straight.

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  14. #14
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by 01xj View Post
    From what I understand it's got an "adventure" slider. More adventure means more twisty roads. Less gives you a more direct route.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spooler View Post
    I haven’t tried the adventure routing on my XT yet, but the “winding route” feature on my old TomTom worked really well. A real difference between Moto and car GPS, IMO
    Please let us know how that software works. I'm not sure I'm willing to drop $400 to try it.

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  15. #15
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Had a Zumo 550 and upgraded to a 665. Big bright waterproof touch screen, secure mount, etc.

    If you are really cheap and willing to fiddle fuck around with the automotive units, the tiny but waterproof Nuvi 500 came with topo maps and street routing. Used it on the WR250R and snowmobile.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 03-13-21 at 07:25 PM.
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  16. #16
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Well, I found out I had a bunch of money available in Amazon gift cards. I went for the zumo 396 lmt. Similar features, less price but not as fancy. Still interfaces with Basecamp etc. Amazon had an open box deal for under 200$. The need for this had quickly faded after I posted this, but for being next to "free" I'll give it a shot.

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    Last edited by 01xj; 03-13-21 at 12:06 AM.

  17. #17

    Re: Bike specific GPS

    garmin montana w' their "rugged" model mount

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  18. #18
    Posting Freak OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    I've been using a TomTom Rider 400 for a while now. I just use it to create my own routes on the computer and then download to the device or take someone else's GPX file to download. One day I'll get a newer model, so long as they continue the same mount.

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  19. #19
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Bike specific GPS

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR302 View Post
    So thereís GPS apps you can use with an offline cell phone, you donít need a data plan, you can use an old phone you have kicking around. Iím not all that familiar with any of these yet. Hereís a huge thread on ADVRider that explains a ton: https://advrider.com/f/threads/ultra...guide.1206076/
    i tried to do this with my old iphone...i can't download OsmAndMaps on my old disconnected (wifi only now) iphone 4...not sure i can sign into my old phone with the same apple id

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I've never been able to justify the cost of a zumo motorcycle GPS. Instead I shop the closeout or steeply discounted nuvi car units. They are not waterproof or vibration friendly. But they still work for me. My target is about $100. My attitude is that I can lose or destroy 3-4 of them before I get to the cost of a motorcycle unit.

    Hard wire using an automotive cable. It isn't terribly weather proof but that hasn't been an issue for me in ~5-8 years now.
    Use a RAM cradle to mount. They are rock solid and affordable
    Keep a couple of sandwich baggies in your tank bag or saddle bag for rain

    Most of what I use a dedicated GPS unit for is situational awareness. It is really nice to know what is coming up around the corner and encourages me to take those random turns and just get lost. Then when the day is nearly done just tap "home" and get an idea of how angry the wife will be that you promised to be home by 5 and roll in at 7 or 8 instead.

    I am not super skilled at designing and using pre-planned routes. I know some use those features well and the zumo units are probably better here from a software perspective.
    ^^^this is what i want to do...i have a few older garmins hanging around that i can use for this purpose...plug it right into the 12v port and i'm good to go...i just need to get a ram mount that will bolt onto where the mirrors used to mount since i run bar end mirrors...this is for my scooter though...i've just been using earbuds and my cell phone in my pocket or using my oontz angle 3 ultra via wifi

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    Last edited by Point37; 03-19-21 at 10:33 AM.
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