Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 60

Thread: First long ride from Dallas - "To GPS" or "to not GPS?"

  1. #1
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,587

    Thumbs up First long ride from Dallas - "To GPS" or " not to GPS?"

    I'll be making my first long trip coming from Dallas. How bad do I need a GPS? I already have an Autocom on the bike and an RCU shelf. I've used GPS in rental cars and love them. I'm concerned about the distraction of something visual, though it has to beat pulling over to read the map. Any favorites out there ? I assume they all have audible queues to the helmet. Perhaps it's stuff like memory, color screen, image detail, and programing ease. Any recommended mounting solutions for a 1150 RT ?
    Last edited by RT RANDY; 03-31-2004 at 03:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Holyoke, MA
    Posts
    41
    I just went through the same thought process as you .... should I use a GPS, GPS and PDA, GPS and laptop......... the choices were mind boggling. Finally much discussion with others, the decision has been reached. NO laptop, no PDA, no GPS. Where is the fun in riding? Following the instructions of an electrical device or striking out on your own. From here (Massachusetts) to Spokane is about 3000 miles, give or take a few and both ends of the trip are on I90, but where is the fun in that. I have concluded that Spokane is west of here and that is what I have decided to do. Wake up each morning, look at the rising sun and go the other way. How lost can I get...we are in the U.S.
    See you in Spokane.
    Jim Kane

  3. #3
    CRUISIN
    Guest

    Too techno.

    I have to agree with jentine, forget all the fancy-smancy stuff. Take a few good long looks at your maps in the few days before you go. Form a rough plan, remember a few major roads and towns, then hit the road and enjoy the ride. If you get lost or decide you really don't like the route you've picked, stop, drink a soda and study your map for a bit and continue onward through the fog.

  4. #4
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    pdx
    Posts
    5,878
    I have come to the conclusion that the only rider than might need a GPS is one that gets off paved roads. If you're always on pavement, I agree with Jentine, you really can't get that lost.

    If I had the money for a GPS burning a hole in my pocket, I'd drop it on a radar detector long before I bought a harder to use map.

  5. #5
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,587
    Wow! That's 3 out of 3 saying go with the map.
    You guys just saved me about 1,200 bucks. I feel like I should hand you guys money when I get to Spokane. Like I said, I'm new at this though I realize it's more about the journey than the destination. I'll not only be riding on paved roads, but some beautiful ones at that. Nothing wrong with stopping and smelling pine trees while reading a map. My thinking was it might be nice to know when the next town is coming up if the bladder is getting full or the tank is getting low. Who says you can't take a leak behind the bushes in the Rockies if you can't pinpoint a mens room on the GPS. My first day will most likely be 10+ hours from Dallas to Taos. After that, it will be on to either Aspen or Crawford, Colorado depending on which friend is home. Each day after that will be where ever I might end up. Right now it's looking like Jackson Hole and then north west through Idaho. What's also great is . . I've never been to most of these places.
    Motorcycle touring is like buying a shovel in that a shovel doesn't come with instructions.

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Marin By God County, California
    Posts
    11,639
    What they said. Buy yourself a nice atlas, read some tour guides, ask some questions and mark your maps up. When I tour, I set a destination for the end of the day and build a general route to get there.

    One of the nice things about GPS is that you can record your trips and remember where you went. That strikes me as a pretty cool thing to have.

    But, I still don't have a GPS and still manage to get all over the place just fine. If I was going to do some major off road riding (like you can do in lots of the Big West), I'd definitely want to have a GPS. But in this country, signage is great and maps are pretty accurate, cheap and easy to replace in any gas station.

    Give us the $1200? How 'bout a beer at the beer tent in Spokane?
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    pdx
    Posts
    5,878
    Originally posted by RT RANDY
    Wow! That's 3 out of 3 saying go with the map.
    You guys just saved me about 1,200 bucks. I feel like I should hand you guys money when I get to Spokane. Like I said, I'm new at this though I realize it's more about the journey than the destination. I'll not only be riding on paved roads, but some beautiful ones at that. Nothing wrong with stopping and smelling pine trees while reading a map. My thinking was it might be nice to know when the next town is coming up if the bladder is getting full or the tank is getting low. Who says you can't take a leak behind the bushes in the Rockies if you can't pinpoint a mens room on the GPS. My first day will most likely be 10+ hours from Dallas to Taos. After that, it will be on to either Aspen or Crawford, Colorado depending on which friend is home. Each day after that will be where ever I might end up. Right now it's looking like Jackson Hole and then north west through Idaho. What's also great is . . I've never been to most of these places.
    Motorcycle touring is like buying a shovel in that a shovel doesn't come with instructions.


    I love pouring over an old torn map, trying to figure out how many miles to the next dot and if that dot is a town or just a spot on the road someone named in some other century. I love sitting under an old tree on the side of the road, with an unknown mountain range behind me, doing the math, adding up the little mileage numbers. I love asking a local about the road ahead and getting them to help me choose a route.

    The GPS just seems like another thing to babysit, another reason to never get off the bike. And I want off the bike when I'm on a long trip. Hmmm....I suppose I'm a bit of a luddite when it comes to routing. Rubbercow offered me the use of an old GPS for my upcoming trip to Tahoe. I said no. I didn't want one more thing to keep an eye on.

  8. #8
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    State of Confusion
    Posts
    7,799

    I am the minority I use a GPS...

    but not for the typical stuff.

    I sit down and plan out my route on a good ole fashion paper map. Then I ask the list, forum, and friends for comments and things to see along the way. Add those on the paper map.

    I then take that route and plug it into my GPS V. Put the GPS V on my RCU shelf, and the map/notes in the tank bag map window. Off I go, not using the routing but the stat window, which was am I headed,how far, how fast... yada yada.

    Usually just look at the map, but every so often something unplanned happens and I am really glad I have the GPS. The biggest example was when I got caught in a really bad thunderstorm. Asked the GPS V where the closest hotel was, went there quickly. Literally just got done bringing in the stuff off the bike before the tornado sirens went off.

    To me, the GPS V is a reference tool, not the guide.

    Make sense?

    Also really great when I travel for work and need to find my way around.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  9. #9
    Ridin' the keyboard
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    59

    Talking

    RT Randy, what time are you planning to leave DFW? I'll be making the same journey for the first time and we may cross paths. Currently I'm planning a July 8th blastoff and stopping at the Top O'the Rockies Ralley before heading to Spokane. I'll be doing this without GPS.
    Jason
    MOA#109159
    AMA#699688
    '03 K1200LTC Impala Brown (RIP)

  10. #10
    RIDERR1150GSADV
    Guest

    Cool

    I will be using a GPS since I can get a brand new streetpilot III at West Marine for about 500,= (Port supply account)
    I like paper charts/maps as they are great for planning/backup but it is convenient to have the GPS when looking for remote gas stations etc.
    Besides I like gadgets too

  11. #11
    1flyer
    Guest
    I think that a lot of people have different conceptions of just what a GPS does for you, especially on a Bike. For me (Garmin/BMW), I never seem to use it for getting from one city to another but I will use it to get through cities along the way. BitchÔÇÖin BettyÔÇÖs voice directions make it a lot easier to keep my eyes on the road and not on a map through places I donÔÇÖt usually pass through. It paid for itÔÇÖs self twice in one night in Atlanta at Spaghetti Junction. There have been several times IÔÇÖve used it to find alternate routes around traffic blockage due to accidents or bottlenecks.

    Locally, if IÔÇÖm heading to an address or place IÔÇÖm not familiar with or have never been to before, the detailed instructions as to where to turn and how far till the next turn and ÔÇ£arrivingÔÇØ at my destination have worked well.

    For trips I use the corresponding GPS mapping program on the PC for route planning and mapping out the way I think I want to go, then load it and interesting waypoints I might want to stop at into the ÔÇ£boxÔÇØ before I leave. I may not always ÔÇ£pull upÔÇØ the route and follow it exactly but when I might want to detour to one of those interesting waypoints I can get to it and back on course without much trouble.

    One more feature IÔÇÖm finding I like is the database of what is available at what exit along the way. Late at night with the reserve light about to come on or a bad case of the ÔÇ£droopy eyesÔÇØ itÔÇÖs nice to be able to find out the next gas station is 19.5 miles up the road and there is a bed right next door.

  12. #12
    wlorenz
    Guest

    Yes to GPS..

    Originally posted by RT RANDY
    I'll be making my first long trip coming from Dallas. ..... Any recommended mounting solutions for a 1150 RT ?
    I use a Garmin SPIII with a Touratech mount and I am in the GPS-YES camp.

    I put 16k miles on my bike last fall and I did not use it for getting from here to there as we did not know or care where we ended up.

    I did use it often to find alt routes, gas, food, etc. I used it to get out of the desert, the woods as well as inner city locations. I also used it to know where I had been that day/week. I used it to find specific addresses and i always knew it could find the nearest 911 location if i needed one. I also used it to check my speed as the spedo on my GS is hugely inaccurate.

    There are drawbacks like connecting to a computer to download maps, inaccurate readings, loosing signal in canyons but if you choose to afford one, the positives out weigh the neg.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Soldotna, alaska
    Posts
    10

    Autocom ?

    RT Randy, I noticed you mentioned that you have an Autocom. I'm tryinging to decide what type of communication device to get. My wife and I are shipping bikes down from Alaska, tooling around for for 5 weeks, hitting the rally, then driving back up the Alcan. I had been leaning toward a chatterbox CB, so we could talk to each other in what will be mostly unfamilar roads. Plus alot of our friends up here have CB's. Are you happy with your system?

  14. #14
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,587
    This GPS topic stirs up a lot of strong arguments from both sides. You'd think I just asked if i should get extended forks and Ape Hangers on my RT. We're just talkin navigation here. It's kind of like when you've been cruising a great road at high speed for a while and you glance at your RPM and what gear your in. I alway enjoy pouring over a map before I make what few trips I've been taking. My thinking is that it might be nice to know that I have another 43.5 miles to Tucumcari even though I'm on the right road. Finding a hotel or gas is a big plus or making a deviation could take less stopping time to check a map in order to get back on course. Well , I've made up my mind. I'm going to ride to Spokane without a GPS and if there happens to be something terribly attractive ( we're talkin GPS here) at the Rally, I could be convinced to mount one for the ride home. No question a good tool and no question it could be a distraction. One thing for sure I can be in less of a hurry to buy one hearing good arguments about keeping it simple and enjoying the ride. Hopefully I can ride a different route heading home to see more
    great sights.

  15. #15
    up in smoke Gnome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    173

    Thumbs up

    I agree with Jentine! It's the ride remember,not a bunch of gadgets stuck all over your bike telling you how to get there. Have we forgotten how to read maps see the names of towns on it like "Burnt Church,Tn",and "Paridise,Mi". Leave that electronic gizmo behind and really see America. That's my humble opinion.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •