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Thread: best GPS/ SATNAV?

  1. #1
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    best GPS/ SATNAV?

    howdy.

    looking to FINALLY get on the bandwagon, with a proper GPS.
    so many choices, and plenty of horror stories along the way.

    what's the BEST hands down, all around GPS? i will likely use it for the M/C AND the cage.

    what makes it best or better?

  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    howdy.

    looking to FINALLY get on the bandwagon, with a proper GPS.
    so many choices, and plenty of horror stories along the way.

    what's the BEST hands down, all around GPS? i will likely use it for the M/C AND the cage.

    what makes it best or better?
    That about sums it up-other than some are waterproof and some are not.
    I've been thinking about a thread like this myself. Some of the members are very talented and experienced with GPS and hopefully we can get some good ideas.
    If we can get some good advice it would be in consideration for a run in Best Of Forum. Let's see what we can put together. Thanks, Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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  3. #3
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Gary,
    i'm all ears. let's roll it. i actually did a *forum search* and was flabbergasted to find out this thread didn't already exist.
    anybody?
    Last edited by bmwrider88; 12-16-2010 at 07:49 PM. Reason: add text

  4. #4
    Registered User JohnM's Avatar
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    I'll be first to jump in.

    I've had the Garmin Zumo 550 since April 2007. Besides navigation, it offers XM/Sirius capability (although you need the separate & expensive antenna for that function), MP3 & audiobook player, traffic info, and Bluetooth. It comes w/ both M/C & car mounts, although you'll need a bracket to attach it to your M/C.

    Mine performed flawlessly until this past August, where it just died. For $150, Garmin replaced it with a refubished unit, which has worked well since.

    I used to have it attached to my Autocom , but after I sold that, I run Etymotic earbuds directly from the Zumo's mounting cradle.

    Garmin's Mapsource program can be installed on a PC/laptop/netbook. You use that to prepare routes, destinations, and (afterwards) the trips you took. The Zumo has alot of internal memory allocated for storing the "breadcrumb" trail of where you've travelled.

    Zumoforums.com provide alot of useful information on resolving problems encountered.

    There are plently of other very capable GPS' out there. But I recommend the 550 wholeheartedly. Do wish it had NEXRAD radar capability, but my smartphone provides that.
    "One day you're a kid sitting on a bike, dreaming the road; next thing you know, your social life consists of drinking microbrews with middle-aged roosters who ride BMWs and wear Aerostitch suits."

    - Joe Glydon

  5. #5
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    I still like the old tried and true Garmin 276C/378/478 units. VERY bright screen, waterproof, pretty tough, and vibration resistant.

    Buttons allow you to leave your gloves on to operate it, and it allows you to control everything if you like, or just point and go.

    LONG battery life

    Cons; It is Big.

    The 478 will let you do Radio/weather too with the same accessory antenna, and monthly fee, if that is important.

    How good and popular are these, you can sell them more today than they cost new 4 or 5 years ago.

    BUT you can also keep your eyes open, be patient watch ebay and craigslist, as well as forums like this and pick them up cheap ($250-$300)

  6. #6
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    I like Garmin. They are not trouble free, but usually take care of you when you're having a problem. I'm using a Zumo 660 for the bike and in the car. It's easy to hook up to a bike comm system, or I have custom ear phone/plugs that I can plug directly into the unit. Voice directions are neat because you can listen without taking your eyes off the road. Works fine with gloves on, but, at least for me, I find it very dangerous to try to do too much while driving/riding. I'm trying to learn to pull off the road before I fiddle with the GPS.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    Gary,
    i'm all ears. let's roll it. i actually did a *forum search* and was flabbergasted to find out this thread didn't already exist.
    anybody?
    Yeah, I know what you mean. There are a lot of bits and pieces of good GPS info here and there but the good parts are rather random.
    If we can keep it going I think it would be a real resource. Info like how to stop the GPS from sending you the way it wants to go completely ignoring all that time plotting the route on your computer and downloading it to the GPS.
    Here is a link from Jim-Grafikfeat- put out on another thread. The link has some good tips....http://www.soundrider.com/current/sep10/garmin_tips.htm
    Hopefully we can put together a resource. Thanks to all, let's see what you got, Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
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    I haver a Zumo 550

    I have used my Zumo 550 extensively on both my bike (hard wired to my battery with a ram mounting system) and the car (with supplied suction cup mount and cigarette plug) for the last 2+ years. They are bullet proof and very intuitive to use. I also like they are designed for motorcycles and have desk top mapping for routing back roads. I also use the MP3 feature a lot.

    If mine disappeared, I would buy another Zumo in a North Carolina minute (which equals about a week).

  9. #9
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    Smile

    My Zumo 450 screen is becoming "VERY" intermittant. It seems that you can send a malfunctioning unit back to Garmin and receive a repaired unit for a nominal fee, about $150 or so. I like the 450 and will probably go this route rather than buy a new unit. One other possibility is to use a Micro-Soft GPS that plugs into your laptop. This costs less than $100 via internet sales and gives you a much larger screen to peruse. I use my GPS along with large scale maps Michelin/Delorme. The maps are used for trip planning and the GPS to locate gas, food, and if neccessary lodging. The GPS can be of great use in finding directions to an address when riding in unfamiliar surroundings.
    Ride Safe



























    '

  10. #10
    Yankee Air Pirate
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    +1 to Zumos...

    I have had 660 (same things as the BMW moto nav 4 or whatever) for over a year now with no problems

    Works great and goes on my M/C (custom mounted with all proper wiring included in its box see thread here: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=38876

    I also use the included suction cup mount and power bracket in my truck... the gps actually knows which mount it is in and changes its settings appropriately. Since I use my GPS as a fuel gauge backup this is nice, because it doesnt count miles in the truck against the fuel gauge feature for the bike.

  11. #11
    Raspberry waffles Bob!!! kewlmoose's Avatar
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    My Zumo 550 has been working like a champ.
    82 R65LS - gone but not forgotten
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  12. #12
    Geeser
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM View Post
    I'll be first to jump in.

    I've had the Garmin Zumo 550 since April 2007. Besides navigation, it offers XM/Sirius capability (although you need the separate & expensive antenna for that function), MP3 & audiobook player, traffic info, and Bluetooth. It comes w/ both M/C & car mounts, although you'll need a bracket to attach it to your M/C.

    Mine performed flawlessly until this past August, where it just died. For $150, Garmin replaced it with a refubished unit, which has worked well since.

    I used to have it attached to my Autocom , but after I sold that, I run Etymotic earbuds directly from the Zumo's mounting cradle.

    Garmin's Mapsource program can be installed on a PC/laptop/netbook. You use that to prepare routes, destinations, and (afterwards) the trips you took. The Zumo has alot of internal memory allocated for storing the "breadcrumb" trail of where you've travelled.

    Zumoforums.com provide alot of useful information on resolving problems encountered.

    There are plently of other very capable GPS' out there. But I recommend the 550 wholeheartedly. Do wish it had NEXRAD radar capability, but my smartphone provides that.

    +1
    almost exactly my experience
    recommend the 550 without reservation
    Marty
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  13. #13
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM View Post
    I'll be first to jump in.

    I've had the Garmin Zumo 550 since April 2007.

    There are plently of other very capable GPS' out there. But I recommend the 550 wholeheartedly. Do wish it had NEXRAD radar capability, but my smartphone provides that.
    looking now at the NEXRAD App on my phone. do you use it to track weather events as you travel into/near/around them?

  14. #14
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rpbump View Post
    My Zumo 450 screen is becoming "VERY" intermittant. It seems that you can send a malfunctioning unit back to Garmin and receive a repaired unit for a nominal fee, about $150 or so. I like the 450 and will probably go this route rather than buy a new unit. One other possibility is to use a Micro-Soft GPS that plugs into your laptop. This costs less than $100 via internet sales and gives you a much larger screen to peruse. I use my GPS along with large scale maps Michelin/Delorme. The maps are used for trip planning and the GPS to locate gas, food, and if neccessary lodging. The GPS can be of great use in finding directions to an address when riding in unfamiliar surroundings.
    Ride Safe
    i saw on another thread that Garmin has a decent support rep. the 150.00 turn-around option beats buying another brand new unit if yours happens to punk you. one guy had an issue with the download of an update but they got him hooked up, i guess thru internet chat service?
    nice tat there are actual people to turn to @ Garmin HQ if you need them.

    the MicroSoft GPS/ laptop device might be OK if you happen to be able to use your smart phone as the modem? some carriers offer this but not others. or if you have the USB-enabled 3G access device for your laptop? if it runs thru the laptop or netbook screen, then it seems it is only useful when in the car?
    can you elaborate on this please?

    also, do all GPS's require that you pay for maps or satellite access, downloads, updates, etc.? (the link provided above answers this question
    if i read it right)

  15. #15
    Registered User JohnM's Avatar
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    re: Garmin Mapsource updates

    After you buy a Garmin, you're usually entitled to download one free Mapsource update. Which I used a long time ago.

    Garmin now allows you to subscribe to frequent Mapsource update downloads, and I took advantage of the AMA discount ($80, I think) for lifetime Mapsource downloads ... about 4 a year. Good deal, IMO.
    "One day you're a kid sitting on a bike, dreaming the road; next thing you know, your social life consists of drinking microbrews with middle-aged roosters who ride BMWs and wear Aerostitch suits."

    - Joe Glydon

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