Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Navigating

  1. #1
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    608

    Navigating

    I'm thinking about getting a GPS for the bike. I am wondering how people feel about GPS for navigating on the bike. I've heard some GPS's don't hold up well. I'd hate to spend $600+ on a unit and have it last only a couple of years. I also wonder how many here navigate with just a tank bag/maps versus GPS. Some say you need a Bluetooth headset for the voice commands, but it seems like the screen would be enough to navigate.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  2. #2
    Ed Kilner #176066
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Mississauga, ON
    Posts
    490

    GPS - love it!

    Well, not all the time... updating maps can be a hassle, since I do it so infrequently.

    Bought my first GPS for my old Triumph back in 2001. After a couple of rides, I knew I would not really want to ride without it. I really appreciated it on my big ride across the US and Canada last June. Really really appreciated it.

    Now using a Zumo 550. It's not the newest and that's why the updating is so tough. Go for the newer one, if you can afford it.

    Do use a waterproof one. Don't ask me how I know...

    Don't drop them either. Don't ask me how I know.
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  3. #3
    George K1200RS GeorgeK1200RS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    242

    New to GPS

    When I bought a 1998 K1200RS in 2011, it came with a old Garmin Street Pilot 2720. That was my first experience with a GPS on a motorcycle. I have found it useful, but will always take paper maps as a backup.

    On local roads that have not been changed in decades, the GPS will want to take me on weird paths I know are the long way to my destination. Yes, I have set it up for the kind of roads I want, etc.

    On the positive side, I have ridden in areas that are unfamiliar and the GPS always guided me out...eventually.

    I also have a cheap Mio that I use in the car. Same experience as far as weird routes.

    I do not use any audio support on the bike GPS. I wear ear plugs to protect from additional hearing loss.

    I find the more accurate speed indicator and the estimated time of arrival to my destination some of the most useful information from the GPS.

    The level of detail you can get on a GPS is not available on most state road maps or an atlas. That is also one of the positive features if you take county and township roads like I do. Enjoy your rides!
    George
    R1200RT, K1200RS. Previous K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

  4. #4
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    608
    Thanks for the replies!

    I'll have my bike in to have the brakes serviced the end of the month, which would be the perfect time to wire in a GPS unit.

    I am also planning a long ride across the US this summer.

    I probably should crack open the wallet and get one...

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  5. #5
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mansfield,MA
    Posts
    6,477
    I don't know whether you noticed this Best of Forum- http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...he-Best-of-GPS
    There is a lot of info and each time a good thread runs here in Gear, I add it in. If you get set up Harry, perhaps you can let us know how it works out. 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

  6. #6
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    608
    Quote Originally Posted by OMEGA MAN View Post
    I don't know whether you noticed this Best of Forum- http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...he-Best-of-GPS
    There is a lot of info and each time a good thread runs here in Gear, I add it in. If you get set up Harry, perhaps you can let us know how it works out. Gary
    Thanks, Gary. I'll check out those threads.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  7. #7
    EVRNEWBIE
    Guest

    Quick FAQ bit: Ephemeris vs. Maps on GPS

    Hi all,
    Just a quick bit o' nerdy trivia: There are (at least) 3 databases on your GPS that need updating. The big map database is usually copyrighted by a company you've never heard of, and is rarely updated for free. A new map might cost 50% of a new device. Your device-manufacturer may have a special db of corrections, that they give you for free/cheap. Usually, this is what you get when you "update the map." These corrections, in my insignificant opinion, have proven to be of limited use and they have nothing like the scope of the full map. (full map>1gb, typical corrections<1meg or 0.1%)

    The 3rd database is the ephemeris, this is free and changes frequently. This is the guide that tells your navigator where to expect the satellites to be, and it shortens the time-to-first-lock by orders of magnitude, from minutes down to seconds. Besides convenience this db can be the only thing making a lock possible; for example, on power-up deep in a canyon (natural or man-made). This is the part of "updating the map" that I think is really important.

    Hope this helps explain some stuff,
    Ben

    tl;dr: the map database is not usually updated for free--map corrections might be free, but they're of limited value--the db predicting the satellites' position is the real benefit to frequent updates.

  8. #8
    Thick As A Brick r184's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    1,347
    I use a paper map for trip planning & as a back-up. The GPS is for the actual trip, how to get there while on the road. I use a Garmin 660 (which is blue-toothed or hard wired to my helmet and also has an MP3 player) that is several years old and has held up well.

    One of the benefits of the GPS over the paper map, is the database(s) that usually come with it. My current installed map(s) is the US & Canada. I have a listing of hotels, gas stations, hospitals, police stations, attractions, etc...On most of the current Garmin's, you can usually find a model that comes with free lifetime map up-dates. Software & firmware up-dates are free

    When I use the "Where Am I" feature it gives me the nearest medical/fire/police, which is handy in an emergency. It also gives me my speed and in some cases it will show the posted speed limit (Which isn't always accurate, but better than guessing), and depending how I set up the screen, an ETA to my next turn, destination, etc. And the "tracking feature" plots were I've been and can be downloaded to my computer as a record of the trip.

    So as to which GPS to buy, that depends on 2 things...how much cash you want to spend and how big of a techie you are...

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    64
    "The 3rd database is the ephemeris, this is free and changes frequently. This is the guide that tells your navigator where to expect the satellites to be, and it shortens the time-to-first-lock by orders of magnitude, from minutes down to seconds. Besides convenience this db can be the only thing making a lock possible; for example, on power-up deep in a canyon (natural or man-made). This is the part of "updating the map" that I think is really important."

    From my experience with GPS navigation and timing receivers starting in the late 1980's with Rockwell units and progressing to MEINBERG GPS synchronized timing equipment over the last decade - The Almanac and Ephemeris data of the GPS satellite system are not databases that are stored in your mapping software program, and are not anything that you would have control over as the user.

    That information (as well as the time) are typically stored in memory in the GPS receiver itself. If you power down, have not moved very far (typically within 100 kilometers), and a significant amount of time has not passed (as in months) and then power up again, the GPS receiver has a a rough idea of where it is, and the time. That information is associated with the Almanac and Ephemeris data and allows a relatively quick position fix (provided satellites are in view and not obstructed). Once a single satellite is received, the current Almanac and Ephemeris data that is available on that satellite is downloaded to the GPS receiver in order to provide the latest information about the rest of the complete operational constellation (which consists of 24 satellites in six polar orbital planes, with 4 satellites in each plane). That allows the receiver to search for and select satellites that should be in view.

    The GPS satellite system is a constellation of satellites that are continuously transmitting information about "Here I am, and this is the time", with the time a result of atomic clocks (rubidium and cesium ensembles on each satellite) that are regularly synchronized to UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) that is derived from from the US Naval Observatory, through the USAF Control Segment in Colorado.

    Four satellites are required in order to get a good fix - the receiver solves for X, Y, Z (latitude, longitude and altitude) as well as time. Solving for those four attributes allows the calculation of your position.

    If it has been some time since last lock, and significant distance from the last lock (as in equipment that I distribute that is manufactured in Germany and which is placed in service in the US or Canada) the time to synchronization can be problematic, and may take some minutes in a positioning application (again, providing that there is good visibility to the sky).
    JWMcDonald
    2003 R1150RS (current) / 1978 R80/7 (prior)
    1966 R69S (prior) / 1972 R75/5 (prior)
    Windsor, California

  10. #10
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mansfield,MA
    Posts
    6,477
    I guess it's time to update the Loran
    You bring up a good point on powerdown JW. All that gets to be a PITA when the unit is not hard-wired in so every pit/gas stop, with a key off, causes a re-acquisition and more time to acquire and get the GPS back on track.
    "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

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    39
    I put a RAM ball mount into one of my triple clamp bolts, and wired in a USB cable to the BMW GPS power connector that's hiding under my RT's dash. Invaluable for touring or running errands in an unfamiliar city.

    Cheap automobile Garmin GPSes work just fine on bikes; in the event of rain, deploy a tactical sandwich bag. You can buy a lot of sandwich bags with the $650 you save by getting a $150 N?vi (with lifetime maps!) rather than an $800 Zumo.

  12. #12
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Posts
    2,106
    As above, love highly detailed maps to plan DeLorme gazetteer, Google maps etc, but then GPS on the road. But I do not travel, I ride and gravatate to small back roads that lead to nowhere but fun.

    No b-tooth, or helmet sound. Garmins 276C, 376C 378, 478 series wonderful, tough, and BRIGHT. A bit clunky and frustrating to use, until you get use to the menus. but easy to use with gloves.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  13. #13
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Posts
    1,529
    I use Mapquest or Google to plan my routes, and write large/easy to read directions for on the tank. I like that I can zoom in with the computer and see finer details of the road than what a paper map will offer. Both programs have the ability to locate some gas stations and diners, so we can plan stops. While on the bike I keep my car oriented Garmin Nuvi, via RAM Mount, which has MP3 capability, so I can listem to music. This is a cheaper model that pretty much just takes you the fast way, not the twisty way, as it is not programmable like the Zumos, so it is there in case I get lost/have to get home sooner than later. I started using it in a RAM Aqua box, but after 3 years the lense of the Aqua box clouded and made it difficult to see. I now just keep zip top sandwich bags handy in case of rain. I am half hoping it does get soaked so I can get a Zumo 665, but while it is still working, I can't justify the expense.

  14. #14
    (Almost) Daily Rider Duster105's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    S. Placer County, California
    Posts
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by holygoat View Post
    I put a RAM ball mount into one of my triple clamp bolts, and wired in a USB cable to the BMW GPS power connector that's hiding under my RT's dash. Invaluable for touring or running errands in an unfamiliar city.

    Cheap automobile Garmin GPSes work just fine on bikes; in the event of rain, deploy a tactical sandwich bag. You can buy a lot of sandwich bags with the $650 you save by getting a $150 N?vi (with lifetime maps!) rather than an $800 Zumo.
    +1

    I have a +/-$200 Nuvi with lifetime updates on a standard Garmin mount, attached to the accessory dash on my '07 RT. I use the stock power/traffic cord that came with it to connect to a 12v adapter plugged into my accessory socket on the left side of the fairing. And, I carry Ziplocs for the wet times...LOL

    The one thing I did not know about was this "GPS power connector that's hiding under the dash" of which you speak... Where might I find it, what type of connector is it, and is it relatively easy to tap into? I would love to free up my 'visible' accessory plug.
    David W.
    Public Safety Professional since 1985
    2007 R1200RT
    Dominus pascit me

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    I guess it's time to update the Loran
    You bring up a good point on powerdown JW. All that gets to be a PITA when the unit is not hard-wired in so every pit/gas stop, with a key off, causes a re-acquisition and more time to acquire and get the GPS back on track.
    Omega Man - or rejuvenate the Omega Navigation System......see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_...tion_system%29
    JWMcDonald
    2003 R1150RS (current) / 1978 R80/7 (prior)
    1966 R69S (prior) / 1972 R75/5 (prior)
    Windsor, California

Posting Permissions

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