On the coast of Kansas
I have found more great roads in far less time than I could have any other way. I will be riding along and see a small squiggly line on the screen heading in the general direction I want to go and the turn signal goes on. Road turns to dirt, the GPS will tell me how many miles back to pavement, although for me it does not matter, unless I am trying to make time.
Just like any other tool if used right it is a must have. but just like a screwdriver that shatters its handle when you attempt to use it as a chisel, and hit it with a hammer, that is operator error, not tool failure.
Set it on shortest route, and avoid main roads, and u-turns and you can discover a whole new world.
I find a GPS rather liberating. It lets me wander wherever I want to go (if you get to a fork in the road - take it..) with some assurance I can find my way back to civilization. It's only a problem if you let the GPS make you go places. If you use it to expand horizons it's a wonderful tool. I have a friend who had similar feelings to yours - but he ran out of expensive things to add to his bike so he finally got a GPS. He wrote an article for our club newsletter telling how he enjoyed using it since he was able to explore roads he normally wouldn't have taken and the GPS would happily "recalcuate" and plot his route back home.
Sorry if it spoiled it for you. I guess you might start a thread where GPS's aren't allowed.. but since they're about as common on a BMW that's ridden a lot as the wheels and tires are, I think it might be a lonely thread.
To each his own.
Different strokes for different folks.
But I've found that sometimes, my prejudices keep me from expanding my horizons. Not to say that you would enjoy a GPS, but to let it ruin this thread may be carrying things to the extreme.
Having said that, I've enjoyed all of the different responses to my original question.
Reasons for riding are as many and varied as there are riders. There is no correct answer.
I ride because of the smile on my face when on the bike.
And, as my friend Paul F knows, I like to eat.
On which Kansas coast are you located?
Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to
Charter Member "High Town" crew.
Wow! GPS is a fantastic tool!
1) Discover new routes
2) Lists hotels nearby so you can call, book a room, and be taken there at the end of the day. Lists restaurants.
3) Allows you to get lost, wandering as you might, then back to where you need to be
4) Allows you to meet up at places you don't know how to get to
5) Tells you approximately the time you'll be there so that you can be on time to meet people.
It's just a tool. It's not to be hated. Use it in a way that fits your life.
Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
'05 R12RT, R90/6
2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
Suzuki DR 350
OK I can see why Royce hates GPS, If I lived in Kansas and every time I turned on my GPS it looked like a piece of graph paper with no turns in sight for 500 miles, just dead straight roads, I would hate it, along with the bike and wonder what I was doing there!!!
For us corner hounds in places like the Smokey's we have the opposite reaction when we turn it on and up pops hundreds of possibility's for today's ride.
When traveling unfamiliar curvy roads, I benefit by being able to see what kind of turns lay ahead of me...how tight...how far apart, etc. As others have said, it is a tool that can enhance a ride. I run the GPS. It does not run me.
For what it is worth, Iwould NEVER rely on the gps to tell me how sharp a corner is. First it would distract from reading the dozens of other clues and signs that go into the correct approach and exit of any turn. 2nd it can't show traffic, gravel, pot holes, whether a corner is blind, or even indicate a reducing radius very well.
The GPS is great for finding corners, but not good at negotiating them, leave that to me.
It doesn't change my speed or any other aspect of my taking the curves - but it does provide useful info on what's ahead. Do I "rely" on it? nope. Is the info useful? - yup.
Try it sometime IF you have a GPS where it isn't necessary to really look at it to know what it's showing (GPS position and the display complexity are the important factors..)
My partner and I assume we will go by bike unless there is a very compelling reason not to. I guess we are of the motorcyclist lifestyle. We were both that way before we met and now it's simply understood without thought or discussion. Gas, oil, tires, tune up, repeat. She keeps two modern bikes so one is always ready.
Howdy Bud hope we cross paths this year, it's been too long.
BMW MOA Ambassador; Life Member; Director
IBA member; SCMA Four Corners Motorcycle Tour Finisher
It has been a long time since we saw each other. Perhaps I will drop by next summer for a chat. Going to spend two weeks riding in Colorado.
My best to you both!
Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to
Charter Member "High Town" crew.
i would have to sign up for both groups. I'll ride in 6 degree weather up to my Micky D's coffee klatch group in the morning for breakfast if the roads are fairly free of ice, or head out for a couple thousand miles of road to a rally or part of the country I've not yet seen at the drop of a button. All I can say, is it's probably a good thing that I didn't start riding until I retired, otherwise, I'd probably never gotten anything else done, and would not be able to afford a Beemer at this stage in life.... Good things do come to those who wait and plan for the future.....:-)
I used to commute, but the increase in texting left me feeling like I was in a video game, so don't commute on my bike much anymore. A few longer trips each year - 1,500-2,000 miles, but no interest in hours on the highway on a bike. I actually love road tripping in a car - and regularly take 8-12 hour trips. On my bike I like to stay on fire roads, two laners and some two tracks. I love the curves but am a mellow rider - not into speed so much, as I cleared that out of my system in younger days.
Nothing like a detailed map for planning a route and finding great roads.
My GPS is solely used for track logging and acts as a travel diary as well as a photo location tool.
Anyway, I'm more number 2 on that list. I am totally happy spending roughly six weeks in the Alps every year. If I never get to ride between those tours once I am back home, I could not care less. Less miles but the best roads and scenery.