Looking for a GPS - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for a GPS

I know, I know....yet another GPS thread.

Here's the deal: I want a GPS that meets the following criteria:

- Large screen (4.6"+)*
- Bluetooth*
- Fairly bright screen*
- Free Map Updates
- Free Traffic Alerts
- Inexpensive (less than $150)*

*=Must have

I have looked around a bit, but I wanted to get someone's take on one they have actually used. Sure I would like to have a Garmin Zumo, but it just isn't in my budget. Any help here is greatly appreciated.

Texas

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 05:10 AM
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yeah Im looking for the never empty beer glass too....

I know people who use car GPS's, two have had tro replace those as they suffered from vibration damage meaning they failed.

free map updates, I don't know of any that do free map updates for life, I've seen some that have traffic updates bundled in, some they are an extra.

personally I'd suggest you pony up and get a GPS designed for the bike, which can also be used in a car. I use a Zumo 550, the newer 600 serries zumo's seem less bulky. the 550 came with bike & car mounts. its been dropped numerous times, its been out in the rain, occasionally its been hard to read in the sun but so far its never really let me down.

in short yer gets what yer pays for
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by healdem View Post
yeah Im looking for the never empty beer glass too....

I know people who use car GPS's, two have had tro replace those as they suffered from vibration damage meaning they failed.

free map updates, I don't know of any that do free map updates for life, I've seen some that have traffic updates bundled in, some they are an extra.

personally I'd suggest you pony up and get a GPS designed for the bike, which can also be used in a car. I use a Zumo 550, the newer 600 serries zumo's seem less bulky. the 550 came with bike & car mounts. its been dropped numerous times, its been out in the rain, occasionally its been hard to read in the sun but so far its never really let me down.

in short yer gets what yer pays for


+1
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 08:04 AM
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The Zumos have a ton of features, including being waterproof, but I'm not finding Garmin saying the construction is in any way specific to bikes (anti-vibe, etc). That doesn't mean it's not, but I'd think they'd call it out if it was.

Are all the features worth the cost? Yeah, probably, if you use them. I wouldn't use them.

I was still going to get a Zumo 665 if it had better routing. But I couldn't find any indication of that. So I bought a Nuvi instead. It works well for what I use it for: uploading routes and showing me the area around me. It's not waterproof though.

The 205W has a 4.3" screen and bluetooth. It might be the closest thing to what you want. I think a few people here have one.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 08:16 AM
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yeah Im looking for the never empty beer glass too....


You made my day sir.....

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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I've been using car GPS systems for 7+ years on bikes now (Magellan, Lowrance & Garmin). I don't know what kind of vibrations or roads those people are driving on, but I' have personally never driven on any that were severe enough to do any damage.

Currently I have a Magellan. I can't think of the model number right now, but it is a small 3.5" screen, and it isn't too bright. Back when it was made (3 years ago), traffic updates weren't even popular, but it did have a battery in it, which was pretty new stuff in a car GPS. It was small and fit in my shirt pocket, which at the time was pretty cool to be able to do that every time my wife and I got off the bike to go eat. I have driven 50,000+ miles with it, in the rain (though I have done it, I wouldn't recommend using any electronics in the rain), extreme heat, etc... But, I feel that technology has run it's course and it is time to retire it to someone else who maybe has nothing right now.

There are plenty of systems with free map updates and traffic alerts. You can find several of them right here with Magellan:

http://www.magellangps.com/products/....asp?segID=354

I just thought there was someone out there that had experiance with some of them, but maybe I'm wrong. The motorcycle community should not be fooled into thinking that you have to spend hundreds of dollars for a GPS that they can use on their motorcycle. At any rate, eventually I will locate a new one, and I will be sure to give a review of it for the members of this board.

Texas

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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The Zumos have a ton of features, including being waterproof, but I'm not finding Garmin saying the construction is in any way specific to bikes (anti-vibe, etc). That doesn't mean it's not, but I'd think they'd call it out if it was.

Are all the features worth the cost? Yeah, probably, if you use them. I wouldn't use them.

I was still going to get a Zumo 665 if it had better routing. But I couldn't find any indication of that. So I bought a Nuvi instead. It works well for what I use it for: uploading routes and showing me the area around me. It's not waterproof though.

The 205W has a 4.3" screen and bluetooth. It might be the closest thing to what you want. I think a few people here have one.
While that is a nice unit, it falls a bit short of what I'm looking for though. The 205W is another great unit for it's time. You know, these GPS systems change so much, that "for it's time" can mean just 10 months ago.

Texas

2010 Kawasaki Versys
Givi Shield, Givi PLX V35 Side Cases, Givi V46 Top Case, Powered Tank Bag, Corbin Seat, RAM Mounts, Venhill SS Smoke Brake Lines, HID 5000K/3000K, LED Marker Lights

2012 BMW K1600GTL
Loaded

"There was Dallas, from Phoenix; Cleveland - he was from Detroit; and Tex... well, I don't remember where Tex come from." - The endearing Forrest Gump
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 09:06 AM
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MY solution is using my smart phone which is a HTC Incredible. Bluetooth, free map updates (it uses google maps), large screen, turn by turn voice prompts and I consider it inexpensive since it doubles as my phone. In a sense its free to me because I would have it anyway even if I didn't use the GPS feature. There are other smart phones that would probably fit the bill as well.

Side benefits are, I can stream music via pandora radio or play mp3s off the phone right into my headset.
The only draw back is if you get into a bad are with no service it may stop working. I will be riding this weekend and try that out. As I am going through what I call the dead zone.

Considering the high cost of a ZUMO I think the phone is a perfect compromise.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 09:32 AM
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I just thought there was someone out there that had experiance with some of them, but maybe I'm wrong. The motorcycle community should not be fooled into thinking that you have to spend hundreds of dollars for a GPS that they can use on their motorcycle. At any rate, eventually I will locate a new one, and I will be sure to give a review of it for the members of this board.

Texas[/QUOTE]

I hope we did not offend you in any way and it will be nice of you to locate a unit and provide a review.

Wish you sir.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas View Post
While that is a nice unit, it falls a bit short of what I'm looking for though. The 205W is another great unit for it's time. You know, these GPS systems change so much, that "for it's time" can mean just 10 months ago.

Texas
Right, it wasn't exactly what I wanted either. I opted for the 1490T, which is more expensive (thought I got it relatively cheap at Costco) but has a much bigger screen.

I think the use of a smartphone is interesting. If you ride where there is service you always have the latest maps. If you don't you can buy one of the apps with maps included.

Hope you find one that meets your needs.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 10:12 AM
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I use an old Garmin 2720. It was $75 on ebay, is waterproof, and works great. For a bit more money you can get a 2820 which has bluetooth.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 10:28 AM
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I have a Papago 6" screen for my car. It however is not waterproof.

For the bike, using the Garmin software in my Nokia E72 handphone.
Not able to see the screen but able to hear the instruction via headphones.



It's cheap and it works. It also emits music tracks.

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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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The phone idea is a nice backup. Actually, I have a Droid, and it is synced to my helmet via Bluetooth, so if I bring up the navigator on the phone and select a destination, I can cradle the phone, and the female voice speaks the directions and turns to me. It is a nice backup, but still no substitute for a picture map. I could mount the phone on the bike, but the screen would turn off after a period of time, unless I changed that setting, and I would also have to plug the power in to the bike because the battery wouldn't last long in GPS mode, but even then, after a few hours my phone would be hotter than a pistol.

I am really just wanting a GPS unit to replace the one I have now. A 6" screen would be nice. Heck, the IPad would be really nice, but it has issues with overheating during prolonged use and the screen is definitely not bright enough. Too bad, because the IPad uses Google maps. With Kindle ripping on Apple for the display issues, I know it is just a matter of time before they come out with a new IPad that will be plenty bright enough for outdoor use.

The other thing is, every day I sit and talk about this, a GPS drops it's price, or a new GPS is introduced. This is an ever-changing market.

Texas

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 07:11 PM
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I bought a nuvi 500 a few months ago and I am very pleased with the unit. It is only a 3.5" screen but, it is bright and easy to see. The nuvi 500 is ruggedized and waterproof! I use it on my Dual Sport bike and in my Jeep all the time. It also comes with 48 state Topo maps pre loaded.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 07:35 PM
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I second AZCPP's choice. Here's a review of the Nuvi 500 and 550: http://gpstrends.com/2009/01/garmin-nuvi-500-550/ , the difference being the 500 has lower 48 and 550 is N. America. I have an older Nuvi 760 which is not as moto-friendly. All these Nuvi's have the ability to download Points-of-Interest (POIs) such as one finds at websites like POI-factory.com . The red light camera and speed camera POIs are handy, as well as POIs for rest areas, etc. (Microbreweries, anyone?) Garmin support is excellent. Lifetime map updates are available at extra cost and highly recommended, usually they've been updating about quarterly but oftentimes they are still a year behind reality.

Someday is not a day of the week.
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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 10:03 PM
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Try looking at some Navigon units i have a 7100 i hardly use since i got the zumo 550 they have some really great features.
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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 05:36 AM
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I use my HTC HD2 with iGO8 and a Givi handlebar bag. The reflection of the clear cover on the bag makes the screen hard to see at times, however, I tend to ride via the voice prompts via bluetooth in my helmet (Caberg Konda with 'Just Speak'). Can also make and take calls (if I really need to) and listen to my favourite music. The sound is very clear and not at full volume even with earplugs and cruising at 80mph.

A lot of people swear by the Zumo range, however I can't justify the huge expense for a dedicated device when I have a phone that will do it all, though accept it ain't always the best.

Last edited by stotham; 10-01-2010 at 05:38 AM.
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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 06:43 AM
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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 08:14 AM
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I don't think this model supports bluetooth.
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 10:40 AM
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The problem with most car oriented GPS systems is the Bluetooth is only for phone calls. They do not support headset bluetooth, so they will not send the audio (directions, music, etc.) to a helmet bluetooth setup. That is one of the differences with the Zumo series.
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