GPS - what to buy? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up GPS - what to buy?

Regular lurker since 2008!

I'm thinking of getting a GPS for my summer trips to the BRP, Cherahola pkwy and Deals gap area... Any suggestions for me please? Budget is not a big constraint. Need to be able to see and hear directions. Mp3 is a plus.

Thanks all! If one of you has a GPS to sell, let me know too! cheers
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 12:49 AM
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since I have an iPhone, I installed Navigon and it works like a charm... I got everything in one device: gps, custom itinerary including the option of motorcycle itinerary, music, phone call, plus you can install for free wikipedia so that in most of the places you have a description of the history etc

otherwise, on ebay you get great sub 100 usd deals for Garmin nuivi

good luck!


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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 07:12 AM
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Anybody using an Android GPS app that they would recommend?

I'm no diplomat
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:24 AM
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I have a regular tomtom, the most inexpensive one, and it works fine. I have the RAM set up and it's flawless.

I do have a question... what's so special about motorcycle-specific gps that they cost way more expensive than a automobile gps like a tomtom or garmin? I saw one for over $400!
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ESE_VERSYS2013 View Post
I have a regular tomtom, the most inexpensive one, and it works fine. I have the RAM set up and it's flawless.

I do have a question... what's so special about motorcycle-specific gps that they cost way more expensive than a automobile gps like a tomtom or garmin? I saw one for over $400!
stronger case, waterproof, can be operated while wearing gloves...for me these "advantages" have never been a reason to pay more for motorcycle dedicated gps...I choose the iPhone and I bought a 0.5$ tactile pencil (attached to the 38 USD RAM mount) to operate the iPhone while wearing gloves...
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:50 AM
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I have a regular tomtom, the most inexpensive one, and it works fine. I have the RAM set up and it's flawless.

I do have a question... what's so special about motorcycle-specific gps that they cost way more expensive than a automobile gps like a tomtom or garmin? I saw one for over $400!
Well I have a dedicated motorcycle gps (Nuvi 550) because I wanted to make sure the following:
  1. Waterproof
  2. glove friendly
  3. bigger battery life.
  4. Can use CUSTOM ROUTES

IMO Biggest win: Custom Routes. Besides motorcycle GPS's, i dont think maybe low end models do this. You can create a custom route using garmin software, then upload it to your GPS for it to follow. What does that mean? Want to take ALL those really weird back roads through the woods rather than 'shortest distance' or 'no highway'? Well - you can do it! And you can do it AHEAD of time. So go ahead and plan your 3 day adventure 2 months ahead of time, or just download the routes that other people have made and start it up!. This is the coolest thing these GPS's offer IMO.

The glove thing is amazing, I mean, you can change navigation while moving, which is really nice not to have to stop and take your gloves off.

The waterproofing is also very very very nice. I dont have to 'freak out' if I start seeing some mean looking clouds. If I am on a long trip, sometimes I get caught in some serious downpours, but I just leave it on! I even wash my bike with the GPS still on, no worries and works great.

Battery Life - It lasts a few hours (maybe around 3) without being plugged in. Thats quite nice, as most car models will last like 30 minutes without being plugged in. If you have a cig lighter, then this doesnt matter much, but sometimes I like to be charging my cell phone rather than the GPS always.

However, if you dont want to pay a premium, I agree, just buy a $70 gps and $20 RAM mount and you got a nice setup for under 100!

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Givi Tall Windscreen, Givi Top Rack and Case, Givi V35 Bags and Mounts, Givi QuickLock Tank Connector+Bag, Oxford Heated Grips, Nuvi 550 w/ Ram Mount, Barkbusters Full Wrap + Storm, Motowerks Flatfoot, Spools and Tank Protector, Bobbed Fender, Grip Puppies, 12v SAE Socket, Packjack, Airhawk 1 (med), Scala Rider G4, Contour Roam2

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:55 AM
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I also have the Nuvi 550 (as any other GPS devices it happens that things annoy me, but overall pretty solid device for the price). Also, keep in mind if using smartphone as GPS all the time, that vibrations can get the best of electronic devices over time. Motorcycle GPS are made specifically to resist motorcycle vibrations, smartphones are not.

I have a USB port installed on both my bikes so I can plug the GPS or charge my iPhone on the go. For the Nuvi 550, you need a special USB cable (7 or 8$) otherwise it thinks it's connected to a computer so it charges but you can't navigate. With the cross-wired cable, you can use it while it's charging on the bike. USB ports are so much more useful then cigar lighters nowadays

Last edited by Kawa007; 04-30-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:58 AM
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Just an FYI from a Dealís Gap local, Iíve yet to see a phone that keeps a solid GPS connection through the mountains. Cellular service is non-existent on the Dragon proper and is spotty at best up on the Skyway and the GPS antennas on the phones just donít seem to be able to keep a lock through the foliage.

That said, Iíve seen many dedicated GPS units have trouble up in the hills as well, but they do seem to keep a better connection, probably due to their dedicated nature.

The good news is that pretty much any GPS phone or unit will get you close enough and you can always flag down a local rider if you truly get lost.

Just watch out for those Versys riders, theyíre kinda weirdÖ
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 09:11 AM
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Never had a problem with the gps signal on the phone. I did not go to remote isolated areas on off roads though.

I'm not saying that Iphone is the BEST option, it suits my budget and my needs. with Navigon on it (which is the only gps mobile application that has motorcycle route option) I had all what I wanted. Also, all the map if offline and I don't even need a cell signal, just the gps one

Also, please note that even some sub 100 USD gps can accommodate custom made routes ...it is just that you need to pre-plan rather than planing on the go...
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 09:20 AM
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https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....maps.mytracks


Quote:
Originally Posted by aka Yamadog View Post
Anybody using an Android GPS app that they would recommend?
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 09:26 AM
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don't get me wrong, I use my iPhone exclusively (can't afford a dedicated motorcycle GPS), I just wanted to make sure everyone went into their decision with their eyes open. The foliage and terrain can, and do, play havoc with the signals up in the mountains and most dedicated GPS receivers have better antennas and software to help pull in fainter and broken signals in order to keep a better lock on the satellites.

As for the cell signal comment, it was more of an advisory as I constantly see people trying to make calls and wondering why they can't get through.

I've actually been considering getting my amateur radio license so as to be able to "call" out for emergency services without having to make yet another high-speed run to a cell-service area or the store after rolling-up to yet another wreck.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 09:29 AM
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I've had a zumo 550 for years. Waterproof, custom routes, updateable map set, works with gloved hand, bluetooth AND hardwired audio out, MP3. The hardwired audio out is important for me because I like sound attenuating in-ear speakers, which function as earplugs in general and provide excellent audio for tunes on the open road. Bluetooth to helmet speakers sucks in comparison. It did die on me (years after the warranty expired) and Garmin sent me a refurb for $150.

The zumo wasn't cheap, but overall I've been satisfied and there weren't a lot of alternatives at the time. If I were buying today I might consider something much cheaper just because there are options. A friend of mine bought a GPS from Chinavasion.com for about $100 and it works great. Finding a hardwired audio out is becoming harder to find. There was a BMW branded zumo that still has it, but it was available only at full retail through BMW dealers...over a grand. Ouch!

I live in a region with lots of mountains and tree cover, so I'd be hesitant to go with a phone-based GPS. I've used both iPhone-based and Android-based navs in the car and both cut out much more often than a dedicated Garmin GPS (a nuvi). Better have your phone plugged in to power when using GPS because it eats battery fast.

If money isn't an object, get a new zumo which is purpose built for moto navigation. If you want to save some cash, check eBay for used Garmins or consider something from Chinavasion or a similar source.


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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 12:33 PM
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Garage
Peaklife GPS

A motorcycle GPS will be water proof, shock proof, more rugged and be mountable on your bike. Typically they are more expensive than car GPS units though.

This is what I have. Comes with all hardware you need for bike and car although I used a SW-Motech mount to mount in center line over speedo. Decent quality, best price around for a motorcycle gps and works great but requires you install your own software which you can download free.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=21086

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies guys! Certainly seems like the Nuvi 550 is worth checking out as well as a Zumo 550. Chinavision seems to be interesting too.

Any one locate any deals on the Nuvi or Zumo? I'll post up if I find anything. Cheers and Thanks again!
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 05:43 PM
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X 3 on the Garmin Nuvi 550! I have two - one for each V - and they're ON as soon as the bike's ignition is turned on. Waterproof - I use a Karcher pressure washer, and the GPS stays connected to the bike while I wash. (Both were UNDER $200 each.)

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by naudan View Post
Well I have a dedicated motorcycle gps (Nuvi 550) because I wanted to make sure the following:
  1. Waterproof
  2. glove friendly
  3. bigger battery life.
  4. Can use CUSTOM ROUTES

IMO Biggest win: Custom Routes. Besides motorcycle GPS's, i dont think maybe low end models do this. You can create a custom route using garmin software, then upload it to your GPS for it to follow. What does that mean? Want to take ALL those really weird back roads through the woods rather than 'shortest distance' or 'no highway'? Well - you can do it! And you can do it AHEAD of time. So go ahead and plan your 3 day adventure 2 months ahead of time, or just download the routes that other people have made and start it up!. This is the coolest thing these GPS's offer IMO.

The glove thing is amazing, I mean, you can change navigation while moving, which is really nice not to have to stop and take your gloves off.

The waterproofing is also very very very nice. I dont have to 'freak out' if I start seeing some mean looking clouds. If I am on a long trip, sometimes I get caught in some serious downpours, but I just leave it on! I even wash my bike with the GPS still on, no worries and works great.

Battery Life - It lasts a few hours (maybe around 3) without being plugged in. Thats quite nice, as most car models will last like 30 minutes without being plugged in. If you have a cig lighter, then this doesnt matter much, but sometimes I like to be charging my cell phone rather than the GPS always.

However, if you dont want to pay a premium, I agree, just buy a $70 gps and $20 RAM mount and you got a nice setup for under 100!


Have had the 450 and currently 550 for quite some time.. 550 has been a great unit. I also have a 60map and 62 with streets in it for atv's. The RAM mounts can't be beat! If money is an issue you could pick up something like a 62 and buy a map set (mico sd) and a RAM Mount and it would accomplish your basic needs.

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 05:54 PM
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Google maps on your android phone. Buy nothing.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by aka Yamadog View Post
Anybody using an Android GPS app that they would recommend?
The problem I have is that even when plugged in my phone uses more energy than the charge can provide when using the Google Navigation on my Android, so it's not useful for navigation more than about 30 minutes max. Maybe you have better luck with your charger. Maybe I'd have better luck with a more powerful charger...

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 06:17 AM
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You must have an old phone. Also. You shouldn't be looking at it,listening to directions is the way to go. You will save a ton of battery life by not using the screen.

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 07:19 AM
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The problem I have is that even when plugged in my phone uses more energy than the charge can provide when using the Google Navigation on my Android, so it's not useful for navigation more than about 30 minutes max. Maybe you have better luck with your charger. Maybe I'd have better luck with a more powerful charger...
I have a Droid X, the first one. It has this same problem. I find that it is a poor primary GPS. I have had a Garmin 2610 since they were nearly $1000 and have 3 of them. They are bricks now because Garmin stopped supporting this product and its mapping software. I will not purchase another Garmin product ever!

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