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Hi all,

In case anyone is looking for a GPS for their motorcycle, without paying the price of a zumo, consider the Nuvi 550 which is currently (4/24) on sale at GPS city, in a nice package, for $285 with free 2 priorty shipping.

http://www.gpscity.com/garmin-nuvi-550-automoto-kit.html

The kit comes with the Nuvi, and 2 ram mounts (one for the bike and 1 for the car). Its cheaper than Amazon, and since it is "NEW", you get a free map upgrade from garmin to the 2012 maps.. 2013 in a few months if you wait to activate.

I did a lot of research on which GPS to buy, and a zumo was just too much for me. This model IS WATERPROOF. Some really cool videos on youtube show it being dropped in water and says alive for more than 30 minutes.

It does route.. you use Garmin's basecamp to draw your routes and send to the GPS (i believe you need to buy an SD card and usb plug, but those are cheap at radioshack or something).

Just an idea if you are looking for a new GPS but not willing to shell out $400 for a gps..

Once I get to use it (this weekend), ill let you know how it goes, but most reviews online are stellar for motorcycle use.
 

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Got two - one on each of my Vs. They work great, thus far. I want to try that way of making a route and adding it via an SD card you mentioned. Keep us informed IF you try it.
 

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Thanks for the heads up. I too can't seem to justify (to me AND my wife :devil:) paying for a Zumo. I'd like to, but two kids nearing college.

I'm ashamed to admit how much time I've spent thinking about a decent navigation set-up that won't break the bank. I've used a non-smart phone with Verizon navigation and earbuds with decent results in the past. Big drawback of this was no usable screen view, and sketchy phone service. I currently use an iphone, Mapquest GPS app, waterproof cover and earbuds. Viewing of screen better (not great), as well as better GPS app. Google maps can also be utilized if needed.

You have me thinking that if I could do without hearing the commands, the improved navigation capabilities (loading routes) and inherent waterproof feature of the 550 might be the ticket. Christmas not too far off :D.
 

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I've had mine for about a year and a half now and am pleased with it. No frills or special stuff, just solid and reliable.
 

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Nuvi 550 works like a charm for me. I bought it before Garmin came out with the ZUMO 220 (just lke the 550 but with bluetooth and lane assist) and I installed a bluetooth intercom in my helmet. If I was buying one now I would go for the ZUMO 220 it's about $100 more than the 550 and includes the RAM mount.

Don't rely on the phone for navigation. Once you lose the connection you have no maps and that is the time you probably need it the most.
 

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I've been looking at the Zuni 220 & the Nuvi 550 for a bit. Can't say what Bluetooth or lane Assit will do for me and being a bit cheap I'll likely go with the Nuvi 550 when and if I break down and buy one.

BTW some of the best rides I've ever had were whrn I was lost. You know there's a castle on top of the Blue Ridge? I didn't and lived 15 miles away. Found it one day while lost. But when I gotta get somewhere it'd be nice to have and NOT depend on the Droid, it work 99% of the time but is very basic.
 

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Hi all,

In case anyone is looking for a GPS for their motorcycle, without paying the price of a zumo, consider the Nuvi 550 which is currently (4/24) on sale at GPS city, in a nice package, for $285 with free 2 priorty shipping.
Thanks for the heads up! :cheers: I would love to have a Garmin that I can plan a route at home and upload it to the GPS so it won't try to take me all over creation on streets I don't want to use! Would also be handy for the long car trips as well.

I actually went on a long ride today and used my Garmin and a Google route printed and taped to my left leg. I use both together and works OK but the Garmin is always trying to use different streets. Sometimes I just turn off the destination and just display the map or the speedo unless I get really lost.

When my budget allows, I may have to pick up one of these little buggers!
 

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Lane assist has saved my butt enough times that I don't consider it an option
I don't really want blue tooth...there are enough voices in my head already
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got two - one on each of my Vs. They work great, thus far. I want to try that way of making a route and adding it via an SD card you mentioned. Keep us informed IF you try it.
You can absolutely create routes and send to the gps. You use Garmin basecamp to do it. It says it holds 10 on the unit but your sd card can hold a ton. You just have to delete/import them them from the sd card to the unit which is a 3 click procedure on the gps.

By the way you need to buy the micro sd card and micro USB to USB wire to connect it to the computer but you can get Both cheap.

I will test how well it follows the route but I have no doubt it will do what I planned.

I spent a ton of time researching the "route" planning capabilities so if anyone has a specific question on how it works let me know!
 

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You can absolutely create routes and send to the gps. You use Garmin basecamp to do it. It says it holds 10 on the unit but your sd card can hold a ton. You just have to delete/import them them from the sd card to the unit which is a 3 click procedure on the gps.

By the way you need to buy the micro sd card and micro USB to USB wire to connect it to the computer but you can get Both cheap.

I will test how well it follows the route but I have no doubt it will do what I planned.

I spent a ton of time researching the "route" planning capabilities so if anyone has a specific question on how it works let me know!
I have a 550 and took out the sd card because I couldn't figure out how to download routes and maps, feel free to PM me, Garmin wasn't much help, I was able to upload pictures, which seemed like a waste of time.
 

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I have a 550 and took out the sd card because I couldn't figure out how to download routes and maps, feel free to PM me, Garmin wasn't much help, I was able to upload pictures, which seemed like a waste of time.
OK -- For all -- I just tested my first custom route and it works fine :)


Basically you need to do the following:

1) Have the Nuvi 550
2) Update the maps (if it is new, you get to update your maps for free up to 90 days after your first start on the GPS). When updating the maps, there will be an option (in the .EXE program) to download to your computer AND gps. I recommend doing both so that you can plan your route on your computer without the GPS being plugged in.
3) Open your GPS and push in your micro SD card. It takes up to 16gb (got mine at staples for $20 on sale)
4) Download Garmin BASECAMP -- this is the new program that is taking the place of "Mapsource" if you see that in your own research
5) Open basecamp. If you downloaded the maps to your computer, in addition to the GPS, you should see "City Navigator North America..".
6) If you have question on how to use basecamp (it isn;'t the easiest) there are online videos by garmin for tutorials.
7) Import a GPX or create your own route in Basecamp. Again.. I could help you if needed ,but overall try to watch the garmin tutorials.
8) Once you create your route.. (still in basecamp program), plug your Garmin GPS into your Computer via a Mini USB to USB 2.0 plug.
9) Basecamp should autoreconize the nuvi 550. If it doesnt you need the new drivers which can be found on garmin;s website.
10) Once basecamp see yours nuvi, it will show on the left hand navigation bar.
11) Find the route you created -- most likely in "My Collection" folder on the left navigation bar -- > Right click it --> send to --> Nuvi 550.
12) Once its done uploading, feel free to disconnect!
13) Start your GPS
14) Now you have to load the route from the SD card to the internal memory. How? On your garmin, go to tools - > My Data -> Import Route from File -> Select 1 or all of the routes you transffered.
15) Wait till it is done uploading (takes a few seconds)
16) Ok now it is loaded to the memory of the device
17) At the garmin main screen -> Where To? - > Custom ROutes -> Pick one that you imported
18) Next option will be "Would you like to navigate to the start of the custom route" -- If you pick NO, then it wont do anything until you get to the start. If you Pick YES, it will navigate you to the start, then once you get there, it will load the Custom Route. This is for instances where you did not plan your route from your home location, but lets say at the start of a state park.

If you need, I can create a really quick video tutorial of the whole thing.
 

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Wow, thanks for posting the step-by-step process of the route planning. I've had my 550 for almost two years, works flawlessly, but never planned a route with it. I'm never lost though, cuz I can see me on the screen! Also, I over-rule on route choices constantly, but the little bugger will adjust with hardly a complaint.
Speedy's mounting plate and Nuvi 500/550 with Garmin Cradle work awesome.
 

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Using routes in the Garmin does not work for me. Garmin try to route you through it thinks is the fastest or shortest route between two places based on the preferences you set. That seldom send you through the best route. This best route thing been rather subjective. To override this you have to program a route base on a set of waypoints following a specific order. If for some reason you miss or skip a waypoint, Garmin will send you back to the missed waypoint in the order they were programmed and not to the closer one in your route. This is rather anoying since you probably had a good reason to skip that waypoint and you probably just want to keep going on to the next. I have not found a way to tell the GPS that is is ok to skip a waypoint and to continue from the current location to the next while on route.

What I do is to set markers with easy to remember names along a route and navigate from marker to marker. I usually set markers in strategic intersections, scenic locations, gas stations, good BBQ restaurants, micro brews, and hotels. If I need Garmins assistance, Like when I ask myself, where the heck am I? I stop and search for one of my markers or the closests one and ask Garmin to take me there.

However, I always plan my routes using a old fashion map that I carry with me along a compass, one of those things that have an arrow that points north without the need of batteries. I occasionaly stop take a look at my map and mark where I am so in case Garmin decides to stop working I can navigate my way back to civlization. In the city I rely more on my droid and google maps to find my way around.

I use my 550 with a handlebar ram mount. I keep it powered using the 12v adapter connected to a 12v cigarete lighter adapter I installed in the bike. I save the battery power for when I need to consult the gps off the bike or when the engine is stopped.
 

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Using routes in the Garmin does not work for me.
Well it is nice to hear I am not the only one, I ended up removing my sim card and putting it in my phone, looks like I may need to get another sim card,.

Thanks Naudan for a excellent step by step procedure, another reason why this site rocks :goodidea::thanx:
 
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