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Old 05-08-2014, 10:12 AM   #1
DeadOhioSky OP
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Trying to get Advice For a GPS Unit

I have a 2013 WR250R. I have no experience yet with GPS units for Motorcycles. I had a Garmin some years ago for use in my car, but gave it away to someone when all phones now a days have Nav. That being said out in the woods you get no service on a phone, so just getting a mount for that would be useless.

I am assuming that the reason they are so much more expensive is because of Waterproofing/Sunlight protection, and maybe lifetime map updates.

I would like to get opinions on the best units for loading routes into, tracking where I have been, and being able to be on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, turn that thing on and get home....

Please excuse me being a Noob, but I wanted to hear from people who have a lot more knowledge/experience than I do, instead of trying to figure out if reviews on amazon or other sites are actually from riders.
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:27 AM   #2
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No good reason why they are so expensive other than Garmin owns the market. Lifetime map updates....yeah right! That's where they make their money.

The models change so often be wary of the feedback you find.

That being said...about half the dual-sport riders I ride with have some sort of Garming GPSMAP 60 or 62 csx (Basic all around unit with buttons and smaller screen. The other half have Garmin Oregon/Montana/Montera set-up with the touch screen, then a few of the really techy guys have Garmin Zumos (Touch Screen, Wifi, Bluetooth, lots of options).

Personally, I have a 60Csx, and it's fine. If I were to replace it today, for dual sporting I'd stick with the most updated version of the same thing. Also keep in mind you'll need to pick up a map better than the stock map. The newer 24k Topo maps look pretty cool, but the City Navigator maps seem better for routing streets (i.e. "Take me to the nearest gas station").
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:48 AM   #3
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I havent found/figured out a cell phone app setup that I can use effectively but lots of phone have onboard gps, and lots of apps use downloadable maps. You dont need service for the phones anymore.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:09 PM   #4
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I'll 2nd the Garmin GPSmap 62. I use it for off road rides on a RAM mount, but I'll take it with me on hiking & camping trips, too.

The small screen isn't a big deal since I mostly use it to track where I've been, but it can be difficult to see enough detail when following a route. I have to zoom the map in pretty far before the smaller roads and trails will show up.

I figure it's a trade-off for more durability and portability. If I ever get stuck somewhere with a broken bike, I can at least carry the GPS with me to help find the nearest road.

The batteries last a long time, too.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:42 PM   #5
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If you are looking at off road I too would recommend the 60/62 CSX, it will work great on and off road with auto routing on road. I would suggest hard wire to the bike, it's not expensive so you are not running on batteries all the time and a mount such as the Touratech mount, nothing wrong with the Ram, less expensive but the unit is not secured in the Ram as well as in the Touratech, IMHO. Get the life time maps so you can update as needed.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSguy View Post
If you are looking at off road I too would recommend the 60/62 CSX, it will work great on and off road with auto routing on road. I would suggest hard wire to the bike, it's not expensive so you are not running on batteries all the time and a mount such as the Touratech mount, nothing wrong with the Ram, less expensive but the unit is not secured in the Ram as well as in the Touratech, IMHO. Get the life time maps so you can update as needed.

That actually looks like a really good option. What do I need to get to hard wire to my bike? It comes with a usb, but I am figuring some type of wire that can connect to a 12v?
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:25 PM   #7
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There was a great thread a while back that featured a GPS unit v. smartphone debate. Smartphone won, in my opinion. Others will undoubtedly disagree with me, but I see only three reasons to get a dedicated GPS instead of using your phone:
  1. gloved fingers work better on the screen
  2. sunlight shade on screen
  3. phone on handlebars does not look as adv-legit

After that, there are many reasons to use the phone instead. A phone case can be just as durable and weatherproof, you don't need a cell signal as was mentioned, you're probably bringing your phone anyway and so one less gadget to carry, and updates are going to be easier since the thing is a computer after all. Try one of the free or very cheap apps like MotionX-GPS to get a feel, then do a little research on some of the fancier apps.

A dedicated unit is almost always going to be outdated in the not-too-distant future, whereas the phone apps are constantly updated. I use MotionX which cost me $2.99, and download maps of an area I'm riding before I go. It works fine and has never failed. I had a Garmin Zumo a while back which cost me about $400 used, not including maps. It was a nice unit, but had way less features than the three dollar app, and didn't work any better.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 81forest View Post
There was a great thread a while back that featured a GPS unit v. smartphone debate. Smartphone won, in my opinion. Others will undoubtedly disagree with me, but I see only three reasons to get a dedicated GPS instead of using your phone:
  1. gloved fingers work better on the screen
  2. sunlight shade on screen
  3. phone on handlebars does not look as adv-legit
After that, there are many reasons to use the phone instead. A phone case can be just as durable and weatherproof, you don't need a cell signal as was mentioned, you're probably bringing your phone anyway and so one less gadget to carry, and updates are going to be easier since the thing is a computer after all. Try one of the free or very cheap apps like MotionX-GPS to get a feel, then do a little research on some of the fancier apps.

A dedicated unit is almost always going to be outdated in the not-too-distant future, whereas the phone apps are constantly updated. I use MotionX which cost me $2.99, and download maps of an area I'm riding before I go. It works fine and has never failed. I had a Garmin Zumo a while back which cost me about $400 used, not including maps. It was a nice unit, but had way less features than the three dollar app, and didn't work any better.

Good luck with your choice.
I'd like to go to my cell-phone also, but here's the challenges I'VE had.
- My phone is not weather/waterproof. Not really interested in using a Aquabox or some other gizmo, and buying a waterproof version of Android is cost prohibitive unless you are between contracts.
- I've played with a few GPS apps (Though, not MotionX), and have yet to find one that had as many features as even a basic Garmin has. Routes, Tracks, Waypoints, Computer Interface to progam routes, Find nearest Gas/Lodgnig/etc. (Google probably beats it at this one until you are out of cell service range...), multiple maps, etc.
- Have to enter a passcode on my phone each time the screen goes blank for secuirty purposes (Can bypass this, but have some apps that neccessitate that for off MC applications)
- Limited MC mounts - I have a RAM mount that works on my cell, but not as user-friendly as most of the dedicated GPS mounts nor locakable (Maybe they are out there though, I haven't looked hard).

Garmins GPS are much more turn key for what they are. I'm sure in the future Cell Phones will replace GPS units in the future, heck a table sized one would be really cool, but until then, I'm happy with seperate devices.


EDIT: I see MotionX is Apple only...hippy bastards.
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Scott_PDX screwed with this post 05-08-2014 at 02:33 PM
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:55 PM   #9
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PDX and Forrest...and everyone else. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply!

Been lots of help reading this so far.

Hippy Bastards LOL. I have Android for Life!!
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_PDX View Post
I'd like to go to my cell-phone also, but here's the challenges I'VE had.
- My phone is not weather/waterproof. Not really interested in using a Aquabox or some other gizmo, and buying a waterproof version of Android is cost prohibitive unless you are between contracts.
- I've played with a few GPS apps (Though, not MotionX), and have yet to find one that had as many features as even a basic Garmin has. Routes, Tracks, Waypoints, Computer Interface to progam routes, Find nearest Gas/Lodgnig/etc. (Google probably beats it at this one until you are out of cell service range...), multiple maps, etc.
- Have to enter a passcode on my phone each time the screen goes blank for secuirty purposes (Can bypass this, but have some apps that neccessitate that for off MC applications)
- Limited MC mounts - I have a RAM mount that works on my cell, but not as user-friendly as most of the dedicated GPS mounts nor locakable (Maybe they are out there though, I haven't looked hard).

Garmins GPS are much more turn key for what they are. I'm sure in the future Cell Phones will replace GPS units in the future, heck a table sized one would be really cool, but until then, I'm happy with seperate devices.


EDIT: I see MotionX is Apple only...hippy bastards.

I found an app for Android that downloads maps to an SD card, so no service required...MapFactor....

Going to try it with my phone and a mount....see how that works as previously suggested.

Thanks again guys. Huge Help!!!
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:07 PM   #11
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Haha, I did not know MotionX was Apple only! That sucks. To be honest, I would love to have another Garmin, but can't afford it and I bring my phone with me anyway, so there it is.

Anyone try the Vapor GPS? Certainly is cheap.
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:25 PM   #12
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Check out this thread http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=863174

There are people getting the used 5" screen Garmin's off eBay for about $50 and using them for off road/ dual sport use. If I just did not get a 78 that is the way I would go. The big screens are really nice and cheap.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:01 PM   #13
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I looked into the phone option a few years ago, this is what I found.

Phone would require otter box or some similar waterproof container. Looked like a mount to hold it would do fine on road but it was kind of universal so had the rubber band type tensioning for the phone, I would worry on the off road/trail you are going to loose the phone. For my screen to remain active (Apple phone) it needs to be plugged in. If it's plugged in then the charging port/data port is then exposed and the case is no longer rain proof.

We generally tend to change phones every couple of years so when you change or upgrade to a phone now your mounting system may no longer work, 60 CSX has remained the same. I never did find a locking mount that would work with the Apple/Otter box.

I run this mount

http://www.cycoactive.com/Store/2491...min-60C-series

Can lock it up and walk away. I have another 60c mount on another bike and a Zumo locking mount on another bike. Touratech keyed all mounts to the same key before shipping it out.

Added this for power.

http://www.cycoactive.com/Store/2473...-176C-60-76-78

Keep in mind, you can go with the Ram set up, much less expensive and you can teather the GPS to the mount, I just found when I walked away from the bike I was always worried the GPS would be gone when I returned.

Disclaimer, everything that I looked at with the phone is over 2.5 years old, so all of that is subject to change. Also note, GPS is not the complete solution, it's still always smart to carry a map, the map has a lot less failure rate at times.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 81forest View Post
you don't need a cell signal as was mentioned,
If you have no cell service can the phone then leave a bread crumb trail back out? I would prefer to just carry my phone and not the GPS when I'm out back packing but I like being able to always have a clear trail back out.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:19 PM   #15
eric n
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gps

I run two. but that's a long detailed story. once I put the second one up I stopped messing with them while riding.

garmin does own the market unless you want to go Lawrence. stay away from Magellan REI stopped selling them in store to many returns. tom tom has some serious flaws as well

the backpacker gps's do the best job of tolerating weather and being off track in the woods ( 60cx, Oregon, etrex vista hcx, etc ) the bike specific and car specific gps's you cant get under the hood. such as exporting gpx files in a usable format. the default map DATUM is wgs84. switch the DATUM to NAD27 and you can drop points right into google maps/earth and it won't puke on you.

also backpackers gps's have the best battery life and most run on AA batteries so you can carry spares or get them at a gas station. but most of all if you have to hike out for some reason they're easy to carry and handle while walking. mine will go 10 plus hours on just batteries enough to get to cell coverage.

the handle bar mounts are easy and popular. but they put the gps low in your view and when you stop or turn it freaks out thinking you just U turned because the bar handle jiggled just right or your forks rebounded. so modify the mounting and bracket it to your windshield or something attached to the frame not the forks. and above your speedometer. this keeps the internal compass more inline with where your heading. and you need to be able to see them without putting your head down. I have seen riders go in the ditch because they where trying to read the gps before a turn.

I also mounted a ball compass, the gps compass can be unreliable in spots.
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