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Old 05-02-2014, 11:04 AM   #1
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Can some kind folks please help a complete beginner to gps out? :)

Hey all!

I am new to all of this! I am new to riding and new to gps (other than the basic ones you get for driving around in the car). Most everything I read in here trying to research what gps to purchase seems to be over my head! I was wondering if some kind folks could link me to some info so I can learn about em and come back with some legit questions

I ride 50/50 road and dirt on my honda crf250L so I don't need some crazy back country gps model, although some areas are country theres not much 'wilderness' around. I would like the ability to track where I have gone to show others good riding areas...I don't know if that makes a difference at this point

I would really appreciate some direction and info to read up on, it seems there are so many options with so many features!! Overwhelmed yet again lol
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:20 PM   #2
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I realize there is lots of good info in here but a lot is 4+ years old. I figured there has been some advances in the technology since then
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:21 PM   #3
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Budget?
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:27 PM   #4
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Budget?
I dunno, I suppose I would want to spend the least amount to get best unit for my needs... since I am so new I think a lot of the features might be over my head..but like I mentioned I would like to be able to see where I have been and import gps files from this forum and such

I also ride in more WMA and forest roads and such so a back country capable unit might be over kill at this point...

Maybe $200-400?

Hope that helps
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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There are basically two types of GPSes- on-road and off-road (called a hiking/trail GPS on Garmin's website).

The on-road units (like a Garmin Zumo) work best with routing on roads and have more frills than the hiking/trail counterparts. They also are less apt to work really well with tracks and off-road riding.

When you say "back country unit", you're probably referring to a trail/hiking GPS. These have worse on-road routing and are more flexible dealing with tracks, which are a good replacement when you don't have routable map data for where you're going or want to share tracks with other riders.

The Garmin Montana is a popular choice, especially with it's large(r) screen size. It is at the upper end of your price range.

There are worthy alternatives like the Garmin 62, 64, or 78. If you plan on powering the GPS from your bike, you might want to tend to something with a robust, waterproof power connection instead of something that is powered by USB. The 78, for example, uses a 4 pin 12V power connector. The Montana has a cradle that provides a robust power connection.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:44 PM   #6
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Check the flea market and/or eBay for a Garmin 76 series. They run $75-150 depending on model. If you've got "senior" eyes, the color models are much easier to use. I had a grey scale 76s for years, but now have a 76c and can't imagine going back.

A ram mount, arm, power cable, etc will be another $50-75. So you should be able to easily stay at the lower end of your price range. Map products for on and off road are available directly from Garmin and from other sources.

Some will talk down the venerable 76, but I've done thousands of off road miles with mine with nary a hiccup.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info!

Yes, when i said back country i meant like those hand held hiking ones, but i have seen them in pics on bikes. usually they look to be out in the middle of no where.

Where I am riding, North of Savannah, Ga and South of Charleston, SC it seems to be remote but most of what I have found to ride are labeled dirt state roads and hunting areas/WMA area..most of which you can see on google maps. This is why I think the models that work better or street as well are best for my needs.

It seems like garmin is the leader in the gps brands. I will dig deeper into there site. The zumo looked nice until i saw the price...I figured after maps and mounts and charger and such i would be way over my price range with that.

Most of the time I will be day riding but I suppose the ability to charge the gps on the bike would be useful. I will look into the other models y'all mentioned as well. Thanks so much again for the help!!
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:10 PM   #8
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I think for starters a refurbed garmin nuvi for the car will do the trick, you can get one for $50 and then add $30 for mounting hardware. Go to the battery tender brand website and get a cheap 12v socket that connects to the battery. Snake it through using zip ties and then buy a cigarette USB charger. $100 all in all and will do just fine, you can get a fancy rainproof case or just a ziplock bag, depends if you are a klr owner at heart (time will tell)
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:36 PM   #9
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I think for starters a refurbed garmin nuvi for the car will do the trick, you can get one for $50 and then add $30 for mounting hardware. Go to the battery tender brand website and get a cheap 12v socket that connects to the battery. Snake it through using zip ties and then buy a cigarette USB charger. $100 all in all and will do just fine, you can get a fancy rainproof case or just a ziplock bag, depends if you are a klr owner at heart (time will tell)
Ive got a basic garmin for the car... are the mounts universal pretty much?

I think it gets 10 hr battery life so i might not even need a charger for now :) but thanks a bunch for the tips!
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:36 PM   #10
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another random question...

Are there any gps units available that come with a setting that will route you to dirt/unpaved roads automatically? Or do you generally have to upload tracks from others or map them yourself?

Thanks as always!!
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:48 AM   #11
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Are there any gps units available that come with a setting that will route you to dirt/unpaved roads automatically? Or do you generally have to upload tracks from others or map them yourself?

Thanks as always!!
if you're carrying a smartphone, you likely already have a gps in your pocket.
iphone= motionx
android= backcountrynavigator, oruxmaps, osmand/osmand+, locus pro, and a few dozen others


for the actual plotting of maps, i'd suggest using google maps on the computer, in satellite view, and then exporting it to a GPX file. any decent gps (or gps application) can route you along that GPX file as a track or as a route. navigation (turn by turn VOICE navigation) isn't going to work for all dirt roads, and normally using the ROUTE you have on the gps in 'follow' mode will work well enough on the bike. when you see a turn coming up, glance at the screen and see if the track diverts or not, etc

there are SO MANY OPTIONS for gps tracking, guidance, mapping, routing, geocaching (a BLAST), exploring, and general "i wonder where i am" functions, I'd hate for you to get tied down with just one brand in your thoughts. keep in mind, a $50 phone from craigslist with free pre-loaded maps will perform just as well as a $700+ gps in most situations. it's just when you throw it in a creek that the $700 ruggedized handheld -might- fare better ;-)

there are a LOT of options for enclosures too. check out RAM mounts, they're what folks really like for phones, gps standalones, tablets, laptops, etc and come with a myriad of waterproof cases too.

if you happen to go the iphone route, there are a TON of aftermarket vendors that offer very cheap mounts and charging solutions that make it a no brainer to ride and enjoy.

post up what you come up with and what you've found exploring with it. :)
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Old 05-11-2014, 08:05 AM   #12
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if you're carrying a smartphone, you likely already have a gps in your pocket.
iphone= motionx
android= backcountrynavigator, oruxmaps, osmand/osmand+, locus pro, and a few dozen others


for the actual plotting of maps, i'd suggest using google maps on the computer, in satellite view, and then exporting it to a GPX file. any decent gps (or gps application) can route you along that GPX file as a track or as a route. navigation (turn by turn VOICE navigation) isn't going to work for all dirt roads, and normally using the ROUTE you have on the gps in 'follow' mode will work well enough on the bike. when you see a turn coming up, glance at the screen and see if the track diverts or not, etc

there are SO MANY OPTIONS for gps tracking, guidance, mapping, routing, geocaching (a BLAST), exploring, and general "i wonder where i am" functions, I'd hate for you to get tied down with just one brand in your thoughts. keep in mind, a $50 phone from craigslist with free pre-loaded maps will perform just as well as a $700+ gps in most situations. it's just when you throw it in a creek that the $700 ruggedized handheld -might- fare better ;-)

there are a LOT of options for enclosures too. check out RAM mounts, they're what folks really like for phones, gps standalones, tablets, laptops, etc and come with a myriad of waterproof cases too.

if you happen to go the iphone route, there are a TON of aftermarket vendors that offer very cheap mounts and charging solutions that make it a no brainer to ride and enjoy.

post up what you come up with and what you've found exploring with it. :)
Thanks a bunch! I am about to get the Samsung galaxy S5 in a few months, that could work well. My problem is once I get about 40 miles inland from where I am the cell gps signal is spotty in some places so a true gps unit would work better then but is the times when I have no signal frequent enough to warrant purchasing a nice gps unit..hmmm lol

I will look into some of thos apps u mentioned. I have been using a fitness app sports-tracker and setting it to mountain bike to track my routes and you can export them into .gpx format but its not a gps navigator, just a tracker.

but i want to do more exploring via looking for features on google and navigating to them. without being able to do what you said and route on google and transfer to a device it is pretty hard to find the same features when on the ground.

Thanks again I will update soon!
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:04 AM   #13
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Thanks a bunch! I am about to get the Samsung galaxy S5 in a few months, that could work well. My problem is once I get about 40 miles inland from where I am the cell gps signal is spotty in some places so a true gps unit would work better then but is the times when I have no signal frequent enough to warrant purchasing a nice gps unit..hmmm lol

I will look into some of thos apps u mentioned. I have been using a fitness app sports-tracker and setting it to mountain bike to track my routes and you can export them into .gpx format but its not a gps navigator, just a tracker.

but i want to do more exploring via looking for features on google and navigating to them. without being able to do what you said and route on google and transfer to a device it is pretty hard to find the same features when on the ground.

Thanks again I will update soon!
Cellular signal is not needed for these applications.

The phones have a GPS antennae that works independently of cellular data/signal.

All that is required is that you use one of the MANY available map sources to download your intended area beforehand, just like a standalone GPS needs it's maps loaded.

And there are a few free maps I downloaded for trip planning to chose from:
These are free, vector based


These are free, image based:








Lots of them have different views:




I'm sure there is one at least you'll like
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:25 AM   #14
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Cellular signal is not needed for these applications.

The phones have a GPS antennae that works independently of cellular data/signal.

All that is required is that you use one of the MANY available map sources to download your intended area beforehand, just like a standalone GPS needs it's maps loaded.

And there are a few free maps I downloaded for trip planning to chose from:

Thanks dude!! Very Very much appreciated! I just assumed they operated on the same signal. If that is the case to save me some trial and error time...

What is your favorite one of the Nav apps on Android??

and what is the one in the pics ohgood?

Thanks again
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:33 PM   #15
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Thanks dude!! Very Very much appreciated! I just assumed they operated on the same signal. If that is the case to save me some trial and error time...

What is your favorite one of the Nav apps on Android??

and what is the one in the pics ohgood?

Thanks again
My favorite will corrupt your adventure in testing them all... I say try all of them and pick which fits your tests the best....

I use /like
Oruxmaps (beta)
Locus pro
Osmand+
Back country navigator
Dualsportmaps
Maverick


The screen captures are locus pro:
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