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Old 04-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #16
JoshBMW
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Iphone or Ipad for nav.

I use the Iphone.

For directions you can blue tooth to your head set, same for music.

GPS MotionX Drive works great for road roughs when you have 3g signals, you can pre-down load maps as well but it works best in civilization.

GPS MotionX is a fantastic off the grid map. You download the maps you want and they stay on the phone, no cell needed. They are true topo maps giving you a lot of the info from forest service maps.

Always carry a back up.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:01 AM   #17
soyanarchisto
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I tried using my iphone as a GPS. There are lots of places in the PNW to go where you have no cell coverage. No cell coverage means no map on the iphone. Screw that. I'll stick with my GPS. If you stay on major roads and highways then you are fine with the iphone as a GPS.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soyanarchisto View Post
No cell coverage means no map on the iphone. Screw that. I'll stick with my GPS. If you stay on major roads and highways then you are fine with the iphone as a GPS.

The Garmin Streepilot App file s 2.7 GB and includes City NAV NT map, no network needed.
It's the same as having a Garmin Nuvi, though better with the awesome Apple screen and Google built in (if you have a network), but no ability to load tracks, though it does keep one of where you've been.

At the very least it's a great backup GPS to have with you, though I use mine all the time for single day road rides.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lost Rider View Post
I've rode to Alaska, I have a iPhone with the new Garmin all-included Streetpilot app, I have an opinion on the matter.
There's no cell service most of the way past Saskatoon.
For the most part you don't need a GPS for Alaska trip, as once you get to BC there's only one road most places you are going; no navigation needed!
It does come in handy for calculating distance to gas, but again, the whole way to Alaska there was never more than 100 mile between gas or lodging. Imagine that, people expecting other people to drive/ride to Alaska during the summer months. Not including the far over-rated and incredibly wasteful trophy ride chase to get past the Arctic Circle.
I rode up through Alberta from Chicago, rode down through BC and crossed over in Idaho. YYMV.

Now, if you're on a limited budget, you'll need to save money on a GPS to pay the $9 a gallon fuel, $15 a burger, $8 beers, $175 a night crappy motels, let alone the $300 chains, or $275 front tire prices you'll find in the Great North. If you can afford it, a stand alone GPS like a Zumo, or Montana with fancy bike mount is also cool to play with while bored as hell riding the long ass boring roads, XM works pretty far up if that's your thing.

If you have an iPhone already, buy the Garmin app with Canada for $60, get a LifeProof case + mount and a Bike USB charging plug to charge the iPhone while riding on your bike, save your money for the uber-expensive trophy trip and have fun! If you don't have an iPhone, go get one, because if you don't have an iPhone, well, you don't have an iPhone.
Sounds like you had a terrible trip. Sorry about that. I had a great time all the way to Coldfoot. Got turned back by weather at that point but the whole ride was a blast anyway.

To the OP. If you want to save money you don't need a GPS in AK or even to get there really. We did it with paper maps and there just aren't that many choices of roads once you hit BC. I think someone else pointed out the same thing. There's not even that many choices of roads once you're in AK actually.

My partner had a cell phone that he used to call home a couple times to check in but coverage wasn't always reliable. If I were to do it today I'd just get SPOT so I could send "I'm OK" messages to the family back home.

Enjoy your trip. I'd love to go back one day.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:40 AM   #20
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I just tried Sygic on my Android (they do ti for iPhone too of course) and my first two outings were very impressive. I kept having it reroute and it does so very quickly.

Sygic downloads to the phone so can be used offline.

More trials required for sure but I got it free for 7 days so that should give me some opportunity to go further afield.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:43 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by mike54 View Post
Sounds like you had a terrible trip. Sorry about that. I had a great time all the way to Coldfoot. Got turned back by weather at that point but the whole ride was a blast anyway.

To the OP. If you want to save money you don't need a GPS in AK or even to get there really. We did it with paper maps and there just aren't that many choices of roads once you hit BC. I think someone else pointed out the same thing. There's not even that many choices of roads once you're in AK actually.

My partner had a cell phone that he used to call home a couple times to check in but coverage wasn't always reliable. If I were to do it today I'd just get SPOT so I could send "I'm OK" messages to the family back home.

Enjoy your trip. I'd love to go back one day.


No it wasn't terrible, glad I did it once and had some fun, no need to go back though, just far over rated IMO and many very boring miles with high costs, I'm not wealthy though so it might have been more enjoyable if money was no issue.
Funny how you quoted me then repeated the same exact thing right under it, while saying someone else pointed out the same thing.

Agree about a SPOT, a SPOT Connect is even more useful.
An iPhone GPS with onboard maps is more than enough navigation for the one road to Alaska, with a paper map too.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Lost Rider View Post
No it wasn't terrible, glad I did it once and had some fun, no need to go back though, just far over rated IMO and many very boring miles with high costs, I'm not wealthy though so it might have been more enjoyable if money was no issue.
Funny how you quoted me then repeated the same exact thing right under it, while saying someone else pointed out the same thing.

Agree about a SPOT, a SPOT Connect is even more useful.
An iPhone GPS with onboard maps is more than enough navigation for the one road to Alaska, with a paper map too.
Yeah, that's called building consensus. Of the 5 weeks we were there we stayed in a motel 3 nights. The rest of the time we camped. $0 - $30 per night. Lots of people go to AK on a limited budget.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:04 PM   #23
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GPS all the way

IPhone is not waterproof and not as rugged..ZUMO 550 is the way to go.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:17 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by onesaintsfan View Post
IPhone is not waterproof and not as rugged..ZUMO 550 is the way to go.
I agree but when you don't have $500+ and you already own the iPhone...............
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:28 PM   #25
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No cell coverage means no map on the iphone.
That is only true if you don't know what you're doing.

It is very easy to load maps onto a smartphone. I have all maps of the US on my Android. I don't need a cell signal to use the GPS. The same is true even on an iPhone.

I use my Android phone as a GPS clipped to the handlbar and on charge 99% of the time on trips.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:31 PM   #26
rickcj7
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Does anyone have any thoughts on the best/easiest/most reliable/durable way of navigaing on a bike trip from Virginia to Alaska and back? I've been looking into the Iphone but since it's not made for exposure to the elements I'm not sure it would be a good idea...plus not sure about how good service will be in BC. Also, i'm a total technology idiot so too many bells and whistles freak me out. I've never used a GPS, so I have no idea what to look for in that department either.
Can't beat an I phone with life proof case and gps app.
Heck Siri will keep you company!
Lots of things smart phone can do a dumb gps cant.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:10 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by soyanarchisto View Post
No cell coverage means no map on the iphone.
No, it really doesn't. If you're referring to the built-in (Google) Maps app, then that's correct. If you use a dedicated GPS app with either built-in maps or the ability to pre-load maps, you can turn the data service off and navigate to your heart's content.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:27 PM   #28
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I use a Galaxy S2 and google maps. If you go to settings/labs there are some neat features you can turn on. One of these is called "Pre-cache map area". It will download a 10 square mile map base on an area of your choosing. You can download as many as your memory can hold. I have not tried overlapping these maps yet but it should work when off the grid. The case for the European version of the phone fits perfectly and is waterproof. Those dang Euros seem to get better accessories than us Yanks.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:37 PM   #29
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Get a waterproof gps, mount it on your bike with a 12v connection, and use the iPhone when there is a signal to figure out where to get a burger and motel when needed.

You don't necessarily need a gps on the Alaska Highway, but it's nice to have.

I don't know your route, but when you're in some city trying to find some poorly marked state route to keep on track, the gps will always be there to help. The iPhone isn't always very good at that.

Personally, I like to use paper maps to get the general trend for the day, use the gps to assist with following the intended route, and the iPhone to find the best place for a beer at the end of the day.

Everyone has their own opinion on technology, but it depends on what you're looking for. Do you want to pull over and check all the time, or just cruise? Remember, you can't use an iPhone with motorcycle gloves. They're great, not just for dedicated motorcycle use.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:54 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by worwig View Post
That is only true if you don't know what you're doing.

It is very easy to load maps onto a smartphone. I have all maps of the US on my Android. I don't need a cell signal to use the GPS. The same is true even on an iPhone.

I use my Android phone as a GPS clipped to the handlbar and on charge 99% of the time on trips.
Hey worwig, what mount do you use for your Android? Thanks.
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