2011GS..GPS recommendations?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by twray, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. twray

    twray Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    60
    I have a new 1200GS and need a GPS, need some recommendations on GPS units, mounting, and wiring.

    Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. Semper Fi

    Semper Fi Runs with Scissors

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Kingston, NH
    I got a 550 mounted to the lower bar of the windshield support

    Power routed to Centech Fuse Panel

    Easy reach and readable

    I'll try to add a picture later
    #2
  3. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,220
    Location:
    Woodland Park, CO
    Do you want bluetooth capability? MP3? satellite radio? Go with the garmin 550 or 650 depending on your budget.. the 550 can only be found used these days.. well there maby be som NOS stuff around.

    If you want just a GPS go with the Garmin Montana. It will still speak to your headset with a bluetooth dongle but wont play MP3s or radio.

    you can wire it directly to your battery or through a fuse block of some sort.. centech etc.

    You really need to give more information on what you want it to do, where you plan on using it, how you plan on using it, and you would be beter off asking in the "laying down tracks" forum.
    #3
  4. wonderings

    wonderings Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,374
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    I had a Zumo 550 on my old '06 GS mounted to the left handlebar, but when I picked up my '10 GSA I got a Zumo 66 and mounted it like so:
    [​IMG]

    I really like the position and it could all be done with the mounts and wiring that came with the Zumo, so nothing else was needed.
    #4
  5. tallguy-09

    tallguy-09 Smile 4 Miles

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,440
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I tried many different mounts, this is the best (4me):
    RAM-Mount with original Garmin Nuvi 550 cradle (not the one sold by RAM). No vibration.
    The Garmin cradle allows you to insert the power plug (mini USB) in the GPS before inserting the GPS in the cradle. With the
    RAM cradle you have to plug in the cable in the back of the GPS after inserting the GPS in the cradle: Painful!
    Used a rubber cable insulation (removed wire) and pushed the metal clamp through it:
    [​IMG]

    Also painted the nuts black matte so there are no reflections when looking at the instrument cluster:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    No vibration and GPS can be adjusted so it won't cover anything. I like it.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    iPhone 4 picture
    #5
  6. rritterson

    rritterson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA USA
    Depends on how much off road riding you'll be doing. The Zumos and Nuvis do not handle tracks very well, which is an essential feature off road.

    I bought a garmin montana and the AMPS mount for it, then the RAM amps mounting kit. The AMPS mount comes with power cables, and I bought the 'repair' plug from BMW, spliced the wires together, and connected it to the GPS plug under the steering head. (That page is slightly out of date - on 2011/12 GSes the plug is right under the beak and easy to get to without taking any body work off) The mount is quite nice- it snaps right in and uses open contacts for power and data instead of a cable, so you don't have to plug/unplug anything to remove it. I suck at wiring things and had to cut a few crimps back off because I forgot to put the heat shrink on first :D, but it still only took me 2 hours to wire it all up.

    The Montana is nice because it handles tracks and routes easily, and you can add your own maps to it (as you can on most Garmin devices). I have two profiles set up- on road and off road. On road uses city navigator maps and a 3D view, where off-road uses USGS 24K Topo maps from a top-down perspective and shows me my current track on the map. But, it doesn't have bluetooth or store MP3s, so it's a GPS and only a GPS.

    Also, we have a specific forum for your question, so you might want to try there: http://advrider.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=75

    Attached Files:

    #6
  7. twray

    twray Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    60
    Tallguy09...where did you get your ram mount if it is not made by Ram?
    #7
  8. BEEMERPECKER

    BEEMERPECKER Just Lookin'

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    343
    Location:
    The Flemish Cap
    +1 on the Garmin Montana

    http://sites.garmin.com/montana/
    #8
  9. tallguy-09

    tallguy-09 Smile 4 Miles

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,440
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Ram mount is made by Ram but the much better cradle is made (sold) by Garmin. You still need the Ram-mount with the U-Bolt and the short arm.
    If you need tracks then get a different GPS.

    Garmin GPS: http://www.gpscity.ca/garmin-nuvi-550-automoto-kit.html

    Shows Garmin cradle with +12V charger. $33 at Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-010-11...3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1325801702&sr=1-3
    or here:
    http://www.gpscity.ca/garmin-nuvi-5xx-universal-mounting-cradle-and-power.html
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,854
    Location:
    CA HWY 2
    I have the same exact setup as Tallguy but mine I mounted on the handlebar. The Nuvi isn't very sophisticated but it seems to offers enough for most on-road travels, and it comes at a very attractive price.
    #10
  11. Pete O Static

    Pete O Static Adventure Seeker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    620
    Location:
    The Great White North
    Had a Zumo, what a POS. sure you could listen to music and chat on your phone, which will be needed btw to ask for directions when the Zumo ultimately gets you lost.

    Seriously though, the Zumo is more of an entertainment center than a navigational device. The resolution is terrible, it simply paints a magenta line on a beige background unless you are zoomed all the way in, no customization of features and all in all, a very expensive and frustrating experience.

    Garmin seems to be the best of the worst unfortunately and I currently ride with a Montana. Although it is still a Garmin with their usual frustrations, in terms of actual navigation, customization, resolution and overall features, I would not even compare it to the Zumo.

    Btw, I have mine mounted above the instrument cluster dead center just a few inches below my line of sight. The eyes do not come off the road to see it.
    #11
  12. twray

    twray Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    60
    Sounds like the Montana is the best, does it come with a cradle style mount?
    #12
  13. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,076
    Location:
    In the middle...

    Hmmm... Hasn't been my experience. I have been pleased with my 665 and have used it to get me through anything from large cities to Colorado fire roads. Maybe I am just unaware of other possibilities out there, but the Zumo has got me there and back without issue.
    #13
  14. tallguy-09

    tallguy-09 Smile 4 Miles

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,440
    Location:
    Vancouver
    To me the nuvi 550 does it all, can be usesd in the car and on the motorcycle (Scooter setting).
    It's a great GPS considering the little money you're spending but as soon as your focus is off-road then
    it's a different story > Montana
    #14
  15. rritterson

    rritterson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA USA
    You will need to buy a mount for it. I recommend the AMPS cradle garmin makes for it, because it has power wires you can wire directly into the battery or GPS plug on the bike. https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=89575

    That only holds the GPS and provides 4 AMPS-compatible screw holes, though. You'll need an AMPS compatible handlebar mount. I went with a kit from GPScity.com (http://www.gpscity.com/ram-mount-ga...gged-cradle-short-motorcycle-mount-steel.html) as it had all the pieces and I didn't have to search the whole RAM catalog and then forget one piece.
    #15
  16. Ridestrong

    Ridestrong Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I've got the Zumo 550. Came with my used 07 GS and was a most pleasant bonus on top of a bike already farkled out like I wanted and at a good price with low mileage. I've been using Toyota's factory navigation system in my Sequoia for 7+ years now and am spoiled by it. When I got the 550 I thought, well, probably not quite as good and I'm going to have to play with it a while to get to know it. Not so. Very intuitive and I believe a very apt and trustworthy navigator. Wish it had a few extra features like the "3 route trip choice" when I pull up an address but it does recalibrate a new direction when I decide to go a little bit different route. It came mounted to the bike on the Garmin cradle on the handlebars but when I put Rox Risers on my bars I had to get a RAM mount and mount it on the Cee Bailey windscreen mounting bar. I like it there even better as it seems to cut out even more glare in that position.
    #16
  17. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    I ride a R1200GSA and have been using a Garmin Zumo 550 for several years. For road use, I have found it to be a great GPS. My Zumo is wired to the BMW power connector under the front beak.

    I recently added a Cardo Scala Rider G4 Bluetooth communicator to my helmet and paired it with the Zumo for the audio GPS turn instructions, and paired the Zumo with my Android phone so I can receive phone calls. A Garmin nuMaps lifetime subscription is a worthwhile addition. However, the Zumo 550 now lacks sufficient memory to load all the U.S. and Canada maps in the unit's memory. You can load the maps on an SD card.

    Combined with an SD card, the Zumo 550 can store as many data files with routes, waypoints, POIs, etc. as you want, along with MP3 music. I even created some "pictures" files with text information on how to do the really obscure, infrequently performed operations for the GPS.

    Others have indicated the Zumo is not as well suited for offroad riding because it lacks good support for tracks. I am now considering a Garmin Montana for similar reasons.

    A buddy of mine just added a Garmin Nuvi 550 to his R1200GSA. He indicates it is waterproof. This could be a good, less expensive alternative to a Zumo 550 or Montana.
    #17
  18. yglesias

    yglesias n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Texas
    +1 on the Montana
    #18
  19. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,235
    Location:
    Hamilton NJ.
    I'd recommend looking for a used 276 / 376 on ebay. They often go for more then what they cost new before they stopped making them. That should tell you something.
    #19
  20. JKGREEN

    JKGREEN Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    167
    Location:
    Wentzville, MO
    I have a Garmin Nuvi 2450 that I use the suction cup on the stock windshield mounted in the left indentation. I also wrap the the power wire around the suction cup base in case the suction cup looses suction it will keep the GPS from hitting the ground. It has never fallen off and lasted once from Saint Louis to Denver and up and over some off road mountain crossings.
    #20