get quite a few questions about this setup so thought i'd do a comprehensive post. if you are limited to around $200 to $250 for a new gps and RAM mount this could be worth looking at. used three different models and never had failure from gnarly offroad use, from what i can see on the forums the expensive dedicated motorbikes are just as likely as these nuvis to get bounced around into oblivion (apart from power socket input, read on). WHICH NUVIS CAN YOU UPLOAD CUSTOM ROUTES TO? (updated jan 2014) the garmin nuvi 1450 and 1490 were very popular as they were cheap and had the big five inch screen. when phased out, for a year garmin took away the ability to upload custom routes from your computer. perhaps there was customer backlash as they have introduced it again to a pile of the nuvi models but in a different way... go under apps and look for trip planner. the garmin saleman i spoke with reckons that if the "trip planner" app is there (i'd suggest askinng the retailer if you can return or exchange the gps if you can't upload a file from a PC just to be safe). keen to hear how people go with this. the salesman i spoke to is sure that these are the current models (2014) that will work: 2457, 2497, 2557, 2597, 2797 and 3597. NOTE: some of the more advanced models have an auto orientating screen that can't be turned off, i've been advised this is useless for riders as bumps will send the screen flipping around. so if you are looking at the current garmin range, it may pay to ensure you can turn off any auto orientating screen feature. so what about older models? the 3700 series works, provided the gps has software version 4.50 or newer (update via the garmin site). you can still find the old 500 models around - these are actually waterproof! i did find the small screen hard to read, and it is a bit slow on the screen refresh and data transfer, being an older model. i can personally vouch for the 1450t and 1490t working fine as i've used those for a few years now and have the big five inch screen for easy navigation on the fly. other inmates report the 2595 works well and you can turn off the auto orientation on these. I CAN'T UPLOAD CUSTOM ROUTES TO MY NUVI BUT IT DOES HAVE A MEMORY CARD SLOT if your model doesn't accept custom routes but does have a memory card slot, apparently there's a tricky way to go about it if you release your inner geek. with some messing around, you can create an overlay map with your chosen route built in, so a nice pink line will appear actually in the map. obviously you won't get data like how far it is to your destination etc because it's not technically a route, just part of the map. see this post for details. GOOD STUFF ABOUT THE NUVIS - miles cheaper than dedicated garmin motorbike gps units - auto routing or direct routing compatible - up to a five inch screen (actually there's a 7 inch model but no waterproof case to fit it as yet) - just pop out and put in the stock mount for use in the car - nice bright screen for outdoor use - very cheap to replace LCD screens and digitizers, buy direct from factory for only $30 or so on ebay. BAD STUFF ABOUT THE NUVI - not water or dust proof without an appropriate case - most models can only stores 10 routes in the working memory at once (but usually you can store 100 on the gps for importing when needed) - only a few hours on battery charge, definitely needs hardwiring for rides over two hours long - it only keeps the last 400km or so of tracklog in memory, the rest you have to acess from an archive file (just a bit tedious) - can't have too many points in a custom route so may need to split up longer routes (150 points max if i remember rightly) - no bells and whistles like camera, geo tagging, mp3 player, photo tagging, built-in microwave oven etc. - the power socket at the rear needs some support or you can lose power over bumpy ground (i use a bit of foam in the waterproof housing) - can't easily turn off flags or proximity alerts when approaching a waypoint (but can edit gpx coding though, see this post). MOUNTING A GARMIN NUVI pretty easy to set up with ram mounts. the heavy duty cradle will usually be around $40 to mount to the handlebars. some riders have just taped up the loudspeaker holes and ride like this even in dusty conditions apparently... but you won't get away with it in wet weather! a few drops of water on the screen and it will get inside fast and stop working (i did manage to dry mine out over a few days and it all worked again fine). for some time, i used this setup and just put a clear oven bag and two rubber bands on the gps when things got dusty or wet. but eventually i opted for the fully waterproof case below. you can get a RAM aquarbox case and just add the necessary handlebar and arm mounts. probably around $60 to $80. the case bit bulky if you are tight on space in your cockpit. i used a bit of foam around the power socket to make sure it stays in place over bumpy tracks. the case is quite deep so you can always hollow out the foam packing supplied and store stuff back there. i just carry spare 3 amp fuses for the power cord, but you could put your watch and phone in there to keep them waterproof on tricky creek crossings. if you get the long RAM arm mount then you can move the GPS around quite a bit although it is a bit more prone to changing position when jolted over rough ground. OFFROAD MAPS the nuvis only come with street maps. if you are after offroad maps, you can buy topo maps direct from garmin for around $200. you'll also see them on ebay for as low as $40 although these won't be necessarily official garmin resalers. these are pretty handy if you are going off the beaten track... when you get to state forests they will often show many of the fire trails as dotted lines but remember they are relying on govt data so often tracks or dirt roads have been closed down, overgrown, or not repaired after flood damage etc. in australia, the "shonky maps" are a great free alternative that have plenty of offroad detail. for the USA, just google around or look at www.openstreetmap.org. riders often contribute their tracks to this project so the detail can be far beyond that of the garmin topo maps, but in other places it will be very sketchy. here's an example of the garmin topo maps when you zoom out, the contours can be handy to see the terrain steepness up ahead. PLANNING YOUR ROUTES you can use garmin mapsource or basecamp to plan your routes on your computer then upload to the gps. basecamp has more features but is a lot harder to learn, some geek designed the interface whereas mapsource is comparatively simple. if you use some other kind of software, you can always export the file in the gpx format, then just transfer it to the file on your gps for importing. this will be a folder called "gpx" under the "GARMIN" folder. then just import the file for use as per instructions on this thread. download basecamp for free from garmin. or google "Free and Legit Copy of Mapsource". good tutorial for mapsource here. if you want to record your tracklog when riding so you can download it later, read this post on now to set your nuvi up. HOW TO UPLOAD AN OFF ROAD CUSTOM ROUTE WHERE THERE ARE NO ROADS (OR MY MAPS WON'T AUTO ROUTE) see this post here. SETTING UP THE POWER a very basic way to do this is just get a waterproof cigarette lighter power socket and wire this in somewhere on the bike. lots of bikes have a spare power cable in the wiring harness behind the headlight. or you can tap into the park light or similar. keep in mind every time you turn the key off the nuvi will go into shut down mode and you need to hit a button to make it continue on battery power. if this would be too annoying, just wire directly to the battery. if using a cigarette lighter power socket, then use the stock power cord supplied. you'll need to make sure it doesn't wobble around in the socket over rough ground. it's critical to use the supplied garmin power cord, it has a bit of circuitry in it to ensure the gps works properly and doesn't go into data transfer mode for computer use. it also has a built in fuse and ensures the correct voltage for the nuvi. one thing to keep in mind... where the power cord goes into the back of the nuvi is a weak point. over time, bumps can mean the socket in the garmin gets widened and eventually contact becomes intermittent. i've only had this happen after thousands of miles on gnarly tracks (and garmin just gave me a new gps!) so now when i put my plastic bag on i make sure the rubber band is placed over the power cord to hold it steady and prevent movement. THE NUVI THREAD HERE ON ADVRIDER for more info on nuvis, or if you have any questions about this setup, just go to the thread below: Nuvi Threadfeast - If it's Nuvi for Autos - it goes here .