New to GPS, looking for something simple

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by sein, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. sein

    sein Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Germany
    I've been stubbornly using paper maps and a compass up until now, and have decided these GPS things might actually be a good idea. I don't need it to play video, store MP3s or answer phone calls. I really just want it to show me a map, where I am on that map, and which direction it is to the next waypoint in my route. And be able to load someone else's routes. A nice bonus would be the ability to run the device on batteries, so I can use it when I'm not on the bike. I'd mainly be using it in Europe, and if the map offerings from the various brands happen to differ by a great deal I would definitely be swayed by a brand providing good maps of Eastern Europe in particular (reviews I've read of devices so far haven't talked much about the maps themselves). I've looked at a couple units by Garmin and TomTom, but so far they all seem to have a lot of additional features I don't plan on using (like bluetooth support, MP3 player, etc). Are there simpler units on the market I can look for? Or are there some very nice features I haven't considered which I should be looking at in a GPS unit?
    #1
  2. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,102
    Location:
    Wellington,New Zealand
    what is your budget and how is your eyesight?Have you any other hobbies or interests that will also be able to make use of a gps?
    #2
  3. Contevita

    Contevita Cigar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,277
    Location:
    Gulfport, MS, USA
    When looking at the specifications at the manufacturer's site, be sure to take note of which one will accept importing of routes and tracks. I just spent a few hours attempting to import a route onto my gps unit only to find out that my particular model will not allow for that.
    #3
  4. sein

    sein Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Germany
    Eyesight is fine as far as I know.
    I'd like to stay under €300 if possible. Seems like most motorcycle-specific GPS units (Garmin/TomTom) go for around €400+, but also include things like playing MP3s over bluetooth, so my hope is there's some unit out there for a better price which just doesn't have those features. :)

    As far as other hobbies go, I do enjoy hiking and backpacking, and could certainly make use of a GPS there but probably would not use it nearly as much as on the bike.
    #4
  5. macintosh

    macintosh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Tallinn, Estonia
    There is motorcycle GPS under 300€ or close to it. Good quality, waterproof.
    I have used it (Excalibur model) on road for ~7000 km (has also offroad mode but neveer used that) and so far I'm really happy with it.

    http://www.goridergps.com/?page_id=591
    #5
  6. VolkerB

    VolkerB n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Near Heidelberg, Germany
    The GoBiker Excalibur looks interesting. In Germany it starts at €299 and goes up to €490 for a kit with two Bluetooth headset included.

    Edit: you could even order it without maps and mount (-€100). I wonder which type of maps it supports.
    #6
  7. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,121
    Location:
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    That totally looks like one of those Chinese Garmin knockoffs... you could probably do better on the price by not buying the brand name.
    #7
  8. macintosh

    macintosh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Its based on WiMo 5 or 6 (I think) and runs any navigation software for that platform, have tried myself Sygic and NDrive. Factory installed software is iGO Primo 2.4 and it comes with full set of EU maps+pois by Navteq. You can use either NAVTEQ (Garmin) or TeleAtlas (TomTom) maps, the same goes for POI's. Maps are pretty easy to find from internet.

    It may seem like cheap knockoff from pictures but production quality is really good and it does not feel cheap in any way, contrary, all connections are well thougt and seems and feels reliabel. It has official IP rating and it really works even in direct sunlight. I can fully reccommend it for onroad navigation.
    #8
  9. mexipike

    mexipike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    423
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I just went on a trip using a buddies old Garmin 60CSX, I too am reluctant to go the gps mount but I found the trip more pleasurable and was able to take more back roads. You can import tracks with it. It's super simple, bomb proof, and cheap used.
    #9