Another "Which GPS to buy question"

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Briani, Dec 25, 2001.

  1. Briani

    Briani n00b

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    I've been reading the posts and it looks like the faviorite manufacturer is the Garmin, but I haven't found anything on the Magellin or Loran units.

    Any thoughs on these, or is my best 'hand-held' bet the Garmin GPS 3+, or the V??

    Thanks in advance.


    :beer
    Beer, it not just for breakfast anymore.....
    #1
  2. fish

    fish Banned

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    Hi Briani,

    While I may lead a sheltered life, I've only ever seen one Magellan mounted to a motorcycle, and that was up at Redmond. I don't think I've ever seen a Loran.

    Garmins are known quantities...they are rugged, waterproof and have good user interfaces. The one Magellan I played with prior to buying my first GPS had a very clunky feel to it and I just couldn't figure out how to use it. Conversely, I started playing with a Streetpilot, and no manual needed...it was quite obvious which buttons did what. So...one vote for Garmin here.
    #2
  3. dapolrbear

    dapolrbear Buddah Head Adventurer

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    Garmin.

    Either the III+ or newer V will do.

    The V will give more functions and better street to street directions. I will confirm what Fishy sez, they are quite rugged and very user friendly.
    #3
  4. JohnTM

    JohnTM I suck toes

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    I also like the III+ and love the V, but they both have a severe bitch point for me - they can hold only 20Mb of uploaded data and do not use data cartridges. For most riding that is not too bad (although the uploads get really long), but for long trips that just won't do. I am going to Panama next month and about 56 Mb of data, which would require taking my computer with me or just leaving some data out. Sorry, but I am just too much of the quintessential geek for that. I gots me an e-map. It doesn't have the waterproofness rating of the III+ or the autorouting of the V, but it has been in a lot of weather with no probles and it is small, light, and uses cartridges that load data by way of a USB port. Nyaaa Nyaaa, so there.
    #4
  5. Killen

    Killen Been here awhile

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    Second the recommendations on Garmin..definately the best.

    If you can accept the overall size, although not big 2.5"x6" or so, I would recommend the Street Pilot. I've used one for several years and really have enjoyed the functionality. I know Garmin has upgraded the features and functions over the past few years, so things can only get better.

    Santa just delivered a V to my brother and I was impressed with all it can tell you. The screen size and readability is the only concern I would have with the III or V coming from a Street Pilot user. The Pilot also is available in color now.

    Good GPSing.

    Killen
    #5
  6. Gerg

    Gerg The Destroyer

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    I've got the Garmin GPS III and it's been great! Got me unlost in Missouri when I made a wrong turn following Route 66. It's held up well in POURING rain and the vibration of living on the handlebars on a Harley. Mosly use it in the trip computer mode. Max Speed (amazing how many times you're close to 100 mph), milage, voltage, altitude, time, and a bunch of others. Just make sure what ever you get to hard wire to the bikes electrics. They all eat batteries FAST.

    Greg
    #6
  7. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    I have to agree with johntm. The Garmin III+ is limited to 1.44 Mb and the Garmin V to 19 Mb of memory. Not enough memory if you are on the road for any length of time.

    The only Garmin units that take a memory cartridge are the: eMap, StreetPilot, StreetPilot ColorMap (color display), StreetPilot III (color display), GPSMAP 176 and the GPSMAP 176C (color display). From what I've heard, the color display models are difficult to make out in direct sunlight.

    So after quite a bit of gathering info off the net, I am starting to lean towards the Garmin eMap model. The only downside is that the eMap only meets the IPX2 Waterproof Standard - mist, fog, etc. What are users of this model doing to protect it from rain?

    As for a close second choice, maybe the Garmin StreetPilot.
    #7
  8. JohnTM

    JohnTM I suck toes

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    Nothing at all. I have had mine in several storms with no problems for the GPS (my wet ass was another matter). I've been running on batteries, but tomorrow I will be running the power cable. Wish me luck.

    John
    #8
  9. Marc

    Marc Just sayin...

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    Ewwww! Disturbing visual so early in the morning. :moon

    Marc
    #9
  10. stevenknapp

    stevenknapp Long timer

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    I've had more GPS units than Fish has had BMWs...perhaps.

    Had a Magellan, the first el cheapo unit, was a POS. The UI was ok (my first GPS). Couldn't hold a fix to save it's life. I dreamed of it having a background map.

    Bought a GPS45 (Garmin) WOW, fast fixes, great UI. Where the Magellan was a stupid gaget I bitched about endlessly, the Garmin was darn useful. I was happy, still dreamed of a background map.

    Bought a Lowrance/Eagle (Interviewed with these guys out of school, that's another story). It had a background map. No downloads. About this time I started thinking about GPS and bike. The vertical "form factor" didn't seem good for bike mounting. The UI was crap IMHO.

    Bought a Street Pilot (original mono unit). Whoo hoo, but the I discovered it didn't route for you. Which the gent in the store claimed to be it's biggest asset. I pointed at my house and clicked "goto" nothing happened. My heart sank. Oh, and there was no good way to mount it on my Triumph. It went back two days later for a refund as Sports Authority didn't like the idea of me taking the units outside to get a feel of how/where I could mount on the Triumph.

    I went to Bass Pro, BS'ed about fishing, got the units outside and discovered that the III+ would be a perfect fit on the triple clamp. My dream of a basemap has been realized, but now I wish for routing.

    There are a lot of questions I'd ask *yourself* about the GPS. What for, how much detail, where do I ride, how do I want it installed.

    For me the GPSIII+ works great and if it would ever break I'd get a GPSV to replace it. It's a good size and can be mounted off a cyclegagets mirror mount just above the left handgrip. Gets in the way of nothing and is close to my left hand for fiddeling. I must be the only RT owner without an RCU shelf :smile6

    The routing is a nice to have, but for me, for now, the GPS is more a general info tool. For long distances I've used it as a motivational factor doing the routing before hand. For around town trips I've used it to discover new intresting roads. I don't know how the GPSIII+ would work in areas where earth pops out of the ground enough to get in your way.

    If it were my first I'd ponder something used from eBay or whatnot. Get whatever strikes your fancy, an eMap in a tankbag is probably going to live. Go for a ride and see how the reach is for the GPS controls and the like.

    But as far as brand, I'd stick with Garmin until they start doing stupid shit.

    FWIW, if you dig on their web site you can preview their map database. Sorta like running the program itself but online. See how good the base maps are in your area and whatnot. I discovered this after purchasing another CD thinking I'd get more detail (waterways and lights, for another hobby, lighthouse hunting), only to discover it was 99.99% the same as Roads and Rec. Grrr, I bitched to Garmin and was shown the "preview" service. Go figure. :):

    Loran is a seperate nav system, stay away.
    #10