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New Tom Tom 550 Rider

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by ShineySideUp, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    No idea, but my gut says "no." You need off road maps to do what you're describing, at least that's my understanding. I'm a pavement jockey, here and in Europe...which is why the Rider is perfect. Me thinks you might have the wrong tool for the job, as much as I like the Rider and the MyDrive portal.

    Once you try it, post up, assuming you find your way back... :hide
    AdamChandler, cblais19 and tsak8 like this.
  2. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    Unfortunately, not with the maps provided with the TT550.
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/new-tom-tom-550-rider.1323790/page-14#post-37034192
    My older model Rider has better maps for that matter. The 550 will show the major Forest Service roads with absolutely zero map details.
    If you zoom out to see nearby roads, all you have for guidance is N,W,E or S to the nearest road; you are blind- never leave the pavement with just the 550.
    Like you said, a phone will do but make sure you have signal or offline maps.
    For this reason, I delegated my TT550 to a paperweight,
    until I decide to go on a long paved Roadtrip; at which it is just great.
  3. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    The TT’s database only shows “actual” roads. It’s really made for pre-planned routes - it will routinely work in all sorts of Forest Service roads via it’s route planning software as long as they are part of it’s data set, including ones that are actually impassable once you get there.

    If you want to venture off actual roads and on to tracks, there are much better options.
    AdamChandler, kickstandsup and DCTFAN like this.
  4. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    What are you planning to use whilst the 550 holds down the papers? From your posts, it sounds like we ride similarly... Have been lurking the threads and was torn between the 550 and the 396 lmt-s.....what you describe sounds like a deal breaker.
  5. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    My point is that any sub $100 GPS will do what the 550 does; the only difference is the updated hardware.
    I had no way of knowing that the Lifetime Map service would turn out to be a lifetime of mediocre map data that only shows roads paved or not paved.
    .
    I just don't understand why TT won't offer better maps- I'd happily pay for it.
    Garmin and other vendors had this figured out eons ago.
    .
  6. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    My_AT dash.jpg
    So TT declared EOL (End Of Life) on my Rider2003 last year when the 550 was heavily promoted.
    I just resumed to using the Rider2003 without any map updates which is fine around where I ride as roads don't change much.
    But would love to have the 550 with just a tad more map detail so I can get home without waiting for the North Star to navigate :)
    Amphib likes this.
  7. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    TT maps have been well regarded worldwide for their GPS units in both cars and bikes, in fact many car mfrs OEM nav units are TT based - and they seem to be the de-facto GPS unit for European riders. I’ve planned multiple legs of the MABDR into my Rider 550 without issue, if it works for that it’s good enough for me. Get a true dirt oriented GPS that allows for custom track building if you’re doing more rugged stuff.
    DCTFAN likes this.
  8. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    I don't have anything against the 550 but potential buyers should know exactly what they're getting.
    .
    I have a Garmin Montana to ride trails and BDR and finished the TAT (Trans America Trail) with it.
    Nothing would make me happier than to have used the 550 but I'd still be out somewhere in Oregon trails if I did, lol
  9. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    I agree buyers should know what they're getting...and I don't know how you could purchase a Rider and not know that it is a road oriented unit, with no ability to upload off road maps. Any/all of their literature is road oriented, as is every single review I've ever read. It is not like they are promoting it as an off road tool.

    Unlike Garmin, which I find promotes "vapor ware" and extraordinarily hard to use "capabilities" like route planning in BaseCamp. Using that software is like pounding your head on concrete...it feels really good when you stop. MyDrive is simplicity itself in comparison.

    As the saying goes, nothing does everything. :photog
    tsak8 likes this.
  10. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    .

    Even if you stuck 100% on the paved roads, the lack of map detail is disappointing.
    I don't think a better map is too much to ask for a unit such as the 550.
    IMO, all the nice upgrades in processor and features are wasted.

    Rider550 ONLY $251.00 *
    What a deal!
    ★ Just understand why the prices are going south.
  11. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    I honestly have no clue what you’re talking about. Map detail is great, only bettered by the latest google/Apple Maps that have thrown more then TT’s yearly revenue at the problem.
    kickstandsup likes this.
  12. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    Have to respectfully disagree. What I've learned is that the map detail IS there (paved) IF you zoom in. For example, I did a Texas Hill Country trip along with the Austin Motogp event last year. At first, it looked like one of the "3 Sisters" was not there at the "normal" zoom level. If you zoom in, there it is. I've found that to be regularly true. The failing, IMO, is that they don't show the tertiary roads soon enough at the zoomed out level, so it looks like they are not there. But I'm only talking paved roads.

    As far as price goes, you can easily get a comparable Garmin 396 for about the same $$, and I'll pick the Rider every day of the week including Sunday. The extras the Garmin offers mean nothing to me b/c it fails miserably at what I want a sat nav to do, i.e., easily plan detailed tertiary road routes at my leisure in front of the computer, have them upload easily into the device, then have the device track those routes flawlessly. That's the TT's forte, and Garmin's achilles heal.
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  13. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    My experience as well. When I'm planning routes, I'll often have google maps and MyDrive open simultaneously and if google shows a road I don't at first see on MyDrive, zooming in normally "finds" it.
  14. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    I think the Rider550 is great if you use it just like @kickstand recommends.
    If you don't, you won't like it.
    I found out the wrong way- that's all I'm sayin'

    .
  15. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    A very popular destination for road trippers as well as riders is Pisgah Inn on the BlueRidge Pkwy:
    If you were trying to find Mt.Pisgah Campground, you'd be lost without Google.
    It does not matter what zoom level you're at on the 550; they don't have the campground in the database- not on MyDrive therefore not on the 550.

    upload_2020-2-2_20-30-42.png


    Tyre map for the Rider2003 is exactly the same as Google
  16. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    You're right...only the hotel on the MyDrive, with a link to make a reservation, and the restaurant too. No question that google might have more information, and their "street view" is sometimes invaluable to see what a road/place looks like before you go. That said, building complex routes on google maps has severe limitations; it is a "let me take you to your destination the most direct way" application.

    The hotel only info is fine with me... :photog

    Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 7.37.25 PM.png
  17. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    Guess I'll never meet fellow riders with the 550 at any of my favorite campgrounds :)
  18. cblais19

    cblais19 Long timer

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    ...because dropping a pin at the location of the campground is so hard? If you’re doing a multi-day trip, you’re probably planning out your stops using something other then any of these GPS softwares - they’re not great. I’ve used Furkot to do all my big trip planning, it’s a far more robust trip software, and doing a GPX export/import into MyDrive is easy.

    MyDrive is best for finding cool curvy routes on a day trip IMO.
    Jarlaxle likes this.
  19. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    Well, in 3300 miles riding around the Alps this past summer, the TT didn't put a foot wrong, on complex routes I built, easily IMO, on the MyDrive portal. As I mentioned earlier, I'd use google info in conjunction with MyDrive to find certain things/roads I was interested in. But building the routes in MyDrive was easy and worked every time. Of course, YMMV...

    Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 9.26.18 PM.png

    And if you go into "Beta" mode, it highlights in green suggested scenic roads.

    Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 9.30.11 PM.png

    Is it a perfect database with ALL the information from everywhere on it? Nope. But IMO it is worlds better and easier to use than anything Garmin has. And much more convenient than trying to rig up a robust reliable phone set up.
  20. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    The maps could be so much better...
    Why am i complainin'? It was free for a lifetime- which in TT language means "as long as they End-Of-Life";
    at which time the 550 will again resume paperweight duty.
    Enjoy it while it lasts!
    Cheers folks. I've done my part here. :y0!