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So... what are the best low buck GPSs?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by markk53, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    I'd like to get a reasonable priced GPS that actually can display the roads that have been mapped out. What are your recommendations, here are the parameters.
    1. it must have said road mapping, so I can tell if a road dead ends and also some prediction of what is ahead.
    2. Water proof of course.
    3. Easily mounted and please mention what you are using to hold the GPS on the bike.
    4. Price - remember this is about a low buck unit, say available under $250.
    Quote any review from any media if you know of some. I would trust a rider over the media, and a rider with media back up over either of the former. In other words, most media is dealing with hiking and not relating to motorcycles and many riders may claim the one they have is the best, but with some back up it is definitely a stronger recommendation.

    If you know of a good kit for the mount include that. I know there was some posting here about a trick holder that can take the hammering of off road, a good thing for dual sporting.

    I'm a rookie at this stuff so I'm trying to learn something, no plan to dis any opinions by any stretch. Thanks in advance.
    #1
    08StangGT_CS likes this.
  2. geowatkins

    geowatkins Adventurer

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    May 20, 2017
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    Location:
    Adelaide, South Aus
    Not a GPS unit but i use an old samsung s7, which is waterproof. Load OSMmaps or Locus for offline mapping with gps, no need for data. Can load GPX KML and other maps/routes on to it via SD card or via wifi. Since i had the unit already, cost me $40 for a quadlock case and mount.
    #2
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  3. robsmoto

    robsmoto Motorcycleton

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2001
    Oddometer:
    375
    Location:
    usa
    GPSCITY has the Garmin Zumo 396 for $249 at the present time. This is a motorcycle GPS with lifetime map updates. It is waterproof and has a click-in mount that holds the power connectors. The unit comes with a power supply that one typically connects to the bike battery. I use a plug from powerlet and plug into the BMW / Triumph power outlet. I have a few of these and they work well. I have used some different RAM-ball mounts, but most commonly I use the U-clamp on the handlebar with a medium length (~4 inch) arm. I do not use the bluetooth features for voice commands or music. I turn the voice commands off - I get tired of the lady saying "Pull Up! Pull Up!" or something like that.

    https://www.gpscity.com/garmin-zumo-396-lmt-s
    #3
  4. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

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    #4
    boulet_boulet likes this.
  5. Fenianbastard

    Fenianbastard Been here awhile Supporter

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    Princeton (the center of liberal hell in NJ)
    Any Nuvi??
    #5
  6. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

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    I have mostly used the 1300 or 1350 units. They are plentiful.
    #6
    Fenianbastard likes this.
  7. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    nuvis really do work well and the price is very low.

    The OP, however, specified waterproof. I know you can put a plastic bag over a nuvi or work around the fact that they're not waterproof, but they're still not waterproof (except for nuvi 50 and maybe another model or two).

    I used a nuvi 1300 for years and it really worked well except for when it rained.
    #7
  8. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    #8
    simbaboy, Amphib and Eatmore Mudd like this.
  9. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

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    Yes, a little work is required for waterproofing. A little silicone sealant around the edge of the screen and in the openings on the front. A small piece of duct tape over the memory card slot. I the most rain I have ridden in was 10 days straight of rain. It worked the whole time. I use a Garmin Montana now and it is not that waterproof, one day of heavy rain and I’ll have water behind the screen. I always carried a spare Nuvi when I used them.
    #9
  10. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

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    For me having one that gives audio directions in your helmet is really handy. That means a wired headphone jack for earbuds or a bluetooth transmitter (cheap). Only the Zumo’s seem to output directions direct to bluetooth.

    Then you’ll want something you can import routes (basecamp compatible).



    Here’s the list of Nuvi’s that do both according to Garmin:

    nuvi 295W

    nuvi 700 and 705 series

    nuvi 800 and 805 series

    nuvi 5000



    The second option is a smartphone- kyocera’s are pretty popular here.
    #10
  11. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    Location:
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    The Best GPS, by far, has an active connection to the internet to check for temporary road closures, weather conditions, etc.

    You probably have a smartphone already and probably use it for ride planning? Why not also use it for the actual ride.

    One of the apps I use even has photos of campsites and reviews highlighting stuff like insects at various times of the year and how often the toilets are cleaned.

    Which app I use depends on the type of riding I do each day. I have about 20 apps.

    I use a RAM mount. Mine isn't water proof, I just don't use it when it's raining, but there are good waterproof phone cases available. And of course there are phones that are waterproof - perhaps make that a feature next time you upgrade.

    RAM is a modular system, attach a rubber ball to your handlebars or fairing or windscreen, then a metal arm of whatever length you require clamps between the ball and some kind of mount that holds your GPS/phone/tablet/laptop/compass/paper map/homer simpson bobble head.

    How important is waterproof to you? That comes with compromises from size/weight to cost to heat dissipation issues. A lot of devices are water resistant and behind the windshield they won't be exposed to the worst of the weather. Light rain should be fine with pretty much anything and I just don't use my GPS if the weather gets really bad.
    #11
  12. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Use your phone
    #12
  13. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    bought a kyocera ad, large screen, tough. dont want to use the communication phone as a gps , for both uses.
    lose one n you have nothing. samsung s6, kyocera ad. about $340. add a squeese please- hondo garage a vendor here, kyocera case to keep the clamping fingers off the buttons.
    #13
  14. arkansawyer

    arkansawyer Long timer

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    This fall I was completely lost a thousand miles from home. My phone showed me a pulsing blue ball with grid squares. Phones don't work if there's no cell.
    Almost all the riding I do around here has no cell service.
    Phones don't work for me.
    #14
  15. ontrip

    ontrip Been here awhile

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    After years of using my Motorcycle Garmin Zumo 660 LM, I have been migrating to my iPhone 7 waterproof and mite visible in full sunlight than my Garmin.

    Mounted to an adapter that allows me to utilize the Navprep on my BMW.

    I use google maps for simple routes around town and use Scenic the (dedicated motorcycle route planning and navigation App) for touring where you can place almost an unlimited amount of waypoints.

    Scenic is the easiest App for creating and editing routes of any I have used. This app works with data or you can purchase off line maps.
    #15
  16. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Geez.
    Spend a little time and learn how to make it work, without a cell signal.
    #16
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  17. arkansawyer

    arkansawyer Long timer

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    I really hate my cell phone. I just want a gps I can turn on and have it show me where I am. No need for routes, music or any other fancy stuff. Just basic, always working, easy gps.

    Had a garmin quest. It had a lot of features I never used, but it was easy to use. Died after more than a decade. Loved that thing.
    #17
  18. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1 freaking SWEET !i love leaving home for a minute and seeing new things !

    2 what application were you using ? you know you have to have maps on both a GPS and a phone, if you want to see where you are in relation to the terrain, right ? if you don't load maps onto a GPS or phone, of course you won't see a map when you leave a mapped area ... this is completely normal, map up first !

    3 this is completely and 100% false ! phones DO work , as in, they use the GPS antenna just like a stand alone GPS does, to determine location. the only difference between a stand alone GPS unit and a phone is that the phone has MORE antennas. the stand alone only has GPS, and maybe Bluetooth/wifi. a phone has GPS, wifi, Bluetooth, nfc, barometer/altimeter, compass, light sensor, magnetometer, and sometimes infrared sensors too. smartphones determine location info by GPS antennas (just like stand alone units) and do not need cellular data, ever.

    4 freaking sweet again ! i only fade into and out of cellular service areas. i would love to ride fat away from cities with no other people around. nice !

    5 i think once you realize HOW to fully recolor your phone, you'll find it will work just fine. the GPS antenna works great on phones, normally it's accuracy is +/-3 meters (about ten feet) while moving, under heavy tree cover. I've been using phones for years, and logged thousands of miles of tracks under heavy tree cover, without cellular service. the stand alone units are too limited for me, i need the ability to edit tracks, and share them wirelessly. the stand alone units can't do that.
    #18
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  19. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    You realize that Google Maps isn't the only app that uses your GPS on your phone?

    You realize there are apps that use OFFLINE maps and your GPS?

    Seriously if you think cell service is required to use a phone as a GPS, you need to educate yourself.
    #19
  20. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    That just isn’t true. The gps on your phone has nothing to do with cell. You need neither a cell signal nor an active calling plan. Your phone worked perfect, that blue ball was you in the exact spot on planet earth where you were standing. The problem you had was that you hadn’t saved a map to the phone to show under that blue spot. Put a map on your phone and it’ll show you exactly where you are. Phones ARE gps’s.
    #20
    HarveyM likes this.