GPS systems

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by ironmark, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. ironmark

    ironmark Junior Member

    I am looking into a GPS & wanted some input before I buy one . I understand that afermarket GPS systems are better than the GPS system that HD offers . I did a forum search on GPS but seem that most opinions are about 4months old or so , I was looking @ the tom tom rider 2 & was wondering if the GPS for a MC is a good investment .
  2. Pine Tree

    Pine Tree Account Removed

    I do a lot of long-distance and multi-day riding and found the addition of weather radar to be a big help.

    I've had the Garmin SPIII, 2730, and now a 478. The 478 is really a marine chartplotter but weather-proof, auto-routing, maps pre-loaded (and will accept my own PC generated routes), has XM radio, and NEXRAD weather.

    While expensive and requires a subscription to XM, the benefit of seeing real-time weather has kept me out of the really bad stuff on more then a couple rides.

    Your needs may be different.

    Hope that helps!

    Account removed by request.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2009
  3. flh canuck

    flh canuck Active Member

    I have a Garmin Nuvi 250 wide-screen which I purchased for about $220.00 CDN.

    I know it is not designed for a motorcycle but it is well protected behind the fairing and I keep a sandwich bag handy if it starts to pour.

    The suction mount let go and it jumped off the bike at 40 mph last summer. Lotsa road rash on the back of the unit but survived just fine and still works great. (note to self: buy a proper ram mount)

    The GPS is a great tool to have on-board, especially when travelling as it easily locates gas stations, hotels, starbucks, you name it. It also helps maintain peaceful relations with the wife while on road trips....

    I wouldn't leave home without it now as I find I can spend more time enjoying the ride and less time trying to figure out where I am or how to get to where I am going.

    I'm sure the motorcycle specific GPS units are great but I wasn't prepared to spend the $500 plus for essentially the same features. So far, weather, vibration, and flying off a moving motorcycle haven't impacted the operation of my Nuvi 250 so I am pretty impressed.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    GPS navagation is a good thing. I use a Tom-Tom 1 now 'bout $125, made for the car not a bike, but still find it handy. I think GPS is going to go the way of the calculator, everyone will have them, and the price will be in the $50 price range. While the Tom-Tom works in a pouch on my bar, it is by no means perfect for an HD, but again it just plain works. :D

    Wish list made for a bike should provide 1) Loud volume, 2) Bright display, 3) Rugged design (drop & water resistant), 4) User storage of personal favorites optimized rather than recalculating each time stored in a memory stick by user instead of only extra maps & 5) Blue Tooth (wirefree) interface if you want to integrate to your on-board electronics, i.e. wireless headset/cell phone, Blackberry, XM/Sirius/Itunes or similar etc. (for those of you who ride a feature rich bagger). :newsmile020:

    Yes you can do fine without, but why...ever get lost, or end up on a dead end road? :devil

    Again, new technology is good, only as long as used in moderation (always try to minimize distractions and concentrate on your riding) and have a low tech alternative backup (address book, health card, and maps are a good thing).:57:
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
  5. FifthGear

    FifthGear Member

    I'd like to put in a plug for GPS systems. If you do a lot of touring they are indispensable. I've been lost in strange cities through the years way too often. I would often stop, look at a map, memorize eight street names, head out only to find I passed one street or the name was shown on signs as a numbered road instead of map name road. etc. A jump off the freeway to get gas with no feeder road to get back on... only a spaghetti bowl of other freeways and no idea how to get back on course. I'd say for me not having every map of every city I visit, not even enough details in the atlas of the state, a GPS is worth 10 times over what I ever paid for one on the road.

    Sure, long before GPS was available people made do without them. That reminds me of a co worker engineer who I worked with back in the 80's just when computers entered our work place. He said he didn't need a computer, he could do the same thing with a Big Chief tablet and number two pencil. Well, lol, I really doubt he is using that Big Chief tablet today.

    As inexpensive as GPS is getting I'd have no problem with even the cheapest one stuffed in my pocket if I had to. But knowing how often I use one on a trip I prefer a MC model that can with stand everything a motorcycle can dish out and find it the most valuable tool I ever owned. I'm also spontaneous and like to take unknown back roads just to see where they go. But I also like to know where I am without having to stop and fight maps flapping in the wind.

    You can make do without a phone, without a computer, without microwave ovens, without internet....but welcome to the high tech times and enjoy what you can to make life easier. GPS is worth every penny. ;)
  6. robertc

    robertc Member

    I think the motorcycle G.P.S version would be better but a bit pricey. I rarely use my simple $99 tom tom one, which works great for me. I usually know where I am going and just don't use the device often. It does have some nice features such as speed, e.t.a, and turn by turn direction. Mine happens to suction really well to the fuel lid door. You can adjust angle and it hasn't come off yet while riding. For what I use it for, the $99 gps seems a better value than $500+ for the motorcycle version.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    FifthGear, well said as always. Just for the record...every penny, the one at HD is $8HD (Zumo equiv) is a whole lotta them! :swoon
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
  8. zman216

    zman216 Member

    zumo.... nuff said
  9. scrinch

    scrinch Active Member

    It is one of those things that after you get one, you wonder how you lived without one.
  10. STEVE07

    STEVE07 Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderators


    Smitty.Finally somebody that agrees with me!:D