I have finally seen the need for a GPS. I want one that I can use in my truck for traveling from the east to west coast and for finding the dirt rodes for my TW. I plan on traveling the USA and taking my TW with me on the back of my 5th wheel. I would like to find the back rodes for my TW when I set up base camp. What would you buy?
I've been using the TomTom one from my truck, but the screen is not bright enough. When I scrape the cash together I'll be getting a Nuvi 550, which is waterproof and apparently much brighter.
I'm kind of looking myself, and still debating what kind to get---- an off-road/hiking version like in the first post, or a Nuvi similar to the 550 listed above (or just buy a Ram mount for my current street Nuvi and put a plastic baggie over it if rain threatens). I'm kind of leaning towards the Nuvi 500: same as the 550, except it also has 1:100,000 scale topographic maps pre-loaded on it but doesn't include street maps of Canada. From what I've read so far, the small hiking-style GPS receivers are better in the off-the-beaten-path environment, but may not include street maps and are lacking in terms of big screens, voice commands for turns, etc.... that we all expect in a car/truck GPS. The Nuvi 500 is a crossover-type device that attempts to be a little of both. Here is a link to one vendor and some of the accessories available for mounting, power, etc...: http://www.gpsonsale...CFQEhDQod1Q-a4w
You will have to do some Googling and decide which features and usages are more important to you--- or have a dedicated GPS for each purpose. I am finding many different forums and sources on the internet, including Amazon and these: http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/
Be aware that it can drive you crazy trying to determine what is hype vs what is truth on the capabilites of the different devices. For example, the Nuvi 500 descriptions from Garmin makes it seem like it will do EVERYTHING right out of the box, but in reading the different forums you will discover that some usages may require the purchase of other, more detailed topo maps (or special marine maps), it will not speak street names unless you download a free update and free voices from Garmin, etc..... Garmin is not alone in this, so like anything you will have to do some research to see if a particular device will meet your expectations.
The whole topic of mapsets currently has my head spinning: 1:100,000 scale vs 1:24,000 scale (the smaller number gives more detailed/close-up information but may require you to have smaller areas of the country loaded into memory at a given time), maps from the USGS (US Geological Service) vs from the various map-making companies like Navtec or DeLorme, free maps, custom maps, satellite maps, and many more. Everything kind of depends on what activity you plan to do with the information.
I'm currently trying to force myself to be realistic about where I will be riding and the kind of riding I'll be doing. The chances of my fat, old butt leaving the Midwest to off-road or hike in the mountains or desert is pretty slim, while the chance of me putting around the backroads of southern Wisconsin are much greater (and maybe a jaunt on forest service roads in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan). That is what has me currently thinking about a cross-over type of device like the Nuvi 500: it may give me more of what I'd like on the rural roads I'd normally be on, the included 1:100,000 scale topo maps may be all I need to follow a main forest service road, and I could buy a download or pre-loaded memory chip (or possibly a free download ) of a more detailed map segment for a particular area such as the Upper Peninsula.
Enjoy the hunt for that perfect device, and let us know what you decide!
two 2009 TWs, Ricochet skidplates, Moose Racing 'Expedition' rack (like a Borrega), DID 428V O-ring chains, DMoto2 -style black steel footpegs from eBay
I can not help you much with what will be the best for you. I can share my GPS devices and what is working the best for me.
I have a Magellan Crossover in the wife's car. It is a decent on/off road GPS. Works fine in the car. We call it "Edna" It reminds us of an elderly lady giving the directions. You get there but it tends to wander at times. The maps are a little dated, but it still does the job.
On the TW200 I have my old tried and true Magellan SporTrak Pro. This old dog is still sharp and trustworthy. A good choice and still an awesome performer. Long discontinued and no longer available. I keep thinking it needs to be replaced , but when I go back and compare, it is still on the cutting edge.
In my truck I use the Delorme Earthmate receiver and Topo 8.0 (Topo 9.0 is the current version) on a Toughbook. The Panasonic Tough book is a refurb and maxed out on memory it was right at $400. This is the hands down best vehicle navigation solution that I have found. With a $30 subscription you can download unlimited maps ranging from satellite, USGS, aerial and others. The software supports turn to turn routing, importing and more than I will ever do with it. All this can be uploaded to a PN series hand held.
The KLR650 sports a Delorme PN-20. All the planning done with maps on the computer are uploaded to the PN-20 and keep me going on the bike. I find it easy to read in daylight and the display user friendly. This would be my choice to buy if I needed to buy a new one today.
SUMMARY: If I had the need to buy a GPS receiver for the motorcycle today I would buy Topo bundled with a PN series GPS receiver. Add a 12V power cord and Ram mount from Wallyworld (online) and the whole package can be purchased for under $150. Add to that a map download subscription for $30 and you can get any detail anywhere in North America, Canada and some of Mexico that you desire.
That is a bargain package that will serve well.
"Speed doesn't kill, suddenly becoming stationary does." - Richard Hammond
"Speed is just a matter of Money - How fast do YOU want to go?"-Mechanic from Mad Max-
If at first you don't succeed - Don't take up Skydiving! - Hidden Content
Another thing to consider is a unit that has truck routing. I'm sure your 5er is at least 11' tall. That can be a problem if you cruise the back roads while towing. (That underpass is HOW high?). We had a friend lose their front A/C unit that way. I've seen a Garmin unit that has the option. I guess there are others. You might even consider two units. One for the truck and one for the bike as mentioned above.
If you think getting old is bad;
Consider the alternative.
If you pick up a garmin handheld make sure it has a memory card.Mine only has internal memory so at it's maximum it will only hold topo maps for about 2-4% of Washington State at a time.
I picked up a Garmin Legend CX refurbed with 1 year warranty on ebay for just under $120. bright color screen, takes sd card, came with the computer software, also got the topo map for $30 on ebay. gps uses the same car cord as my motorola phone. downside is the screen is on the small side. would i buy again? yes. woof
1993 Shadow 1100 with Ural sidecar
2008 H-D Ultra Classic
2009 Zuma 125
2004 Zuma 50
The image below is not mine. I have a Garmin M5 I bought many years ago. I just like this guys ingenuity.
Weather proofing your GPS... W.T.F.? Hey, they passed out condoms during the Normandy invasion to keep the rifle barrels dry.
15/50 sprockets, O-ring chain, D2Moto foot pegs
tweaked carb (127.5 jet, 0.019 needle shim, idle screw @2.25),
Rubbermaid "Action Packer" on homemade brackets