What's a good budget GPS for a Strom? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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What's a good budget GPS for a Strom?

I'm thinking that I would like to add a GPS to the strom. It will probably not be used very often because I don't get to take many trips. But, I would like to be able to stick it on there and take back roads that are poorly marked without missing turns.

So, I'm looking for a GPS that is the equivalent of a Strom. A good reliable piece of equipment that is everything you need without being super expensive. If I could use it in the cage and the strom both that would be a big plus.

Suggestions for features that you consider must haves are good and specific models that have those features are even better. Thanks

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post #2 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 12:24 AM
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Garmin is the most popular. I like the Nuvi 500 series. They work well on bikes

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post #3 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 01:09 AM
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I just went through this for my purchase of a GPS (well...a birthday gift from family+friends to me anyway). After looking around at the different brands and prices of the many GPS on the market, I was and getting . I asked one of my friends who is very well connected with a riding group who has 'members' that do everything from off-road to strictly road, to fire roads. His response was either Garmin or DeLorme.

He explained that the Delorme was better for the off-roads and that Garmin was better for the highway+some off-road. I decided to purchase the Garmin Zumo 220. I liked that it came water proof, was usable in both car and on the bike, and I was able to download the topo maps that I would want. At $400, it was A LOT pricier than I wanted to spend, BUT I figured that it would be a good purchase, and provide some very useful information.

So I would say...if you're doing a LOT of off-road, look at the Delorme, but if you're doing the highway miles, consider a Garmin...maybe not the 220, but definitely something waterproof... (granted if you're like me, I don't like riding in the rain, so avoid that as much as possible.)
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post #4 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 05:10 AM
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If you do mostly road riding, and don't plan on riding in heavy rain (intentionally, at least) then the Garmin Nuvi family is very good for the price.
Has most of the features of its much pricier brothers.

I have the Nuvi 360 and it does a fantastic job - including being an MP3 player with audio output, and supporting blutooth (nice to see that wife is calling, you answer and she is relaxed..)

If I was to buy a new one I would probably go with a wider screen version (4.3) that has life time updates of maps, like the Garmin Nuvi 1390LMT:
Amazon.com: Garmin nüvi 1390LMT 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map & Traffic Updates: Electronics
For $182 it is really good value.

Also I wrote about my experiences in hooking up the Nuvi GPS in this thread:

It might help you. Very highly recommend of the Strombone - super elegant.

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post #5 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 05:53 AM
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Garmin Custom POI

BTW, slightly off topic but related.
My Nuvi 360 does not have routes, but it does have Custom POI (Points Of Interest), which work as a decent alternative.

I found a relatively easy way to design routes using Google Maps, then convert them using Google Earth into Custom POI coordinates file.
Essentially this file is a CSV file (Comma Separated File) with POI names and coordinates (long & lat).
I wrote a small XSL (sorry, technical computer stuff ) file to transform the GoogleEarth KMZ file (which is really XML) to that CSV..and the output is a numbered CSV file.
So each coordinate starts with a prefix (01_<TITLE>, 02_<TITLE>, etc.)

Then a quick upload to the Nuvi using their free utility, GarminPoiLoader.
Anyway, works like a charm.
One does have to select the next POI when the last POI was reached, but if the POIs are not too close to each other you don't have to do it too often. It also makes the GPS route less automatic which I like, as it remind me of navigating with a map - the rider has more control.

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post #6 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 07:28 AM
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GPS - General Planning System

I have the Nuvi 500 and it seems to work well when used the right way. What I mean by that is I use to load a route (a bit of a pia when you are trying to stay on the roads not often traveled) and then have the thing on when I rode on the roads less traveled. A BIG distraction and possibly dangerous too.

So what I do now is I pop in my destination for the day, look at a real map, find some interesting roads, and then try to get lost. At some point (this is the tricky part) I turn on the GPS and tell it to take me to my destination for the day. A few times I turned it on a bit late (guess I did not feel that I was lost enough earlier in the day) and ended up riding a bit longer into the day than I originally intended.

Another option is to pick up a smart phone (preferrably one that is ruggedized) and use several of the GPS mapping options that are available. My brother currently uses this approach and I like it because it is one less thing to carry. The galpal does the same thing with her Droid and can actually get real time traffic updates from Google Maps so she can avoid any traffic jams during the trip.

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post #7 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 07:47 AM
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Quite often the choice is personal and "popular". I'm going to get bashed for this but I use a TOM TOM for it's simplicity. When I say simplicity I only mean it's use and not it's capability. Google maps or Google Earth routs downloaded straight into my TT with one button. No conversions and no work a-rounds. They are loaded into the TT as a trip with all the info you want to put on the map. One, two, thee, four day trip with pictures, notes or other info if you like. All dropped into the GPS with no fuss and can be edited on your computer or on the fly. At this point I have well over a dozen three day trips (plus a lot of one and two day trips) or something like 25000 miles of way points. But like I said. Tom Tom doesn't have the techy elite status so most people don't bother looking at them.
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post #8 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 07:54 AM
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I have both a Garmin Nuvi 360 and a Nuvi 755. I like the larger screen, route planning/saving, and "3D View" of the 755, but have not been impressed with its map resolution - several mid-size side roads in my area don't display. It will recognize you are on them, but they don't show on the map, even though smaller crossroads will display.
But I agree - any of the Nuvi series is a good value - quite a few options for under $150, and some under $100. Also, they have been pretty durable. My 360 has taken two spills at 50+ mph and it still works fine, just a few scuffs on the corners.

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post #9 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 08:07 AM
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He said cheap ... For three years I've used my car's Garmin Nuvi 200 series GPS using an inexpensive waterproof handlebar mount that can be purchased on-line. I used it on my old XR 650 and on my Wee, twice in all day down pours with zero leaks. No doubt the Zumo with Touratech alum mount is nicer but costs hundreds more!

Available on-line, for example Amazon has it for under $24 currently in stock:

Also when someone stole the Garmin out of my (unlocked) car I replaced it with a used (but newer) Nuvi 200 series wide purchased on craigslist for $55. Either a small or wide screen will fit. So for under $100 all day long you can buy mount and good used Garmin (craigslist) and have it in car too.

Front (note: flexible clear front allows touch screen operation):

Top (note: waterproof zipper and taped seam):

bottom (note: grommet for plug):

Last edited by KevinP; 05-18-2011 at 08:29 AM. Reason: added links
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post #10 of 48 Old 05-18-2011, 08:11 AM
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+1 for the Nuvi 500/550. It's waterproof (huge +), works well, is easy to use, and a lot cheaper than the Zumo's. I use it on the bike as a good speedo (gives actual speed), and as a rolling map. It's it's like having a road map in a tank bag, but it's electronic.

Hope this helps.

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