Ancillary benefits of a gps? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Ancillary benefits of a gps?

Never been one to get lost though i don't venture far off public roads. Have always enjoyed maps though, particularly the U.S.G.S. ones. Are there other good reasons for having this on the bike?

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post #2 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 09:40 AM
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With modern GPS units and GPS functions on smart phones you can pick the fastest route, or choose to stay off highways, locate gas stations and determine which is closest, find a particular kind of restaurant, or the closest Suzuki dealer. I actually just use my Google Maps function on my Iphone these days. I haven't seen an advantage for me of a dedicated GPS in a long time. As you upgrade smart phones you can relegate the older model to GPS and camera work.

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post #3 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 10:34 AM
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Plenty of advantages, from what I can see. In addition to what Richland Rick says, my GPS and some free mapping software allows me to plan a cross country route using routes that aren't normally even visible on a road atlas, unless you plan on carrying a detailed individual state atlas for every state you're going to be passing through. Last year I found a lot of excellent dirt and gravel county and township roads to ride on during a cross country trip to Iowa that would never have been visible on my backup road atlas. More than once I've been grateful for the "nearest gas station" feature on my GPS (especially out in places like rural New Mexico), when the needle was hitting "E" and I had to choose between one direction or another in a last ditch effort to find gas.

Another advantage: No written directions, or cue sheets, or keeping track of the odometer. I program in a route, and just follow the big purple line on the screen. If I miss a turn, the GPS routes me back to where I need to be. No pulling to the side of the road to wrestle with a map or an atlas on a windy day, trying to figure out where you went wrong.

I still have all those map reading skills because I started riding long before GPS, but frankly, the GPS system is better. I still carry an atlas out of force of habit, but I haven't had to crack it open in years.
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post #4 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Plenty of advantages, from what I can see. In addition to what Richland Rick says, my GPS and some free mapping software allows me to plan a cross country route using routes that aren't normally even visible on a road atlas, unless you plan on carrying a detailed individual state atlas for every state you're going to be passing through. Last year I found a lot of excellent dirt and gravel county and township roads to ride on during a cross country trip to Iowa that would never have been visible on my backup road atlas. More than once I've been grateful for the "nearest gas station" feature on my GPS (especially out in places like rural New Mexico), when the needle was hitting "E" and I had to choose between one direction or another in a last ditch effort to find gas.

Another advantage: No written directions, or cue sheets, or keeping track of the odometer. I program in a route, and just follow the big purple line on the screen. If I miss a turn, the GPS routes me back to where I need to be. No pulling to the side of the road to wrestle with a map or an atlas on a windy day, trying to figure out where you went wrong.

I still have all those map reading skills because I started riding long before GPS, but frankly, the GPS system is better. I still carry an atlas out of force of habit, but I haven't had to crack it open in years.
I like the idea of a pre programed route. Like as much gravel and small county roads as possible. You must have good maps loaded. The ones in my phone are just so-so.

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post #5 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 11:33 AM
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Many of the routing features and maps (offline as well as online) are available on smart phones so that part of things isn't a huge advantage. My phone and (if I have it with me) my iPads have maps and routing software as a backup but I don't think they are all that practical to use while riding.

What I like with my two Garmin Zumo GPS units is:

-they are design to be used while riding.
-They work with gloves on
-they work with soaking wet gloves
-They work in far below-freezing weather
-they work in 126 f weather (Death Valley)
-They work in the pouring rain
-The batteries never go dead since they are on a mount
-it takes less than a second to take off the mount so I can put in my topcase or safety
-I never have to worry about USB connections getting damaged by vibration
-I never am forced to stop to look ahead for gas, food, etc along my route
-it is an absolute piece of cake to create routes and send them to the GPs units
- can search points of interest, Stored favourites, etc while riding
-I can build or modify routes at any time without needing any outside programs or devices. I can do this standing at the side of the road or while riding.
-backup music... if my iPod runs out of power I have music on the GPS so I always have music when I want it.
-can route phone calls though the GPS unit if inclined to talk on the phone while riding. Have full access to the phone's contacts, and call lists.

My newest one, a Garmin Zumo 590 (given to me as a gift by my wife) has a Weather App that has proved invaluable. It also shows temperature along my route and at my destination. Helps me make sure I will be dressed accordingly. I can see bad weather coming and can adjust my riding accordingly. it gives warnings (slippery roads, ice, snow,rain, storms, wind, etc)

On top of that it has Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPMS) so I can dynamically see my tire pressures as I am riding

Bike dedicated GPS units are crazy expensive but they do the job they are supposed to do with no real fuss or bother.

..Tom

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2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 175,000+ km, 108,500+ miles.

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post #6 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 11:48 AM
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I like seeing where I am on the map, upcoming intersections, sharp curves, looking where side roads go, etc.

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post #7 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motosapien View Post
I like the idea of a pre programed route. Like as much gravel and small county roads as possible. You must have good maps loaded. The ones in my phone are just so-so.
I use a free program called Tyre to Travel, that pretty much uses Google Maps as its mapping system. I've been able to zoom in and program roads that were little more than a sandy path through a wilderness area by using the Tyre program. The nice part is that Tyre works both with my Garmin Nuvi 2455 and with the OsmAnd navigation program I have in my phone; when I travel, I use the Nuvi, with the same routes programmed into OsmAnd as a backup.

Tyre's drawback is that is needs an internet connection in order for you to prepare a route. If I'm someplace that doesn't have a connection I can use the OsmAnd program on my phone, which stores the routes on the phone and routes can be programmed off-line.

I've waterproofed my Nuvi based on a tutorial I found on YouTube, and Ive cured some of the vibration issues, and the issues with constantly connecting/disconnecting the USB cable, by using a short USB cable that plugs into the Nuvi. This short cable is secured to a rubber padded bracket on the Nuvi by a piece of velcro tape. I then plug the power cable into the short USB cable. The short cable never needs to be detached from the Nuvi, and the velcro tape and bracket keep it from vibrating and causing strain on the mini USB connector. It's definitely not a Zumo, but I've had mine on the bike for many thousands of miles and many rainstorms, and it's still going strong. They are cheap enough that I even have a backup GPS, in case this one takes a crap on me.
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post #8 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motosapien View Post
Never been one to get lost though i don't venture far off public roads. Have always enjoyed maps though, particularly the U.S.G.S. ones. Are there other good reasons for having this on the bike?
Even if I don't need the GPS for finding my way, I often use it for the estimated arrival time to my destination.
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post #9 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 12:57 PM
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Lot of good reasons for me to run a dedicated GPS unit over a phone. One that might surprise others is my standard procedure for getting a motel room! Not uncommon for me to be on the road a few days at a time and need motels. Not one to make reservations, I ride till I think I need to find a room. GPS searches that for me, then I hit the call button and it calls for me. I often call 3 or 4 motels checking prices. Now I know a phone can probably do that now, but don't tell me you can do that on a phone with gloved hands. GPS units can hold a lot more detail than Google Maps typically. Especially off pavement stuff.

Phones and tablets have gotten a lot better at mapping. I have a clear faced tablet holder for my tank bag, I was thinking one of the small tablets might be a good thing for having a larger map open while still having more details on the gps.

I still carry maps! Hard to beat when planning a route.

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post #10 of 57 Old 08-27-2016, 01:07 PM
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I liked checking how far along on the map I had traveled as well as ETA. I also liked seeing when a state line was coming up to see what the area around the border was like. Some state lines just had a sign. Others had a city on each side of a bridge over a river. One crossing was in a small town that straddled a border. I wish I could remember where that was as it was fascinating to think of walking across a street to a restaurant as Interstate travel.

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