Time for GPS upgrade? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Time for GPS upgrade?

I have a Nuvi 500 and a Nuvi 550. Both are small, 3ฝ" diagonal, fully waterproof IPX7, and the 500 has Topo, which I never use. They handle 500 waypoints, routing and can avoid dirt roads (or not!). I got these on sale years ago for $99, which was a bargain. I see Garmin still has them listed for $299 and are probably refurbs. The maps are outdated and they lose USB connection intermittently due to excessive insertion/removal over the years (hard wired). They get removed whenever I stop for breaks away from the bike. I've ridden 10 days straight in heavy rains with no issues at all. So overall, they've held up very well. Plus, I'm still using my old version of MapSource. But like all Garmins, they are not without their share of routing inaccuracies.

My dilemma: 1) the maps definitely need to be updated ($90 EACH), 2) the USB connection issues are getting frustrating and will to be repaired if I keep them ($50 EACH?) 3) The screen is kinda small for my aging eyes, 4) I'm retiring this year and will be riding A LOT MORE! And 5) I have a $300 Amazon gift card to spend :-)

So I'm debating on getting a new GPS, and if so, which one??? And if so, the 500/550 will be back-ups. I've always been a Garmin guy from the very first one they made ($350 and it only plotted a line, and ONLY when it had a signal). I've probably had 15 of these things over the years. That said... is a Zumo really worth the money? And I have no problem spending the money on a new one, but only if it provides additional value for the money. I read all over about people having issues with every brand and model of GPS; that I can understand. They all can't be winners. These 500/550 have been very reliable overall, especially for $99.

I don't use Bluetooth for turns or XM radio, although I am set up on my Uclear headseat for Bluetooth to my phone. I'm not a POI guy because 95% of them are useless IMO. I use the fuel option and Go Home more than anything, plus Where Am I? I like being able to link to MapSource, upload and look at the stats and the profile of the ride I just did. When exploring, I will select a random point 150 miles away and say Go via shortest distance avoiding tolls, highways, etc. with Unpaved Roads enabled. The Topo option is neat in that it shows mountain peaks and elevations, forests, etc. but is meant for off-road (no roads really).

So, those are my thoughts and experiences... what have been your experiences? Thanks!

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post #2 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 12:40 PM
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and you are still using ancient tech that costs too much why ?? You have a smart phone. Use it.
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post #3 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macdoc View Post
and you are still using ancient tech that costs too much why ?? You have a smart phone. Use it.
I was hoping for a more thoughtful, insightful and useful responses; however, 2 primary aspects... waterproof and data usage. Garmin is free to use and totally waterproof, Google Maps or Waze use data, drain the battery unless plugged in and the phone gets covered in dirt & grime. And I have a nice Note 5 that looks new after 2 years of daily use thank you very much. Furthermore, you need to use capacitive gloves to swipe a phone which none of my expensive riding gloves are. Not to mention that pinching, swiping, zooming, etc. are all DISTRACTED RIDING. No thanks! Count me out.
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post #4 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 01:28 PM
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You are a tad out of date on your assessment. You CAN find out more and make an informed decision.

There is good reason Garmin is in the App business.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-CA/CA/on-t...-cApps-p1.html

Any glove can be be screen friendly - this is just one approach
Home - ThumbDogs

and waterproofing is simply a non-issue

You CAN listen to those of us that travel all over the world with smart phones on our bikes, rain or shine with no network requirements....or reject it out of hand.



and in my case - finds me roads like this


Good luck.

Your call.


Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold • 10 Wee ABS sold • 09 Burgman Exec sold • 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 • 93 ST1100 sold •
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87
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post #5 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 01:37 PM
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Another thing to consider with using a phone, some don't work well with the currently available mounting options. I tried using the the Ram mount universal X-grip with my Samsung galaxy 7 but it interferes with the volume buttons andor the power button.
My crappy but reliable (and cheap) Garmin Nuvi 56LM is very solidly mounted and it wouldn't cause a communications disaster if it fell off and smashed on the road. The loss of my phone would.
As mentioned above, the data thing is something to consider and also you can lose the GPS (location) function on the phone sometimes if you're out of cell range.

Henry

"Rock bottom will teach you lessons that mountain tops never will..."

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post #6 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macdoc View Post
You are a tad out of date on your assessment. You CAN find out more and make an informed decision.

There is good reason Garmin is in the App business.

and waterproofing is simply a non-issue

You CAN listen to those of us that travel all over the world with smart phones on our bikes, rain or shine with no network requirements....or reject it out of hand.
They have great cradles for iPhones, not so much for some Android.

Henry

"Rock bottom will teach you lessons that mountain tops never will..."

2016 V-Strom DL650 (red) 'Sweetness'
2011 V-Strom DL650 (white)
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post #7 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
The loss of my phone would.
As mentioned above, the data thing is something to consider and also you can lose the GPS (location) function on the phone sometimes if you're out of cell range.
You cannot lose GPS signal.....a smart phone IS a GPS period full stop - it needs no network connection. This is a common misconception. There are dozens of Nav apps - some free ...some like TomTom that I use which are one time purchases.

There are a variety of X-mount including a spyder mount that the phone is held in the x-mount - cannot come off



RAM Tether for UN7 X-Gripฎ Holders Unpackaged - RAM-HOL-UN7TU | RAM Mounts

There are lots of solutions for the Galaxy
https://www.armor-x.com/xmount/bar-mount.html



I've never required it. In addition I navigate fairly often with voice only - phone in my pocket.

Not sure of your volume issues but most nav rigs have other volume controls....my Shure 215s earphones have inline and the SENA 20 helmet mounted


Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold • 10 Wee ABS sold • 09 Burgman Exec sold • 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 • 93 ST1100 sold •
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87

Last edited by Macdoc; 07-07-2017 at 01:58 PM.
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post #8 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macdoc View Post
You are a tad out of date on your assessment. You CAN find out more and make an informed decision. Good luck. Your call.
Thank you for your assessment, which would have been more helpful in your first response BTW. FWIW, I was aware of Thumb Dogs, which do not get favorable reviews overall. I also own 2 of the RAM-X mounts, and both have failed miserably... highly NOT recommended by me.

To be fair, Doc, my posting was about my current GPS units, keeping them and updating them or getting a new GPS unit, not about smartphone usage. I see the option and clearly it is preferable for you and others, but for me that is not an option. I don't need nor want the extra wear & tear on my personal phone. However, I am glad that it works for you. Thank you again for your insight.
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post #9 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 03:42 PM
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X-mount is such a simple device it boggles my mind it could fail.

I'd be not very happy with Garmin hardware or software ...what rip those map prices are outrageous and you've gone through 15 Garmins !!!!! I'm sorry but that's not "holding up".....that's a rip off. Ou4 iPhone 4's are years old and we only use them as back up ( have not needed tho ).

You don't have to use your existing phone even ...there are loads of used phones for less than the cost of a single map.$50-$70 buys you a perfectly fine used phone.

I'd look at the TomTom GPS for riders if you are set on tho it's above your budget point tho not by a huge amount.
https://www.amazon.com/TomTom-Rider-.../dp/B011J1P9NG




at least you get lifetime maps and traffic.

One thing nice on the TomTom is Hilly Roads as well as Winding Roads

https://www.tomtom.com/en_ca/drive/m...cts/rider-400/

and there is a Garmin model pretty inexpensive tho not designed for motorcycles.



https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-Naviga...p_ob_title_wld

and good reviews. Lots of riders do not buy the dedicated motorcycle models.

Given the competition from smartphones the manufacturers had to get real about pricing.

What I want is riders to be fully informed on choices....not running under misconceptions and dated information.

I'd certainly not being paying Garmin for maps etc.


Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold • 10 Wee ABS sold • 09 Burgman Exec sold • 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 • 93 ST1100 sold •
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87

Last edited by Macdoc; 07-07-2017 at 03:45 PM.
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post #10 of 104 Old 07-07-2017, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macdoc View Post
You cannot lose GPS signal.....a smart phone IS a GPS period full stop - it needs no network connection. This is a common misconception. There are dozens of Nav apps - some free ...some like TomTom that I use which are one time purchases.
I beg to differ (partial stop). During a long trip this past May into June, my son would set his iPhone to follow a route of his choosing and it would work for a bit but more than once, when something interrupted (like the phone going to sleep or something) it would drop the route and wouldn't restart the route properly until he was in cell range.
It was his setup, not mine, so I have no idea why this happened. It may be because he didn't have a specific app as you mentioned in your post. I'll ask him when I see hi m again to clarify.
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"Rock bottom will teach you lessons that mountain tops never will..."

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