Garmin "Lifetime" updates: NOT! - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Garmin "Lifetime" updates: NOT!

I was just looking at getting a GPS unit that would work when I was out of cell range and looking at the Garmin line of motorcycle GPS units. Three things struck me about their products:

1) Price. This things are stinking expensive ($400 to $1k)! Much more so than their automobile counterparts. Yes, they are water resistant; and yes, some do have spoken direction commands over bluetooth to helmet comms (although not all of them). But come on, that's doesn't justify the price increase.

2) Traffic and notification: If you want Traffic info on a Garmin, you either have to pay for an extra subscription OR link it to you cell phone. If I was going to link it to my cell phone, why not just chuck the Garmin and use the cell phone in the first place?!? That's like coming out with a phone and saying "All you have to do is link it to you cell phone for it to work."

3) Lifetime Updates: Garmin advertises "Lifetime" updates with the following disclaimer: Free Lifetime Map Updates entitle you to receive up to four (4) map data updates per year, when and as such updates are made available on the Garmin website, for this specific Garmin product only until this product’s useful life expires or Garmin no longer receives map data from its third party supplier, whichever is shorter. For the meaning of the product’s “useful life” and for other important terms and conditions, please see Garmin's website."

The Garmin website basically states that Garmin reserves the right to define what "Lifetime" means and is usually two years (24 months) after the product ships. That is hardly "Lifetime" to me. I have Craftsman wrenches that I got from my grandfather and although he has been dead since 1948, if I break one, Craftsman will still replace it. I don't expect Garmin to do that, but two years is hardly a "Lifetime."

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post #2 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 06:35 PM
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Many diff garmin products use the same maps. My garmin 14xx is 7 years old and my garmin 660 (3 years old, motorcycle) use the same map system. Yes motorcycle GPS`are expensive and yes I did use my 14xx on the motorcycle for 3 years until the bike vibrations consistently disconnected the power cord.

Don`t be overly concerned about the maps.

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post #3 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisB View Post

1) Price. This things are stinking expensive ($400 to $1k)! Much more so than their automobile counterparts. Yes, they are water resistant; and yes, some do have spoken direction commands over bluetooth to helmet comms (although not all of them). But come on, that's doesn't justify the price increase.
I would argue the almost anything motorcycle related is "stinking expensive". Probably a combination of the market size (doens't have the same economies of scale as the car industry) and willingness to pay (for a majority, motorcycles are luxury items)

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Originally Posted by BorisB View Post
2) Traffic and notification: If you want Traffic info on a Garmin, you either have to pay for an extra subscription OR link it to you cell phone. If I was going to link it to my cell phone, why not just chuck the Garmin and use the cell phone in the first place?!? That's like coming out with a phone and saying "All you have to do is link it to you cell phone for it to work."
I have to respectively disagree with your analogy. The basic function of the Garmin relies on GPS. To get traffic updates you are adding network data to it. That can be done either by enabling the GPS unit to connect directly to a wireless network (more costly option) or utilize a phone that already has that capability and everyone has (cost effective). As you point out, the reason not to chuck the GPS and just use your phone is that cellular coverage may not available where you are travelling.

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3) Lifetime Updates: Garmin advertises "Lifetime" updates with the following disclaimer: Free Lifetime Map Updates entitle you to receive up to four (4) map data updates per year, when and as such updates are made available on the Garmin website, for this specific Garmin product only until this product’s useful life expires or Garmin no longer receives map data from its third party supplier, whichever is shorter. For the meaning of the product’s “useful life” and for other important terms and conditions, please see Garmin's website."

The Garmin website basically states that Garmin reserves the right to define what "Lifetime" means and is usually two years (24 months) after the product ships. That is hardly "Lifetime" to me. I have Craftsman wrenches that I got from my grandfather and although he has been dead since 1948, if I break one, Craftsman will still replace it. I don't expect Garmin to do that, but two years is hardly a "Lifetime."
Unfortunately we live in a disposable society these days. My wife was having some issues with her 4 year old mobile phone so took it into the store to get it resolved. The clerk couldn't believe that she was still using a phone that old. The expectation is that phones get replaced every 1-2 years. I would assume that GPS units fall into the same category of semi-durable good. Even durable goods are defined as something that lasts as little as 3 years and there has been a trend towards shorter lifespans. Think about a modern washing machine... the average lifespan has dropped 3 years over the past decade.
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post #4 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 08:35 PM
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Although I can't agree more with Cal Scott, this is the reason why I refuse to buy a dedicated GPS device. Considering the insanely high prices and grey area of added restrictions, I will rather go with a smart phone and a good nav app such as InRoute. I just can't shed $500 + on entry level Zumo. My son son gave me his "old" Samsung S5 which I use as a backup. Both phones are loaded with local US/Canada maps (SD card) so there is no need for cell connectivity. Anyway, I would think about getting a Garmin if roads bring me down to Patagonia.

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post #5 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 08:51 PM
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it's game over for garmin hardware except inreach. Cheap android phones are light years ahead now in tech...you can even delete that t_rd known as basecamp and replace it all with locus map pro.
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post #6 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 09:04 PM
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Boris, the mc specific gps units are typically waterproof. For that and for vibration resistance, you pay extra. You can pick up some of the older models at relatively great prices, used. Buyer beware though. Heck, I'm still using a 478 and really like it. It was a marine unit, so definitely waterproof. My 478 can no longer load garmin maps but its not that big of a deal to me. It all depends on what you want to use the device for. I supplement the gps with maps -- always carry paper maps!! The gps provides some great statistics during and after a ride. It also saves tracks, which can be use for lots of things. And just because garmin might not provide maps, they are not the only source. Check out https://www.openmapchest.org/about/ just as one example.

I'm not sure how well a smart phone would handle bad weather or constant vibration. But I like what I've been reading about using a smart phone as a gps device. It's akin to going to the dark side and putting a car tire on the Vee. It am intrigued by the idea and concept, but I don't know enough to move in that direction.

Maybe at an RTE or some other excuse to ride in and meet, we could have a few sessions by those on this forum who have mastered the move from dedicated gps device to using a smart phone as gps device teach us how.
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post #7 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 09:16 PM
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My Zumo 350 was purchased in 2012 and I'm still getting free updates on the lifetime maps.
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post #8 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 09:34 PM
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Purchased a Garmin 590LM in Feb 2015 to replace a Garmin StreetPilot 2730 which was purchased in Dec 2006. The 2730 was still getting updates in 2015 but only a portion of the US could be loaded at one time as the maps had gotten too big. That became too much of a hassle. The maps on the 590 have been updated 2 - 3 times a year, going on four (4) years now.

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post #9 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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My main beef is the Garmin advertises "Lifetime" updates. To me, Lifetime means just that: Lifetime. If they meant 2 years, they should say 2 years. Or whatever the period is that they will support it is. But saying "Lifetime" when they clearly do not mean it is a lie, however they might paint it or justify it. Like I tell my kids, even though others do it, it still isn't right.

Price is a personal choice. If you're willing to pay it they go for it.

Same for the "Free Traffic and Weather." They clearly say that it is a parasitic function grabbing data from apps you already have on your phone.

But their "Lifetime Updates" claim is clearly dishonest and misleading.

And BTW, most higher end phones these days are water resistant if not water proof, at least to a meter depth. This was done not for weather resistance but to pass the toilet test. Seems a lot of people carry their phones in their back pockets.

Cheers.
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post #10 of 25 Old 07-11-2018, 10:11 PM
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Garmin is not my favorite company, first, a $500 GPS unit obsolete and not supported after 2 years

but what really pissed me off is when they bought Delorme, and closed the map store in Yarmouth

while I can still get Gazetteers on line, no longer can I take a nice day ride to Yarmouth to pick em up

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