Need info on GPS - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-16-2011, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ft.worth,texas
Posts: 1
Need info on GPS

I bought a 07' Wee from this site a while back and am getting it ready for some long distance riding ( when it warms up just a little). I'd like some advice on a workable GPS system re; easy to see in sunlite? waterproof? How hard is it to wire up? anything else that one should know? Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-16-2011, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: pennsylvania
Posts: 89
I went the least expensive route and bought a Ram mount for my TomTom that I use in my vehicle and installed a power outlet that I wanted anyway. The outlet is waterproof, however, the unit is not but I don't ride in the rain unless absolutely necassary. If I have to I can put a plastic freezer bag over it with a rubber band or easily remove it and put it in my sidecase. The TomTom is surprisingly loud and I can hear it at highway speeds with no problem. Sunlight is not a problem as with Ram Mounts you can adjust them into just about any position you want. I think I paid about $30 for the mount.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-16-2011, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Don't spend a lot of money on a bike specific waterproof gps.
Just use whichever one you like, and wrap a condom around it.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-17-2011, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: America - NorCal
Posts: 74
Nuvi 500

I had a zumo 550 that I sold after the third failure in 9 months (utterly overpriced junk) and bought a nuvi 500. It's waterproof and has decent features, and can be found for just around 200 bucks.

The screen isn't the best with bright sunlight directly on it, but overall it's a fine GPS. The mount and wiring kit costs about 35 bucks, and are a snap to install (2 wires).

The only downside so far is the battery life, which is rated at 8 hours but is more like 3 or 3.5. Not a big deal if you have a power source on the bike, though.

My 1.5 cents.

I'm either riding, or resting between rides....

2007 DL1000 (Blue), 35000 miles. Sore ass after 90 minutes in the saddle.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-18-2011, 10:38 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California Gold Country
Posts: 5,444
For just visual guidance, any old GPS will do. I use a Garmin 285WT that I got for a song somewhere (I can't recall where). Works fine and is plenty bright. At less-than-highway speed the voice prompts are loud enough, even with earplugs.

However, I had stupidly expected that the GPS's bluetooth would pair with my Cardo bluetooth intercom headsets -- but it doesn't, although it pairs with my Droid phone. If you want to get voice directions through a bluetooth headset, then, you will have to get one of the Garmin high-end models.

The GPS pairs with the phone, the headset pairs with the phone, the phone pairs with both, but the GPS will not pair with the headset. Go figure.

2008 DL650A
2016 KTM 390 Duke
"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure."
- Mark Twain, 1887
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-27-2011, 06:04 PM
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Location: Wisconsin
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I've got a Nuvi 550 and agree with the comments above for the 500. Battery life is well below 8 hours (probably because on bikes we have to leave the brightness setting on high all the time, except at night) so be sure to have it hooked up to a power source as well. That is, if you get a Nuvi...:beatnik:

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]"Free Men Will Never Consent To Give Up The Means Of Defending Their Liberties"
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-28-2011, 12:32 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 962
See this thread... a basic GPS with a 20 buck waterproof case/mount.

2007 DL650 Gray
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-28-2011, 06:41 AM
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Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 4,198
The answer is "it depends." What features do you want? MP3 player? Stereo? Weather & traffic? Internal battery? High sensitivity receiver? What's your budget?

I've owned or own all the 2xxx series StreetPilots a [large] number of Nuvis, and currently own a Nuvi 500, Zumo 550, and Zumo 665. In no particular order.

1. Automotive GPS prices have dropped sharply as have map costs. The smart phones with GPS have really eaten into that market. I expect this to be true for the motorcycle market as well. This means for basic navigation an automotive unit and a waterproof housing of some kind is the cheapest for basic navigation.

2. The top-of-the-line Zumos come with map disk to load on your computer, motorcycle and car mount, and AC wall adapter. They also allow routing through multiple via points. Whether you want to pay for all those features is something only you can decide. Those of you who don't think it's worth it? Check what used ones sell for.

3. The Zumo 660/665 has a larger screen and a much more convenient form factor than the 550 and earlier Zumos. It's touch screen only but that has worked well. It has stereo MP3 and bluetooth.

4. The Zumo 550 has hard buttons as well as touch screen and works well. It has bluetooth support and an MP3 player, the MP3 is not stereo through bluetooth.

5. The Nuvi 500 is waterproof, has a removable battery, and comes loaded with topo maps. But it doesn't have an external speaker jack or an MP3 player and doesn't come with an MC mount, though they are available as an aftermarket part. The Nuvi 550 has street maps.

6. Some people still like their 2xxx StreetPilots. They have some nice features and are pretty cheap but are large, don't have an internal battery, and don't have a high-sensitivity receiver.

I have a Droid phone and the GPS navigation works pretty well. And most of them also have an MP3 player and FM radio. But they aren't waterproof and I haven't found a really good motorcycle mount for one. Most of the guys I know that use them put them in the map pocket of their tank bag.

Form factors:

If you look at the pic I centered the image on Fenway Park.

2005 DL650 (sold) | 2009 DL650A (sold) | 2008 Tiger 1050 ABS | 2012 WR250R | 2008 CRF100F

Last edited by garandman; 01-28-2011 at 06:43 AM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-28-2011, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 259
find a refurbished garmin 765t, it has a 3.5mm audio output , 2.5mm mono mike connection, and bluetooth capabilaty. When it rains put it in your tank bag or take a zip lock bag and cover it up. $175.00- 130.00 You can plug a set of stereo headsets into it for turn by turn instructions, later you could add a autocom which would allow one to control their cell on the screen of the nuvi, play mp3 files on a sd card, have intercom, or check the protocols and buy a bluetooth headset (I am not a big bluetooth fan)
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-30-2011, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 100
I recently bought the Garmin Zumo 220. It has an MSRP of $500 but "The GPS Store. com" sells it for $349, and the day I bought it they had $20 off all orders over $300. I thought $330, while still $100 more than an automotive unit and a bike mount, was fair for a brand new motorcycle specific GPS, and is the best price I've seen for a Zumo. The unit arrived 4 days after I ordered it.

The Zumo 220 is the smaller 3.5" screen, with no external buttons - all touch screen. (I wear 3XL gloves, so I need to take them off to do anything - so I was not interested in external "glove friendly" buttons.) Its fully featured (Bluetooth, speaker, speaks street names, waterproof, comes with Map disc, SD card slot, etc, etc.) It does not do XM radio. It comes with a car mount and power cord. And it comes with a GREAT custom RAM mount which fit securely and perfectly in the center of the Vstrom bars. The smaller screen is easily visible without any blocking of the other gauges, and kind of sits just above the front of the gas tank. I bought the Eastern Beaver heated grip connector adapter and wired the Zumo, using its included wires and hardware, to the heated grip circuit so it turns on and off with the bike. I hid the extra wires inside the fairing. Once the bike is turned off the unit turns off 30 seconds later unless you touch the screen to keep it turned on using the internal battery.

I know $330 is not cheap, but its not $500, $600 or more. I am really pleased with unit for the price I paid - it works and looks great on the V-Strom and I can hear it unless I am on the highway. I have no complaints except for the fact that there is no way to lock the unit to the bike - so I take it out of the mount every time I park the bike.

Good luck

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