Looking for a GPS - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 27 Old 03-24-2013, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
tedkraus's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Laramie, Wyoming
Posts: 164
Looking for a GPS

Looking for a GPS for my vstrom, is it worth getting the zumo or some bike specific GPS? The main map feature I am looking for is good (up to date) back country roads especially forest service and the like....I don't want to get lost riding the dirt roads in wyoming or colorado...

It would also be nice if it would display GPS speed, but that is not super important.

I see we have a nice thread on mounts so I have got some good ideas, however if you own a GPS and really like how it is mounted I would appreciate the reminder.

Thanks for your help!

Current Ride:none

Previous Rides:
05 Suzuki Vstrom Dl650 K5 - Destroyed by deer.
95 Honda Magna VF750C -Sold
84 Honda Magna VF700C -Sold
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post #2 of 27 Old 03-24-2013, 02:51 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: cambridge ontario
Posts: 278
I use aTomTom start45 model. I use the suction cup mount onto the windshield so the unit sitsjust atop the speedo cluster. Works great, but I am looking to get a tank bag with a gps pocket for a waterproof install. I always ride regular roads so I cant comment on the goatpath functionality....

Some can't...some won't.... I might!
Richland Ricks Fork Brace and Mirror extenders, Stebel Nautilus Horn, Suzuki Centerstand
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post #3 of 27 Old 03-24-2013, 03:14 PM
kiwi_outdoors's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oakland, CA 94602
Posts: 1,573
forest service roads

I am also interested in this aspect of auto-bike GPS offerings, as I have no auto-bike gps at present..
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post #4 of 27 Old 03-24-2013, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 117
The zumo is certainly nice but if you are frugal (cheap) like me you may want to consider the nuvi ( nuvi 50 at Amazon dot com ) .

It isn't waterproof but a ziplock freezer bag over it when it rains solves that issue.
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post #5 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 01:15 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 541
Only comment I can make is after getting a Garmin Nuvi 2555LMT thinking I'd like the 5" screen I discovered using polarized sunglasses just blacked out the display in landscape mode. Rotating it around allowed me to see it in portrait mode. However, even without sunglasses, in the bright light, the display really washes out. I've tried a couple methods of shading the display and although better still disappointed with it on the bike.

Still not ready to spend the big bucks for a bike specific model however.

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post #6 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 01:37 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: NW USA
Posts: 652
I have a garmin GPS MAP 60csx. It's been okay. I like that it's a fairly versatile unit. It does the job for many things, but it isn't superb at them. I'd prefer a bluetooth GPS for the motorcycle, and something that has a touch screen. For geocaching I'd also prefer the touch screen, like the Garmin Oregon. If I need GPS around town, I usually just use my phone because it talks to me, and it's easier to tell on the screen where you are going. The 60csx does eat batteries pretty quick. So a power wire on the motorcycle will be required.

2006 GSXR 600 - sold March 2013 (it was a sad day)
2012 Glee standard
2009 KLX250S
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post #7 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 216
I have a zumo 450 and love it. I was hesitant because of the price but It's been a great GPS for almost 5 years. I like the waterproof part and the left hand controls. If/when this unit dies, I'll certainly get another Zumo.
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post #8 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 03:27 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,879
Visit a store with gps's on display and powered up (basspro, academy, etc) so you can play with'm. Locate areas you're interested in and see which ones display the detail you want.
Haven't met a gps yet that doesn't indicate speed.
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post #9 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 08:09 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 103
I have a Delorme Earthmate 60w.

It is VERY rugged, can have the backlight on for about 20hrs on a set of 2x lithium-AAs. It will runs for about three days if the backlight is allowed to go back off. Great for trails, has roads that are not shown in most street-only GPSs and communicated directly with the Delorme InReach (like a SPOT locator). Has gotten me out of trouble in my truck and on my bike when I got lost at the everglades and my truck GPS only showed a giant green blob telling me to go back to the road. Also has big buttons so using it with gloves is not a problem. Probably one of the best if you are going off-reservation.

Steep learning curve, smallish screen, terrible street address database, no voice-nav (turn-by-turn is by alarms), no bluetooth for turn-by-turn. Naming waypoints is also a pain, but doable.

(DL1000K6) - Potranca
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post #10 of 27 Old 03-28-2013, 08:59 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tamworth, NSW, Australia
Posts: 362

I've got a Garmin Dakota 20 in the snap-in cradle for the RAM mount, off the handlebars. It has full topo maps & touch screen.
A mate with a Zumo (and no topographical maps, as standard) has no screen indication of his small country road to his property. The roads on screen for him only start when back on the main road.
I find the Dakota/topo maps invaluable for checking that the track I'm on is the correct one -- sometimes, at a gravel road intersection, the correct road isn't immediately obvious.
If you get authentic topo maps, then the GPS can route you to a chosen point/home etc -- as a regular GPS does. Though, not having spoken instructions, you have to look at the screen, rather than getting the instruction through a headphone etc.
It's when following a route already set that it's clear I am on the correct track -- as that is marked with a thicker (green) line, compared to the other roads around
It does have compass and GPS vehicle speed etc.
With this sort of GPS (rather than a car type unit), it is possible to set up a route in advance in a town by town and/or intersection and/or map grid reference manner -- as a named route. Whereas, most car type units can just have one alteration from the chosen route -- and with no ability to set-up a number of routes in advance in the unit's memory.
I don't know it a bike specific GPS can pre-set a number of routes.
Also -- the batteries in the Dakota last easily a whole day -- and are AA's, so replacements are everywhere. It can take re-chargeable batteries -- which re-charge if you plug the unit into a socket on the bike (or car etc), or take a small recharge unit for a power outlet for the motel eg.
Small car units that talk to you are cheap enough to buy and have in, eg a tank bag -- to navigate through a city etc.
I couldn't go where I do with the current peace of mind without a GPS unit with topo maps in.
The Dakota is good for paperless geocaching too, if that interests you.

Last edited by chrisbre; 03-29-2013 at 04:04 AM.
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