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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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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.

Our over the dash GPS mounts and shelves combined with Ram X-grip works great.

Shelves and GPS/Phone Mounts - AdventureTech, LLC.
 

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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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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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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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I like seeing where I am on the map, upcoming intersections, sharp curves, looking where side roads go, etc.
 

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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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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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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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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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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.
All of the above. The Garmin has software called BaseCamp that can create, import and export routes as well as recall trips and edit them. I used the automatic tracking once to get out of a speeding ticket as I could show my speed and position at the exact time the cop issued me a citation.
In addition you can load free topo maps into BaseCamp and you can use that as supplemental info to see trails and elevation contours - it will also bring up the route you've made on Google Earth so you can get an idea of what the route will look like. Pretty cool.
Sometimes I just ride and depend on the GPS to get me home - a get out of limbo free card! I plan to use the curvy roads routing feature on the Zumo 590LM I just bought. You also don't have to worry about data plans or data coverage like you do with a phone.
All said and done I find a GPS an integral part of my motorcycling.
 

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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)
..Tom
I have destroyed several auto units from vibration - the main reason I finally bit the bullet and got that exact model. In addition the screen is much more visible in sunlight than the auto units.
 

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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.
Texarkana?
 

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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.
There was a show about a town that straddles the Canada/USA border. I think a house literally is in both countries. I am not sure which province on the Canadian side but I think it's Quebec but could be New Brunswick.

..Tom
 

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It was a very small town. I think it was unincorporated.

I was unable to find a Canada/Ontario border on the map. Everywhere I looked, Ontario was entirely within Canada. :wink2:
 

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There was a show about a town that straddles the Canada/Ontario border. I think a house literally is in both countries. I am not sure which province on the Canadian side but I think it's Quebec but could be New Brunswick.

..Tom
Could it have been Derby Line, Vermont/Stanstead, Quebec? I know I saw a show about it and the library there is cut in half by the border or something like that. The border is marked by a white line across the various streets.
 

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Others have covered the benefits fairly well, but all I'll say is that a good multi-function GPS/smart phone has made my riding and trips vastly better than they would have been without. It's probably the best farkle on my bike, and every time I ride I end up using it for a useful purpose or to find things I wouldn't have found otherwise (from a point of interest to a good road running near where I was).

From route building to having tunes along for the ride, invaluable.
 

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Good comments on the dedicated GPS. I'm just a but too frugal (i.e., cheap) to keep upgrading all my devices.
I hear you on that one (about being frugal). It's why I stick with the older Nuvi series of GPS units; you can pick up a used one (like the 2455) for anywhere between $30 and $75 on Amazon. Cheap enough that I carry two of them on trips, both programmed with the same route. When one of them finally rolls snake eyes, I'll buy another of whatever older model has the Trip Planner feature.
 
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