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Discussion Starter #1
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."

Cheers.
 

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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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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)

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.

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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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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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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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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My Zumo 350 was purchased in 2012 and I'm still getting free updates on the lifetime maps.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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I dunno, man. My 2455's and my 2589 have lifetime maps and traffic no problem. And I paid about $100 refurbished, used you know.
The 2589 needs a flesh finger not a gloved hand to make it work so i don't use it on the bike. The 2455 works fine behind a plastic shield in the Ram Aqua Box.
 

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I have to disagree with some of the comments here about Garmin GPS's. I have used Garmin's since the 1990's in airplanes, cars, and on motorcycles. I think I have a fairly solid background with them to know how they work.
1) Lifetime maps and traffic:
I have some Garmin's that are getting pretty old (by modern standards...like five or eight years old) and Garmin still updates them for free.
As for traffic...who the heck told you they have to connect to your phone to update traffic? They update traffic over signals that are piggy-backed on FM radio stations. They don't have to be hooked to anything for traffic.
2) GPS vrs Cell Phone
A stand alone GPS has a much more powerful system for working with GPS than any cell phone. Also, trying to read the face of a cell phone out in sun light...are you kidding me?

3) Cost
Yes, you can spend a bundle on a Zumi or whatever they are called But, there is another way. I use a Garmin Montana Topo I got a couple of years back. It has a large TFT daylight readable display. I mean very easy to see..clear.. It has a preloaded topo map set with is excellent with a great deal of detailed information, roads, etc. This set up was around $400 at the time I bought it. Then I went on FleaBay and bought a micro SD card with "streets" or whatever Garmin calls their street maps. I paid like $15 for that. It seems when GPS's die they can pull the map program out and put it on a micro SD card with I can then put in my Mondana. I can select to use either the topo maps or the street maps. With the street maps the screen looks and works just like my Garmin I use in my car. It does navigation, waypoints, whatever. And this Montana is a touch screen unit so its super easy to use on the bike even with gloves on. Garmin also has some very affordable handlebar mounts and wiring kits for this model so it makes a very nice unit for a motorcycle.

I have tried the cell phone on the bike. It pales next to my Garmin Montana. And, I don't need cell service or a big data plan to use my Garmin.
To each his own.....but I love my Garmin Montana and have found nothing that equals what I can do with it.
 

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Sounds like a motorcycle gps isn't for the OP. It was for me. Waterproof, glove compatible touch screen, dual Bluetooth radios, won't overheat and shutdown in direct sunlight.

Cell phone makers provide updates for how long after they release a model? Not very long.

I have yet had a Garmin map update become not available. I was getting software updates to my etrex 30 for many years after they were discontinued (and really no longer relevant). Last one was this March, I bought it in 2012!

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 

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map update are one thing, repairs are what I am pissed about, twice I've had to have PalmDr replace the screen on my Zumo450 cause Garmin will no longer repair the unit

I don't mind sending it to PalmDr cause their costs are a fraction of what Garmin charged when they were still servicing the product, the disadvantage to PalmDr is that they don't guarantee waterproofness cause they only have access to the screen and digitizer glass (prolly thru Chinese sources) and not the gaskets. So now I have a Zumo that needs to wear a condom in the rain
 

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I have to disagree with some of the comments here about Garmin GPS's. I have used Garmin's since the 1990's in airplanes, cars, and on motorcycles. I think I have a fairly solid background with them to know how they work.
1) Lifetime maps and traffic:
I have some Garmin's that are getting pretty old (by modern standards...like five or eight years old) and Garmin still updates them for free.
As for traffic...who the heck told you they have to connect to your phone to update traffic? They update traffic over signals that are piggy-backed on FM radio stations. They don't have to be hooked to anything for traffic.
2) GPS vrs Cell Phone
A stand alone GPS has a much more powerful system for working with GPS than any cell phone. Also, trying to read the face of a cell phone out in sun light...are you kidding me?

3) Cost
Yes, you can spend a bundle on a Zumi or whatever they are called But, there is another way. I use a Garmin Montana Topo I got a couple of years back. It has a large TFT daylight readable display. I mean very easy to see..clear.. It has a preloaded topo map set with is excellent with a great deal of detailed information, roads, etc. This set up was around $400 at the time I bought it. Then I went on FleaBay and bought a micro SD card with "streets" or whatever Garmin calls their street maps. I paid like $15 for that. It seems when GPS's die they can pull the map program out and put it on a micro SD card with I can then put in my Mondana. I can select to use either the topo maps or the street maps. With the street maps the screen looks and works just like my Garmin I use in my car. It does navigation, waypoints, whatever. And this Montana is a touch screen unit so its super easy to use on the bike even with gloves on. Garmin also has some very affordable handlebar mounts and wiring kits for this model so it makes a very nice unit for a motorcycle.

I have tried the cell phone on the bike. It pales next to my Garmin Montana. And, I don't need cell service or a big data plan to use my Garmin.
To each his own.....but I love my Garmin Montana and have found nothing that equals what I can do with it.
I find what you said here very interesting. I've heard the Montana has a great screen display which is easily readable in bright light.

Can you use Garmin Basecamp on your personal computer to create street routes and waypoints and download them to your Montana ?

Do you have all the maps of North America on your SD Card ? Do you have Lifetime updates of all of the North America Maps ?

Can you create Directions on Google Maps and download them to your Montana ?
 

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My Old Nuvi 750 Still In Use

I currently use a Garmin Nuvi 750 which was released in 2007 that I continue to receive lifetime map updates for, but I do not believe that Garmin supports any repair work this GPS might need . I still receive lifetime map updates through the ‘My Garmin’ website because I purchased ‘Garmin nüMaps Lifetime North America Map Updates’ product key on Amazon.com for $54 in Nov. 2012, but I don’t think you can purchase it for that price any more.

I even managed to replace a damaged screen for my 750 once by purchasing a Chinese replacement screen on ebay. Learning how to do that was an interesting challenge.

Still, I would like to have a better GPS with a TFT screen display because even with the cheap waterproof case and a sunshade over it, it is difficult to see in bright sunlight. It’s O.K. for around here, but I’m not sure I would want to rely on it in when navigating a major city. Newer GPS’s also have nice features like ‘active lane guidance’ ,‘lane assist’ and ‘junction view’. Unfortunately, Garmin Automotive GPS's do not have TFT daylight displays, at least according to GPScity.com. The Zumo and the Montana are the only Garmin GPS's that I am aware of that have the daylight display TFT screens, and both of them are expensive.

As a side note, I test rode a 2018 BMW R1200GS recently which had a TFT screen display which was perfectly readable in bright sunlight, with built-in GPS, and Bluetooth so you could pickup the audio(including music), in a properly equipped helmet. Not sure what the map updates cost.
 

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Look at a used and even locked Kyocera Duraforce Pro phone. They're mil-spec waterproof and vibration resistant. If you use it strictly as a dedicated GPS, you can turn the cell phone radio off so you don't need to maintain a cell phone plan. There's an extensive thread over on the ADV board about doing this. I haven't made the leap to the Kyocera yet myself, but I probably will in the near future. Meanwhile for the last few years I've been using a plain Jane Android phone and it's been good enough. Not perfect, but adequate.


Vinnie
Sounds like a motorcycle gps isn't for the OP. It was for me. Waterproof, glove compatible touch screen, dual Bluetooth radios, won't overheat and shutdown in direct sunlight.

Cell phone makers provide updates for how long after they release a model? Not very long.

I have yet had a Garmin map update become not available. I was getting software updates to my etrex 30 for many years after they were discontinued (and really no longer relevant). Last one was this March, I bought it in 2012!

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm just going by what Garmin says if you can find the web page:

"Lifetime Maps Terms & Conditions
If you purchase a nüMaps Lifetime subscription (sold separately) or if your Garmin product comes bundled with a nüMaps Lifetime or other lifetime map subscription, you will receive map data updates when and as such updates are made available on Garmin.com during the useful life of 1 compatible Garmin product or as long as Garmin receives map data from a third party supplier, whichever is shorter. A product’s “useful life” means the period during which the product (a) has sufficient memory capacity and other required technical capabilities to utilize current map data and (b) is capable of operating as intended without major repairs. A product will be deemed to be out of service and its useful life to be ended if no updates have been downloaded for such product for a period of 24 months or more. Unless otherwise stated, the updates you receive under the subscription will be updates to the same geographic area included with your Garmin product when originally purchased. In some instances, your Garmin product might not have sufficient memory remaining for you to load an update to the map data, in which case you will need to either (a) select reduced map data coverage for your updates, or (b) purchase separately a microSD™/SD™ card (if and as applicable to your Garmin product) and load all or a portion of the map data coverage for your updates to the card and insert the card into the microSD/SD card slot contained in your Garmin product. If neither of the measures in (a) or (b) can be used to address your product’s lack of sufficient remaining memory, then Garmin may conclude that the “useful life” of your product has expired. Garmin may terminate your nüMaps Lifetime or other lifetime map subscription at any time if you violate any of the terms of this agreement or your subscription. Your nüMaps Lifetime subscription or other lifetime map subscription may not be transferred to another person or another Garmin product."

Their words. Lifetime to them is not Lifetime to them. Webster defines Lifetime as: The duration of a thing's existence or usefulness. Apparently Garmin takes the "usefulness" loophole and defines it as being useful to them. Smartphones do have a notoriously short lifespan, but I have yet to find a smartphone maker that advertises "Free Lifetime Updates."

As to the Phone traffic and weather, again from the Garmin website:

"Free Live Traffic and Weather
What’s happening on the road ahead? zūmo 396 LMT-S can connect you to live traffic and weather information via the wireless Smartphone Link app. This free mobile app connects your zūmo with your iPhone® or Android™ smartphone."

They eliminated the FM traffic feature. Same for the zūmo 595LM.

Cheers
 

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Maybe it's the caveat emptor of Garmin. Buy the refurbished units and don't sweat the planned obsolescence clause!
My cheapy units have found me direction, food and gas sufficiently to warrant the price I've paid. It's an entertainment device for my purposes.
i bought a BMW Navigator 1 back when for $225 when the price on the box was closer to $1000. Compared to the garmins I buy for $100, it was a boat anchor.
More expensive isn't mo bettah!
 

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Speaking as a software developer, much of this is because of the overhead of keeping "obsolete" products up to date. I don't know much about the map data they purchase (from Here Maps), but it wouldn't surprise me at all if the size of the maps changes due to inclusion of more features or if the format changes from time to time. Changing formats requires changing software on every single supported device. That could be a lot of work, especially taking the testing of the software and device combinations into account. If the map includes more data, it may exceed the hardware capability of an older device -- size or computing power -- even though those capabilities were completely adequate or even state-of-the-art when the device was released.

Their clause that a device is considered out of service when no updates are received for 24 months is a big clue. If someone isn't taking software updates to ensure compatibility with recent maps, it is evidence that they don't necessarily want newer maps or software and, worse, create a more difficult upgrade path for the software to take the newer maps. To explain that last point, it's reasonable to go from software version A -> B -> C -> D -> E (which might be 15 months), and perhaps reasonable to go from A -> C -> E, as would happen when taking every other update. But going from A -> E is a lot harder, especially if you tell the user they can simply take update E, and update E knows how to update release A, B, C, AND D. This is a gigantic pain, and good developers aren't cheap.

Taking a different approach, I may or may not know people who obtain map updates from, ahem, non-Garmin sources, having bought used Garmins for like $10. They seem to work fine, albeit without newer features. Exploring this would be something for other discussion venues.
 
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