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In my car, I have pretty much quit using my Garmin GPS in favour of Android auto. On the VStrom however, I want to have a GPS that works when you are out of cell range. I don't think I need the latest and greatest, or most features, but I do want bang for the buck and features that would be silly to be without. Is there a model or range (New or Old) that fits well on the new Vstrom 650 dash?
What do you depend on when far away from home?

Thanks, Bob.
 

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you can download offline maps in google maps

The only problem I have with maps is the route options that are very limited

I've tried tom tom go and it has great route options, but its road work database is very poor so often ended up on road with road work.

If I don't have a destination I just leave maps on to see traffic info and to help me get lost.

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There are good Android navigation apps. Offline maps is not one of them if you use their route suggestions much. Try Maps.Me or Locus Pro or IGO or OSMAnd+ or many others. I have a Garmin Zumo 665 on my VStrom and an Android tablet on my Versys-X 300 running several apps but usually IGO for navigation. I tested about ten different Android apps and read reviews from adv rider and other sources over about three months.

Some of the choice depends on how you want to use it. All are offline capable.
 

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I’ve pretty much stopped using my Garmin Zumo on my Vstrom. I’ve switched to an app called “Scenic”. It is specifically for motorcycles and utilizes offline maps. It has the navigation features of the Garmin, but what I really like is that I can construct a route in google maps, copy the url and then login to their web app paste the url into to space provided and the route is automatically sent to my phone. Once in my phone I don’t need cell service. Check it out!


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I would not buy another Zumo. They are a ripoff at the prices they ask. A GPS should not cost more than $150-200 IMO.
 

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One of the major benefits with GPS is that it can also tell you what is around you. A couple of features are, where is the closest gas station, and lodging options. Unless you have a data plan and cell service, you cannot do this with a phone.. or can you? Maybe they can cache all of that too?

I travel up north a lot and cell service is spotty at best, even some of the bigger towns have no service up there, and when I see my gas has 100km range left, I start looking for stations.

Sometimes I find a station on a road parallel to the one I am driving on, would never have known it was there.

Also great for finding food.
 

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All of that information is available offline in the map data as POI's. I have found for North America the map vendor in Chicago IGO uses has about the most extensive POI's I have seen in my area. It is all offline. THey have every little hick gas station in the Ozarks on their maps.

One of the major benefits with GPS is that it can also tell you what is around you. A couple of features are, where is the closest gas station, and lodging options. Unless you have a data plan and cell service, you cannot do this with a phone.. or can you? Maybe they can cache all of that too?

I travel up north a lot and cell service is spotty at best, even some of the bigger towns have no service up there, and when I see my gas has 100km range left, I start looking for stations.

Sometimes I find a station on a road parallel to the one I am driving on, would never have known it was there.

Also great for finding food.
Every blue dot is a POI. You can see gas stations, restaurants, auto repair, grocery stores, hospitals, etc. in this shot. If you touch one it has information address, phone number, name. etc..

 

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All of that information is available offline in the map data as POI's. I have found for North America the map vendor in Chicago IGO uses has about the most extensive POI's I have seen in my area. It is all offline. THey have every little hick gas station in the Ozarks on their maps.
Every blue dot is a POI. You can see gas stations, restaurants, auto repair, grocery stores, hospitals, etc. in this shot. If you touch one it has information address, phone number, name. etc..
That looks good then. Can you download all of NA on your phone? I suppose you only need certain states/provinces anyways right. The worst thing would be to end up someplace and discover you didn't download the map for it. Does it take up a ton of space on your phone?
 

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Depends on the app. IGO downloads all of North America. Map.Me and OSMAnd+ alerts you to download as it needs it or you can download it ahead of time.
 

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One of the major benefits with GPS is that it can also tell you what is around you. A couple of features are, where is the closest gas station, and lodging options. Unless you have a data plan and cell service, you cannot do this with a phone.. or can you? Maybe they can cache all of that too?

I travel up north a lot and cell service is spotty at best, even some of the bigger towns have no service up there, and when I see my gas has 100km range left, I start looking for stations.

Sometimes I find a station on a road parallel to the one I am driving on, would never have known it was there.

Also great for finding food.
The TomTom ap for smart phones has all the POI interests covered and speed limits etc. It is not free but the whole North America download was about $75 and didn't use very much space. Personally, I prefer the TomTom interface over the other ones. And the other benefit of using downloaded map files is that the phone is not constantly reading / caching so less heat (faster) and less battery drain.

I don't know about the various current Android phones - but iPhones starting with the 5 and up have real built in GPS (no cell needed). In fact the GPS receiver even switches over to the Russian signal if you find yourself lost in one of the Stans. :wink2:
 

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I thought all the recent phones used real gps technology and the days of running off the earth because you were not near a cell tower were long gone.

Anyway, I have three really cheap TomTom units (Walmart <$100 each) that I acquired at different times when my real Garmin GPS was not with me. I keep one above my dash at ll times now, and one in the top case. I just leave it there in my X-grip. No one touches it. And I guess I would be more concerned about loosing the X-grip than one of the TomToms.

To me the most important thing about a GPS or smart phone used for navigation is location. Above the dash is the way to go. Safest by far.

Over the Dash GPS Mounts - AdventureTech, LLC.

Over the Dash Shelf - AdventureTech, LLC.
 

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Unless I have my head up my ass (which is always possible), all phones do have a GPS built into them, which don't require any cell phone signal in order to receive signals from a GPS satellite. What they don't have built into them is a method for translating those received signals into a position on a map that you can look at and tell where you are. That's why you need another program, like Google Maps, OsmAnd, Waze, Scenic, etc; to translate that information into a map with roads on it so you can actually see where you are (and so you can plan routes from one point to another), rather than just seeing a constantly changing set of GPS coordinates. A GPS doesn't need a cell signal because the maps, and the software to coordinate the map with the GPS signal, are built into the GPS unit. Prior to 2015, I don't think Google Maps would work for navigation if you drove out of cell phone range because there weren't any maps stored on the phone itself, but you now have the ability to download Google Maps for offline use.

If I'm wrong, those with more knowledge can set me straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, a wealth of information on this question. I Did not know that a phone could work to navigate when not in cell range. I guess there are many answers. I like the idea of an easy to read screen on my dash. Not sure my Cell phone would do that well.
 

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I'm still a diehard GPS user, and I expect I'll remain so until the general use GPS units are no longer made (and that day is coming I think). I don't have any "A GPS is better than a phone" reasons for doing so; I've just gotten accustomed to using my Garmin Nuvi 2455. They were cheap; I'm looking at one right now on ebay for $19.00. At that price they're damn near disposable. In fact, I might buy another one as a second backup. They work great with MyRoute mapping software (the replacement for Tyre to Travel). It's old tech compared to a smart phone, to be sure, but it's simple, durable, and has always served me well from Maine to Utah.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Do the Garmin's marketed as Motorcycle specific typically offer any additional features other than water resistance over a regular model?
 

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Do the Garmin's marketed as Motorcycle specific typically offer any additional features other than water resistance over a regular model?
my ancient zumo 220 is glove friendly. also it has an interesting/useful feature that I'm not sure if many have. you choose a destination in 'off road' mode and it gives you a heading to your destination and a compass arrow to it allowing you to travel 'cross country' or boat or fly to it.
 

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The new gloves do anything. It works better than my fingers honestly. Even three finger zoom.

 

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$75 for the map download? :surprise: I only paid $113 for the entire waterproof Android tablet GPS including Ram mount with software and North America already loaded and it outperforms my Zumo 665 except w/o the SiriusXM module. :wink2:

The TomTom ap for smart phones has all the POI interests covered and speed limits etc. It is not free but the whole North America download was about $75 and didn't use very much space. Personally, I prefer the TomTom interface over the other ones. And the other benefit of using downloaded map files is that the phone is not constantly reading / caching so less heat (faster) and less battery drain.

I don't know about the various current Android phones - but iPhones starting with the 5 and up have real built in GPS (no cell needed). In fact the GPS receiver even switches over to the Russian signal if you find yourself lost in one of the Stans. :wink2:
 

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Yikes, I didn't catch that before. $75.00 seems a tad pricey for a map download. Does that come with perpetual updates, or do you have to keep on paying? I guess that's how TomTom makes up for lost revenue from declining GPS sales; if you can't sell a GPS, sell an app and then charge through the nose for a map download. I don't know if Garmin makes a navigation app, but if they do, I imagine they'd do the same thing.
 
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