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Discussion Starter #1
I've been mulling over getting a GPS unit. I've been thinking about whether I really need to have the unit mounted on the bike or whether I should just keep it in my pocket? What worries me is getting killed because I'm looking at the GPS and not the road. Stiff happens fast on a bike.

So, what are the benefits of having the GPS mounted? Do you pull over to look at the map? Tell me how you use your GPS.

Thanks
Rob
 

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Getting things set up before you ride is the only sane way to use these things. After you set a route, you just glance at it, like the mirrors. I've got mine behind the windscreen and above the gauges.
 

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GPSr is on the handlebars using a RAM mount. I use the MixIt in a tank bag to boots the sound of the mp3 player and mix in the audio from the GPSr. Get a GPSr that gives audio prompts. I never have to look at the GPSr while riding. Bitchen Betty just tells me when to turn right or left. She also lets me know if I am "off route" and that she is "recalculating." The newer models even have a text to voice feature that gives the street name. So Betty says something like "turn right on Elm Street in 500 feet."

I feel with the audio prompts you are more safe than riders without a GPSr. While other riders are trying to read street signs I can watch traffic and the road. When I am tired at the end of the day I can pull off the side of the road and ask the GPSr to show me all the motels in the area. I then pick one that sounds good and the GPSr routes me there. Not only does it save time but again I find it adds a safety factor to the process. You won't be doing any U turns to go back to a motel you missed and you won't get frustrated trying to follow directions you got from the blond gas station girl who can't find her way across the street.

I can't imagine anyone keeping their GPSr in their pocket. You might as well stick to maps if that is the plan. The whole value of the GPSr is real time pin pointing of your position.
 

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Mine is on a RAM mount near my left hand.

Fiddling with it will you are on the go is not good, but I have done it.

(Not Recommended of course) Like tmcgee said, set it up before the ride.

I don't use the audio, just visual prompts.

With mine (Garmin Quest II) I have options on what I want displayed on the various screens.

I usually have the map page set up with ACTUAL SPEED & DISTANCE TO NEXT TURN visible.

I glance at it like I would a speedometer or mirror.

When I get close to the next turn, I can touch a button and the directions for that turn are dispalyed. (Or I can just wait and it will come up automatically when I'm closer to the turn.)

Sometimes, on really twisty unfamiliar roads, I will zoom in the map to the 800ft scale. Then I can see what the upcoming turns are like (how sharp and which way they go).
 

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I rely on audio with an occasional glance, no more than the mirrors get. If I need to set anything, I pull over.
 

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Get a very large display you can see easy and set it so that its the same as your mirrors. Mine tells me the turns quite a ways in advance and then puts up giant arrows with a countdown till your turn. Stick it on a ram mount so you barely glance down at it. Its not really anything to worry about once its setup. I usually pull into a gas station and set up my route. While I'm driving it auto follows everything so its no big deal. I personally do not use audio as I find it distracting. The most complex thing I'll do while moving is hit 2 buttons for rerouting. That does not require looking at the screen.

One thing about having it in your pocket it may not work as well or at all since they usually work best under a open sky. Also if you fall down on it not only will it break, but it'll leave you with a large bruise or worse.

eric


 

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An audio prompt would be cool. Never considered a GPS cause I thought it would be more to look at and distract me. Sounds like a better deal than a back seat driver with an attitude.
 

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This is my sophisticated, not-yet-patented GPS mounting device (?).

A Garmin eTrex 'velcro'd' to a piece of plexiglass (Lexan?). Perfect for me.

The eTrex is no good for 'enroute navigation' - screen too small, no audio, etc., but for $130 it's lots of fun and very useful. Actual MPH (not Suzuki MPH), time to final destination, miles to final destination, average MPH moving, average MPH overall, etc. etc.

- Tom
 

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The way I look at it, I'd rather glance at the GPS and see that I don't have a turn for another mile than be watching street signs. It really is no more than glancing at the mirrors.

I use a QuestII and it zooms in and gives a large turn arrow when one approaches, then back out.

All in all, IMHO, it's safer than trying to read street signs.
 

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I generally use mine by placing it on my road atlas when it gets a bit windy.
 

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I have a Garmin GPS 60cx and have a Magellan Meridian Gold that I used before that. I can easily switch between screens when moving and it's positioned in such a way that it's almost perfectly in my field of view much like the Speedo. Not a big deal really 8) I like how it gives a "preview" of which way the road is going, so I know which way the next curve is or if I'm turning right or left when navigating 8)
 

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TomX and I have the same unit. I got the handbar mount (for bicycle) and mount it on the left side of the bars. I mainly use mine for speed, distance, moving average, etc. Between the small screen and several paper maps that I carry on my wolfman explorer tank bag, I can find where I am with no problem.

One thing that would have really came in handy during my trek across Canada (Albert, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) was the hotel and service station locators.

Tige
 

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Garmin eTrex Legend mounted on the left side of the bars with Garmin's own clamp (it's really made for bicycles). Works great, only $14.95.

I never use it while moving...it's just "insurance" for those where-the-hell-am-I moments. I much prefer paper maps and anal-retentive route planning. Usually :)
 

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rlucas said:
Garmin eTrex Legend mounted on the left side of the bars with Garmin's own clamp (it's really made for bicycles). Works great, only $14.95.

I never use it while moving...it's just "insurance" for those where-the-hell-am-I moments. I much prefer paper maps and anal-retentive route planning. Usually :)
I have the same GPS setup. But I agree maps are best! It's just more fun. I leave the GPS at home now. :D
 

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I've got a Garmin 2610, with 1 gig compact flash, holds all streets of the US, I use it in my car, on my ST or V-strom, 1 additional compact flash card, hold all topo for western US plus Alaska, use the street maps to get to the dirt, then switch to Topo for off road.
 

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I also have the E-Trex legend and used to use the Garmin bicycle mount on my DR650. I did quite a bit of off road travel and the shock and vibration shook the internal power wires loose and caused the LCD display to do strange things. I disassembled it and managed to get it working again. I am not sure if the vibration on the V-Strom would be as severe but I rigged up a mount using a cheap cell phone holder and added some foam weatherstripping to cushion the shock. I'm too cheap to buy a RAM mount. I haven't had any problems since.

I don't use any programmed routes but it's nice to be able to look at the map while bombing around the back roads and know where you are. It also has drawn me to wiggly roads that I wouldn't have found otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This is interesting. Many of you actually use the device for route planning and turn by turn guidance. I wasn't thinking of using it that way much at all.

Most of the times when I've wanted a GPS, I've been out in the boonies, wondering either: should I take fork A or B? or how do I get home from here? Basically I wanted a compact electronic map. That's why I thought pocketing it might be acceptable.

But I guess if you've planned a set route, hving turn by turn would be good.
 

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Have a Garmin StreetPilot 2610 connected to my Autocom intercom unit. Garmin is mounted to the handlebar bolts using the Garmin mount.

Love to use mine by telling it to take me to "X" using the smallest roads and the most direct route. While that routing is not fast at all, it is, for sure, the most interesting and adventurous.

And, like some have said, when you want to find food, gas, or lodging, pushing a few buttons and following the prompts makes it so easy.

Finally, it is impossible to not find your way home with one, no matter where you are!
 
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