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Discussion Starter #1
In November I picked up a 2012 DL 650, which I love.

I also own an iPhone 6.

I am wondering what configurations (software, app, mounting hardware, etc) have worked for a budget-friendly gps system that I can use with my phone to find new routes and navigate. On the Texas ADV website there are routes posted an a GPX format, but they won't open on my mac desktop. I am trying to keep prices down as the bike, jacket, helmet, insurance and future farkles etc. add up quick for a working stiff with kids.... So, I'd be interested to hear what systems/configurations have worked for other strominators out there.

Also, if anyone knows of some good strom friendly dirt roads within an hour west of the Austin area (hill country)... I'd be happy to hear about them.

Thanks and happy trails....
 

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I've used an app called OsmAND. I have an android phone, but there is a version of OsmAND for iphones. It doesn't have the most user friendly interface, but that isn't a problem for me since I plan all my routes on Tyre to Travel (a free route mapping software that uses Google Maps) and the upload the custom routes to both my Android phone and to my standalone Garmin GPS.

If I recall correctly, the app was $7.99 on the Google Play store. It's available on iTunes I think, but I don't know how much it costs there.
 

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Long time ago I got a YUGE Texas Farm and Market map at a store in Dallas Ft Worth area. I gave it to some one in Texas later. Swear to gawd it had every road in Texas on it.
That's the kind of thing that folks need for the tank bag. You can do the GPS thing but some of those can lead you on a wrong road or to a cliff.
Electronics are nice but I like a paper map up front and get the big picture.
 

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No problem. I tend to rely more on my old school GPS, but it's nice to have a backup map on the phone in case the device fails. With OsmAND you'll have to download the maps for whatever states you'll be traveling in, and I believe there was a limit on how many states you could download when you purchase the app, but it's been a while since I did it so I don't recall for sure.

As for the Tyre to Travel program, I found it to be infinitely more user friendly than Garmin's route planning software. If the road exists on Google Maps, you can locate it, map it, and ride it using Tyre. I've found quite a few dirt and gravel roads in NC using it. The program creates a .gpx file that is easily transferrable to the phone, or to a TomTom or Garmin with the Trip Planner feature. The downside to Tyre as a route planning software is that you have to have an internet connection to use it, and they don't have a version for Mac.

TyreToTravel -
 

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Long time ago I got a YUGE Texas Farm and Market map at a store in Dallas Ft Worth area. I gave it to some one in Texas later. Swear to gawd it had every road in Texas on it.
That's the kind of thing that folks need for the tank bag. You can do the GPS thing but some of those can lead you on a wrong road or to a cliff.
Electronics are nice but I like a paper map up front and get the big picture.
It's always good to have a map. I have an NC Atlas, plus a Rand McNally US Atlas when I travel cross country. That being said, I've never had to use the map in the 6 or so years that I've been riding all over the country with a GPS. I've also never encountered a misplaced cliff, or a phantom road that lead me to oblivion. I'll always carry a map because that's just the way I am, but as far as navigation goes, the new tech is way better.
 

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I know whatchu mean about the GPS. Even my ancient Garmin III plus has roads in obscure places displayed. The value of the GPS with POI's is indispensable.
A feller who was sponsoring a camp out at his place in the Sierra Nevada's minded me not to rely on the Garmin to get to his place. The road indicated ended at the edge of an abyss.
Stories abound about folks being led astray on logging roads or worse in the drink of same pond.
 

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I use TomTom app on the iPhone but I'm told the new version does not have Winding Roads which is critical for finding excllent rides autmatically. Apparently a 1.4 update allows that FINALLY but according to the comments I'm sticking with the old version with lifetime maps and no update fees.

I suspect some of the many newer apps will have a similar features.

The Rosetta stone for nav is Furkot which is platform independent and lets you read GPX and create GPX files and gives you access to many routes both with GPX supplied and just mapped routes without way points.

Looks like Scenic has a come a long way.
https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1089668246

Copilot is popular.

Some info here
MotoMappers Blog

and here
The 20 Best Offline GPS Apps And Smartphone GPS Navigation Apps - CyclingAbout

As for mounting I use the middle one here





https://www.rammount.com/brand/apple/iphone-mounts#x-grip

and yes it holds....



If the phone looks odd it has a Mophy case around it for extra battery. Lately I've skipped wiring the bike and just run a cable from my tank bag with the XP3 in it
https://www.amazon.ca/Antigravity-Batteries-Micro-Start-Multi-Function-Personal/dp/B00GT2FUB2

It is an invaluable item to take touring.

There are any number of ways to waterproof tho a baggie does just fine.

For in network Nav Googlemaps is decent especially for point of interest.

It's a much more varied landscape of Apps out there than when I started a few years ago.

Furkot is just loaded with info



all those orange hearts are existing routes ...some with GPX files attached and clicking on them takes you to a larger route description and detail and GPX link if there is one.
 

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I know whatchu mean about the GPS. Even my ancient Garmin III plus has roads in obscure places displayed. The value of the GPS with POI's is indispensable.
A feller who was sponsoring a camp out at his place in the Sierra Nevada's minded me not to rely on the Garmin to get to his place. The road indicated ended at the edge of an abyss.
Stories abound about folks being led astray on logging roads or worse in the drink of same pond.
A Korean man died in Oregon several years ago. He was following GPS in the winter. Got stuck in snow on a remote road, left his vehicle and family to get help and died of hypothermia. His family (wife and small child if I remember right) were found based on triangulated signals from cell towers that had passed their text messages out. They were hypothermic.

I read about another guy in Idaho on e-ham.net (a ham radio website). He was traveling through Idaho in late fall taking back roads using his GPS and ended up on a road that gets closed in the winter. As the road got worse, he decided to turn around, but got stuck. There was no cell coverage, but over his HF radio he was able to contact a guy in Arizona, and another in Illinois, and between the three of them they got his location to the local sheriff's dept. A deputy came out several hours later and got him un-stuck. The deputy commented, "in a few more days we would have closed the gate to this road and no one would have found you until the spring."

I like technology - cell phones, gps, radios etc ... - but when I took a map and compass course years ago, the concept they taught us was to "stay found." In other words, know exactly where you are on the map at all times. As soon as you get disoriented get to the nearest unmistakable landmark and triangulate your position. I use GPS, but on several occasions I have had GPS (with updated maps) lead me to wrong locations, or misrouted me and the gps was too confused to get me back to a landmark. One was in Chicago on roads that were not new at all. I'll use GPS as a routing tool, and as a back up to give me my coordinates, but I've got to have paper for a sanity check on the gps. And I won't take more than two turns without verifying where I am on paper.
 

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When I hear stories like that one about the man who got stuck on a snow covered road, and it's used as an example of why a GPS isn't a substitution for a map, I have to wonder if a map would have had any different an outcome. Why would a map have shown him anything different about the road than a GPS did? A GPS will usually route you over the shortest route from point A to point B; if you're looking at a map and looking for the shortest route from point A to point B, you'd be likely to choose the same road. And if he'd used a map instead of the GPS, the map wouldn't have prevented the same outcome; he would still have been stuck on a snow covered remote road in Oregon, and obviously unprepared for such an event (as is common for anyone who isn't familiar with potentially severe winter conditions while driving).

In this case, however, it's not an example of a GPS steering someone wrong. The driver involved in the incident was named James Kim, and he used an Oregon state highway map to navigate, not a GPS. He and his family ignored several warning signs that the road wasn't safe for winter travel, and continued driving until they got stuck. If they'd looked closer at the map they were using, they'd have seen a warning advisory that not all the roads were advisable for travel, and to check local weather conditions before traveling on them.

This was not an example of the GPS "steering someone wrong"; it's just another tragic example of someone not assessing the true risk potential of what they're doing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Kim
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the information. Thanks for all the pics and links too MacDoc. I've got a lot to work with now and I will begin investigating a system. Back-up maps are a good plan too. Old school: can't go wrong there. I've got some nice little side cases on my V, so I plan to get a good road Atlas and tuck it in there. And hopefully if a GPS leads me to a cliff, I would recognize it before driving off.... Unless of course I'm staring at my phone. Happy trails all.
 

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The downside with maps....they are useless unless you know where you are but they are good for an overview.
Most of the offline map sources are pretty solid and you can set to avoid dirt roads if you wish ....also to avoid highways too.

BTW ...voice guidance is brilliant as an additional bit when you are trying to navigate traffic and see the screen.

The SENAs will hook to your iPhone via Bluetooth.
 

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Some friends laughingly comment as we drive around our local desert on multi day jaunts, "We can't be lost because it doesn't matter where we are."
But we've been roaming these deserts from the 50's and 60's. We always have Auto Club maps and usually USGS Topo maps too.
The GPS is a recent toy that I started having along. And I do consider it a toy even with all it's technology.
My BMW Navigator I, by Garmin, froze up solid going through Trona when I passed a radar station at the airport. I had to pull the batteries out to get to reset.
A phone call to Garmin got the response that "They do that sometimes."
 

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I like using Furkot for route planning. Check out Furkot pro tips on YouTube.

For navigation, it's nice that you can just open the Furkot mobile site on your phone and touch a button to launch Google or Apple navigation. Works great for getting to the start of a ride. This part requires data.

Once it's time to follow a route I like to have my routes loaded into Galileo Pro. Routes and waypoints can be organized in folders and color coded. Offline or online maps. Then just pick a route or waypoint and export to Scenic (motomappers.com). Then start the navigation with voice prompts. Works like a champ and no data required. Galileo is $4 and Scenic is $10.49 a year.

As for the mount, I'll second the RAM Xgrip. Just get the rubber band thing that goes with it for extra security.

I've got a Garmin Montana and haven't used it since the Scenic app came out.
 

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When I hear stories like that one about the man who got stuck on a snow covered road, and it's used as an example of why a GPS isn't a substitution for a map, I have to wonder if a map would have had any different an outcome. Why would a map have shown him anything different about the road than a GPS did? A GPS will usually route you over the shortest route from point A to point B; if you're looking at a map and looking for the shortest route from point A to point B, you'd be likely to choose the same road. And if he'd used a map instead of the GPS, the map wouldn't have prevented the same outcome; he would still have been stuck on a snow covered remote road in Oregon, and obviously unprepared for such an event (as is common for anyone who isn't familiar with potentially severe winter conditions while driving).

In this case, however, it's not an example of a GPS steering someone wrong. The driver involved in the incident was named James Kim, and he used an Oregon state highway map to navigate, not a GPS. He and his family ignored several warning signs that the road wasn't safe for winter travel, and continued driving until they got stuck. If they'd looked closer at the map they were using, they'd have seen a warning advisory that not all the roads were advisable for travel, and to check local weather conditions before traveling on them.

This was not an example of the GPS "steering someone wrong"; it's just another tragic example of someone not assessing the true risk potential of what they're doing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Kim
Appreciate the fact check. I was going from memory of how the story was reported at the time. Nevertheless, I've been steered wrong by GPS, and have been able to get back on course, because I was " staying found" so to speak. As long as GPS is functioning properly, and it is the right kind of GPS with the right maps for the task at hand, it is a useful tool. Even without proper maps loaded, in an open area where several satellites can be acquired, it is useful for lat/long coordinates to sanity check one's map reading.

In a sense, it is something like using a calculator, a spreadsheet or other more advanced computer math tools. They serve you best when you can conceptualize and execute the calculations on your own. Obviously just my opinion.
 

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Appreciate the fact check. I was going from memory of how the story was reported at the time. Nevertheless, I've been steered wrong by GPS, and have been able to get back on course, because I was " staying found" so to speak. As long as GPS is functioning properly, and it is the right kind of GPS with the right maps for the task at hand, it is a useful tool. Even without proper maps loaded, in an open area where several satellites can be acquired, it is useful for lat/long coordinates to sanity check one's map reading.

In a sense, it is something like using a calculator, a spreadsheet or other more advanced computer math tools. They serve you best when you can conceptualize and execute the calculations on your own. Obviously just my opinion.
Your recollection wasn't faulty; it was originally reported that he got lost because his GPS gave him the wrong directions. It was an assumption made by reporters because Kim was in the tech industry (he worked for CNET at one point), and they just assumed a tech guy would use a whiz-bang high tech device to navigate. And, like all good and thorough reporters, they jumped to the conclusion that a tech guy, who surely used a GPS, must have been steered wrong by his GPS. And people wonder why journalism has lost its respectability.

I'm a map guy too; I always have one with me when I travel, just in case. The fact is though that since I discovered Tyre to Travel, I never use it. I can plan the most convoluted route on my computer, upload it to my GPS or phone, and just follow that purple line wherever it goes. No more keeping track of an odometer, or paying attention to a cue sheet clipped to my tank bag, or stopping to flip over a map so I can see the rest of the route. The map comes in handy if I decide I want to go off-route and see something that I originally didn't plan for.
 

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But we've been roaming these deserts from the 50's and 60's. We always have Auto Club maps and usually USGS Topo maps too.
a map is no good unless you know where you are...that "toy" has saved hundreds of lives.

What are you going to do ....wander around until you find a road sign??

BTW current GPS apps are not limited to point to point, or to the shortest, you can do fastest, shortest, avoid tolls, avoid highways, avoid dirt, choose 3 levels of winding roads and change course anytime within the trip and it immediately recalculates and can take me home by voice through construction and let me concentrate on the road not the screen .....let alone the map.
Maps are okay for overviews....not to navigate with on a bike.

I love hitting Winding Roads on the TomTom....nice surprises then when I want to get to my destination I just hit fastest from whereever I happen to be.
If I don't like the look of what it is chosen I just carry on and take the next one. It will always move me towards my destination by the most winding routes and when combined with avoid Highways ( multilane ) it just is too much fun in places like PA or WV, Ohio etc...you can explore to your hearts content and always know where you are in relation to destination or fuel/food.

I can't stand poring over maps and plotting some route ......I always know where I am. where the nearest fuel is, what points of interest are nearby and I don't need a network connection to do it.
All for $50
 

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When I hear stories like that one about the man who got stuck on a snow covered road, and it's used as an example of why a GPS isn't a substitution for a map, I have to wonder if a map would have had any different an outcome. Why would a map have shown him anything different about the road than a GPS did? A GPS will usually route you over the shortest route from point A to point B; if you're looking at a map and looking for the shortest route from point A to point B, you'd be likely to choose the same road.
No kidding - back in '76 I rode up to my new USAF assignment in ND from Alabama. The map showed this delightful road cutting across Nebraska. Woo-hoo! Backroad off the super slab. Yeah - 20 miles in I hit washboard and gravel, and it stayed that way the entire length.
So yeah - maps aren't necessarily your friend either.
I have had one major incident with GPS - a dead end in Georgia at a pasture where teh Magellan GPS *swore* to me there was a road over to the highway. I just followed the on screen map to get back to a road I knew would get me there.
I wouldn't own a GPS without lifetime maps these days. So many new roads and Garmin seems to keep up better than Google even in some cases.

PS: I might add that there are still areas in the country where GPS will lose signal. I've had a few in the Smokies and NC due to tree cover. Here in Texas - not so much :)
 

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Personally, I'm amazed at the undertaking of of companies like Garmin and Google to map the US (and the rest of the world) at the level of detail they have, and it's inevitable that somewhere in those millions of miles of mapped roads, something's going to be wrong. I've also had a couple of those "holy crap, is this supposed to be a road??" moments with my Garmin and a map created on Tyre (one particularly memorable moment where the road turned into basically a sand dune), but those few events don't make me doubt the reliability of GPS based navigation. I've traveled a lot before GPS systems were around and a lot after they became common, and I'll take GPS any day.

I am a bit of a dinosaur I guess when it comes to the systems themselves; after a summer of experimentation with both the smart phone using OsmAND and a standalone Garmin GPS, I still prefer the Garmin. I can foresee a day when they stop making consumer grade GPS units because phones have taken over, and I'll be bummed out when that happens.
 
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