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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have searched this site as the all the full interwebs looking for a good answer with no real success. The multiple definitions of "customized routes" also does not help! To me "customized routes" means picking the entire route. not just choosing to avoid the slab or have more twisties. I also seem to want more control than most GPS's seem to offer. I am used to paper maps and printing sections of printed Google Maps, but with the moto, I need an actual GPS and I know little about them...except the seemingly simple stuff I want to do isn't as basic as I thought.

I enjoy using Google Maps on my computer to plan rides; to know the exact mileage, stop by points of interest and street names for turns. I would like to be able to use a GPS to help me navigate the exact route I have mapped out on my computer. It seems as thought some GPS's will do this with computer software but you need to make lots of waypoints and some users say this still doesn't always work at the very end on the GPS at times. Not very user friendly. I haven't read multiple reviews of any product yet that does this well.

I do not need to use Google Maps specifically, but it is what I have mostly used in the past and I enjoy it except for my new need of downloading the exact route onto a GPS. I just want to be able to plan a ride on my computer (a Mac if that makes a difference) and be able to have a GPS guide me on the moto on that exact route.

More specific, I am looking to do some rides though southern Miami and South Florida which includes urban and rural riding and I want to pick the entire route myself to include parks, food and sights.

Any suggestions? And thank you for any advice.
 

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I've been using a TonTom with Tyer software that uses google maps or google earth for years. You pick every waypoint up to 99 total and then you can add a second route connected to the first for another 99 waypoins and so on. The only thing the imbedded software does is get you from waypoint to waypoint so you can pick any and all roads you want.
 

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I use a program called Tyre, which is available on the web for free. It uses Google Maps as its source, and you can generate custom routes in a GPX format. You can choose your route by waypoints (meaning you can make the route go anywhere you want), or you can just add your destinations and the program will figure out your route. The Tyre program is designed to work with Garmin and Tom Tom gps units. I don't know anything about the Tom Tom units, but if you have a Garmin, and it has the "trip planner" feature, you can input custom routes directly from the program into the Garmin (I have a Garmin Nuvi 2455). I used this program to plot a custom route to Nebraska and back (and I definitely didn't take the most direct route LOL), and it worked great. The only drawback to the program was that, because it uses Google Maps, you need to have an internet connection to plan your routes.

TyreToTravel -
 

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I have never been able to get conversion software to work perfectly

a couple times when turn by turn instructions and fuel stops were important to me (IBA rides) I manually input the route and stops into my Zumo, it was flawless with one exception after over 1500 miles it had me exit the highway 1 exit before my final destination, loop around all 4 clover leaf loops, ending up back on the highway in the same direction



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I tried the Harley trip planner. What I didn't like about it was that it only allows a limited number of waypoints; I think it was something like 18 total, if I recall correctly. It works good for relatively straightforward routes, but I found it kind of limiting for a cross country route with lots of route changes.
 

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I have used Tyre and the Harley program. Both are good for what they are.

Mainly I draw the route on Google maps then manually build the route in Mapsoure and transfer to the GPS via Mapsource.

..Tom
 

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Conversion software often drives me nuts.
I like to use maps, colored markers, googleearth, googlemaps, sometimes Garmin MapSource ( BaseCamp sucks) , word of mouth, ideas and suggestions from locals along the way.
But for a long trip combining and integrating all the ideas into a gps route that is easily modified at a coffee shop or around a campsite picnic table, WITHOUT A COMPUTER, is imperative for me. I use a Garmin Zumo 550 and my best solution to date is to build all my routes directly on the handheld unit. It does work, although maybe seems crude to some of you, I've been doing it for years. To share gpx routes and files with others I must use a computer.

I've only a bit of experience with Tyre.

Be sure, that whatever gps you buy, that it will allow you to build and store multiple routes directly on the unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for the replies. I checked out the links provided and saw that many people were having issues with several of those programs. Oy! The H-D Ride Planner program worked up to 20 waypoints and seems to be what I am looking for. Now, once loaded on the GPS with the GPX export, will the GPS use those waypoints for the exact route I saw on my computer or maybe use other routes between the same waypoints?

I will play around with more of the linked programs.

Seems as though my next decision is just picking a GPS unit that can have routes uploaded.

Using my iPhone as suggested absolutely does not work. I can only program the start and finish and have no control over the route, which was the whole point of my post. I also read and agreed that a phone should be on my body in case I have a get-off and need to call for help.
 

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Realize that when you builld a route basically a set of waypoints is sent to the GPS and the GPS calculates the route based on those waypoints. It is a pretty simple matter to make sure you have enough waypoints to force the route to be an exact match but if the map versions are different or if you have different parameters on the gps there is always the chance of deviations from what you intended.

..Tom
 

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I have never been able to get conversion software to work perfectly

a couple times when turn by turn instructions and fuel stops were important to me (IBA rides) I manually input the route and stops into my Zumo, it was flawless with one exception after over 1500 miles it had me exit the highway 1 exit before my final destination, loop around all 4 clover leaf loops, ending up back on the highway in the same direction
I found that sometime GPS units do that kind of silliness on their own but often that can be avoided by pointing a waypoint just after an intersection or ramp instead of at it.

..Tom
 

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I saw another poster who wasn't impressed with Garmin's BaseCamp, but I've had good luck with it on my Mac. You have to remember to have the same map version on your GPS and your computer (or have your Garmin GPS plugged in so your computer can read its map). I've planned several multi-day to multi-week trips in the US as well as New Zealand and Iceland, on road and off, and they transferred easily to my zümo 650.
 

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I found that sometime GPS units do that kind of silliness on their own but often that can be avoided by pointing a waypoint just after an intersection or ramp instead of at it.

..Tom
Another pitfall to avoid is putting a waypoint in the wrong lane of a road, because you didn't zoom in close enough when you were planning the route to place the waypoint in the right spot. I got caught in a cloverleaf once as my gps fought for a way to route me back to that pesky waypoint that I missed.....
 

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Dang it people, its 2014, this should be easy!!! WTF is all this technology for then!?! Geez. hahaha. I laugh to stop from throwing this compuet into the ocean.

I'm leaning towards the Garmin Zumo 660LM, especially since I can use it for work and use the work CC. Its nice being the boss sometimes :) Otherwise the $400 is a bit much. Its rugged, people seem to like it and I can make my own route. Maybe even without too much swearing.

Any reason from current owners or riders familiar with this product, why this purchase may be a horrible mistake I'll regret the rest of my life?
 

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I also spend a lot of time on Google maps, loved the old system but not real happy with the new one.

So I chose to use Tyre, it works on Google maps and it is simple, it must be if I can use it, I open both Tyre and Google on my computer when I'm building a ride, zooming in and out if required.

I save and up load the routes planed as GPX files then load them to my Zumo or Nuvi.

As others have said you need to plot your route with heaps of waypoints, this is to keep you on your planed route and because your GPS could see the roads a little different to Tyre.

I have found chopping my routes into small chunks works for me because I have found many of my rides will pass through the same towns then head off in a different direction, so I will use the old planed route to get to the town then the new route from there, I keep all my old routes stored in my GPS so if I'm on a ride and things change I can use a old stored route.

With Tyre you can name each waypoint, that name will be displayed on the GPS screen and will be spoken by the GPS so I will try and give myself some useful information when I name the waypoint, it maybe dirt starts here, sharp right hand bend or crap coffee here, anything I think that may help the ride or help if I want to chop the ride up, EG; a house number would be no good on a long road but a intersection would be easy to identify as a new starting point.

I also use capital letters for any waypoints that are in a small town, that makes towns easy to identify while on the road or scrolling through the route.

That's all I can think of right now.
 

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Here's a easy way to create a .gpx track.

Use Google maps to create a route. It's better to have intermediate points on longer routes.

Copy the Google URL of your route.

Open the GPS Visualizer convert GPS to GPX page here. Paste the Google URL into the box labeled: Or provide the URL of a file on the Web: . Select the output format GPX.
Hit the convert button.

You will be taken to a download page. Download and rename the file. Copy into your GPS device's tracks (or whatever it's called on yours).

Done.
 

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Dang it people, its 2014, this should be easy!!! WTF is all this technology for then!?! Geez. hahaha. I laugh to stop from throwing this compuet into the ocean.

I'm leaning towards the Garmin Zumo 660LM, especially since I can use it for work and use the work CC. Its nice being the boss sometimes :) Otherwise the $400 is a bit much. Its rugged, people seem to like it and I can make my own route. Maybe even without too much swearing.

Any reason from current owners or riders familiar with this product, why this purchase may be a horrible mistake I'll regret the rest of my life?
Well if you don't want to spend a lot of money...

A Smart Phone works fine as a GPS. I used mine for a 2200 mile trip, no problems.

Here's how I did it: GPS on Adroid phone
 

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Exactly - a used iPhone 4s works fine and goes for about $100.
X clamp
Water Proof bag....

and you can use it for books, music and a variety of nav apps, weather apps. etc.



11, 000' on Beartooth



I keep my clamp on the bars loose enough so I can tilt the clamp easily.

WHat's shown is an iPhone 5 which is a battery pig so I have a battery pack on it that extends the life when off the bike.

GPS are power hogs.
 
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