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Seriously considering a GPS for my Wee-Strom. Been looking at TomTom, Garmin and Magellan. So many choices and so little experience. I have a Samsung S9+ phone I could use, but I think a dedicated cycle GPS would be best, the least being waterproof. What are you folks thoughts on what’s good and not so good.
Thanks in advance and keep the rubber side down.
 

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Asking what is the best GPS is not unlike asking what is the best motorcycle.
Answer....depends on what your requirements are.

Myself, I have used TomTom for years and like them but a lot of that has to do with familiarity. I do know that I will not buy another standalone GPS unit. The advancement in smartphone apps is just too good.

If you are interested in using a smartphone, here is a good link to start your research.

https://advrider.com/index.php?search/71883176/&q=android+app&o=relevance&c

For any and all GPS here is a good link as well.

https://advrider.com/index.php?forums/gps-101-which-gps-for-me.75/
 

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but I think a dedicated cycle GPS would be best, the least being waterproof.
nah - don't waste your money...use your phone

https://www.casebuddy.com.au/collections/samsung-galaxy-s9-plus-phone-cases-covers?gclid=CjwKCAjw2MTbBRASEiwAdYIpsWhQ9joRaXKWGQjZVnkhIyV7NCv9f4P5G1ESkVRCBAFse7V3964RURoCNqgQAvD_BwE

baggy works fine and an Xmount.

You can also navigate by voice with the phone in your pocket.....and your S9 is certainly bright enough for X mount

just don't get distracted >:)



yes they have for the S9+ ...there are dozens of solutions from many vendors.

: Ailun Bike & Motorcycle Cell Phone Mount,Phone Mount Holder,Universal for iPhone X/8/8 Plus,7/7 Plus,6/6s Plus,Galaxy S9/S9+,S8/S7/S6,and Other Smartphones,iPods,and MP3 player[BLACK]: Cell Phones & Accessories - B01KF3KRBI
 

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Pretty much everyone I know that rides a lot uses a GPS, usually a Garmin. Some have tried phones but have gone back to a dedicated gps.

The apps on phones are getting better all the time but the ability to use a GPS in any condition you are ever going to ride in is invaluable. (Think pouring rain with soaking wet gloves as an example.)

On top of that the traffic and weather apps on the latest Zumo phones work extremely well. The information you need and/or want is presented in a simple logical fashion without having to stop to figure out which app is best.

The downside is that dedicated motorcycle gps units are fairly expensive. The upside is that most people have them for years and they still work well.

..Tom
 

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Everyone has their own opinion. I have tried the phone thing, didn't like it.

Currently using a Zumo 590, upgraded to Zumo 595 software. A few annoying things, but overall a decent package.

Previously used a Streetpilot 2720/2820 for about ten years (well 3-4 units in that time frame). Fantastic unit, getting old and missing a bunch of newer features, but as a gps and nothing else it works fantastically well, and can be had for ~$50.
 

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If you don't mind yesteryear's technology, I have a Garmin GPSMap 78s that has worked pretty well since around 2012. I'd estimate it's been mounted for at least 60k miles. You can pick them up for cheap.

Most dedicated GPS units have big upsides over a smartphone:
  • Daylight Readable - this is a big deal, your super high quality smartphone screen is useless if you can't see it
  • Won't overheat in very hot weather
  • Doesn't need an internet connection
  • Powered off the bike, don't need to worry about keeping it charged
  • Operable with a gloved hand
  • Truly waterproof, no need for kludgy bags
I prefer to have my smartphone give voice directions whenever possible, but sometimes it craps out, and sometimes it just doesn't have service.
 

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Umm you are a bit behind.
Glary day on Beartooth with a 6 year old iPhone 5 ...they are much brighter now.



Easily readable in glare

doesn't overheat

doesn't need a network connection

Gloves work on touch screens these days and voice control is the coming technology.

Charges from the bike.

Moves instantly between bikes. My iPhone works just as well in Australia and in North America.

Does a ton of other things too instead of expensive one trick pony. There are hundreds of waterproof cases out there from simple to complex...choice is good...low cost is better.
 

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If you don't mind yesteryear's technology, I have a Garmin GPSMap 78s that has worked pretty well since around 2012. I'd estimate it's been mounted for at least 60k miles. You can pick them up for cheap.

Most dedicated GPS units have big upsides over a smartphone:
  • Daylight Readable - this is a big deal, your super high quality smartphone screen is useless if you can't see it
    Many a standalone GPS unit suffers the same fate.
  • Won't overheat in very hot weather
    I have not had my phone overheat but granted, I have not exposed it to anything above 30C.
  • Doesn't need an internet connection
    Many smartphone GPS apps have resident maps and do not need a connection (internet or cellular)
  • Powered off the bike, don't need to worry about keeping it charged
    You can power a smartphone off the bike. No problem
  • Operable with a gloved hand
    Several smartphones (eg. Kyocera Pro) have touch screens
  • Truly waterproof, no need for kludgy bags
    Many smartphones are waterproof.
I prefer to have my smartphone give voice directions whenever possible, but sometimes it craps out, and sometimes it just doesn't have service.
I don't know how much longer it is going to take for the misconception to die, but there is a plethora of GPS apps for smartphones that DO NOT require internet or cellular service to operate.
 

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I am a smartphone user. However, I use the TomTom software ap on the phone. It is not free. It does not require an internet connection or data cellular connection.
It has voice turn-by-turn directions. It has all the pre-settings such as avoid highways and show gas stations etc. as a dedicated unit.
I use my previous phone with a fixed power cord and bluetooth into my Sena. I keep my current phone in an inside pocket. (in case of a get-off I'm not separated from 911) Another nicety with a iPhone is on the occasions that I'm listening to music the music dims when a upcoming turn is announced without competition between the aps.

The strongest case for a dedicated GPS unit is if you go on group rides which rely on prepared route files. There are workaround software options for this but they rarely include the voice over directions. And the dedicated GPS has a better screen. As mentioned, the GPS units are waterproof but so far - so is my iPhone.
 

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I've got Garmin Zumo 660.

Why do I use it?
  • No need to worry about it in torrential downpour.
  • Can still see screen fairly well in the rain (unlike using water resistant pouch for phone.. fog).
  • Entire North America map is on the unit. No need to download individual regions and no need for network connection.
  • Responds well to input with moto gloves on, while riding.
What do I dislike about it?
  • BaseCamp (Garmin software to plan routes) is the devil!
  • Map scrolling on the unit is atrocious, compared to any phone.
  • Search is slow and much of the time does not find the places which are easily found using google maps.
  • Creating a route on the fly is painful (see map scrolling and searching).
  • Overall feels clunkier than the 1st smartphone to ever hit the market.
If you'd like to have a screen with a map always in front of you and don't want to worry about it in really rough weather, Zumo is good. If you're traveling far and didn't save the maps to your phone, Zumo is good.

Besides that, google maps is a heck of a lot better when it comes to searching for places, creating routes on the fly and giving voice prompts.

To respond to original question: Garmin Zumo 660: not so good.
 

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I don't know how much longer it is going to take for the misconception to die, but there is a plethora of GPS apps for smartphones that DO NOT require internet or cellular service to operate.
Google maps allows offline maps, but they take up a LOT of space. Downloading all of North America would probably eat up all the storage and would also take forever. Are there apps that do this better?
Offline mode is also somewhat limited.. at least last time I used it.
 

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Garmin Zumo. Made for motorcycle use. Waterproof. Less screen glare. Buttons that work with gloves.

Not cheap.

Made to work with helmet communication devices. Has other motorcycle stuff built in like fuel level/range. 2 or 3 trip mileage counters. Easy access to all screens.

Phones? Work quite well for WAZE! Not so much for GPS when compared to the Zumo.
 

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I'
Besides that, google maps is a heck of a lot better when it comes to searching for places, creating routes on the fly and giving voice prompts.
...

One thing that is handy with my Zumo 590 is that I can lookup or enter an address on my phone and simply and easily send it to the gps when they connect with. Bluetooth.

My Zumo 660 is and was great for what it did/does but there certainly are many more capabilities added to the newer Garmin GPS units (like the traffic and weather apps.)

..Tom
 

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One thing that is handy with my Zumo 590 is that I can lookup or enter an address on my phone and simply and easily send it to the gps when they connect with. Bluetooth.

My Zumo 660 is and was great for what it did/does but there certainly are many more capabilities added to the newer Garmin GPS units (like the traffic and weather apps.)

..Tom
Ah that must be nice. Not an option on 660.
 

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I simply love the Garmins ability to search for closest fuel, food, and especially motels with little effort.

Find one in the list and hit the call button. Ask about price and maybe tell them you will be right there. Then hit the "GO" button and follow the VOICE and screen prompts. You can do all this on the BMW/Garmin without removing your hands from the bars...until you hit the phone or go button.
 

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Google maps allows offline maps, but they take up a LOT of space. Downloading all of North America would probably eat up all the storage and would also take forever. Are there apps that do this better?
Offline mode is also somewhat limited.. at least last time I used it.
Nearly all smartphones have external storage capability with SD cards so map storage is not really an issue. Simply put in a large capacity SD card and you can put all the maps on it you need and then some. As for speed of download....not really in issue. The maps will download at whatever speed your internet connection is.

One thing that has not been mentioned yet (hard to believe huh?) is the fact that map updates and new maps are free for the most part. eg. If you bought a GPS unit (say Zumo) for North America and now want to go to Europe, the map is quite expensive ($140). With many of the phone apps, the maps are free.

The thing about POI's, making calls on the fly, etc., the phone apps do all that as well.
 

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Nearly all smartphones have external storage capability with SD cards so map storage is not really an issue. Simply put in a large capacity SD card and you can put all the maps on it you need and then some. As for speed of download....not really in issue. The maps will download at whatever speed your internet connection is.

One thing that has not been mentioned yet (hard to believe huh?) is the fact that map updates and new maps are free for the most part. eg. If you bought a GPS unit (say Zumo) for North America and now want to go to Europe, the map is quite expensive. With many of the phone apps, the maps are free.

The thing about POI's, making calls on the fly, etc., the phone apps do all that as well.
No SD card on my iPhone 7. And while downloads are fast, getting all of US from google maps would take approximately forever. As you set the zoom, it limits how much you can grab in one shot. It would probably take ~100 manual zooms/downloads to get all of US. Maybe more.
I'm not saying phone-based navigation is bad or inferior. I'm just saying none of it is perfect or super-simple... yet.
 

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I simply love the Garmins ability to search for closest fuel, food, and especially motels with little effort.

Find one in the list and hit the call button. Ask about price and maybe tell them you will be right there. Then hit the "GO" button and follow the VOICE and screen prompts. You can do all this on the BMW/Garmin without removing your hands from the bars...until you hit the phone or go button.
Google Maps has this now. "Explore Nearby"
 

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GPS's are like oil and tires. People like what they are used to and tend to support that. Like I said before......the question of what is the best GPS is like asking what is the best motorcycle. How do you know what is the best motorcycle if you haven't ridden them all? You can certainly talk about what you have ridden though. If you pay big dollars for a standalone system, you are going to work around its idiosyncrasies and learn to like it or just learn to live with it. Spend nothing or very little on a smartphone app and you can ditch it if you don't like it and try something else. You can also add other maps like topo, and hiking. Even marine.

There is usually more flexibility with the apps. For example: The Myroute navigation app allows you to choose, for navigation, either Osmand, Google, TomTom, or Garmin map. Interesting when you overlay the same route on each map, the differences that there are. It allows the use of 10 different maps for tracking.

If you want to try something, with no risk, the MyRoute package has a 14 day free trial.

https://www.myrouteapp.com/en


If you need waterproof, touch screen, etc. as well as all the other things built into a phone, here is a good option:

https://gadgets.ndtv.com/kyocera-duraforce-pro-3697

You can pick one up for about $150 on eBay.
 
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