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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking around for a GPS for my new vstrom, the motorcycle specific units from the major distributors seem pretty pricy.

I'm wondering what other people do? Should I suck it up and buy an expensive garmin / tom tom or are there are good other solutions I should check out.

Also, for mounts what are people using?

I have a phone I could theoretically use but it's not particularly waterproof and using through a weatherproof case is kind of a poor experience

Thanks!

G
 

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Have you done the google search at the top of the page? There have been threads on budget GPS before. Alternatives to the moto specific.
i use a $100 automotive refurbished Garmin in a Ram Aqua box.
Some newer GPS don't like a gloved hand and the flexible membrane on the Aqua box worsens the problem.
The Garmins I have feature lifetime maps and active traffic monitoring.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have you done the google search at the top of the page? There have been threads on budget GPS before. Alternatives to the moto specific.
i use a $100 automotive refurbished Garmin in a Ram Aqua box.
Some newer GPS don't like a gloved hand and the flexible membrane on the Aqua box worsens the problem.
The Garmins I have feature lifetime maps and active traffic monitoring.
Oops, I tried searching for GPS and got an error, budget GPS did however get me... A thread about budget GPS's... Actually now when I search for GPS I just get a search for GPS... Huh, I guess bad timing? pebcak?

Thanks and apologies.
 

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3 yrs. ago I bought a Garmin LM50 refurbished for $50.00 from Fry's and a $25.00 mount from Ram for a trip to Canada on my Wee. Not waterproof I put it in the Tankbag in the Rain. Cheap GPS simple,works great no problems...:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After reading responses here and skimming the found and linked threads I remembered I still have a drive assist 50 from our last car, new car has a built in GPS (which kinda sucks tbh, but mostly works).

Gonna look around for mounting options, it's got a dashcam so up front would be ideal.

But haven't found anything that looks like a possibility yet.
 

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After reading responses here and skimming the found and linked threads I remembered I still have a drive assist 50 from our last car, new car has a built in GPS (which kinda sucks tbh, but mostly works).

Gonna look around for mounting options, it's got a dashcam so up front would be ideal.

But haven't found anything that looks like a possibility yet.
I personally would look to something like the "Over the dash" shelf from adventure tech with an appropriate ball mount or similar. I would much prefer that mounting location than what I have been using thus far (phone in the clear pocket on my tank bag)
 

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(phone in the clear pocket on my tank bag)
That is a recipe for overheat. X mount works the charm and even a simple ziplock will waterproof a phone.
 

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After reading responses here and skimming the found and linked threads I remembered I still have a drive assist 50 from our last car, new car has a built in GPS (which kinda sucks tbh, but mostly works).

Gonna look around for mounting options, it's got a dashcam so up front would be ideal.

But haven't found anything that looks like a possibility yet.
That is a recipe for overheat.
I have certainly learnt that one out the hard way.

How reliable is the X-mount? Looking at photos of them I am weary that they hold the phone reliably enough, particularly if after I get into a situation where I need the phone to call for help.
 

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As an add on, I drowned a Magellan and a Tom-Tom in a couple drops of rain fall at a gas fill. Those brands were subject to vibration too.
I love the Ram Aqua box. Mine suffered a major crash and just had to buy a $7 dollar flexible membrane face.
 

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To answer a couple of questions:

- I'm using a waterproof phone (currently a Samsung S6 Active; might be upgrading to a Motorola G6 at some point) for my GPS using the app Locus Pro, and it's fantastic.

- The RAM X-Grip is a steaming pile of shit. Sorry, but I just can't sugar-coat this. It looks good, but it just won't hang on to a phone on a motorcycle. Mine made three escape attempts before I decided that was enough. Why the hell they push these stupid things so hard is a complete mystery. Plus, they can rotate back and forth once your device is loaded. Maybe you could put one next to the toilet or something. It sure doesn't work worth a damn on a moving vehicle.

Anyway, what you want is the RAM HOL-PD3U spring-loaded "device holder":
https://www.amazon.com/RAM-MOUNTS-RAM-HOL-PD3U-Universal-Spring/

Get Ram balls and an arm and you're all set.

This has been absolutely bombproof for me over horrific terrain on and off road, and there's one on each of my bikes. The phone pops in instantly and securely; no finagling and farting around. The one caveat is that some larger phones won't fit, especially if they're in a case.

The one issue with rain is charging; there are very few truly waterproof USB chargers, and it's very difficult to waterproof the connection to the phone's charging port. However, I've ridden through some real toad-stranglers with no issues by tucking the charger somewhere out of the airflow so it's protected. And if you keep moving, the charging port usually doesn't get water inside. If you're stuck in traffic, you might get some water wicking up into the charging port, so have a plan "B". Also, sometimes the screen freaks out if big drops of water are running down the screen. Both issues can be solved or at least lessened with a plastic bag over the phone.
 

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hey hold the phone very securely but you can add purpose design elastic straps



the only time mine came off was when I was fooling around with it on the mount trying to move it upward a bit ....then it held on by the power adapter til I got stopped. If you are doing off pavement then the elastic straps might be useful.

Phones do work in your pocket as well if your prefer voice directions. I've been tending to use a XP-3 battery pack instead of a USB power out. Full day of full brighteness nav - either in my pocket or in the tank bag.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I personally would look to something like the "Over the dash" shelf from adventure tech with an appropriate ball mount or similar. I would much prefer that mounting location than what I have been using thus far (phone in the clear pocket on my tank bag)
no shelf mounts for my year of vstrom (2017), but they do have a dash GPS mount which is exactly what I want for this setup.

Thanks!
 

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Do you want the device to navigate for you, or are you more interested in knowing where you are as a navigation aid? Those are two totally different things.

I have no advice on a GPS if you expect it to do all your navigating for you; however, if you want to have a cheap, waterproof, tough as nails GPS mainly to orient you to current location then I suggest one of the Garmin Etrex units with a City nav SD card. I have a Etrex 20, RAM mount, and pirated City nav SD card which are about 4 years old and have worked flawlessly for many thousands of miles. I had another Etrex for several years before this one and it finally died after about 100,000 miles, prompting its replacement with the current one.

The basic unit has US highways and interstate highways in it but no real detail beyond that. The City nav card adds pretty much every road and goat trail in America.

The Etrex will navigate for you but it's not the hot ticket for that sort of thing. Works best in conjunction with paper maps and such to just keep you on track or clue you in to nearby roads, features, etc. Personally I think a giant GPS that does it all, has bluetooth, traffic updates, etc., is for [Expellative deleted by moderator] and goes against the whole point of exploring shit on a motorcycle... but YMMV.

The current version is the 20X. Around $130 at online vendors. I'd buy it again.

Edit, in the below image the zoom is set to 50 miles, which shows very little close in detail. I generally run the zoom set at 0.8 miles, so you have about a 10 sq mile overview with every road and geographic feature visible in that square.

Here's a fair review / comparison of it:

https://hikingguy.com/hiking-gear/garmin-etrex-20x-hiking-gps-review/




 

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Do you want the device to navigate for you, or are you more interested in knowing where you are as a navigation aid? Those are two totally different things.

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That is a great insight. I have one of the cheaper Chinese GPS's and really only use it to find out where I am. https://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Android-GPS-Motorcycle-Car-Bluetooth-Navigation-4-4-WIFI-512M-8GB-Flash-Maps/202332751721?epid=571309747&hash=item2f1bf8c769:g:IvoAAOSw42dZL7sP:rk:3:pf:0 I would also point out that it luckily comes with a large and effective sunshade. The reality is that I can barely see anything in direct sunlight. That's sunny Queensland for you.
 
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