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What GPS are you using?

Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
1,019
Location
Cypress, TX
Been using a Zumo 660 for a decade or so. Recently gave it a present of the Lifetime Maps upgrade, as this model pre-dated LifetimeMaps being standard. It interfaces with my Sena BT in the helmet for turn by turn reminders, and it can store and play music, though I will usually play tunes from the phone as it has more storage. It will also route phone calls through the Zumo, but I haven't found that feature particularly useful. All that adds is giving Zumo the ability to override phone audio for the turn notifications.

The 660 has been thoroughly tested in all kinds of bad weather and on rough road surfaces and it just keeps ticking along. Really can't ask for more. It was ridiculously pricey at the time of purchase, which is why I put off upgrading the map license for so long when for a little more than the price of the upgrade I could purchase a whole GPS with lifetime maps. Only without the waterproof aspect needed for motorcycle use. Kept waiting for a sale on Lifetime Maps, and now was riding into areas where the roads had changed significantly and decided to bite the bullet.

It is light, rugged, handy, easy to use, and removes and fits easily into my jacket pocket at stops when leaving the bike, or to bring into a restaurant to sit and ponder the route ahead.

It works very well with Garmin's Basecamp software for creating routes, that is, the 660 paints the route exactly how I laid it out. Anyone finding one of these new or used would likely be happy with it.

The wife got a Zumo 590 with a bike, and it redraws every route I upload to it from Basecamp. Very frustrating, as I otherwise do like the display. Maybe I can dig a little deeper for some setting that fixes this, so far, haven't found it.

One annoying thing with most GPS devices I've used is how the map layers disappear those backroads I'm riding just when I get it zoomed out to the perspective I prefer. So, I have to keep it zoomed in one or two ticks closer than would work best for me. This is more a map thing than a GPS thing, but may be something that would bug others. Unfortunately, you really won't know if it is an issue until you have any GPS on the bike and are using it.
I used a 660 for couple years before it died in the crash that killed DR 1. Great unit, replaced with the newer, roughly equivalent, 396.
I guess I'll have to fix that next time we ride together...:coffee:
Which part, the lack of a reliable GPS or me being in front? I might have to object to one of those two...
 

my6

Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
1,925
Location
Houston
First Name
David
Remember me telling you that I took a rock hit off your six to my right knee yesterday? Well, it was a wise thing I wore my knee guards. As soon as I took them off Debye said "what happened to your knee?" It's a bit swollen but no pain at all.
 

kdh

Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
270
Location
TN
I run a $550 Garmin 8-inch for commercial vehicles. Had a Rand McNally to go with it, but two of them self destructed in a matter of days. Sent them in for warranty repair and both came back with the same faults. Talk about a waste of $1100.

No GPS on the bikes--not all who wander are lost.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,581
Location
Harmaston, TX
...
If you want to get in at a lower price, you can honestly get away with a Garmin Nuvi car model - ...
If it rains, you can pull a baggie over it and keep riding; it'll be hard to read, but in a downpour, but you probably aren't riding a tricky route anyway at that point...
I've been using a car Nuvi for 6+ years. 140k miles on the bike and 50k in the cage. While on the bike rain is not an issue if you mount the gps behind the windshield and keep moving. If you stop for an extended time just remove from the cradle mount and put in your tank bag. When riding off pavement I usually keep it in the mount but unplug the charge cable. That would create too much cable stress on the connector. One quick press and the screen times out, another quick press and it displays. By doing this frequently and leaving display off as much as possible I can ride all day on a full charged battery. I frequently do this when riding pavement as well. Just charge at campsite end of the day from bike pigtail same as Sena and cell phone.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
 

LowRyter

Inactive Member
Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 23, 2006
Messages
1,661
Location
Edmond OK
I still like to map out a route (with Google maps or hardcopy) and write down instruction and place the route notes in my tankbag. Hardcopy maps and phone for back up go in the tankbag. I don't want more to carry and certainly nothing in my ear other than ear plugs.

I was considering getting a Beeline GPS pointer. Looks simple and just a quick arrow pointer, similar to my route notes.

I find Motorcycle Roads.com a good place to start to explore roads and plan routes. Sometimes I'll hear about a great ride on forums like this.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
75
Location
Leander
550 on my FJR, 595 on the Wing.

I've rarely gone for a ride and not been disappointed with the Garmin.
 
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
488
Location
Ft Worth
Tom Tom Rider 550 and a iphone for back up. On the phone I am using rever or scenic apps the most, but have 5 apps loaded and all with downloadable maps. After destroying 2 phone cameras due to handle bar vibes, be careful to turn off your camera when the phone is mounted.
 

WFO75080

Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
541
Location
Greenville
First Name
David
Guess stupid question , but which one of these is easiest to download someones track from here and use it?
Get out the Popcorn...........
I'm a Garmin guy. The lifetime maps aren't lifetime, they expire. Have the 595 for the 1290, 680T for the 500 and 300 and the 66i for emergencies. My wife says I have issues with GPS's. I've still got a 5 old ones in the drawer. They all do different things. Oh and the Voyager Pro just cuz.....
 
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woodsguy

Forum Supporter
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
11,119
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Rob
Last Name
Vaughan
Get out the Popcorn...........
I'm a Garmin guy. The lifetime maps aren't lifetime, they expire. Have the 595 for the 1290, 680T for the 500 and 300 and the 66i for emergencies. My wife says I have issues with GPS's. I've still got a 5 old ones in the drawer. They all do different things. Oh and the Voyager Pro just cuz.....
:( destined to follow I guess.
 

Jeff S

Forum Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2011
Messages
1,529
Location
Austin
First Name
Jeff
Guess stupid question , but which one of these is easiest to download someones track from here and use it?
Phone apps. Load TWT on the phone, download the .gpx file, open app, load file. Done.

I think for stand-alone GPS's, you'd put the SD card in the computer, download track, move to SD card, move card to GPS, import..
 

WFO75080

Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
541
Location
Greenville
First Name
David
I can download a GPX to my computer plug in my Garmin and say transfer to device. It will also allow you to change the route add waypoints or delete waypoints.
They are all simple just what you prefer. My buddy dropped his 690 in the creek a while back and his phone was DOA. I can take my GPS swimming with me.
The other advantage is my 27 inch computer screen that I can actually see without reading glasses.
Lots of choices.
 

_RG_

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
2,696
Location
Bryan-sort of-Texas
Rob on my old Garmin 600 the process can be... download gps track to the computer...hook gps to computer... open track in mapsource and click transfer to device. If the track is one recorded as ridden then you've got the gold standard and need only follow the big chunky purple line. However...this scenario is rare as fried pangolin on a stick. Very few tracks I've encountered can be ridden as is.

Edit...this describes a process and issues with off-road trail riding. I have very little experience with roads but how hard can it be?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
3,783
Location
HUNT COUNTY
First Name
Joshua
Guess stupid question , but which one of these is easiest to download someones track from here and use it?
Phone/tablet apps. Some more than others. One of the reasons I like Gaia is I can build a route on any device I'm logged into and it's immediately available on all the other devices as soon as you log in on that device.

Importing external files into GAIA is also really simple. Import on whatever device you are using and the system loads it right up. Again available on every device you own.

The program also lets you easily download maps and makes it easy to do. Typically I just select "download maps along route/track" and then the program automatically selects the area surrounding the route and saves it. You can also select larger areas to download as you please.

Get out the Popcorn...........
I'm a Garmin guy. The lifetime maps aren't lifetime, they expire. Have the 595 for the 1290, 680T for the 500 and 300 and the 66i for emergencies. My wife says I have issues with GPS's. I've still got a 5 old ones in the drawer. They all do different things. Oh and the Voyager Pro just cuz.....
I've got an old 1550 I use to keep my basecamp updated and it's still hasn't expired. Garmin is such a **** on their map updates I wouldn't mind if I lost it.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
6,581
Location
Harmaston, TX
...I've got an old 1550 I use to keep my basecamp updated and it's still hasn't expired. Garmin is such a **** on their map updates I wouldn't mind if I lost it.
Garmin lifetime maps have a couple gotcha's most aren't aware.

If you don't download a map update within the past 2 years they can consider the device inactive and lifetime is over.

If you attempt to download a map update and your device has insufficent memory to install it your device is considered obsolete and your lifetime is over. For this reason always ensure you have a SD card with enough free memory inserted before starting update.

Some more fine print on "lifetime maps" but the above two are what catches most people.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
 

Dao

Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
672
Location
austin
Phone apps. Load TWT on the phone, download the .gpx file, open app, load file. Done.
i agree w/ jeff. ... it don't get any easier than w/ a phone gps app. i used to own that high dollar garmin montana. I couldn't wrap my head around all those sequential and cryptic commands. w/ the phone app, it's but a few clicks away from being used. I used to carry 3 gps phone apps, but the one that does offroad - and MEXICO - the best is the OSMAND one. that's all use nowadays. at the start of every morning before a day's ride, i click on the record button, and it's working in the background, recording a gps file of my movements for the day. And this is completely independent of the GPS tracks that i've downloaded and plan to be viewing to ride.

here's an example of my day's ride that i recorded... all dirt, and the app comes w/ the free topographic layer so i can see the surrounding elevation changes .
Screenshot-2018-02-04-13-34-16.png


and at the bottom, those green & blue squiggly lines shows the cumulative elev. changes per route
 
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bwdmax

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
2,035
Location
Victoria
First Name
Gary
Last Name
Turner
.i used to own that high dollar garmin montana. I couldn't wrap my head around all those sequential and cryptic commands. w/ the phone app, it's but a few clicks away from being used.
I think it is what you get used too. I would make the same comments as Dao just in reverse.

I used to have OSMAND on my phone. I couldn't wrap my head around all those sequential and cryptic commands. w/ my Garmin, it's a few clicks away from being used.

I'm just glad to have choices. The phone stuff is relatively cheap to try since most folks are running a smart phone of some type. The Garmin route not so cheap, but I still chose that route. My current Montana 650 locked up on me a couple months ago. It is sitting here on my desk. I need to call customer support and get setup to have it repaired. In the mean time I use my Zumo 590 and an old Nuvi that has been around since 2005.
 

EETTU

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
200
Location
Santa Fe TX
Just purchased Garmin Zumo XT. Supposed to be able to transfer gpx wirelessly from phone.
The main reason I wanted it is because the screen brightness, water proof, and my phone will overheat on a sunny day.
Also, I received a $500 gift card from work and I like to use those on things I normally wouldn’t splurge on.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
321
Location
Paradise
Garmin lifetime maps have a couple gotcha's most aren't aware.

If you don't download a map update within the past 2 years they can consider the device inactive and lifetime is over.

If you attempt to download a map update and your device has insufficent memory to install it your device is considered obsolete and your lifetime is over. For this reason always ensure you have a SD card with enough free memory inserted before starting update.

Some more fine print on "lifetime maps" but the above two are what catches most people.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
Mine was obsolete when I bought it new. I got frustrated and threw it somewhere, I haven't seen it in a couple years.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Messages
384
Location
DFW
I've got a Tom Tom Rider 550. Haven't used it much as I broke my collar bone back in March, but I look forward to trying it out on some unpaved roads soon.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,902
Location
Arlington, TX
First Name
Bill
Y'all have me really looking at a Garmin 396 LMT-S. I'm seeing them new for $250 from some vendors. I've been without a GPS for the bike since my old StreetPilot 3 bit the dust a few years ago. Not to bad of a run seeing as I got it as a refurb about 13-15 years before that. Is there any reason I shouldn't get it?
 
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