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Made it to first gear
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard a lot of people talking about using GPS when riding. I borrowed one and took it on a short ride to see how far off my speedometer was off. After using it I was amazed at what it would do. I did some checking on different brands and styles and was also amazed at how many different configurations and price ranges are available. Is there one unit that is better than another or that most people preffer?

Jay
2008 vn900 classic

NEVER GIVE UP, ENJOY THE RIDE
 

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I have a Garmin 205. It's not waterproof, but I put a ZipLok baggie on it & tie it tight w/ a twist tie. Works great! Not pricey, does a great job. I like that I can see my real speed -- my Kawi speedo is off by about 6 MPH. If the speedo says 80, the GPS says my real speed is 74. The only difficulty is when the sun is shining on the screen; makes it difficult to see. I have a Ram Mount & ran a power line from the battery to a 12v receptacle that I attached to my windshield. Dropped the power line down first into the L side fuse box and put in a 5 amp fuse -- that way if I popped the fuse I could get at it easily.
 

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Love my 1500!
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2,460 Posts
Like OA said, welcome! I recently purchased a Gramin Nuvi 750. It is not waterproof like the Zumo is, but I couldn't justify the difference in cost. I like the 750 because it also has a built-in MP3 player. I can use it to play tunes through my bike speakers and also hear directions while navigating. The volume for the two functions is independantly controlled.

The screen is easy to see even in the bright sun. It even displays the speed limit for you! I haven't used it on a long trip yet, but so far I'm pleased. Paid $150 for a refurbished model from Tiger Direct. Whatever you get, spend a few extra bucks and get a RAM mount for it.
 

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TV Guru
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11,779 Posts
I have a "cheap" (in comparison) Gamin Nuvi 200 (not the wide model). While it doesn't have nearly as many features as others, it does exactly what I need it to: get me to where I want to go.

Since you can't plot custom routes (or edit the routes the GPS comes up with), you have to really do some tweaking of the settings to get the best and most desired route when you select your destination. For example, the first time I used it to go from Connecticut to Upstate NY, it took me through Albany. That sucked. However, after doing some changing up of the settings, it started plotting a route through the Catskills, instead. Much better.

The nice thing is, even though you can't plot a specific route, you can save waypoints. This means you can go from one waypoint to another to get the desired route. Because there is a choice of two different bridges to get across the Hudson (without going I-84 or through Albany), I choose the Rip Van Winkle Bridge by setting it as a destination, then pull up my real destination once I cross the bridge.

I have gotten caught in a short shower with the GPS on the bike and it survived getting a little wet (I stashed it in my pocket for most of it, but it was out for some of it). I dropped it once, so there is a little ding in the screen, but it works fine.

It's actually pretty easy to read even in bright sunshine as long as you angle it right and set the brightness settings correctly. The voice prompts can be cranked up pretty loud, so the lack of bluetooth is not terrible. I can hear it up to about 40MPH before the wind masks it. Since most of my complicated turns are at less than 40MPH, it's good enough.

The bracket that came with it works well. I worried whether it would hold it on the bike, but it really clamps onto it well. I bough a separate adapter from Garmin's web site to attach it to the handle bars. It sits pretty much next to my tach.

My only wish is that the battery life were a bit better. 4 hours is about the limit. However, I built a 12 volt portable batter pack using 8 AA's in a holder than runs into a cigarette lighter plug. It even has a little neoprene pouch to hold it. Maybe for next season I'll consider adding a plug to the bike.

I should say, though, on my next GPS, I would like to get a model with the following features that this one doesn't have:

- Directions that speak the actual route or street name instead of "turn left in .2 miles
- Bluetooth: while I'm OK not having it, it would be nice to be able to hear the prompts without broadcasting them out loud for everyone around me to hear.
- The ability to create a custom route - and save it for recall later.

However, the above features add anywhere from $100 - $400 to the price of a unit, so I'm not that hot to upgrade. Prices will come down and more features will trickle down to the lower models over time.
 

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Workin' to ride
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559 Posts
Garmin zumo 450, motorcycle specific, waterproof, bullet proof so far with over 12k mi and it stays on the bike 24/7. Easy to use with gloves on. Voice directions and mp3 player built in. If you want wireless bluetooth, you need to get the next unit up, I think a 550.
 

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Army Strong. Ride Long
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587 Posts
I have a garmin 755 and it works great. Not water proof, but I tend not to ride in the rain much, unless I get stuck in it; then I do the old ziploc bag trick or just tuck it away in my jacket.
I have a great RAM mount for it right on the bars. My question is for my fellow riders is how well do you hear it? I don't have blue tooth nor a radio (I have an MP3 player that goes through UniQ amp/speakers) but I have trouble hearing the turn-by-turn directions.
Any comments/Hints?
Thanks
 

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Slow Guy on a Fast Bike
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25,224 Posts
Garmin Quest here. Bought it reconditioned off Ebay and it's been a workhorse for 5+years now. i had to clean the antenna pivot a few weeks ago, but aside from that it has been awesome. Garmin's Mapsource mapping software is also very good. I don't know if they still make the Quest, but it is highly portable, has a re-chargeable battery built in (good for hiking and off-roading too!) and is totally waterproof.

When it comes time to purchase another gps, I'll be buying a Garmin product.
 

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Love my 1500!
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2,460 Posts
I have a garmin 755 and it works great. Not water proof, but I tend not to ride in the rain much, unless I get stuck in it; then I do the old ziploc bag trick or just tuck it away in my jacket.
I have a great RAM mount for it right on the bars. My question is for my fellow riders is how well do you hear it? I don't have blue tooth nor a radio (I have an MP3 player that goes through UniQ amp/speakers) but I have trouble hearing the turn-by-turn directions.
Any comments/Hints?
Thanks
Mark, I have the Garmin 750 which is very similar to the 755. I haven't had it long, but I plug it into my speakers (I think mine are also the UniQ brand), and I can hear it just fine. One of the things that I liked about the 750 is that it has an mp3 player. Prior to getting this unit, I had both my Garmin Quest and my Sansa mp3 player mounted on my bike. The 750 allowed be to eliminate my mp3 player and reduce some of the "clutter".

Look under Tools/Settings/Volume, there are separate volume settings for Navigation and Media, play around with them see if that doesn't solve your issue. On mine, while using the mp3 player, navigation commands temporarily "mute" the music so that I can hear the commands just fine.

Hope this helps.
 

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Machinist For Sale/Rent
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1,234 Posts
I have a Nuvi350 the wife got me for Christmas last year, like the others with the 200 and 250 plotting a particular route is a challenge but I could care less. I use mine basically for the speedo and trip meter, I could care less where I am or how far off"course" I am, as long as I'm back on Monday in time to go to work.
Like others I have the Garmin handlebar mount and it is rock solid.
 

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Premium Member
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2,838 Posts
garmin zumo series... i personally do not think anything can compete with it

i have the 550, they are not cheap but they can go from the truck to the bike very easily - i use mine ALOT

kenny
 

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Shifted into first gear
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131 Posts
I bought a refurbished Garmin 2720. Came with a one year warrant. Waterproof and has more features than Garmin 760 nuvi I use in the car.
Cost 100.00 prepaid.

Since GPS only draws about 1amp, wired it into the running lights in the headlight bucket.
 

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10,122 Posts
Garmin Zumo 550. I use it on the bike & on the truck. Easy to change from one to the other. Love the mp3 in the zumo! Waterproof, I got caught in a heavy downpour twice, no prob. Pricey, yup, but anything happens to this one, I'll get another zumo. :biggrin:
 

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Giant Biker
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2,323 Posts
I want a Zumo-----but don't want to pay that much for one. I did get a refurb Garmin Quest II off Ebay for dirt cheap. Got a Ram mount for it. It does well enough for what I need, which is basically get me home if I get lost somewhere.

I put a 12V plug on the handlebars, so I just plug it in and go. I can hear up to around 40 or so, so its ok when I really need it.

Less than $100 vs. $600+ for the Zumo------I'm ok with it.
 

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Army Strong. Ride Long
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587 Posts
Mark, I have the Garmin 750 which is very similar to the 755. I haven't had it long, but I plug it into my speakers (I think mine are also the UniQ brand), and I can hear it just fine. One of the things that I liked about the 750 is that it has an mp3 player. Prior to getting this unit, I had both my Garmin Quest and my Sansa mp3 player mounted on my bike. The 750 allowed be to eliminate my mp3 player and reduce some of the "clutter".

Look under Tools/Settings/Volume, there are separate volume settings for Navigation and Media, play around with them see if that doesn't solve your issue. On mine, while using the mp3 player, navigation commands temporarily "mute" the music so that I can hear the commands just fine.

Hope this helps.
VC - how do you connect the 750 to your speakers? Do you use the 1/8 inch head phone jack and go into the UNiQ amp? I never thought of using the MP3 players part, even though I have used it other times. Duh. I can get rid of the portable XM radio I use and just use that. THanks. I now have a cool winter project. lol
 
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