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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering purchasing GPS for my bike. I was wondering if it is really necessary to get one specifically made for a motorcycle, or will one made for a car hold up okay on my bike? If anyone has any input on specific models they have tried please let me know. I am only looking to spend between $200 and $250. Right now I am looking at the Garmin nuvi 360 Portable GPS with Bluetooth if any one has any experience with that particular one.
 

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I just got a Quest 2. Still working on the navigational features but it's nice to load routes and have turn by turn. No experience with yours.
 

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Motorcycle is hostile environment for electronics.

Direct sunlight.
Rain ... Downpours ... Snow ... 30F to 100F+
ViBrAtIoN ... lots of frequencies.
Falling down ... crashing is a different story, especially the hard ones.

Does it have speech capability cause if it don't, you really expect to divert your attention that much to figure out where you are going?

My Zumo 550 lasted 3 years, died last week, sent them $200 dollar "repair" fee and they sent me a brand new one back with new software updates. <out of warranty>

I can easily use my gloved fingers to manipulate controls.
It comes off easily from the bike so it don't get ripped off.

I can use it in my truck and bike, as it comes with two mounts.

Finally ...

You get what you pay for.
 

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I have a Garmin Nuvi 200. I bought a RAM mount for the handlebar, and it works perfectly. It does not vibrate or shake at all, it's ROCK solid. I just plug it into my accessory plug if the battery runs down. If you turn the brightness on the screen down, you'll get much longer battery life. When it looks like it might rain, I just put a plastic sandwich baggy over it, and put a rubber band around the base of the mount to keep the bag tight. I can still use the screen with gloves, and through the bag.

The Nuvi 200 is really cheap, and does the job fine. If I turn the volume up to max, I can hear it shout directions while riding.
 

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I also have a quest 2. Its nice, its easy to use. I have the car adapter on my handlebars wired into my battery with a switch. The only downside is the lack of memory... I got mine on ebay for like 90$ Seemingly brand new.
 

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There are a few threads on it here.... but most car ones aren't waterproof.. and the motorcycle ones (unless you get used or close out or a hell of a sale) are often double the cost of the car ones...

Alternately you can get a non vehicle only one ... they are often a bit more rugged... the GPSMAP series is what I got... mine is waterproof, in fact it floats, it can be mounted on a motorcycle which you can get from Ram Mounts..... and best of all mine is one I can take camping or even up in a plane...

The GARMIN GPSMAP 60 and 76 series are really quite good... depending on the options you want (like altimeter or sailing maps etc...) you choose the model...

I got the Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx and love it.... it cost me about $270 a few years ago.... sure I can't play MP3s on it nor does it talk to me, but it does everything else very well... and the sensor system in it is very very very good compared to many other units...

I believe the GPSMAP 60 series were originally designed for the US Military too... and are in a bit more ruberized, rugged housing than the 76 series which is a combo unit which was designed with boating in mind since the case was designed to float...

There is not much difference between the two but the 76 has marine mapping options and floads... otherwise go for the gpsmap 60CSx it is cheaper by a fair amount.

or.... spend a bit more and get a larger dedicated bike one...


Garmin GPS are still among the best though....


Here is a link someone did on the GPSMAP 60 C (basic model CS and CSx have a lot more features and sensors)
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/gpsmap60c.htm
 

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Motorcycle is hostile environment for electronics.

Direct sunlight.
Rain ... Downpours ... Snow ... 30F to 100F+
ViBrAtIoN ... lots of frequencies.
Falling down ... crashing is a different story, especially the hard ones.

Does it have speech capability cause if it don't, you really expect to divert your attention that much to figure out where you are going?

My Zumo 550 lasted 3 years, died last week, sent them $200 dollar "repair" fee and they sent me a brand new one back with new software updates. <out of warranty>

I can easily use my gloved fingers to manipulate controls.
It comes off easily from the bike so it don't get ripped off.

I can use it in my truck and bike, as it comes with two mounts.

Finally ...

You get what you pay for.
Did you have one of the original release ones? I did and mine randomly quit out on my after 3 years, called Garmin up and they send me a new one for free. The first 2 batches had some issues that got cleared up.
 

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No, they charged me the fee.

What ticked me off was I lost all my "Favorites" ... I had some nice roads logged in the memory.

With the inherent software update, <did need to update>, I figure that I got the "new" one for a hundred and twenty bucks.

No regrets, it serves me well in business and fun.


As for the response to my comment about vibration above, a GPS made for a car mounted on a motorcycle will get a lot more shock and vibration than it was originally designed for.

Use bulbs for cars in your bike and they last a year or so, use M/C rated bulbs and they last 4 to 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the responses. Looks like a Garmin is what i will be looking for. I just don't know if i'm willing to spend alot of money on a motorcycle specific one. I don't think I will use it enough.
 

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Go with Garmin. If you want you can get the 750 or higher and use it as an mp3 player as well. It has a headphone jack if you aren't worried about riding with headphones on. It will interrupt the music when the gps needs to talk to you. Plus it has a speedometer and a trip counter and all that cool jazz. About $300.
 

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I am not saying not to do it with a cheaper one.

Just don't be surprised if it does not last more than a year or two.

One way of dealing with vibration is to find an iPod case and mount it on your wrist or forearm. You still have to figure out how to get power to it without interfering with your controls.

Mount it in the clear window of a tank bag ... because it is not hard mounted to a bike, the vibrations are not transmitted to the unit. There it will be protected by rain and the majority of harmful vibration.
 

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It's gonna be a cold day in hell before I cut loose with the coin they get for the Zumo's. Yeah, they're designed to be used with a gloved right hand and talk but they do the same thing as the others including the handhelds.

I bought a GPS 76CXi last year and it's great on a Ram mount on my SV and in my truck and on my ATV and in my hand when I'm on the trail. I have City Navigator NT installed on it as well as BlueChart Americas as it's the last line of preparation on my offshore boat which runs a Furuno Chart Plotter/Radar and a backup Garmin panel mount for redundancy.

Whatever you do, stick with the Garmins, they're top notch technology and service.
 

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If it's not too late for you, Garmin as two newer-ish versions of the Nuvi that are waterproof (IPX7): the Nuvi 500 and Nuvi 550. They list at $499, but the 500 is under $260 on Amazon as of today, with free shipping. I think that is a bargain, and I will probably be buying one of these myself. These units have a rechargeable lithium ion battery, so you may not even need to hard-wire them depending on how long your trips are (you could even get a second battery and swap them if you need power backup). They are designed for car, motorcycle and hiking use, so you can get a little more use out of than having a dedicated unit.

If you want to know the difference between the two units, join the club... The 500 comes with Topo maps, the 550 does not. Apparently the 550 inlcudes a full version of Mapsource, so you can do routes on your computer, while the 500 has a device-only version. You can buy the Topo for the 550 or you can buy the full version of Mapsource for the 500, so which one you start with depends on your needs. From a hardware and included accessory standpoint, I believe they are the same.

Edit for links:

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-550-3-5-Inch-Portable-Navigator/dp/B001CT009O/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1236357268&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-500-3-5-Inch-Portable-Navigator/dp/B001CSZSDI/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1236357268&sr=8-2
 

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I paid $100 for my tomtom one. I've never had a single issue with it getting wet or anything, and it works just fine. It's still a cheap $100 unit, and takes forever to update, but it doesn't have any extra complications or whathaveyou for being on my RAM mount on my bike.
 

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i have a tomtom rider 2. it works great, i have mounts on each bike with power, and in my truck. its been through downpours fine, direct sun, cold, etc.

that said, it was $500. you could always get an aquabox http://www.ram-mount.com/aqua_box_mount/aqua_box_mount.htm and slap in a regular GPS. dont know how long it would last though.
 
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