Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Apollo Beach, FL, USA
Having went through this exact decision over the last couple of months, let me share my experience.
I have a number of trip routes that I have built using routeyou.com. Years ago, I used to just print up instructions with LEFT, RIGHT, STRAIGHT etc and put it in a clear map pocket on my tank bag. Worked great for what I needed at the time. With the advancements in technology, I decided to revisit my approach and started with the TomTom GO app on my phone. Built my GPS route, downloaded as a GPX file and uplaoded to the TomTom MyDrive online which then syncs to the app on your phone. It worked great and as long as your way points were far enough apart it did a decent job re-routing you if you decided to take a different turn than originally planned.
I used that setup for a couple of months and was very happy with it until I bought my Sena Bluetooth headset. The problem with the setup was anytime you asked Pandora to play some music, the phone switched out of TomTom Go app and over to the Google Assistant to launch Pandora. And there was no way to go back to TomTom or Waze.
So, after some research, I bought a Garmin Zumo 395. The benefit of this setup is I can set my phone for playing music and have the dedicated GPS unit. Sometimes I turn on the voice prompts and sometimes I turn them off because they do interrupt the music and to be honest, I just need the map with the route. I just got back from a 180 mile trip with a couple buddies and it worked flawlessly. We had group intercom going all day and I was able to follow my pre-planned route. We even got off the route twice and the Garmin just routed us to the next waypoint. I think the secret is to minimize your waypoints.
And here is another great tip. Before you head out open up the Waze app on your phone and it will come over the top of your music and tell you a cop is up ahead. Even though you can't see it since you stash it away and use your GPS instead, Waze will still run in the background if you have cell service.
So, that is my .02 cents. While the Garmin units don't get great reviews, my 395 did exactly what I needed it to do.
Ryan - Apollo Beach, FL
2013 Multistrada Pikes Peak