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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's face it, the days of "stand alone" GPS are nearing the end of their useful life.
I'm only using them because I have them. So many if fact, I may as well call it a collection.
Two- 3590LMT (cars)
Two- 3490LMT (bikes)
Two- GPSMAP 76CSx marine handheld with bluecharts (Seadoos)
Two- 2597LMT (originally for the kids cars which they don't even use)
One- built-in Garmin in our Jeep Wrangler

With the exception of the handhelds, all of these are now expendable.
Consequently, I would not go out and buy one today.
If it wasn't for those, my Smart Phone would already be cradled in the Navihalter bracket in lieu of a single purpose GPS.

About value if you're sill looking for a dedicated GPS:

IMHO, I think the Garmin Zumo GPS offers very little value for the price. It's basically a Nuvi that's waterproof. Seldom do you need your GPS in a downpour and if you do, cheap waterproof transparent pouches are available on ebay. My personal favorite is a zip-lock sandwich bag in my pocket.

Notwithstanding, if you really really want a waterproof Garmin, do look at the feature rich Montana line that's in the same price range. You can install all kinds of maps in those that you can use off-the-bike such Bluecharts for your boat, Topo, cycling trails, hiking with endless custom waypoints available on the net etc.
 

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It's nice to have a glove friendly device. Also, the phone doesnt do me any good when out of service since the maps typically arent stored on the phone. I agree the prices are stupid high, but they have a captive audience.
 

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On the phone, Google Maps works well and you can download areas of the world map to your phone prior to your trip and then you don't need cell access. I recently did this in Ireland. I wish that Waze had the same ability to download and store map segments so that you weren't reliant on cell coverage. I do like that Waze reports your current speed and compares it to the posted speed. The really good thing about Waze is the reporting of road and traffic conditions. Of course, cell connection is necessary for that capability.

I have an older Garmin Nuvo that still works well, but using it in full sun is impossible. I suppose I should craft some sort of shade housing for it. The same thing applies to my phone...really need a shade for it in order to be able to see it on the bike.
 

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When I really need a GPS, I need something that just works, not a multi-purpose device that can and does fail at being a GPS for a variety of reasons. The interface is clunky, they are indeed way to expensive, but for that once or twice a year when I need reliable navigation outside cellular data ranges, I turn to the purpose built system....and take a paper map as backup. All other times, it stays in it's case and the smartphone does the work.
 

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The new GARMIN OVERLANDER might be a good choice was released just last week.

Need someone to make a cradle as the stock magnetic mount on a bike is a bit scary.

 

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Motorcycle GPS's are overpriced crap. Pay twice as much and all you really get is waterproof car gps's. The interface is still designed for "take me to xxx" point and shoot, have poor route planning tools, very poor full sun visibility, and poor user interfaces compared to free services like google maps. Some have modest bike features like "twisty road" - that do occasionally work well but often mistake stop signs and right hand turns for twists.

Someone needs to do a 'Bluetooth phone touchscreen' that gives you a high visibility waterproof touchscreen display - then the pricing for standalone motorcycle GPS's would drop by about 90% overnight.
 

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A motorcycle GPS is more resistant to shock, and has a power connector that was rated for use in an outdoor vehicle mounted environment, on top of being waterproof and having an anti-glare screen, (at least the decent ones do). There is more to it than the admittedly crappy UI and features, you're paying for the engineering that went in to a purpose built product with a very small target market. Garmin hasn't released a new model since the 595LM four years ago, Tomtom is down to one model. Between smartphones and integrated GPS systems, the market is vanishing, so there isn't much reason to invest in improving the tech.

The privacy aspect is compelling to me, as well. Google is not our friend, and it's a small victory any time I can revoke their ability to monitor everything I do, same would go for Apple.
 

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Depends on where and how you ride in my experience.

After trying all sorts of GPS units, years ago I bit the bullet and bought a Zumo 660. The majority of miles I ride are on multi day trips in unfamiliar areas where cell phone coverage is spotty at best. Routes for these rides are pre-planned and 300+ miles/day with a different over night stop every day. While not perfect, the Zumo is the most fool proof solution I've found. Don't have to dick with it if it starts raining, doesn't matter what gloves I'm wearing and will accept any route I've loaded to it no matter how many waypoints are in the route and reproduce the route most accurately since most routes tend to be created for use on Garmins. I've found it worth every penny particularly considering how the over a decade of use I've gotten from it and the hundreds of days of riding I've used it on. Having spent too much time dicking around with a GPS preparing for or while on trips, makes minimizing this activity well worth the price.

I recently bought a Garmin Inreach Explorer as I've started to do some moderately challenging (pretty much impossible for a GS or MS to handle) solo off road riding in areas with no cellphone coverage. A Montana would be great, but the 2 way satellite communication capability of the Inreach is essential and I prefer to minimize the number of devices I carry since I carry very little riding these areas. Sometimes I don't carry a cellphone riding these areas, because without coverage a cellphone is worthless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
@ray916mn
+1 the Montana for the vehicles and the Garmin Inreach Explorer ( or the Rino if you need two-way radio) as handhelds would be the only Garmin units I would consider right now. I think we're very close to seeing smartphones where the GPS within can operate without cell coverage. They're definitely water resistant and some are waterproof.
 

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I've got the Garmin Zumo 395LM and love it. I agree that the "process" is usually the problem with getting a route setup but this has served me well.

1. Build a route in https://www.routeyou.com/
2. Sometimes I use google maps to zoom into a road I am interested in to see if it is gravel or not
3. Download the .gpx route from routeyou
4. Upload the route to TomTom My Drive website and convert it. Not sure why but this step is needed in order for my Garmin to understand the waypoints
5. Download the updated .gpx route from TomTom my drive to my laptop
6. Connect my GPS to the laptop and upload the route
7. Disconnect GPS from laptop and import using trip planner

This has served me well and the unit is usually smart enough that after I pass a way point it will let me skip it. And if it won't I can stop navigation and leave the route highlighted so I at least have the map.

Is it perfect? Nope. Is it a solution that works for me? Absolutely. And if I'm in an unfamiliar area, I have also built routes right on the GPS unit itself. Takes some time but it is doable.
 

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I gave up on dedicated GPS units a couple years ago. I use my iPhone with Copilot app. Copilot loads the map onto your phone (I have the entire US and Canada) and doesn't need cellular connectivity. As long as the phone's GPS grabs a signal you're golden. I like the way you can customize the calculated routes...I have a couple custom routing preferences (for the bike and the car) that can be accessed through one menu clicks. It integrates seamlessly with my Sena for verbal turn-by-turn directions. I can even customize an alarm to go off if I'm exceeding the speed limit by a specified amount. The app is free without Bluetooth directions...or about $10 with that feature turned on.
 

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I wouldn't go out and drop $500 on a motorcycle GPS, but I bought a brand new Garmin Zumo 390 on eBay a couple years ago for about $250. It's been a useful companion. I can have all my routes and tracks loaded in there, install it on the bike (which takes 2 seconds to click in), and ride. I don't need to dick with the finicky touchscreen on my phone with gloves, or the battery draining faster than it can charge, or the phone overheating, or rain, and I don't need to worry about cell coverage.

It's definitely not perfect; for one, I despise Garmin Basecamp. Somehow this engineer gets stuck with route planning for every trip, so it's nice to have an entire day's riding queued up. It removes any stress or delays due to navigation. On multi day trips I bring my laptop and upload the next day's route in the evening before bed. This allows us to stay flexible with our trip and plan the next night's destination based on the current situation, and not what we assumed would happen at the start. The Zumo connects to the bike, which connects to my Sena. It overrides any intercom chatter or music to give directions.
 

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I've been using Rever (https://rever.co) for a while with decent results. You can download offline maps in it based on pinch/zoom areas you're interested in as opposed to state-by-state and/or country. I've got a few downloaded map areas for roads around me where cell service is spotty and it works great. I also like being able to record my rides for later review or using that route again if I liked it the first time.
Their route creation isn't the greatest and I usually do that on my computer's browser instead of trying to do it on my phone. However, they also have the ability to do routing based on destination address that was added in sometime mid last year, I believe. Before that, I'd fire up Rever to record the ride and also fire up Waze or Google Maps to let me know how to get where I was going.
The Butler maps integration is nice on the paid version (around $6 US per month and I suspended the paid version over the winter while I wasn't riding, which was nice) for looking up fun roads in the area.
 

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I still prefer a stand alone unit and use a Garmin 660, I also had major problems with Basecamp but found this on youtube and it made life so much easier -
helps to simplify route planning and the understanding of terminology.
 

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It seems obvious after reading the posts in this thread that everyone has different needs or preferences when using electronic navigation, here are my observations:

Garmin Nuvi- No Bluetooth audio, unable to see the screen in bright sunlight, not waterproof but that was never an issue for me. The biggest gripe was lack of Bluetooth capability for my Sena, I much prefer audible directions and only glance at the screen occasionally.

iPhone- the iPhone was placed inside my tank bag and Bluetoothed to my headset while I used the Nuvi for the occasional visual reference, worked fairly well until I was in heavy traffic in Dallas trying to make an exit that I was unfamiliar with and in the middle of my directions I got a stinking phone call!

Garmin 590LM- Purchased refurbished from GPS City for $475.00 (retail was $995.00) two years ago. Awesome unit, larger display than the Nuvi, easy to read display, even in the bright sunlight, all of the routing features I could ever want, and the audio works well with my Sena, I can also link my phone, but set it so the GPS always takes priority, no more phone call interrupting directions! I like that it has plenty of storage for loading all of the routes, destination and return, as well as several days worth of rides.
 
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GPS

Using the Garmin 595 on the stock Multistrada GPS mount with a special power up lead only and it works extremly well, no issues with the maps and is waterproof. The Garmin mount has way to much cables, many YouTube videos showing how to change the cables, like the option for selecting the Motorcycle roads, CIAO
 

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Using the Garmin 595 on the stock Multistrada GPS mount with a special power up lead only and it works extremly well, no issues with the maps and is waterproof. The Garmin mount has way to much cables, many YouTube videos showing how to change the cables, like the option for selecting the Motorcycle roads, CIAO
Same here. Zumo 595. I tried every single navigation app on Google Play - all total garbage compared to 595. Cellphones have so many disadvantages compared to Zumo that I'd never consider using them for navigation:
1. Can't see anything in direct sunlight
2. Haven't seen any app that does map auto zoom motorcycle friendly way. When you ride any faster then 60 km/h the map is completely unreadable
3. Not waterproof. Not interested in stopping and putting the phone in a Ziploc when it starts raining
4. No powered cradle for the phone, need to connect a cable manually (extra step before every stop/ride)
5. At any time another screen can pop up on top of your navigation app and... the most important disadvantage!:
6. Touchscreen does NOT work with gloves! If something happens or just need to interact with the phone app - you need to stop and take off the gloves! Thanks, but no!

I use Zumo and cellphone together, so I can get life traffic and weather directly on GPS (obviously requires network).
Yes, I agree, that motorcycle GPS's are overpriced, but can't be compared to cheap cellphone navigation apps alternative.
If you learn how to use BaseCamp app (agree, not the most user friendly, but very powerful), understand the difference between waypoints and shape points, etc. - you'll love Zumo!
 

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Agree with all the pro gps comments. Add that once you are 60 you can see an old school gps easier.

Highly recommend checking out MyRouteapp.com. I’m an expert in basecamp and I’ve tried about every map app out there. I liked this one enough to buy lifetime gold subscription. The application just works. Intuitive has about 10 different map layers and will compare google map routes with Garmin so you don’t miss a necessary waypoint vs what your gps will want to do.

I always have fairly detailed routes with tons of waypoints. Phone apps don’t cut it. Unless you are doing point to point only and in a hurry. Even then I prefer a dedicated gps.

All that said I’d like to have the extra features and more robust latest zumo version. But I use a nuvi 1490. Cheap, with ram mount on a navihalter. Get them on eBay for $30. Cheap enough I have spares lol. I’m careful with its usb plug. I’ve hit it at the car wash and been in the rain with it it never missed a lick behind my windshield.
 
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