Car GPS mounted to bike

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#1
Anyone use a car GPS mounted to your bike ? If so , What make and model held up to the vibration and outdoor conditions ? Not looking to use one in the rain or everyday , but only as a cheap alternative to the more expensive motorcycle GPS.
 

RCinNC

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#2
I've been using the same Garmin Nuvi LM2455 for years now, in all kinds of weather, and to navigate all over the US. I did weatherproof it using a tutorial I found on Youtube. This particular Nuvi allows you to upload preplanned routes that you create with programs like Furkot, MyRoute, Tyre, etc. If you're shopping for a Garmin car based GPS, look for ones that have something called "Trip Planner". I believe all the Garmin 2400 and 2500 series GPS units have it, but best to check and be sure. The Trip Planner feature is what allows you to upload your own routes and get turn by turn directions.

One thing the Nuvi won't do is read a track, so they're useless for something like the downloadable MABDR track unless you know how to convert tracks to routes on something like Basecamp.

Here it is on my bike....

 

EricV

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#3
I use a Garmin dezl 760 trucking unit. Some duct tape and dielectric grease and it's been fine behind the Tenere's windscreen for a bunch of miles and an Alaska trip. I bag it if it's going to rain all day. $250 plus a Ram mount for it.

edit - Works just fine with gloves on. It has a audio out plug that can be fed to a CB or a dongle to transmit BT to Sena or other comm device. The dezl 770 has BT that works with Sena and other moto comm devices as well. (The 760 has BT, but is not compatible with moto comm. Works with trucker headsets, etc.)
 
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#4
Yep I have been using them for 8 years. What sucks is the older Garmins use to read tracks. I currently use the Drive 51. Between that and my iPhone i have done WBDRand the IBDR with ease.
 

regder

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#5
I used various Garmin Streetpilots (2720, 2820) for ten years and probably close to 200k km's, until I bit the bullet on a modern Zumo last year. These were Garmin's motorcycle gps before the Zumo series. Can be had for $20-40 through the usual sources for used stuff. They all work well except for the 2610, don't buy that.

As a straight up gps, the Streetpilots are absolutely phenomenal and give up almost nothing to a $1000 Zumo. I bought a Zumo 660 about eight years ago when my 2720 died mid trip, I sold it when I got back and bought another Streetpilot. Not for the costs, but I just liked the Streetpilot more. It is obvious that the Streetpilots was designed as functional tools, and things became dumbed down for Joe Blow after that.

The main downsides are
- Limited storage, you can update to the latest maps, but only have space for about 1/2-2/3 of the US at a time. A bit of a surprise when I crossed into Colorado a couple years ago and forgot I didn't have Colorado installed. 30 minutes at a Starbucks fixed that, and could have been easily avoided with some planning.
- No internal battery, so needs to get power off the bike or a power cable to work. Also no normal usb cable for power, needs a proprietary plug.
- To transfer data to and from Basecamp, requires you to have the gps plugged in for power, and a second usb cable to your computer.
- Big and clunky.
- None of the fancy features of a modern Zumo like tpms, media browser, traffic updates, weather, etc.
- They are almost 15 years old at this point so reliability is starting to become questionable. Each successive Streetpilot I bought seems to last less than the previous.

Besides that though, you get a very functional gps for gps stuff
- Fantastic UI, that is better than a brand new Zumo in some ways.
- Waterproof from the factory.
- Physical buttons. I miss this so much.
- A great feature that Garmin randomly forgets about that allows you to detour by road. They now call it "advanced detours". Streetpilots had it and it worked phenomenally, none of the Zumo's had it until the current generation after the 660, and it doesn't work as well.
- It just plain works. Build a 1000+ mile route on the gps? Sure. Need to insert a couple stops on a route? Easy peasy. Need to move the spots around to change the order? No sweat. It's actually easier to do this on a Streetpilot than my Zumo 595.
- They're so cheap and butt ugly that you have almost zero risk of someone stealing it. It really is a nice feeling being able to leave it on the bike whenever and wherever and not think twice about it.

Shameless plug if anyone is interested, I should have two or three of these things somewhere in the basement, with a RAM cradle or two, and a power wire or two.
 
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steve68steve

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#6
I've only ever used Garmin Nuvi car GPS's on my motos.

They have their limitations, but they're cheap and easily replaced. Everything is a compromise/ you get what you pay for.
 
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#7
I used a couple car GPS's and they work but they is some limitations
Using with a glove on, almost impossible, No GPS commands to your headset, not waterproof, no MP3 player, poor battery life if you want to take it for a hike.
I ended up after wasting my money on two different Car GPs's buying a Garmin 395LM. Yes over priced, but its designed to work on the bike, does all the above + tire pressure monitor, oil change monitor, records you gpx tracks for you.. Awsome wouldn't be without it now.
 

SilverBullet

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#9
I've been using the same Garmin Nuvi LM2455 for years now, in all kinds of weather, and to navigate all over the US. I did weatherproof it using a tutorial I found on Youtube...
I use a very similar Nuvi 2555. Bought it used on Ebay 5-6 years ago for $80 with lifetime maps. I'm familar with the YT waterproofing but have never done it. It's seen lots of rain but nestled directly behind my windshield it hardly gets wet unless I stop moving. Then I pop it out of the RAM cradle and into my pocket or tankbag.

I mainly use it on the fly for POI planning (gas stops, rest areas, parks, campgrounds, stores, restaurants, hotels, etc.) Also for calculating time and miles if curious but seldom leave screen displayed more than a few minutes at a time unless riding in big city downtown traffic which I try and avoid at almost all costs.

If following tracks I use OsmAnd on my cell phone. Can BT turn by turn to my helmet if desired. I have another RAM cradle for it and mount it low on the handlebars for better protection.


Sent from my SM-G860P using Tapatalk
 

RCinNC

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#10
I might upgrade to a 2555; the older 2400 series are getting a little harder to find on ebay. I have two of the 2455 units; one always goes with me on trips as a backup, preprogrammed with whatever routes I'm following.

I have a smart phone/GPS setup just like yours, but use them differently. My GPS is my main navigation unit, and my phone is what I normally use to find POIs (usually using Google Maps). The smart phone is way better to find things like "gas stations near me". I also have OsmAnd on the phone (and now I'm experimenting with Locus Pro), and I do upload the identical routes to it as I have on the GPS units when I go on a trip. And yes, I do realize that's NASA levels of redundancy.

I still prefer the GPS to navigate with. I rarely take it off the bike when I'm away from it like I do with a smart phone; even the most desperate thief probably won't see much value in a 7+ year old GPS. It's pretty weather resistant. I've been in downpours with it that I'd have never been comfortable exposing my phone to. My Nuvi has served me well, and from what I've heard about the new Zumos, spending $500 or $600 on a motorcycle oriented GPS doesn't sound like the best idea.

Here's my phone setup, in a homemade mount:

 
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#11
Used a Nuvi 1390 and 1300 on a couple of bikes and had connectivity issues from vibration with both.
The powered cradles on the Zumos don't have this problem as far as I know.
 

EricV

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#12
The Refub units are a good deal and essentially brand new. That's what I did. 7" screen is nice, glove friendly, and many of the more recent ones will blue tooth connect to moto comms. The dezl series has 5" and 7" models. You can select truck, RV or auto. I don't need the height specific warnings and load warnings, so auto works just fine. I even downloaded a free motorcycle icon for the display, (from Garmin), and have lifetime maps. Some have hooked up IR cameras to the plug for the back up camera too! Not my thing, but it works well, I'm told.

Sure, I miss real buttons. But I don't miss outdated maps, listening to "recalculating" for miles or the silly Garmin Jane telling me to turn around for 30 miles until she re-calculates to the route I'm actually taking.

Bonus, the RAM mount has a built in sun shade and helps waterproof and secure the GPS unit. If your budget is really cheap, find get some old unit for sub $100 and be happy with it's limitations. If you want something with current maps that you can upgrade and fit all of the US in, plus have actual warranty and factory assistance if needed, check out the auto, truck and refurb versions of those GPS units. Or just buy a 390LM and be done with it. It only hurts once when you buy it, after that, it's done. ;)

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_497.jpg
 

RCinNC

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#13
Used a Nuvi 1390 and 1300 on a couple of bikes and had connectivity issues from vibration with both.
The powered cradles on the Zumos don't have this problem as far as I know.
This was my solution to the connectivity and vibration issues on the car based units....







This mini USB connections are fragile, and this method to secure them has worked for me for years. The cable can't move, so it can't vibrate excessively inside the mini USB port. The bracket and velcro strap act like a cable strain reliever, which is what a unit like this needs.
 

thughes317

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#15
Garmin Nuvi 2597 with lifetime maps snapped into a RAM mount, it does the job. I haven't bothered to waterproof it but as SilverBullet stated, it's pretty safe and out of the worst of the weather tucked behind the windshield. Mainly use it for urban navigation, I use a 7" Nexxus tablet running OsmAnd in a Perfect Squeeze mount when the situation dictates a more robust navigation option.
 
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#16
Really interesting! I’m looking into that way right now because I’m not ready to spend 700-1000$ on a Montana 680 or a Zumo. I’ve seen somewhere that the Nuvi 2595lmt isn’t bad for a moto. Found a used one (almost new) with lifetime maps for 75$.
 

thughes317

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#17
You can't go wrong at $75 for the 25xx LMT. It is a solid unit with a bunch of great features including BT connectivity to your phone or comm unit for T-B-T navigation, traffic and weather alerts, upcoming POI's/food/gas/etc, ability to control a music player app on your phone, and some other stuff that I'm probably forgetting. Downside is you can't install your own custom maps but at that price, who cares?
 

RonH

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#18
I tried a nuvi once, and luckily gave it a quick test ziptying it on just to get an idea if it would be good enough to use. It was no good at all because the screen was pretty much unreadable out in sunlight or even out in cloud cover. It wasn't made to be used out in the sunlight. This was not a very expensive model though. I took it off right away, as it was not going to cut it.
I buy things anymore and look at purchase price over time and even $1000 is really nothing. Say it lasts you 10years, that is $100 a year or a little over a quarter a day. For a quarter a day I just buy the motorcycle unit that works much better. They are less than $1000 even for the best ones. Just get the right unit, worth the expense.
 
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#20
It was no good at all because the screen was pretty much unreadable out in sunlight or even out in cloud cover. It wasn't made to be used out in the sunlight. This was not a very expensive model though. I took it off right away, as it was not going to cut it.
I buy things anymore and look at purchase price over time and even $1000 is really nothing. Say it lasts you 10years, that is $100 a year or a little over a quarter a day. For a quarter a day I just buy the motorcycle unit that works much better. They are less than $1000 even for the best ones. Just get the right unit, worth the expense.
I have come to the same conclusion... Going cheap is not always the best option if it doesn't do what you want. There are used or refurbished Zumo's out there. There is no way in hell I'm pulling over every time it rains to put a sandwich bag over my gps, or take it down when it rains.. I wanted it to navigate, not be in my pocket when it rains. When I'm on a trip or and area I don't know and its raining that's when I need it the most. Good luck using a car gps or cell phone in the rain with a gortex gloves on. I tried the other alternatives, the only one that accually did what I needed was the Zumo.
 
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