Q for the iWay Lowrance 500c Users... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 7 Old Aug 4th, 2006, 12:13 pm Thread Starter
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Q for the iWay Lowrance 500c Users...

CNet and a dozen others say the Lowrance iWay 500C is a fantastic system, top rated for function and ease of use, etc. Added bonus, it can be had for WELL under $500.

I'm shopping, and two places have told me "you don't WANT that for a motorcycle because it's hard-drive based" (hitting bumps could in theory cause data loss as read/write heads MAY physically strike the hard drive--although wouldn't that also be a possibility in a CAR, i wondered then and now?)

Since I am on a budget, and frankly the reviews on the lowrance are exceptional (go to http://www.cnet.com and click on reviews), I am wondering for those of you who have had them for more than a few months:

1. Have you had any problems with the devices?

2. Would you repeat your purchase knowing what you know now?

I'm buying one of those or a garmin 2730, but paying $453 for the lowrance sounds a lot nicer if no one has negatives about them.....

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post #2 of 7 Old Aug 4th, 2006, 1:52 pm
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Thumbs up Lowrance

I have the 350i with no problems for over a year, I would buy again, it's not water proof so I put a baggy over it when it rains.

John L Bass
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post #3 of 7 Old Aug 4th, 2006, 2:56 pm
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All bullshit. I have had an Iway 500c on my bike for over a year with no problems.

I would buy it again
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post #4 of 7 Old Aug 9th, 2006, 8:46 pm
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My ridding buddy has one on his wing and he uses it on his H-D ulotra also, no problems but man is it heavy!

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post #5 of 7 Old Aug 11th, 2006, 7:43 pm
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So who has the best price on the iWay 500C?

Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
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post #6 of 7 Old Aug 18th, 2006, 9:54 pm
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I've had the iWay 500 C on the LT for over a year now. No problems with the hard drive and vibration, but I would not buy the unit again for other reasons. Maybe I have gotten lemons, but the first unit I got had a terrible buzz in the audio system. I sent it back, got a replacement, and it also has a buzz. At first I thought it was a ground loop problem, so I followed the suggestions about hooking it directly to the battery, running wire for its own circuit rather than tapping into another wire, etc. No improvement. Now I notice that a faint but audible buzz is there even before I turn on the bike, so it is not alternator induced. I can live with it, but it is irksome. More problematic is that the voice instructions are wrong fairly frequently, telling me to turn in the wrong direction, even when the directional arrow on the screen is correct. I have to glance at the screen at almost every turn in unknown territory, can't trust the voice. The thing takes a year to lock onto satellites when I start out in the morning. If you leave it on the bike in moderately cold temps the screen is almost black until it warms up. It is not, of course, waterproof, and it ain't very water resistant either; a light rain for 10 minutes and it was completely locked up, wouldn't even turn off. It's algorythm for calculating a new route if I go off route usually starts with "Make U-turn," and often will stay with that instruction for miles, or will direct me down a side road and back in a circle to the point that I left the original route. Updated maps have not been made available yet. There is no software with the unit to develop a route on the computer and download it to the unit. So, it has been altogether less than satisfactory. On the other hand, the mp3 player has worked well, and it does eventually get me where I want to go if I ignore it for long enough, so if the price is right it could well be worth it.

Guilford, CT
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post #7 of 7 Old Aug 21st, 2006, 2:00 pm
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I wouldn't worry too much about the hard drive. Those same people wouldn't have any problem selling you an iPod for the bike, and it uses a hard drive, (the >5GB models at least). As long as you're not strapping it on a true off-road destined bike, those GPS hard drives are shock-mounted to take some abuse, (more than I can say for an iPod). I have a Garmin 2620. I opened it up to take a peek. The HD is encased in a "padded cell" of sorts and the unit itself looks specially made for rugged use. Many avionics devices use hard drives and small aircraft are relentlessly bumpy/buzzy.

I considered the iWay for a bargain GPS but decided against it for two reasons: Size, It's just a little too chunky for my tastes. And, too many reports of bad directions/routing. A GPS can have all the cool gizmos and geegaws, but if it gives unreliable directions, it's sort of pointless.

All the GPS makers license the same Navtec cartographic software for their base maps. It's how they execute routing and navigation that set them apart. Garmin seems to have the best routing algorithms according to reviews. I realize that the bad iWay route anecdotes could have been related to the specific conditions or locations when the unit was tested, I just didn't want to chance it.
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