Garmin is a negative pressure company - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 19 Old Jul 18th, 2015, 3:09 pm Thread Starter
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Garmin is a negative pressure company

i.e. Garmin sucks.
I did not search for all of the posts regarding the Zumo 665LM, but I can tell you that I for one am NOT happy with mine.
There are numerous design flaws with this unit. First and foremost, the unit is severely UNBRIGHT. Unless you have it in a small cave on your console, it is impossibly dim. Why? Because I wear prescription sunglasses when I ride. Who doesn't wear sunglasses? So, was that a design consideration for the 665? I expect not.
2. Why would they design this unit so that to connect it to your home computer, you have to take the battery cover off? It makes NO sense whatever. Garmin told me it was so that the connector wouldn't be exposed to the elements. I had a street pilot 2820 which had a small rubber cover on it. In 9 years, it never got wet even though I was in some seriously heavy downpours up in Wyoming. And everyone knows there are no shelters anywhere in that state. If it rains, you get wet. And, to make it worse, the battery tends to fall out it you have it turned so as to view the screen. How inconvenient.
3. I have an iMac which I've been using since 2005 (actually it was a Macbook Pro back then) to design my custom routes, and then download them to the GPS. The Zumo 665 doesn't even come close to working as easily as the SP2820. On it, you hit the download button and a few minutes later, it was on the SP. WIth the 665, you first have to download it to the 665, then you have to get on the 665 and "import" it. That sounds simple, but in actual practice, it seldom works correctly. I've been using computers (PCs to Macs to Unix devices) since 1963 and this device is the first one that I ever experienced this much frustration with in my entire career. Garmin told me (I swear on my parent's graves this is true) that BaseCamp is incompatible with the iMac. So, I loaded Parallels on my iMac and windows 7, just so that I could run the Window version of BaseCamp. Guess what, it's just as unreliable.
4. The main CPU chip in the 665 is slower that the very first PC I ever used. It is DOG slow. My old SP2820 was twice as fast at calculating a new route. And, to top it off, any extra RAM you add is only used for music and photos, not more maps. Plus, and here's the REAL KICKER. I asked for BaseCamp to calculate a route from San Ysidro, CA to Key West FL. Done. I download it to the 665 and guess what? It says route is too long (), boo hoo, it will be truncated. I can tell you for certain, that my SP2820 NEVER truncated any routes, regardless of their length.
5. The 665 cost me over $1,000.00 including the secure, key operated mount. I'm having my head examined for being stupid enough to pay that amount for this worthless GPS unit. Someone on this site did mention that GPS units are now in the same category as 8Track tape players, Betamax, etc. I love the post that shows one rider's iPhone in the tank bag. Instant waterproof mount. Awesome!

Ok, so I just wanted to vent. I hate this GPS. I hate that I spent over $1000.00 on it. I hate that there's no "try before youi buy" for Garmin products. You spend your money and if it doesn't work, Oh well, Sorry. I've been using my iPhone in my auto and have never had any problems on the road. Works flawlessly. However, it does present a couple of challenges on the bike. Gloves, etc. I'm seriously thinking that I'll put the 665 on the bike and use it as a speedometer and that's about it.

Garmin should be ashamed of themselves. I know they're in business to make money, but they must be clearing $950 profit per unit. The central chip is probably a cast off that didn't work in something else and someone said "Hey! Let's use it in a GPS and charge mega-bucks for it." That guy has probably retired rich from Garmin by now.

If you've read all the way to here, you must have a 665 story as well.

Triker
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post #2 of 19 Old Jul 18th, 2015, 5:43 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

I'm a casual user, but I agree with what you are saying.... MY gripe though, is the dim screen and the fact that in just about any sunlight, the screen is washed out and useless in the console of my K1600. If it were not for the audio, it would be worthless. MY problem is probably about 1/2 Garmin 1/2 BMW. If the console was not fixed, there might be a way to make an adjustment, but that isan't the way it was designed. One size has to fit all.

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post #3 of 19 Old Jul 18th, 2015, 6:15 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triker View Post
i.e. Garmin sucks.
I did not search for all of the posts regarding the Zumo 665LM, but I can tell you that I for one am NOT happy with mine.
There are numerous design flaws with this unit. First and foremost, the unit is severely UNBRIGHT. Unless you have it in a small cave on your console, it is impossibly dim. Why? Because I wear prescription sunglasses when I ride. Who doesn't wear sunglasses? So, was that a design consideration for the 665? I expect not.
2. Why would they design this unit so that to connect it to your home computer, you have to take the battery cover off? It makes NO sense whatever. Garmin told me it was so that the connector wouldn't be exposed to the elements. I had a street pilot 2820 which had a small rubber cover on it. In 9 years, it never got wet even though I was in some seriously heavy downpours up in Wyoming. And everyone knows there are no shelters anywhere in that state. If it rains, you get wet. And, to make it worse, the battery tends to fall out it you have it turned so as to view the screen. How inconvenient.
3. I have an iMac which I've been using since 2005 (actually it was a Macbook Pro back then) to design my custom routes, and then download them to the GPS. The Zumo 665 doesn't even come close to working as easily as the SP2820. On it, you hit the download button and a few minutes later, it was on the SP. WIth the 665, you first have to download it to the 665, then you have to get on the 665 and "import" it. That sounds simple, but in actual practice, it seldom works correctly. I've been using computers (PCs to Macs to Unix devices) since 1963 and this device is the first one that I ever experienced this much frustration with in my entire career. Garmin told me (I swear on my parent's graves this is true) that BaseCamp is incompatible with the iMac. So, I loaded Parallels on my iMac and windows 7, just so that I could run the Window version of BaseCamp. Guess what, it's just as unreliable.
4. The main CPU chip in the 665 is slower that the very first PC I ever used. It is DOG slow. My old SP2820 was twice as fast at calculating a new route. And, to top it off, any extra RAM you add is only used for music and photos, not more maps. Plus, and here's the REAL KICKER. I asked for BaseCamp to calculate a route from San Ysidro, CA to Key West FL. Done. I download it to the 665 and guess what? It says route is too long (), boo hoo, it will be truncated. I can tell you for certain, that my SP2820 NEVER truncated any routes, regardless of their length.
5. The 665 cost me over $1,000.00 including the secure, key operated mount. I'm having my head examined for being stupid enough to pay that amount for this worthless GPS unit. Someone on this site did mention that GPS units are now in the same category as 8Track tape players, Betamax, etc. I love the post that shows one rider's iPhone in the tank bag. Instant waterproof mount. Awesome!

Ok, so I just wanted to vent. I hate this GPS. I hate that I spent over $1000.00 on it. I hate that there's no "try before youi buy" for Garmin products. You spend your money and if it doesn't work, Oh well, Sorry. I've been using my iPhone in my auto and have never had any problems on the road. Works flawlessly. However, it does present a couple of challenges on the bike. Gloves, etc. I'm seriously thinking that I'll put the 665 on the bike and use it as a speedometer and that's about it.

Garmin should be ashamed of themselves. I know they're in business to make money, but they must be clearing $950 profit per unit. The central chip is probably a cast off that didn't work in something else and someone said "Hey! Let's use it in a GPS and charge mega-bucks for it." That guy has probably retired rich from Garmin by now.

If you've read all the way to here, you must have a 665 story as well.
Quit being subtle and tell us how you really feel. I feel your pain. I feel the same way about Basecamp. What an unintuitive piece of software.
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post #4 of 19 Old Jul 18th, 2015, 6:42 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvallis View Post
Quit being subtle and tell us how you really feel. I feel your pain. I feel the same way about Basecamp. What an unintuitive piece of software.
Can't argue about Basecamp! I do like my NAV V though; I got a BMR shelf no only to hold goodies, but also provide shade for the GPS. I don't have the model the OP was describing. I did buy an aftermarket shade for my old 2620 I had on my LT. Seems like just about any GPS gets washed out in the sun.

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post #5 of 19 Old Jul 18th, 2015, 7:09 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvallis View Post
Quit being subtle and tell us how you really feel. I feel your pain. I feel the same way about Basecamp. What an unintuitive piece of software.
While not intuitive, BaseCamp has much to offer if you take the time to learn it. There are many online tutorials that can walk you through it if you have the desire. The biggest advantage IMHO. is the way you can download and store POI locations for wherever you are traveling and then easily incorporate them into your trip. It is also easy to download GPX files from other sources and then modify those waypoints to suit your own needs. If you are serious about planning interesting rides, it is great software. The greater the pain, the greater the gain.


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post #6 of 19 Old Jul 18th, 2015, 9:40 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

I have to agree with the original post - GPSs have come a long way but are still very lacking in both hardware, firmware and software. Of all the modern smart devices out there, GPSs disapoints the most.
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post #7 of 19 Old Jul 19th, 2015, 7:10 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Quote:
Originally Posted by yattr View Post
I have to agree with the original post - GPSs have come a long way but are still very lacking in both hardware, firmware and software. Of all the modern smart devices out there, GPSs disapoints the most.
Between smart phones and built-in sat/navs in cars, Garmin has to be on the downside of the bell curve. Probably one user in 100 uses Base Camp or plans a route for a GPS. It's just business.
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post #8 of 19 Old Jul 20th, 2015, 8:16 am
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

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Originally Posted by alanrd View Post
Between smart phones and built-in sat/navs in cars, Garmin has to be on the downside of the bell curve. Probably one user in 100 uses Base Camp or plans a route for a GPS. It's just business.
I certainly agree that smart phone nav capability and OEM navigation has been a welcome addition. However, call me old fashioned if you like, but I still prefer being able to use my computer to make my travel plans and build a route to my liking rather than simply identifying a destination and letting some algorithm, developed by a geek in a foreign country, determine my route. I too was a heavy MapSource user and avoided Base Camp for a long while. Eventually however, I bit the bullet and suffered through a few days of pain while climbing the steep ramp up the Base Camp learning curve. I certainly have not mastered the full capability of the new software but, with a few exceptions, I now prefer it over Mapsource.
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post #9 of 19 Old Jul 20th, 2015, 10:24 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanrd View Post
Between smart phones and built-in sat/navs in cars, Garmin has to be on the downside of the bell curve. Probably one user in 100 uses Base Camp or plans a route for a GPS. It's just business.
I disagree. I think you will find most owners use the trip planning or route planning on GPS for motorcycles. Stop whinging and learn Basecamp . It really is very simple to use.


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post #10 of 19 Old Jul 21st, 2015, 12:43 am
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

I have had a BMW Nav IV, and a lower spec Nuvi 220 (now deceased.) In terms of capability the Nav IV had more capabilities, and possibilities.

I don't use the Nav IV to its fullest extent, but I use the track function, & routing functions frequently.

I think if you want to go from A-B you will buy a lower spec model, if you want routing etc you tend to go for devices that can do these things. (Unless you have more money than sense!)

Basecamp / Mapsource are both rather difficult programs to learn. However if you invest time learning them it pay dividends. (If you know one then other is not so hard to learn - the biggest difference is: One stores everything in one place, then other stores it in separate files. Photos for me are available in the foyer along with matches! )

Could Garmin do better? Yes. However I think they are doing better than the nearest alternative Tom Tom. (Now the Tom Tom users want my blood!)

Just my 2p worth!

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post #11 of 19 Old Jul 22nd, 2015, 9:14 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Owned many Garmins for the past 14 years - now run the Zumo
590LM and the only problem is who selected the pastel screen colors.
They are idiots . . . the screen is dull, dull. Sun-light readable -
wrong!! They in fact lied or distorted the facts about screen brightness.
If you look at their real professional airline gear and navigation
equipment the saturation of screen colors allows for outstanding
details in night and daytime - very vivid and precise. The 590 maps are
muted in color, the fonts are huge - for blind people and the over all look
and feel of the screen is unprofessional looking.



You get my point - wish I had a better alternative. All other
capabilities and functions of the 590 are outstanding.
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post #12 of 19 Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 7:56 am
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Hey Triker, My 2820 is still chugging along albeit it's starting to have quirks. Ever since meeting you and your wife at Sprague Lake in Colorado, I wondered if an upgrade would be in order. Guess I'll just have to keep it now until smoke rolls out of it....... It's like the old Timex slogan use to state "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking"

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post #13 of 19 Old Jul 23rd, 2015, 10:19 am
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

I have the Nav 5 on my rt, no where near as good as the old outdated 276c on the LT and that is the best GPS I ever had, 276,376 and 478 Garmin's are the only readable ones in the direct sunlight. Direct sunlight makes them easier to read, to bad they no longer make or service them and have no new map sets for them, you need map source for those and you have to download county's or regions of the area your going to if you want all the side roads, I don't think there is a flash card big enough for the whole country but I could be wrong.

Still the best in my opinion of all the garmins and they accept blue charts if you have a boat, I have two, one in my boat and one on the LT.
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post #14 of 19 Old Aug 16th, 2015, 8:02 am
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

I have the 478 and love it. I did run into the memory problem with the last update of maps and am not real happy. I also refuse to pay the stupid cost of the custom memory cartridges.

Eventually they will make another marine unit that can be adapted to motorcycle street usage.

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post #15 of 19 Old Mar 11th, 2019, 8:49 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triker View Post
i.e. Garmin sucks.
I did not search for all of the posts regarding the Zumo 665LM, but I can tell you that I for one am NOT happy with mine.
There are numerous design flaws with this unit. First and foremost, the unit is severely UNBRIGHT. Unless you have it in a small cave on your console, it is impossibly dim. Why? Because I wear prescription sunglasses when I ride. Who doesn't wear sunglasses? So, was that a design consideration for the 665? I expect not.
2. Why would they design this unit so that to connect it to your home computer, you have to take the battery cover off? It makes NO sense whatever. Garmin told me it was so that the connector wouldn't be exposed to the elements. I had a street pilot 2820 which had a small rubber cover on it. In 9 years, it never got wet even though I was in some seriously heavy downpours up in Wyoming. And everyone knows there are no shelters anywhere in that state. If it rains, you get wet. And, to make it worse, the battery tends to fall out it you have it turned so as to view the screen. How inconvenient.
3. I have an iMac which I've been using since 2005 (actually it was a Macbook Pro back then) to design my custom routes, and then download them to the GPS. The Zumo 665 doesn't even come close to working as easily as the SP2820. On it, you hit the download button and a few minutes later, it was on the SP. WIth the 665, you first have to download it to the 665, then you have to get on the 665 and "import" it. That sounds simple, but in actual practice, it seldom works correctly. I've been using computers (PCs to Macs to Unix devices) since 1963 and this device is the first one that I ever experienced this much frustration with in my entire career. Garmin told me (I swear on my parent's graves this is true) that BaseCamp is incompatible with the iMac. So, I loaded Parallels on my iMac and windows 7, just so that I could run the Window version of BaseCamp. Guess what, it's just as unreliable.
4. The main CPU chip in the 665 is slower that the very first PC I ever used. It is DOG slow. My old SP2820 was twice as fast at calculating a new route. And, to top it off, any extra RAM you add is only used for music and photos, not more maps. Plus, and here's the REAL KICKER. I asked for BaseCamp to calculate a route from San Ysidro, CA to Key West FL. Done. I download it to the 665 and guess what? It says route is too long (), boo hoo, it will be truncated. I can tell you for certain, that my SP2820 NEVER truncated any routes, regardless of their length.
5. The 665 cost me over $1,000.00 including the secure, key operated mount. I'm having my head examined for being stupid enough to pay that amount for this worthless GPS unit. Someone on this site did mention that GPS units are now in the same category as 8Track tape players, Betamax, etc. I love the post that shows one rider's iPhone in the tank bag. Instant waterproof mount. Awesome!

Ok, so I just wanted to vent. I hate this GPS. I hate that I spent over $1000.00 on it. I hate that there's no "try before youi buy" for Garmin products. You spend your money and if it doesn't work, Oh well, Sorry. I've been using my iPhone in my auto and have never had any problems on the road. Works flawlessly. However, it does present a couple of challenges on the bike. Gloves, etc. I'm seriously thinking that I'll put the 665 on the bike and use it as a speedometer and that's about it.

Garmin should be ashamed of themselves. I know they're in business to make money, but they must be clearing $950 profit per unit. The central chip is probably a cast off that didn't work in something else and someone said "Hey! Let's use it in a GPS and charge mega-bucks for it." That guy has probably retired rich from Garmin by now.

If you've read all the way to here, you must have a 665 story as well.



Okay, I've read all the responses, and for those that disagree, that's fine by me. Spend your money on a sorry piece of hardware if you like. Personally, I really messed up by not sending it back for a refurbished before the warranty ran out. However, I wasn't riding as much and didn't have the need. That said, I'll mention a couple of other things before I go "quietly into the night".


First, I didn't mean to leave the impression that Nasecamp was the culprit. Not in the least. I learned all the "new" ways of planning routes in it and was pleased with the results. I must have used some incorrect terminology in my first rant. No, it's the getting the output of basecamp into the 665LM. What other manufacturer creates a device that can connect to a computer and then designs it like the 665LM? Others? Haven't looked at any other GPSes for motorcycles. Why for instance, did they put the connetor for the cable under the battery cover? and why when you are plugged in, do you have to position it just so, so that the battery doesn't fall out? And why does the battery need to be plugged in while you're connected to the computer? To me that is the biggest and stupidest design flaw of the thing.


I'll reiterate this point. When you downloaded a route and waypoints to the old Streetpilot 2820, as soon as the download completed, they could be used. For this "NEW" 665 LM, not only do they have to be downloaded, they then have to be imported before use. Why is that?


And the point I failed to stress enough the first time around, is that there is NO provision for adding memory for routes and waypoints. And further, when creating a new route, why does Basecamp say a route is "too long"? Or maybe its that the route is too long for the 665LM. Never the case for my 2820 with a 2GB memory card inserted. I had over 50 different routes and several hundred waypoints on my 2820.


What I'm really trying to say is that I think the 665LM is under-powered (slow chip, OLD technology), under-bright, and yes, I used my old 2820 shade to make it easier to read on sunny days. And for twice the price, and same or handicapped features.



As of a month ago, my 665LM is now totally corrupted. When trying to power it on, it does nothing but reboot. I'm really not thrilled about the idea of sending it for repair to Garmin. I can onky feel that they'll charge me not only the arm and leg, but probably more on the order of two of each. Not a pleasant prospect. If they do right by me, then I'll update my post. The comments regarding the completely incompetent design and execution of what was supposed to be an upgrade still stand as ranted.

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post #16 of 19 Old Mar 12th, 2019, 12:12 am
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

So you reopened a 3 1/2 year old thread just to repeat the same old bitching?

Well OK then...

I'm currently running a pair of Nav VI units to route for the Iron Butt Rally. That's a couple hundred waypoints spread all over North America.

I can drag and drop a route in minutes that covers dozens of waypoints and 3-6 days riding over thousands of miles. I can use the second unit to play out scenarios on the road, adding, dropping, and reordering points to maximize my routing efficiency. And I can set four custom data slots on the main screen to make sure that I remain on pace and don't miss a turn.

Both GPS units work flawlessly, even in bright sunlight. Note the Nav VI offers notable improvements in speed and screen clarity over the Nav V, Nav IV, and zūmo 665 units I've used previously.

Sometimes I do miss some of the features of the iWay 660C gps units that I relied on for many years, but the current crop of Garmin units have far surpassed those, and easily beat the hell out of using my smartphone for complicated multi-waypoint routes.

Now I did have an issue where one Nav VI didn't recognize the USB port, meaning that I couldn't connect to the computer for map or firmware updates. I contacted Garmin chat, explained the issue, sent the unit back using their pre-paid label, and now have another Nav VI on it's way back to me at no charge.

Yes, these GPS units are expensive, especially with the BMW logo attached. But they do work. And when they don't you can get a free replacement.

Can't really beat that kind of customer service...
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post #17 of 19 Old Mar 12th, 2019, 7:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

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Originally Posted by meese View Post
So you reopened a 3 1/2 year old thread just to repeat the same old bitching?

Well OK then...

I'm currently running a pair of Nav VI units to route for the Iron Butt Rally. That's a couple hundred waypoints spread all over North America.

I can drag and drop a route in minutes that covers dozens of waypoints and 3-6 days riding over thousands of miles. I can use the second unit to play out scenarios on the road, adding, dropping, and reordering points to maximize my routing efficiency. And I can set four custom data slots on the main screen to make sure that I remain on pace and don't miss a turn.

Both GPS units work flawlessly, even in bright sunlight. Note the Nav VI offers notable improvements in speed and screen clarity over the Nav V, Nav IV, and zūmo 665 units I've used previously.

Sometimes I do miss some of the features of the iWay 660C gps units that I relied on for many years, but the current crop of Garmin units have far surpassed those, and easily beat the hell out of using my smartphone for complicated multi-waypoint routes.

Now I did have an issue where one Nav VI didn't recognize the USB port, meaning that I couldn't connect to the computer for map or firmware updates. I contacted Garmin chat, explained the issue, sent the unit back using their pre-paid label, and now have another Nav VI on it's way back to me at no charge.

Yes, these GPS units are expensive, especially with the BMW logo attached. But they do work. And when they don't you can get a free replacement.

Can't really beat that kind of customer service...

You may have noticed that I never referred to any of my GPSes as a Nav X. I only had the one on my new LT back in 2005. When it died, they (Garmin) replaced it with the 2820. After that, I dealt only with Garmin, I'm beginning to think that BMW had some input on how Garmin devices with their Logo/name on them. Wish I'd gone with a Nav unit when I got the 665LM. Sounds like they were not really related. Anyway, that's water under the bridge. I promise this is my last comment unless anyone asks me (Not likely).

Triker
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Longmont, CO
2005 LT Hannigan Trike
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post #18 of 19 Old Mar 13th, 2019, 11:33 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

Received my replacement BMW Navigator VI from Garmin.

Plugged it in, updated the maps/firmware, back in business.

No hassle, no charge, and no issues to report.

Can't really beat that kind of service...
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Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #19 of 19 Old Aug 2nd, 2019, 1:33 pm
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Re: Garmin is a negative pressure company

I bought a 15 RT on 6/22/19. Already had a Nav V, a couple 478's and an old 550. Headed to the IBR Finish 6/24. When I finally got home and had time to actually do some computer routing on my Nav V, I found it wasn't recognized in MapSource [yeah, I know, thanks☺]. Since I had time and am heading to Grand Junction for the HW3, I decided it was time to find out why MS didn't see the Nav V.

If anyone of you old Luddites are wrestling with this issue and want to stick with your ragged old MS, you can do it.

Turn on the Nav V [not connected to computer] and press the volume button.
At the top right corner of the volume screen, press and hold for about 10 seconds.
That opens a list of advanced settings.
Scroll down to to MTP and select Mass Storage Mode.

Turn off & restart your Nav V connected to your computer.
Once connected, you can select the Nav V from the "Send to Device" screen.

Steve Aikens
2007 R1200RT
2015 R1200RTW
IBA# 442
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