Navigator V First Impressions
I thought I'd give my initial thoughts on the Navigator V, and then update later after I spend a bit more time with it.
I picked up my 2016 R1200RT on Friday, and decided to use the Navigator V to plot my trip home even though I already knew the way and there was no chance I would get lost. I added the GPS to the bike knowing full well that it wouldn't compare to navigation with Google Maps, however I like to ride in the mountains where there is no cell service, wanted the built in controls, and like the built in list of BMW dealers should I have an issue with the bike while far from home.
My grasp of technology is "High". I'm a server admin at a medium sized college and I'm the one who is tasked with figuring out any new technology we integrate into the department, so I have a leg up on many when it comes to figuring out any issues integrating systems together.
The first thing I noticed when I was preparing to leave the dealership was that the interface is very easy to use and self explanatory. Buttons are large and easy to use. On first use,I found that the system didn't ask for my city and state when I typed in my address but instead searched locally for my destination. I had to cancel the local search for "Main St." and tell it the city I wanted. It would be nice if it asked for the city and then just had a "search locally" button instead. It's possible I missed a step, I've only done this once so far.
The first issue I ran into was when I was trying to get the voice navigation turned on. As I pressed the wheel control to change menus, the GPS popped up with a warning that the GPS was in safety mode and gave me a "YES/NO" button option to turn it off. I couldn't choose yes or no using the wheel or controls on the handlebars, and actually had to take my hand of the handlebar to reach up to the GPS and pick yes or no. This screen wouldn't go away until I made a selection. When I stopped so I could safely reach up to the screen to select to turn the safety off, the screen had disappeared since I was stopped and the safety was no longer on. This meant I have to get the bike moving again and make the selection while moving, which seemed the opposite of "safety" to me. I later found a checkbox in one of the menus which would allow me to disable this feature while stopped but it wasn't immediately apparent where to find that while looking through the menus at a rest area.
I got home without much issue, the directions weren't too bad. I did have a few issues with the directions the unit gave me.
First, it used the wrong name for a road. We have a road that starts with one name, and a few miles later continues into another road with a different name. The GPS used the name for the far end of the road, which could cause an issue for a traveler not familiar with the area as the bad road name is right at the exit from the interstate on a busy traffic circle with 3 major roadways.
Second, the GPS tried to route me down a narrow side street which is slow going due to the limited visibility and sight lines. I skipped that turn in favor of a better and faster road about a quarter mile farther down the road. When I skipped the road, it didn't reroute me via the better route I was choosing, but instead tried to get me to turn around and navigate back to it's chosen path, even when it would have doubled the distance/time required to get to where the routes intersected. It's rerouting seems poor.
Next I found that the ice cream stand my grandparents run wasn't on the map as a POI, which was odd to me as it's been there for 25 years. As I continued on home, I saw why....the pin for that POI was on my grandparent's house! They must have located the pin for the business based on mailing address instead of physical address.
When I got home I added a SD card to the unit, but it's not immediately obvious on the unit that it has the 32 GB of storage added. I looked in the device menu which would be the typical location, but didn't see the card listed there.
I hooked the unit to my laptop to update the software and maps, but the laptop wouldn't recognize the GPS as a USB device. I moved over to my desktop, and it recognized immediately. I did the updates on the desktop, but since I'll be taking the laptop with me on trips I really wanted it to work with the laptop so I spend an hour or two working on it and reading forums about similar problems. I tried factory resetting, changing it to manually being an RTP device, and even installing drivers from Garmin (which don't state Windows 10 compatibility) to no avail. As a last ditch effort, I plugged a non-powered USB hub into my laptop, and then plugged the GPS into the hub....and...IT WORKED! So I'm not sure if the GPS has some non-standard method of talking to the computer or perhaps tries to draw too much power (which the HUB won't allow) but it's the first USB device that I've ever had this problem with on my laptop.
SO far so good on the GPS unit though, a few bumps in the road are expected. I can see the initial setup of the unit being a bit daunting if you run into problems though. I'd like to see some better documentation on their site for troubleshooting issues, but overall I think I'm going to be happy with the unit once I use it a few more times. I'll update this post after I have a chance to really break it in and put it through it's paces.