Navigator V First Impressions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 5 Old Aug 6th, 2016, 1:49 pm Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 5 Old Aug 6th, 2016, 3:43 pm
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Re: Navigator V First Impressions

Originally Posted by Wirenut View Post
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.
Nice explanation on your use of the gps. I believe that my Garmin Nuvi 2797 does not ask for the city/state first. I wish my MB did the same thing, but I have to input the state, then city before a address. I would rather just type the street address first and let the gps list all possibilities. My old garmin streetpilot allowed this and I never had any issues.
Living on "Main St" can be cumbersome for the gps as there are so many "Main St's" throughout the US.
Once you go through the settings you will find particulars to set as shortest route, fastest time, etc. Mine will automatically reroute after I miss a turn if I travel far enough pass the missed turn. Like you said, it will try to make you do a U-turn (can also shut off in the settings) or make multiple right turns.
Anyway, welcome to the forum and enjoy tour bike!

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles

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post #3 of 5 Old Aug 6th, 2016, 5:21 pm
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Re: Navigator V First Impressions

Welcome to the forum and thanks also for the in depth explanation of your Nav V experience.

One might want to add the Weather/Traffic to your Garmin subscription. It's a one time charge of $19.99, well worth it the first time it saves you from an unexpected traffic jam.

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post #4 of 5 Old Aug 8th, 2016, 11:09 am Thread Starter
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Re: Navigator V First Impressions

Originally Posted by powwow View Post
One might want to add the Weather/Traffic to your Garmin subscription. It's a one time charge of $19.99, well worth it the first time it saves you from an unexpected traffic jam.
One if the first things I did was buy the traffic and weather options ($19.99 and $4.99). It would be nice if they didn't call it "subscribe" when you purchase them, as that wording does seem like it will be a recurring cost. I figure they did it so they can more easily discontinue the service at some point since we didn't "buy" it but just "subscribed".

Speaking of the traffic, I got to test it out this past weekend. I went for a nice ride through the mountains to get some twists and turns under my belt. I set up the GPS in advance to have a dashboard more to my liking...showing distance, speed, heading, etc. I really liked the setup. It was fairly accurate with knowing speed limits on major roadways, with the smaller county and town roads not having any speed information. I did see a few spots where the speed limit dropped on the roadway but the GPS didn't "know" about it. Even so, I still thought it was a great feature since it's really the rider's job to know the speed limit. I'd say about 90% of the time the GPS caught the speed limit changes within 100 feet or so of the signs, and only twice in a 100 mile trip was it inaccurate (once it said the speed limit was 30 in a 35, and once it said 55 in a 45).

As for the traffic feature, one of the roads I was heading down had a bridge out. The GPS warned me about 7 miles before the bridge and even showed the road with a large "do not enter" symbol right where the detour started. I was surprised I had cell service in that area for it to get the information! A second bridge that was closed didn't show up on the GPS, and that was in an area I would have expected to have had service. I rode all the way up to the closed bridge just to make sure it was REALLY closed... :-) It was. I didn't think to take out my phone and check my service, so I'm not sure if that was a failure of my phone service or in the traffic application.

When I got home, I took the GPS inside and was able to pull my tracks down to the basecamp software. It was great to see the elevation and speed graph and to be able to retrace the trip. I like that it gave me the option to add photos and comments, and I'm guessing that could be a great tool to share my travels with friends.

Has anyone tried out the live tracking yet? I set it up so I could track myself, but obviously can't watch myself, so I'm thinking of enlisting a friend to watch my travels and let me know about the experience.
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post #5 of 5 Old Aug 9th, 2016, 8:24 am
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Re: Navigator V First Impressions

Another feature I just found quite by accident is a subscription service for the Garmin called Cyclops™ Red Light and Speed Cameras, available in the Garmin store. There is a one month free trial, and it costs $25/year thereafter. It really works as advertised, especially red light and fixed speed cameras. It picked up everyone that I know about, and several that I didn't know about, especially speed cameras in school zones that are easy to overlook.



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