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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I had a nice 220 miles ride yesterday, and I am heading out again in a few minutes for a longer ride. So, I will save the write-up until tomorrow, when the weather isn't going to be so good, and I will take a break. In the meantime, I surrender to the darn seat! A day of torture is enough, and the AirHawk is back on the seat, and will stay there!!! The cover on that thing is pretty well worn though, and I should get a new cover for it, or most likely a new updated cushion!

Here are some pictures from yesterday's ride:

The RT is fully "dressed now:

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Here are what the storms had left behind, beside preventing me from riding my new RT!

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I am afraid that's I find the very opposite, but then I am used to the same thing in my '15 RT, which I can also shift quite smoothly in all gears, up and down, and the '21 RT does it so much better!
I am also used to Shift Assist Pro, all be it on other machines. I am curious as to the RPM you are at when you shift out of first and out of second?
 

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Finally, got to pick up my new RT from the dealer this Wednesday (7/14). Rode over on my '15 RT, and rode back on the '21 RT. Just 15 miles. That's all I have on the clock at the moment, and so this will be a real first impression, and I will add more as I progress with my usual long local rides, hopefully (weather permitting) starting on Sunday. Here are some quick observations, as compared to the '15 RT:

1. Riding Experience - it was very much as I expected. The bike is basically the same as the wethead, and therefore I had expected the handling to be pretty much the same. It was. I did think that it was a little more nimble, but that could have been because of the new tires (Metzler Roadtec Z8). Perhaps what I mentioned in #4 below has something to do with it?

2. Gear Shift - this went well beyond what I had expected! The shifting on the '15 RT had been good (for me), in all gears both up and down. The '21 RT beat it all by a very long shot! Shifting was extremely smooth and silent through all gears. Can't tell you about neutral to 1st because I don't use neutral at all, at any time while riding. I expect this to be better still after a few 1,000 miles to get the gear train broken in!

3. Seat Height - when I first got on, I was quite sure that the seat height had felt higher than what I was used to. It was significant enough for me to notice. Later, much later, I realize what that was! The load setting on the bike was set to "Auto" (that's what I would have set it to anyway), and therefore the spring pre-load is set to different amount depending on the detected weight! At 180 pounds, that's not much weight.

4. Weight Distribution - when I got home, and took the bike into the garage, I positioned it, as per routine, over my Park-n-Move (to spin the bike around 180 deg.). Put it up on the center stand, on top of the Park-n-Move, and tried to rotate the bike. Hard! The weight of the new RT is more biased to the front, such that it took a lot more efforts for me to push down on the grab-rail to put less weight on the front wheel! Not only that, but I had an incident that I won't bore you with, and that incident showed me quite clearly that the center-stand mount position on the bike have been moved forward by perhaps as much as an inch! So, overall the weight distribution of the bike, forward is significantly more than that of the wetheads!

5. Maintenance Charging - after several minutes of fooling around, I decided that I had forgotten to plug in my charger, as per normal routine. When I plugged it into the rear aux. socket, as I always had done in the past, the LED on the charger went into rapid blinks in red, indicating fault, or short! Now, that's not nice! Unplug and plug back in, and same result. Unplug, turn on the bike and then plug the charger in. Success. LED shows solid red, indicating that full output (1.25 amps) is being directed to charging. That's what I expect to see. It turns out that this RT requires the charger to be plugged in before the computer had shut down the network, just like the case with my prior '07 RT. This is different than the wethead, because I had found that the charger can be plugged into my '15 RT at any times and the charging will occur automatically. The difference to the '07 RT is that, with the '07 RT, if I plug the charger in after the network had shut down, then the charger LED would show solid green, indicating that zero current is flowing, or an open circuit, while the rapid blinking red, in this case, shows a short.

6. Connectivity - no real data yet, but I note that my phone (Pixel 4a-5G) will launch the BMW Connect app automatically (after the initial first connection) whenever the RT is turned on, and make the connection without me having to do so! The app was NOT running in the background, when I made this discovery.

7. Shield - almost forgot! The "sports shield" on this bike is very nice. It will be perfect for what I want, which is for local riding in the hot summer months. I had saved my Werks Quiet Ride shield off the '15 RT for the new bike, for traveling. I was ready to modify or put in new mounting holes, if needs be! Here's the good news, for those with the same shield who might want to use them on a '21 RT. It looks to me as if the mounting holes are identical, and I won't have to make any modifications at all! I will confirm this when I make the change in a couple of weeks, or three!

That's about it. I will add more as I add miles, hopefully very quickly, once the weather clear. In the meantime, I have to get the crash bars installed, rekey the topcase (already repainted to matching color), and get the other stuff installed.

Here's a couple of photos of the bike:

View attachment 174302

View attachment 174303
Finally, got to pick up my new RT from the dealer this Wednesday (7/14). Rode over on my '15 RT, and rode back on the '21 RT. Just 15 miles. That's all I have on the clock at the moment, and so this will be a real first impression, and I will add more as I progress with my usual long local rides, hopefully (weather permitting) starting on Sunday. Here are some quick observations, as compared to the '15 RT:

1. Riding Experience - it was very much as I expected. The bike is basically the same as the wethead, and therefore I had expected the handling to be pretty much the same. It was. I did think that it was a little more nimble, but that could have been because of the new tires (Metzler Roadtec Z8). Perhaps what I mentioned in #4 below has something to do with it?

2. Gear Shift - this went well beyond what I had expected! The shifting on the '15 RT had been good (for me), in all gears both up and down. The '21 RT beat it all by a very long shot! Shifting was extremely smooth and silent through all gears. Can't tell you about neutral to 1st because I don't use neutral at all, at any time while riding. I expect this to be better still after a few 1,000 miles to get the gear train broken in!

3. Seat Height - when I first got on, I was quite sure that the seat height had felt higher than what I was used to. It was significant enough for me to notice. Later, much later, I realize what that was! The load setting on the bike was set to "Auto" (that's what I would have set it to anyway), and therefore the spring pre-load is set to different amount depending on the detected weight! At 180 pounds, that's not much weight.

4. Weight Distribution - when I got home, and took the bike into the garage, I positioned it, as per routine, over my Park-n-Move (to spin the bike around 180 deg.). Put it up on the center stand, on top of the Park-n-Move, and tried to rotate the bike. Hard! The weight of the new RT is more biased to the front, such that it took a lot more efforts for me to push down on the grab-rail to put less weight on the front wheel! Not only that, but I had an incident that I won't bore you with, and that incident showed me quite clearly that the center-stand mount position on the bike have been moved forward by perhaps as much as an inch! So, overall the weight distribution of the bike, forward is significantly more than that of the wetheads!

5. Maintenance Charging - after several minutes of fooling around, I decided that I had forgotten to plug in my charger, as per normal routine. When I plugged it into the rear aux. socket, as I always had done in the past, the LED on the charger went into rapid blinks in red, indicating fault, or short! Now, that's not nice! Unplug and plug back in, and same result. Unplug, turn on the bike and then plug the charger in. Success. LED shows solid red, indicating that full output (1.25 amps) is being directed to charging. That's what I expect to see. It turns out that this RT requires the charger to be plugged in before the computer had shut down the network, just like the case with my prior '07 RT. This is different than the wethead, because I had found that the charger can be plugged into my '15 RT at any times and the charging will occur automatically. The difference to the '07 RT is that, with the '07 RT, if I plug the charger in after the network had shut down, then the charger LED would show solid green, indicating that zero current is flowing, or an open circuit, while the rapid blinking red, in this case, shows a short.

6. Connectivity - no real data yet, but I note that my phone (Pixel 4a-5G) will launch the BMW Connect app automatically (after the initial first connection) whenever the RT is turned on, and make the connection without me having to do so! The app was NOT running in the background, when I made this discovery.

7. Shield - almost forgot! The "sports shield" on this bike is very nice. It will be perfect for what I want, which is for local riding in the hot summer months. I had saved my Werks Quiet Ride shield off the '15 RT for the new bike, for traveling. I was ready to modify or put in new mounting holes, if needs be! Here's the good news, for those with the same shield who might want to use them on a '21 RT. It looks to me as if the mounting holes are identical, and I won't have to make any modifications at all! I will confirm this when I make the change in a couple of weeks, or three!

That's about it. I will add more as I add miles, hopefully very quickly, once the weather clear. In the meantime, I have to get the crash bars installed, rekey the topcase (already repainted to matching color), and get the other stuff installed.

Here's a couple of photos of the bike:

View attachment 174302

View attachment 174303
Looks like blue is the one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I am also used to Shift Assist Pro, all be it on other machines. I am curious as to the RPM you are at when you shift out of first and out of second?
Very good question! I can't tell you that, mainly because, in all seriousness, once I have learned and mastered any technique like that, it is then assigned to my subconscious and never consciously think of the details again. My right wrist and left foot knows. What I can tell you though, is that it's lower in the power band than what I would normally do while shifting manually. Shift at higher rpm than the sweet spot and you will get a jolt (but never a "clunk") because the shift-assist doesn't know what my right wrist knows to make the compensation!

I have been tracking anything that comes out of the race track to street bike, and took great interests when BMW put this on the S100RR. Unfortunately, when it was implemented on the RT in the 2014 model pretty much everybody, including myself, was rather disappointed. It seems that BMW had "dumb down" the implementation a bit, and many RT riders don't ride the way that shift-assist works. Lots of bitching back then, but instead of bitching about it, I learned to use it instead. Turns out, the way that I normally ride is pretty much the way that the shift-assist is designed to support anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Which Airhawk cushion do you have on your RT Padg?
AirHawk 2. I am looking at getting the new one. Can't find a new cover for this old one anymore! It really works for me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Even though the weather forecast have changed a bit, and today would have been fine for riding, I am still going to take a break today. Got to finish some chores around the house and make hotel bookings for my trip, and so on.

Yesterday's ride was great. Almost completed the 600 miles break-in. Just one more medium ride will get it over that mark. BTW, if you are a new owner, you should look at what BMW tells you to do to break in your new ride! Long sustained rpm is to be avoided at all costs, but that's nothing new! Find some winding roads - the main purpose is to make lots of gear change along with rpms. I prefer to keep the rpm to keep from lugging the engine, or come even close to it. Do not exceed 5k rpm! Oops!!! I tried! Honestly!! On the first ride on Sunday, I saw that my rpm had flicked pass the 5k marks on at least 3 occasions, as I was fast shifting through the gears in a somewhat spirited acceleration. Yesterday, I didn't notice any such thing, but the BMW Connected app told on me when I looked at the recorded data. Sunday, my max. rpm was 5.136 and max speed was 82 mph, and yesterday it was 5,360 rpm and 86 mph. My radar detector isn't installed on the bike yet!!! Here are some more thoughts:

Seat - it may have felt softer at first, but forget it! It is actually less comfortable than the low seat on the '15 RT. Once the new seat is broken in, it will most likely be about the same as the old one, but definitely not good enough for any kind of real distance. The AirHawk cushion works really well for me, and the ride yesterday was totally different than what I experienced on the day before, without the cushion.

Maintenance Charger - BMW had made it such that my BatteryDoc charger is no longer compatible to even charge via the aux. port! I had already mentioned that I wasn't able to plug it in after the network had shut down, but I have also determined that it is NOT charging the RT at all, even when I plug it in when the RT is powered up. So, I guess that it's direct connect to the battery for me from now on. Got some SAE pigtails coming.

Bike's general handling - meaning how it feels, as compared to the wethead 1200RT. It definitely feels exactly the same. No difference at all.

Suspension/Ride Mode - I rode with "Road" mode all of Sunday, and "Dynamic" for all of yesterday. The suspension felt very much softer than with the same mode on the '15 RT! Not unpleasant, but very much softer. Do keep in mind that the '21 RT has dynamic load adjustment, and mine was set at "Auto", and so a heavier or lighter person may encounter slightly different experience. This was highlighted as I went over one of my favorite RR crossing. The ramp up was perfect for launching an RT over the top at normal 55 mph speed. I usually put all of my weight on my feet, lifting up off the seat a short distance, and use my leg to help absorb the shock as the RT sails into the air. This time, the spring drove the RT upward a lot more than expected and actually bounced me further upward by some distance, and I ended up landing back on the seat with an "Oomff " instead of together with the RT! OK, that one's filed away for the future! Now, in Dynamic mode, the suspension felt somewhere in between Road and Dynamic on the '15 RT! I had ridden the '15 RT mostly in the Dynamic mode, and felt that the suspension was too hard, and so this is perfect for me!

Engine-Response/Ride Mode - many of you who are interested in a 1250s will be interested in this! In Road mode, the engine's response to throttle, at low speed, is quite toned-down. It definitely lacks the snappy response of the 1200s. OK, so the engine is new and quite stiff, but I had mentally made allowance for that. Besides, in comparison, when I first rode my prior '14 RT (also new at the time), I had unintentionally lifted the front wheel off the tarmac when coming off a stop sign, and that was also in Road mode! The 1250 in Dynamic mode is a little better, but it is clear a calmer response than that of the 1200 in Road mode. I strongly suspect that it has to do with the cam profile of the low rpm cam. The responses at higher rpm are both very good, but personally, I find it hard to differentiate from the performance of the 1200s. Good? Bad? You decide.

Nav. Connectivity - first, the easy one, which is connectivity for Nav. I have had only 2 long rides, and I will chalk up the first one as learning. On the second ride, the connectivity is a non-issue for me. I simply pop my phone into the compartment, lock it in place, and don't even bother to bring up the BMW app, since as soon as I start the RT my phone launches that app automatically and the connection to the bike also starts automatically. How long does it take to connect? I don't know, because I always switch on the bike long before I was ready to get on and ride. By the time that I did get on, everything including map-mode is up and running. Home wifi, which my phone will connect to automatically, doesn't affect anything! I made a rest stop about 125 miles on the ride, and when I started up again, it was the same story. I did not lose any connections during the ride at anytime. Let's see how that lasts!

Media Connectivity - now, here is a very annoying one! I found that it is NOT enough to have your media app up and running, or even the track that you want to play selected. That track has to be actually playing for the RT's Media to make connection and play the track to your helmet! Not only that, but you had better have a lot of tracks in que to play, because once the list of tracks runs out, it will stop playing and you won't be able to get it to play earlier ones without getting to the phone yourself. Now, in the RT's audio setting, the is a selection labeled as "Repeat" that, hopefully, will play the selection over and over. It was unchecked for me, and turning that on after the fact (while riding) didn't do any good.

I have a lot more to add, and I will do that later today!
 
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I agree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
. . . . continue.

Navigation - the navigation on the '21 RT is adequate for me. If I was to use Garmin devices that I have used as the standard, then I would give the one on '21 RT a rating of B-. The biggest issue that I have with this Tom-Tom adaptation is the lack of details on the map. Initially, the zoom feature was set to auto-zoom, and I had left it like that because that is how I always set up my Nav V and other Garmins that I used. I love to ride the small back country roads, and with the auto-zoom active, all that I usually see on screen is the blue arrow/triangle floating on blank screen, and nothing else! Absolutely no other details until you come to a larger road, streams, or other body of water. I want to see all the roads shown, even when zoomed out! In the end, I had to turn the auto-zoom off, and zoom in on the map manually until the small roads starts to show up. Even then, the small roadways are shown with lines that are virtually the same color as the background making them very hard to make out!

I have not tried to follow a route, but I had saved my home position in the "favorite" section, and so I had selected that to create a route, while I was heading back home. I wanted to see how the routine behaves and recalculate as I ignore many of its directions and go on different direction. That was quite fine! Happy with that. However, the negative side regarding importing is that it seems that one can only import routes, and presumably way points that perhaps can be saved in "Favorite". Haven't tried that yet, but what one canNOT do is to import POI, or other independent locations that may be of interests to you! That is a big negative, but I am sure that I can find some ways around it, but why do I need to?

Navigation Voice Prompt - one can lose the audio for this feature, as often pointed out in other threads. That happened to me, and as suggested, it was restored by getting the media to play. OTOH, the last time that I tried to use it was after the media tracks have run out. No voice directions, even though the screen shows the details of the tracks. I couldn't get the media to play, because I had reached the end of all of the tracks, and if I really want to get the voice guidance back I would have to stop to get the media running again! One interesting note is that, even though the voice guidance wasn't working, I went to the main navigation screen and select "Repeat Last Direction" (or something along that line), and I would get the audio for that direction, BUT that didn't restore the audio overall. A definite bug that should be fixed with the update. Overall, the voice direction is very good, perhaps even better than Garmin. The part that I like is that not only does it tell you to, say, turn after so many feet, but it tells you to turn NOW right when you get to that turn! Garmin isn't quite as good, IMHO.

Adaptive Cruise Control - I was dying to try this feature out, and I was not disappointed! This has to be my most favorite feature. That radar works very well. Most of the back country roads that I rode on has the posted or implied speed limit of 55 mph, and I usually set my cruise control to 62 mph. I did exactly that on my rides. Speed is held within 1 mph, and when slower traffic is encountered, the bike slows down to match. That is done very smoothly, and with the distance set at 3-bars (max), the actual distance that I followed the slower traffic is exactly the distance that I would have done for myself. The really useful feature to compliment that is the fact that you can change gear, up or down, without the cruise disengaging. It will detect motorcycles ahead, and so the system is pretty sensitive. The areas that I pass through are Amish communities, and so one will encounter some horse & buggy on the road, especially on Sunday. The cruise will bring your speed all the way down, and all you have to remember to do is to shift gear as appropriate. I love it!

Shift Assist - my initial impressions stands. It IS much better than what first appear on the RT, as I have on the '15 RT. Very quiet, and smooth actions. I have actually ridden the RT with all 3 generations of shift-assist, with this one being the 3rd. The gear shift was supposed to have been "improved" with the beginning of the 2017 RT. I was in New Zealand in 2017 for more than a month, and had rented an RT to ride my old "stomping ground" and other areas that, back in the '60s I did not have the finance to venture, for 10 days. Turns out that RT was the 2017 model that was supposed to have better shifts. I did not find that to be even close to tru, especially when I was riding the small tight winding roads (somewhat aggressively), and tried to do very rapid mixed up/down shifts in fast succession. The shifting on that bike was far inferior to my '15 RT. My conclusion was that how the transmission is broken in will affect its performance a great deal. That '17 RT had very low mileage, and was used mainly for tour groups, where I suspect that people are pretty gentle in riding it.

That's all that I can think of for now!
 

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@PadG (or anyone) - When you get a chance to try an imported route with multiple waypoints with perhaps even a stop included, I’m interested to know if you get voice announcements of the upcoming waypoints, or if the only announcements you get are when you need to make a turn.
 

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I am also used to Shift Assist Pro, all be it on other machines. I am curious as to the RPM you are at when you shift out of first and out of second?
I use SAP all the time on my '16 RT and I love it. The RPM varies considerably depending on how fast you are accelerating. The gear shift indicator arrow can be turned on or off in the menu items. When accelerating briskly, the arrow won't indicate an upshift until you've reached much higher RPMs in the 5-6 K range. If you're not accelerating, the arrow will indicate an upshift at a much lower RPM around 3-4K. From 1-3 the upshifts are fairly smooth when briskly accelerating, but pretty clunky if you upshift at a steady RPM. The upshifts are smoothest from 3-6 especially if accelerating at least a little.
 

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Find some winding roads - the main purpose is to make lots of gear change along with rpms
Town traffic is also excellent for breaking the bike in. I avoided taking the pillion in the million out on the bike in the break-in period. Luckily, my top box, without which my wife will not get on the bike, was delayed by a couple of weeks and arrived just in time at the end of break-in.

So, I guess that it's direct connect to the battery for me from now on. Got some SAE pigtails coming.
The small triangular cover behind the battery makes for a good location to hide the battery charger connection. I use a C-Tek charger that has a neat socket with a rubber plug so it keeps the connectors free of dust and water. A dab of rubber grease on the prongs of the cover helps for it to pop back into the grommets with ease.

the spring drove the RT upward a lot more than expected and actually bounced me further upward by some distance,
Yeah, the bike is definitely more suited to two up smooth riding as far as spring tension is concerned. Like you, I get bounced noticeably more when I ride solo. Way more compliant with pillion. I only road a '19 shiftcam out of the water cooled range. Compared to that the '21 bike suspension is a LOT better. The '19 bike felt like a boat two up, very little change when switched between different modes of suspension when riding two up. Maybe the suspension was faulty. I don't know. That bike only had a little over 7k kilometres on the clock...

you can change gear, up or down, without the cruise disengaging
Yes, and holding the clutch in for a few seconds will disengage the cruise control. That also put a stop to my favourite way of temporarily stopping the cruise control. I used to use the first clutch switch for that purpose. On my '06 it activated within a few millimetres of pull. Now I only really have the throttle to roll back to do the same. Both brakes will start activating as soon as the lever/pedal is moved, no delay between switch activation and brake pressure application.


You should turn this into a proper review PadG, very good collection of impressions, very accurate. Way better than most of the Youtube vloggers have produced.
 

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@PadG and @Rambler358 The post below shows an email that I have sent to BMW. According to their video's etc. they talk about importing a gpx file, they don't elaborate on which type of gpx file. In my email I have shown two methods of importing a gpx file one is a track and one is a route. The track navigated me around the closed road, the route took me to a waypoint I mistakenly dropped on the closed road. In both examples I could not amend the route this is obviously important. In particular, the route import option navigated me to a waypoint (on the closed road) but did not show the waypoint. Check out the video I did at the start of the thread to see what I mean.

The most interesting thing about this route import is the ability to send the waypoints using the HD Booombox export in MyRouteApp, Jim the highland rider has also got waypoints imported using Caiamoto and has a video on youtube showing it. I have had no reply to my email which is disappointing. I have also written to MyRouteApp and asked them to laisse with BMW and work it out, it can't be difficult.

I am going to do a video on MyRouteApp it is much superior to Basecamp and can be set to use Tom Tom maps to keep the routing close to the BMW App routing. I don't know about Calamoto

 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
@PadG (or anyone) - When you get a chance to try an imported route with multiple waypoints with perhaps even a stop included, I’m interested to know if you get voice announcements of the upcoming waypoints, or if the only announcements you get are when you need to make a turn.
I will be off in a few minutes, and this time I will be following a route, for the same interests that you have. This one was made up on Basecamp (my preference) with start and end point and 3 or 4 shaping points. Imported into the app as GPX file. I intend to deviate from the route at times and see what happen. Of course, I will report it. Next one will be with 1 or more stops and shaping points, and see how it handle that!
 
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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I use SAP all the time on my '16 RT and I love it. The RPM varies considerably depending on how fast you are accelerating. The gear shift indicator arrow can be turned on or off in the menu items. When accelerating briskly, the arrow won't indicate an upshift until you've reached much higher RPMs in the 5-6 K range. If you're not accelerating, the arrow will indicate an upshift at a much lower RPM around 3-4K. From 1-3 the upshifts are fairly smooth when briskly accelerating, but pretty clunky if you upshift at a steady RPM. The upshifts are smoothest from 3-6 especially if accelerating at least a little.
You have the technique! The key to smooth upshift is brisk acceleration. If one is used to riding the RT as if they are on a cruiser (no criticism!!!) riding at low rpm and gentle on the acceleration, then you are most likely to get the "clunk".
 
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The biggest issue that I have with this Tom-Tom adaptation is the lack of details on the map. Initially, the zoom feature was set to auto-zoom, and I had left it like that because that is how I always set up my Nav V and other Garmins that I used. I love to ride the small back country roads, and with the auto-zoom active, all that I usually see on screen is the blue arrow/triangle floating on blank screen, and nothing else! Absolutely no other details until you come to a larger road, streams, or other body of water. I want to see all the roads shown, even when zoomed out! In the end, I had to turn the auto-zoom off, and zoom in on the map manually until the small roads starts to show up. Even then, the small roadways are shown with lines that are virtually the same color as the background making them very hard to make out!
Thanks for the detailed review. Mine should finally be here this week and I'm looking forward to trying it out. After watching numerous videos I'm also concerned about the level of detail and the contrast level between the roads (especially secondary) and the background. I prefer using the "Track Up" view and never use the auto zoom feature and zoomed to 0.2 miles and can see all of the smaller roads along my route. I've also set the Nav VI to the show more detail option. I'm really hoping that BMW or Tom-Tom will do something about showing secondary roads using a color that can be easily seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
David - your threads and posts have been very useful and I am very sure that it is a major contributor as to why I have as little issues with the connectivity as I have . . . . so far!! Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Thanks for the detailed review. Mine should finally be here this week and I'm looking forward to trying it out. After watching numerous videos I'm also concerned about the level of detail and the contrast level between the roads (especially secondary) and the background. I prefer using the "Track Up" view and never use the auto zoom feature and zoomed to 0.2 miles and can see all of the smaller roads along my route. I've also set the Nav VI to the show more detail option. I'm really hoping that BMW or Tom-Tom will do something about showing secondary roads using a color that can be easily seen.
I also prefer track up, and you can make that setting regardless of zoom setting. As for contrast, I have been thinking of using "Night Mode" to see if that makes any difference. I like to see details of side roads, but zoomed out further, because I love to explore. Many times, I would come up on a road and take it just because it looked interesting, and it's handy to know that it's not a short dead-end road or anything like that.
 
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