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Discussion Starter #1
Dear All

I am about to buy my first motorcycle GPS and I am confused as to whether I should buy a TomTom or should I go for the bigger screen Garmin 660.

Any advise from forum members who have used GPS. On the ease of use, battery life, ease of uploading routes, reliability of these GPS devices, ease of mounting on the RT and what type of mounting devices are better(handlebars/over the top yoke/behind and above the instruments?)

Thanks
 

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Hi
Whatever you choose, make sure it has a very bright display, waterproof and shock resistant.
I think the display brightness is major. I use a Garmin 550. I've had it in pouring rain and have dropped it a few times.
I have owned it for about 5 years now and I won't buy a new one until this one dies.
Ellie
 

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X 2 on the Garmin 550. I use mine for snowmobiling too.
 

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dinku said:
Dear All

I am about to buy my first motorcycle GPS and I am confused as to whether I should buy a TomTom or should I go for the bigger screen Garmin 660.

Any advise from forum members who have used GPS. On the ease of use, battery life, ease of uploading routes, reliability of these GPS devices, ease of mounting on the RT and what type of mounting devices are better(handlebars/over the top yoke/behind and above the instruments?)

Thanks
Morning Dinku. I have both a Zumo 550 and a Zumo 665 on two different bikes. No experience with the TomTom.

With that background, a bigger screen is better than a smaller one both for visibility, and for ease of touchscreen use quickly with gloved hands. Battery life not an issue with either - if hardwired into your bike (that's what I did). Unlike my car, my bike gps is typically on all the time. Mine is seldom used for navigation, but always in use for mp3, and I enjoy the data readouts. Also the map, though again, only occasionally used for nav.

Uploading routes, waypoints, etc. is pretty easy. Reliability excellent. Neither Zumo has skipped a beat, and my experience with tech support has been excellent when I've had a question about this or that - live knowledgable voice on the phone promptly.

On the BMW, mounted above the yoke, just on my side of the key. At the moment, I have the XM puck for the 665 on a shelf above the instruments.

I used to move the 550 back and forth between a V-Star and the RT, with 550 cradles on both. Recently put the 665 on the RT, and the 550 will now stay on the V-Star (ram mount on handlebars on the V-Star). A few pics below.

Best, John







 

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Discussion Starter #5
Trojan said:
On the BMW, mounted above the yoke, just on my side of the key. At the moment, I have the XM puck for the 665 on a shelf above the instruments.

]
Pardon my ignorance , but what is an XM puck?
 

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dinku said:
Pardon my ignorance , but what is an XM puck?
That's the antenna for XM radio. You'll see it on the shelf on the RT - looks like a hockey puck with the word "Garmin" on it. Sticks in my mind that the 660 won't have XM capability, but its sister unit, the 665, does (as does the 550). I enjoy the XM, as well as the XM WeatherNav feature (weather map up on the screen). Likewise bluetooth my cell through the Zumos and into my helmet via Autocom. With cell, weather radar maps, mp3, gps, rider to passenger communication, well gosh, hardly feels like I've left home.... :) Prolly be streaming netflix in there pretty quick....naaaah.
 

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One more thing

Say Dinku, I mentioned hardwiring the unit to the bike - which is a good idea in my view. However, it's the cradle for the unit that's hardwired to the bike, and not the unit itself. So you can still, in a matter of a few seconds, remove the unit from the bike and use it in your car, etc., including then charging it from the car cigarette lighter socket, if it happens that you take it on a car trip.

When you put it back on the bike's hard-wired cradle, it'll revert to getting its charge from the bike's system, so that you won't ever need to recharge it while left on the bike.

Best, John
 

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Re: One more thing

Trojan said:
Say Dinku, I mentioned hardwiring the unit to the bike - which is a good idea in my view. However, it's the cradle for the unit that's hardwired to the bike, and not the unit itself. So you can still, in a matter of a few seconds, remove the unit from the bike and use it in your car, etc., including then charging it from the car cigarette lighter socket, if it happens that you take it on a car trip.

When you put it back on the bike's hard-wired cradle, it'll revert to getting its charge from the bike's system, so that you won't ever need to recharge it while left on the bike.

Best, John
Hi John,
Do you have a part number for the XM "Puck" for the Zumo 550?
Thanks,
Ellie
 

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dinku said:
Dear All

I am about to buy my first motorcycle GPS and I am confused as to whether I should buy a TomTom or should I go for the bigger screen Garmin 660.

Any advise from forum members who have used GPS. On the ease of use, battery life, ease of uploading routes, reliability of these GPS devices, ease of mounting on the RT and what type of mounting devices are better(handlebars/over the top yoke/behind and above the instruments?)

Thanks

How do you plan to use it? (very important to decide this first, then look at options) If it's going to be on the bike, all the time, the previous posters provided good information. GPS's designed for motorcycles are designed for a wet vibrating environment.

If it is for occasional casual "get me home the quickest way" use, then just about anything can work if mounted and protected. Mine is used all the time, hooked to the battery and my intercom and my major concern is sunlight washing out the screen. The larger the better.....
 

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I have three things to say on your original question.

1. Garmin
2. Garmin
3. Garmin
 

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My work colleague has a Tom Rider, my friend has a Garmin 550, and I have a BMW Navigator IV (re-badged 660.)

The Tom-Tom owner has said the Garmin can do more than his.

The 660 has a number of really nice additions which make it very useful. The first is the junction view, when you are approaching a junction on a motorway or even a major road a screen flashes you indicate which lane you should be in. It is not perfect - the coverage, and sometimes the time you have to react leave a bit to be desired, but it is a useful tool. You also have a speed indicator, customisable information plus a few other things.

With the Nav IV you only have a option for Blue-tooth reception for audio directions & MP3, but it works well with Scala Rider G4. The Nav IV has two years warranty on it instead of the normal one year, however the cost is significantly more than the normal 660. Another drawback is the lack of car mount in the box for the Nav IV.

Incidentally, the mount can be placed on the RT dashboard, so it does not obstruct the clocks, and reduces the eye movement.

Whatever you choose you should make sure that it is waterproof to the IPX7 standard. (It can sit in a bucket of water for 30 mins without a problem!)

Hope this is of use,
Best regards
Sleuth
 

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Apparently Garmin has an app for the iphone
35 dollars
Sounds good to me
 

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Hard core users like the Gamin bike models for their inherent features. A few including my BMW version of the 550 develop bubbled screens and eventually quit. But Garmin handles that quickly and well under warranty or sells you a like new refurb for a few $ if you have an older unit. And you can keep them map-current though web downloads of those large files are slow. There are lots of ways to create routes on your pc and get them into your gps, including use of free software from Garmin. For group rides, we sometimes download the planned route from our club website.

The Garmins easily serve as a bluetooth hub allowing your phone (a compatible model) to be heard and dialed (even voice dialed) from a helmet bluetooth headset (Like a Scala Q2 or G4 or one of the other good ones). Sound quality is so good folks never know you're calling from your bike at 80 mph.

Some Garmins (mine included) can play mp3's from a built in SD card slot but I'm not a music type on my bike. Just adds risk.

I don't take my 550 off the bike- I've got a second cheapy Garmin for the car where I don't need or even want the bike features.

The IPhone stuff will work but its not waterproof, etc...

FWIW, after having the gps on the bike for a while, I found I often prefer to ride with the helmet sound NOT in use- just look at the screen periodically. But sometimes seing the screen well can be tough in really bright light with reflections so the sound still get used.

You will find that setting preference for routing and learning when to ignore the gps "recalculating" is a learned art if you haven't had one previously. No matter how good it is, its not as smart as the rider should be.
 

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Hi
I have a garmin 660 and only have great reports. No challenges at all. Easy to use and the touch screen with gloves on is very easy.

I've hardwired it on a bracket above the instruments.

Recently my riding buddy got a new r1200 and got the BMW system (also gamin 660) included for free. The bracket is good and it's a lot easier with auto control for volume etc through the main system.

It does cost a bit more but with all the gear and instal it was probably about the same price.

As a point the mounting above the instruments is so easy when riding...just a glance under eyeline of sight rather than looking down...always a good idea for me.

Cheers
 

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This is a thread I am interested in. I use maps, like them as part of the experience but I'm starting to bend toward getting a GPS. There is a Garmin Nuvi is my company vehicle and I hate it. Constantly searching for Sats keeps asking me if I moved hundreds of miles, the date, and am I indoors. Friend has a Tom Tom and that hooks up instantly even inside.
The winner here is Garmin so I guess the Motorcycle model works better. So it is written so it shall be.

Grassyass
 

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Greetings,

I have owned the Tom Tom Rider 2, and now I have the Garmin Zumo 660.

Both are very good pieces of kit.

However, the 660 wins it for me:

- larger screen;
- lane guidance;
- MP3 music player

Cheers
Tony
 
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