Motorcycle sat nav

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Motorcycle sat nav

Post by V-Rider » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:31 am

Hi all,

I'm looking at motorcycle sat navs and I can see there appear to be two distinct types, those which are hand held, button operated units, and those which are touch-screen motorcycle specific glove friendly units.

Can anyone advise me as to the pros/cons between both as well as usability and using software to plan routes. Not having seen the software before, is it easy to use to plan routes and download them into GPS?

I'm looking at doing the north coast 500 this year and Morocco next year and looking to purchase a unit that would serve me best.
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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by sprintster » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:40 am

I'm not sure which satnav is best but you won't need one for the NC500.As long as the sea is always on the same side you're heading in the right direction! :silly:

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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by herman » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:23 am

As you mentioned Morocco then a Montana. Road only then Tom Tom. Loads of software out there but keep it simple at first with what the unit comes with then find a program that suits you.
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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by Oop North John » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:38 am

Handheld ones I've seen have small screens and may not have audio out.

Best advice is to have a play with someone else's GPSR to see which you find easiest to use.

Personally some of the TomTom software is infuriating and the Garmin units have Basecamp which can be a useful tool to route plan if you've the time to get to know it.

Are you looking at tarmac roads only, or hitting the pistes when in Morocco?

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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by Simon_100 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:38 am

Depends whether you really don't like touch screen and whether you use the satnav just for biking. Also if you want to ride trails then you need one that works with 'tracks' as well as 'routes'. Also whether you use it to explore rather than follow pre-set routes.

For me a) I hate touch screen, b) I use the satnav for walking as well as biking and in the car and c) mostly use the satnav for recording where I've been rather than looking for where I am. I rarely use it to either follow pre-set routes of just enter a destination and follow that - although don't underestimate how useful the latter is ...

So I went for a Garmin GPS 62. It's great but the small screen size is a limitation both on the bike and even on the few times when I use it in the car.

As always the best this g is to go to a big spirits shop, speak at length to the clever salesman, armed with your questions and with a good idea of what you're looking for - as in prioritising the above list - and then run away and buy it on eBay ... :whistle:

Last thought and open for debate: is it better to have two cheap ones that between them cover your needs rather than one very expensive one that should do everything?


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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by DaveCon » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:56 am

There's a lot about the various GPS models out there on this and other forums and some very knowledgeable people.

Personally I've used a Garmin 390LM for a couple of years and wouldn't be without it. I use the same skills to plan the routes at home as when I used a paper map except now I don't need pages of route notes in a tank bag. The clincher for me was the growing need to use glasses for reading but not for riding - they don't make bifocal visors as far as I know! I do take waypoint notes as a double check though.

Garmin's Basecamp can be a bit awkward to use but once in the flow of plotting a route I find I can get down to quite small tracks. As to off-road in Morocco I don't know.

I've ridden through some heavy downpours without a problem and managed to reprogram from the saddle while stuck in roadworks - gloves on and everything.

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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by Andi_Archer » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:58 am

Depends on your usage but in basic terms those newer devices designed for onroad routing only have bluetooth connections whilst as far as Im aware, those designed for off road rooting do not.

Heres my collection


The Etrex and Oregan are able to use on and off road mapping i.e. trails for walking cycling etc whilst the others only on road maps.

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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by -Ralph- » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:25 am

Go motorcycle specific touch screen with proper handlebar mounting and charging, and waterproof. It costs more but it's worth it. Lets put it this way, many people have gone for a cheaper option and say it's fine because that's all they know, but those who've spent the money, and used the real McCoy, would never go back to the cheaper option of a car sat nav or a phone. I personally find TomTom more user friendly than Garmin.
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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by uturntony » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:27 am

I use the TomTom V and have done for years and it's great kit which can easily be used on the go i find. A word of warning here. against what i read about it I was foolish enough to buy the latest TomTom, the 410. IMHO it's a POS and i sent it back and got a full refund, thank feck i held on to my V5. Difficult to use with gloves on, virtually impossible with winter gloves on. Menus not really motorcyclist friendly (fiddly, too many actions), buttons small making using them difficult. The extra facilities such as traffic etc, require an internet connection via your phone so no use where no signal. There's more but the killer is the screen misting problem. Mine was in use for only a couple of weeks but the screen would mist up when it was cold outside and this lasted for over an hour usually. So, do your research as you will find loads on the forums about the problems the 410(400) has. I'm sure there will be other views but these are my experiences with it. By the way i use Tyre to Travel to plan routes and it works fine but you do need to get online with a windows machine unlike Basecamp.

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Re: Motorcycle sat nav

Post by Andi_Archer » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:32 am

My BMW GPS has a similar app thats works from the phone data allowance to update traffic problems but to be honest I either miss the screen pop up or Im already in the traffic jam by the time it comes up.

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