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Parts & accessories for adventure touring motorcycles including GPS mounts, panniers, luggage, protection, dry bags, camping gear, tools, books & DVDs.

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  #1  
Old 4 Apr 2007
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GPS Systems

Hi Guys
starting my Pan American leg of my RTW trip in June and looking for a GPS system to use on my 1200GS. I was reading up on the Garmin Zumo 550 and was wondering if any of you have used it or have a similar system that works well??

Kev
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  #2  
Old 4 Apr 2007
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Try this link for Zumo info. Zumo 550 Forum :: Index
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  #3  
Old 4 Apr 2007
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thanks for that bobcat i will have a look
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  #4  
Old 5 Apr 2007
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Kev,

I use the TomTom Rider. It's cheaper than the Garmin, but I suppose you get what you pay for. The mount is only ok, and apparently prone to letting the Rider fall out (although this hasn't happened to me), and the contacts are also exposed to the elements, so rain can short it out, if it's wired to be "always on". Touratech do a mount for it too, but I resent having to pay extra for that. The on/off switch is a pain in the ass to use (hence the need to hardwire it to to the bike using the mount). I don't like the software much either.. they didn't seem to think about how to make the common tasks more easy to access (like adding the current location as a POI / favourite).

On the plus side, its a lot cheaper than the Garmin (or was, when I got mine), is handy to remove and stick in your pocket, easily used with gloves for the most part, and you can disable the "safety" feature that locks down most of the functionality once moving (by isolating the second pin from the left, viewed from the rear). The map coverage is good (at least for UK, EU), but absolutely terrible for Ireland.. my home town, for example, which has a University, appears as though the main road ends in a field. Outside the pale, the entire country looks like one great big field!

On the neg side again.. it's not IPX certified waterproof, but I haven't seen any issues with that. There are no speakers or audio output, just a fiddly bluetooth contraption that breaks / gets lost after a week in the wild. They should also give u a car charger for the bluetooth headset, but don't, so you have to charge that with a mains adapter (where, exactly??).

GPS-wise, it's quite accurate, picks up a signal within about 3 seconds of coming out of a tunnel, for example, and uses the latest generation GPS chipset. Even when it loses the signal (in tunnels, for example), it keeps a fairly good track of you.. I think it has an accelerometer built in for this purpose. It takes a standard SD card, so you can clone / backup your SD cards in case something goes wrong. It runs Linux, and there's even a software developers kit for it!

I use it mainly for postcode navigation in cities like London. I'm not sure how much I'd use it out on the open road yet. I'll find out in about 3 weeks though, when I take it to Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, etc.

I hope this helps. It all sounds very negative, now that I re-read it, but I actually like the Rider a lot. I'm just emphasising its weaknesses, so that you're aware of them.

Colm
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  #5  
Old 5 Apr 2007
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Pheonix, you should have gone for a Garmin. Version 9 City navigator has just been released and it has very detailed maps of Irleland Also it now covers Poland and a few other East European countries. Not trying to p*ss on your fire


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  #6  
Old 5 Apr 2007
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Tomtom 2

There was a preview of a new Tomtom Rider 2 on the Tomtom website for a day and then it was removed.
The pictures showed a better mounting then the old one. That makes sense because that was its biggest shortcomming.
I don't know when it will be released but I am serious thinking about buying one.

I have a Tomtom one in my car and like it because it is very userfriendly.
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  #7  
Old 6 Apr 2007
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TomTom

TomTom Rider has some shortcomings but is still worth the money. The new software Tyre makes it possible to use Google Earth for planning. It´s true that the powerbutton is a nightmare but wired properly on the bike there is no need to use it. The lack of maps of former eastern block is a issue that I hope the TomTom people has to solve in the near future. I use it in the winter in my car and it has saved me a lot of time searching for places. Take a look at the webbazaar for additional software as the offroad navigator and some other interesting programs.
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  #8  
Old 7 Apr 2007
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Garmin has much more maps, both commecial and freeware, than TomTom. I think this is very important fact to consider, if you ever ride outside of Europe and US.
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  #9  
Old 7 Apr 2007
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Maps

Yes it´s true that Garmin has an advantage in maps. Check out Wanderlust at Smellybiker . If you have a Garmin this is the site for you, I think?
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  #10  
Old 8 Apr 2007
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Kev,
Ive not used the Zumo, but whichever unit you get - it will be a lot cheaper to buy over the pond - with the weak usd especially if you buy it in the States - flip side of that is you dont get to familiarize with it yourself before you leave - but might be worth considering.

These guys in Calgary, know there stuff and have good prices - comparable to usd

GPS CENTRAL Canada. GPS Receivers by Mio, Garmin, Magellan, Tomtom, Lowrance GEOCACHING GPS Systems

otherwise you could check out or ask about good gps stores where you are starting your Pan American leg from....

I do like the Garmins (I Use a 60cs and an old Etrex summit - both with Touratech mounts) - Garmin have always been quite helpful IME and the mapping is always improving.
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  #11  
Old 12 Apr 2007
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Garmin 2610 !!

For all the right reasons.
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