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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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Old 17 Jul 2012
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Question-GPS Mounting Options

After much research there seems to be a consensus of what the better GPS units are for motorcycle touring. Since these units are geared for motorcycles (water proof, etc) they tend to be more expensive. Mounting a GPS to the windshield or handle bars means every time you leave the bike you need to take the GPS with you. I have never used a GPS on my bike but would a better option be to purchase a cheaper GPS and keep it in my tank bag? That way I can save money and it's one less thing I have to worry about taking off the bike when I leave it unattended.
Thanks in advance for any constructive feedback.
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Old 17 Jul 2012
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There is at least one suggestion along those lines in this thread:

See the post by Chris Scott.

Apart from using a tank bag there is also the option for the purpose-made GPS bags that strap onto the handlebars; various manufacturers are making these with a range of claims about water resistance - nothing is truly waterproof though, even a Rolex watch

Nice first post by the way
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Old 20 Jul 2012
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I'm sure I've read about people using lunch boxes and the like - buying car ones (cheaper) and using this set up with a tank bag. I personally like mine being wired to the battery - knowing my luck sometimes, I get near to my destination and the battery would run out!

I've bought a lockable mount for mine; it will be fine for short stops (it's a right pain having to take it off every time I stop for the loo or such), although I'd want to take it off for longer stops - peace of mind and all that.

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Old 20 Jul 2012
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The problem with a GPS in the tank bag is your eyes, they need to be on the road, not looking down trying to follow a track

By getting a bike specific GPS, at least you know it has been designed(supposedly) with bikers gloves rain and all the other issues in mind. Most of these are hardware design mods, not the software stuff that runs the maps

Most bike GPS's are designed to fit into a cradle type mount and they can be unclipped when you are going to be away from the bike and locked away

You can buy expensive after market lockable mounts, but personally I won't waste my money on them, with the normal powered cradleit is a quick flick and release and the unit is in my pocket

Anyway, the choice is yours, but remember eyes on the road, so if you do buy a cheap unit, mount it at or near eye level so you can see it and still see what is happeing around you

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Old 20 Jul 2012
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I have been using a cheap, car style GPS for 3 years. I'm not doing a RTW but do go on 2, 5000 to 7000 km trips every year and it has worked reasonably well for me. I use the suction cup mount and stick it to my tach or speedo glass depending on which bike I'm using. This year it was exposed to 4 days of rain on a week long trip and, while it survived and is still functional, it is on its way out. I'm planning to upgrade to a waterproof unit as soon as the budget allows because the more I use the GPS in conjunction with maps, the more I realize that for my style of riding, I need to have a GPS available regardless of the weather. If you grow to rely on it and it isn't there when you need it, it just adds stress to your life. I find I use maps to plan my route and the GPS to assist me in figuring out when I'll need to start looking for the corner I need to turn at. Nothing stresses my wife out more than watching me trying to look at a tank bag map holder, a GPS mounted on the dash, street signs and traffic on an 8 lane city street. Anything you can do to keep everything you're looking at in reasonably close proximity will definitely extend your riding career! Travel safe...
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Old 21 Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
The problem with a GPS in the tank bag is your eyes, they need to be on the road, not looking down trying to follow a track
Also, a GPS in a tank bag will likely be horizontal, and all you will see is a reflection of the sky. I have never had much success with a unit mounted here.

Almost eye-level is ideal, so you just have to dip your eyes to read the screen.

One good thing I have found using a (car-type) Tomtom is the safety feature where you can turn the map off above certain speeds. I have mine set to 30 mph/50 kph. Below that, you have a map which can help you make sense of difficult junctions and complex interchanges. Above that, you have a sodding big arrow with the distance to the next turn in big letters. Works for me.
2006 XT660R daily ride, 1994 XT600E about to be reborn, Blog: http://goingfastgettingnowhere.blogspot.com/
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