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  #1  
Old 11 Mar 2012
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Cheap GPS for ride through Europe

Hi All,

I am not overly familiar with GPS units; never had a need for one until this upcoming trip. The nice motorbike specific units appear to be $500 or more, no thanks.

The bike I'll be using is a 2012 BMW F800. I'm picking it up in Valencia (I live in the States) and likely will not be able to test fit anything except on my RC51. I'll need a flexible mount. IMTbike in Spain wanted 15 Euro's a day for GPS which is crazy in my opinion given my trip will be multiple weeks.

I would like-
a) Decent coverage for all of Europe including Turkey. "Trail" level detail is probably not needed since I will not be going off road.
b) A way to reliably mount it to the bike.
c) One that can tap into a power source on the bike easily. I think the BMW will have something I can use without splicing any wires but I am unsure.
d) The ability to locate camping spots.

What I do not need if it will significantly raise the price-
a) A waterproof unit - I'll put a plastic bag over it and save $200 if need be.
b) Bluetooth anything.

So far I looked at the 'rider' type units dismissed them due to cost.
Garmin nüvi 275/275T 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic - looks okay and is <$150. I'll need to waterproof and mount it.
Garmin nüvi 1370/1370T 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Maps of North America & Europe and Lifetime Traffic - bigger screen, similar features, still <$170.
The Garmin Zumo is nice but it is a minimum of $400. Yikes. Any setup suggestions? Leaving in May so I want to buy one and test it out a bit before i leave.
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  #2  
Old 11 Mar 2012
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Hi,

Im using Garmin Nüvi 250W Europa scince many years. You can allready get it on ebay for about 50 Euro. It comes with the Map of west europa and you can copy any other map from

Free worldwide routable Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap

on it. I used it all around Africa and right now in Southamerica. It works great. Im using it in my tankbag and have put a 12Volt Plug onto my bike to charge it. The BMW Plug is different.

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  #3  
Old 11 Mar 2012
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The 275T is probably your least expensive option in that it includes the European and North American maps. GPS Central in Calgary has it for $130: Garmin nuvi 275T Portable Car GPS with preloaded maps of Europe and North America (010-00576-00) - GPSCentral.ca

There is a thread started by Ulrich on HU where he has compiled campgrounds around the world and put in a format that you can upload to your Garmin. You'll need to use your computer at home to do that before you go. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...gleearth-36431

The F800GS has a BMW style accessory plug on the "tank" near the ignition key. Since the 275T has a cigarette lighter power plug you'll simply need an adapter cable like this one from Touratech: BMW Motorcycle Plug to Cigarette Lighter Adapter - Touratech-USA

You could put the GPS in the map case of a tank bag but it won't be very easy (or safe) to read while riding. You'll probably end up having to put a mount on the handlebars. Something like this at GPS City for $30: RAM Mount RAM-B-149Z-GA24U Aluminum Garmin nuvi 2xx Series Zinc Coated U-Bolt Motorcycle Mount

Waterproofing the whole thing might be a fair bit of work though. In the end it might be better to go with a waterproof hiking unit that uses replacable batteries and mount that up on the handlebars.
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  #4  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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I wouldn't bother with a garmin for Europe.
It is very rare you can put in an address that it will accept. (For France, haven't tried elsewhere) The only way is to get someone to send the gps co ordinates of your destination. "Some times" you can do that using google maps.

I can't enter in my own address, but google, via Michelin and tom tom are fine.
same with a friends address nearby, and about a dozen other destinations that I want to go to. just this evening Tried to use it to drive to a local person selling goose eggs, the Garmin simply wont let me enter in the address. even though I have the postcode, house name and town( it does know the town, but I can follow sign posts for that).

It does not know ferry port locations in France or the UK but does know airports . I have had to find them and manually enter in the co ordinates when there. Basically it is very good for coming home but useless for going anywhere else.
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  #5  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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You should look at buying an old Street pilot. Garmin 2610 etc which still have great features for an 8 year old unit.

However, I've just replaced my very old and battered one for a Garmin Etrex Vista HCX which was £89 NEW on Amazon.

You can put OSM maps straight on for free and it does routing. You can also use it for hiking, sailing etc. I can get FULL signal inside my house too which I would never get on the 2610.

It takes AA batteries and uses a SD Micro card slot. It's not touch screen like the more expensive models (or the street pilots) but it's more than good enough if you just want something to follow and get you out of a pickle.
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  #6  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahtt View Post
Hi All,

I am not overly familiar with GPS units; never had a need for one until this upcoming trip. The nice motorbike specific units appear to be $500 or more, no thanks.

The bike I'll be using is a 2012 BMW F800. I'm picking it up in Valencia (I live in the States) and likely will not be able to test fit anything except on my RC51. I'll need a flexible mount. IMTbike in Spain wanted 15 Euro's a day for GPS which is crazy in my opinion given my trip will be multiple weeks.

I would like-
a) Decent coverage for all of Europe including Turkey. "Trail" level detail is probably not needed since I will not be going off road.
b) A way to reliably mount it to the bike.
c) One that can tap into a power source on the bike easily. I think the BMW will have something I can use without splicing any wires but I am unsure.
d) The ability to locate camping spots.

What I do not need if it will significantly raise the price-
a) A waterproof unit - I'll put a plastic bag over it and save $200 if need be.
b) Bluetooth anything.

So far I looked at the 'rider' type units dismissed them due to cost.
Garmin nüvi 275/275T 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic - looks okay and is <$150. I'll need to waterproof and mount it.
Garmin nüvi 1370/1370T 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Maps of North America & Europe and Lifetime Traffic - bigger screen, similar features, still <$170.
The Garmin Zumo is nice but it is a minimum of $400. Yikes. Any setup suggestions? Leaving in May so I want to buy one and test it out a bit before i leave.
For your "likes" list there is feedback in another thread http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...rmin-gps-62780 that might provide some ideas for you.
For instance, the RAM mount appears to be rated highly.

Whatever your decision, purchase at home for the exchange rate reason alone will be a "no brainer"!!

The business of map coverage comes down to buying products or the various open source maps - not my area of knowledge, much less expertise, but there is good information in this forum.
Same goes for getting POIs for campsites, and everything else.

A lot of "good, cheap" products are powered by AA batteries so, it seems to me, to be a case of using rechargeables with the backup of carrying some spare non-rechargeable batts against the possibility of running out of juice while travelling.
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  #7  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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I would just buy a Garmin Nuvi off amazon or similar with full Euro maps for around £90 (about $130?) and fit it using the cycling handlebar mount. This is what I did and it works great. I can even use the touch screen using my leather gloves. I wouln't necessarily use the cycling mount off road, however, as it might fly off in the rough stuff, but on road it works fine. Can't say I've ever had any problems inputting addresses in Europe, including France.

This is what I've got:

Garmin Nuvi 250 Satellite Navigation System with Full: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

Plug it in using a cigarette lighter adapter socket. I think BMWs all come with an accesory socket for plugging gadgets into, but, true to BMW form, this is not a cigarette lighter socket but slightly different. Although I bet you can get a BMW socket to cigarette lighter socket adapter. Some one with a BMW should be able to enlighten you on this.

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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #8  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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Ta-daa!

BMW Motorcycle Plug to Cigarette Lighter Adapter - Touratech-USA

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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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  #9  
Old 12 Mar 2012
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I use a Tomtom Rider II and am happy with it.
You can find the specs and prices on the Tomtom website

The Urban Rider Europe is € 299 and has maps of almost all European countries (but unfortunately not Turkey), a RAM mount and is made for motorcycle use.

The Garmin ZUMO 220 is € 399 and it has a map of Turkey in the Europe version.
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  #10  
Old 14 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
I wouldn't bother with a garmin for Europe.
It is very rare you can put in an address that it will accept. (For France, haven't tried elsewhere) The only way is to get someone to send the gps co ordinates of your destination. "Some times" you can do that using google maps.

I can't enter in my own address, but google, via Michelin and tom tom are fine.
same with a friends address nearby, and about a dozen other destinations that I want to go to. just this evening Tried to use it to drive to a local person selling goose eggs, the Garmin simply wont let me enter in the address. even though I have the postcode, house name and town( it does know the town, but I can follow sign posts for that).

It does not know ferry port locations in France or the UK but does know airports . I have had to find them and manually enter in the co ordinates when there. Basically it is very good for coming home but useless for going anywhere else.
How strange... I've never had any problems like this with either of my Zumo units... a 550, and now a 660, they both work flawlessly.. having said that, I always load my GPS with the places I'll be visiting straight into 'My favorites' before a long European trip.
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  #11  
Old 14 Mar 2012
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An addition to my previous post

In my previous post I wrote;
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrijt View Post
I use a Tomtom Rider II and am happy with it.
You can find the specs and prices on the Tomtom website.
The Urban Rider Europe is € 299 and has maps of almost all European countries (but unfortunately not Turkey), a RAM mount and is made for motorcycle use.
First, they told me you have to buy the RAM mount seperately.
Second, I am not so happy now. The Tomtom won't charge in the mounting on the bike. I tried it with a new mountingdock at the dealer (I already had one replaced under warranty) but it still did not charge.
The dealer told me they stopped selling the Tomtom because the mounting hardware of the new Riders has the same problems as the Rider II.
I have send a mail to Tomtom with my problem but if they won't help me, I'll buy a Garmin Zumo 220 with Europe maps.
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My travelbike is a yellow BMW R1100GS
My wifes bike, that I use a lot, is a 1978 Honda CB400T
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  #12  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy View Post
How strange... I've never had any problems like this with either of my Zumo units... a 550, and now a 660, they both work flawlessly.. having said that, I always load my GPS with the places I'll be visiting straight into 'My favorites' before a long European trip.
to do that you have to be able to enter in the address, and it stops you by either not recognising it, or by forcing you to accept a wrong address.
to explain further, say you wanted to enter in "london", but after entering "lo" it completed it to "Looe" thereby preventing you from entering where you really want to go.
The odd thing is Google, Via michelin and Tom Tom does not seem to have this problem.
just try to navigate to this town. I am sure most of us would like to go there. it is in SE France post code 73260.


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  #13  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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thanks for all the suggestions guys. At least now I know what my options are; with the RAM mount and converter I can run just about anything. Now I need to decide if I should get a water proof 'hiking' style unit or a cheaper standard unit and be responsible for keeping it dry.

I think it would be wise to get it asap so I can test it out. I don't want to show up in Valencia, type in Istanbul, and it give me an issue before I even get started.
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