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  #1  
Old 23 Feb 2009
Matt Cartney's Avatar
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Garmin Nuvi 250 car GPS - finally mounted to the bike

Hi folks,

A while ago I posted a question about using a car GPS on a bike, the main difficulties appeared to be waterproofing and mounting. However, the cost savings (I got a Nuvi 250 for just £80 in the January sales) seemed to make the effort worthwhile.

The Nuvi itself is great. Very easy to use, quick to recalculate and the routes it chooses seem sensible.

I mounted to the bike using a small, clear Peli case I used to keep my camera in when canoeing. The advantage of this is I can see it (useful!) and it is protected from the elements. I use small velcro patches to keep it in place. I have cut a small groove in the box which takes the power cable.

The bracket which secures the box to the bars is made of an old clamp from a handlebar-brace and some scrap aluminium.

I have wired a cigarette lighter socket up into my peli case topbox. The cable has a standard connector so I can remove the ciggie socket and plug in my trickle charger.

Anyway, here are the pix in case anyone is interested in fitting a car GPS to their bike:







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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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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Looks Great !

Hi Matt,

That looks great and sure will keep it dry. A nice, neat and cheap bike sat nav.

I loaded the Ulrich points of interest on (copied the AA-Camping-Welt.gpx file into the Garmin\GPX folder on the Nuvi) and there you go a whole lot of camping way points or points of interest (not sure the correct term) on your GPS.

Oh, but you have to change the little car to a bike on the Sat Nav.
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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I had my car GPS on my bike for over 30,000km. I never took it off or covered it and ran it in all weathers and it never let me down.

I have just updated to a new TomTom and I will do just the same again.

Steve
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Old 23 Feb 2009
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Well done!

Well done Matt, nice job, its good to see people actually using their brain and hands to find an alternative to forking out hundreds of pounds on a bike specific sat nav.
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Old 21 Apr 2009
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Do you find it awkward not being able to hear the instructions via earpieces? I have just gone the same route with a Nuvi 250 and as the screen is difficult to see in sunlight it would be nice to hear the instructions also.
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Old 21 May 2009
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I agree with Matt on this one

Last year I toured Europe with a widescreen Nuvi that was simply attached to my handlebars via a simple home made bracket and a ram mount which came with it so it literally was pop off, pop on.
I simply fed the power lead directly from my battery, under the seat, along the side of the tank where it met the fairing and secured it with a cable tie to the handlebar making sure there was enough slack to allow me to turn the bars but not too much to make sure it didn't get caught in the wind etc.

I had looked at the Garmin Zumo and TomTom Rider and to be honest the additional cost wasn't worth it to me. If you're using it on a bike day in, day out then maybe there is a good case for going the whole way and buying a proper one but for occasional touring mine worked perfectly (even in the rain even though it's not waterproof!).

And.......as it was on a ram mount I could turn it any direction if the sun was shining too brightly. I didn't listen to the woman at all, I just glanced at it every now and then and I never went wrong.

Chris
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Last edited by Chris1200; 21 May 2009 at 14:00. Reason: extra info
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Old 22 May 2009
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I've been running a Garmin Nuvi 350 w/ram mount for the last 15 months.

The only problems I see with Matt's approach are the fact that he needs to open the cover whenever he needs to touch the screen for entering/changing directions.

Like Steve, I've been running the car GPS for over 50,000kms without any weather protection. When it rains the screen occasionally darkens in one spot but still works fine. Next day, after it dries out, its perfect again.

Garry from Oz.
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Old 22 May 2009
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Hi Garry,

The box is actualy very easy to flip open with one hand, I did think of going with just a bicycle mount, but as I had all the stuff to make the box already, it seemed daft to spend money on a mount that wouldn't protect the GPS from the rain (and we get A LOT of rain!)

Matt
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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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