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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
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  #1  
Old 15 Jun 2008
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Using car type GPS on bikes ?

Bike GPS systems seem very expensive compared to cars. I have a car system I'm happy with, and have used it in one of those clear topped tank bags - limited success really cos it reflects the sun very badly. I don't really care about the sound, but has anyone had any bright ideas for safely mounting a car system on a bike ?

My bike screen is way too curved to use the sucker mount, and I wouldn't trust it anyway. Suckering it on the tank might be a bit better, but the chances of it falling off are still way too high.
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Old 15 Jun 2008
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I've got a pda based setup that runs the normal TomTom software. In the car it sits in the usual mount suckered to the windscreen and works exactly as it should do.

On the bike the pda goes inside an OtterBox case and that is fixed to the bike using a Ram mount. The satnav bit works exactly as it does in the car except for reflection on the screen and lack of sound.

The reflection problem is just a matter of adjusting the screen angle - easy with the ram mount - angle it so it's reflecting your chest instead of the sky. Lack of sound doesn't really bother me much. It might be possible to link the pda to a helmet speaker via bluetooth but it's not something I've looked at in any depth.

Whether OtterBox have boxes that will take a car satnav I've no idea but it might be worth a look at their website.
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Old 15 Jun 2008
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I am looking into this at the moment as I want a sat nav unit but cant afford a bike specific unit. I have removed my digital dash and hope to mount a unit behind the headlight cowl.

Can anyone recomend a decent unit to use I would like to keep things the happy side of £100.
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Old 15 Jun 2008
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That will give you additional problems of permanent exposure to the weather, which car systems aren't designed for. I like the idea though - let us all know if it works !

You can get real cheapos now at Aldi and others. I got an LG one with a big screen at Halfords, and even that will be tough with gloves - included all of Europe for £139 I think. Probably cheaper now as they are falling all the time.
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  #5  
Old 4 Jul 2008
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I've got one of these tank bags from Motorcycle Accessories from Sound Distribution UK . They have an optional extra of a GPS holder.

I went through several torential downpours and the GPS survived.

You may have problems with reflections/viewing just using a standard tankbag/map holder.


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  #6  
Old 12 Jul 2008
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Why are you bothering OtterBox type stuff or else? Just get a Garmin 2720 out of eBay for around U$100 and you are done! Car and motorcyle (waterproof) model, plenty of mount accessories out there...you can't go wrong!
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  #7  
Old 16 Jul 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelspin View Post
Bike GPS systems seem very expensive compared to cars. I have a car system I'm happy with, and have used it in one of those clear topped tank bags - limited success really cos it reflects the sun very badly. I don't really care about the sound, but has anyone had any bright ideas for safely mounting a car system on a bike ?
How about this...

http://render1.snapfish.com/render2/.../of=50,590,442

Never leave home without gaffa tape .

I use the Nokia N73 (pictured) or an o2 Xda IIi PDA with a Holox Bluetooth GPS receiver. I'll be upgrading to a Nokia N95 with built-in GPS when my phone contract is up. You can use the headphones supplied with the phone or just turn it up to maximum volume which can just about be heard up to around 60mph. The method shown in the pic works surprising well until it rains and you have to put it inside your tankbag's map pocket. Unfortunately, because it's wet, it will fog up which is just as bad as the glare you'd get if you put in there in the first place.

I'm also considering buying a car satnav as I agree that you're not getting a lot for your money with bike specific ones and I've yet to see a modern sportsbike (my preferred choice for a travel bike) that has anywhere to mount a TomTom Rider or Garmin Zumo. The Navman S90i looks to be good VFM at present and Makro have them in for £139.99 +VAT.

I'm also looking at buying one of these...


...as GetGeared are listing them at £54.99 for the magnetic version.

HELD 4820 Martello 20L Tank Bag-Backpack System

I've emailed Get Geared asking for the internal sizes of the GPS pocket so I can get an idea of which car satnavs will fit. They're now waiting to hear from their suppliers as these bags are currently out of stock. I'll update as soon as I get a reply.

On the subject of glare/reflection, in TomTom Navigator, I use a black map background, with grey detail and a white direction arrow (or the same scheme reversed). This does help a lot and can be downloaded from the 'net. I've also tried Garmin XT on the PDA which I really like as it has much more features but the ability to customise TomTom is a big plus point.

Last edited by craig76; 16 Jul 2008 at 18:49.
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Old 20 Jul 2008
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Just to update my last post...

The internal size (WxH) of the GPS pocket on the above tankbag is 12x18cm which means most non-widescreen and some widescreen car GPS unit should fit. Unfortunately, Get Geared are out of stock or I would have ordered one. If they do get them back in stock, I'll update this topic again and write a review.
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