Would a car GPS work on a bike - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Would a car GPS work on a bike

I know that motorcycle GPS units are designed for vibration and water resistance, but if you have a bike that doesn't try to remove your dental work with vibration and are quick to get your electronics out of the rain, do you really need to spend the extra four to six hundred dollars?

I'm pricing GPS units and would like to get one to transfer back and forth between the car and bike.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 12:32 AM
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Sure, you can make it work. But a car gps on a bike is always filled with compromises. The screens are seldom bright enough to be seen when it's sunny, which sucks because it's seldom you can hear any instructions from a car gps on a bike either. Add in trying to find a way to mount it. Ram (and others) make mounts for some but not others. And power it. I've been down that road, and if you really want a gps that works good on your bike and car I'd recommend starting with a zumo.
I bought a remanufactured 590LM for $500 and that included virtually everything needed to mount and use it on a bike and car. It even changes how it functions depending what it's mounted on. Heck, this is the first gps I've truly been happy with. I sold all my other units cause this one works so much better.
Plus bluetooth, mp3 player, integrate with most modern stereos, can add tire pressure monitors, etc... When you choose a destination the 590 maps out 3 routes for you to choose from. 1 is the fastest route, 2nd is the shortest route and 3rd is the curvy roads route.
There's a lot more to the zumo than just vibration and water proofing.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Good to know. I'll check out Zumo. I didn't get a good feeling about bike GPS after reading reviews on the TomTom.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 08:32 AM
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I had a TomTom Rider2. Besides being bike friendly it was one of the worst gps's I've owned.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 09:14 AM
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I have a zuma mounted on my bike. I got a case on Ebay and put styrofoam in it to cut the vibration and hold it tight against the screen. No problem seeing it when driving
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 10:30 AM
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the tomtom gps is recommended for Europe because of the maps, but garmin maps are better for north america than the tomtom maps

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by D-Dub View Post
I had a TomTom Rider2. Besides being bike friendly it was one of the worst gps's I've owned.
The TomTom Rider 2 was a pretty crappy motorcycle gps. The Rider 400 started out pretty bad because they rushed it out the door with a lot of features either buggy or unfinished. With the latest updates, it is actually a decent motorcycle gps. One thing that I would recommend, though, is to not use the TomTom software or the free TyretoTravel software for ride planning. MyRouteApp is MUCH better and allows downloading or routes or tracks. The difference is routes are only waypoints so the gps is free to calculate the path between the waypoints as it sees fit. Tracks are downloaded and match exactly on the PC and gps.

I just purchase one to replace a TomTom 430 XXL that I bought about 7 years ago. The screen on the XXL has gotten dimmer (or maybe it's my eyes ) in the last couple of years and was never all that good to begin with. I put the XXL in an Aquabox on a RAM mount, with usb power to it, and rode probably 30,000+ miles with it on 2 bikes. So to answer the OP's question, yes, an auto gps will work on a motorcycle, but like D-dub said, they are not seen as easily and lack other functions of a motorcycle gps.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 02:35 AM
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I've got a setup like reggae5 does... Roughly the exact same location. I'm using an old garmin nuvi ($20 from a pawn shop) and I can also second what D-dub said about brightness, but a three dollar case from eBay and a twenty dollar gps from a local pawn shop doesn't incapacitate my wallet and doesn't overheat every six minutes like my phone in Louisiana heat. It gets me by, even if I gotta lean a bit forward to see it in full sun.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 06:19 PM
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Another nice feature on a bike GPS is the ability to download routes from your computer or making them on the GPS. A lot of car GPS units don't allow you to do that. With your route you can select the exact rodes you want to take and your stops. With a car GPS you go from point A to point B with the fastest or shortest route only.

I have the Zumo 595 and it was well worth the cost. Before that I had the Zumo 660.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 09:13 PM
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I have a Garmin car GPS in a waterproof case, mounted between the risers. Made my own mount so it is almost vertical, can see just fine in the sun. I can also make my own routes on it, or down load ones made on my computer. I use https://tripplanner.honda.com ,works well with unlimited way points. I have Less than $150 in my entire set up.
Been using it since 2016 and 25,000 miles no issues.
There is quite a few Garmin car GPS that you can make your own routes on. I'm petty sure the new drive 51LM and 61LM have the right software to do it.
You can also use basecamp by Garmin to make maps. The trick to both of them it to make plenty of way points, or the gps might change your route up. Make a 3 day or more trip can be time consuming. After loading you need to check to make sure its the same as your original.

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