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So I'm looking for an app or process that works. I eventually want to be able to have a specific route i've created be navigated with voice turn-by turn street name. Oh and be able to use Offline navigation, since in many areas i don't have cellular service.

I have been creating my routes on the Motowhere website which seems ok. Then i export as GPX and i've been using OSMAND. I find it is a great app and works pretty much for what i want. The issue is the battery drains faster than it can be charged and they don't seem to have a solution.

i've looked for many other apps Maps.me, Syngic, wave etc.... none appear to be able to do it all.

What do you people use?
 

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can't help you w/ an app. my experience w/ using a phone for navigation is that you have to constantly keep the phone charging. this is bad for the battery. worse, w/ the gps, nav app, etc. all running on the phone and charging at the same time, the phone/battery can overheat and shut down at the worst possible time. especially if you live where it gets really hot in summer. i live in Georgia and this was a constant summer issue for me.

i use a dedicated gps (tomtom rider 400) for that reason.

there are phones out now that can handle all that w/ less chance of overheating. i recommend that you investigate your phone's ability to handle high usage while charging w/o overheating.
 

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I hate to say it but Google Maps. Provides all the functionality you need, and even though it isn't perfect, it is probably the best option. I use it all the time, running earbuds up under my helmet. I plan to install speakers in the helmet but retain a plug for the phone, to avoid the Bluetooth BS.

The great thing about it is that you can lock the phone/shut off the screen and put the phone in your jacket pocket. It's the screen that uses most of the battery and overheats. Once you have your route loaded, the app does not need to use much data or battery really to update the route -- all it's doing is tracking you with GPS. Turn on the voice commands and "she" tells you exactly when to turn, where to go. You can also save offline maps.

I can ride for hours like this with minimal battery usage. Then I charge when I stop if I need to. Again, it's not perfect -- there are times when the app has lost me pretty bad, thinking I'm on the highway when I'm on an access road or something. But all in all, it's the best option I've found.
 

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I hate to say it but Google Maps. Provides all the functionality you need, and even though it isn't perfect, it is probably the best option. I use it all the time, running earbuds up under my helmet. I plan to install speakers in the helmet but retain a plug for the phone, to avoid the Bluetooth BS.

The great thing about it is that you can lock the phone/shut off the screen and put the phone in your jacket pocket. It's the screen that uses most of the battery and overheats. Once you have your route loaded, the app does not need to use much data or battery really to update the route -- all it's doing is tracking you with GPS. Turn on the voice commands and "she" tells you exactly when to turn, where to go. You can also save offline maps.

I can ride for hours like this with minimal battery usage. Then I charge when I stop if I need to. Again, it's not perfect -- there are times when the app has lost me pretty bad, thinking I'm on the highway when I'm on an access road or something. But all in all, it's the best option I've found.

Google maps will not follow a pre-created route exactly, it will try and reroute you to fastest route.
 

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Google maps will not follow a pre-created route exactly, it will try and reroute you to fastest route.
Ah, now I see what you mean. Yeah, honestly I always hated that about the dedicated GPS systems. Don't they just freak out if you accidentally leave the route and just "recalculate" anyway, creating a new route? What happens if you get lost and can't find the route?

I know the Google Maps browser version allows you to edit the route pretty much however you want, by dragging the lines around, but maybe not phone version. Also it used to "offer" the faster route but you could refuse (if your hands were free). So not that helpful on a motorcycle.

Anyway I'd be interested to know what you come up with because occasionally I have wanted to follow an exact route, too. In that case I have somtimes gone old school and written out the directions and put it in the map pocket of my tankbag. With some pre-trip review you don't need to really stare at it. Most of the time, if i want a "prettier" route, I just choose a random destination and say "avoid highways" on Gmaps.
 

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I mounted a Garmin 395LM on my Vaquero. I should really finish the wiring so I can hear the directions through the bike's stereo, but I just look down occasionally. It's got a usable app for your laptop to create routes and download them to the nav unit. It's hardened for the elements and is hard-wired into my bike. Works great.

-John
 

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Ah, now I see what you mean. Yeah, honestly I always hated that about the dedicated GPS systems. Don't they just freak out if you accidentally leave the route and just "recalculate" anyway, creating a new route? What happens if you get lost and can't find the route?
dedicated gps or app, they are slaves to the particular algorithm they use to calculate the route. if you go off the calculated route, whatever algorithm that device or app uses will still be used to try to get you from where you are at the moment to the next waypoint or destination. some handle it more gracefully than others. the more waypoints you have, the harder it is to calculate how to get you back on track, because you may have bypassed a waypoint and it will want to force you to go back and pick up that point.

it took a while, but i have learned how to get along better w/ a dedicated gps than w/ any phone app i've tried. 3rd party route planning apps (i really like MyRouteApp) make life much better w/ a dedicated gps, as does planning multiple short routes instead of one long route. i usually save several destination points for a ride, then let the gps calculate each leg of the trip as i go. this usually confuses the gps less when i leave the planned route. the added advantage of this for me is that i can choose different curvyness and/or hilliness of each leg w/ the tomtom rider 400.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've been trying the Tom Tom Go Mobile App. Costs around $8/month or ~$30/year, but it is not bad. You can either import a GPX file to MyDrive Tom Tom and modify, or create a route on MyDrive Tom Tom and then sync to your app/phone.

I cant figure out though once i've created a route it seems to convert it to a track on the app and with my phone i can't add stops??

It could be greatly improved, but it seems every app has some areas for improvement.

There is a route bar on the right that tells you the next gas station distance, but i'm not sure it is consistent. I wish it told you all POI coming up or selected. Gas, Parking, Rest Stop, Restaurants if you select them to display along your route.
 

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I've been trying the Tom Tom Go Mobile App. Costs around $8/month or ~$30/year, but it is not bad. You can either import a GPX file to MyDrive Tom Tom and modify, or create a route on MyDrive Tom Tom and then sync to your app/phone.

I cant figure out though once i've created a route it seems to convert it to a track on the app and with my phone i can't add stops??

It could be greatly improved, but it seems every app has some areas for improvement.

There is a route bar on the right that tells you the next gas station distance, but i'm not sure it is consistent. I wish it told you all POI coming up or selected. Gas, Parking, Rest Stop, Restaurants if you select them to display along your route.
i deleted the tomtom go app from my phone. i hated it.
 

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I use google maps for quick navigation a couple of years ago. OSMAND is new to me, and I don't hear the name of this app before. I start using this app and love it so much. It gives me a perfect shot of quick navigation.
Thanks
 

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I'm struggling with the same thing, I have a non-mc specific garmin gps and I really need something better. I have a tank bag with a clear, waterproof top just for holding maps. As much as I'd rather have technology work for me, maps are looking better. I can spend up to $300 for an mc specific gps but it's still a tough pill to swallow and it had better be perfect if I go that route and include lifetime map updates, any suggestions that would fit what I'm looking for?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I love OSMAND and all the features. Seems to have everything i need. The problem is it kills your battery, so it makes it useless for me. I've been using Tom Tom Go mobile. costs a bit, but seems good. Not all the features but it allows import of GPX
 

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I'm struggling with the same thing, I have a non-mc specific garmin gps and I really need something better. I have a tank bag with a clear, waterproof top just for holding maps. As much as I'd rather have technology work for me, maps are looking better. I can spend up to $300 for an mc specific gps but it's still a tough pill to swallow and it had better be perfect if I go that route and include lifetime map updates, any suggestions that would fit what I'm looking for?
The Garmin 395LM that I bought was $299 last time I looked, and it's worked GREAT for me! Lifetime Map updates (LM in the model designation), route planning on your computer. I have mine hard-wired to the bike so when I put it in the dock on my handlebars it's charging.

-John
 

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John, that sounds like the kind of setup I'm looking for. Is the display bright enough? I've noticed many GPS meant for cars can't even come close to being bright enough to be seen easily on a sunny day on a motorcycle.
 

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John, that sounds like the kind of setup I'm looking for. Is the display bright enough? I've noticed many GPS meant for cars can't even come close to being bright enough to be seen easily on a sunny day on a motorcycle.
I'd say it's bright enough - I have yet to have an issue with brightness in any conditions. I thought I saw somewhere a visor for it to prevent glare/washout from sunlight.

FWIW, I have the Garmin mounted on my right-hand mirror mount using the supplied "U" bolt and mount. I ran the power wire under my Vaquero's tank bib to the battery, but when my mechanic had it in the shop last, he rewired it to go into the fairing somewhere. Still hooked up to an always-hot circuit, but the wiring is a lot nicer now.

-John
 

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John, that sounds like the kind of setup I'm looking for. Is the display bright enough? I've noticed many GPS meant for cars can't even come close to being bright enough to be seen easily on a sunny day on a motorcycle.
I'd say it's bright enough - I have yet to have an issue with brightness in any conditions. I thought I saw somewhere a visor for it to prevent glare/washout from sunlight.

FWIW, I have the Garmin mounted on my right-hand mirror mount using the supplied "U" bolt and mount. I ran the power wire under my Vaquero's tank bib to the battery, but when my mechanic had it in the shop last, he rewired it to go into the fairing somewhere. Still hooked up to an always-hot circuit, but the wiring is a lot nicer now.

-John
i used to use a non-mc tomtom. i ended up putting this visor on it: https://www.amazon.com/322-Glare-Reducing-Visor-Shade/dp/B009N9JXD4?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B009N9JXD4. made a huge diff.

even w/ the tomtom rider 400 i have now, the sun can make it hard to see, especially w/ the sun visor in my helmet down, so i have the visor on this gps, too.
 

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I have just gotten my first "real" motorcycle so don't have a lot of experience with motorcycle specific navigation but have been using GPS units for more than 15 years in automobiles, trains and airplanes. Earlier this summer I planned a trip to Door County, Wisconsin (from Chicago suburbs) and used Google Maps which I have been employing on various vacation trips for more than a decade. It worked very well for me as I was planning a route that avoided major highways. However, I made sure to use my desktop computer with 29" screen to facilitate ease of zooming in and out as I inspected various different areas. Trying to do on a small phone screen I'm sure would be a real chore.

I reduced what I found with Googel Maps into a Word Table document with specific instructions for every turn, and that worked pretty well for me but did require fairly frequent stops to refresh my memory on the next upcoming steps. I used the same technique planning my route back home from the dealer in Iowa where I bought the Vulcan S on October the 4th.

Now that I have my Vulcan S I did research on motorcycle specific GPS units and was very impressed with the Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S Motorcyle Navigator. On the Garmin website you can download the Owners Manual and I recommend doing so to get a compete idea of what it can do. Suffice it to say that after doing just that, I bought one on the spot. I have charged up its internal battery and have been using it for about a week now with excellent results. While I have the mount installed on my new Vulcan S, the power cable is not yet hard wired to the bike's battery, but the internal battery has been running the unit just fine. With a 4.3" diagonal screen zooming in and out is still a fairly laborious task, but used in conjunction with Google Maps is an excellent solution.

The unit has a slider adjustment for brightness with a wide range from dim to very bight. While nothing is perfect in bright sunlight, it does very well in the daytime.

Garmin includes free lifetime map and software updates, either with a USB cable connection or via WiFi, and updating is what they tell you to do first thing out of the box. WiFi worked flawlessly for me. Garmin includes a Route Planning app which allows a broad range of parameters. such as fastest time, shortest distance, exclude highways, and/or tolls, or ask first about tolls, or pick specific Motorcycle Adventure routes emphasizing hills and curves, etc. The 396 unit gives very clear excellent turn by turn directions and facilitates hands-free of the associated phone. I've been using mine in conjunction with a new Packtalk Bold Helmet headset. Motorcycle specific warnings include curves and railroad tracks.

Rather than me trying to describe all of the numerous features, go download the Manual and read for yourself. The Garmin manual (pdf) can be downloaded from here: http://static.garmin.com/pumac/zumo_396_OM_EN-US.pdf

When I bought the Garmin it was slightly over $300 on Amazon, right now it's priced at $260 there: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C9YYDWK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and is currently on sale at Garmin for $250: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C9YYDWK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00? ie=UTF8&psc=1

If you spend the time with the manual I think you'll find the 396 is a very well thought out motorcycle navigation device :) - Randy
 

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An update: I took the Garmin off my Vaquero before trading it in, and will be installing it on my wife's Sportster 1200. The power wire was run by my mechanic underneath the tank to the battery, so it took some work to get it off of there. According to my neighbor (who was looking to buy the unit from me for use on his wife's bike), the power cable and dock is around $120 online, not including the GPS unit itself!

The 395LM (and I'd assume the 396 as well) is a fantastic unit. I'd be surprised if it didn't "auto zoom" based on speed - I seem to recall mine doing that while riding. As far as trip planning, Garmin has a deskop program that you can set up a trip and send it through a USB cable to the GPS unit itself. Then it's as easy as turning on the unit and selecting your route. The built-in "Garmin Adventurous Routing" worked quite well for us, too.

The important part, to me, is to make sure you're buying a motorcycle-specific GPS unit, since they're "hardened" for the harsh environment a motorcycle spends its time in.

-John
 

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I use a Garmin 1490LMT. For "waterproofing" a Ziplock freezer bag, quart size I think, does the trick.

After some GPS/Garmin forum study, making a few routes and experimenting with waypoint and shaping point placement, a route follows exactly the path I want. Usually I make the routes with Basecamp.
 

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A question for whoaru99 hope you can help me. I used the basecamp for a trip this past summer and it would tell me when i was coming onto a waypoint as if it was my final destination. That was very annoying because a used a lot of waypoints to stay on course I'm sure their is a way to stop this from happening but i just can't figure that out. What's the secret.
 
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