Now onto motorcycle navigation.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Morgan3820, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    I looked at the usual Garmin offerings. The XT at $500, has the best reviews. The 369 LMT is on sale for $265, but the reviews are mixed.
    I came across a British innovation called the Beeline Moto. It consists of a small indicator that mounts to the bike and uses a pointer to show you the way, Being linked to an app on your phone.
    Or just use my phone and google maps. Seems a bit risky and the phone isn’t really designed for the purpose.
    Thoughts and ideas please.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  2. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    Paper sectional chart and whisky compass. You never know when the GPS will fail and you will be stuck on the side of the road.
     
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  3. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Turn the phone over in the car, and navigate based on the voice from Google Maps. That is the simplest test to see if the phone is sufficient.

    Tim

    Sent from my HD1907 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    Do they still make paper maps?
     
  5. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Although I'm only a cager, and a motorcycle environment is different, some things are common. I prefer the Garmin to the phone as I've sometimes lost cell data, and my maps. This has recently happened in places I thought should have good coverage. The Garmin interface is just a little better, in my opinion, while driving.
     
  6. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I use my iPhone and Waze. Like having up-to-date traffic and the routing it provides. Plus I’m used to the interface, and the only thing to buy is the mount, in my case a RAM X-Mount. Just be sure your gloves allow for the touch interface.
     
  7. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It all depends on your navigation goals, I use both depending on purpose.

    Getting from point A to point B in the most expeditious fashion? Nothing beats Gnav or Waze, so use the phone. Also, if you want to avoid the worst of the highways, make decent time, and don't want to plan a custom route, the Gnav with "avoid highways" is a good option that I've used to good effect.

    So why do I also own a Garmin (really a BMW Nav5, which is a custom made BMW branded Garmin that integrates to the BMW mount and whiz wheel)? I like to do custom routes, as Gnav/Waze routes take you on I-roads, which IMHO is the most sucky way to travel by motorcycle. Trucks, buffeting, and lots of crazy car drivers who will kill each other to see who can arrive at their destination two minutes faster than the other guy.

    I'm going on a trip at the end of the month, this is the Gnav route. I-75 and I-40 most of the way to the destination. Hot, boring, taxing, dangerous, and it bypasses all of the great twisty backroads along the way. But, its expeditious at 4:09.

    Capture3.JPG

    But hey, I'm taking the whole day off for travel, I love twisties, I'm a map geek, so I put together this custom route, a route that in no way can be entered into Gnav or Waze. It's 8:57 in duration, but I get up and leave early and this route hits SO MANY of the great twisty routes in the region.

    Capture1.JPG

    I have a "process" I use that I can share that takes a rubber banded route from Google Mymaps and eventually gets it into a gpx file that routes correctly in the Garmin GPS. It involves minimal use of Garmin Basecamp, which is good because Basecamp (sorry @Ted , but it's the honest truth) is a horrible app with a horrible user interface that is perplexing to learn and use. BUT, it is needed to massage the route into a good gpx file.

    I'll stop here, but if anyone is interested in the process I'll be happy to lay it out. But in the end, @Morgan3820 , I use both phone and Garmin depending on purpose.
     
  8. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Is there a motorcycle equivalent of the MLOD?

    I guess reading maps is a dying skill.
     
  9. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I pour over plenty of online maps when planning a route. I typically start about a month out from travel day, do a route, and then every 4-5 days or so go back and review the route. I often do modifications like "Holy crap, how did I miss that twisty little road instead of this boring one" and change it. Although I am relying on the GPS, by the time ride day comes around I have a pretty good mental picture in my mind of that the trip looks like.

    I also ride at a good clip, trying to look at printed maps or directions is a distraction, much better to have bitching betty pipe up on my earbuds that a turn is coming up and have the GPS depict the turn.

    The way I look at it is I do all of the map reading ahead of time, not on the fly.

    But, the display is MLOD:

    IMG_0371.JPG
     
  10. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    I’ve never found a motorcycle gps I cared for so I’ve just used my phone when I wanted navigation help. It works fine 99% of the time, there were just a couple of spots out in Wyoming where I had no cell service and the map was stubborn.

    The latest Zumo looks like an improvement over the previous ones. The latest Garmin Montana with the built in inReach also looks intriguing but expensive.
     
  11. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I bought a phone mount for my bike. I think it cost 5$. I think. It holds the phone, which can be tuned to a navigation program. Simple and works.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
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  12. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Indeed, BaseCamp is absolutely horrid. I did a similar google maps to GPX approach you’re talking about for a while but it is far too time consuming and annoying for me. Lately I’ve just been eyeing the route ahead of time and riding from memory, using my phone as a backup device if I get lost.
     
  13. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My routes are far too long and complex to eyeball. For me, the investment is worth it as when I travel by bike the twistier and more backroad the better. YMMV :cheers:
     
  14. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Navigation? No way man. Just pick a road and go. Know N/E/S/W based on the sun and just make your way in a general direction. Way more fun that having a route. I will have a route in my head, but I also have a pretty photographic memory when it comes to maps and roads and sense of direction. If I've been there once you can drop me off just about anywhere, and I can get there again, and if I've not been there I can probably get there. For a while my nickname was "back-road," because I'd take some off the beaten path route and still end up where we needed to be.
     
  15. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Agree to disagree, I want to be sure I hit the most twisty and/or backroads goatpaths roads that I can along the way. Also not out for a joy ride, have a destination to get to.
     
  16. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Great roads. My neck of the woods.

    Once I was headed from N GA to a motorcycle rally in VA. Just a handful of hours on interstate. But I saw it was just off US 64, and US 64 was just a few miles from our N GA, so...

    After virtually all day on US 64 I was seriously questioning my decision and rolled into the campground exhausted. Still, a great day of riding.

    To use Waze in your scenario, I would just break the trip into lots of shorter legs, putting in towns along the twisty route. Not as elegant, but it works.
     
  17. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    It's, like, about the journey, man!

    I look those up ahead of time, but once I am on the bike, it's just me, the road, and the wind in my face.
     
  18. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Lol
     
  19. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    I am actually with you on this Ed but my wife will be riding along and she requires a plan and she’s not big on deviating from plans so I need to have a plan to map a direction. she is not a off-the-cuff let’s go this way and see what happens kind of person. Bathrooms are important to her world.
    I have stories of marital development that I will spare you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  20. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Queues "Freedom Rock!" infomercial.
     
  21. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Dude, then you're just along for the ride. Because your plan is going to be her plan. :D
     
  22. genna

    genna Pattern Altitude

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    if you are mostly traveling where your phone has service, i'd stick with the phone. Waze/google(both have options to download maps if service is to be interrupted) are pretty great for general navigation and there are a number of MC specific apps out there that are great at customizing scenic routes. If you are concerned about losing your phone, use/buy an old one and tether it to your main one that is safe in your pocket. Or use audio with phone hidden

    There are a few benefits of a dedicated GPS. No need for any service, you can operate it while riding, larger screen, weather proofed. If you need any of that, than you should get a dedicated one. For my riding, phone(in the pocket with audio for navigation) has always been sufficient and there is really no room to mount anything else. But i only really use it rarely when I either have to go somewhere specific on the MC(rare) or get lost a little(more often)
     
  23. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Who needs a GPS when there's only 4 directions?
    upload_2021-4-12_9-7-9.png
     
  24. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I get that, it really depends on why you ride. Me and some of my friends, we're roads people. We search out twisty and/or unique challenging roads, and go ride them. The roads are the reason for the trip. But another group of people are tourers, they don't really give a hoot about the roads, they want to tour about, see the sights, eat good food, and stay in unique motels, etc.

    Over the last few years I've learned to go into tour mode, and have now successfully done 2-3 long (9-14 days for me is a long ride) tour type rides where roads aren't the focus. Basically, chillax, which is hard for me to do but I'm slowly embracing it.
     
  25. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    My rides used to consist of picking a direction, riding for a couple of hours away from town, then coming back some other way. Sans maps or any nav. Otherwise, it's just transportation.
     
  26. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    That, and you could probably stand up on your bike and see for 50 miles, lol.
     
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  27. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I feel for ya, man! Stuff like this is about an hour from my doorstep:
    Capture.JPG

    Capture1.JPG
     
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  28. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    I like the twisty backroads too. It probably helps that there aren’t a ton of roads where I normally ride in the first place, so it makes 500-1000 mile days easy to navigate by memory.
     
  29. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I used to do huge motorcycle road trips, but these days I do those by airplane.
     
  30. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Only in winter and spring. When the corn grows too tall, it blocks the view :)
     
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  31. timrb

    timrb Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I found a crazy Google maps bug once when I was driving to the Air Force museum in Dayton. I could see by looking at the map that the system knew where the museum was, and I had explicitly told the app to take me there, but the verbal instructions kept trying to take me to the main gate of Wright-Patterson AFB. Eventually I had to just look at the map, see where I was in relation to the museum, and drive in that direction until I found it.

    Tim
     
  32. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Our business is on a boulevard and the last jughandle/michigan left/whatever you want to call it isn't recognized my the GPS maps programs, so the GPS will send you 1 a mile east or west, a mile south, and then bring you back up so you can make a right turn into the drive.
     
  33. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    I use a mix. I have the built in Garmin as well, I also use my phone and real maps. The best laid plans often get changed by mother nature; flexibility is definitely key to any bike trip. As the others have said, it all depends on how, what and why you ride. In general a phone works pretty good in the US. I'd look into a good specifically designed phone holder. I got one (can't remember the name) that has a cushioning effect to protect the camera sensors in the new iphones. So far so good; could be a waste of money but a $50 mount is cheaper than a $1,000 iphone.

    I used a Zumo 550 for years. Works great other than the amount of maps it can hold. It couldn't hold all of europe so I had to put just the maps along my intended route from Holland to Bulgaria. And of course, that route changed and I rode right off the side of my map and I was navigating by my wits for a few days. Stay flexible! ;)
     
  34. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Aww, come on. Nebraska is JUST like the Tail of the Dragon. 11 curves in 318 miles, isn't that it?

    Oh... wait...
     
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  35. charheep

    charheep Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I do love the 'Dragon but I have heard they are making less fun for spirited driving/riding lately. More cops and higher fines. Just passing along what I was told, but again it was a rumor.
    Last time I went, it did seem like the truck drivers did relish using the whole lane when riders misjudged a corner and were encroaching on the other lane. Not that I blame them, but it did feel anti-bike in the area.
     
  36. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Is it that many curves? :)
     
  37. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Granted, some are gradual enough that it's a 3-mile sweeper for a 10 degree change in direction...
     
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  38. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The gap has become a zoo for the most part. I hit it maybe once a year, on a weekday, very early in the morning when I do. There are plenty of roads in the area that are just as good and not popular.
     
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  39. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I often ride up US 129 to the Crossroads of Time, stopping there for the camaraderie, but then riding south on 28 rather than ride the Gap, which is a fun ride in its own right. But Bill is right - the Cherohala and Foothills Parkway are both very fun rides, and there are loads more in the area - just looking for new ones is fun.
     
  40. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bro do you even lift
    I'm old school. I carefully study the map, then eat it before going on a ride.