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Hello,

I am new to Denver and Scootering and would like to do some weekend adventures in the mountains and am looking to ride into New Mexico and Nebraska as well for rallies in the next year.

Which waterproof Garmin GPS do you recommend? Although I love to get a Zumo, they are just want to expensive. I am looking for a GPS that will provide non major highway routes for touring.

Thanks in Advance,
Ross
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I've stopped using my Garmins ever since the development of good smartphone apps. Waze is my favorite- with its real-time feedback that uses other Wazer's traffic flow for reroute and cop alerts. Love it, and it is free.
I have an inexpensive suction mount setup that I use for my iPhone- allows me to glance down if I need visual guidance- mostly I rely on one earplug for audio. I picked up a waterproof case from REI that would allow me to use it in the rain or if I'm near the beach.
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If you have any Garmin model already, get waterproof case, ram mount and enjoy the ride. If you don't have one you eithe can go for the more expensive moto dedicated inut. Or get the auto unit and weather proof case. Nothing can beat real GPS unit. Their touch screen is big and you can use it without taking gloves on. The accuracy is excellent. I personally would never trust phones.
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I'm going to do my best:

You don't need an expensive motorcycle-specific unit for your purposes, but the one I would recommend, a Nuvi 550, has now been discontinued. I don't know if any, new or rebuilt, are still available, but they are still supported...at least for now.

They looked like a car/motorcycle GPS, but they were rugged, waterproof, supported topo and water navigation maps (optional) and had a long battery life. I have no idea which unit, if any, they replaced it with but I'm gonna try to find out. I have one, and I'd like to get something like it if it breaks down.

I'll make some inquiries. If I get any results, I'll post back.
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vyatka wrote:
I personally would never trust phones.
That's funny...why in the world would you not trust a phone vs. any other electronic device? I've been a garmin user ever since the first big one came out for $800 and sat on a bean bag... And I find them less than 100% reliable or sophisticated in their ability to reroute. The last Nuvi I bought would lock up every time I would search for a Starbucks enroute... Waze uses great technology that bounces search results from yellow pages, yelp, etc., and allows highway avoidance, blah blah blah- and it is absolutely free. Amazing- don't knock it until you try it.
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The very best navigation device is the one you like and fits your needs. Consequently, there is a high probability that there are numerous answers to the OP's question.

e.g.- my answer? "The Garmin I recommend is a TomTom".
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mreloc wrote:
vyatka wrote:
I personally would never trust phones.
That's funny...why in the world would you not trust a phone vs. any other electronic device? I've been a garmin user ever since the first big one came out for $800 and sat on a bean bag... And I find them less than 100% reliable or sophisticated in their ability to reroute. The last Nuvi I bought would lock up every time I would search for a Starbucks enroute... Waze uses great technology that bounces search results from yellow pages, yelp, etc., and allows highway avoidance, blah blah blah- and it is absolutely free. Amazing- don't knock it until you try it.
Don't "oh-ah-amazing", please, unless you know exact story.
I tried my wife's iPhone and it was extremely uncomfortable. I don't know was it paid or unpaid service but it proved my position that dedicated gps is better than tiny clumsy phone especially for two-wheelers. It is easier and safe to take eye off the road for half-sec to look at the big GPS screen, they also have loud speakers. Try it on your tiny phone, good luck.
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Garmin Nuvi 550 Replacement
Hello,

Please try to avoid arguing on GPS vs. Phone and be kind to each other

I am looking for a GPS and am particularly interested in the replacement to the Garmin Nuvi 550. Many people of the forum are big fans of this GPS and I would like the topographic maps being that I live in Colorado.

Does anyone know the current model that replaced the Garmin Nuvi 550?

Thanks
Ross
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I think this thread is related to a dyna beads thread. ROFL emoticon
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I've tried the phone GPS thing. Not for long, though.

I think it's nice for lightweight trips and riding around, but I still have concerns about it's ability to work quickly and reliably in remote areas where they is no signal...where I'm likely to need it most.
I know pre-loaded maps can be downloaded, too.

I'm also concerned with it's ruggedness and it's ability to take exposure to weather and harsh conditions. A waterproof box is no solution, except for the ones that allow me to operate the controls through the protective surface. Then, if it's enclosed in a box, how do I conveniently use it as a phone. OK, bluetooth. Which just adds another device, the receiver, and another battery to charge into the mix.

Then I still have to get a decent mount and holder.

I might as well get an inexpensive dedicated GPS.

But that's for my purposes. Others will see it differently based on their own requirements.

That's fine by me. Razz emoticon
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Re: Garmin Nuvi 550 Replacement
blackrod wrote:
Does anyone know the current model that replaced the Garmin Nuvi 550?
Working on that. I posted a query with a Garmin Forum that I frequent.
I'll report back when there's something to report.

I was told, so far, that although there will be no more software updates for the unit, that the map updates will still occur. If that's the case, scoring a 550, new, used, or rebuilt, should still be worth while.

But that's all I've been able to find out so far.
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I find that the TomTom iPhone app works well for me. It links up with my Sena Blutooth unit, so once is set my route I don't even have to look at it much. I don't have a waterproof case for it, so if need be, I put it in a ZipLok bag. As I would never even think of trying to adjust it while riding, this doesn't pose a problem for me.

As the app works using maps that are actually on my phone, it doesn't require cellular service to work. It works just like a regular GPS unit and doesn't use any data from my plan.
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Blackrod-

Just about every brand name GPS offers good mapping capability for "non major highway routes for touring". Methods for plotting your desired route, if you wish to deviate from the "canned solution", however, will vary.

The subject brings out a lot of personal preferences, that are almost as difficult to wade through as the advertizements for all the various brands, models and smart phone apps. One person's "absolutely perfect solution" may be a major turn off to another.

Waterproof does, indeed, jack up the price, but many have found ways to protect their unit in the rain. You have to ask your self how often will you be willing to ride cross country in the rain. I did on two occasions in Tuscany, and a ZipLoc bag worked fine. Based on the display info of my GPS and how I used it, needing to touch the screen whilst riding was not necessary, so the impact of the bag was nil in that regard.

Cross country touring involves some stretches where all I wanted to know was what is the next change of direction (turn, round about, etc) and how far to it. My screen has a nice "annunciator" which clearly displays that, so if it shows a left turn in 24 km, I really don't have to refer to it a lot over the next 22 km. But, that's MY navigation style, not necessarily yours.

If you have a Bluetooth enabled GPS and a helmet communicator, that adds a whole new dimension, as the screen display becomes less critical.

Do you have any experience with automotive GPS units to begin with? If so, what likes and dislikes arise from that? That would be a good starting point for you to make comparisons.
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I am a recent convert to GPS having just bought a second hand Garmin Oregon 450. My main use is for walking but I have mounted it on the scooter and power it from the X10 USB socket.

I don't find the dynamic routing particularly useful but knowing exactly where you are at any time is a big time saver compared to stopping to look at maps.

I can plan trips in advance using the Basecamp software and this works well provided you stick to the route. If you go off route the automatic re-routing is a bit of a disaster so I tend to disable that and just refer to the electronic map ( GB Discoverer in my case). The touch screen works surprisingly well with gloved hands and its a pretty rugged case.

Of course this is an expensive solution ( even with Ebay bargains) so I don't think its the best option if you have no interest in walking or exploring on foot.

Regards Roadster
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One bit of advice. No matter what GPS based system you get, learn the "ins and outs" well before making a trip depending on it, as they all have their "ins and outs". Not saying you might blindly ride off a cliff, but if you are indeed riding in the rain, and in a hurry to get to your destination, that is not the time to find out that "bicycle route", or even in some cases "motorcycle route", accepts unpaved roads without question.
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Hi Aviator47,

I have never owned or used a GPS before and understand there is a learning curve.
What sort of things should I consider to determine personal preferences?

Thanks
Ross
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Ross-

Wow! That's a tall request. First off, I had no interest in a GPS, preferring paper maps and thus being totally involved, mentally, in navigation. That's a result of many years of land, air and nautical experience.

HOWEVER- in 2010, I realized that if I was going to lead 25 scooterists on cross country rides in Tuscany, I needed, for their sake, a way to make navigating the endless round abouts a bit easier. If it's just me and Mrs Aviator trying to sort out ambiguous signs in a round about, well, that is "quaint". With 25 riders following your lead, not so.

I had no idea of how the typical automotive GPS worked, but I had an idea of what I wasn't interested in - having to take my eyes off the road to look at a map. I saw a GPS with what appeared to be a nice, prominent "steering annunciator" and some other attractive featuures, and read further. Found a software package that allowed you to plot a course in Google Maps and transfer that to the GPS. Since I used Google Maps to fine tune the course plans to begin with, that was a plus. Then I saw that the GPS that attracted my attention was on sale factory refurbished and decided to buy it and play around with it well before the Italy trip. Now, keep in mind I live on a small Greek island, so my ability to"test" the GPS was limited. Got most of the "quirks" figured out before the trip, but not all. Fortunately, the two "burps" experienced while leading the crowd were minor and resulted in laughs rather than any major stumbling blocks.

So, some features I think are useful?

1. A nice, prominent "steering annunciator" that graphically tells you a direction change ahead and how far to that point. The bigger, the better, as it's something you want to understand in a glance.

External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

2. I cannot say enough in favor of Bluetooth and a helmet communicator. Having Lola's sweet voice talk you through turns sure beats taking your eyes off the road.

PAUSE HERE - it also takes time to adapt your reactions and thinking to these instructions. You want to get acclimated before you are, let's say, trying to navigate urban roads.

3. The route planning functions. Some units only let you plan a route via the screen. Others allow a software interface to a computer, such as via Google Maps. If you want to make a scenic ride, you will most likely want the ability to pick the roads yourself, something which some units do not totally allow.

And of course, other features you may like, such as waterproof and "glove friendly". However, there are ways to address rain and gloves that are easy to apply if you find a unit that meets your needs on items 1 thru 3. But all the waterproofing in the world will not help you plan or execute a route.

In short, I have a $125 name brand, non waterproof, non-glove friendly, refurbished GPS that has successfully lead MV tourers twice in Tuscany and once in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain, over a few thousand km of secondary roads, including a couple of very rainy days. That makes me a happy camper. Could a $500 - 700 "motorcycle GPS' have done a better job? Don't know. I haven't used one.

If you can, find a friend with a GPS in their car and have them let you get an intro into the subject. Hands on beats internet testimonials in my book.
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Re: Garmin Nuvi 550 Replacement
Menhir wrote:
blackrod wrote:
Does anyone know the current model that replaced the Garmin Nuvi 550?
Working on that...
Reporting back.

I have no line to Garmin, but no one knows of a "replacement" for the Nuvi 500/550 series...Or if one is coming.

It's a strange duck, to be sure. A hybrid designed for car, bike, bicycle, walking, boating and yes, it even had a "scootering" mode. Seriously.
It also looks like they're already getting very hard to find.

As far as this device is concerned, I'll reluctantly advise that it's time to move on. Too bad.

Back to the GPS/Phone topic. (BTW: I don't want this to be a debate either...just an informative conversation.)
I don't exclusively use the dedicated GPS. I've found that my phone is very helpful when trying to zero in on a campground or lodging.
If I know where I want to stay or I have made prior registrations, no problem. I just punch the location in while at home and I'm done with it.

Often though, I like to ride as far as I can and then look for a place to camp or room for the night. This way I'm not forced to end my day early if I underestimate the miles I could get in, or ride too long into the night if I overestimated.
With the smart phone I can usually search more easily for local campgrounds or hotels, get a more comprehensive list of candidates, and get my final routing information to the destination.
I don't have to do this often, but I already have the phone so why not use it?

The Google Maps search on my phone works best.
There are some apps for campgrounds but I haven't found a good one yet. They just aren't comprehensive enough. There have been times when I've actually found a campground by following roadside signs when the apps were telling me the nearest one was still 50 miles away.
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Hello

So basically the options are a Nuvi 2595 or a Zumo 350lm or 660lm.

When I called GPS City, they said the Nuvi line is not compatible with a Helmet communicator.

Does anyone have any of these models and whether they are bluetooth compatible?

Thanks
Ross
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blackrod wrote:
Hello

So basically the options are a Nuvi 2595 or a Zumo 350lm or 660lm.

When I called GPS City, they said the Nuvi line is not compatible with a Helmet communicator.

Does anyone have any of these models and whether they are bluetooth compatible?

Thanks
Ross
Any Bluetooth GPS should work with any Bluetooth helmet system. I can't think of any reason why the Nuvi line from Garmin wouldn't work with your Bluetooth headset communicator.
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Waterproof Case and Mounting Options
Hi All,

I decided on the Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT model. The Zumo is out of my price range.

With that being said, what waterproof case and mounting option do you recommend the the Vespa GT200?
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Re: Waterproof Case and Mounting Options
blackrod wrote:
what waterproof case and mounting option do you recommend the the Vespa GT200?
Check on the Ram Mounts website to built a mount that will work for you.
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Great. Thank you. Any recommendations on a waterproof case?
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blackrod wrote:
Great. Thank you. Any recommendations on a waterproof case?
Ram makes a waterproof case (AQUA BOX) that the unit will fit into. You can select it when you sort our your custom mounting solution.
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Thank you ckaiserca!
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RAM Mount
Does anyone know if this RAM Mount is compatible with the Vespa GT200?

RAM-B-149Z-202U ( RAM Handle Bar Rail Mount)
http://www.rammount.com/CatalogResults/PartDetails/tabid/63/partid/082065077045066045049052057090045050048050085/Default.aspx

Thanks
Ross
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Re: RAM Mount
blackrod wrote:
Does anyone know if this RAM Mount is compatible with the Vespa GT200?

RAM-B-149Z-202U ( RAM Handle Bar Rail Mount)
http://www.rammount.com/CatalogResults/PartDetails/tabid/63/partid/082065077045066045049052057090045050048050085/Default.aspx

Thanks
Ross
gps city has a bunch of ram mounts already built up for various gps's try looking there for what you need. the prices are reasonable as well.
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Re: RAM Mount
blackrod wrote:
Does anyone know if this RAM Mount is compatible with the Vespa GT200?

RAM-B-149Z-202U ( RAM Handle Bar Rail Mount)
http://www.rammount.com/CatalogResults/PartDetails/tabid/63/partid/082065077045066045049052057090045050048050085/Default.aspx

Thanks
Ross
With the black insert shown on the U-bolt it should fit your mirror stalk. Might have to make a "shim" by using an inch length of rubber automotive fuel hose. Slice the hose open along the length, slip it over the mirror stalk, and Robert's your mother's sibling.
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