NAVIGATION - What is everyone using and why?

LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
736
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
I am curious what everyone is using for getting around on their scoot.

Do you prefer a dedicated GPS unit? Which one?

Phone app/apps? Which ones? Do they have offline maps?

Dedicated old smartphone or just your EDC smartphone?

I had some issues this past weekend at Laconia with using my iPhone XR and Google Maps, I'm pretty simple and don't often care if I get lost, but I was leading a group Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I also don't usually have my phone mounted in view and only go off the voice directions which I lost the signal for more often than I had in the past up in the mountains. I have a suspicion that the Cell Network up there wasn't ready to handle the amount of people that actually went to Bike Week but I am considering tracking down an old Garmin or Tom Tom and slapping it in my fairing for lon rides or mounting an old iPhone with no service so that only the GPS radio does all the work with an app that you can download maps to.
 
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Theodor

Don't wannabe
Nov 16, 2017
673
831
93
37
Estonia
I ride a
Valkyrie 1500
Years ago I remember I was really researching gps apps to use, but fort the past few years, I have gotten by with google maps, on those occasions when I actually need to use navigation. Google maps actually supports offline maps too. You just need to download the area before and you're good.
 

HippoDrone

Admin
Jan 2, 2017
6,475
5,474
113
West Sussex, UK
I ride a
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
I use a Garmin Zumo on my V85. On my dirty bike, when I remember it I use a Garmin Montana with OS maps loaded onto it. On my V7 I just use my phone if needed.
 
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SighBored

@thesighbored
Jan 18, 2015
2,644
1,205
113
Malaysia
www.thesighbored.com
I ride a
2012 Kawasaki ZX-6R
I firmly believe the dedicated GPS ones suck, no matter for bike or car. My friend had a one that came with his BMW bike, which SUCKED. My car has a built-in GPS which SUCKS.

I would prefer Google Maps but sometimes use Waze. No dedicated phone and I don't always use it, so I still tend to get lost even with GPS. Haha!
 
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Drakhen99

The Forrest Gump of Motovloggers
Aug 31, 2020
1,205
1,096
113
road-reality.com
I ride a
2019 Harley Street Glide Special, 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic (bobber), 1979 Kawasaki KZ650SR
My RAM 1500 [2019 model] has a pretty good GPS, just hard to find POIs - it likes you to search by voice [which works well, actually]. It's the best in-car nav I've used, out of the dozen or so I've owned.

My Harley GPS is usually pretty good, but has some issues with its fuzzy logic trying to find an address I put in.

On my Vaquero, I ran a Garmin Zumo 395LM. It worked well, but looked funky since it wasn't built-in. I prefer built-in just for the clean integration.

I've heard horror stories of using your phone as a GPS because of the vibration, and I prefer a dedicated unit for nav.

-John
 

Drakhen99

The Forrest Gump of Motovloggers
Aug 31, 2020
1,205
1,096
113
road-reality.com
I ride a
2019 Harley Street Glide Special, 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic (bobber), 1979 Kawasaki KZ650SR
I forgot to add... I love having a GPS on-board, because I can go by the position of the sun and whatever direction I want to head in, and once I'm good and turned around or lost, I just hit the "go home" button and it finds me a twisty route home.

-John
 

R-Rated

Remember to Have Fun! - Solar Bear 2020 Champion
Aug 4, 2016
3,193
3,137
113
Middle Tennessee USA
www.R-RatedCustoms.com
I ride a
2014 Harley Davidson (FLHTK) Ultra Limited
I am curious what everyone is using for getting around on their scoot.

Do you prefer a dedicated GPS unit? Which one?

Phone app/apps? Which ones? Do they have offline maps?

Dedicated old smartphone or just your EDC smartphone?

I had some issues this past weekend at Laconia with using my iPhone XR and Google Maps, I'm pretty simple and don't often care if I get lost, but I was leading a group Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I also don't usually have my phone mounted in view and only go off the voice directions which I lost the signal for more often than I had in the past up in the mountains. I have a suspicion that the Cell Network up there wasn't ready to handle the amount of people that actually went to Bike Week but I am considering tracking down an old Garmin or Tom Tom and slapping it in my fairing for lon rides or mounting an old iPhone with no service so that only the GPS radio does all the work with an app that you can download maps to.

I use the built in Nav on my bike and if I really want to avoid traffic, I stream my phone running Waze via the bluetooth to the bike.

Google maps allows users to predownload map areas for use when in East BFE which might be good when travelling in rural areas.

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6291838?co=GENIE.Platform=iOS&hl=en-GB

Then you could mount the phone in a RAM box and be good to go for some off the grid shenanigans.
 
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MachKneel

Insta : @flex_and_freedom
Mar 23, 2021
114
140
43
Co.Derry, Ireland
I ride a
Harley Davidson Softail 2021, Yamaha R6 2005
I'll probably just get a RAM mount or Quadlock for my Harley and use my iPhone with google maps! can't see point in buying another expensive piece of kit, plus no charger on my bike for Nav!
 
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Alex2wheel

Wannabie Member
Apr 11, 2021
109
168
43
31
Peterborough, UK
I ride a
Kawasaki Z900
I use my phone with a quadlock wireless charger. Apps wise. Google Maps and I've started testing calimoto recently, to discover more twisties.

However, I was actually looking into this the other day, whether it's worth investing in a proper GPS unit like TomTOm Rider, or Garmin's equivalent. The main reason I was looking into this, is to discover more/better twisty roads whenever I'm out riding.

I have yet to come to a conclusion. I'm tempted, but I don't know.. it's a lot of money considering the phone it's good enough.
 
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Moto Mengy

Motovlogger from PA, USA
Mar 23, 2020
828
1,263
93
49
I ride a
2018 Honda Goldwing Tour DCT
Long ago I only used paper maps to navigate. Then I bought a cheap Garmin and mounted it on the handlebars and loved it. When I bought my 2011 Road Glide it had a built in GPS and that's been so nice that I would not buy a touring bike without it now. My Goldwing also has built in GPS and for me it's priceless for the kind of riding I like to do.
 

LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
736
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
My preference is to do everything via phone using Google maps for navigation, OsmAnd for GPX routes.

I've been reading a bit about OsmAnd and just downloaded it to start dickering with it. Seems a bit clunky, but I'm curious if you have had the chance to do long rides using it and what your thoughts are?
 

mymotorrad

Wannabie Member
Mar 26, 2021
125
141
43
Fountain Hills AZ
www.mymotorrad.com
I ride a
2009 R1200RT
I wonder how old some of you are. Reminds me of an episode of The Office where Michael uses a GPS and drives into a lake. I tend to look at a map and know where I have to go. As long as I study it for a few minutes, I am usually good. What did people do before GPS? I know some folks don't have a sense of direction. My wife is like that. Totally useless in finding her way. I have a ram mount for my phone, but it's just to charge for the most part and I can see notifications.
 

Drakhen99

The Forrest Gump of Motovloggers
Aug 31, 2020
1,205
1,096
113
road-reality.com
I ride a
2019 Harley Street Glide Special, 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic (bobber), 1979 Kawasaki KZ650SR
I wonder how old some of you are. Reminds me of an episode of The Office where Michael uses a GPS and drives into a lake. I tend to look at a map and know where I have to go. As long as I study it for a few minutes, I am usually good. What did people do before GPS? I know some folks don't have a sense of direction. My wife is like that. Totally useless in finding her way. I have a ram mount for my phone, but it's just to charge for the most part and I can see notifications.

I am 40. When I first started driving, I had a horrible sense of direction and used paper maps. After many years of practice, I now have a semi-horrible sense of direction [for some reason I'm better at finding my way on my bike versus in a car] and use GPS. GPS was crucial in me getting to work appointments out of state [Washington, D.C. area, so 3 jurisdictions] on time, and I haven't looked back.

-John
 

LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
736
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
My RAM 1500 [2019 model] has a pretty good GPS, just hard to find POIs - it likes you to search by voice [which works well, actually]. It's the best in-car nav I've used, out of the dozen or so I've owned.

My Harley GPS is usually pretty good, but has some issues with its fuzzy logic trying to find an address I put in.

On my Vaquero, I ran a Garmin Zumo 395LM. It worked well, but looked funky since it wasn't built-in. I prefer built-in just for the clean integration.

I've heard horror stories of using your phone as a GPS because of the vibration, and I prefer a dedicated unit for nav.

-John

I have a Sporster and Dyna so vibration is a factor that I have to consider when it comes to phones. I rattled one to death and my wife's phone suffered a fatality to her camera on her iPhone. They are great devices, just fragile in some respects with how small and delicate some parts have become. That's why I have tended to only mount a phone on my handlebars if I needed to see data in my FP3 App or was really lost in a city.

You and Hippo both meniton the Garmin Zumo, so I think I am going to look into tracking down a used one of those. I only plan on having it mounted when I do longer rides, so I don't much mind it not being built in.
 
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chris 2WJ

Wannabie Member
May 29, 2021
41
46
18
Dublin, Ireland
www.instagram.com
I ride a
Ducati Hyperstrada
I've only used it a couple of times on short rides but you're right the ui is a bit awkward and the menu system has an extensive set of options. I'll share my observations with a use case of following a route where no navigation software would send me down. If I deviated from the gpx it would direct me back to the point where I left, until I rejoined the route at a later point and from there it would resume navigation. It's definately a cpu hog on my phone it killed the battery within ~3 hours so make sure you have a charging point with enough capacity. It seemed to work better when there was fewer points in the route, I remeber if you use google earth/maps to generate gpx files it does so at too high a resolution. But yeah it definately does need experimenting with before a major trip.
 
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mymotorrad

Wannabie Member
Mar 26, 2021
125
141
43
Fountain Hills AZ
www.mymotorrad.com
I ride a
2009 R1200RT
I am 40. When I first started driving, I had a horrible sense of direction and used paper maps. After many years of practice, I now have a semi-horrible sense of direction [for some reason I'm better at finding my way on my bike versus in a car] and use GPS. GPS was crucial in me getting to work appointments out of state [Washington, D.C. area, so 3 jurisdictions] on time, and I haven't looked back.

-John
I get it. Like I said, my wife is like that. Worse really. I have to give her explicit instructions and even then. She gets lost all the time and she's in her mid 50's. Thing is, she doesn't use a nav. She has apple car play in the car. She also doesn't use the backup camera and hit a tree once. Man, IDK. I had to bite my tongue on that one.
 

LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
736
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
I wonder how old some of you are. Reminds me of an episode of The Office where Michael uses a GPS and drives into a lake. I tend to look at a map and know where I have to go. As long as I study it for a few minutes, I am usually good. What did people do before GPS? I know some folks don't have a sense of direction. My wife is like that. Totally useless in finding her way. I have a ram mount for my phone, but it's just to charge for the most part and I can see notifications.

I just turned 41 and drove cross country multiple times only using an atlas and rode coast to coast with directions written down on a strip of duct tape on my tank. When riding alone, I don't care about getting lost. I know in the US that odd number routes more or less go North/South and that even numbers more or less go East/West so I'm never too worried about at least getting close to where I want/need to be.

But the thing is its the 21st century and I gladly take advantage of tech when it is as advantageous as GPS. This is specifically with riding with a group or even just my wife as other aren't as interested in getting lost all the time, want to avoid traffic, and in general like the idea of planned routes with dedicated stops and I have found myself leading these more and more as I have the traveled to many of the places we are riding more than the others in the groups that I have ridden in.

On a more personal note, I had COVID-19 in the begining of the year and my short term memory is still foggy to say the least. So, that has become a factor in my interest in looking into using navigation of some kind more often as I barely ever used google or apple maps before this past year. I would just look at the map, see the major route numbers and go. But that isn't working for me anymore (hopefully not perminent) and I need to adapt.
 
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