NAVIGATION - What is everyone using and why?

Drakhen99

The Forrest Gump of Motovloggers
Aug 31, 2020
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road-reality.com
I ride a
2019 Harley Street Glide Special, 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic (bobber), 1979 Kawasaki KZ650SR
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.

Yep - so many dead phones because of rigid mounts. I don't want to risk it. On my Vaquero, it wasn't too obvious, but it was there. The wiring was all permanently mounted and hidden, so it was pretty cool.

-John
 
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Drakhen99

The Forrest Gump of Motovloggers
Aug 31, 2020
1,205
1,096
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road-reality.com
I ride a
2019 Harley Street Glide Special, 2005 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic (bobber), 1979 Kawasaki KZ650SR
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.

2 things: 1, I'm glad you're recovering from COVID and hope you get back to 100%! 2, Yep - GPS is advantageous. They've been doing construction on my commute roads, so several times I've had to drop off the highway on an unfamiliar road that doesn't directly connect to anything, so the GPS has come in handy for figuring out my route home.

-John
 
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LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
737
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
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.

I was trying to use Google maps downloaded but found out that the turn by turn audio directions don't seem to work when you lose your cell signal. And I didn't have it mounted up in front of me to see, so that was out as well.

The most annoying part was being at Weirs Beach, very populated area and having a full signal/data but the phone not working hence my suspicion that the cell network as overloaded with how many poeple were there for Bike Week.
 

LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
737
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
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.

Thanks! I will be toying with it this weekend using an old phone mounted on my handlbars or fairing. And thank you for the heads up on the cpu hogging. I luckily have a power supply on the front of the bike as I tapped into the leads in my headlight for the running lights that were an option for the Dyna Switchback.
 
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LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
737
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
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.

Does Calimoto have offline maps?

And I'm going to get a used GPS unit to try it out. I've found a bunch on faceyspace markeplace for 30 bucks or less.
 

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 was trying to use Google maps downloaded but found out that the turn by turn audio directions don't seem to work when you lose your cell signal. And I didn't have it mounted up in front of me to see, so that was out as well.

The most annoying part was being at Weirs Beach, very populated area and having a full signal/data but the phone not working hence my suspicion that the cell network as overloaded with how many poeple were there for Bike Week.

You might want to check to be sure that area is on the same frequency as your provider. For example there are A and B side of the towers. Years ago I was serving in an undisclosed location that the cell tower was privately owned and the Bisturds charged everyone out the arse to use their tower for the signal.
 
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Alex2wheel

Wannabie Member
Apr 11, 2021
109
168
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31
Peterborough, UK
I ride a
Kawasaki Z900
Does Calimoto have offline maps?

And I'm going to get a used GPS unit to try it out. I've found a bunch on faceyspace markeplace for 30 bucks or less.

I think they do on their paid plan. But it's a hit and miss depending on the area where you live. 3 times out of 5 I got some really bad roads. I won't be renewing my subscription, that's why I started looking into a GPS like TomTOm RIder, hoping that it will be more reliable.


Recently I found out that TomTom also had a mobile app.. well I knew that before, but haven't used it for probably more than 5 years so lots of things have changed, more apps now are based on a subscription model.

So you get TomTom Go on your phone for like £15 per year I think, which is really cheap. especially compared to the TomTom Rider. You do get an option to set roads to Curvy/Twisty.

However, with the actual TomTom RIder, the GPS unit, you get 3 levels of twisties that you can choose from. Plus the GPS unit is glove-friendly. And it's quite clever in a way that when you create a rountrip, it will try to bring you back through a different route.

But still is that all worth the £300 price tag, when I can simply use my phone and perhaps pay £15 for almost the same thing? Well .. no, probably not anymore, considering Ive already invested in the quad lock charger, vibration dampener and all that. However, if I wasn't invested in the quadlock, then I would have been even more tempted to get the GPS unit.
 
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LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
737
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
I think they do on their paid plan. But it's a hit and miss depending on the area where you live. 3 times out of 5 I got some really bad roads. I won't be renewing my subscription, that's why I started looking into a GPS like TomTOm RIder, hoping that it will be more reliable.


Recently I found out that TomTom also had a mobile app.. well I knew that before, but haven't used it for probably more than 5 years so lots of things have changed, more apps now are based on a subscription model.

So you get TomTom Go on your phone for like £15 per year I think, which is really cheap. especially compared to the TomTom Rider. You do get an option to set roads to Curvy/Twisty.

However, with the actual TomTom RIder, the GPS unit, you get 3 levels of twisties that you can choose from. Plus the GPS unit is glove-friendly. And it's quite clever in a way that when you create a rountrip, it will try to bring you back through a different route.

But still is that all worth the £300 price tag, when I can simply use my phone and perhaps pay £15 for almost the same thing? Well .. no, probably not anymore, considering Ive already invested in the quad lock charger, vibration dampener and all that. However, if I wasn't invested in the quadlock, then I would have been even more tempted to get the GPS unit.

Yeah, subscriptions are the way of the world with most of these apps, or at least some type of fee.

Lots of great info thank you. I hand't even considered if Tom Tom had an app,I had looked at the Garmin app and my problem with Garmin is they have like half a dozen apps and none of them seeme to do one thing really well. Which is much like all the Sena apps, which all do one thing, poorly. Seems to be the way of companies that opt for the multi app stratagy, all of the apps do one thing poorly.

Tom Tom Go will go on the list to toy with!
 

LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
737
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
You might want to check to be sure that area is on the same frequency as your provider. For example there are A and B side of the towers. Years ago I was serving in an undisclosed location that the cell tower was privately owned and the Bisturds charged everyone out the arse to use their tower for the signal.

That is a posibility, but I have been up to Lake Winnipesaukee dozens of times over the ypast few years alone, all with Verizon as my cell provider, and this year was the only time I have had an issue using my phone in the denser populated areas such as Weirs Beach.
 
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Theodor

Don't wannabe
Nov 16, 2017
673
831
93
37
Estonia
I ride a
Valkyrie 1500
I was trying to use Google maps downloaded but found out that the turn by turn audio directions don't seem to work when you lose your cell signal. And I didn't have it mounted up in front of me to see, so that was out as well.
That does not make much sense. I'd get it if it would be in trouble when GPS signal was lost or weak, but cell signal should not matter, when you have the map downloaded. You should be able to switch data off and still navigate.
 

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
That does not make much sense. I'd get it if it would be in trouble when GPS signal was lost or weak, but cell signal should not matter, when you have the map downloaded. You should be able to switch data off and still navigate.

The only thing I can think of is the navigation would work with the phone's GPS but it's using data to download the voice for the turn-by-turn directions?

-John
 

Theodor

Don't wannabe
Nov 16, 2017
673
831
93
37
Estonia
I ride a
Valkyrie 1500
That would explain it, but would be a very poor program design though. Why would you download same phrases over and over, instead of having them in the program already? There are like maybe 20 sounds it makes. I can not recall more than 17 right now, but I am sure there could be few more.
 
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LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
737
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
That would explain it, but would be a very poor program design though. Why would you download same phrases over and over, instead of having them in the program already? There are like maybe 20 sounds it makes. I can not recall more than 17 right now, but I am sure there could be few more.
Google pronounces all street, road and route names. I think it stores all of that info on its serves/cloud and not on your phone. Also, the maps are linked to the real time data such as traffic, construction, etc. It just comes down to that the app is designed to be used with a cell data plan and not just with the GPS radio in the phone. So when it uses only the GPS, many of the functions just don't work as they are shared through data/cloud usage.
 
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LoneWolfer

Lone Wolfer Garage
Jun 1, 2017
737
1,077
93
41
Connecticut
www.thelonewolfer.com
I ride a
Harley Nightster, Harley Switchback & Suzuki Savage
I'll test if it does say the streetnames and think about how to record the voice :D
Not that google doesn't butcher street names in my neck of the woods though! There is a major road that crosses right through New Haven (Where Yale University is Located) called Whalley - pronounced WHALE EEY but google switches between WALL EEY and WALL EYE.
 
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Skyd

Wannabie Member
May 2, 2021
120
165
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40
New Hampshire
I ride a
2020 RPS Hawk 250
I use the sun and the stars :p

I actually don't use one locally but especially for dual sporting I have a second phone, Samsung S7 Active taht I picked up on ebay for $30 because it has a pink line on the screen. I use an app onX Offroad, they have other variations, anyway you can download for offline use. The bonus is if my phone falls off or I dump the bike and break it or something I'm only out $30
 

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