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Car GPS

briev802740

Member
Member
Hi All,

I was in the market for a GPS for the bike and was focusing on the motorcycle based GPS offerings available. I was put off by the steep price increase for motorcycle GPS compared to car GPS. I decided that before I throw dow hundreds for a dedicated motorcycle specific device I would try out a car GPC first.

I went to Walmart and got a car based gamin for ~$90 and got some ram mount accessories to get it secured.

I've gone through rain with it without any issues. Its doing its job on providing direction. Works fine with my gloves. I can see I clearly in bright daylight. So far its a win/win for me.

nFsYdgq.jpg
 

Jpd11958

Member
Member
I have used car GPS units. The problem I had with them was durability. The power input USB failed. It was probably my own fault. I had them mounted in the clutch mount in the C-10 mirror socket on a RAM ball. The high frequency vibration is incredible at that location. When I was driving at speed and touched the unit I could feel the vibration. It was much higher than what came through the bar grips. I have now switch to the Zumo line of GPS units. I got them used from members here that were upgrading to the latest models. The power connection comes through the mount and is not a plug-in USB connection. They also connect to my headset for turn by turn voice, Pandora music, cell phone traffic services and phone calls. I have also moved the location of the units to a mount I made above the dash on one bike and attached to an accessory shelf on the other one.

The tank mount location you are using should help with vibration as the tank is rubber mounted.
 

mattmagee3096

Member
Member
I've been thinking about making a mount above the instrument cluster on my C-10. Should reduce vibration, block most of the rain and puts it right out front where I can see it with minimal distraction. Recently got an old Nuvi that still has the resistive screen vs. capacitive so should be OK with gloves. Even if it fails, I'm only out five bucks.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Drive 52x
Note on device care: Do not expose device to water.

My Garmin becomes very finicky to unusable if it gets wet. Few drops usually ok - then it goes nuts (scrolls as if my finger is on the screen, zooms in / zooms out, freezes, etc.) if more than just a handful of drops and especially if the screen gets a layer of water on it from wiping it off or the water being blown around from wind.
 

Konehead34

Member
Member
There is a 'dash board' shelf out there, but they are hard to find
 

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Jpd11958

Member
Member
Larry Buck used to make one for the c 10. That is what came on my 05. It's a very nice item. On my 99, I used a piece of PVC cutting board that I attached at the front with the screw under the windshield and it hooks around the back edge of the dash. I mounted a Ram ball to it. The GPS is front and center just above the gauges.
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
Although not all have the same "head down & locked " problem that I did with my GPS, I still think higher is better (safer). I would think that for a gps that you want to be dry it would be even more important to get it up high and behind the windshield. Still, that can take a lot of effort and fabrication to accomplish and it's difficult to motivate one's self to do that work and spend the money until you finally become convinced that what you have isn't working (keep replacing inoperative wet automotive units) or have a close call that scares you into making a change. I started off like Konehead' (sane) but then sorta went down a rabbit hole. :rolleyes:
Below is my rather involved solution, clearly it's not for everybody (the Borg or Terminators would like it. ;) ).

http://zggtr.org/index.php?topic=18000.msg283371#msg283371

My setup so far for 2022, my phone is too high but the whole set up isn't finished, it's just a mock up for now.


But getting back on topic to using an Automotive unit....One could probably buy 3 or 4 during the lifetime of a currently priced Motorcycle unit and be money ahead about the time the motorcycle unit becomes obsolete. So if that is working for you, then godspeed...but please be careful not to stare down at it too long while riding, they can suck you in o_O.
 

mattmagee3096

Member
Member
...
But getting back on topic to using an Automotive unit....One could probably buy 3 or 4 during the lifetime of a currently priced Motorcycle unit and be money ahead about the time the motorcycle unit becomes obsolete...

That's my plan.

Most of the time I operate under the getting lost = adventure mindset so the GPS is really just for instances where I'll be in traffic and it'll be safer overall to not have to do the stop-grab phone-u turn routine. Out in the countryside, not such a big deal.
 

Konehead34

Member
Member
So i did.some searching and the company that use to.make the dash shelf i have and posted installed pictures of is no longer in business.
BMS incorporated out of Post Falls idaho. Web search of the company shows disolved in 2018..sorry folks

But Larry buck.use to.make one for the c10 ( i hd one on.my 98) maybe you could contact Larry and see if he'd be able to fabricate something similar.

LARRY, are u reading me, there's a market for c14 dash shelves.....lol
 

lrbuck

Member
Member
For the C-10 owners, I can make my shelf again. As some have said (thank you), it is the best design, and has shelf room for accessories, switches, and positions the GPS for a " heads up" display. I would need 6+ orders to have a batch laser cut, formed and powder coated.

Ballpark price would be in the $130ish range. Sending this post on Sat 11/20. I will contact the laser cutter on Monday to get more accurate pricing. Metals pricing has gone through the roof, like 70% higher.

If you are interested, post a reply.

I have a design for the C-14, but will have to dig out the info from 2 moves ago. Stand by.

Larry
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
wow @fartymarty , that is one hell of a setup you got there. More of a command center.
That's the rabbit hole I fell into.

My original Zumo 665 just up and quit on me after approx 12,000 car miles and 110,00 bike miles (2 different bikes) so I purchased a Zumo XT then a buddy gave me his old 665 unit after he upgraded. Since the XT doesn't have Sat radio, I've decided to use the XT for visual navigation and the gifted 665 as a media center for music, Sat radio, books on MP3, cell phone and as a back up navigation and "what if" navigation calculator. I also had the same problem with my radar detector as I needed the display up high and visible in my road scanning field of vision, so I mounted the Valentine remote display and the Marc Parnes Visual Alert display on top of the GPS mount. The whole thing is an ugly mess from the front view of the bike, so I just painted the inside of my windshield black to hide most of it. It seemed to me that anything I could see only through the windshield was too close to avoid anyway. Despite the Car Home Ultra app on my phone being super useful (Thanks !!! to Steve Wojcik for introducing me to it!!!!) I don't mount my phone on the bike very often, it's usually protected in it's holster and charging in the electrified tank bag and Bluetoothed to the Zumo 665 unit. I did want a secure and visible place to put it when I do decide to use it visibly, so I keep a mount on the left side for it. Heaven help me if I ever get enough money for a FLIR display :eek: my bike might end up like this.

The discontinued dash shelf would be fairly easy to make if someone could dismount theirs and trace it on cardboard and then post it here for others. Mine is too buried and has front supports added.....but....Konehead's looks fairly accessible....hint hint, nudge nudge.
yes-scheming.gif


(Patrick, you might just as well do it, you know Larry will ask you to do it anyway if he decides to make 'em. ;))
 
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kzz1king

Member
Member
FartyMarty, what info does the remote valentine give you? And is that a mix it on your dash with the mic jack?
I use a Uniden R1 for a detector but use the JBV1 app for planes/speed traps and such. Very nice app. I may have started with Valentine had I known before
 

fartymarty

Member
Member
FartyMarty, what info does the remote valentine give you?
Remote gives you the same info as the main unit. Number of radars detected and in which direction, (also laser when detected) it's the same display as the Valentine One (gen. 1) main unit it's just smaller and movable and lighter. I have the main unit off to the right side between the mirror and windshield so it gets a clear view (if I keep it clean of bugs) to the front and rear.

And is that a mix it on your dash with the mic jack?
The unit just below the remote display is a Valentine remote sound unit (compared to the main unit these are both pretty cheap) that activates the MP Visual alert unit next to it.
My Rostra cruise control has saved me from more tickets than the Valentine One has.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
...but....Getting back to Car GPS...If you are looking for reasons to justify the big bucks of a motorcycle gps
just remember that they do work in an automobile as good as on a motorcycle.
....but...is it worth it? You would have to decide that for yourself.
I justify it as how inconvenient would it be to have to stop in the middle of a three week trip to purchase a new one if the automotive unit I had quit on me because of rain, and also lost all the routes I had planned in it for the remainder of the trip o_O.:mad::confused:.
 
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Daboo

Moderator
Staff member
Member
Do car GPS's give directions through Bluetooth headsets? I know they'll allow you to make and receive phone calls, but I think that's all. It's been a few years since I looked at one, so maybe the technology has changed.

When I'm riding through unfamiliar territory, I don't want to take my eyes off the road to determine where I'm going to turn next. I went to a rally in Coeur d'Alene several years back using my car GPS. Despite having a really nice hood on it to block out the sun, the screen was still to washed out to see well. Being a car GPS, it told me the directions through the speaker...which worked fine at about 25 mph, but was useless as the speeds went up.

I hit Spokane at evening rush hour. Lots of traffic everywhere with people who all knew where they wanted to go, unlike me. I almost missed a freeway exit and had to do one of those last second exits when you're riding over the pavement that isn't a lane...and has all kinds of metal debris. Luckily, I didn't get a flat. Later, I turned down a side street that I thought it was indicating I should go down. (Remember the washed out screen?) Turned out, I was off a block or two and now I'm on a very narrow street with cars parked on both sides. I almost dumped the bike on that side street, trying to turn around.

Bottom line for me that weekend was that I realized I could easily have spent far more money on repairing a damaged bike (or me) because I was trying to go cheap, than what a motorcycle GPS costs.

I have a "problem" of considering prices in terms of what I paid for something back in the 1980s. :rolleyes: You want how much for that Garmin Zumo XT?!?! Then I compare it to what I paid for a refurbished Samsung Note 9 that I didn't even blink twice at the cost when buying it. The Zumo XT is a fraction of what I paid for that cell phone.

Now take that to the next step. I lost my Garmin Zumo 590LM because for the first time in about 60,000 miles, I didn't lock it into the mount completely and it departed the bike at less than 30 mph. My bike's rear camera caught the departure. The first bounce went up in the air about 5 or 6 feet. It landed in the opposite lane near the tire track and I never saw it again. So if that had been my phone that cost me about twice what a motorcycle GPS cost, and had all my pictures in it and other info that I carry it around for...I'd be out a lot more than just losing that Zumo 590LM.

Some of the riding I do, hits extreme temperatures. I did the Ride the Ribbon in 2020 and the last stretch in Eastern Oregon was in temps up to 116F, and over 110F for hours. A smartphone would've shut down. That's a great time to deal with cooling a smartphone so you can see what your next turn is when you're in danger yourself of shutting down. Would a car GPS continue working in temps like that?

Even if you never plan to ride in the rain...it happens. A few years ago, a group of us went over to Idaho for the Bun Cooler. It poured almost the entire way, but the rest of the weekend promised to be fantastic riding and great weather. So we did it. And one thing I never worried about, was my GPS.

Chris
 

KiowaEagle

Geezer but not on a wheezer
Member
The thing about motorcycle specific gps' is that many will give you twisty routing. Although how good that routing is depends. My garmin zumo will sometimes take me through a residential neighborhood making a bunch of right and left turns and consider that "twisty" or adventurous as they call it.
 

Jpd11958

Member
Member
The connectivity to your headset is a function of the headset. My sena requires a motorcycle GPS unit. I can start Pandora on my phone then start the bike and it will play from the GPS speaker until I start my com system. Once it connects to the GPS the music goes to my headset
 

Daboo

Moderator
Staff member
Member
The connectivity to your headset is a function of the headset. My sena requires a motorcycle GPS unit. I can start Pandora on my phone then start the bike and it will play from the GPS speaker until I start my com system. Once it connects to the GPS the music goes to my headset
I think if you check, it is a function of the GPS itself. The motorcycle headset will connect with the car GPS for phone calls. But if the car GPS doesn't have the capability to provide audible directions in any other way than through its speaker...the headset isn't the limiting factor.

Chris
 

2andblue

Member
Member
The thing about motorcycle specific gps' is that many will give you twisty routing. Although how good that routing is depends. My garmin zumo will sometimes take me through a residential neighborhood making a bunch of right and left turns and consider that "twisty" or adventurous as they call it.
Alan - After our ride Sunday, went home and Blue parked outside for about 1/2 hour and guess what!!? It rained and GPS was still on the bike.

My DriveSmart 50 is now totally messed up even after drying out, got 3 YRS plus on this one. Was just a short shower but finally did her in.

I think we are moving to a MC specific GPS. Dedicated equipment is at times the way to go. Possibly a Black Friday sale somewhere?

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

KiowaEagle

Geezer but not on a wheezer
Member
Alan - After our ride Sunday, went home and Blue parked outside for about 1/2 hour and guess what!!? It rained and GPS was still on the bike.

My DriveSmart 50 is now totally messed up even after drying out, got 3 YRS plus on this one. Was just a short shower but finally did her in.

I think we are moving to a MC specific GPS. Dedicated equipment is at times the way to go. Possibly a Black Friday sale somewhere?

Wayne, Carol & Blue
If you go with the Zumo go with the XT. It has a much faster processor than the others plus bluetooth communication, which is especially handy if you want to input Scenic routes as we were talking about on Sunday with Carl and as I had posted here: https://forum.concours.org/index.php?threads/using-scenic-routes-with-garmin-zumo-xt.54065/
 

2andblue

Member
Member
When you amortize the cost over the years and smiles, the cost is not so bad.
Agreed completely, I will pay for high quality equipment if I will use it - this I will use.

Thanks all - timely that the minor rain event happened just this weekend, after 3 years of getting by - not no more.
 

Daboo

Moderator
Staff member
Member
So...if you are Active Duty Military or Retired Military, you can add a 10% military discount to the sale price at places like Cycle Gear.

If you're sitting on the fence, it is a good time to get off.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Daboo I leapt off the fence and landed on my feet in good shape.

$399 sale and had RevZilla Cash sitting around, $309 out the door, could not pass it up.

Considering we just wrecked our 3 year old car GPS in the rain and needed a replacement - all came together at the right time. Everything happens for a reason, I suppose... Countless times we've covered the car GPS('s) roadside (risky..?) with a baggie or rode it out if it was just a shower with most times no effect. Moving forward I look forward to skipping this distraction and just riding.

Thank You KiowaEagle and Daboo for getting me off the fence!
 

zarticus

Member
Member
I bought my Garmin 665 for $70 used on ebay. I see used 660's on ebay a lot for around $200. With a water proof Gps you can put it in the best location for ease of sight. That makes it much safer and then you don't have to worry about covering it if it suddenly starts to rain.
 

greenie

Member
Member
Jumping in late here. The higher price of the motorcycle GPS kept me using car GPS's - 1st the 50 LM, then the current Nuvi 2557LMT. All have been mounted on the unused mirror tap and all vibrate severely. The power tap was the weak point but that issue was solved early on with a spring "blade" that applied pressure to the back of the 90 degree mini plug that feeds the power. It is powered by a direct wired Garmin product I use with an SAE plug. The Garmin 2557LMT came with Mexico, US and Canada maps which have been spot on in Mexico where I used to get lost on a regular basis but I suspect "lifetime" has its limits as there have been no meaningful updates whenever I check for the last year or so. Everything works as is but my peepers struggle in most lighting conditions to read the display. I assume the Zumo XT has a brighter display and Bluetooth earbud directions would be nice. I'll have to look around on prices/availability.
Question on heat... I've ridden in 100 degree traffic, the GPS baking under the windshield and never had a problem with overheating.
On edit... Revzilla is out of stock. $399 at Amazon, Cabellas, Tractor Supply
 
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KiowaEagle

Geezer but not on a wheezer
Member
Question on heat... I've ridden in 100 degree traffic, the GPS baking under the windshield and never had a problem with overheating.
On edit... Revzilla is out of stock. $399 at Amazon, Cabellas, Tractor Supply
I've used mine all summer and had no issues with heat. And yes the screen is very easy to see.
 

KiowaEagle

Geezer but not on a wheezer
Member
Hey briev802740 I just noticed the mounting position of your gps in the first post. What did you use to install the RAM mount there?
 
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