Tuesday, May 6, 2008

GPS Suggestions

Until it broke a few months ago, I used my Ipaq with CoPilot software running on it as a GPS system for my scooter. It looks like it would cost more to fix the Ipaq than it is worth so I am thinking about buying a new GPS. This would be only for use on the scooter so it needs to be small and pretty hardy. I have been looking at the Garmin Nuvi line, especially the 200 since I don't really need anything fancy and that is the lowest cost of that line.

After reading all the reviews I can find, I am more confused than ever. I really like the CoPilot software because it is exactly the same as what I run on my laptop and I am very comfortable with it. Some of the reviews make the Nuvi line sound like it is not nearly as good as what I am used to, but I can't see spending $500+ for another unit.

Do any of my trusty, educated, extremely well versed and technologically gifted readers have any experience with a GPS they would recommend?


  1. I've heard a lot of good things about the Nuvi. I think Devon has one in his Prius.

    I have an older Garmin 2720 which is no good for a scooter. It's the last of the higher priced GPSs. You should be able to get a pretty good one for less than $300 now.

    I also have an old Garmin GPS III but it doesn't have any roads in it. It's good for connecting to a laptop or for use in a boat or off road. I have mounted that on my quad and my Yamaha.

    Bottom line though Garmin has always been very good in my experience. I bought the III probably 10 years or so ago and it still works well.

  2. Take a look at this month's Consumer Reports -- they evaluate lots of GPSs.

    I've been looking at the brand new Garmin Colorado series, though they are probably more useful for off road than for driving. They have 3D perspective of the terrain that you can tilt and rotate. They are a little pricy, though, and my old black and white Garmin eMap still works fine for what I do.

  3. Did you figure out which one you are going to get?

  4. Thanks for the suggestions and the email information as well. I did purchase a Nuvi 200. It was on sale this week at Best Buy for $169. It seems like a fine unit, although not as sophisticated by any means as Co-Pilot which I use on my laptop. The biggest drawback I have found is that it only provides for one way point. I am used to unlimited way points that allow me to tailor my routes to my liking.

    I used it on the scooter today and it did a fine job of directing me where it should. I just used industrial strength Velcro to attach it to my bike, but I will need to purchase a good mount that will hold it vertical. I could not read it when the sun was shinning directly on it because the screen is designed to be viewed head on or from slightly above, and I was viewing it from below.

  5. That's really weird because the Garmin site says it has 500 waypoints.


  6. Here's what I would suggest for holding your GPS on your bike.


    I have a RAM mount for my GPS III that allows me to put it on either my bike or my quad. It's a ball mount and it holds it really steady and fairly easy to take on and off.

  7. Don -- That is the one I have been planning on getting. Did you get the kind that bolts to the brake fluid reservoir or the clamp for the handle bar or ? Did you have to order it from somewhere or did your cycle shop have it?

  8. I got the one that clamps to the handlebar and I had to order it on the internet.

  9. Thanks for the info. I guess I will order it on the web. In doing some research I have found that a lot of guys with Burgmans are using the RAM ball that mounts with screws or bolts to the plastic over the handlebars. With a decent washer backer it makes a clean and secure installation. I think I will go that way. My handlebars are completely covered with plastic.

    The Garmin specs regarding the number of way points is misleading. They are talking about the number of favorite locations or recently searched destinations that can be stored. When in navigating mode you can only have one destination and one way point or "via" as they call it, active at any time. There is considerable discussion about this in the forums and is generally regarded as the major limitation of this particular GPS.

    A work around to the one way point capability would be to create the waypoints as favorite locations, then select a new via each time you reach one. That essentially would break the whole trip into many smaller trips. It is not something I would want to do while riding, but it would work.