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I have a very old Garmin that has served me well for many years. I use it to get from Point A to Point B when the route is unimportant. I also use it with Honda Trip Planner when I want to create specific routes for rides. I'll export the GPX file from Honda (via PC) to my GPS, and I have the exact route I want. It's worked flawlessly for me for many years. My biggest gripe with my GPS is that it is not a bluetooth unit, so I must rely on visual cues from it. At times, that's a challenge when I'm in direct sunlight and the glare makes it virtually impossible to see.

So I want to start using Google Maps on my iphone, which is paired to my headset. I was able to create a route on my PC, send a link of the route via text to my phone, then pull it up to follow. Seems like it will do the trick.

It looks like this will fill my need without shelling out $600 for a bluetooth GPS. Any drawbacks to what I've outlined above? Do the text links to the routes expire? I'm thinking I could just send a text to my phone for each daily ride for a trip I'm planning.

Someone tell me this will work. :geek:
 

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None. I have used my smartphone, paired to my bluetooth headset for years. A good mount is absolutely vital, as the phone is subject to all sorts of big vibrations. I used to use a Ram Mount X Grip, but had a few close calls. I have since switched to a QuadLock mount that is substantially better. For power, I just use a standard USB cable and a two port changer.
 
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I've been using various smart phones for navigation for a while now. A couple of things to note:
  • Good reception is vital. If you don't have decent cellular connection, you will most probably not be able to navigate well. Workaround is to download off-line maps (Google maps on iPhone allows it) of your area. It will probably work for the most part, but not bullet proof as not everything is stored on the phone in off-line mode. I ride in PA quite a bit lately, and reception is spotty in most rural areas (I have Verizon).
  • Vibration on my C50 killed the optical image stabilization (OIS) camera on my phone, twice. Most iPhones have OIS, higher priced Androids do as well. Regardless of the phone bracket, it will happen, unless your bike is silky smooth.
  • Inclement weather kills chargers and phones. My iPhone is not water proof anymore, so I would not risk using it during the rain. Same goes for my USB charger. I was always careful to close the weather seal on the charger, but is still started rusting inside. Charger still works though. My other phone (Samsung Galaxy S7) is waterproof, but it doesn't like vibration, and switches from maps to home screen by itself. S7's screen is too small and dark for my liking, so I end-up using my iPhone most of the time.
  • Charging cable is prone to loosening in the phone/charger on big bumps. You also need to make sure your charger and cable are capable of higher amperage (at least 2A), otherwise your phone battery might drain faster than charging. Anker makes a 12" and 6" charging cable for iPhone that supports higher amperage. With moderate riding, a cable lasts me about six month to a year.
  • Should you receive a call, navigation screen either goes away or gets partially covered by phone interface (depends on the phone/OS). If call continues long enough, the screen might just lock itself, and you have to unlock the phone to continue seeing visual guidelines. Can be challenging in gloves while riding, even if your gloves are touch screen compatible. If I have a challenging ride ahead of me, I just turn on "Do not disturb mode" to avoid calls and constant notifications.
  • as Skrapiron wrote, phone mount is important. I have a RAM X Grip for larger phones. I had it for bicycle riding, so I just reused it on my bike. It does the job, but there are better motorcycle specific alternatives. If you don't have one yet, look into available options. There are miniature mounts that lock into the case, have a very small footprint, and hold the phone securely, and have a built-in charger. You still need to wire the charger into your bikes electrical system.
All in all, I'm still not willing to cash-out $600+ for a motorcycle specific navigation system, but eventually I will do it. It all depends on the riding you are doing.
 

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Google maps still has a long ways to go.

I can't count how many times I've been coming up on an exit I thought I needed to take, and google maps told me otherwise, only to tell me a short while later to make a U turn and go back.
 

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I have to add an * to my reply - both of my phones were Samsung Galaxy S8+ and now Samsug Galaxy S10. Both are completely waterproof, with a high NIT screen for reading the display in full sunlight. Both can be charged by the USB-C connector (also waterproof) or through inductive charging. I suppose that makes a difference, now that Fireman pointed out the drawbacks of other phones.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
On Skrap's recommendation, I ordered a QuadLock with the RAM mount and the condom to keep it dry. Between that, a new power port and a cable, I'm into this for around $100.

I was thinking about vibration and all that, but if it dies, I'll just get a new one. It's a 6S, so it doesn't owe me anything.

Google Maps has never let me down, and I'm sure its maps are more up to date than those on my GPS.
 

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Been using a Garmin car (not motorbike) satnav in a waterproof bar mounted case for several years. Vibrations have not killed it, hasn't had a drop of water get on it even in torrential downpours. it just works. Powered by bar mounted 12v socket
 

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You may want to check out CoPilot GPS app
Car Navigation Built for Drivers
Free to try, cheap to buy. I've been using it for years, at first as a back-up to my Garmin GPS, and I've found it to be reliable. I still have a Gamin Zumo mounted on my handlebars, but I expect it will be my last dedicated GPS. If and when it goes, the CoPilot app will take over. It's already replaced my automobile GPS.

Pros:
Unlike Google Maps, you can select and download maps directly to your phone (I have USA/Canada) ....In other words, you are not at the mercy of having a good cellular signal.
The maps are updated for free several times per year, unlike Garmin maps, which are now updated only twice per year only by payment or a prepaid subscription.
Did I mention it's very inexpensive?
You can select from a variety of backgrounds, voices, and options.
It has the ability to follow stored tracks/routes. I don't use this much, so you'll want to see if it meets your expectations.
The resident POI database search is quick, far faster and more comprehensive than the frustratingly slow and sparse Garmin POI database.

Meh:
No folders for favorites...Yet. Just an alphabetical, editable list. I'm hoping they'll add this in the future.

Cons:
The app online search is powered by Yelp! Yelp sucks. It seems it can only find businesses that pay money to Yelp!
It used to be powered by Google which priced itself out of their market, so Yelp! it is. But if Yelp can't find what you're looking for, you can always find it on Google anyway.

Other stuff:
I have my phone mounted with a RAM mount. All my devices use a RAM mount.
Depending on your phone, your screen may be glove sensitive, or you may have to remove your gloves. It's not a good idea to program on the fly anyway.
My phones have been more susceptible to glare than my dedicated devices. Yours may not.

Like any device or app, there will be a learning curve.
Like any GPS, the routing will throw some whoppers at you from time to time. Sometimes CoPilot screws up, sometimes my Garmin screws up. Ya still gotta read the road signs. :)

Hope this helps.
 
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I use my phone all the time. I actually turn the screen off and just listen to the voice guidance through my headset and it works great. I have found some limitations though.

When sending directions from your desktop to your phone, Google seems to only send the start and stop points, so the route you choose on the computer may not be the same route you get on your phone.

There's no ability to get twisty routes with Google Nav or Waze, just avoid highways or not.

I've tried all sorts of different navigation apps and the best one I have found is TomTom Go. It isn't free, in fact it requires a subscription, but it is very good and will actually let you choose just how twisty you want your route to be.
 

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Been using phones for many years for directions, walking and riding (and driving). I like Apple Maps, Google Maps and especially Waze.
 

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Ken, just get the new RT with the built in GPS :p
 

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Time for a new ride anyway Ken!

Social distancing since 1954
 

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I have a very old Garmin that has served me well for many years. I use it to get from Point A to Point B when the route is unimportant. I also use it with Honda Trip Planner when I want to create specific routes for rides. I'll export the GPX file from Honda (via PC) to my GPS, and I have the exact route I want. It's worked flawlessly for me for many years. My biggest gripe with my GPS is that it is not a bluetooth unit, so I must rely on visual cues from it. At times, that's a challenge when I'm in direct sunlight and the glare makes it virtually impossible to see.

So I want to start using Google Maps on my iphone, which is paired to my headset. I was able to create a route on my PC, send a link of the route via text to my phone, then pull it up to follow. Seems like it will do the trick.

It looks like this will fill my need without shelling out $600 for a bluetooth GPS. Any drawbacks to what I've outlined above? Do the text links to the routes expire? I'm thinking I could just send a text to my phone for each daily ride for a trip I'm planning.

Someone tell me this will work. :geek:
 
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