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GPS on bikes

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by rossd, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Thinking about getting a GPS for my Beemer. :? I have had a bad experience with Navman kit on a yacht I had for many years, so will not consider that make. I guess that leaves me with Garmin, TomTom or the BeeEmm proprietary gear.
    Any comment (constructive) from people with experience of using/owning these umits would be greatly appreciated. :?

  2. hey mr ross..

    you know where I stand..

    having sold and serviced most brands of GPS.. it's Garmin hands down for me every time..

    as I mentioned on Sunday, the current model Zumo is being discounted to make way for the newer model and is a bargain at the moment..

    the Zumo is a biker friendly unit that is loaded with all roads already and auto routing.. as well as large buttons for gloved hands.. oh, and waterproof.. and they can be paired with your mobile via bluetooth to handle all calls if you have an intercom headset.. and have inbuilt storage for music via said headset..

    Zumo 550's can be had for $750
  3. Totally agree.

    I have the Garmin Zumo and love it. If the bike is traveling the Zumo is on the bike.
    They also give you a car mount so you can use it in your car.

    It knows when it is in the bike mount and the car mount and does a few things differently.

    I have it paired with a Blueant Interphone that is also paired to my phone and I can make and receive calls on the fly.

    It has an SD slot so you can fill one with MP3's and listen as you ride. Of course there is also 512mb? on board the thing.

    I'm not sure how good the traffic service is but an optional antenna to receive traffic updates costs around the $130 mark.

    Whilst in the car cradle, It can be a handsfree kit too. However, my callers report that it sounds pretty crap and tinny.
  4. Thanks guys - good feedback. I know Garmin makes good kit.
    It would be good to hear from anyone with a BeeEmm unit for comparative purposes but I wouldn't think they will be cheap :shock: Anyone know how easy it is to update the maps/routes etc as time passes, on any of the units and if so what it costs?
  5. On Garmins updating the maps is fairly straightforward.

    (1) Buy map pack update from Garmin ($100-120ish?). City Navigator Australia covers the entire continent and has auto-routing. It's what's installed onto the road-biased Garmin GPSes as default. If it's an SD card device, you can buy the maps on SD card for super-laziness.

    (2) Remove old-and-busted map SD card from device. Put new-hotness map card in.

    (or if you have a non-SD card device; put map CD in computer, install maps, then plug GPS into computer using USB cable, transfer maps, tadaaa)

    (3) Register the map to your GPS device using Garmin's website. Just a matter of typing in some serial codes, really.
  6. Are you fair dinkum?? The TomTom Rider does free updates each time you plug into your PC. Fcuk paying for it :? What a jip!

    I love my tomtom rider. It's a great little unit that does everything the Garmin does (including having a car mount option) with the exception of not being able to play music. It also comes standard with the Scala Rider bluetooth headset.

    However, if the Garmin is the price you're quoting right now it might be a reasonable option as the TTR is the same price (but doesn't cost you to update the maps). When I bought the TTR, the Garmin was nearly $1500 so I avoided it completely on price alone.

    Have fun deciding ;)
  7. Yeah, buying new maps costs money with Garmin (they have to pay Sensis somehow, I guess). Significantly cheaper to update your map license than to buy the maps outright.

    Are you sure TomTom's map updates are free, though?

    This page says otherwise...? :? The Australian FAQ page is less verbose but still says "buy new maps", not "get new maps for free". I'm confused.

    The UK TomTom site says that 12 months of plug-in-and-automagically-update service costs "from 7.95 pounds" - 32pounds a year, or about $60-70AUS.
  8. I think you'll find that TomTom maps are only free for the first year... Or as the garmin ones free for ever via torrent-air... :grin:
  9. Can I just say AGAIN what a POS the Rider v1 is, and how TomTom are a bunch of %$@ for not recalling it and rectifying the well known issues with charging that was the basis for the complete redesign of the mounting cradle on the v2. :furious: I sent mine back and it came back exactly the same. I wouldn't buy the v2 for the simple fact I shouldn't have to send them more money for something with essentially the same functionality but that actually CHARGES!


    With respect to maps, recent TomToms come with MapShare which provides free updated corrections to maps every time you connect your TomTom to your PC. To get a complete new revision of map software however, yes you need to pay (or download from a secret location at no cost *cough*)

    EDIT - I'd recomment you get a Zumo as I've heard nothing but good things...but given my experience with the Rider, I'd probably wait and buy the soon to be released new 660 instead of the 550 even though the 550 is heavily discounted at the moment. Looks like the 660 comes with some pretty cool features and a larger screen.
  10. Makes more sense.

    Just to clarify for the OP, Garmin releases updated maps for purchase about once every 12 months.

    But it's a lot like printed roadmap books; they're still useable for a few years before you start to noticably miss out on new roads. (eg: My GPS maps are from 2005; I don't have the M7 motorway in Sydney or Eastlink in Victoria as a result, but everything else is fine. ;)
  11. I thought the cradle was recalled on the rider v1
  12. Nope, unfortunately not. I was issued a replacement cradle when I sent my POS back under warranty but it was exactly the same as the first one and didn't make one iota of difference to the charging issues.
  13. Where can you get them at that price? so I can get one :)
  14. Spoke to BeeEmm today to glean some info on their prpprietary GPS. Bloody $2300 fitted :shock: :shock: Also BeeEmm will not honour any warranty claim for any battery or charging issues if any other GPS is fitted.
  15. Is that for both hard wired and ones using BeeEmm fitted cigarette lighters / power points?
  16. Good question and one I didn't ask - but will. I'm sure the BeeEmm unit will be really good quality - user friendly etc but I get a bit of a mental block about paying 3 x the price of a Garmin equivalent.
  17. I'm not surprised. Spare a thought for Holden SSV owners. The car comes equiped with a built in GPS which displays on a build in screen on the dash. However it's deactivated by software. It's a $2.300 "upgrade" to get it activated. Not sure what the maps cost.

    As for BMW's warranty issue with 3rd party devices, that shouldn't be a problem. A GPS is hardly going to suck the guts out of the battery or the charging system.

    Does it have an Aux. Power Outlet? If so, what does BMW expect that you would be doing with it, particularly if it's a cigarette lighter style outlet?
  18. The later models don't have a "wiring loom" as such, they have Can-Bus (single wire, actually its a twisted pair :p) so it can affect the bike in some ways. You can't just tap into an "active" wire somewhere.

    Mine does have a dedicated GPS power plug under the battery cover but the cable is $180 just to power down the GPS when the ignition is off.
    Seeing as I'd rather spend $180 on booze, I press the "On/Off" button when I park the bike :p
  19. Didn't know that. I understand that there was something in the pipeline for car manufacturers along these lines. Have some sort of optical thing running around to power the lights, etc. Didn't know that bikes were getting this. Sounds like a good idea expect that it stops weekend hacks such as myself from adding driving lights or whatever.

    Anyway, surely you can get a cig. lighter outlet and connect it directly to the battery. Unless, of course, Beemer's batteries are now digital or something...

  20. It all get a bit complex doesn't it. My bike is an '08 F800ST and it doesn't have a cigarette lighter output (That I have found). If I cant hardwire a Garmin due to the Can-Bus technology then I might have to resort to using a mobile phone attached to the bars. Not what I wanted but I really do have a problem with paying $2300 for a BeeEmm unit.