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My street pilot is shutting itself off more and more and it always runs off my hot accessory plug. I guess I got my money's worth in the seven years I've had it. Anyway...

Seems like Lowrance still is having problems with the 500c? I really like the large display but don't want the headaches and returns. Is there any hope they'll get it right soon?

How about Garmin? I've heard they've come out with a motorcycle rated GPS. Is it any better than their others? What are you folks using... any comments welcome.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I've got a Garmin 276C. It's been in all 48 lower states and most Canadian provinces, and rode it well. Maps were pretty darned accurate everyplace (but admitedly not perfect). Large, excellent display (easy to see in direct sunlight - does not wash out). Waterproof.

Carl
 

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Wanderer said:
What are you folks using... any comments welcome.
I have gone from the SPIII to a 2730 and now have the 478. My primary need was for a unit that displayed NEXRAD and could download PC-generated maps.

As a side note, I've been able to use the same dash mount for each of them.
 

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I bought the 2730 and just love it. The new Zumo has a couple of features that the 2730 doesn't have such as left handed hard buttons but since I have an MC Cruise Control that is not a big deal, but it can contain 10,000 waypoints versus 2,000 for my 2730 so that is one thing if that is a concern for you.

If you need BlueTooth then go with that unit or the 2830, I didn't need that so I went with the 2730 which included the GXM30 antenna included for free which the others don't. With any of those you will have to pay the subscription fee.

The ZUMO has a more square screen than the others which are more rectangular which may be a good thing, I don't know because I haven't seen it yet as it won't be out until probably November 15.
 

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I am on my 4th I-wayb 500 and would buy it again.The big screen and ease of use are the big factors.Lowrance is VERY easy to work with and as with all technokogy,there are going to be "bugs".
 

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Garmin ZUMO 550!!!

Well, you say you've had your StreetPilot for "seven years," so right off the bat you already know that Garmin makes a sterling and premier product. By themselves they sell more than 1/2 of all consumer GPS units in the United States alone. You just can't go wrong with a Garmin.

Conversely, you yourself have questioned the reliability of the Lowrence Iway 500c -- even "razwrld" above admits he's on his 4th unit. Of course he said he'd buy it again so here you have a GPS that some are fiercely loyal to yet has a fairly well-documented predisposition to break down. I hate to say it but the Iway may very well be fast becoming the Harley of GPSs. Maybe this model is not for you...

Pointing you in a positive direction, here are some general thoughts: These days there are TONS of wonderful units out there and choices galore. You really have to understand and identify what features are available, which of those would be a true help to you, which would give you true enjoyment, and which you could live without.

I myself have used a StreetPilot III for about 4 years and, although my trusty SPIII has never let me down, I've pretty much been pining for some newer technology for the last year or so. So what with all the above in mind and after having researched for months I've found there is only one GPS that in one single package, gives you the following:

  • Motorcycle-friendliness -- The operation of the unit itself is ergonomically designed to provide you the most convenient way to input or manipulate data -- even while riding and with gloves on (c'mon, we ALL do it, so it may as well be as easy as it can be). Buttons are placed on the left side of the unit to facilitate this (in conjunction with touch screen selections). Honestly, I was sold on the Zumo for this alone; let alone [continuing]....

    UV-resistant display (the first GPS to specifically claim this).

    Sunlight readable screen -- My SPIII is often hard to read -- even with a sunscreen attached; this is the newest generation of screen and was built specifically to be as bright and discernible as possible (somebody who was at the recent Laguna Seca unveiling already said it was BRIGHT).

    Flash Memory for Maps and Data (instead of a hard drive) -- This -- along with it being specifically vibration-tested -- ensures this GPS will withstand and hold up to continuous operation on a motorcycle and not fail such as one with a hard drive is more susceptible to do. Remember your GPS is on a motorcycle and not a cruiseship...

    MP3 Player -- Pop in a 4GB SD card and you'll have access to over 1,200 of your favorite tunes (if you can manage with "only" 100 CD's of music). There's more room on the internal/base memory too!

    XM Radio -- With purchase of the GXM-30 receiver (such as I bought).

    Bluetooth or wireless operation (cell phone, GPS directions and mono MP3) as an option -- Otherwise you may certainly utilize the 3.5mm jack in the mount and traditional wired headsets to hear your directions and all music (XM radio and/or MP3) in full stereo.

    Complete hardware to physically mount to both your car AND bike (i.e., hardwiring) all included. Nothing else to buy.

    JPEG Picture Viewer -- I know ostensibly this doesn't sound like much, but if you're on the road and somebody asks you about your wife, kids, home, other bike or whatever, you can just whip out your Zumo and show them any photo you've placed on it! Kinda cool actually and I'd think a great icebreaker.

    All United States maps are fully loaded in the Zumo. You may optionally and supplementally acquire a set for Europe.

    Screen Size -- At 5.88 square inches, the Zumo's screen is more than 96% that of Garmin's old flagship model, the SPIII (6.12" sq. in.) and LARGER than any of Garmin's 26xx, 27xx and 28xx series (all are 5.61 sq. in.). These are all traditionally and very adequately-sized screens successfully used and enjoyed by the majority of the GPS-buying public.

    Overall Size -- Would you want something unobtrusive or modest on your bike, or something akin to an Etch-A-Sketch? Of course the nice thing for us non-Wingers is that with the latter, we don't have to buy a separate windshield.... But seriously, many GPSs would have to be stowed in your saddlebags, but you could fit the Zumo (about the size of a thick double-CD package) in a large-ish jacket pocket for a little extra peace of mind; compared to the previous generation Garmins mentioned above which are more like, well, blocks of cheese. Of course you wouldn't BE carrying around the 26xx, 27xx and 28xx series Garmins because unlike the Zumo, THEY don't give you....:

    Battery Operation -- You may optionally power the Zumo by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery should you want to say, take it into your lodgings and listen to some MP3s with headphones, look up and map out some places of interest (e.g., restaurants, attractions, etc.) for the next day or show some buds at the bar a few jpg pictures of your bike, kids, wife or mistress with the picture viewer all portably courtesy of your Zumo's battery. Of course you can do all that too by plugging it into the wall/AC, but that's what taking advantage of this self-contained battery convenience is all about -- being untethered to an external power source. Hell, you can review your trip on your Zumo the next morning while you're taking a shower! Oh yeah, it's IPX7 compliant so it's virtually waterproof!

    Multiple Routes-- Download, edit and change for optimal order multiple custom routes. I can't tell you what this means to me. :wink: :roll:

    Pedestrian Mode -- One of about a dozen available. Don't know where Pat O'Brien's is in New Orleans, McSorley's Ale House in New York, or the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco (hey, I like bars, so sue me!)? Put the Zumo in pedestrian mode and have it navigate you there.... ON FOOT! If you get the optional European map set, they can do this for you in Rome, Florence or Paris too.... not THAT's handy.

    Automatic Routing to the Nearest Gas Station when your custom-set mileage input advises you are running low on fuel. This is certainly not necessary but nice for me because my VTX doesn't have a dedicated fuel gage.

    (High-sensitivity) SiRF III Chip-set/Receiver -- The cutting edge of GPS technology that ensures your signals are not disrupted in "urban" and natural canyons and provides you extremely fast recovery (re-routing) times. Cost a little more... if you think you're worth it!

    Easily snaps out of a locking cradle -- no wire disconnections necessary.

    "Garmin-Lock" anti-theft locking feature. If you elect to utilize a 4-digit code, the Zumo will lock out from use all that do not know what it is. Sure they can steal it, but at least you'll know the bastards can't use it....

    Lastly, the Garmin Zumo 550 is pretty damn CUTE!! (Don't EVEN get me started on the custom end caps...!) :wink:
Accordingly, my personal choice for the best GPS unequivocally goes to and is, the
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Garmin ZUMO 550 :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

(Otherwise I have no particular opinion either way. hehe)

 

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Hey Blade, where is your ZUMO 550??? On a slow boat from China???? LOL!!! Bet you can't wait to get your hands on that puppy!!! I thought since you were a SALES REP for Garmin that you would get yours early but I guess Garmin treats everyone equally. LOL!!! Enjoy it when you get it as I know you will. Kinda like Christmas coming early for you.
 

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xxxrider said:
Hey Blade, where is your ZUMO 550??? On a slow boat from China???? LOL!!! Bet you can't wait to get your hands on that puppy!!! I thought since you were a SALES REP for Garmin that you would get yours early but I guess Garmin treats everyone equally. LOL!!! Enjoy it when you get it as I know you will. Kinda like Christmas coming early for you.
I know, I know. The only thing I've got right now is this really big (writing) mouth (see above...) because I know nothing more than what I read about it. I'll probably hate the thing when I get it (haha). But thankfully those big payoffs from Garmin for hawking their product are rolling in each week right on schedule..... :roll:

As for the waiting and Christmas coming early, you may have discerned over at the "other" board that I just bought a Nuvi 660 because I DID get tired of waiting, and will use that for my car and when I travel -- it has many Zumo-like features. But I know I will absolutely enjoy it; how could I not? I just hope they'll be SOME riding whether left when I get it -- even here in California!
 

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Garmin 378 - same price as Zumo, but comes with the option to add NEXRAD Weather information.

All the features, except a touch screen - I can work better with buttons that don't require looking at the screen as I can do that while I sleep.

The screen is sunlight readable - an important feature on the bike as you can view the screen even when you have the sun shining right on it.

Didn't need bluetooth for cell phone integration - there are better options to do that. I would need the cell phone integrated into the bike - not GPS.

There's a discussion on another board that the Zumo does not include Alaska in the basemap - if that's true don't buy the Zumo if you plan a trip up there. You have to zoom below 5 (or 3 miles) in order to see any road in Alaska. The zumo contains the Americas Autoroute Light Basemap - and not the Americas Autoroute Basemap.

Reiner
 

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reinerka said:
Garmin 378 - same price as Zumo, but comes with the option to add NEXRAD Weather information.
If you're comparing MRP & street discounted pricing this is pretty close. Some distributors are still selling the Zumo for less than $800.

... All the features, except a touch screen - I can work better with buttons that don't require looking at the screen as I can do that while I sleep...
Not exactly the same featureset. The 378 currently can't load PC-generated routes since they don't have the inland lakes and road maps integrated into the MapSource data yet. For some reason the 478 does... The cradle-mounted design is much easier to remove from the bike when needed - the power connector on the 276-478 series units is notorious for coming apart. There's nothing worse than holding the broken power connector in one hand and realizing you don't have your AC adapter with you for recharging it when the battery dies. The GPSMap units also don't have the SIIRF receiver and have to use an external antenna (of one type or another). There are other differences, but some might argue they are minutia, like the 'Garmin Lock' security feature, no custom POI integration capabilities, no 3D view, no FM or XM traffic integration, no MP3 player, no POI alerts, etc.

...Didn't need bluetooth for cell phone integration - there are better options to do that. I would need the cell phone integrated into the bike - not GPS.
The bluetooth integration of the phone to the GPS allows your phone's address book to be accessible from the GPS screen and the caller ID information is displayed as well, allowing easy access to your phone functions. When you connect the audio output of the unit to the bike's intercom, the GPS & phone are now all connected together. POI entries that have a phone number associated with them are now one screen press away. If you wanted to have your phone connected on the bike, why wouldn't you want it connected to the large screen of the GPS if you had the option?

There's a discussion on another board that the Zumo does not include Alaska in the basemap - if that's true don't buy the Zumo if you plan a trip up there. You have to zoom below 5 (or 3 miles) in order to see any road in Alaska. The zumo contains the Americas Autoroute Light Basemap - and not the Americas Autoroute Basemap.

Reiner
That's a potential issue - potential use outside of the NA detailed mapset (or European maps, if loaded) may become a problem, isn't Alaska included in the preloaded CN NT? Why would you need to use the basemap in this case?
 

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Jon said:
There's a discussion on another board that the Zumo does not include Alaska in the basemap - if that's true don't buy the Zumo if you plan a trip up there. You have to zoom below 5 (or 3 miles) in order to see any road in Alaska. The zumo contains the Americas Autoroute Light Basemap - and not the Americas Autoroute Basemap.

Reiner
That's a potential issue - potential use outside of the NA detailed mapset (or European maps, if loaded) may become a problem, isn't Alaska included in the preloaded CN NT? Why would you need to use the basemap in this case?
The basemap data is displayed when you the zoom out to a certain level (typically 5 miles). At that point the detail maps aren't used by the GPS. The GPS displays something below the zoom level showing that it is currently using the City Navigator (or other) data.

When you would use the GPS in Alaska you would have to zoom in to see any road, city, etc at all if it is not part of the basemap. All it would display otherwise is country boards (not very usefull).

I know that most people won't go to Alaska, but the omission is not a good things, as it is a sign of things to come.

BTW, the problem of route transmission is acknowledged by Garmin and being fixed with the next map update.

Reiner
 
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