Inexpensive GPS - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
Gadgets & Gizmos Discussion on the latest "toys" to enhance the adventure.

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post #1 of 21 Old 02-10-2008, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Inexpensive GPS

I looking into an inexpensive GPS unit. I would like to stay under the $200 range for now. Is anyone useing such? I see some around here using some more high dollar units. Any advise or experience would be appreciated.

Things I am interested in.
Preloaded maps, quality?
upgradeed maps for remote areas.
Do they hold up to the vibrations mounted on handle bars?

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post #2 of 21 Old 02-10-2008, 05:46 PM
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I've got a cheap Garmin quest I will sell for $50..Heres the story on it. I bought it off ebay a month or so ago. The internal battery is not holding charge, I did find a Sony that will replace the battery for $25. The GPS does work fine with the power source plug. The seller didn't have the id and password of the previous owner so maps cannot be uploaded, but it does have the mapquest North America loaded v5 I think. Now Garmin will do a complete update and fix of all problems for $150 but I have decided there are other things I prefer to have on my bike at the moment. I know 'Paper' stated that he sent his garmin quest in to be fixed and garmin just simply sent him a brand new one back. I even have the handlebar holder for it. If it is something you or anyone else might be interested in PM me. Its just sitting here in my Jeep not getting used much. If moderators need to move this, that is fine, this is a half response half sales pitch.

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Previous ride was a 2007 KLR Black/Silver, I miss it..
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post #3 of 21 Old 02-10-2008, 06:59 PM
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Here's an excellent bang for the buck. It's a little over your price point but worth it for an extra 30 bucks. Magellan Crossover
I bought one and it works great.
Or Garim eTrex to fit your budget.

Last edited by SLO-KLR; 02-10-2008 at 07:10 PM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 02-11-2008, 01:22 AM
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Look in to the Mio line for reasonable features yet less expensive.

They lack in some features like trip planning on the PC and storing routes, but I basically wanted a replacement for paper maps. They are less expensive then their competition and the map panning is extremely fast. The have full street autorouting maps, unlike some others that require $100 add ons to get street level and autorouting.

I found map panning speed to be very important after experiencing other GPS brands. When you pan with the touchscreen, many other brands were slow to respond and would hesitate making it quite annoying to use. The only brand that compares in speed to Mio is Garmin.

I got the Mio C520 widescreen. It plays MP4 movies, views images, and plays mp3's... just not while MAP is up. So when at the campsite or lunch, I can watch movies or listen to music.

It comes with a car adaptor that many people add to the KLR. I recently got a battery charger/energy station that allows me to run & charge the Mio off rechargeable batteries. One movie took 80% of the internal 1350mah battery. With the Hybrio energy station, you can use 4 batteries at a time to recharge and then swap to another 4 batteries however many you times you want. 4 Hybrios will charge the Mio 6-7 times.

Many people won't like the Mio because of the lack of route planning, but it stills has point to point auto routing and you can place as many via's as you want. You just can't store multiple routes or plan on a PC and transfer it over.

Under $200 is a tough budget to find a decent road GPS, but if you can find a Mio C310X it has a cult like following. Most Mio's can be "unlocked" and turned in to a WinCE device and do quite a bit of interesting things. GPS Passion has an entire forum dedicated to Mio customizing.

The c220 is the new C310x, but lots of people saying it's not as good as the 310. The 310 was Mio's entry in to the market awhile back and packed a lot of great features for the price. At the time I got my 520 it was priced right about the same as the 310. But I think you can find the 310 for much less now.

Anyway... do lots of research and be highly aware of the extras involved with Garmin and some other brands. What you get is not always what you think. You could end up spending several more hundred after the fact just to get the features you thought were supposed to come with the device.

Edit: There is a C230 out that fixes some of the issues with the C220.

Last edited by TheWanderer; 02-11-2008 at 01:40 AM.
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post #5 of 21 Old 02-11-2008, 06:40 AM
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I have a Lowrance IWAY It too is good little unit,

The Megellan at Costco sounds like a pretty good deal...... just remember as the units go on sale, that means they are about to be replaced by something better. Costco is famous for selling off lost leaders. (I know, I spend a ton of monety there every year.)

I would suggest not to "under buy", you will get stuck with something you don't like. Make sure it's upgradeable.

Paper's unit maybe the way to go. That way if you don't like like, sell it.


-31C with a -43C Wind chill This morning
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post #6 of 21 Old 02-12-2008, 02:15 AM
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Hey Wanderer,

Those Mio's look pretty neat. How water proof are they?
I looked around on the webpage and the different models and didn't see anything about it.

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post #7 of 21 Old 02-12-2008, 02:40 AM
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The Mio's aren't waterproof. That's a good point to bring up, sorry I didn't mention that before. It's something I don't bother to think about because I don't ever ride when it's raining. If I'm out and the weather starts to look iffy, I'll find my way to some kind of shelter. I have a Wolfman tankbag with a clear map pocket that I plan to put the Mio in during any offroading to protect it from dirt, water and vibrations. I don't want it mounted on the bars or anywhere it can get destroyed by branches or anything else.

I rode in a rainstorm a long time ago when I had my Sabre 1100. Rode for 5 hours on the intercrap in the rain to get home after riding in to a mysteriously appearing gully washer and getting soaked instantly. Figured I was already soaked so why stop. This was after 1500 miles of awesome riding over those last few days and I was in good spirits, the rain wasn't going to bring me down at that point. Other then that, I hate wet roads and avoid rain at all costs.
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post #8 of 21 Old 02-12-2008, 12:11 PM
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I have the Lowrance iFinder explorer. Cost is just about $200 with the topo map. Waterproof & lots of nice features including altitude.

I've been happy with it.


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post #9 of 21 Old 02-14-2008, 04:58 PM
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I got a Lowrance XOG for $239 I think. I just got it last week so i can't give a detailed review but so far I like it. It's water resistant, touch screen that's easy to use with gloves, takes up to 2gig sd cards. Has an mp3 player and you can load satellite images onto it. I'll be putting it to the test this weekend. So far the only issue I have with it is that it's not that easy to read in direct sunlight.
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post #10 of 21 Old 02-15-2008, 06:22 AM
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If your Lowrance is hard to see in the direct sunlight, you may want to try running it in night time mode.

Sometimes the extra back light will help. or you may want to try and manufacture a small hood for it. ( some fish finders are hard to read, same issue, so the manufactures had hoods or visors supplied to compensate)

Let me know how you make out


still cold here, -32C, I am sarting to hate this !
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