GPS unit on KLR- have a few questions please - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-13-2019, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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GPS unit on KLR- have a few questions please

I plan on installing a GPS on the KLR. My brother gave me a Garmin nuvi (2013 issue) It’s kinda small, but should work ok -guessing ? I will be getting a Ram mount for the bar. My questions- Is the nuvi ll50 too small to read while going ( or just rely on voice?). I’m sure I can find a 12v hot when in run position to wire the12v adapter plug into ( after I take apart) OR do you guy prefer to just wire in a 12v cigarette lighter type female receptacle, and plug the GPS into it? If so what the advantage ? And lastly ( and not trying to start an argument) which is better the Garmin or Tom, Tom GPS ? Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-13-2019, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodent64 View Post
I plan on installing a GPS on the KLR. My brother gave me a Garmin nuvi (2013 issue) It’s kinda small, but should work ok -guessing ? I will be getting a Ram mount for the bar. My questions- Is the nuvi ll50 too small to read while going ( or just rely on voice?). I’m sure I can find a 12v hot when in run position to wire the12v adapter plug into ( after I take apart) OR do you guy prefer to just wire in a 12v cigarette lighter type female receptacle, and plug the GPS into it? If so what the advantage ? And lastly ( and not trying to start an argument) which is better the Garmin or Tom, Tom GPS ? Thanks in advance.
I don't know what a Nuvi ll50 is so I can't comment on the screen size, but generally:

The big question is whether or not you will be going off-road. If you take a Nuvi off-road you will shake it to death. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of its life.

Same thing for the cigarette adapter. The plug will not stay in the socket and the choke coil that is inside the plug will break off the PC board unless you take it apart and pot it in place.

Power-wise, the problem with the Nuvi is that it is meant to be used in a car and doesn't have a proper motorcycle mount that provides power and audio out, nor does it (probably) have Bluetooth capability, so the audio will be hard-wired to your helmet. Power will be via a USB mini-plug, which will not last long even when not taken off-road.

Garmin, vs TomTom: I think the Garmin is a more integrated solution than the TomTom products because it includes updated mapping and good route planning software, and the maps can be loaded both onto the computer and the GPS unit.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-13-2019, 07:45 PM
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On screen size, I have a Garmin zumo 660. It has a 4.3" (diagonal dimension) screen and that is fine for navigation. It is mounted just below, from a line-of-sight perspective, the gauges and a quick glance down works fine.

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post #4 of 17 Old 02-14-2019, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Same thing for the cigarette adapter. The plug will not stay in the socket and the choke coil that is inside the plug will break off the PC board unless you take it apart and pot it in place.
Ditto on the cigarette lighter receptacle and plug! (Ask me how I know!)

On the other hand . . . there is a socket-and-plug arrangement, found on BMWs, that's pretty solid, connection-wise--doesn't shake out easily (I have one on my KTM) in my experience. This type of auxiliary connector has a NAME, but . . . I can't remember it. (Senility IS cruel! )

Hard-wiring remains an option, but . . . don't feed 12 VDC directly into your unit (unless the device is designed for such power; maybe has its own adapter/conditioner); don't feed a bare receiver more that USB voltage.

EDIT: POWERLET!!!!!!!!!! The name of the plug-and-socket scheme I mentioned!

BASIC Powerlet kits can be purchased at much lower prices than this example (the product shown comes with a RAM mount):

https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...m-mount-option

Also, one can purchase a cigarette lighter plug adapter for a Powerlet socket, for use with accessories so wired.

Last edited by Damocles; 02-14-2019 at 03:28 AM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-14-2019, 03:30 AM
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I have heard it called a BMW connector or, after the company the sells a lot of them, a Powerlet connector. My R1200RT has three of them, the KLR has one. They are very secure as Damocles says, but any mating plugs that contain a voltage converter or conditioner that has a choke on it will need to be ruggedized.

I have also heard them called DIN plugs, but there must be a din number to go with it.

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post #6 of 17 Old 02-14-2019, 07:34 AM
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Gps

I have several Nuvi series GPS's. 2 cars, 3 bikes, and I think a spare one somewhere.

I've had them mounted in different places on my bikes. Handlebars, faring mount (custom) and all with RAM mounting system.

All are plugged into cigarette lighter type socket. Both car, and bike. I've had the power plug vibrate out on occasion. (I use a rubber band to hold it on place.) The rubber band works for me. Haven't had a "vibrate-out" as long as the rubber band is good. I do replace it at times.
Disclaimer: I don't ride like a demon in the rough, but do ride a LOT of gravel roads.

I wire my GPS's into a circuit that goes off with ignition.

The old Nuvi 500 is water resistant. Light rain, but don't think it would survive a good dunking. A baggie will suffice if you don't normally ride in rain.
All my Nuvi's have been reliable, even one that won't hold a charge anymore.

For me, the cost of the Zumo's are just out of my price range. I primarily use my GPS to see roads surrounding me. Sometimes to route to a specific destination. (Usually in the car.) In the bike, I don't usually have a destination, I just explore.

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post #7 of 17 Old 02-14-2019, 07:47 AM
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I ditched the dedicated GPS last season and I'm not going back. Used to have a NUVI and then went to an Oregon but now I use a waterproof Kyocera duraforce pro with OsmAnd app and speed overlay. I was going to buy one of the ridiculously expensive motorcycle specific garmins but when I was researching I found that a lot of riders are going away from that and using their phones with great results. Way easier (in my experience) to make tracks, great screen, and it's easy to use with sena and bluetooth and taking calls and all that stuff...because it's a phone. And way, way cheaper.

I've given garmin a lot of money over the years and was never happy. The screens are small and the maps are expensive and they were never all that reliable for me. Making tracks in basecamp was a PITA. Now I make tracks in google maps and just send them to the phone in an email. The OsmAnd maps are terrific and super detailed. The tracks are turn by turn and easy to follow and you can pipe in audio directions, too. Hasn't let me down yet.
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-14-2019, 08:11 AM
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My Garmin 500 is now ten years old, and still working after literally tens of thousands of miles on my KLR, XR400, other bikes in all sorts of off road terrain and plenty of rain.. It's got Topo Maps too! Sometimes you can find them in like new condition for under $100, but there are tons of other GPS options. Definitely get one that's water proof if you can if you think it's needed, but the baggie over the top works too.
On my Pre-Gen KLR I power mine directly off the unused (in the USA) running light power under the fairing. It's keyed and works great for GPS or phone charging. While some folks never have a problem with the cig-adapter type's I tossed that solution years ago and never looked back. The powerlet is an awesome choice too..

If you're not wondering off the grid a phone is fine for navigation, but I still prefer the dedicated GPS, and in fact sometimes run two at a time. (yeah I'm a geek) Check out GPSKevin's site

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post #9 of 17 Old 02-14-2019, 08:18 AM
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I think an easier solution to a GPS is a good cell phone. My cheap Samsung smartphone has the maps app and is also bluetooth. Also there are many good cycle mounts for smartphones and when you stop to eat, gas up or whatever, you just pull it out of the mount and put in your pocket. Mine will run at least all day without need for a power source. If it does need to charge I can charge it from my power port that has a usb port for the cord.
As for off road. If you're using a hwy GPS it won't be doing you much good anyway. For that I'd suggest one of the ones hunters use that come with a topo map in it that would probably also have all the fire roads and two track trails. It would also let you backtrack your route should you go in a ways and decide to turn around for whatever reasons.
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-14-2019, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. Lots of good info. I do have a good phone, but was thinking this Garmin would be used when on paved,gravel roads and removed for any off road excursions. Being able to know what upcoming road is in front of me is kinda what I was after. My solution to the power cable that plugs into the back from coming loose is just simple clear silicon sealer. I’m going to disassemble the 12v cigarette lighter male power plug and look at the circuitry. As long as I retain the step down voltage transformer from inside I could maybe re-package it and wire to the male part of a BMW type power plug. Then if I need to, I can unplug and take the GPS,wire and all with me,or lock in trunk. What do y’all think about that approach ?

Last edited by rodent64; 02-14-2019 at 12:59 PM.
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