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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?

Thanks,
 

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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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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.
 

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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.

BackRoader

-31C with a -43C Wind chill This morning
 

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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.

Brian
 

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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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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.

John
 

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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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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

BackRoader

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

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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

BackRoader

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

Yeah that's what I was thinking...making a small hood for it. I'm going to wait until I get a permanent mount for it. Right now I have it mounted temporarily for a weekend trip. It's ghetto style. I am using the suction cup window mount and I have it zip tied to the bars. It's not bad... for now. I'll be getting a ram mount when they come out.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dec21st2012/2262065306/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dec21st2012/2262065614/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dec21st2012/2261273715/
 

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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. :)

Well still have it I will buy it just let me know. [email protected] pm me:11a:
 

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Relative to the mio c310x in particulair and other items their product line can anyone tell me

are maps including topographical info ,jeep roads etc. available

i am interested in the device as a rolling map for off the beaten path use
 

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2610 Garmin's were $800. Now they're $160 and they're waterproof.
I have one for my KLR and Wing.. 2GB card was another 15 bucks and I have everything loaded.
 

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I have a Mio c520, the same maps apply to any MIO. I would not rely on it for off road/forest road use. Any GPS will show your location and you could fairly easily figure out which way you need to go to get back to a main road, but as far as navigating a maze of forest roads, you'll probably be disappointed with the MIO because it was not made for that.

You may want to look at the Delorme PN-20. It's got it's own set of bugs since it's new, but it's geared for backcountry use. Sad thing is that it isn't touchscreen. I can't imagine any GPS without touchscreen and having to fiddle with directional buttons, but people have used them for years so I guess they work fine.
http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=10106


The MIO is limited in it's native state, but a huge user base has hacked the Mio's and are doing all sorts of things with them. I'm not at all happy with it's battery life, but that's what 12v adapters are for. I don't think any GPS does very well on batteries.

You cannot create routes on a PC and transfer them to the MIO. It's setup more for routing your current location to an address or a point on the map you select by browsing around. After calculating, you can bring up a street agenda and tell it to avoid any street you want and it will recalculate. I find that useful for avoiding highways or interstates.

It is touch screen and the c520 has the new widescreen which is very nice. Not all the great in direct sunlight though.

It does play media. I have an 8gb card loaded with music and movies. If you run the hack it has a media player that plays more video formats. I like this idea for campsite entertainment. You can't listen to music while your in the map though. Not sure why MIO did this. If I can figure it out, the hack is supposed to solve this as well.

Here is a link to the MIO user base doing all the hacks.
http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=37

Basically, the MIO line isn't made for motorcycles. It's setup primarily for vehicle commuting. If you can accept that it's mostly a digital map that shows your current location, can route you through mainstream roads, and can play media, then it's worth it. When I was looking, GPS with widescreen and touchscreen were twice the price and sometimes three after they made you buy the maps.

Finding the right GPS was one of the toughest things I've researched. So many options and so many opinions. The MIO touchscreen is great and fast at redraws. Tom Tom touchscreen was jerky and slow and way too small screen buttons. Garmin Nuvi's were expensive at the time and still can be depending on model/features. Magellan and others were never really in the running when you compared features to features.

I monitor the Delorme forums constantly on the status of the pn-20 and it's really hit and miss. Depending on how people use them, some have issues and others not a single problem. For the money, it's quite a device even with it's glitches that I'm sure will get ironed out as they continue to update the firmware and software. They even have a motorcycle mount now for only $50. And the current PN-20 bundle with TOPO7 that you would want is on sale for $300.
 

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Garmin 2610 on my KLR.

Wired with the extra (switched) euro running light wires.





Again, under $200, comes with all maps, is waterproof, and has been a motorcycle gps standard for years. They're discontinued because the Nuvi came out to replace it. If you can survive without MP3 and Bluetooth on your gps, this formerly $800 unit is a hell of a bargain..

I was informed that even though the 2610 and 2620 are similar looking, the 2610 is a memory card operated and will stand up to vibration with no problem. The 2620 is a hard drive operated unit and will freak out on a bumpy road in a car, let alone on a handlebar. In other words, avoid the 2620..

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=6397
 

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Paper and Wanderer. thanks for the input.
To be more specific about what i am looking for .
Primarily i would like to use the unit as a map showing my location.
The level of detail would show jeeptrails and back roads. I could follow visually using the gps as a map to determine which way to travel to connect with other Trails or larger roads. This would require showing or accessing an area, miles wide while retaining jeep trail detail.
I have no interest in the unit directing me where to go or mp3 or video functions.or route planning .
My experience with a magellan sportrak with topo was that the display at close level showed detail but whenever I enlarged the screen to show larger area the "trail" detail dissapeared and i was just a dot on screen.
As an option panning left right up or down to follow the trail was not smooth or quick enough to be helpfull.
Generally speaking:
Handheld type for hiking, etc (delorme pn-20) may be designed more for my interests except that they generally would have a smaller display and may not cover as large an area.( bigger is better)
Auto type with Larger display (MIO) may be better and if software is available may be able to give me a bigger window.( waterproof not criticalas i would probably carryit under map case on tank bag)
Touch screen would nice but not critical, color for sure.
the garmer looks like a nice choice but what software do i need to get the detail i want.
soon to be riding in western montana
thanks for the help
 

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First you have to stop and think about what your asking. Is it even possible? Obviously the more distance you want to see on a map, the further out you need to zoom and most of the GPS units are not extremely high resolution so as you zoom out the smaller roads have to go away or you'd see nothing but a big shaded block of pixels in a lot of places.

You have a lot of research to do and nobody can really help you with all the options out there, it would take them months of typing. I suggest you do a lot of googling both images and websites to see screenshots and reviews of all the different options.

PN-20 - Topo USA 7.0
Garmin - Mapsource Topo USA 2008

One thing to consider... Automotive GPS units don't really work well for backcountry navigators. Handheld units don't particularly work well for street navigators.

BTW... I just noticed an Earthmate PN-40 has been announced.
http://blog.delorme.com/2008/06/25/announcing-the-delorme-earthmate-pn-40/
http://gps.about.com/od/handheldgpsreceivers/a/DeLorme_PN40.htm

When it arrives, I imagine the PN-40 will be the ultimate GPS and will set the standard for all companies to match. Now, if they would only make the damn screen larger even though it's still larger then most other handhelds. Oh.. and also make it touchscreen. Even without these two options, the quality of maps and other features still sets it above the rest.
 

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Wanderer

The Mio unit sounds as though it will do what i desire.
One question though, Is it loaded with topo /jeep trail type detail?

I would guess not ,so do you happen to know what software would give me the detail want?

Desired detail would be similar to Delorme Atlas and Gazetter Printed detail topo maps. In Particulair southwest Montana is the zone.

by the way being a non geek I need something very easy to operate

thanks again
 

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I don't know about out in Montana, but I know that fire roads and atv trails in the U.P. of Michigan are marked on the Garmin maps.
 
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