Adventure Bike GPS Recommendation
Gps Recommendation for Adventure bikes:
What GPS should I get for my Bike? I am asked this question a lot. It depends on what type of bike you're putting it on, and what type of riding you are planning and how much you want to spend.
Adventure Bikes are used on both back dirt roads and main paved roads. Therefore, when selecting a GPS for your bike, you need a GPS that will excel in both areas. The gps for an adventure bike needs good base maps and the ability to find key points of interest, like the nearest gas station, motel or restaurant.
First I recommend that you buy a Garmin GPS in order to be compatible with most of the people riding motorcycles
Garmin Zumo 396 LMTS (4.3" Motorcycle Navigator)
The Zumo 396 is my recommendation for Adventure bikes. Mostly because it has a tough rugged design. It can run tracklogs so that you are able to load rides from anyone. Dislikes are the touchscreen and the price is too high. Get the lowest priced model.
Garmin GPSMAP 276Cx GPS Navigator ‑ 5" Display
Great new large screen that works as good as a phone in the sun. Good news it is not touch screen, you can us the buttons well with your gloves on.
Garmin GPSMAP 78
This is my first choice for the dual sport motorcycles. Mostly because it has a tough rugged design. It has a good, tough 12v power connector which should be wired directly to your motorcycle. The unit has good large buttons that can work fine with your gloves on. The screen size is ok and with power connected, you can run the backlight all the time so you can see the unit well. You do need to add background maps to the units internal memory, then it becomes a full functioning gps. Follow my setup directions and download the maps here: GPSMAP 78 Setup and Tips
My Bargain Recommendation: Garmin Nuvi (about $100)
What about using a Car style Nuvi GPS on my bike?
My recommendation for Adventure Bike Motorcycling is the Garmin Nuvi for $99 (there are several Nuvi's this applies to)
Wow this can work very well, especially on adventure bikes, but there are a couple of things to get right otherwise it could be bad. First understand that Nuvi's do not do Tracklogs, but they find the nearest "Points of interest" really well. Set your Nuvi up with these maps and it will be awesome. Or just use it straight out of the box. It comes with an awesome set of background maps.
The Nuvi is not waterproof, however there are some tricks that you can do to fix this. I have waterproofed mine and I run mine behind the windshield so that it does not get the rain directly and I just keep using it. It does fine, and I try to avoid the rain myself.
The Nuvi accepts Custom Maps just as the Zumo. If you are going to do an adventure across the Nation, like the Trans America Trail, or Continental Divide Trail, I recommend that you get and install a custom map designed just for your ride.
Garmin Nuvi on A Kawasaki Versys
If the Nuvi gets wet it can get ruined so you will want to protect them from that. How To Waterproof a Garmin Nuvi
All that aside, the Nuvi is a bargain gps that can be an awesome gps on your adventure bike. For $99 you will get some to the best navigation possible.
For mounting the gps I recommend that you buy the RAM cradle and consider the Ram Mounting system, or you may choose to make a custom mount for the ram cradle yourself. But get the cradle, it works well