Choosing a routing device
Why get a dedicated GPS when smart phones have GPS?
Motorcycle GPS are waterproof, fuel resistant, and shock proof
can often read a bigger GPS screen better at arms length
screens are glove friendly
can be more accurate, especially lane assist
not rack up data roaming charges when you near the border or cross
into Canada or Mexico
is not interrupted by phone calls or texts
Garmin or TomTom
Both have good
hardware and have their fans. The real difference is the routing
software. Garmin uses BaseCamp and TomTom uses Tyre. Tyre will not run
on a Mac.
BaseCamp or Tyre
BaseCamp is Garmin's dedicated routing software. There are both PC and
BaseCamp's steep learning curve. This tutorial only takes a few hours
and makes it pretty easy:
Tyre is a Google
Maps based route planning program that does not
work with Macs. Some feel that Tyre, and other Google Maps based
programs like Harley Ride Planner, are easier to use than BaseCamp.
Tyre and Harley
Ride Planner do not differentiate
between waypoints, via points, and shaping points. As a result,
downloaded routes have numerous waypoints that cause havoc with
newer Garmin devices with Ride Planner. Rides are broken into
multiple smaller rides divided at each waypoint.
BaseCamp does not
need a WiFi signal. If you are on the road without a WiFi signal,
you cannot alter your route using Tyre or Harley Ride Planner.
Tyre is limited to
48 waypoints making it more difficult to plan longer, more
You cannot set points to not audibly announce on your GPS using Tyre
or Harley Ride Planner. All points will audibly announce during a ride
even when no turn is upcoming.
You can only create one route per file using Tyre or Harley Ride
Planner. BaseCamp allows
users to access all of their rides and favorites. This helps riders
to quickly create new routes by simply copying and pasting.
You cannot use start
times and layover times to create an itinerary in Tyre or Harley
Ride Planner. You also cannot set riding speeds to help predict
D) Motorcycle GPS (Zumo/TomTom) or car GPS (nuvi)?
cheaper. If you choose a Nuvi, make sure it can download routes and
use BaseCamp. Some riders use Nuvis with success. Popular with
riders is the 2589LMT.
Waterproofing a Nuvi:
are motorcycle specific so they are waterproof and shockproof. The
current models are the 590 and the 390. These units have Trip Planner
software which some riders dislike. The 660 and 665 are older units that
work well and do not have Trip Planner.
TomTom Rider is a motorcycle specific device:
Registering a GPS
Garmin - Get a
MyGarmin account if you do not have one:
allows you to register your GPS and to unlock optional maps.
MYGarmin is good for keeping your devices updated and for keeping
track of service and returns.
TomTom - Use My
TomTom to register your TomTom:
Updating GPS firmware and maps
Garmin - Download Garmin Express to your computer:
Use Garmin Express to update both the map in BaseCamp AND the map in
your GPS to the latest version. There
is an option under the link "Advanced Options" that allows you to
update both maps at the same time. If you do not select this option
then only your GPS will be updated. Garmin Express also allows you to
update the GPS firmware.
2. TomTom - Most
info is on the TomTom website: