Motorcycle GPS unit.

John negus

Well-Known Member
#1
Hi all. In preparation for my first Ironbutt ride I relied on Google maps with a backup Garmin 550 from my cycling to give me accurate miles covered and gps speed readings (all info down loadable. Includes avg speed). Being old school I had good topographic maps for the whole distance with stops etc marked. I'm wondering about other ironbutter experiences and what works or not regarding Gps mapping or if its even worth investing. Also as I plan to solo a few rides, what works as far as Epirbs are concerned. I know there Is no right or wrong but would appreciate any input. Cheers and yippee. .jn
 

Johng

Premier Member
#2
Hi all. In preparation for my first Ironbutt ride I relied on Google maps with a backup Garmin 550 from my cycling to give me accurate miles covered and gps speed readings (all info down loadable. Includes avg speed). Being old school I had good topographic maps for the whole distance with stops etc marked. I'm wondering about other ironbutter experiences and what works or not regarding Gps mapping or if its even worth investing. Also as I plan to solo a few rides, what works as far as Epirbs are concerned. I know there Is no right or wrong but would appreciate any input. Cheers and yippee. .jn
John the most common Epirb is the spot it's about $100 ? a year to get the full benefits. I use mine on all my trips IBA rides or private rides.
As for GPS well you will get a heap of views for that one. I use the one on the bike ( Goldwing) as a back up and went and bought a cheap car one and use it as it sits behind the screen it does not get wet. It has all the benifits of the expensive bike ones and if it packs up I have not wasted lots of money.
That's just what I do and it works for me.
John
 

IBA-Tiger

Well-Known Member
#3
John,
EPIRB: Quite a few of us use the SPOT device, and link through to SpotWalla so that friends & family can watch our progress, and if the worst happens, Emergency Services can be notified. Only way that SWMBO is happy for me to ride.
GPS: The Garmin 550 is a good and popular choice, especially when used in conjunction with BaseCamp for planning and route loading. A number of us also use the low-end Garmin eTrex non-mapping unit as a 'data logger', which can also be used to indicate speed and direction - a nice cheap option as a back-up, and importantly to monitor OA (Overall Average), critical on the "longer rides". Note that the eTrex runs for days on internal batteries.
Have fun learning and experimenting!
Bill
 

John negus

Well-Known Member
#4
Thanks guys..SWMBO. .Har Har .I like that .. i only got remarried last year to my terrific new wife after 14 years being single and her peace of mind is an important issue for me. She thought the ironbutt ride I did was a one off and it would be out of my system, she didn't realize it was onwards and upwards (explained the ride last Monday was a clever ironbutter ploy to suck you in deeper..and It works ). The spotwalla tracker and reporter sounds the go for me and for her also and I'll use my garmin 550 as a backup speed/distance recorder. I won't even go down the track with my dear SWMBO that if I want high quality nagging I only need to see my ex-wife. Cheers and yippee. Jn
 

IBA-Tiger

Well-Known Member
#5
SWMBO was used by Rumpole of the Bailey - quite apt! The way I think of it, the main GPS is "where I'm going", and the smaller non-map unit is "where I've been/what I've done".
 

tj189

Administrator
#6
GPS units and "tracking" devices like Spot or some others on the market like Delorme all cost money and depending on how you wish to use a Spot or Delorme device have ongoing costs. I would suggest researching the Spot or Delorme device and see if either fits in with your budget and actual needs, that is, your type of riding. There are other methods of tracking your route so others may follow on the computer to keep an eye on you. Android and Iphone both have software that will link to Spotwalla and allow others to watch as well. Again research as to what will be your needs as all these systems have positives and negatives.
There are a couple of good pieces of software around for planning your ride and then uploading the route to your gps; Basecamp which has been mentioned above and Trace Your Route Everywhere (TYRE), it is worthwhile playing around with both of these to find which is more suitable for you.
 

Reader57

Well-Known Member
#7
John, I use SPOT mainly for the Epirb facility as well as the tracking function. The tracking function was not a primary concern originally but now the IBA is using it for an extra tool of ride verification.
However, I have an original SPOT without the extra features of the new versions and it fulfills both of my needs. Plus battery life seems to be measured in weeks of use rather than days.
 

Fransvdm

Premier Member
#8
For the missus, you can install 'phonetracker' app on your phone to track you.

You need to remember to turn it off if you go to the pub while supposed to be at work
 

Fatman

Well-Known Member
#9
John I use a Spot 2 but do not use tracking.

I press the ok button at servos and the custom button (stating were are staying at this location tonight) if we are staying somewhere, usually a motel.

Both these go to a number of friends who keep an eye out.

The Help button if pushed sends a message to 2 friends who are asked to ring BMW roadside assist and advise them we are stuck on the side of the road and have no mobile phone coverage. Our 2 friends have both the coordinates and a Spot map to help them direct the assist to.

And lastly hopefully never needed is the SOS button which is if we require emergency services to attend.

Our Spot 2 batteries last a long time I usually replace them only twice per year.

As far as GPS I use a cheap waterproof one I bought off ebay. I don't use Basecamp of similar, I manually load in all our rides but it does the job for me.
 

Vlad

Premier Member
#10
You can get a Spot 3 from adventuremoto at Dural for I believe $290 plus delivery and then its $160 a year for a plan that covers everything you might need, unless your gonna go crazy.
If you have a 550 then Basecamp is free from the Garmin website, and if you really want to stay connected you can pick up a sat phone on the inmarsat net work for about $900 which
will work just about anywhere you can see the sky. They are pre paid and the rates are very reasonable. Very handy.