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Old 01-04-2013, 07:55 AM   #1
390beretta OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Phoeniz, AZ
Oddometer: 1,223
Nuvi 50

My wife bought me one for Christmas. I ride pavement, not off road and am directionally challenged left to my own devices, so she thought I needed it My question is: Is this unit OK for use on a motorcycle? I live in AZ so inclement weather is basically a non-issue. Thanks
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:35 AM   #2
River Pilot
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Oddometer: 62
Good morning 390beretta,

Congrats on the new device. Large screen and will do well in the car.

The short answer is no, this device is intended and designed to be the large screen, reasonably priced street device. It is not conceived or rugged enough to be used for off road use. The screen would be the first issue you'll have as it isn't set up to be used with gloves or in outside environments. The next would be the bugs and dirt that will accumulate. Finally, you will have to go through all of the movements to get cradles, power, protectors, etc.

Suggest looking at Garmin Montana, Zumo for your on/off road useage. Other notable outdoor devices are the Garmin Oregon series and Garmin GPSMPA 6x or 7x series.

If you have the financing in place, for road motorcycle usage, the Garmin Zumo 660LM is the device you will want to look at.

River Pilot
Cheyenne, WY. U.S.A.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Blue Point, Ontario
Oddometer: 1,025
Not to challenge River Pilot as he has some good gps knowledge, but I have some real world with ths unit.

i figured for the cheap price and that it was still under warrenty Id test it on a bike trip and if it self destructs no biggie. So I had it on the bike(DR650) for a 2000 km long weekend trip and it held up fine. I wanted a larger screen for my aging eyes and it was great for that. It stayed at camp when we were swamp running and the 60csx came into duty, but it saw lots of gravel, dust and big thumper vibrations with out issue. It works just fine with gloves on as its a pressure screen .

So I would say, why not try it , You already have it and a years warrenty so what do you have to lose. If you are only street and keep it out of the weather it just may survive. You would want to get the angle just right as with most car based gps its screen visibility in direct sunlight isnt the greatest.

Sadly I smashed my screen on mine(not on the bike), so let me know if you are looking for a ram mount.

Cheers, Todd
"It's all about the beer"
08DR650 - Jack of all trades, master of none
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Milwaukie, Or.
Oddometer: 269
I also have the 50LM, the cradle itself costs about $9, if you already have the ram mount it just screws on. I keep a large ziplock baggie for wet weather that slips over the top to keep it dry, but thats not a big issue for you. Anyway, its on its second year. Still looks new. I only use it around town though. Got an Oregon for road trips now.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
Oddometer: 1,739
I agree with those who say to use it... it's not an expensive unit (think it was $100 on sale on Black Friday) and I have my doubts it'll self-destruct as quickly as one might think. RAM Mounts are somewhat dampened by the rubber "balls", so it's not like it's riding on a solid mount.

IMO, the downside to using an auto GPS is the lack of weatherproofing and the fact that even if it does have Bluetooth, it will not pipe the navigation instructions through a Bluetooth headset/helmet. If I remember correctly, it's not a capacitive touchscreen so it'll work fine with gloves.
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2008 DR-Z 400S
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:41 AM   #6
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Central Ohio
Oddometer: 13,267
You can use it if what you want is basic navigation, and if you don't mind it dying sooner than a purpose built unit would.

It's not designed for or recommended for moto use, so as been noted, is not moisture or dust proof, etc.

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Old 01-05-2013, 05:09 AM   #7
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Maine
Oddometer: 2,867
I have put somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000 miles on a nuvi exclusively on motorcycles. That's mostly dry roads, but includes dry ATV trails and some rain also.

There are so many features available that I figured I could learn about my needs with an inexpensive device. I have just used it knowing that it COULD die at any time. Zumos die also.

A zumo may be a "better" choice. Other ADV have used nuvis successfully.

The USB-mini power connector seems to be the weak point. My nuvi did shut down in the middle of Pennsylvania on a thin road after a day of rain. Since then if it rains hard I pack mine away and it has not shut itself off in the 10k miles since then.
"The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world."-- Max Born, Nobel Physicist
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:59 PM   #8
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Collingwood, Ontario
Oddometer: 3,301
My Nuvi 2xx? came to me on a used V-Strom in 2008.

Here it is mounted on my CBF:

It has been on several motorcycles and in the car since (at least) 2008, with no issues. Cost me nothing, and I don't worry about it being stolen. If it rains, I put it in my tank bag or pull a sandwich Baggie over it.

I have done (mild) off-road with it on the DR650, and it hasn't complained.

Go for it.

I want a Montana a lot, but just don't have the money to spare for one these days. Since you don't do off-road, the motorcycle-specific Nuvi or Zumo would be ideal, but better to ride now with what you have, than work to pay for sh*t you can do without.
CBF1000 & PCX150
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