Motorcycle Forums » Biker Chat

GPS for a bike?

  • April 15, 2012 2:18 PM PDT
    My husband and I want to purchase a GPS for use on his bike. We've looked a few places for a GPS specifically for a bike and have not found one. Not sure how to power a regular GPS if we mount it on the bike, it's a 2007 Honda VTX C. I'm sure that people use GPS all the time on their bikes but we're just not sure what to get, how to power it, etc. Any ideas or suggestions?
  • April 15, 2012 2:28 PM PDT
    yeah ya get a bike mount for it, then wire it up to the bike look at whom ever makes the GPS they usually have what ya need..........I won't use one anymore, sometimes it takes ya down goat paths so I do maps man. have a great one! "T"
  • April 15, 2012 2:47 PM PDT
    Thanks T ~ I also use maps but his job sites change daily and so that's why he wants a GPS.
    • Moderator
    • 17287 posts
    April 15, 2012 3:15 PM PDT
    We don't got no GPS, We don't need no GPS, We don't have to show you no stinkin GPS...

    Seriously, what T said is good advice.
  • April 15, 2012 6:24 PM PDT
    Bike shops sell GPS units. And as already said, go to ebay and find a mount for your gps and use what came with it for power.
    • 0 posts
    April 15, 2012 8:21 PM PDT
    • 1 posts
    April 15, 2012 8:31 PM PDT
    Yeah I figure, a GPS on a bike would be dangerous...I'd spend too much time looking at the TV screen than the road...and come off bigtime. Besides isn't getting lost all part of the biker tradition, isn't that how we find all those great out of the way places that absolutely love it when lost bikers show up and open their wallets and spend money!...I figured its us lost bikers that are actually keeping the worlds economies in the green...given that dopey politicians go out of their way to try and screw everything any case when GPS's can get satelite TV channels can someone let me know...I miss my austar when I'm away....stuck in my tent in the wilds of USA watchin SOA on the smallish screen...lmao..later dudes...
    • 6 posts
    April 16, 2012 12:37 AM PDT
    If you already have a GPS, before spending money on a mount  take it out in the brite sunlight & see if you can read it.
    Can only read my Tom-Tom at nite, sunlight completely washes out the display.
    HD has a pretty neat one that they claim can be read in frite sunlight but the cost was something like $800 & change.

    Here are some discussions from another board - they hight be dated, they go back a couple of years  />  />
  • April 16, 2012 12:53 AM PDT
    Brother inlaw said the same thing,put a regular gps on his bike could not see it in daylight.
  • April 16, 2012 1:23 AM PDT
    I am going to jump right in here right now with my 2 cents.....

    I have had a GARMIN GPS with "ANTI-GLARE SCREEN" for years now, its loud enough to hear over my Harley and I DONT need to look at the screen apart from just the quickest of glances.....

    The one I have is the "Garmin Streetpilot 3" ...but its now 8 years old so they must have come out with another newer one by now..... (STILL WORKS PERFECTLY!!!)

    Its RAIN PROOF, its WIND PROOF, it has clear spoken voices, as you go slow even in rural areas it tells you what the HOUSE NUMBER is that you are outside of!!!   ITS BLOODY MARVELLOUS!!!!!

    That Garmin came with a heavy bean bag type pad that sits on the dashboard of car truck etc...but it also comes with handlebar u-bolts and swivels to angle it EXACTLY where you want it!!!  ITS BRILLIANT!!!!! 

    Extra's you can buy cheaply are a Clip mount, a clamp mount, and all manner of wiring possibilities, including a permanent wiring kit that goes onto your bikes battery the same way as an OPTIMATE CHARGER does.....Or you have the standard cigar lighter socket fitting as well....all these components are interchangable!!!!!  .....oh and.....It also takes 8 AA size batteries so you can walk around using it!!!

    If you or anyone you know is distracted that easily when riding then I suggest you dismantle and remove all the stereo equipment and speakers and then remove all the bike to bike comms etc off...It has been proven that you WILL be distracted as soon as you hear a track you like playing on your stereo, I personally WONT have music on my machines, I personally WONT have hands free phone links on my machines, if its important they will either leave a message for contact later or will phone back!!!

    I hope I have made my point clear enough...oh, and, IF you set it up to include MAIN HIGHWAYS and MAIN ROADS as priority it WONT take you up any donkey or goat tracks or dust bowl roads, it will take you the best, the shortest, the quickest route along MAIN ROADS!!!  But like any electronic equipment...YOU have to set it for YOUR preferences which may even take you as long as 10 MINUTES!!!

    IMPORTANT INFO :  I have no affiliations or connection with "Garmin" or any of its subsidiary holdings...The information I gave above is from my own private experience with the product Streetpilot 3, for information of products they still do go to ... 
  • April 16, 2012 1:52 AM PDT
    Check out '' ~ for a visor on a GPS ...
    • 5418 posts
    April 16, 2012 4:01 AM PDT
    Garmin has a line of GPS systems for motorcycles.  They are weather-resistant and come with handle bar mounting systems... style="font-size: larger;">

    You could use a automobile version, but most are not weather resistant.  You an buy a mount at pretty much any motorcycle accessory store or online motorcycle accessory site. These guys seem to have a mount for just about every system... .  To power it most use a cigarette lighter style adapter.  If you need one for your bike, we just happen to have one... style="font-size: larger;">

    As for the visability, most of the nesw motorcycle GPS sysyems I have seen come with built in anti-glare that works pretty well.  And most also have voice command and voice prompts for safety.  Many are Bluetooth enabled also so you can use a wireless helmet communication system to hear voice prompts and give voice command.  I know where you can get a chance to win a helmet comm system that's compatable with GPS />

    • 0 posts
    April 16, 2012 8:03 AM PDT
    Most all the newer GPS's are fine for the glare, and as mentioned, there are anti-glare screens, there are Aqua boxes to make them weatherproof.
    A Gps will NOT take you down a dirt road, if you set it right. It will take you down some fun back roads that you would never have taken before. If you do any traveling, they are great and don't take up the room of the maps, and you don't have to stop and read them. It will talk to you and tell you when to turn, and what lane to be in to make the next turn, and what side of the road is your destination and a lot more. Mine is integrated into the stereo so it interrupts the music to tell directions and goes right back to playing.

    I use a NUVI and if it rains real hard I throw a clear baggie over it. You can still see it and use it. They are weather resistant, not weather proof. I have been to 49 states and 3 provinces of Canada and never once looked at a map.
  • April 16, 2012 9:15 AM PDT

    Funny thing though...I have had my Garmin 8 years right?  and way back when these things were a lot clumsier than they are now MY Garmin was not just water resistant - It has been out in major storms where it was raining when we started the ride and was raining virtually the whole riding weekend...IT DONT LET WATER IN!!! has an earpiece socket in put the ear pad inside your helmet and just simply PLUG IT IN!!!

    It aint broke so I have no plans on changing it...its just a bit slower than a tom tom but its a darn site more accurate than a tom tom, and they are pretty accurate...oh and did I happen to mention...MY GARMIN IS BRILLIANT!!!!! (even if it is like a fossil compared to new stuff).....

    ...and just as an information only ..... EVERY Helicopter I have EVER been in has Garmin GPS  fitted.....British Military, British Navy, US commercial and US Civilian.....fitted central in with the rest of the guages.....

    Good enough for Helicopters then its good enough for the likes of
  • April 17, 2012 3:05 AM PDT
    Thanks to everyone who posted ~ wow, lots of great info! I'm so glad to know that there are so many options. I really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences using a GPS on a bike, we can now make an informed decision on what to get. You guys (and T) are the greatest :-)
    • 6 posts
    April 18, 2012 12:49 PM PDT
    Question for the Garmin users

    Wondering if it has a function similar to the one on the Tom-Tom

    On the Tom-Tom have the option of "Fastest Time" or "Shortest Distance"

    The "Shortest Distance" option makes a trip an adventure - Has taken me thru barnyards, down unpaved logging roads, to wooden ferries & attempted to send me over a bridge washed out during the Carter Administration.
    Love that option
    • 2072 posts
    April 18, 2012 3:00 PM PDT
    I have a regular TomTom mounted on a Ram Mount. Has worked great for cross country trips for finding gas stations, hotels ect. as well as regular mapping functions. I keep a zip lock bag and a couple of rubber bands in my bags for when it rains. Got caught in a good old fashion southern thunderstorm in Arkansas and with the bag, my GPS stayed dry and worked perfectly !!!
    • 314 posts
    April 21, 2012 8:23 AM PDT
    i have a garmin, its not for a bike because they were close to $750 at the time. i have a shade for it. i have my setting for night time use and at its brightest. i can't hear mine i have to look. when it rains i put it in a baggie. i have it wired right to my battery and it doesnt drain it when i don't use it.
  • April 21, 2012 9:42 AM PDT
    99Savage wrote...
    Question for the Garmin users

    Wondering if it has a function similar to the one on the Tom-Tom

    On the Tom-Tom have the option of "Fastest Time" or "Shortest Distance"

    The "Shortest Distance" option makes a trip an adventure - Has taken me thru barnyards, down unpaved logging roads, to wooden ferries & attempted to send me over a bridge washed out during the Carter Administration.
    Love that option

    Hey savage...mine is 8 years old now and still works perfectly...and yes it does have shortest, fastest, etc ... but it still is down to how you program it...I have mine set for biggest roads first on a high percentage, then on next size down as main high setting, then lesser roads as a dont need putting in a bag when it rains, it dont need an anti-glare screen...It does EXACTLY what it says on the tin!!!!!
  • April 21, 2012 10:33 AM PDT
    Agreed! No GPS here either! I don't wanna be found when I'm on the bike, maps are more than enough. Travel as light as you can!!

    • 835 posts
    April 23, 2012 3:31 AM PDT
    Savage, A lot of the newer GPS systems even have a choice for "Scenic Route" that keep you off the main highways. Plus if it gives you a route you can select things such as "re-route eliminating I-10" and stuff like that.
  • April 24, 2012 6:46 AM PDT
    I love my Garmin GPS. It has found me some new roads right here in So Cal that I didn't know about!
    • 5418 posts
    April 24, 2012 11:08 AM PDT
    I use the GPS on my iPhone and it too has shown me some pretty interesting roads.
  • April 25, 2012 12:30 AM PDT
    Just say NO.
    • 6 posts
    April 25, 2012 12:32 PM PDT
    When riding keep the Tom-Tom in the tank bad - CAUSE I CAN'T READ THE DAMN THING IN DAYLIGHT -
    But while driving that "Shortest Distance" option has taken me place I didn't know existed even after driving past them 50 times
    Found me a wooden ferry, directly off of a 4 lane interstate.