Phones are awesome. They tell you where to go. Everyone is glued to them for pretty much everything, but I’m not really convinced that they are the best thing to use on a motorbike for navigation. So I bought a $900 Garmin GPS. You can use gloves with it, add terrain maps (Topo to you Americans or Ordinance Survey to Brits) and it’ll even tell you where the nearest Wendy’s is.
Truthfully, as usual, I spent an inordinate time researching them and was about to spend US$350 on a Zumo 660 when some lovely soul on the ADVrider forum posted an amazing deal to get the whizz bang 665LM for US$325. To put this into perspective, the current “better” Zumo 595LM is CAD$1402.00!!! All you really get is a better screen and slightly better instructions.
No thanks to Canada Post not informing me that it had come despite me being in the house waiting for the thing, I picked it up and being the total nerd I am posted an unboxing video.
After which I looked into the Topo maps and discovered Garmin want hundreds of dollars per region for the topo maps. Most people noodle around on roads. There are no roads where we are going! So the problem, of course, is that I’m going to be going across the whole of America, which means needing about a million dollars worth of digital maps. Bugger.
The solution, I think, may lie in this awesome resource of GPS data which I should really be looking at rather than rattling on about stuff on this page.
When I was confined to the road, in the UK, I used a very natty phone holder by Lifeproof with my iPhone 4S. It was fantastic because it clipped into the GoPro mounting system, of which there are countless variants. The two companies must have had a quiet word through lawyers because, unfortunately Lifeproof don’t make them any more. You can see my setup on Akane in the picture to the right and it was pretty darn great. Waterproof phone case that clips, very conveniently, into the bike at a very legible height. I even made a Sugru waterproof plug conversion for the power, so I could speed through the rainy nights without getting lost.