I am considering a GPS purchase in the very near future. I ride a 2004 R1150RT, and was probably going to go with what BMW in Canton stocks/recommends. Any comments or suggestions? (my riding is strickly on roadways and 80% paved).
For the use you describe, and if you don’t mind spending the money, the Garmin Zumo is a good choice. It is designed for motorcycle use, is waterproof, has a large, easy to read display, and has a touch screen interface that works using gloved fingers. Two caveats: 1) if you’re a dirt/trail rider, and are looking for a GPS receiver that will work both for road trips on highways and for following tracks thru the woods on two- and single-tracks that may not be on your GPS maps, the Zumo is not a terrific choice, and 2) if you’re a GPS geek and used to some of the features of the more fully featured GPS receivers, evaluate the Zumo carefully before purchasing. The Zumo, like its close car cousin the Nuvi line, is specifically designed and marketed as a ‘navigation applicance’, and has a significantly simplified user interface to make it easier to use. Which works perfectly well if you don’t care about more advanced features, but a number of more advanced features that we GPS geeks like are not present on the Zumo.
Note that ‘80% paved’ isn’t really a useful criterion. If you ride entirely on public thoroughfares (Interstates, US and state highways, county roads, surface streets in towns and cities), then whether such roads are paved or not isn’t particularly relevant. The relevant point is whether the roads you’ll travel on, paved or not, are represented on the map data of the GPS you purchase. And the current map products that come with GPSes like the Garmin Zumo are very complete. The 20% not paved would only be significant if in that unpaved riding you were riding forest 2 tracks, single track motorcycle trails, fire roads, etc – roads that may not be represented in your GPS’s map data. If this doesn’t apply to you, then don’t worry about the paved/unpaved distinction.