Reliable Maps, Apps and GPS Navigation (Proven Advice)

Good advice from Bret Tkacs about adventure motorcycle navigation.

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Comment (40)

  1. Thanks for all the suggestions… I now have a plethora of new navigation apps to try out this year while training. I am trying something this summer and your suggestions are helpful in my experiments..

  2. If you want a highly functional navigation app, you should try OsmAnd. It's available for Android and Apple. The free version is pretty useful with some limitations. The paid isn't expensive. You can save and load gpx and navigate it, it's offline app and if you are online, you get traffic and weather data too. I spent a lot of time looking for a good app, becuase I didn't want to invest a stupid amount of money on Garmin GPS with very slow processor and not really great screen.
    The amount of navigation apps out there is just insane. Unfortunately many of them won't work offline (some just show you login/registration screen, good luck with that in a remote area) and most of them are pretty limited in functionality.
    For motorcycle trips there is another good one (can be used in a browser also) called Kurviger. It creates a curvy route, avoiding highways (there are decent amount of settings). It can navigate, but only online. It's useful for creating curvy gpx routes though.

  3. Love the channel. Great suggestions. Would like to bounce my GPS ideas off of you. Thinking of a Galaxy Tab 7" on my KLR Dash as a dedicated GPS (no cellular data, just wifi). It would give me a bigger, brighter screen, at better than half the cost… Thoughts?

  4. Hi I am new here, and very happy I discover your channel. We are a chilean couple riding KLR650's. One App that I use in the planning phase is LunaSolCal (both Android and iPhone). As we plan to drive with daylight, this app gives me the hour sun gies up and down, in any place in Earth and any day of the year. So we know how much we can push in a certain day. Hugs!

  5. Yup. Always carry a paper map with you. That way, instead of just following a dumb arrow without even knowing where you are, the maps gets you the "big picture". 😉

  6. 3:30 when I listened to this, I checked the date when this video was published – I thought it was back in 2013 or so. 2018 : There are a choice of outdoor smartphones for many years now which are just as durable and have very good battery life. I.e. the Sonim XP7 which I bought in 2014 for a comparable price to the Montana 680. Its even more rugged (IP68 instead of IPX7), its less heavy, less bulky, and has a great battery life. It has a massive loudspeaker, you can hear the phone ringing even when riding or inside the bag. It has a good screen and you can use the choice (or several choices) of navigation apps. I use Locus Pro with topographic maps for tracks and Waze for routes. And you can use it as a phone…

  7. Why is the corner cut out of your map?

    It would be really nice if you did a route planning episode. Who whole process from finding a place you want to ride to looking for .gpx and or making your own to so sort of way points and notes you save for next time.

    For instance, when you where riding around hood did you just know where the pretty spot to go is because you have lived around here? Did you get a tip? Did you look at google maps and think that looked like a good place? Did you just ride out and ride around until you found a cool spot?

    I would like to know how to find and navigate to these beautiful day trip destinations.

  8. Can you please comment on why you prefer the Montana over the Zumo 395/6 or 595? What can the Montana do that the Zumos cannot? I don't know enough about these and I am in the process of selecting one of these. (I have a Zumo 550 and it is just too old to be useful anymore.) Please comment. Thanks!!

  9. The GPS on my phone crapped out driving out of NYC from JFK. Only my 2nd time doing so in rush hour. I had to print a detailed map to get back to the airport. Spent 2 hrs trying to make sure the directions were right. They were wrong because there was a lot of construction in Queens. Made it tho.

  10. Some comments sound ignorant like saying a smart phone and gps are different technology …with GPS app is STILL GPS…not a whole other animal….duhh …I imagine there are many gps apps available guessing some will do the identical things that some dedicated gps units do ….also battery is not an issue once you have a power port so the phone is connected to MC battery…just saying it is redundant…maybe you want redundant but how many things can you afford redundancy? Wind up carrying an extra 50 llbs of redundancy…like wearing a belt AND suspenders?…just saying if you want doubled up reduncency then might as well carry two phones ! Both with gps…multiple gps apps ..

  11. Using a paper map. How would you know where you're at exactly when paper maps obviously can't pin point you? May be a dumb question but I have never used a paper map.

  12. Love your videos!! Just to throw in the mix….if you should be "separated" from your bike (say, in an accident), it is wise to keep your phone on you and not attached to the bike. May need it to call for help. Just a thought.

  13. HERE We Go is a great navigation app too. You can set it to be offline, although obviously you need to download the given country's or regions map for that option. I havent tried it for off-road use, but otherwise it is pretty good. I dont remember if it gives you any traffic information, but i think it lets you know of traffic jams.

  14. For me, the best solution turned out to be one I accidentally discovered, OsmAnd. It's offline (and online), you can load a GPX file and navigate it, record a trail, and so on. It also has very complete information on road types and POI's. It's free with limitations (7 offline countries and no "plugins") but it is very, very useful. You can also choose map styles, like touring view, which is perfect.


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