Tires and GPS questions ...

I met someone with GPS on their handlebars showing their position, the wilderness roads in the area and he could expand out to show the nearby highways. It also showed exactly where he was!

I want one! Damn near got lost last year in a maze of logging roads ...

Questions: How does the device have these maps in it? Do they cover the whole planet? Are the maps downloaded from the satelite or in the software of the unit?

Is there a monthly fee to use GPS?

Which GPS should I buy for my WR450? How much are they? Do they mount securely?

Also ... how many miles are you all getting out of your stock tires? I have 900 miles on mine and the shop wants to sell me another rear tire although it looks like plenty of meat left to me.

Thanks guys,


ok, there are two types of handheld GPS,

1) tracking units cheap, show where you have been but not highways, but more than sufficient to allow you to get 'unlost'. Like the Garmin Etrex. At $US150 new they are well worth it. I used to own one. Also being cheap, if it gets trashed in a big crash, it's no big deal. But it would have to be a big crash, they are tuff little units.

2) Mapping units. I now have a Garmin Legend C. Colour screen, has maps in it to street level detail. You pay extra for the maps. About 5 times the price of option one, but very good.

There are various handlebar mounts avaliable.


Your WR has a battery and 12v dc so you are in good shape.

You can hardwire the thing direct to your bikes 12v.

The advice you have already is good.

Decide what you want to spend and wether you need mapping.

I use a Garmin 60c and a touratech mount. Cost $600 in total.


I tried mounting my eTrex Legend C on my bars and it would shut off when the motor was at high revs. Have you had this problem?

I have a Garmin e trex legend, highly recommended, great little gadget!

Garmin GPS V is what the Paris-Dakar guys that's what I bought. $245 on ebay +s&h. Cycoactive has a pretty good deal on the GPS V right now, $260 for it and the car mount. They also have all the mounting stuff you need to put it on a bike...and some decent prices on it. I just bought a Touratech mount from's backordered but I should have it in a couple weeks.

I use a Garmin E-trex Vista in a Ram Mount. I also wired a 12v power receptacle behind the headlight so I can run it off of the bike's battery. If you are running the GPS off of its own batteries, vibration shut-off can be a problem. has some tips / products that can help out with that problem, but the best solution is an external battery source.

The better GPS units have basemaps built in, but usually if you want topo detail or detailed city street info, you have to buy additional software like Garmin Map Source.

I love my GPS. I leave it on when I ride, and when I get home, I download the track to my topo software on my computer and make maps of trails where I've ridden. :)

Thanks for the vibration/power hint!:)

I have the Map Source and TOPO brand software. The TOPO (National Geographic) is my favorite as far as using on my computer to download my rides and view them on the PC, but the Garmin Map Source is the only one that will upload topo and road/trail info to a Garmin unit.

I've bought a lot of stuff from with great prices and service.

I had a Vista, but never used the compass or altimeter so I traded sideways to the color Legend C.


I tried mounting my eTrex Legend C on my bars and it would shut off when the motor was at high revs. Have you had this problem?

jam some soft foam in the battery compartment to stop the batteries from moving. I am just in the process of fitting a rectifier/capacitor to my 426 to run a 12v adapter

ok, just got back and it all works. I fitted a rectifier and a capacitor to my 426. I now have 12V DC auxilary power.

Took the 12v AC from the horn wire and got the earth from an unused odo wire. Fed that into a 35amp bridge rectifier which is bolted to the top tripple clamp. Then placed a 470uF cap across the rectifiers output to smooth the DC and soldered the wires onto a cigerette lighter adapter for my gps. WRrect.jpg

I would like to see a stock WR tire with 900 miles on it and still has useable meat on it. Let see a pic.

I have a Magellan Sportrak Topo (around $260 us) and it's wired to my battery. Is water proof and the topo map has lots of the logging roads. You download the software onto your computer and then load the areas you want to ride onto the gps. You can save routes that you have taken and then follow them later if you like. You can also mark different places (parking lot, creek, ect) that you can leave on your map for future reference. Great units I highly recommend one, Buy a little better one than the cheapest you won't regret it (they have better maps and downloadable maps). I know it seems expensive but once it's on your bike you will never regret it.

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