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HELP! What is the best method to record and save your motorcycle routes to re-ride in the future


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For years I have been trying to track my motorcycle rides, using apps like my Garmin GPS, Rever, Calimoto, IPhone, and others. I haven't found a solution that does a good job for ME. Currently I plan a ride on Google maps to get the rough outline of the route, and the destinations I want to include on my ride. I can't find a way to easily import google maps into my GPS, so I have to manually enter the waypoints directly into my GPS, which is tedious and error prone. (yes, I'm guessing there is a way to do this, but I haven't found the secret key yet....)

What features I *think* I would Like:

  1. Tracking should start when my motorcycle starts moving, and stop tracking when I stop the Motorcycle. Ideally this is automatic so I don't have to remember to start and stop the tracking when I stop for a snack, or take a bathroom break. If I stop for lunch, it should ask me if I want to continue the existing route, or let me start a new one.
    1. Key data points should be:
      1. mileage
      2. distance
      3. time and locations
      4. A map superimposed with the all the data points would be ideal.
  2. My route should be able to be shown on a map system, ideally Garmin GPS, or Google Maps, since they are so widely used.
  3. Showing my current route on the map would be important, so I can see where I have been, and plan any route changes decide where I should go next.
  4. Once I finish the ride, I would want the route to be saved in a format that I can easily see the route, and  make notes regarding how I liked the route, total mileage, date of ride, mileage of the ride, etc. Google maps seems ideal for this.
  5. Ability to Save this ride to favorites, Save this ride into a bucket of rides sorted by date, and other buckets like favorites, and group rides so you can share with others you ride with.

Maybe I'm crazy, and I'm the only one who finds this useful, but I'm throwing this out to see if others think it is a useful. If you have a better system that I'm not smart enough to devise, I'd love if you could share how you keep track of your rides.

David

 

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My Garmin Zumo GPS saves every ride I make with it as a GPX format track. I upload the track to my PC and display it with Garmin Mapsource or Basecamp. It seems to me the track meets all your requirements. Basecamp will also convert a track to a route but I don't really like the result. But it is fairly easy to use Mapsource to build a route on top of the track you want to duplicate.

And with Google maps you can export a route as a KMZ file and then import it into Garmin Basecamp and create a route in Basecamp.

I belong to a riding club and the club shares route files in Garmin format and GPX format.

 

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2 hours ago, duckie said:

I wonder how the Van Buren sisters made their trip……https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Buren_sisters

I use good ole paper maps. Plus if ya can’t remember your routes taken is just sad.

Yep, my memory is exactly like my mom's, shit! I remember some things from 40-50 years ago, and other things I can't remember from 5 minutes ago. No rhyme or reason, but Riding at least allows me to get out and enjoy myself without well meaning, but annoying folks who always want to remind me my memory isn't very good! No offense intended, this is just my life!

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On 4/22/2023 at 5:56 PM, DavidS said:

...I can't find a way to easily import google maps into my GPS, so I have to manually enter the waypoints directly into my GPS, which is tedious and error prone. (yes, I'm guessing there is a way to do this, but I haven't found the secret key yet....)ut I'm throwing this out to see if others think it is a useful. If you have a better system that I'm not smart enough to devise, I'd love if you could share how you keep track of your rides.

As you know, Garmin Basecamp is free to download.

Free is about what it is worth, as most people can't figure it out. Not intuitive, very archaic menu interface with tons of great features that you can't find because they are not obvious.

This guy seems to have made his life's mission to help people use Basecamp and import the result to your GPS. This video will answer your question, then i would suggest look at this guy's videos he did in the last 12 months because he has simplified the explanations.

Most people use Google navigation, but when you are SHAPING a route (not just going A to B) you must get good at shaping points. It can be done "within" the GPS trip planner (drag and shape routes) but that small screen often won't have the street detail unless super zoomed in, then you can't see the big picture. Basecamp on a big screen computer is the solution, but it has driven many people to drink unless you commit a weekend to deep learning.

By the way, if you go deep into this subject, you will find MANY people who only use Basecamp to import a route, and transfer it to GPS then walk away.

But you will have occasional glitches that could be avoided if you master Basecamp and closely inspect the route on "playback" and make sure it isn't sticking in U-turns, or a shaping point off the road in someone's driveway.

Edited by Lone Wolf
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1980 Yamaha 850 Triple (sold). Too many bikes to list, FJ-09 is next on my list
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11 hours ago, lather said:

Basecamp will also convert a track to a route but I don't really like the result.

Just did that and hit the wall. Looked at the details of the route properties, Basecamp "loses" the shaping points when it converts a track to a route. The route will appear OK on your computer screen in Basecamp, but if you dig deep into the properties of your route, the shaping points are gone and on the road your route is likely to be A to B, straight to destination.

The bombproof solution is to import a track (which visually appears on Basecamp map) and create a route, in basecamp, that follows that track. Of course there are challenges even creating a route in Basecamp because it has such a chaotic menu (like confetti). But ultimately the 2 Garmin products (Basecamp and the Garmin GPS) speak the same language and play well together.

Garmin just came out with the Zumo XT2 last week, slightly bigger screen 6" and USB C cable connect to computer rather than the archaic cables Garmin has used for so many years.

Edited by Lone Wolf
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1980 Yamaha 850 Triple (sold). Too many bikes to list, FJ-09 is next on my list
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I use a cheap Android phone with Locus Pro, and it does everything you ask.

The maps are downloaded and stored int the phone, so no data connection is needed while riding. I can load up GPX tracks, and the app automatically creates a track while I'm riding.

For creating tracks, there are many options using a computer; I use a free account at https://www.alltrails.com/. No particular reason it's better or worse than any other, but it's simple and it works. I generally do not fart around with editing tracks on the phone.

If you're using an iPhone, or want to try another option, Osmand does all the same things. You may prefer it; Locus can be a real brain cramp to figure out.

All this stuff can get super-complex and there is always a learning curve.

There's also a difficult set of skills to be learned in order to safely use a GPS while riding; you NEVER touch the device while rolling, but you do have to learn how to pay attention to the real world in front of you while only stealing the glances you need at your device. It's an art.

For mounting to the bike, I use the RAM Quick-Grip XL, and after killing a few phone cameras with vibration, I added rubber "sandwich mounts" from McMaster-Carr. Fir, positive hold under all conditions, and the phone is in or out in a fraction of a second. The RAM X-Grip is pure, frustrating trash -- avoid.

There's a lot more to it, and other setups may be better.

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I've dabbled in both the dedicated gps world and the phone as a nav device. Quite simply, no one gets it right. Garmin is crap exporting drives, even worse it only breadcrumbs x amount of miles so you can never always see where you've been. Phones a great, but. Small large display is hard to come by and I've had issues in direct sunlight and heat shutdowns across various models.

So many are close but none make it a game changer.

What I don't understand is how my 500 dollar depth finder on my boat has not only has a screen that can be seen 100% clearly in direct sunlight, completely weatherproof,  it has infinite breadcrumbs, thousands of waypoints, and easily exports/imports anything you could imagine. Hummingbird needs to get into the motorcycle gps game because Garmin doesn't get it in the least, and they make comparable depth finders, bring some of that tech into gps and they'd have a winner.

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As noted earlier, Garmin Basecamp can save your rides for future rides and has all the info you mentioned. But for creating rides to use on the Zumo XT isn't as intuitive. See below...

I found this very helpful video which details on what we're all complaining on especially when trying to snap a route without having it make a straight line from multiple points. 

Bottom line, using Garmin's other product Garmin Connect does the job for the Zumo XT as well as other GPS & phones.

 

PS. Garmin just updated their moto GPS device Zumo XT to the Zumo XT 2. You might be able to find good prices on the older model. Lots of advantages over a phone when it comes to weather durability, glove touch friendly, no overheating in hot weather or battery depletion in cold. Screen brightness is also a nice plus, I think 1000 nits compared to most phones between 600-800 nits.

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I have used Locus, Gaia, Rever, and DMD2. All have their pros and cons. I think Locus is probably cheapest (free) for being able to track and export a track. DMD2 is a fantastic app, but doesn't have navigation yet, but will soon. Rever works pretty well as a tracking app, and you can track without paying the subscription. I don't think it lets you export without the sub though.

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On 4/23/2023 at 4:29 PM, Lone Wolf said:

Just did that and hit the wall. Looked at the details of the route properties, Basecamp "loses" the shaping points when it converts a track to a route. The route will appear OK on your computer screen in Basecamp, but if you dig deep into the properties of your route, the shaping points are gone and on the road your route is likely to be A to B, straight to destination.

 

Not sure if this applies, but in Basecamp you need to set up your Motorcycling profile and use that (vs. Direct).  I believe there also is a setting to hide shaping points, and need to uncheck that.  The shaping points (unannounced waypoints) should be listed once you open the route to show all your waypoints.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I know this is a few months old.  Just signed up to forum planning on getting a FJ soon(have Goldwing I have had almost 15 years).  You mentioned IPhone if that is the case I use Scenic and have for 5 years now.  I create routes for rides and find it much easier then Garmin and base maps.  I even made Identical routes on the base maps for others on my rides with Garmin and on Scenic for a while.  With Scenic you can hit start ride and it will track route then at end you can save or discard ride.  If you save the ride you can have it make a route from that ride, and you can also add to it or edit it if you want to choose a different road in the route.  it will tell you ride time, moving time, ave speed, highest speed, elevations during the route both by graft or by color on actual (route summary) map.  It does eat up lots of power though so for hour or longer you will need charging capacity.

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@Robber welcome, good comments but I don't need something that remembers max speed LOL.  

I've been frustrated by Garmin but wind up using my Zumo XT exclusively.  A general irritation will pretty much all mapping programs particularly the common ones like Google Maps and Apple Maps is they don't show the small roads until you zoom in.  I take lots of long trips and generally navigation is not too hard as I'm going to less populated areas.  But getting there is something of an issue.  For example 1st night is usually Springfield Mo and 2nd night is Grand Island NE.  Routing programs route thru Kansas City but I don't like riding thru there.  Ideally go west from Springfield and then north to Grand Island.  I usually wind up finding a spot that is near the way I'd like to go and then using it as a waypoint.  Mostly just route on the Zumo XT.  

To respond to an earlier post I can't remember the route I took as usually several different small towns and roads.  On my BMW F800GT I used an iPhone on the bars with a RAM X-Mount (large).  It worked well for me but the vibrations messed up the camera.  The Tracer 900 GT is much smoother.  As a backup to the Garmin I have a cheap (free) Samsung phone and a Quadlock case with a vibration pad.  

Something the Garmin Zumo XT does that I find extremely helpful is showing what's ahead.  On the right of the screen it will show cities ahead, distance and what they have - food, gas, lodging.  If there is no food or lodging it is a small place.  This is an essential part of my in the moment stop planning as I was see a gas stop and a backup stop further ahead.  While I find the Garmin frustrating it is also very useful - seems like lots of great products have wonderful features but also some vexing issues.  

EDIT:  Been looking at the Oukitel RT3 rugged Android tablet.  Looks like a very interest device, pretty big to stick on my bars but could be interesting if i could find a good Android route planning navigation app.

Edited by PhotoAl
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