Instead, they want to use the device they already have and use all day long: their phones, both iPhones and Android phones.
While our GPS data files work well on smartphones, especially when traveling in the shaded interior of an SUV, those devices can have important shortcomings when used in the daylight and rugged conditions of adventure motorcycling.
-- poor daylight screen readability (see photo, below);
-- inadequate durability; and
-- inadequate battery life.
|Garmin Montana (left), Samsung S5, iPhone 5|
The durability issue can be addressed by purchasing an inexpensive older smartphone, and loading the track file onto it rather than your very expensive current phone.
Battery life can addressed by wiring the phone into the motorcycle's electrical system, or otherwise keeping it charged.
Poor daylight screen readability is not easy to resolve. While some riders devise sunlight shades, that seems a cumbersome and insecure solution.
Sad to say, until smartphone manufacturers resolve the problem of daylight screen readability, riders may have to buy suitable, dedicated GPS devices. (We use a Garmin Montana 600, whose screen is readable in bright daylight, as shown in the photo above.)
Fortunately, as with smartphones, the technology is evolving, although not so fast. Good used devices are often available. Online retailers like GPSNation and GPSCity often have factory refurbished units available as well.