Dual Sport Navigation: GPS vs Smartphone

Wondering what navigation device to choose for your motorcycle adventures? This video I go through the pros and cons of using a GPS or a Smartphone for navigation off road. Both are great options, each with their strengths. I finish up discussing the new kid on the block the Garmin Inreach.

My GPS – Garmin GPSMAPS78S

I also bring my Ipad with Motion X for my dual sport adventure trips.

Enjoy the video,


cyclopathic says:

Check out Kyocera DuraForce… cheap, waterproof milspec phone

Josh Wendt says:

I would also argue that smart phones don’t have as good GPS’ when compared to a dedicated GPS. Anyway, great vid!

Bob Sacamano says:

Smart phones generally acquire satellite signal quicker only because they are using the cellular network as guidance. The best test of a phone is to disable the radio and use only the built in GPS. Most proper GPS have a cold and hot start time difference. A cold start might take up to a minute, but a warm start can be under ten seconds. I have a GPS76csx and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

LostInPA says:

I have the Montana. It’s snappier in response but still not as quick as my iPhone, but decent. For off-road we had to get more detailed maps that show all the trails and also allow you to plot courses. The default maps showed them but you couldn’t easily plot non-named roads. It is a tough unit and the touchscreen works good. For pavement use I like the iPhone with Waze. There is also a great iPhone app for off-road called Rever. It will record your track and telemetry and you can share with other guys. It’s specifically designed for off-road Motorsports and it’s free.

Craig Grissom says:

The heat aspect of the smartphone/tablet is huge. I’ve had my phone overheat in rather mild temperature days in the clear part of my tankbag, and I wasn’t even running any gps software.

KaneTerry says:

I have used Motion X but it really chews up the battery on my Iphone, where the Garmin will run for 3 days on a pair of AA batteries

Alaskan dual sport says:

hey buddy
great video and topic,,I have been wanting a nice GPS
usually when we got out into the bush of Alaska ,,we tale paper maps and smartphones
my buddy has a GPS app ( not sure which one )on his smartphone,,but he has to download maps of the area we are in
prior to going out riding,,,I personally like to have one of each ,,paper ,,gps and smartphone,I don’t want to get lost in Alaska
I always look forward and enjoy watching your video’s (great topics)
ride safe my motorcycle brother ,,,LIKED ( thumbs up ) the WR250r lives on

Phillip Payne says:

great vid I bought the Magellan Explorist 710 haven’t really used it yet but bloody expensive

DaveKublersVideos says:

wow…. S5 with Lifeproof…. and Osmand+ and Polaris RideCommand…. both free. Ram mount xgrip… served me perfectly thru numerous BDR routes…. ‘desktop experience’ is better….Use any number of websites to create GPX tracks to then bring to phone to follow, or to upload to to share/view. Phone NEVER breaks, even during crashes. Phones don’t overheat, unless you have a iPhone, or leave in plugged in. Gloves work with any better phone…if not, just get Liquid glove.

Robson Enduro says:

IMO the only downsize of the GPS unit is usually expensive maps updates, other then that I prefer it always.
Using smartphone off-road in crush, dust, water, heat condition is not an option.

Lennert Bakker says:

Try the OsmAnd app (android) an use basecamp with OSM maps. Been using it for 4 years now, no expensive Garmin for me, ever!

Phil Ward says:

The GPS 78 can be setup to use bike power that is not USB based, USB not being all that environment friendly. You forgot to mention that.

THE BATeman says:

+1 for overheating and glove compatibility

Chris York says:

I think the iPhone is a more reliable phone than the Android for recording tracks. Pilots are allowed to use the Apple for their flight bag. Nice GPS for remote ADV.

Busa Richard says:

our Delorme Inreach was instrumental in getting help, and a chopper in to air lift my wife to Cairns hospital after her very big crash on our way back from Cape York last year.. Do your self a favour, and spend the $$$ on a very good GPS/tracker/emergency unit, all rolled into one..

Der-Alte Griesgram says:

I’m using my Garmin GPSMAP with open street maps, details are very good in western Europe. As a backup I’m carrying a paper map that never ran out of battery.

John Claiborne II says:

reminds me of why i unsubbed. adios again. lmao @ lack of desktop usability. must be on a different planet than me. let’s see: new phones are ip68 with over 1000 nits. if you can not figure out how to use an x-grip with a texel web then you really have no business wasting everyone’s time here with this low iq drivel! you really carry a single use device on a motorcycle? do you carry 3 sets of sockets and wrenches too?

Craig Wilson says:

Thanks CoS, great information.

old greg says:

Hi mate,

Maybe try and get a lifeproof case for your smartphone. They do scratch, but they are waterproof and I find them excellent as a tradie.

Also could you ever do a video on map trip planning. It is something that I am clueless about :/

Shawn Moore says:

What about paper maps and getting lost. A fast lost human skill I say. Great informative vid. Thank you.

Kevin Long says:

I resisted buying the Montana for quite a while due to the cost, but now that I have it I wish I had bought it sooner, it’s great. I bought a used T model on ebay for $350

Mad Dude says:

Hey man, I studied the delorme / garmin inreach a lot last year just letting you know is NOT a phone it is a satellite communicator (txt and email only, assisted by bluetooth smart phone compatible app) but NOT something you can make phone calls on , a bonus is you can get confirmation from emergency services and communicate with them using text when sending SOS ( unlike spot where you sit waiting not knowing if anyone is comming) , Also because garmin bought it from delorme it still uses there file format and I believe is NOT yet compatible with garmin maps and file systems , I am waiting for a new model also that has sdcard storage , garmin file and map compatibility and further enhancements , but seeing as the new (firs)t garmin version you depicted in you vid was only released this year we will be waiting a while I believe

shannon james says:

Down to the Nitti Gritty without getting lost . I new we could count on ya . Thanks be

Philip Shore says:

Off road I’m too worried about my phone being exposed to crashes/rain/dust/etc so use GPS. Garmin Dakota series is a good compromise but lacks buttons. Capacitive screen really needs bare fingers. Phone apps make a better road satnav. Most important is map data works for you. OpenStreetMap data is great in well visited areas in UK and is free.

AzMtnThumper says:

I’m using my iPhone 7 with gaiagps. I build my route on my desktop using one or more layers of maps or satellite imagery. It syncs to my phone effortlessly. I download the map for the route to my phone while I’m at home on the WiFi then no cell data is used or needed while I’m out on my ride. I’ve been very pleased so far on 10 or so rides. I put my old garmin etrex in my tank bag for backup.

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