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GPS for Motorcycles - I Buy a Garmin 2610 GPS

By Walter F. Kern


During the last few years, I've noticed many GPS navigation systems being used on motorcycles. Some of the riders in my GWRRA NJ-F (F-Troop) Chapter were using them on their Gold Wings. At the BuRP Rally, held at Maggie Valley, NC, which brings together members of the About Motorcycles forums, GPS units were seen on quite a few bikes. In fact, after I got lost for about the third time trying to find my way back to my motel at Maggie Valley, I swore I would look into getting a GPS for myself.

When I bought a new car a few months ago, I noticed that many cars are coming equipped with built-in GPS units. I could have got one for the car I was buying but I really wanted to have a GPS that I could trade off between my car and my trike. I decided to buy a Garmin 2610 GPS for my car since it would also work on a motorcycle and several of my buddies had them on their bikes.

Some people have a natural talent at installing a GPS on a bike. I read all I could on the Internet and found the installation of a GPS on a bike to be somewhat bewildering. I found a site,, that seemed to have the installation down to a science. I was going to the Americade Rally. Some friends suggested that I call ahead for an appointment before I left for the rally. I got the noon appointment the first day that the vendors would be open. I wanted a professional installation and CycleGadgets seemed to be the place to go.

Here's my trike as I showed up for my appointment.

Motorcycle GPS

CycleGadgets Booth at Americade Rally

Americade has an extensive vendor operation called TourExpo. It's a magnet for most riders. If you buy something there and want it installed, you get a tag and an appointment. You ride to a special gate, show your tag, and then thread your bike through the crowds to get to where the installation will take place.

Sometimes, you have to wait. That was my situation. I'm not good at waiting but when you really want a particular item, you just have to go with it and try to enjoy the wait. There was only one person doing installations, Sean Franklin, owner of CycleGadgets. Since Sean is so knowledgeable, he gets asked a lot of questions. Sometimes there is a line of people just asking questions while he's trying to do an installation. There is also the possibility that the person having something installed will ask for another item to also be installed. That happened to me also, contributing to further time waiting.

Anyway, time did finally pass and I was able to get my trike in the space behind the three cones to get my GPS installed.

=> Page 2: Mounting the GPS

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