Motorcycle touring (alternate roads)


Being a "biker" for 51 yrs., I have traveled the US, Canada and northern Mexico. BUT, I am still looking for a GPS program that will let me load pt. A to pt. B with the min. of freeway travel. I hate having to look at a map all the time. Backroad travel is the only way to really see the country, regardless of the extra miles.

I am a Viet Nam Vet (63-64) am 100% disabled and ride a Goldwing Trike. Being 67 it's hard to hold up the "ol 2 wheeler anymore.

I have a Garmin nuvi 1300, but if I have to upgrade, I will.


I am also

I am also 67 & ride a '92 Goldwing. It's good to know that, no matter what, you can continue riding as you grow older & infirm.

Bravo to you.


Me too

Ranchgrave wrote:

I am still looking for a GPS program that will let me load pt. A to pt. B with the min. of freeway travel.

I want to be able to easily create a custom route that does non-freeway in the country and freeway/interstates through big cities.......but there don't seem to be any easy and straightforward ways to do that.

Most will let you select something like "least use of highways", where "highways" means freeways/interstates. Have you tried that option ??
If you don't mind going right through the heart of cities on a 2-lane, that should work.

Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

Riding with Garmin

I too ride and was using a Garmin 265T on my bike (at least until my "soon-to-be ex took it with her, but I digress). I just bought a 1490 which will allow me to create "routes" -- i.e. in mapsource mapping program, you can specify your route, download it to your GPS as a "route", and the GPS will follow that route (as opposed to having the GPS select the route for you based on your starting and ending points). Having the routing feature is really nice when you want to specify backroads only, which is the way I ride too.

There is a "workaround" for a GPS without the custom routes. I have done it on the 265 but it is a major pain. You create a separate POI file with ending point, then you put different "waypoints" along the roads you want to travel. When you go to use the GPS, you specify your ending point first, then progress through each "waypoint" in order and put them in as a "waypoint" instead of a new destination. It is kind of a pain when you have a route where you have up to ten or more "waypoints" just to force the GPS to route you the way you want to go.

In short, if you don't mind upgrading, make sure you buy a GPS that allows custom routes. Most units will allow up to about 10 custom routes.


Any Model GPS that allows routes to be stored is an option for preplanned 'alternative road' routes.

You will need to use vias in order to make certain that you are guided where you want to go - often LOTS of vias, depending on where you are planning to ride.

I have been through a lot of different navigators, but every one I have ever owned has allowed me to load routes for that reason. I also travel with a laptop so I can stay in contact, work on proposals, and plan routes while on the road, as well as suck out the day's tracklog so I can keep a detailed record of where I've been.

While I am really unhappy with Garmin's latest motorcycle-specific products, they do bring a couple of features to the table that are useful; But they command an IMO way too large price premium and the 660/665 have been disappointments in terms of bugs.

If money was the issue I'd probably buy a Streetpilot 2610/2720/2830 - or better yet I'd shoot for a GPSMAP 276/376/478 before spending big on a Zumo 550 . . .

Automotive units can do the job, but with the exception of the Nuvi 500 series they are not waterproof - so be prepared to cover yours with a baggie. I would be looking for a Nuvi wth a quick-disconnect mount, support for routes and no flip-up antenna if I went in that direction; A 750/760/780/850/880 (NOT anything with a '5' in the last digit) or a 2300 series and such - keep those cheap because they are quite likely to drown if you get caught in a rainstorm.

Currently have: SP3, GPSMAP 276c, Nuvi 760T, Nuvi 3790LMT, Zumo 660T


Creating your own routes is the way to go.
Some research on the net will let you find the best motorcycle roads to travel.
We ride almost every weekend and that's the way we go; create a route and ride!!! We can bypass highways, towns or anything else we think may hamper the ride.
This is a great site for road info: