Finding Your Way

30 April 2007

When it comes to finding your way these days, our options extend far beyond the humble map. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has made great in-roads in recent years, and since first introduced about seven years ago, bike-specific aftermarket systems have come thick and fast.

Using satellites to pinpoint your exact position against a detailed map already loaded onto the GPS unit itself, these days GPS is fast, efficient and very user friendly.

There are brackets to rig up a GPS to just about anything, although scooters riders may have to be a little more inventive than their motorcycling or dirt biking counterparts, simply because of the bodywork-enclosed design of most scoots.

I'd never rely on GPS to the point of not having a map as backup, but it does take the stop-start out of exploring new parts of the country, and in wet, blustery weather it beats having your map torn to shreds hands down. GPS also has some particularly useful features like a pre-programmed list of food, accommodation or fuel options. If you're in an unfamiliar part of the country and your fuel warning light has been on for far too long, the ability to simply program your GPS to direct you to the nearest petrol station is a big bonus.

When shopping around, Garmin is a good place to start - this company has been in the game right from the beginning, and many of the units offered by manufacturers as 'factory accessories' are in fact re-badged Garmin units.

These days you can also print out route notes from websites such as Visit the site, plug in your start address and destination, and a map of your route will appear. You can print this off, and then print off a listing of "step-by-step" directions - a handy thing to slip into the clear plastic sleeve on top of your tank bag.

And if you're heading off without a tank bag, or if you don't have a GPS, you can always resort to making a few notes on a section of gaffer tape, and sticking them somewhere you can easily read them. This is simple step you can take, that should save you having to stop by the side of the road to dig out that map in your backpack at every second or third intersection.

Protect your Bike. Call Shannons Insurance on 13 46 46 to get a quote today.