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Just Another Guy!!!!
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OK, being new to the BMW world I'll ask, what NAV system would be best to start with??? Asking out of total ignorance?? Does it show bike status or just navigational??? Coming from the dark side (V-TWIN) world!!!
TIA!!!!
 

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I'm only familiar with Garmin, so can't help you with options from TomTom or others. Here's what I know:

If you have a BMW with the Nav prep package (most 2013-up GS and GSA, 2014-up RT, 2012-up K1600, others) your best choice is one of the BMW-branded Garmin unit called the Navigator (how original). Current one is the Nav VI (same size screen as Nav V but brighter), earlier are Nav V (larger screen than Nav IV), and Nav IV. New Nav VI is pricey, check around (forum "for sale" sections, eBay) for used ones. They work with the wonderwheel on bikes so equipped.

There is a 4-button cradle sold by BMW that does the same things as the wonderwheel (zoom in/out, change pages, select some options) you can use on any bike not equipped with the nav prep package. Since all it does is power the unit, the buttons and touchscreen control it, you can use it on any vehicle, even a Vespa if you're so inclined. Again, not for the financially faint-of-heart unless you get one used.

Garmin 660 and 665 (discontinued in 2015) also fit into either of the BMW cradles but all they do is accept power from the cradle, they don't work with the buttons/wonderwheel. You have to use the touchscreen to do everything.

All of the Garmin units accept routes created in their BaseCamp product, or routes in GPX format from anywhere. If you know how to drag routes in Google maps to modify them you understand the basic concept of BaseCamp although the details are different. It has a rather steep learning curve and requires a real computer (Windows or Mac) to run, there is no tablet version. They quit doing feature upgrades in 2016, and there's no replacement on the horizon but it does what it needs to do and it's reliable.

I personally am a fan of BaseCamp, I can plan routes to suit my needs, upload them, and go. The downside is I have to travel with a laptop. Far more flexible than the limited options on the units themselves.
 

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IF you're on a BMW, depending on the model/year, there is a lot of information available on the BMW Nav. You can find some Nav V's out there for a reasonable price and even some Nav VI's that people want to sell for one reason or another. When I sent my Nav back for repair (my fault, not theirs) I used my phone for navigation, but missed all the other stuff on the Nav.
 

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If you can program artillery fire, or long-range missiles, learning a Nav V (or VI) should be a piece of cake. Otherwise, get a paper map, free at most state welcome stations.

My Nav V is handy for showing upcoming roads and even curves in the road I'm on. If I had to use it, I would learn how, but would probably forget in between times that I would use it. If you learn the Nav system for fun, you have too much free time and should be riding more...
 

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Bike&Ski
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OK, being new to the BMW world I'll ask, what NAV system would be best to start with??? Asking out of total ignorance?? Does it show bike status or just navigational??? Coming from the dark side (V-TWIN) world!!!
TIA!!!!
I have a Nav V on my 2014 GS. I agree with comments above. Having it integrated with the wonderwheel makes for easy zoom and you can switch through other screens giving information about the bike, tire pressure, trip log, etc.. If I was going to use this exclusively for pavement, I might consider another manufacturer that had better resolution. The resolution on the Nav V is pretty bad until you are zoomed way in, and then it's hard to see where you are in the larger scheme. I don't have any suggestions as I haven't had the need. If you are going to be trail riding or on unmaintained roads, I would stick with the Nav and Basecamp. Basecamp does have a learning curve, but it is not insurmountable. It does allow you to get very detailed when you are mapping out tracks because you can make it not follow the "regular roads" by editing individual points on the track to exactly where you want them. (Need a laptop) Also, it you are just out exploring and then want to edit the track to eliminate turnarounds or bad sections, you can go back in and do so. With that said, recently rode with a friend who bought a trail tech unit for his DRZ400 and he said it had similar functionality. Also not inexpensive.
 

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There's only one answer to the OP's question. If the bike is set up for Nav and the multi controller, there's no other reasonable choice than the Nav VI GPS. To be able to control the zoom level on the map from the multi controller is priceless. Don't believe me? Take your Nav and put it on a bike without the multi controller - it's frustrating as can be having to zoom in/out by touching the screen to get the big and close in perspective on the map. It's a real game changer to use the multi controller and without it, serious navigation (especially off-the pavement) would require two GPS units - one zoomed in close and one zoomed out for perspective.
 
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