Saturday, October 24, 2015

TomTom Rider Update 5

As I've become more and more used to the TomTom Rider Gen 5 I have provided a great deal of operating information and updates on this SatNav GPS in this blog. My last update (Update 4) was back in July. My TomTom Rider currently reflects 257 hours of use and 15,048 miles (18,293 total miles on the motorcycle).

One of the complaints that persisted regarding the TomTom Rider was that the docking station fractures where the four bolts hold the Ram Ball Mount and breaks away from the GPS. The complaints seemed more related to the installation process, wherein the owners were applying too much torque. I took that into account and used locktite and hand tightened the bolts.

I have now experienced what I believe to be the same damage, but due to rough conditions. As I was riding through the Texas Hill Country on my recent road trip, the GPS fell off the mount due to the exact same fractures previously complained about. Fortunately the lead kept it from falling to the road. Also fortunately, I was on the last leg of my road trip and didn't need a GPS to find my way home from San Antonio.

Looking at the mount (below) you can see that the bolt holes in the mount are elevated. There are metal inserts that are still attached to the ram mount. The damage/fractures are where the elevations in the mounting holes are.

Below is a stock photo of the docking station that the GPS slides onto. The photo above shows it's back with the fractured holes and the Ram Mount. The replacement cost me $65 from Rider Discount. I could only find it with a new harness, which I didn't need.
Now to be fair, while the GPS fell off it's mount in Texas, I believe that the actual damage was likely caused back in Arizona. My last side trip prior to the Texas Hill Country was the Apache Trail that, as discussed in my report on that loop, included 22 miles of extremely rough, washboard-like dirt roads. I think that's where the damage originated. Then the Texas roads, which are rough even at the Interstate level, did it in. However, we'll never know. Clearly in extremely rough conditions any GPS (or electronic) device should probably be dismounted and secured. I regret not doing that.

I've been extremely happy with the TomTom Rider. It's done everything I've asked of it for 15,000 miles. Of course, I'm not happy about the fracture, but I'm quick to replace the dock rather than look at some other models. I can only hope that the docking station doesn't break again. If it does, then I'll need to rethink the whole GPS thing.

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