How do I download GPX map files so I can use them on a GPS device?

How do I download motorcycleroads.com route maps to my navigation device (GPS, NavSat, or any device that works with GPX files)?    

 

 

MotorcycleRoads.com supports the industry standard for map files which are referred to as GPX files.  All you have to do is go to the page describing the route you are interested and click on the red download GPX file button that shows up in the bottom right of all route maps (see image below). 

gpx file button

Then the map’s GPX file will be downloaded to wherever your computer is set up to download files to (probably a folder called downloads or something like that).  From there you can import it into your GPS device or an online GPX editing website like http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/ (that one is handy because you can covert the output to a lot of different formats including a Google maps file).  

The TRICKY PART however is that if you are using a GPS device, that device has to support what they call ‘multipoint routes’ or ‘multipoint maps’.  And not all devices do that.  Some only allow simple 2 point maps … e.g., point A to point B based maps … I personally bought a GPS device (a Garmin Nuvi 52)  a while ago and found out the hard way that it did not support ‘multipoint maps.’  I ended up having to sell that device on eBay and since then I got a newer device that supports multipoint and it does work now (a Garmin Zumo 390LM).  The vast majority of routes on MotorcycleRoads.com are multipoint routes because very rarely can a nice motorcycle route be described with a simple point A to point B  level of detail so make sure you are using a device that can support ‘multipoint maps.’  Hope that helps! 

Bill

 

Note: I typed up some instructions that I use to download GPX files from the site and transfer them to my GPS device.  I'm pasting these below as sort of extra help.  I'm not a GPS device help desk so I can't guarantee they are fool proof nor can I offer you troubleshooting tips beyond what I'm providing below.  But, it took me a while to figure out the steps I came up with so I hope it saves you some of the pain and time I had to spend figuring it out for my set up.

1) To download a map/route off of McR and use on the Garmin, go to the route page, click on the download GPX and start Garmin Base Camp.  Then highlight (in the left column) in the “On My Computer” area the “My Collection” briefcase icon and then go to file/import into My Collection.  Navigate to the GPX file you downloaded (probably in Downloads) and click OK.  

2) Then (AND THIS IS CRUCIAL) you must have the Garmin Device plugged into the computer (I guess the Base Camp uses the detailed map info off of the device (I think you might be able to buy detailed map info for the Base Camp on the desktop computer but haven’t looked into that yet)). 

3) Then click on the McR route name you want to get to your GPS device in a usable format and it should appear in the bottom left side bar “My Collection” area.  It will probably have a name like “Track 008” in there.  That is the GPX file from McR in some type of Garmin Track format (I believe because the way McR saves the routes are by creating a bunch of lat/longs and somehow stringing them together and the “Save to GPX” button on the McR site assembles those together saves them as a GPX file which Garmin Base Camp apparently considers them to all be one “track”.  

4) Anyway, highlight the track that’s sitting down there (double click on it to see the map appear) in the bottom left and then right click and select “Create Route From Track” and it will bring up a box where you can name it. Also, when you do that, you should see some box popup and say something about “calculating route” where it will then string all those points together into what Base Camp calls a “route”.   And, Base Camp stores this with the track for that McR route in the “On My Computer”/“My Collection” briefcase icon area so if you click on that up there, in the very bottom left side bar you’ll see the track and the route you just created.  

5) Now to export that to your device, you go up to the “On My Computer”/“My Collection” briefcase icon area, right click on the McR Route name (It looks like a document icon but I can’t figure out what Garmin calls that) and select “Send to your device”.  

6) After you do that, and then eject the device, when you turn on the device, it will say something about “New routes found. Do you want to load them into Trip Planner (not sure it says “load”), you select yes and they will show up in trip planner App.