2020 R1250R in Pollux Metallic Matte
My reluctance to use my iPhone with the new ConnectedRide cradle and subsequent consideration of the BMW Nav. 5/6 is the potential vibration damage to my phone’s camera. I’ve tried to find out how much vibration dampening the new ConnectedRide cradle has — including speaking with my local BMW dealer — and no one seems to know. Notably, the sales promo material entirely avoids the (well known) issue/question, which may (or may not) speak volumes.After using BMW Nav 6 for about a year now, I can tell you that it doesn't do anything significantly better than a modern smartphone, with exception of integration into the wonder wheel (buy a BMW Nav. phone cradle for that) and using while wearing gloves or when raining/wet. There is a learning curve to just how to operate the unit, and it can be confusing at times.
Considering you have a 2018 model, a BMW Nav 6 would allow you to integrate cell phone's media player via Nav 6 as well as show live traffic (you need Link+ Garmin app on your phone and internet connection), as well as show certain motorcycle stats that are not easily readable or not available on the instrument panel of your motorcycle. One big benefit of Garmin navigation systems comes not from the unit itself, but from accompanying computer software called Basecamp. It is a very powerful and somewhat complex program that does a lot of things, and therefore it takes time to learn how to use it.
From what I understood, Nav 5 and Nav 6 are fairly similar, with exception of slightly updated electronic guts, and minor functionality upgrades when it comes to connectivity. I don't know what the exact differences are, but I'm sure there is a good youtube video on the topic.
If you are used to Google maps/Waze/Apple Maps or their respective integration into modern cars, you will probably be disappointed with how clumsy some things can be on a Nav 6 compared to Google maps. There are several free/inexpensive applications with off-line navigation/maps, even Google maps has some limited functionality baked-in, although you need to dig into settings. I only used off-line navigation on smartphone briefly to get to a main road that has connectivity.
Nav 6 specifically has a major manufacturing defect with touch screens: a lot of people reporting the problem (see more here). Garmin fixes them, but it takes several weeks at a time for shipping, unless your BMW dealer is willing to replace on the spot. It is a bit of a gamble even with a brand-new unit, especially when you are planning a trip.
BMW has an application that displays a lot of useful information about your bike. I don't know if it works with pre-TFT motorcycle models, but it could be worth looking into it. I used it for navigation, route planning and find it totally sufficient in absence of the Nav 5/6 or other alternatives. You might need a BMW cradle to use it in the absence of TFT screen on the bike.
BMW Motorrad Connected on the App Store (apple.com)
Bottom line: IMHO a used BMW Nav 5/6 it is not worth 300-600 quid, unless your phone is not water resistant and/or you don't want to use it as a navigation tool (maybe time to upgrade the phone instead of buying a BMW Nav unit). Also, placement of the navigation cradle is not ideal on R/RS bikes, below the line of sight on the handlebars. It can be remedied with fairly expensive Wunderlich contraption (almost $300 USD). I think there are a few different manufacturers out there for RS that make a similar unit as the Wunderlich, also expensive.
P.S. Please don't use paper maps... LOL