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Old 01-06-2018, 10:34 PM   #1
Dahveed
 
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GPS Advice?!?

I'm in the market for a new GPS for my WR250R. I was about to pull the trigger on a Garmin GPSMAP 64s. Others have suggested the Montana or Oregon is the way to go. They're certainly more expensive, but I'm not sure. What are you using and what would you like to be using?

I didn't see a recent thread discussing this, so lets hear what the smart buy is and WHY its smart.

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:42 AM   #2
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

My most recent GPS purchased was a 64ST. I had used a Zumo and a TomTom rider.. Both had the advantage of a large screen, colorful way points and the ability to show different types of data like the map and speed, and distance to next way point on the same screen, but in a dusty environment they both would become unreadable. Since they were touchscreens, any attempt to clean the screen while underway often changed what was displayed.

I purchased a used 62 from a TWTer and liked it's hard button interface and could live with the smaller screen. I don't really the map for route planning while underway or need a 3x4 inch display with a giant arrow that points the next turn. Simple written instructions like a roll chart work for me and the 62/64 will do that with the right maps. (The 62 will only store 500 way points or I would still be using it.) Since it is a hand held it gets in car, on bike and in rucksack duty. Finally it uses AA batteries so you have the choice of rechargeable or if push comes to shove any convenience store will get your unit powered again. The ram mount was around $10 if I recall.

If you need a rugged, multi use unit, but don't need to talk to it, have it talk to you, forward phone calls, etc. Then the 64 is more than enough. Perfect for a dual sport.

m
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:35 AM   #3
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

I liked the AA battery option on the 64, Oregon, and Montana for the same reason. I can get rechargeable AAs and charge those each night or just roll with spares. I'm mainly using this off road on the dual-sport, so talking, handling phone calls or music isn't needed. All of these units appear to have microSD slots, so bumping up the pathetically small amount of memory they come with is no problem.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:29 AM   #4
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

Get a waterproof phone and cut one additional device from your life.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

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Get a waterproof phone and cut one additional device from your life.
There is that option. My current phone is not water/dustproof and is also slightly cracked. What app would you use?
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:46 AM   #6
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

I use Locus. It's a little nerdy, but once you figure it out, it's VERY capable. It does require a network (cell or wifi) to do setup an automatic route - but I nearly never do that. I typically make a route the night before - either on the phone or on Google Maps or something - copy the GPX file to dropbox or Google Drive, then import into Locus from there. Locus can download maps for offline use, so once the track is on it, I don't need any further network connection. You can also pre-download maps on your computer and copy them over.

The biggest problem with phone-based stuff on a bike is usability with gloves on. Kinda sorta works, but for anything more than a couple taps, I need to have a bare finger or two.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

The 64 does not have a power input port. Not a problem if you plan to use only batteries. Major problem if you want to use bike power. Do not try to use the USB cable for bike power. The jack on the unit is not strong enough to withstand the vibration and it will fail, only a matter of time.

The software in the 64, Oregon and Montana is basically the same so the functional differences are just screen size and control type. The only problem I've ever had with the Montana touchscreen is if it the bike sits still in the hot sun for a while, the unit will get hot and the touchscreen will fail. Once it cools down, back to normal. Just remember to lay a glove over it when you stop at the taco stand.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
I use Locus. It's a little nerdy, but once you figure it out, it's VERY capable. It does require a network (cell or wifi) to do setup an automatic route - but I nearly never do that. I typically make a route the night before - either on the phone or on Google Maps or something - copy the GPX file to dropbox or Google Drive, then import into Locus from there. Locus can download maps for offline use, so once the track is on it, I don't need any further network connection. You can also pre-download maps on your computer and copy them over.

The biggest problem with phone-based stuff on a bike is usability with gloves on. Kinda sorta works, but for anything more than a couple taps, I need to have a bare finger or two.
I had an old pair of motorcycle gloves that I cut off the tip of the index fingers just to be able to use the phone without de-gloving.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:01 AM   #9
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

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The 64 does not have a power input port. Not a problem if you plan to use only batteries. Major problem if you want to use bike power. Do not try to use the USB cable for bike power. The jack on the unit is not strong enough to withstand the vibration and it will fail, only a matter of time.

The software in the 64, Oregon and Montana is basically the same so the functional differences are just screen size and control type. The only problem I've ever had with the Montana touchscreen is if it the bike sits still in the hot sun for a while, the unit will get hot and the touchscreen will fail. Once it cools down, back to normal. Just remember to lay a glove over it when you stop at the taco stand.
My bike currently doesn't have a power port. I was going to add one, but maybe not. Does the Oregon and Montana have a dedicated power port that is vibration resistant?

The heat seems to be a common enemy of touchscreens everywhere. I can remember an older iPhone "overheating" on me in a tankbag map pouch. The glove is a good trick.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:07 AM   #10
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

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Originally Posted by Dahveed View Post
My bike currently doesn't have a power port. I was going to add one, but maybe not. Does the Oregon and Montana have a dedicated power port that is vibration resistant?

The heat seems to be a common enemy of touchscreens everywhere. I can remember an older iPhone "overheating" on me in a tankbag map pouch. The glove is a good trick.
The Montana does, the Oregon does not. For the Montana, you have to buy the Garmin Rugged Mount separately, about $35. It is good for use with a ram mount system.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:15 PM   #11
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff S View Post
I use Locus. It's a little nerdy, but once you figure it out, it's VERY capable. It does require a network (cell or wifi) to do setup an automatic route - but I nearly never do that. I typically make a route the night before - either on the phone or on Google Maps or something - copy the GPX file to dropbox or Google Drive, then import into Locus from there. Locus can download maps for offline use, so once the track is on it, I don't need any further network connection. You can also pre-download maps on your computer and copy them over.

The biggest problem with phone-based stuff on a bike is usability with gloves on. Kinda sorta works, but for anything more than a couple taps, I need to have a bare finger or two.
I have a couple of issues with using a phone as a GPS.

First, the screen is never bright enough to view well in bright sunlight. Major problem.

Next, the phone uses too much power constantly running gps sofware thus requiring power input. The power ports on phones are no more robust than the usb ports on Garmin gps units, so why should I expect them to withstand the vibration from a cable when mounted on a thumper.

The phones themselves are nowhere near as tough as a Garmin GPS. If I damage/ruin my phone it will cost as much or more as a Garmin to replace the phone. Garmin offers an out of warranty replacement service for usually $75-150 depending on the model of GPS if I destroy it. I use a fairly cheap phone; this Samsung S6 Active was $200, still more expensive than a replacement refurb Garmin. Years ago my puppy chewed a Garmin to pieces. The Garmin rep sent me a refurb for $60 because the story made him laugh, the standard charge for that model would have been $90.

Many people like to rag on Garmin and I know the software is far from perfect, but the hardware is very tough and functional once you learn it. The bottom line for me is I can have as many custom detailed maps as I want available at all times. I currently have 14 maps installed on my Montana. Go to http://cartografiagps.com/en/ and compare the detail of the E32 map to that of OSM Mexico and tell me which you would want if you were out in the MX backcountry with out cell service.

If you are riding central TX backroads, the phone would suffice. I need more.

If I lost my Montana, I would go buy another tomorrow. I just noticed that gpscity.com has refurb Montanas for $299.
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Last edited by JT; 01-07-2018 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:55 PM   #12
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

I power my 64 with the USB port when it's on board the bike. So far I haven't trusted it when it was raining. Also I suspect the USB port is not as robust as the power/NMEA port on the 62 so I have secured the cable with a zip-tie to reduce vibration. If I were riding on very rough terrain I would likely unplug it and run on the battery.
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:43 PM   #13
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

Get another mount for the Nav V on the GSA and swap it back and forth. Far cheaper.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:30 PM   #14
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

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Get another mount for the Nav V on the GSA and swap it back and forth. Far cheaper.
There you go thinking all reasonable again....

Hmmm, let me give that a try. Then I definitely have to have on bike power.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:06 PM   #15
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

+1 for the Montana 600(or equivalent). I've had mine for about 4 years now. Always works with everything I throw at it. I have a hot shoe on both bikes it just snaps into. I even have a cold shoe on my MTB and run it on the rechargeable battery. It has the ability to transfer files to another unit via Bluetooth, which has come in handy on occasion. I bought it because it has a big screen. I can't imagine trying to use a unit with anything smaller.

I agree with the people who don't like using a phone for a GPS. I don't like multitasking equipment, and don't like having my phone hanging out in the elements. I do however use my phone in ADDITION to my GPS on occasion.

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Old 01-07-2018, 06:34 PM   #16
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

Dahveed, from what I've seen the Montanas are very common. I know on the rallies I attend, it's the one I see the most. There is an advantage in that commonality in that it is fairly easy to swap tracks around wirelessly from unit to unit. I know Rich has one as do Jeff and myself. I don't want to speak for Rich, but he has seemed at times to like his older unit (62S?), mostly because of the hard buttons I think. I'm getting used to the touch screen now, but I admit it was troublesome for a while. I'm pretty certain that both Jeff and Rich were doing their lead duties from the tracks in their Montanas at Big Bend this year. There are three possible power sources, bike power, internal battery or AA's in a pinch. It can be recharged inside at night via USB cable, but it is a different cable than your phone.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:50 PM   #17
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

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If I lost my Montana, I would go buy another tomorrow. I just noticed that gpscity.com has refurb Montanas for $299.

Thanks, ordered one.
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:04 PM   #18
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

I got the extended 2 year warranty on my refurbished from GPS City. There is a short window for exchange, I think 6 weeks. It was no problem after 6 months exchanging it. Other than the 12 dollar S&H. The screen went black it was a 67 Nuvi for truck.
Are those things meant to take a hot dash in Texas summer?
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:12 PM   #19
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

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Dahveed, from what I've seen the Montanas are very common. I know on the rallies I attend, it's the one I see the most. There is an advantage in that commonality in that it is fairly easy to swap tracks around wirelessly from unit to unit. I know Rich has one as do Jeff and myself. I don't want to speak for Rich, but he has seemed at times to like his older unit (62S?), mostly because of the hard buttons I think. I'm getting used to the touch screen now, but I admit it was troublesome for a while. I'm pretty certain that both Jeff and Rich were doing their lead duties from the tracks in their Montanas at Big Bend this year. There are three possible power sources, bike power, internal battery or AA's in a pinch. It can be recharged inside at night via USB cable, but it is a different cable than your phone.
Mike, Which Montana do they have. My research shows that the Montana 610 doesn't have bluetooth. The Oregon does. Yeah, getting the same unit as most others have is a plus.

The plan is to now see if I can load the TOPO map on the BMW Nav 5. If I can, then maybe that is the short term solution. Otherwise, the Montana is probably the way I'll go.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:17 PM   #20
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Re: GPS Advice?!?

Jeff's is a 680, mine is a 600 and I think Rich's is too, but you might should check with him. They do not have blue tooth which many see as a limitation. The trading of tracks etc is done via a different protocol. I'm not sure what it is. It is much more limited than Bluetooth though.
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