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Old 01-15-2017, 03:18 PM   #1
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Default New GPS Needed

Well, after a long time, my venerable Garmin GPS 12 failed. Now I'm researching GPS units for a replacement.

I've pretty much decided the Zumo line is not really what I need. I just don't do that much on road, long distance traveling that I need a unit dedicated to that function. Besides, I can do that on my phone or put an old Garmin NUVI that I have in the map pouch of my tank bag.

I'm considering a Garmin GPSMAP 64st or the Garmin Oregon 600. I like that the 64st comes with topo maps. The 600 does not. The 600 is at a great price right now, which is a plus, but it does not have Topo, though that can be installed (for a price).

Both of these are a definite step up from my old GPS 12. (dang I hated to see that thing go)

Any input appreciated.
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Old 01-15-2017, 04:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Those are both good units, the Oregon has a slightly bigger screen.

Topo maps can be downloaded and installed for free at
https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/
But you'll have to buy the routable base maps (city navigator) for another $80-$100

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/maps...ARD_01-p1.html
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Old 01-15-2017, 05:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

I used the Oregon 600 for about a year and eventually moved to the Montana due to being dissatisfied with the Oregon.

The Oregon is designed primarily for the hiker market, and it is excellent for that. Because it is meant to be carried in the hand, the screen is fairly small for a vehicle navigation unit that requires you to glance at it while driving. But the real deal killer for me was the power supply. You can use batteries (which is how Garmin designed it to be used) but if left on continuously while driving, you'll go through at least one set of rechargables a day. I grew tired of constantly monitoring that, and switched to powering it through the mini USB port. But that port is NOT well-suited for motorcycle use, (bouncing around) and eventually the cable loosens and the unit switches to battery. And the cradle it goes in is not meant to accommodate the cable either - to place the unit in the cradle, you must remove the cable, put the unit in the cradle, and then try to blindly insert the cable in the back of the unit. You have to remove the cable first to remove the unit.

The Montana solves all of these problems - large screen, powered, hard wired cradle that continually charges the internal battery. Disconnected, the unit still works for at least six hours continuously. I'm completely satisfied, although for what a Montana costs, I ought to be.
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

The Montana is a really nice unit, but you can get by with less.

I use a Dakota 20 on the bike and while the screen is small, it's fine for forest road navigation. (for city, I use a Nuvi).

The USB power cable works fine for me, but if it starts to rattle loose I'll glue a toothpick to it.

I will add that I do all my planning beforehand and just use the GPS to follow the track that I've made. I also carry good paper maps for reference. The maps in the GPS are useless for looking at a large area.

Many of the people I ride with just use their smartphones off-road. The Backcountry Navigator app gets good reviews. You do have to download all of your map data before your trip, but the price is right.

Last edited by littlejon; 01-15-2017 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Since you don't seem to mind using your phone you might like the GAIA GPS app. You can get a free 30 day trial to check it out. I have been using GAIA Pro for about a year and it is fantastic and EASY. Here is a link that shows cost and features compared to another app.

https://blog.gaiagps.com/gaia-gps-vs-alltrails-2/
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Curious - Why not use your phone (or a backup phone)? Is there some function it can't do?
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

I really appreciate the replies.

If I'm on the highway, I can get by with my iPhone, but it is hard to see. When I'm out in the Allegan State Forest, there is no detail.

Even though the old GPS12 was basic direction and tracking etc, I liked that I could use back-track to find my way out of the woods if I got turned around.

Still would like a dedicated GPS and think that will meet my needs.

No one with experience with the GPSMAP 64st?
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Do your research....

Montana has the car charger plug..(.not usb)

Garmin 64 series has different plug type..... 64 series can take pics, send your maps to other users via wifi I think....


It could be the other way around but I was looking at them last year and never decided to pull the trigger cuz one didn't do the other or hook up the way I wanted....

Just a thought.... ADVRider has a flea market section where you could find something used for a decent price..... Good luck on your search and keep us posted on what you get and why...
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

No exp with the 64st, but it has the same size screen as the Dakota that I use. The small screen is the only thing I dont like about that unit.


+1 on used. I bought the Dakota 2 yrs ago for $150 and it included the $80 city navigator micro sd card.

Last edited by littlejon; 01-16-2017 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 01-22-2017, 05:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

I have an Oregon on a RAM mount and it works great, but if I had it to do over I would get a Montana. They both run the same software and work the same, but the screen on the Oregon is too small and difficult to see in bright light. If you add a Garmin City Navigator card both will do turn by turn navigation. The Oregon can only be powered externally using a USB plug, so I don't know how this would hold up on a vibrating bike like a KLR. I use rechargeable batteries and they last most of a day.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Bruce, if you power it with a USB, you can keep the back light on high. Makes the screen much easier to read.

I have had no problems with my USB plug. It fits pretty snug and doesn't move.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

I too am in the market for a new GPS since my Zumo died. But being Horsepoor I don't have $400 to $700 to spend for a GPS. I came across this process for waterproofing a cheap GPS. https://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2UvIoL78Cg

So I intend to buy a cheap Nuvi or similar with a 5 in screen and waterproof it. At less than $100 I consider it disposable. Looks like I give up operation with gloves on, and device more susceptible to shock and vibration. We'll see how it holds up but for less than $100 I am going to find out.

Last edited by horsepoor; 01-22-2017 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 01-23-2017, 09:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Still searching.

A Montana is out of my price range. I really want to keep this $300 or less.

I appreciate the link to the free maps. Gives me the option of buying a cheaper unit without TOPO and then load my own.
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

There are some good deals on ebay, and if you buy city navigator get the SD card so that it can be transferred between devices.

And to make up for the small screen, I use a longer RAM arm to get it closer to my helmet. It helps a bit.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejon View Post
There are some good deals on ebay, and if you buy city navigator get the SD card so that it can be transferred between devices.

And to make up for the small screen, I use a longer RAM arm to get it closer to my helmet. It helps a bit.
I've tried using an Oregon for hiking, but hated the screen. If I was zoomed out enough to be able to "read" terrain features, there was no clarity. If I zoomed in enough to see anything, all I'd see was two adjacent contour lines. The only use I've found for it was if I was stuck in fog or a cloud, I could pull up my lat/long so I could plot my location on a paper map.

So what I'm getting at is: I'm LOLing imagining a 3ft long Ram mount stuck up against a face shield.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Lolz..
No.
No..no..
no..

Every GPS that I have seen has that weakness, even the Montana. When you zoom out, you lose detail.

I do my route planning with papermaps and Basecamp (on a 21" computer screen) the GPS just keeps me on the track. When I want an overview, I pull out my Benchmark Atlas. (they are the best that I've found and you can buy them used on Amazon for as little as $7.) For hiking, I carry more detailed maps.

I just use my GPS to follow the track that I'm following. I look down every 30 sec or so and see if a turn is coming up. Having the GPS 3 inches closer makes it a little easier to read while riding at 30 MPH.

You are clearly not using a GPS the way I do.

A GPS does not replace paper maps, but it does tell you exactly where you are on that paper map.

For hiking, a GPS isn't as useful since most trails are so well marked/mapped, but they are handy when the trail is covered in snow and you want to hike over the pass to the trail on the other side.

Mapping on forest roads is horribly inaccurate and constant reroutes can be just part of the trip.

Last edited by littlejon; 01-23-2017 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejon View Post
Lolz..


You are clearly not using a GPS the way I do.
I've only used it while hiking. I was trying to find my way up to ridges by following contour lines, or staying on the proper ridge when clouds rolled in. While I was technically following "routes" (the USFS term for a way of getting somewhere that is way less defined than an actual trail, NOT a gps route), it was an exercise in looking around, looking at the GPS and thinking "I guess I should go that way?", not turn-by-turn navigation.

My interest in this thread is I'm looking for a solution for motorcycle navigation, specifically for COBDR. Do you know if Backcountry Navigator does turn-by-turn? I spent some time on their website and I couldn't find anything definitive.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

I've posted this in another thread, but I'll post it again.

While riding, this is what I'm looking at on a small screen.



green is where I've been, red is where I'm going and you can see the other roads in the area. I dont use the handheld for anything else (except for finding a walmart occasionally).
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:26 PM   #19
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

For hiking, or motorcycling, I try to do all my route planning beforehand. The GPS is really limited in what it can do.
I don't know if Backcountry Navigator will do turn-by-turn. (I dont think so) but it will do what is pictured above. If the green line moves away from the red line, then you are off track.

If you scan your GPS every 30-60 seconds, even if you make a wrong turn it will take less than a minute to correct. I average 2 or 3 wrong turns a day, but they dont waste alot of time.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: New GPS Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejon View Post
For hiking, or motorcycling, I try to do all my route planning beforehand. The GPS is really limited in what it can do.
I don't know if Backcountry Navigator will do turn-by-turn. (I dont think so) but it will do what is pictured above. If the green line moves away from the red line, then you are off track.

If you scan your GPS every 30-60 seconds, even if you make a wrong turn it will take less than a minute to correct. I average 2 or 3 wrong turns a day, but they dont waste alot of time.
I guess that will work. Despite hating turn-by-turn, I've felt as if I "needed" it. But seeing your screencap, it actually looks the way I prefer to do my navigation.

Fortunately at my job I come across lost phones... there's a Galaxy Tab4 that if it makes it one more week without being claimed will become my motorcycle GPS (unless something better comes along).
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