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OK, I have this "Must have a GPS on my T-DUB" thing going on in my head. I was wondering if any of the regular GPS units you see everyone using in their vehicles, have the ability to use plot routes or mark way points? I have a Garmin Etrex handheld GPS that is great for plotting routes, marking way points, speed and what not. The problem with it is that is has no maps, and I cannot install any mapping software on it.



I plan on riding my T-DUB on many adventures within the state of Michigan, both lower and upper penninsula's. I've always been a map kinda guy, and I have used my handheld when riding trails and hunting. But I'm thinking that a nice GPS with mapping capabilities would be cool to have on my bike!



I'm not familiar with any of the newer GPS units with maps! They look cool and work great from what I've seen. Let me hear what you have to say both good or bad.



Thanks!
 

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Let me hear what you have to say both good or bad.



Thanks!


Want to learn everything there is to know about the Montana? Go: http://garminmontanagpsr.wikispaces.com/Features



Then, since the device is nearly useless without the Garmin software and maps: http://garminbasecamp.wikispaces.com/



Be prepared for a steep learning curve.
See: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=688775 (and the next 500 pages)




One of the most important things in a motorcycle GPS is screen readability, all the older units fail miserably in this regard, and you have to stop to read the GPS accurately. The Garmin Montana wins the readability competition in all conditions hands down.



Beware! It's a very deep rabbit hole! The purchase cost (~$400) is only the beginning.
 

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Wife bought me a Garmin Nuvi 500 and a GoPro Hero 3 for Christmas.



After 3 months of f'n around with this POS digital crap, I tossed it all in the trash.



I'm back to carrying a roll of quarters for phones, a road map I got at the Shell station, and a $5 disposable Fuji camera.



Tech toys suck the enjoyment out of life.
 

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I run an old school TomTom 1 I picked it up some time ago at a swap-meet for $20. As TWisty said, 'tech toys suck the enjoyment out of life'. For me, nothing beats the enjoyment of unfolding a map, choosing a destination for the day, then looking for 'non-straight' roads that will take me there. Then I input turn locations into my 'no-masters degree required' GPS, one at a time. Usually, I have my 'turns' written out on a piece of paper in my tankbag's map case.

As I said, $20. So, if it gets lost, stolen, broke, or water-logged, WHO CARES. You still have the maps that don't require batteries, fold to fit any space, and you can write your route on them.

The technology of the modern world is great, don't get me wrong. But have you looked at the 'technology' of your TW? It hasn't changed (much) since 1987. If I wanted to 'get there', I'd take my car. If I want to 'enjoy' getting there, I take the TW. And I always use the 'bicycle route' travel preferance. This will take you over the mountain as opposed to around it, to save you 50yds. Some of the best riding I've ever done, has been using this method. I feel its the best 'mix' of adventure in todays 'modern' world. Hope I helped. Doubt I did. TIM
 

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I too have been looking at GPS's but I don't know if I really want one. I do enjoy taking the wrong turn and getting lost and spending time finding my way out. With a GPS you push a button and you know which way to go.



Is a touch screen GPS as durable as a push button one? The ones I have seen off road are push button.



I have been looking at the refurbished ones. They are cheaper than new and if I smash one against a rock I want to smash a cheap one. The Garmin Oregon series have several refurbished models on ebay. Also the Garmin GPSmap 62s seems a good refurbished deal.
 

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OK, I have this "Must have a GPS on my T-DUB" thing going on in my head. I was wondering if any of the regular GPS units you see everyone using in their vehicles, have the ability to use plot routes or mark way points? I have a Garmin Etrex handheld GPS that is great for plotting routes, marking way points, speed and what not. The problem with it is that is has no maps, and I cannot install any mapping software on it.



I plan on riding my T-DUB on many adventures within the state of Michigan, both lower and upper penninsula's. I've always been a map kinda guy, and I have used my handheld when riding trails and hunting. But I'm thinking that a nice GPS with mapping capabilities would be cool to have on my bike!



I'm not familiar with any of the newer GPS units with maps! They look cool and work great from what I've seen. Let me hear what you have to say both good or bad.



Thanks!
I have a Garmin E-Trex 20 hand held gps and LOVE it.You need to buy the maps seperately.I bought the worldwide topo map in 100k,so regardless of where I go I have a map. They also make specific state maps also,along with city navigator maps.You can download Garmin basecamp for free.I love this alot because after my ride I can download it onto my computer, and see my exact route on a topo map on my computer, or you can outline a route on your computer in basecamp then download it to your GPS.
 

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With a GPS you push a button and you know which way to go.



Is a touch screen GPS as durable as a push button one? The ones I have seen off road are push button.


You mean the GPS knows which way to go!.......... BIG DIFFERENCE!!!




Yes, in my experience, the touchscreen models are at least as durable. But I've only had the Montana for a year. Others have had touchscreen difficulties with the Montana, but they were replaced under warranty.



Bottom line is that today's GPS technology is light years ahead of a decade ago, but requires MUCH more of a learning curve and fussing with software on the computer.



It is a tradeoff I'm willing to make, but many may not. Once I have dealt with all the issues, I can trust my route or track, but I spend a LOT of time in the winter designing and vetting imaginary rides!
 

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Tech toys suck the enjoyment out of life.




I hear that!

Granted, they are a part of life for the younger amongst us. I was a bit shook up when my daughter gave my granddaughter her three month old cell phone to use as a toy, so she could upgrade.

I was watching Dog the Bounty Hunter and they had just missed catching someone and they were all wired up trying to get intel to continue on. Dog grabs this guys cell phone, looks at it, tipping his head back & forth, like a monkey studying it's penis, then finally stretches out his arm and says, "Here, who can text?" LOL That's me!



Kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm not after a GPS that you plug in the destination info and follow it! I want a GPS that I can use to plot my routes when I go off the beaten path! I like to take trails and just go, and like you said Drifter, it would be fun to download your route to the computer to look at where you've been. I don't really need it to get me where I'm going, but when I do leave the pavement, I want it for getting me back out of the bush when I travel unfamiliar territory or routes.
 

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You mean the GPS knows which way to go!.......... BIG DIFFERENCE!!!


Would it be fair to say "the GPS knows which way to go and then tells me (I read it on the screen) and then I too know which way to go"? If it doesn't work this way then maybe I don't want / need a GPS.
 

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I am unfortunately knowledgeable



YOU need an upper end unit that can be routed



This means in Garmin you can go to basecamp draw a route on the screen then

upload it into the GPS for a real map like TOPO 24



I have an Oregon



This is by far less deliberate then you might imagine but will work in short sections with many

waypoints.



The device is using its INTERNAL Algorithms and maps to the next waypoint NOT the colored line

on the computer screen. Fewer points and it will avoid dirt roads etc.



There are also tracks where the gps has internally made many waypoints but there is a limit

to how many waypoints your device will hold our Oregon holds 1000



You can have a few routes in your GPS and manually link them, if you try for one giant ride and it screws up

then your stuck going to the beginning again it WILL NOT take you back to the route point nearest you.



Ow and you CAN NOT really read anyone of them while riding in direct sunlight.







I have however used this VERY WELL to go around towns etc. using surrounding little roads

routes I never would have found by random chance





*****************************************************



How ever I do keep even a cheap one as I can go down horrible little dirt roads etc. and when if I believe

I am done or lost just punch in the nearest town and the GPS gets you out of the mess



This is fun as you DO NOT have to try to remember turns etc.



I even used the Oregon map to see that there was a road across a field after a dead end
 

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Would it be fair to say "the GPS knows which way to go and then tells me (I read it on the screen) and then I too know which way to go"? If it doesn't work this way then maybe I don't want / need a GPS.


What I meant was that the GPS THINKS it knows which way to go, but this is based entirely on which map is loaded and if that map is routable or not. It is subject to map error, and may indeed try to take you down a road that doesn't exist anymore, or over a bridge that is washed out, or other impossibilities.



Of course, any paper map would have exactly the same problems.



The point I'm trying to get across is that when using a GPS to navigate roads or trails, as opposed to point to point navigation on the ocean or in the sky, you are subject to map errors which have nothing to do with the GPS accuracy. IF you use only point to point navigation, and use your brain to decide which road or trail will best serve you to get to your next point, this problem is reduced.



I like having a good mapping GPS like the Montana whenever I'm riding in unfamiliar territory, because if there is a spiderweb of possible trails, it will keep extremely accurate track of where I am at the moment, and if I take a wrong turn it will become obvious within a hundred feet instead of a mile. I'm willing to accept possible map inaccuracies and being led down a primrose path as part of the deal. I just never trust the map loaded in memory absolutely!



This is the reason I like to have several maps loaded and available, both topo and routable like City Navigator, and this has only become possible with the latest generation, which has several gigabytes of memory. If two or more maps show the same trail in the same place, my confidence goes up accordingly.



One other big advantage of a mapping GPS is that it will show you the mileage to destination on your chosen route, reducing the likelyhood of running out of gas. Not to mention that City Navigator will show you WHERE the next gas station is. Another is that in very confusing terrain, if you have tracking enabled, it will always let you retrace your route with perfect accuracy, even if you have NO idea where you are.



I do still like to just explore, but within limits....... I just turn it off....




It is a big time sink, though, and when planning a trip to some new area I do a lot of computer work to choose rides and program a route. I use Google Earth a lot to vet the chosen route, because even if the map is accurate it tells you NOTHING about the condition and difficulty of the trail, which you can often see on GE if it has good resolution in that area. Or, much of the time I get on the internet and see if I can find a trail description and pics. At 65, I'm not NEARLY as adventurous as I was 40 years ago!!
 

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What I meant was that the GPS THINKS it knows which way to go.............

................it will always let you retrace your route with perfect accuracy, even if you have NO idea where you are.

At 65, I'm not NEARLY as adventurous as I was 40 years ago!!
I now understand what you were saying. What I was looking for was a way to get out of a trouble and not a machine that tells me where to go. Retracing my steps is what I want.



And I am going to be 65 for only 4 1/2 more months. Us older guys have to stick together. Thanks for the clarification.
 

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A GPS is a great tool to have with you.Again, it is a tool and if you don't know how to use it,it won't help you.If you choose to go with a gps stay with Garmin.Any of their units that include MAP in their name will be able to download topo style of maps.Stay away from touch screen units and the car gps units are no good for offroad.Older monochrome units are better in direct sunlight and are much cheaper in price.When doing long offroad trips I bought the garmin gpsmapV plus off ebay for around $25.I have four of these for the states we ride in.Two are for california,one for arizona and the other is for utah.I also run the garmin gpsmap60 which is color.Each one has pluses and minuses and I run both on my handlebars when doing long trips.The cheaper ones are also easier on your wallet when they get smashed or broken.If you want to get to a certain place,it is the only way to go.There are times when using a paper map, you come to a junction showing two choices,but you have five roads going different directions to choose from.Which one do you take? Also if you find something interesting and want to mark the spot and go back again later,a gps can do that.

Owning a $1200 gps does not make you an expert.I know of people I ride with that have the best equipment money can buy and couldn't find their way out of a paper bag.

If you want one,get it.
 

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What I'm surprised about is that my (to me) seemingly old and outdated Garmin GPS MAP 60CS still has street value. Compared to using my iphone, it is so annoying to navigate the screens and even remember how to use it.



That being said, people must still find value in them due to the waterproof-ish nature and the fact you don't need a cell phone signal to make them work. THAT is the big, important fact if you happen to be adventuring out into the middle of nowhere and is one more tool to ensure you get home safely. So I see no reason to think of a GPS in a negative light. I always hated having to pay a lot of money to keep the maps up to date and only being able to load maybe a state's worth of data to it at one time. I'm sure they've advanced further, but I've never kept up with the progression of technology since phone GPS is the norm now.



I've used my Garmin on several of my motorcycle projects as a speedometer/odometer. The cafe racer I built last summer was hard wired for my Garmin because I only had a tach installed on it. And given I was on double secret probation for speeding on my Speed Triple, I had to keep very close track of my speed so I wasn't pulled over all of last year.







Garmin makes a stable handlebar mount (easy to pull it on/off) that I have always liked. That said, the handlebars of the TW are too crowded for it
 

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I've got the Garmin 78 and I love it. I was looking at the Dakota 20 and a few other touch screens, but I'm glad I went with buttons as I always wear gloves when I ride. You can usually pick up that model for $199 if you search for it online.



For the maps, I'm using OpenStreetMaps, a FREE version similar to the Garmin maps. I love them so far. You just go through and select which areas you would like to receive, enter your email, and click build my map. In a short time, depending on their server load, they'll email you a link to your map download.



Once you install the maps on your GPS and basecamp, then you can create tracks/routes and sync them back and forth between the GPS and computer. Basecamp is similar to other mapping software such as Google Maps etc. You select a start and end point and it will build a route automatically. Yes, it will select the fastest route, usually involving highways and interstates. That sucks on the TDub. So all you have to do is click and drag the route around to your desired backroads and load the finished product into your GPS. I planned a 220 mile route in under 5 minutes that way. Super easy.



For mounting I just use the motorcycle RAM mount that is specific to my GPS. I've never had a problem of the GPS coming out of the cradle, but I do wrap the lanyard around the handlebars just in case. Honestly I don't think anyone needs a $500 GPS, and I certainly could have gotten an older model and spent less than my $230 for the GPS and mount. However I'm happy with what I have and it has done everything I've needed it to do, plus some.
 

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I now understand what you were saying. What I was looking for was a way to get out of trouble and not a machine that tells me where to go. Retracing my steps is what I want.

Us older guys have to stick together.




Any of the outdoors mapping GPS's will do tracks (as opposed to dedicated ones like the some NUvi models). The thing about the new generation is their readability. I have a 96C (the aviation version of the 76C) that is about 8 years old, and it does tracks and tracbacks as well as the new Montana. The difference is I can't SEE them without stopping and peering at the unit from 6" away.



With the Montana, I can be going 40 over fairly rough ground and with just a half second glance be sure that I'm on the right trail. (That is if I have created a route or a track on the computer and uploaded it.)



It all depends on where and how you ride and what you like. I want to get as far into the boonies as my gas supply will let me, on some of the most indistinct trails, usually alone, and a good mapping GPS and the knowledge of how to use it is essential to me. And a paper map for backup and to see the big picture. One drawback of GPS units is the inability to see more than a small section of the map with any detail. If you zoom out too much you lose so much detail that the map becomes useless.



If I'm on FS roads or any dirt trail where the way to go is pretty obvious, I don't even turn it on sometimes. I'm talking about long rides in unfamiliar territory where if you take a wrong turn and run out of gas you are in deep doodoo. In that type of situation a GPS can literally save your life. (Hint: ALWAYS have extra batteries!!!!
)



But first you have to learn how to use it, and learn it well. This has never been a problem for me, as I have used aviation GPS's since 1990. Units like the Montana are really great for someone like me, but they have a long and steep learning curve for someone who has never used this technology.




Oh, and I have become comfortable with the touch screen technology and don't see it as a problem, with one single exception: zooming in or out. The sensitive area for those on-screen buttons is just too small for gloves. Hopefully Garmin will fix that someday.
 

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I don't like the touch screens.Just my own opinion,but like Rocky said good luck using it with your gloves on.Also the dust and dirt will take its toll on the screen.
 
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