Best Off Road GPS & Why

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by 05 XR650R, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. 05 XR650R

    05 XR650R Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    G`day All,
    Im looking at getting a GPS unit that clips onto my handle bars. Just after some info on the best suited units & maps for riding Cairns & Cape area. $ isn't really a worry just after a good quality unit.
    Cheers Simon.
    #1
  2. XRman

    XRman Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,760
    Location:
    SW Victoria Oz
    I like this unit. Simple , robust and small enough to be able to survive crashes and brush/bushes knocking it off the bars. I can see the screen well enough. It runs map, SD card option, easy to work out how it works after a while.
    #2
  3. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,594
    Location:
    Having a laugh
    I have been using a Garmin Colorado for a few years with great success. I have the Memory Map Topos for NSW on the laptop and can plot a track on the 1:25000 topos and then download to the gps and use this as a navigation route. I believe the new Montana 650 is a good unit and a lot newer than my Colorado.
    #3
  4. Eagle`02

    Eagle`02 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Newcastle, Austraila
    A lot of our regular group of riders use Garmin 60CSX` as well as 62S`.
    Awsome units, reliable relatively cheap and easy to use on the trail
    #4
  5. Dr AT

    Dr AT Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,778
    Location:
    maffra, vic
    If you want to try exploring some of the old ( dissused) trails up the cape, try and track down an old magellan explorist xl with the original software (? Mapsource?)

    If there used to be 2 wheel marks anywhere in australa, they are on the map. It tells you where you are when you're lost, doesn't do autotracking and sometimes those 2 wheel ruts will be so overgrown you'll wish you don't have the gps....but there is some amazing riding up there which nobody knows about anylonger......
    #5
  6. gavo

    gavo Slacker

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,194
    Location:
    Gympie QLD
    I have a garmin 60scx with shonky maps, never a problem even had good maps loaded for Lao and it was brilliant. When this one finally dies I'll up to 62s or whatever replaces that.
    #6
  7. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,612
    Location:
    Melbun, Oztralia
    Can anyone tell me what are the benefits of running a Garmin 6xx compared with running one of the Garmin road going GPSes?

    As far as I am aware, the same maps are available on all Garmin units so what are some of the other features/functions which prove useful?
    #7
  8. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,594
    Location:
    Having a laugh
    Not sure all Garmins will take decent topos. I have a Nuvi in the car and that is where it can stay. I have tried loading routes from mapping software without success.
    #8
  9. Jdeks

    Jdeks Accepting and supportive of everyones feelings.

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,523
    I'm in love with the Garmin Montana.

    BIG touch screen with big buttons for making easy on the fly adjustments with gloves (or if you're just a little special like me:huh). Mahoosive screen shows lots o map.

    But by FAR the biggest pro is the power cradle. Proper pin contacts, no more shitty USB cables vibrating or rusting to death, which has killed 3 different GPS's on my 950.

    Also seriously rugged unit. Not that I tested this by riding off the ferry in Tangier and bouncing it down the dock at 60kph. Not that you could tell now either.

    Also, uses fancypants LCD screen technology to use sunlight to illuminate the display, so if you dont have the power cradel, battery lasts for yonks.

    She's a bit bulky, but thats the price for durability and the big screen.

    Get em on ebay for around the $350 mark these days.
    #9
  10. guzzimike

    guzzimike Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,420
    Location:
    Them Thar Hills WA Australia

    You can't do routing, tracks and waypoints on the car ones.
    They also are not water/dustproof an shake to bits on bikes.
    Other than that, they're fine:evil
    #10
  11. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,612
    Location:
    Melbun, Oztralia
    Not sure I agree, but I would like to be convinced. I used a Nuvi310 to navigate lots of dirt/water tracks through Asia (using basic world maps) without shaking itself to bits. I agree the 6 year old 310 has limited tracking/waypoints/routing but it lasted me 5 years before I drowned it on Cape York in 2011 :D (P.S. it still works after surviving the OTT).

    By comparison, my new $119 5" screen 1450 has a lot more functionality including better routing, tracking and waypoints - only feature I would really like that is missing is breadcrumbing. Combined with shonky maps it is gives me pretty much everything I need with the side benefit of a decent size screen - bigger than a Montana at a fifth of the price.
    #11
  12. wairau

    wairau south pacific itinerant

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,258
    Location:
    trunga, nz
    Be careful with those Garmins.

    Decide on the map you want. Topo or whatever, then choose a unit that can use it. The topo database does routes. I've got an old Oregon model which is weatherproof. You can use Basecamp for planning on the computer at home but I find paper maps laid out on the table far better/faster and less bullshit.

    The Johnny Appleseed website isnt a bad place to start looking/comparing.
    #12
  13. Warin

    Warin Retired

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,393
    You want waterproof on the bike. Unless you don't ride in the rain nor fall in creeks, nor get splashed in them either. Car ones are not waterproof...

    The garmin 62 uses a mini usb connector for power.. not good on the bike. The 60 was much better that way . Rather than the 62 some go with the 7x model. And some go with the montana for the bigger screen.
    #13
  14. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,733
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    Yeh right there with best oil and tires!

    There are several variables to "best" price, size, & features.

    Current preference by the masses are 78 & Montana with price the main diference. Save money with 76Cx or even 60Cx if you can find one.
    #14
  15. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,089
    Location:
    Wellington,New Zealand
    so it doesnt have a trip log?Thats what its called on my 2350,you can download the archived tracks named by date and time.I was thinking of a 1490
    #15
  16. MikeS

    MikeS For sure! I'm game for it

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,032
    Location:
    South of the Border on the Minnesota Riviera
    For adventuring, I'm debating this subject, 625, 62CSX, or Montana... I watch the Montana thread here on Adv, and I am spooked by all the complexity and glitches that are discussed on that thread. There seems to be a very big learning curve for the Montana. Is the Montana that difficult to learn? Other than the learning curve, the Montana seems to have a lot of good features, including durability and big screen plus auto-routing on the highway.

    I ride trails and forest roads in MN and Ontario, take trips to Mexico including Copper Canyon, and I have a Latin America/South America expedition on my radar.
    #16
  17. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,733
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    #17
  18. heirhead

    heirhead worlds worst mechanic

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    764
    Location:
    On the water in SoCal
    Which is better? 2 aa batteries, none recharging or a charging battery.
    Do you need to have the unit, zumo 500 plugged all of the time?
    Just use batteries like oregon 450?

    Thanks

    heirhead
    worlds worst mechanic and navigator.
    #18
  19. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,509
    Location:
    Bakersfield CA & Sammamish WA
    I'm not totally clear on the question as all the handhelds use AA batteries rechargeable or otherwise and some also take a rechargeable battery pack.

    The Zuno only has a rechargeable battery pack lasting 4 or 5 hours.

    Off pavement I would not use a GPS which can not be powered with AAs. If something goes wrong and your bike is dead you will only have several hours of battery life with a Zumo.

    Pavement riding and hard wired the Zumo is very good.

    AAs are cheap and available anywhere in the world.

    Bruce
    #19
  20. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,335
    Location:
    SW Florida
    went thru 3 montanas, all broke for no reason and now 62S ( love the new one )
    #20