Garmin Montana

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by OneEffinName, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    Well, I have had my Garmin Montana for about a week. I also bought the rugged mount, then I built my own handlebar mount, which uses a small plate and a hose clamp to clamp to the handlebar. Its all rubber mounted.

    I have taken it out for a couple of good backcountry dirt bike rides. I am very pleased with the Montana. The screen size really makes quite a difference - I (almost) dont need a paper map (although I will always carry one). The touch screen works very well, even with gloves on.

    I ride 90% offroad, so I use topo maps all the time. The topo display is just great - I was a little worried because I read one thread that reported the topo display was not good. It must have been the maps. I use backroad map books (Canada) without any problems. Haven't tried the US stuff yet. I rarely ride on the street, so I haven't used the street routable maps.

    The unit is rugged. I have taken it on some very rough (rocky, rooty, logs) single track - without any issue. The rugged mount is rubber mounted to begin with, then I also added some further rubber mounting. Hopefully it wont have the same problems as my GPS Map60csx did.

    Anyways, here are some pictures of my GPS mount: http://cameronsoftware.com/blog/?p=832
    #1
  2. bmwgrrl

    bmwgrrl Can't see me...can't stop me

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    A2, Chicago
    One dumb question. What on earth does one do with all that extra wiring? I didn't want to hardwire it, so I wired to an sae connector which is up by my tankbag. Even had I hardwired, I'd still have too much junk in the trunk. The audio cable is easy, but the extra power cable is a PITA. Should I just pony up and shorten, reattach the fuse, etc? I prefer less surgery on electrical stuff.
    #2
  3. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Fayetteville, AR
    If you have a place to stuff it do that. Just coil it up and secure the extra length with a zip tye lightly tightened and in an out of the way place.
    #3
  4. bmwgrrl

    bmwgrrl Can't see me...can't stop me

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    A2, Chicago
    Thanks. I did just that. Just so much frigg'n wire. At least if I ever need an emergency tie down, I can just use that.
    #4
  5. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Haha...improvisation in the field when needed is a good thing...
    #5
  6. Kainic

    Kainic Almost there

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    391
    Location:
    SW, CT
    #6
  7. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    512
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    For the extra wires, I cut them to all differnent length (by about 1/4" each 5mm), then put them in about 1 1/2" 35mm silicone filled heat shink tubing. Coiled them up and zipped tied them off under the seat. I learned a while ago to not cut anything off - one day I might need it. The reason for all the silicone etc is that I ride in a LOT of dirt, water and mud - so I like to make everything as sealed as possible.

    For the rubber mount - I did it at three levels: The rugged mount itself has rubber mounts, then I used rubber washers. Finally I used soft ruber around the hose clamp on the handlebar.
    #7
  8. scheurneus

    scheurneus GPS Expert

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL
    The cabling is very easy to remove from the rugged mount. Battery life is long. For day rides it's enough. For holiday's and long tours connecting the power cable is sensible.
    #8
  9. Cavi

    Cavi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    34
    I personally am pis#ed, I just moved up to my oregon 550 like 4 months ago and now I want a Montana. The screen is to die for. How is it in bright light, the Oregon still suffers in the sun. Man that larger screen is fantastic....
    #9
  10. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,182
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Unlike the Oregon, even with a new and still shitty screen, the Montana literally lights up when the sun shines on it. Highly reflective! :clap

    The only time I've had any issue seeing it is that rare moment when the sun reflects off the screen directly into your eye. A small head movement cures that. Going from sun to shade is not a problem either. With hardwire the back light is always there.
    #10
  11. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,319
    Location:
    47°50′15.8″N, 119°56′21.9″W
    Yes the screen is fantastic. This TFT surface reflects a hugh amount of light. It's as easy to read outside as it is in low light with the display brightness on high.

    What R-dubb said. . . :clap
    #11
  12. bmwgrrl

    bmwgrrl Can't see me...can't stop me

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    A2, Chicago
    Anyone else has a screen recalibration issue? Suddenly mine has gone from totally fine to recal every time I turn it on to now the touch screen is so wonky nothing works. I looked up online and heard that some folks had to send them in and garmin replaced the entire unit with a new one. I'm really hoping I don't have to do that now that I've gotten mine set the way I want.

    Not cool.
    #12
  13. kknuth

    kknuth Up Nort!

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    198
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    I was about to slap down the $500 for a Montana, then discovered that one of our own ADV inmates wrote his own Android Dual Sport navigation app. CraftyCoder who owns dualsportmaps.com also now has an Android app. Personally, I am so happy with the $20 app over a dedicated GPS unit I could just about giggle! Features include instant downloads of GPX tracks, viewing of photos others have uploaded, downloading AND caching of many different maps (google, bing, topo, OSM, etc.), POI's, etc. Garmin can't touch this kind of functionality for the price.
    For those who can't afford the Montana you might want to check it out.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=691537
    #13
  14. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,319
    Location:
    47°50′15.8″N, 119°56′21.9″W
    Sorry to hear you're having problems. There are still a few bugs. You can minimize any disruption to your use of the device by doing a few things.

    I would do the following (and do regularly):
    1. Backup the \Garmin folder on the Montana to your computer. This gets all of your info plus the system data.
    2. Your Montana "personal" data resides in the following folders (the first five are obviously your data, the last three are what define your "personalization" of the Montana):
      • BirdsEye
      • CustomMaps
      • GPX
      • JPEG
      • CustomSymbols
      • Filters
      • Profiles
      • Shortcuts
    3. After backing up that which "defines" your configuration and personal data, I would do a Master Reset - with the device turned Off, holding the Montana with the Garmin name at the bottom (portrait mode) press and hold the upper lefthand corner and then press the Power On button. Continue to hold the lefthand corner until you see the on-screen message about deleting user data.

    This process should not delete any data from the device but in case it should, you've got the important info backed up. If the unit does fail and needs to be returned for replacement, you still have all of your "personalization" backed up on your computer. When you get the new unit, just copy those folders/data over. You'll be back in business.

    Hope this get's you going again.

    Cheers,
    #14
  15. bmwgrrl

    bmwgrrl Can't see me...can't stop me

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    A2, Chicago
    Got off the phone with garmin this am. (ps they were most helpful and extremely friendly) looks like I'm one of a few that got an earlier unit that has touchscreen issues. Went thru all the hard resets, including the one where you keep your left thumb held on the upper lefthand screen as you turn unit on. No go - screen still wonky. But hey, that happens when you get the first new toy out the gate.

    Have an RMA and will have a brand new one sent to me ASAP.

    Just want to reiterate that garmin support was great. And thanks for your reply. Always good to have more than 1 hand helping!
    Cheers!
    #15
  16. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,319
    Location:
    47°50′15.8″N, 119°56′21.9″W
    Cool, now backup your Profile data so you don't have to recreate them on the new Montana. Just copy the folder over and your done.:deal

    Cheers,
    #16
  17. JustRon

    JustRon ex-broadwayron

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,357
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I can't believe this thread isn't bigger. I'm considering buying a Montana, and I was looking for more real-world info, which is so abundant on this site.
    I guess I'll keep checking back.
    #17
  18. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,051
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    #18
  19. JustRon

    JustRon ex-broadwayron

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,357
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Oh, thanks. I'm an idiot.
    #19
  20. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,190
    Location:
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    I haven't been able to find a picture of the backside of the montana - how is it hard wired? Mini usb like the 62 or 4 pin like the 60.

    You guys that don't have it hardwired does the screen stay on on thumper dirtbikes? When I first got my 62 I thoght it was better than the 60 but not anymore. The unit only stays on a few minutes now on battery power. When it was new it could last 45 minutes on a vibrating thumper. Worse with the 62 is that it doesn't have the 4 pin the 60 has...
    #20