If I get a Montana what else do I need?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by tnktm, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. tnktm

    tnktm Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    46
    I want a gps to download dual sport rides into gps and go ride them and to ride off road and overlay where I rode on a map. The Montana seems the best (although expensive) and I saw a "rugged mount" to hard wire it to bike (although it says some kind of ball socket not included). I see people talking about mapsource or basemap. I guess my question is do I need to buy 3 programs (topo map, regular map, mapsource or basemap)? I'm not sure what kind of maps to use for the 2 thinks I want to do. I might want to use google maps somehow if I could. I'd kinda like an idea what I need before I start purchasing. I saw a topo map that said 100k and a southeast (where I am) topo map that said 24k but the what looked like smaller map was more expensive (which didn't make since). Sorry if the answers are obvious and thanks for any advice.
    #1
  2. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,480
    Location:
    Lower US 48
    Back in 2010 I put Mapsource and City Nav on my 76Csx and got along fine doing the CDT.

    I also bought the topo program but found it lacking and not as useful, so at the end of the day it was wasted money.
    #2
  3. rickcj7

    rickcj7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    Hollidaysburg PA
    You need the GPS, rugged mount, handlebar ball mount, and whatever maps you want.
    The 650t comes with topo maps on it
    The 650 has camera no maps
    The 600 has no maps or camera
    Mapsource and basecamp are the programs you use on the PC to plan and map out you trips.
    #3
  4. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Oddometer:
    22,867
    Location:
    The Submarine Mines
    Mounts. You've got three basic options:
    1. Ram mount and cradle -the ball and socket deal. Doesn't lock, doesnt supply power, the least expensive route.
    2. Garmin powered cradle - doesn't lock, but it does supply hard wired power. You've still got to mount it, a Ram ball and arm setup is a good way to go. Not terribly robust, use a tether.
    3. The Touratech locking mount. This incorporates the Garmin cradle to supply power and adds a pretty stout lock. Again, you've got to mount it to the bike -directly to a handlebar crossbar is a good method.

    I'm using option 1 with my Montana until I can afford option 3.

    Software: Mapsource and base camp are Garmin's interfaces. It looks like Mapsource is being phased out, base camp has all the functions and a few other nice-to-have features. Both are free when you get a map set, both will work with topo and street maps.

    Maps: the topo series has two versions; 100k and 24k. The 24k series are vastly more detailed than the 100k maps - roughly 4x the detail. These maps are split into regions and cost ~$130 each. They're also capable of auto routing to POIs and street addresses within both the interface and on the gps. Each region will fit on a 4gb micro sd card. For road maps, your options are the City Navigator series. I think they're up to 2012 v3, you'll get a free update if you purchase a new license for an older product. These maps also support auto routing on the computer and gps.
    #4
  5. tnktm

    tnktm Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    46
    Wow - thanks so much for the info. I'm wondering if the topo maps will show a road if you come up on it (I want an idea of the area I was in pertaining to local landmarks and also if I could find someone else's route if I put it on a topo map), or are there no roads at all? Also, is the Montana with the topo maps already on it the one with less detail (I would imagine it would be)? Thanks again for all the help.
    #5
  6. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Oddometer:
    22,867
    Location:
    The Submarine Mines
    Yes, roads are on the topo maps. The 650t has the lower resolution map.
    #6
  7. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,653
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Garmin's Rugged Mount is lockable. It comes with a Torx Security screw and tool. And at $33, it's a steal.

    Stovebolt's making a mount for the Montana too, but it looks like it doesn't incorporate the Rugged Mount so it means you need to use USB if you want to power the gps. Not acceptable, IMHO. One of the biggest advantages of the Montana is its power source through the Rugged Mount.

    And any mount system still requires a tether on the gps.
    #7
  8. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,348
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    +1.

    I use it with an Adaptiv Mount.
    It's a really deluxe version of a RAM mount. Rather than the big old knob it tightens with an allen wrench.

    I figure my new Montana is just as secure with this setup as it ever was with the Touratech locking mount I used on my zumo. It works, but it's kinda cheesy truth be told. With my setup, you can get the GPS by a) having the correct small torx wrench or b) have the correct allen key. If you have that, you can get the whole mount, but then you also need something sharp to cut the cable out. Stealing a GPS is a quickie snatch & grab situation. I think it's pretty secure.
    #8
  9. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,653
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I fixed your link to the Adaptiv mount. It's not cheap at $85.

    I used RAM parts but got rid of the knob and used a self locking nut instead to make it a little harder to steal.

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,792
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    +1

    I was lazy, i don't need a tether for riding down smooth highway roads! Even during the hardest trail riding and jumps I've ever done the quick release never failed.

    Then one day I the guy sitting behind me at a traffic light walked up and told me I dropped something 2 minutes earlier... doh!
    #10
  11. tnktm

    tnktm Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    46
    You guys are helping me know what I want to go read about (which I've been doing) - thanks again. If I purchase just the topo map and I load someone else's dual sport route will it be hard to follow without turn by turn directions? Also, is the detail of the more expensive smaller area topo map worth the extra hassle over the 650t with the less detailed topo map? Thanks again.
    #11
  12. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,653
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    There's really no such thing as a 'Dualsport Route'. Routes are finicky since so much depends on you having the exact same maps and routing options as the route creator. For Dualsport, you'll be using tracks, and not turn by turn routing. It's more akin to a routebook in that your gps will show you where the track goes but it's up to you to follow it.

    Often the best routes are turned into tracks as a last step to ensure they work with most gps units.

    I have no idea if the 24k Topo maps will be better for you as I've never seen them. I use Topo Canada.
    #12
  13. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,348
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    How do you tether a Montana?
    #13
  14. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Oddometer:
    22,867
    Location:
    The Submarine Mines
    There is a slot in the case at the bottom, I used an old camera lanyard I hand hanging around.
    #14
  15. SmellyGoatBoy

    SmellyGoatBoy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    Seattle
    Check to see what topo map comes with the "t" version as the topo 100 is useless. You can not create routes or tracks using the topo 100. i had this issue when I bought my Oregon T. I then had to go out and buy the topo 24k. So, price the low end, with the topo 24. i think it is about the same as the "t" version, and is more useful.
    #15
  16. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,653
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    You can see the tether on my 650 in this shot.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,344
    Location:
    Strangel Living West of Hell, SoCal
    So, if I was to buy the Touratech package I'd still need to buy City Navigator for the unit as well to make the Montana both a good road and dualsport unit, is that about right?
    The City Nav comes on a Micro card that inserts in the unit?
    I have older City Nav CD's in my junk bin. Would those work?
    #17
  18. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,625
    Location:
    Durango, Colorado, USA
    Pretty much, yes. You "could" substitute 24K topo but that would be less than optimal.

    Yes it does. Most people recommend CNNA on DVD (locked to a single gps), but I got the uSD card so I can use CNNA on more than one Garmin. I just got an eTrex and can use CNNA uSD card on both the Montana and the eTrex.

    Unlikely since they are probably locked to another Garmin gps.
    #18
  19. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,344
    Location:
    Strangel Living West of Hell, SoCal
    I just found a Montana 600 slightly used for $300 complete. I reckon that's a fair deal.

    I've been comparing the 3 models.
    I don't give a dink about the camera, but can the 600 do the topo software or just the 650 and 650T?
    #19
  20. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Oddometer:
    22,867
    Location:
    The Submarine Mines
    Yes, the 600 can do all the same maps as the 650s, they just aren't preloaded.

    fat fingered on a small keyboard.
    #20